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On 1 January 2016, Ukraine applied the economic part of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union.
The diversified economy of Ukraine includes a large heavy industry sector, particularly in aerospace and industrial equipment.
Danylo Romanovych (Daniel I of Galicia or Danylo Halytskyi) son of Roman Mstyslavych, re-united all of south-western Rus', including Volhynia, Galicia and Rus' ancient capital of Kiev.
Danylo was crowned by the papal archbishop in Dorohychyn 1253 as the first King of all Rus'.
Ukraine is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system with separate powers: legislative, executive and judicial branches. Taking into account reserves and paramilitary personnel, 77.8 percent of whom are Ukrainians "by ethnicity", followed by a sizeable minority of Russians (17.3 percent) as well as Georgians, Romanians/Moldovans, Belarusians, Crimean Tatars, Bulgarians and Hungarians.
Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic.
The Goths stayed in the area but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s AD.
In the 7th century AD, the territory of eastern Ukraine was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria.
Ukraine has maintained its independence as a sovereign state ever since.
Beginning in the sixth century BC, colonies of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire, such as Tyras, Olbia and Chersonesus, were founded on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea.
These colonies thrived well into the 6th century AD.
In the 2000s, the government began leaning towards NATO, and a deeper cooperation with the alliance was set by the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan signed in 2002.
It was later agreed that the question of joining NATO should be answered by a national referendum at some point in the future.
The dominant religion in the country is Eastern Orthodoxy, which has strongly influenced Ukrainian architecture, literature and music.