One main reason why Ukraine's elites were able to seize power in 1991 was because Soviet leaders were unable to find solutions to mounting economic problems and traditional power relationships unravelled. Ukraine changed the balance of economic power in the region by breaking away from Russia's control and splitting the former Soviet Union into smaller economic units. In the short run this caused severe disruption as old patterns of economic activity were destroyed. The long-term impact of Ukraine's departure is difficult to assess since the re-organisation of economic powers is still incomplete. Global trends towards regionalism will pull Ukraine into an alignment and the remaining question is where Ukraine will end up. The options are: going back to a Russian-dominated zone, becoming part of a new East European economic union or joining a common European space which may also include Russia.