Ukrainian interest. Long-awaited visa-free travel, Baltic vector and inconsistent Trump
The EP's decision on visa liberalization for Ukraine has positive consequences for millions of Ukrainians. The prime ministers of the Baltic States during their Kyiv visit actively demonstrated they understood Ukrainian problems. Donald Trump has created unexpected challenges for the Russian leadership. The Normandy Four is increasingly turning into a phone talks format for several “Threes.”
Week’s balance: gifts from EU, IMF assignment, and NBU Governor’s long farewell
The European Parliament approved a visa-free travel for Ukrainians; the International Monetary Fund voiced a new set of tasks for Kyiv and granted Ukraine the fourth bailout tranche worth $1 billion, followed by another EUR 600 million that came from the European Commission; while the NBU chief confirmed her intention to resign – these are the key economic news of the outgoing week.
Week’s milestones. Confusion with e-declarations, questionable ceasefire, and staffing intrigues
The issue of e-declarations of assets income declaration stood out at the president’s meeting with representatives of Ukrainian NGOs and a Cabinet meeting as well. A so-called ceasefire in Donbas was thwarted, without really coming into effect. Provocations in Lutsk and Lviv region are aimed at inflicting damage to Ukraine’s image on the international arena. The prime minister and the prosecutor general take turns convincing the public they are not going to leave office anytime soon.
Ukrainian interest. Provocation in Lutsk, consolidation in Malta, and reanimation of GUAM
A shell fired from a grenade launcher at the Polish Consulate General in Lutsk has become a new link in the chain of provocations directed against the development of Ukrainian-Polish relations. The Congress of the European People's Party addressed the Ukrainian issue. GUAM member states will try to revive the organization by creating a free trade area.
Week’s balance: "Yanukovych debt," Firtash’s profit, and Sberbank’s maneuver
The High Court of Justice in London in the case regarding Russia’s claim over the so-called "Yanukovych debt" ruled not in Ukraine’s favor, Russian Sberbank announced the sale of its Ukrainian subsidiary, while regional gas distribution companies controlled by Dmytro Firtash will be able to earn an additional UAH 7.7 billion due to the latest decision of the NEURC – these are this week’s main economic news.
Week’s milestones. Voronenkov’s assassination, explosions in Balaklia, and independent prime minister
The murder of exiled former Russian MP Denis Voronenkov was not the first death with a political tinge in modern Ukraine, but yet it was too resonant. Legislators and the president are balancing between the search for mutual understanding and poorly concealed hostility. Europe’s largest munitions depot in Balaklia caught fire, drawing increased attention. Volodymyr Groysman is in search of new incarnations aiming to table a successful annual report on his achievements.
Ukrainian interest. Klimkin's priorities, intimidating Lukashenko, and cynical Agramunt
Pavlo Klimkin sees no military solution to the conflict in Donbas, being convinced that confidence in Russia has seriously decreased worldwide. The murder of exiled Russian MP Denis Voronenkov in the very heart of Kyiv and the decision to ban Russian Eurovision entrant Julia Samoilova from entering Ukraine launched another round of hysteria in Russia. Alexander Lukashenko curiously combines his vow not to allow the Ukrainian scenario of protests in his country and his readiness to intensify political dialogue with Kyiv. Pedro Agramunt has taught a lesson in cynicism.
Week’s balance: blockade consequences, IMF return, and billions for Ukrainian roads
Last week, the Ukrainian authorities assessed the consequences of the trade blockade of the occupied Donbas for the economy; the IMF announced it would appoint a new date for the next Exec Board meeting on the allocation of another tranche to Ukraine; and the government boosted its efforts to fix Ukrainian roads.
Postgraduate student at Moscow State University Zakhar Sarapulov: "Hundreds of thousands of people at the rally dedicated to Crimea's accession had to see the Ukrainian flag"
This story is a reflection of Russian reality. An eight-minute interview with Zakhar Sarapulov, a post-graduate student at the History Faculty of Moscow State University, who flew a Ukrainian flag on the third anniversary of Crimea annexation, shows the real state of affairs in Russia.
Week’s milestones. Blockade developments, turmoil under Rada dome, and political itching
The shift in the vector of the assessment of Donbas trade blockade will see more developments. An attempt to give the floor to law enforcers allegedly injured during a bout with MP Volodymyr Parasiuk at a roadblock caused a scandal in the Verkhovna Rada. Political parties show optimism, which is in no way comparable with their actual influence on the situation in Ukraine. Roman Nasirov got bailed out for UAH 100 million (nearly $3.7 million), deposited by his wife.
Ukrainian interest. Black Sea mutual understanding, echoes of blockade, and Klimkin in Warsaw
Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman a visit to Turkey. The EU does not intend to recognize Crimea as part of Russia. The NSDC move to suspend movement of goods across the contact line in Donbas saw harsh reactions in Berlin and Paris. Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin opened a public park in Warsaw, named after a Ukrainian dissident poet Vasyl Stus.
Week’s balance: legitimized blockade, sanctioned banks, and EUR 600 million EU aid
Ukraine has officially banned the movement of goods across the contact line in the zone of the Anti-Terrorist Operation, imposed sanctions against the subsidiaries of Russian state banks, and is now waiting for the next tranche from the IMF as well as a EUR 600 million macro-financial assistance from the European Union - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Gazprom surrender. Ukraine gets new trump card
Russian energy monopoly Gazprom has lost its long-standing dispute with the European Commission. The company has undertaken to fulfill the conditions put forward by the EU – it will give up all the preferences in the European markets and change the pricing. The fact that Gazprom has recognized violations on its part is in fact a huge trump card for Ukraine.
OSCE SMM’s Alexander Hug: The reality of our work is much more complex than just describing it as blindness
Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Alexander Hug sat down with UNIAN to explain, why he met with militant leaders Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky in Luhansk, who and why hinders the monitors’ work at the contact line, and about the lack of response to the SMM reports.
Week’s milestones. Resonant Nasirov, two major holidays, and restless Samopomich
Taking into custody of Roman Nasirov had no considerable impact on Ukrainian politicians. Ukraine this week was balancing between the International Women's Day and Taras Shevchenko’s birthday. Samopomich continues to study the mechanisms of Ukrainian politics.
Ukrainian interest. Attack in The Hague, Transatlantic Klimkin, and "Law and Justice" vs Tusk
Ukraine has voiced its position in its suit against Russia lodged with the International Court of Justice. Pavlo Klimkin in Washington and Paris sought mutual understanding with his colleagues. Poland under the leadership of "Law and Justice" Party opposed itself to the European Union and Donald Tusk.
Head of EU Delegation to Ukraine Mingarelli: We hope EU will be able to maintain its unity on Russia sanctions
Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli in an interview with UNIAN talked about the role of political will of Ukrainian officials in the process of Ukraine’s rapprochement with the EU, the need to tackle illegal trading along the contact line in Donbas, the term when local elections should take place in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and how visa liberalization should work for Ukrainians.
Week’s balance: Progress with IMF, blockade in full swing, and Sberbank of Russia under threat
The IMF will decide on the fate of the next bailout tranche for our country on March 20; Sberbank of Russia in Ukraine is facing sanctions; the headquarters of the ATO zone blockade has put forward an ultimatum; operations of the Odesa Portside Chemical Plant have been resumed - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
U.S citizen Jim Kovpak: [In Ukraine,] they made the law accepting foreigners to the army but they didn’t actually prepare anything to have it implemented.
The American with Ukrainian roots, Jim Kovpak, sat down with UNIAN to talk about his will to join the Ukrainian army, the differences between the Ukrainian and U.S. military, and the problems he faced on the path to achieving his goal in Ukraine.
Week’s milestones. Nasirov-Gate underway, blockade with consequences, and false expectations from Nadiia
A number of Ukraine’s political forces saw a half-criminal, half-medical drama around the detention of chief taxman Roman Nasirov as an opportunity to show off. Logistical blockade in Donbas became bilateral, also being aggravated by the establishment of the "external management" over 43 Ukrainian companies located in the militant-occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. MP Nadiia Savchenko achieved no success in liberating Ukrainian prisoners held captive by Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine.