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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.
On 1 January 2016, Ukraine applied the economic part of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union.
Ukraine has maintained its independence as a sovereign state ever since.
According to the Primary Chronicle the Rus' elite initially consisted of Varangians from Scandinavia.
The Golden Age of Kievan Rus' began with the reign of Vladimir the Great (980–1015), who turned Rus' toward Byzantine Christianity.
Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world.
The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC.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.By 4,500 BC, the Neolithic Cucuteni-Trypillian Culture flourished in a wide area that included parts of modern Ukraine including Trypillia and the entire Dnieper-Dniester region.