Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Ukrainian roots are being uprooted -

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 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.
    UNIAN Maksym Shevchenko 25 March 2017

    The official trade blockade of the ATO zone, introduced last week by a presidential decree according to a decision of the National Security and Defense Council, forced the Ukrainian leadership to seriously adjust their plans. After all, temporary cessation of the movement of goods across the contact line was a response to the seizure by militants of Ukrainian enterprises estimated at $2 billion. And, more importantly, the assets "nationalized" by militants were an important component of Ukraine's energy and steelmaking industries.

    The blockade questioned macroeconomic forecasts, which had been based both on the government's plans and on cooperation with international lenders.

    "As a result of the blockade, Ukraine lost influence over its own territories. At the same time, a blow has been struck on national energy and steelmaking industries, and on the budget," Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.

    He also stressed that the enterprises in the occupied territory of Donbas were not only seized, but also plundered.

    In view of the new economic realities, the National Bank, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and the Ministry of Finance were forced to start a revision of their macro-forecasts.
    While the ministries assess the consequences of the blockade, the National Bank has already presented its figures.

    According to the regulator’s calculations, the blockade will cost Ukraine 0.9% of the economic growth GDP in 2017, the forecast for which has been reduced to 1.9% of GDP.

    At the same time, the National Bank estimated the negative impact of the blockade at 1.3% of GDP, while NBU analysts hope to see 0.4 of GDP compensated due to favorable conditions in world markets. In addition, the blockade this year will result in an additional $800 million deficit in Ukraine’s balance of payments, as well as eat up $500 million from gold reserves.

    At the same time, the NBU raised its forecast for GDP growth in 2018 from 3% to 3.2%, at the same time worsening the forecasts for the balance of payments deficit and the volume of foreign exchange reserves.

    According to the chief economist at Dragon Capital, Olena Belan, the decision of the Ukrainian authorities to officially stop trade with the occupied territories reduces the likelihood of restoring economic ties, as was previously laid out in the forecasts for an IMF cooperation program.

    The expert noted that stopping trade with the occupied areas of Donbas could reduce real GDP by about 1% and raise the current account deficit by 1.7% of GDP, as a result of the loss of revenue from steel exports and growth in coal imports.

    According to a source in the Cabinet of Ministers, Ukrainian energy-generating and steelmaking assets, which were linked to the seized production facilities with a single production cycle, will feel significant negative consequences of the blockade, but they will be able to quickly cope with the diversification of supplies.
    The source added that the blockade would also affect the hryvnia exchange rate. The IMF memo sees the weighted average rate of the hryvnia in 2017 at UAH 27.2 to the dollar but, according to the government estimates, the stoppage of trade will lead to the depreciation by another 70 kopiykas – down to UAH 27.9. These are just forecasts, but the blockade has already reflected on Ukrainian industrial production - in February 2017 it decreased in annual terms at a 4.6% rate after rising by 5.6% a month earlier. Thus, almost a year-long cycle of industrial output growth has been interrupted as a result of new economic realities, the negative effect of which will be rather difficult to compensate for.

    Economic Review: IMF Expects New Forecasts
    The postponement for an indefinite period of a March 20 meeting of the IMF Executive Board on the allocation of the next $1 billion tranche to Ukraine drew speculations regarding such a move – ranging from problems with the appointment of the auditor of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau to the Fund’s dissatisfaction with an investigation against the dismissed fiscal chief Roman Nasirov.
    The Ministry of Finance said the reason for the delay was the need to assess the impact of the trade blockade on the Ukrainian economy, since the memorandum of cooperation with the IMF was based on certain figures, which in new circumstances need to be adjusted.
    According to a source in the Ukrainian government, the talks were held on March 20, where the parties said they needed to agree in the coming days on new indicators of the dynamics of the Ukrainian economy.

    "We submitted a conservative forecast right away, so that no questions arose (with the IMF). We take a pessimistic scenario that economic ties with the occupied region will not be restored," the source said.

    At an IMF briefing in Washington March 23, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice did not name the specific reason for the postponement of the Executive Board meeting on the Ukrainian issue, confining himself to a vague statement that it was due to the recent developments in Ukraine.

    "We expect to announce a new Board date soon," Rice said, adding that there is nothing “unusual” in the postponement.

    At the same time, he stressed that he did not have any information on a possible revision of the volume and terms of the next tranche.

    Meanwhile, on March 23, the IMF’s regular technical mission arrived in Ukraine.

    "Together we are working to launch the medium-term reform of the State Fiscal Service, which is one of the key priorities of the Ministry of Finance and is very important for improving the system of tax administration," the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

    While the current members of the government are trying to settle all technical details for obtaining a bailout tranche, Ukraine’s initial negotiators are going for a raise. Ex-Minister of Finance of Ukraine Natalie Jaresko, whose cadence saw the launch of the IMF’s renewed Extended Fund Facility for Ukraine, will become the director of the Council for Financial Management and Control of Puerto Rico, where she will deal with the restructuring of the country's $70 billion debt, as well as ensuring a balanced budget. It seems that our experts are praised overseas. The question is, whether they will start to be appreciated in Ukraine.

    Season of road repairs
    Ukrainian roads traditionally melted down along with snow, in the first sunny days of spring. At a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman even showed a compilation of videos showing Ukrainian motorways more resembling some obstacle course, and announced a threefold increase in financing of road infrastructure compared to 2016.

    "We will be able to allocate about UAH 30 billion ... This is three times more than last year," the prime minister said.

    According to him, the government plans to restore Ukrainian roads, 95% of which remain in unsatisfactory condition, within five to seven years.

    Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan noted that the main repair works on Ukrainian motorways will begin as early as late March - early April.

    In turn, head of motorway management agency Ukravtodor Slavomir Novak announced plans to implement in 2017 some 268 projects worth UAH 18 billion, at the same time noting that the annual need in financing is about UAH 60 billion.

    Novak also announced plans to launch the first concession motorway projects, which will be based on public-private partnership.

    In turn, Omelyan said that the Ministry of Infrastructure was introducing quality control systems for road repair and construction.

    By the way, against the backdrop of constant requests for additional funding voiced by Ukravtodor management and the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Security Service of Ukraine announced suspicion against Kyivavtodor officials, charging them with embezzlement of UAH 300 million of budget funds. In turn, the State Audit Service is investigating ineffective management decisions at a number of regional road management agencies that led to UAH 270 million losses.

    The question remains rhetorical on whether it would be easier to use the funds effectively or to ask for more money from the budget.
    The next week may be rich in economic news - attention will be focused on the dynamics of cooperation between Ukraine and the IMF, while the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade will present the country's export strategy - a long-awaited document that will determine the main directions for the development of domestic foreign trade in the coming years.
    https://www.unian.info/economics/184...ian-roads.html

    https://www.unian.info/economics/184...ian-roads.html

    æ, !

    Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

    Comment


    • 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.
      UNIAN Maksym Shevchenko 25 March 2017

      The official trade blockade of the ATO zone, introduced last week by a presidential decree according to a decision of the National Security and Defense Council, forced the Ukrainian leadership to seriously adjust their plans. After all, temporary cessation of the movement of goods across the contact line was a response to the seizure by militants of Ukrainian enterprises estimated at $2 billion. And, more importantly, the assets "nationalized" by militants were an important component of Ukraine's energy and steelmaking industries.

      The blockade questioned macroeconomic forecasts, which had been based both on the government's plans and on cooperation with international lenders.

      "As a result of the blockade, Ukraine lost influence over its own territories. At the same time, a blow has been struck on national energy and steelmaking industries, and on the budget," Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.

      He also stressed that the enterprises in the occupied territory of Donbas were not only seized, but also plundered.

      In view of the new economic realities, the National Bank, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and the Ministry of Finance were forced to start a revision of their macro-forecasts.
      While the ministries assess the consequences of the blockade, the National Bank has already presented its figures.

      According to the regulator’s calculations, the blockade will cost Ukraine 0.9% of the economic growth GDP in 2017, the forecast for which has been reduced to 1.9% of GDP.

      At the same time, the National Bank estimated the negative impact of the blockade at 1.3% of GDP, while NBU analysts hope to see 0.4 of GDP compensated due to favorable conditions in world markets. In addition, the blockade this year will result in an additional $800 million deficit in Ukraine’s balance of payments, as well as eat up $500 million from gold reserves.

      At the same time, the NBU raised its forecast for GDP growth in 2018 from 3% to 3.2%, at the same time worsening the forecasts for the balance of payments deficit and the volume of foreign exchange reserves.

      According to the chief economist at Dragon Capital, Olena Belan, the decision of the Ukrainian authorities to officially stop trade with the occupied territories reduces the likelihood of restoring economic ties, as was previously laid out in the forecasts for an IMF cooperation program.

      The expert noted that stopping trade with the occupied areas of Donbas could reduce real GDP by about 1% and raise the current account deficit by 1.7% of GDP, as a result of the loss of revenue from steel exports and growth in coal imports.

      According to a source in the Cabinet of Ministers, Ukrainian energy-generating and steelmaking assets, which were linked to the seized production facilities with a single production cycle, will feel significant negative consequences of the blockade, but they will be able to quickly cope with the diversification of supplies.
      The source added that the blockade would also affect the hryvnia exchange rate. The IMF memo sees the weighted average rate of the hryvnia in 2017 at UAH 27.2 to the dollar but, according to the government estimates, the stoppage of trade will lead to the depreciation by another 70 kopiykas – down to UAH 27.9. These are just forecasts, but the blockade has already reflected on Ukrainian industrial production - in February 2017 it decreased in annual terms at a 4.6% rate after rising by 5.6% a month earlier. Thus, almost a year-long cycle of industrial output growth has been interrupted as a result of new economic realities, the negative effect of which will be rather difficult to compensate for.

      Economic Review: IMF Expects New Forecasts
      The postponement for an indefinite period of a March 20 meeting of the IMF Executive Board on the allocation of the next $1 billion tranche to Ukraine drew speculations regarding such a move – ranging from problems with the appointment of the auditor of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau to the Fund’s dissatisfaction with an investigation against the dismissed fiscal chief Roman Nasirov.
      The Ministry of Finance said the reason for the delay was the need to assess the impact of the trade blockade on the Ukrainian economy, since the memorandum of cooperation with the IMF was based on certain figures, which in new circumstances need to be adjusted.
      According to a source in the Ukrainian government, the talks were held on March 20, where the parties said they needed to agree in the coming days on new indicators of the dynamics of the Ukrainian economy.

      "We submitted a conservative forecast right away, so that no questions arose (with the IMF). We take a pessimistic scenario that economic ties with the occupied region will not be restored," the source said.

      At an IMF briefing in Washington March 23, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice did not name the specific reason for the postponement of the Executive Board meeting on the Ukrainian issue, confining himself to a vague statement that it was due to the recent developments in Ukraine.

      "We expect to announce a new Board date soon," Rice said, adding that there is nothing “unusual” in the postponement.

      At the same time, he stressed that he did not have any information on a possible revision of the volume and terms of the next tranche.

      Meanwhile, on March 23, the IMF’s regular technical mission arrived in Ukraine.

      "Together we are working to launch the medium-term reform of the State Fiscal Service, which is one of the key priorities of the Ministry of Finance and is very important for improving the system of tax administration," the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

      While the current members of the government are trying to settle all technical details for obtaining a bailout tranche, Ukraine’s initial negotiators are going for a raise. Ex-Minister of Finance of Ukraine Natalie Jaresko, whose cadence saw the launch of the IMF’s renewed Extended Fund Facility for Ukraine, will become the director of the Council for Financial Management and Control of Puerto Rico, where she will deal with the restructuring of the country's $70 billion debt, as well as ensuring a balanced budget. It seems that our experts are praised overseas. The question is, whether they will start to be appreciated in Ukraine.

      Season of road repairs
      Ukrainian roads traditionally melted down along with snow, in the first sunny days of spring. At a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman even showed a compilation of videos showing Ukrainian motorways more resembling some obstacle course, and announced a threefold increase in financing of road infrastructure compared to 2016.

      "We will be able to allocate about UAH 30 billion ... This is three times more than last year," the prime minister said.

      According to him, the government plans to restore Ukrainian roads, 95% of which remain in unsatisfactory condition, within five to seven years.

      Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan noted that the main repair works on Ukrainian motorways will begin as early as late March - early April.

      In turn, head of motorway management agency Ukravtodor Slavomir Novak announced plans to implement in 2017 some 268 projects worth UAH 18 billion, at the same time noting that the annual need in financing is about UAH 60 billion.

      Novak also announced plans to launch the first concession motorway projects, which will be based on public-private partnership.

      In turn, Omelyan said that the Ministry of Infrastructure was introducing quality control systems for road repair and construction.

      By the way, against the backdrop of constant requests for additional funding voiced by Ukravtodor management and the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Security Service of Ukraine announced suspicion against Kyivavtodor officials, charging them with embezzlement of UAH 300 million of budget funds. In turn, the State Audit Service is investigating ineffective management decisions at a number of regional road management agencies that led to UAH 270 million losses.

      The question remains rhetorical on whether it would be easier to use the funds effectively or to ask for more money from the budget.
      The next week may be rich in economic news - attention will be focused on the dynamics of cooperation between Ukraine and the IMF, while the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade will present the country's export strategy - a long-awaited document that will determine the main directions for the development of domestic foreign trade in the coming years.
      https://www.unian.info/economics/184...ian-roads.html

      æ, !

      Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

      Comment


      • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 11:33 25.03.2017
        Poroshenko and Tusk will hold bilateral meeting in Malta on March 30

        President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and President of the European Council Donald Tusk will hold a meeting within the summit of the European People's Party (EPP) in Malta on March 30.

        According to the weekly schedule of Tusk, posted on the official website of the European Council, a bilateral meeting with Poroshenko will take place at the EPP summit in Malta at 10:45 (local time) on Thursday, March 30.

        On the same day at 12:30, Tusk will deliver a speech at the EPP summit. Poroshenko and Tusk will hold bilateral meeting in Malta on March 30

        æ, !

        Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

        Comment


        • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 8:12 24.03.2017
          NATO activates mechanism for attracting assistance for mine clearance in Balaklia – Poroshenko

          President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has said that the NATO Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) has stepped up the appeal of the Ukrainian authorities with a request for assistance in the clearance of the territory in Balaklia of the Kharkiv region.

          "The Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Centre has already stepped up the mechanism for attracting assistance for humanitarian demining in Balaklia. Thanks to NATO partners for prompt reaction to my appeal," a statement, released on Poroshenko's Twitter on Friday afternoon, says.

          As reported, on March 23, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko instructed the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Defense Ministry along with the State Emergency Situations Service to involve NATO's assistance in mine clearing in near the town of Balaklia in Kharkiv region. NATO activates mechanism for attracting assistance for mine clearance in Balaklia – Poroshenko

          æ, !

          Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

          Comment


          • Ukraine reports 2 KIA's, 2 WIA's amid 78 enemy attacks in last day Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 78 times in the past 24 hours with two Ukrainian soldiers reported as killed in action (KIA) and two as wounded in action (WIA), according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters.
            UNIAN 25 March 2017

            "In the Donetsk direction, Ukrainian positions near the village of Zaitseve came under 152mm artillery fire. The enemy also opened fire from 120mm mortars near the villages of Mayorsk, Verkhnyotoretske, and the town of Avdiyivka, while from 82mm mortars on the Ukrainian positions near Avdiyivka, Verkhnyotoretske, Troyitske, Novoselivka Druha, and Butivka coal mine. Russian occupation forces used grenade launchers of various systems and heavy machine guns to shell Avdiyivka and the villages of Pisky, Nevelske, and Luhanske. The occupiers also opened fire from a tank on the defenders of Butivka coal mine," the ATO press service posted on Facebook.

            In the Mariupol sector, the enemy fired 120mm and 82mm mortars on the Ukrainian positions near the villages of Shyrokyne and Vodiane, as well as grenade launchers and machine guns on the Ukrainian positions near the villages of Hnutove, Talakivka Shyrokyne, and Vodiane. The Ukrainian Marines' positions came under sniper fire.
            In the Lugansk direction, the occupiers fired 82mm mortars, grenade launchers and machine guns on the Ukrainian positions near the village of Novozvanivka.

            The situation in the ATO zone remains tense but controlled.

            https://www.unian.info/war/1842004-u...-last-day.html

            æ, !

            Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

            Comment


            • UKRAINE CRISIS MEDIA CENTER

              Kyiv, March 25, 2017
              Photo exhibition about IDPs tells Europeans about annexation and war in Ukraine

              Kyiv, March 25, 2017.

              Photo exhibition “Displaced. 12 Stories from Ukraine” is a series of portraits of people who had to leave their homes because of the conflict in Donbas and the annexation of Crimea. International community is the main target audience of the exhibition. The organizers wanted to get a message on war and occupation in Ukraine across to diplomats, journalists, opinion leaders and activists. “We wanted to give a human face to the conflict. It is difficult to sympathize with a person you know nothing about. We also needed to distinguish between Ukrainian IDPs and Middle East immigrants to avoid manipulations,” said Daria Zhydkova, project coordinator, Stabilization Support Services, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

              The exhibition started in Kyiv. Then it travelled all over Ukraine and in 2016-2017 visited six European cities, namely Brussels, London, Warsaw, The Hague and Strasbourg – in the Council of Europe premises. “These are very personal stories. They evoke understanding of the challenges IDPs are facing throughout the country. They strengthen the feeling of unity, but at the same time focus upon the variety and waken hopes for better common future. These are the features that help our exhibition to come home to foreign visitors,” believes Stephen Loyst, adviser for humanitarian issues of the British Embassy in Ukraine

              Despite the fact that almost three year passed from the moment of annexation and beginning of war in Ukraine, there is not so much information about it in European community. “When I was talking to people in The Hague during the exhibition, I felt that they don’t have a deep understanding of the situation IDPs in Ukraine find themselves in. I believe their view became more realistic after talking to me. Media were very surprised to hear what I was telling them about my life, what I saw happening in Crimea, why I had to flee my home, about repressions against pro-Ukrainian people and Crimean Tatars who disappeared,” said Esat Alimov, protagonists of the exhibition. “When a common European citizen, not a functionary, who knows the situation, shows human understanding and compassion, it matters the most. If there are more Europeans like that, they will influence their decision-makers. These are the people who make democracy anyway,” says Olena Lutsenko, protagonists of the exhibition.

              It is the distribution of true information about the conflict in Ukraine that can shift the balance in our favor. “We need to share information, it can change political balance. This information should spread further. IDPs have a right to be heard,” believes Małgorzata Sobolewska, coordinator of the exhibition in Warsaw. She also called upon taking the exhibition to small towns.
              Photo exhibition about IDPs tells Europeans about annexation and war in Ukraine | UACRISIS.ORG

              æ, !

              Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

              Comment


              • Belarus Police Arrest Hundreds Defying Protest Ban
                VOICE OF AMERICA March 25, 2017 7:34 PM

                https://gdb.voanews.com/3E616CF9-B8E...w1023_r1_s.jpg

                Riot police in Belarus launched a massive crackdown Saturday on protesters trying to hold a banned march in Minsk. Hundreds were reported arrested, and a human rights leader said many of the detainees had been beaten by police and needed medical attention.

                An estimated 700 people were trying to march through a central part of the capital, part of a wave of anti-government protests against a new tax on workers. Truckloads of police intercepted the protesters and attacked them with clubs.

                Witnesses said unarmed civilians also were assaulted, and a Reuters reporter said at least 10 journalists were arrested.
                Belarus police block a street during an opposition rally in Minsk, March 25, 2017. Police in the Belarusian capital have begun wide-scale arrests protesters who had gathered for a forbidden demonstration that they hoped would build on a rising wave of defiance of the former Soviet republic's authoritarian government.

                https://gdb.voanews.com/6AB3685B-FCA..._w650_r0_s.jpg

                Earlier Saturday, officials from the opposition group Vesna-96 said police had raided their headquarters in the capital and detained about 60 activists. All were later released, and there was no official comment on the incident.

                Earlier this week, Belarus' authoritarian president, Aleksandr Lukashenko, said dozens of militants planning an "armed provocation" had been arrested in Minsk and elsewhere in the former Soviet republic.

                Lukashenko claims conspiracy

                Lukashenko, who has been in power in Minsk since 1994, said the detained militants had undergone training in neighboring Ukraine and had been funded by Poland and Lithuania. Relations between Belarus and those two other neighboring, pro-Western states have been strained throughout Lukashenko's time in power.

                Lukashenko offered no evidence to support his claim that protesters in his capital had been trained and funded by other nations, nor did he provide any details of the alleged plot.

                https://gdb.voanews.com/4CA1BFDF-63D..._w650_r0_s.jpg

                Protesters in Belarus have been staging civil disobedience actions in reaction to a new labor law that forces citizens to pay the government the equivalent of $250 if they work less than six months in a year, or if they fail to register with state labor exchanges.

                Belarus, a country of 9.4 million people, has been mired in recession since 2015. Many opponent
                s of the unpopular tax say they are effectively being penalized by the same government that has failed to reduce unemployment.

                Responding to mounting public pressure, Lukashenko suspended collection of the unemployment fee earlier this month, but protests have continued. Belarus Police Arrest Hundreds Defying Protest Ban

                æ, !

                Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

                Comment


                • Putin’s desire for a new Russian empire won’t stop with Ukraine
                  THE GUARDIAN Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine's foreign minister
                  25 March 2017 06.35 EDT

                  Over the past decade Europe has sleepwalked into an increasingly precarious and less safe place. The postwar order that provided so much peace and stability across the continent appears to be breaking up.

                  Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, as much as rejoiced in this at the recent Munich security conference when he spoke of the a new “post-west” era in Europe. Reversing the breakup of the Soviet Union and restoring the Russian empire have now become an obsession for the Kremlin. There are three things central to understanding what motivates Russia, and how Vladimir Putin’s government works.
                  Inside the 'Donetsk People's Republic': balaclavas, Stalin flags and razorwire
                  Read more

                  The first is Russkiy mir – “Russian world”: a philosophy that harks back to the Soviet era. Central to it is the belief that Ukraine is part of a greater Russia. In 1991, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia was too weak to resist when more than 92% of my fellow Ukrainians voted for an independence we had hungered for over centuries. Gradually, however post-Soviet Russia has sought to exert its influence over my country, and when in 2014 a popular revolution ousted Viktor Yanukovych, it was more than Russia could stomach.

                  It subsequently illegally annexed Crimea and invaded Donbas in support of the so-called “People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk”, which my government believes to be little more than a mixture of terrorist and criminal organisations.

                  Russia’s appetite for hegemony does not stop with Ukraine. It greedily eyes other former states and satellites of the Soviet Union, and more broadly seeks to destabilise and divide the rest of Europe and the wider transatlantic alliance. It is instructive that the Kremlin is commissioning new statues of Stalin, one of the 20th century’s worst mass murderers.

                  Second, hybrid warfare is a term that will be unfamiliar to most. It was developed and brought to new heights by the Kremlin, and unveiled to the world with the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of the east of my country. Military aggression was accompanied by carefully planned propaganda and the orchestration of sham elections to support the Russian version of reality. Like old-style propaganda it uses pernicious lies to support the Kremlin’s cause, but it is more sophisticated and insidious than the old Soviet propagandists could ever have dreamed of.

                  This sort of warfare makes full use of modern technology, and is waged across the globe by the well-funded TV station Russia Today, or RT, with its benign call to “Question More”. What they want questioned is the established order. To this end RT deploys well-paid stooges from both the right and left of the political spectrum. They do not carry a coherent Russian narrative – they simply seek to undermine that of the west.

                  Hybrid warfare goes further than TV and the internet. From the top of the Kremlin to thousands of “keyboard jockeys” in troll factories outside St Petersburg or Moscow, who drip their poison across social media, Russia lies on an industrial scale. It is a sophisticated strategy, sometimes combined with conventional aggression, sometimes not, but always serving Russian geopolitical interests.

                  Third, Russia cannot be trusted. The Ukraine government is fundamentally different, but we understand the mindset of the Kremlin leadership: Russia, as any diplomat who has dealt with the Kremlin will tell you, respects only power and should only be negotiated with from a position of strength and international solidarity.

                  Russia exploits weakness. It does this in bilateral negotiations just as it surely as it exploits the weakness of the UN security council, where it abuses its right of veto as one of five permanent members.

                  Russia also breaks its promises. Few in my country could have envisaged the consequences when in 1994 Ukraine gave up the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal, under guarantees protecting its territorial integrity from the UK, US and Russia. By annexing Crimea and invading Donbas Russia has spat on that historic document, the Budapest memorandum, which Ukraine signed up to in good faith to make the world a safer place. And 20 years on, Russia has not honoured a single clause of the Minsk agreement that they signed in an effort to bring about a resolution to the war in Donbas, in which 10,000 of our people have been killed and 23,000 wounded.

                  Today Russia poses the greatest threat to the security and unity of Europe since 1945. There can be no talk of lifting sanctions until Russia is brought to heel and persuaded to comply with international rules. And sanctions hurt Russia more than the Kremlin cares to admit. They are slowly reducing Russia’s ability to destabilise Europe and the world.

                  The west must remain united in the face of the threat, and must not blink first. Remember what that great Briton, Winston Churchill, said about appeasers: they are the ones who feed crocodiles, hoping they will be eaten last.
                  https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...empire-ukraine

                  æ, !

                  Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

                  Comment


                  • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 15:17 25.03.2017
                    Parubiy will attend meeting of Ukraine-Poland-Lithuania Parliamentary Assembly in Warsaw on March 27-28

                    Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy at the head of the Ukrainian parliament delegation will visit Poland on March 27-28 and attend the eighth meeting of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Seimas of Lithuania and the Sejm and the Senate of Poland.

                    According to the press service of the Ukrainian parliament, a meeting of Marshal of the Senate of Poland Stanislaw Karczewski, Chairman of the Seimas of Lithuania Viktoras Pranckietis, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy and other members of the assembly presidium will be held on March 27.

                    The heads of the delegations will also meet with President of Poland Andrzej Duda.

                    "The final document of the eighth session of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Seimas of Lithuania and the Sejm and the Senate of Poland will be adopted as a result of work of the commissions on cultural and humanitarian cooperation, on Ukraine's European and Euro-Atlantic integration, the commission for the development of economic, regional and cross-border cooperation. The heads of the delegations will sign this final document," the report reads.Parubiy will attend meeting of Ukraine-Poland-Lithuania Parliamentary Assembly in Warsaw on March 27-28

                    æ, !

                    Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

                    Comment


                    • UKRAINE CRISIS MEDIA CENTER

                      News
                      Kyiv, March 24, 2017
                      Ukraine to receive innovative anti-tuberculosis drug bedaquiline through USAID program

                      Kyiv, March 24, 2017.

                      Ukraine will receive a new anti-tuberculosis drug bedaquiline to treat the most critical cases of drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) within the USAID project “Challenge TB”, providing free supply of drugs to countries with the highest drug-resistant TB rates, announced project partners and representatives of the Ministry of Health during a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The project is implemented by the international organization in partnership with the Yanovksy National Institute of Phthisiology and Pulmonology. “According to our plan, the medicines will be shipped in early April this year, we have almost finalized this process,” noted Kateryna Hamazina, head of PATH Office in Ukraine.

                      At present bedaquiline is considered to be the most efficient drug to treat drug-resistant TB. It has been developed during the last 40 years. “This new medicine brings hope for healing to the patients with multi-drug resistant TB. The research has shown that bedaquiline make it possible to overcome tuberculosis in six month only, instead of 20,” noted George Kent, Deputy Chief of US Mission in Kyiv. As of the end of 2016, bedaquiline was used in already 70 countries. One course of treatment costs nearly USD 2 thousand.

                      “On behalf of the Ministry of Health and all our patients I would like to thank our partners, the international organizations which provided this medicine. This is a real hope for 1,500 Ukrainian patients with drug-resistant TB,” noted Oksana Syvak, Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine on European integration issues. According to WHO data, each fourth Ukrainian with tuberculosis has drug-resistant TB.

                      200 critically ill patients to be treated within a pilot project
                      The first patients to be treated with the use of bedaquiline are 200 patients with critical forms of multidrug-resistant TB. They will undergo treatment in the hospital of the Institute of Phthisiology and Pulmonology. Treatment guidelines have been developed by USAID professionals according to the international recommendations of the WHO. Bedaquiline is always used together with 5-7 other drugs. “Critically ill patients need 20-month treatment, but bedaquiline is used only during the first six month. It is accumulated in the organism, so the therapeutic effect is long-lasting. During these six moth these patients will be treated in the hospital, later they can continue treatment in the regions where they live,” said Kateryna Hamazina. “In fact, outpatient care is a better option, but in the given situation we have to consider such factors as critically ill patients and the fact that the drug is used for the first time in Ukraine. It is very important to ensure that patients are treated in the necessary conditions and regularly examined by doctors, that they do not interrupt treatment. Otherwise they risk to develop resistance to this drug,” she explained.

                      Bedaquiline to be included into the National anti-TB Action Plan and protocols

                      According to Natalia Nizova, general director of Public Health Center at the Ministry of Health, now the key tasks are to make the procedure of drug registration quicker and to update the national protocols. The National anti-TB Action Plan already prescribes larger use of this medicine. In addition, the Ministry of Health negotiates with drug producing company to put Ukraine on the list of the countries which have preferences for procurement of this drug. “We believe that we have a real chance to ensure this treatment for all patients with multidrug-resistant TB within the next National anti-TB Action Plan for 2017 – 2021,” she stated.

                      Situation in Ukraine and Europe: statistics and tendencies
                      In 2016, TB rates in Ukraine decreased by 2,2 per cent, to 54,7 persons per 100 thousand, except for the occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea. However, despite overall decrease, the rates went up in 13 regions. In total, 23 thousand new cases were registered, including 779 cases among children and teenagers. The rates of death from all types of TB decreased by 13,9 per cent. Nowadays the main challenges are to ensure efficient care without interruptions and to reveal the disease as early as possible. “According to our data, the number of unregistered people with TB who do not know that they are ill is almost equal to the number of registered patients with TB,” says Vasyl Melnyk, deputy director of Yanovsky Institute of Phthisiology and Pulmonology.

                      Globally, TB remains in the top-10 causes of death. Nearly 10 million people got TB over the last year, two million died. In the European region tendencies are rather positive as the TB rate decreases by 4,3 per year, which is the fastest decline among all regions. However, drug-resistant TB remains a major challenge, only 51 per cent of patients get cured, says Doctor Masoud Dara, Coordinator for Contagious Diseases, Program Manager for TB, HIV/AIDS & Hepatitis of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. “Among the countries of former Soviet Union there are countries, for example, Latvia and Estonia, which managed to decrease their TB rate not only in absolute numbers, but also in terms of rates. So hard work pays off, but that needs a lot of work, sustainable financing, people-centered care and access to quality care,” he emphasized.
                      Ukraine to receive innovative anti-tuberculosis drug bedaquiline through USAID program | UACRISIS.ORG

                      æ, !

                      Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

                      Comment


                      • ATLANTIC COUNCIL March 22, 2017
                        Ruslan Minich & Volodymyr Yermolenko
                        Ten Reasons Why Ukraine’s Economy May Surprise You

                        http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/image...2_vy_large.jpg
                        Models present creations by Ukrainian designer Iryna Dil during Ukrainian Fashion Week in Kyiv, Ukraine February 7, 2017. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

                        Grain, steel, and sunflower oil are probably Ukraine’s most famous exports, but they’re not the only ones. Ukraine’s growing reputation for excellence in IT and fashion are well known, but other areas of the economy are also dynamic, including aviation, architecture, and design.

                        The technological capacity of the economy is huge and promising with the country’s strong scientific and engineering traditions. The production of these goods and services are already fueling the middle class. Here’s ten reasons why Ukraine’s economy deserves a second look.

                        1. Drones. The Kyiv-based company Drone.ua produces unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, which are sold in Ukraine and Europe. It has established a joint venture in Lithuania called UAV.tools to spread its technology in fifteen European countries. It will soon open offices in the UK and Moldova. The company also plans to open markets in South Africa and South America.

                        The company not only exports aircrafts, but also provides technical support, training, and data processing. In Ukraine, the drones are used in agriculture, while in the EU they’re commonly used for geodesy and topography.

                        2. Airplanes. The Ukrainian airline industry has a long history of building huge airplanes like the Mriya and Antonov, and constructing smaller ones for specific purposes. Aeroprakt planes are used by tour operators, rescue workers in Singapore to monitor coastlines, British and Danish pilots pursuing their training program, and Australians extinguishing fires. The company has offices in about forty countries.

                        3. Radiation detectors. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, global demand for devices to measure radiation has increased. Ecotest, a Ukrainian company, seized this opportunity to export its equipment abroad. Currently, it supplies radiation detectors to more than seventy countries. Ecotest has also developed a new SVG-3 Radiacmeter for the German company Bruker. It will soon be introduced by a number of European defense ministries. Bruker’s meters are widely used by NATO forces, and the SVG-3 meter may be used by NATO in the future.

                        4. Apps. Petcube, a Ukrainian startup, allows you to play with your dog or cat when you are not home. With the help of an app installed on your smartphone, you can see and talk to your pet, and even play with them using an installed laser. In 2014, Europas named Petcube the best hardware startup of the year.

                        5. IT products. Software development and consulting is another strength. The IT sector is booming, outsourcing services to European or American customers. Lviv and Kharkiv have their own IT clusters, and some Ukrainian companies have offices in Ukraine and abroad. For example, SoftServe, an IT company with Ukrainian roots, has offices across the globe and development centers across Eastern Europe. It provides companies with cloud computing, security, UX design, and analytics. SoftServe developed the BioLock system, which allows one to constantly monitor a driver’s health while driving. SoftServe helped Yottaa, the developer of a leading cloud platform, build a solution to address large data volumes. With this platform, enterprises can manage, accelerate, and secure end user experiences on all devices in real time.

                        6. Boats and kayaks. Borika, a Kharkiv-based company, produces component parts of boats and kayaks and sells them mostly to Germany. It is also currently working with Armor-X, an Italian producer of waterproof cases for cell phones.

                        Other Kharkiv companies exporting boats are GrandBoat and Brig. Some of Brig’s boats were even filmed in a Hollywood blockbuster.

                        7. Contemporary architecture. Ukrainian constructivism of early twentieth century has its echo in Ukrainian contemporary architecture and design. For example, Serhii Makhno Studio is executing projects in Portugal, Georgia, Germany, and Monaco, and planning projects in France. This house-building studio has already carried out 360 projects in sixteen countries, and is going to open an office in London this year.

                        8. Fashion. Vogue cannot get enough of Ukrainian designers. Since the Euromaidan, the magazine has featured Ukraine’s traditional costumes half a dozen times. As ethnic design has become popular globally, Ukrainian designers have gained quite a following: Princess Marie of Denmark wears vyshyvanka from the Varenyky Fashion company, Hollywood stars like to wear Olena Dats' imaginative, feminine dresses to film festivals and parties (Dats has eight boutiques in Ukraine and stores in Paris, LA and, Dubai), and Alonova and RITO are sold in Europe.

                        9. Books and printing. Ukraine’s publishing sector is taking off, thanks to growing demand for literature in Ukrainian and to creative book designers and publishing houses. They are also seeking opportunities on global markets, and some have succeeded. Faktor Druk, a Kharkiv-based printing house, printed 40,000 books for Austrian kids in German. It has also worked with Disney, which thoroughly checked its printing standards and found them to be high.

                        10. Water filters. Scientific potential was a key instrument for Ecosoft, a Ukrainian water filter producer, to enter global markets. The company has developed water filters that are sold in a number of countries.Ten Reasons Why Ukraine’s Economy May Surprise You
                        ==========================
                        Ruslan Minich is an analyst at Internews Ukraine. Volodymyr Yermolenko is the director for European projects at Internews Ukraine and coordinator of the UkraineWorld initiative. This article was prepared within the framework of UkraineWorld, a networking initiative.

                        æ, !

                        Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

                        Comment


                        • Putin is getting ready to attack in Ukraine, Shmulyevich says
                          EUROMAIDAN PRESS Paul A. Goble 2017/03/26

                          “Two terrible events in one day” – the murder in Kyiv of former Russian Duma member Denis Voronenkov and the blowing up of the Balakliya arms dump, the largest in Europe – may mean that Vladimir Putin has launched “a major diversion” in preparation for an expansion of his attacks on Ukraine, according to Avraam Shmulyevich.

                          The Israeli analyst argues that such diversions have often preceded Putin’s aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere and that there are compelling reasons to think that he believes he can break the Ukrainian regime of Petro Poroshenko and put himself in line to advance on Kyiv.

                          “In any Western country, such events, even more when they occur simultaneously would be sufficient to raise the issue of trust in all ministers of the force block and even the head of government because such things in a normally organized country cannot be allowed by definition,” Shmulyevich says.

                          Protecting a prominent defector is obviously a matter of importance for the state because such an act of liquidation “must be excluded in principle,” and “the very largest dump of military ***ériel must not be blown up or blow itself up.” However, in Ukraine this week, “the deputy was killed and the dump blown up.”

                          The causes of the explosion are not yet completely clear, “but the best variant about which it is possible to dream is that this was a diversion of Russia.” If it blew up on its own or by the actions of Ukrainians, then the conclusions would be much worse. They would suggest that all critical infrastructure in that country, including atomic power stations, are at risk.

                          So let us exclude that this was a diversion,” Shmulyevich says “even though the other variants are much worse.” Some reports say that the dump was blown up after a drone flew into it, but that raises questions about whose drone and for what purpose. But there is a far more serious issue involved here.

                          “The level of trust in the official authorities in Ukraine as anyone can see is quite low. Citizens far from always trust official information.” And so many are likely to think that the explosion at Balakliya was something intended to cover a massive theft and diversion of military equipment by Ukrainian officials themselves.

                          Of these three versions of events – a diversion by the Russian Federation, a spontaneous fire, or a conflagration designed to cover theft – Shmulyevich says, he has difficulty choosing “the least traumatic” because “they all testify to the colossal crisis of the Ukrainian state.”

                          The situation with regard to Voronenkov’s murder is simpler, he continues. This act “almost certainly was undertaken by Moscow,” although even in this case, “there are questions” and inconsistencies in the official reports have already been pointed to by Ukrainian commentators and officials.

                          But one can accept the conclusion of Senator John McCain that this murder in the center of Kyiv was “a bold act of state terrorism” by Russia. But “if Putin has decided on such a major terrorist act and even more if he is behind the explosion at the arms dump, then “this means that he is going over to the attack and that all red lines have been crossed.”

                          And that in turn means something even more disturbing to Ukraine and the world.

                          If Putin is doing that, Shmulyevich says, then it is only because he is “certain that America is paralyzed and Ukraine will be afraid to respond in an adequate manner” or will be unable to do so because of fundamental problems within its own government apparatus.

                          “Both the reaction of the Ukrainian powers that be,” Shmulyevich concludes, “and the results of the investigations will show us and Putin and indeed the entire world whether this is the case.”
                          Putin is getting ready to attack in Ukraine, Shmulyevich says | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |

                          æ, !

                          Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

                          Comment


                          • Eight Russian companies placed under new US sanctions
                            UAWIRE ORG March 26, 2017 8:15:33 AM

                            Eight Russian companies and organizations have been placed under new US sanctions in connection with their violation of US national legislation on non-proliferation and export control with respect to Iran, North Korea and Syria.

                            According to the Russian news agency TASS, the list includes Rosoboronexport, the 150th Aircraft Repair Plant, the Aviaexport foreign economic trade company, the Bazalt Scientific and Research Corporation, the Scientific and Production Corporation “Engineering Design Bureau”, the Ulyanovsk Higher Civil Aviation School named after Chief Marshal BP Pugaev, the Ural Civil Aviation Training Center, and the Zhukovsky-Gagarin Air Force Academy.

                            On March 24, the US State Department announced the decision to introduce sanctions against 30 physical and legal entities from ten countries. The names of 11 of them were cited in the State Department’s report, including six Chinese companies, three citizens of China, the Saeng Pil Trading Corporation from North Korea, and the Mabrooka Trading firm from the United Arab Emirates. These entities were caught supplying technology for Iran’s program to develop ballistic missiles.

                            The remaining 19 companies were not named, and all that is known is that they shipped to Iran, North Korea or Syria, or received goods and technology which had been placed on the international export control lists.

                            The sanctions prohibit trade operations with the entities on the sanctions list, as well as their participation in any US government aid programs.

                            Russia has expressed disappointment in the sanctions introduced by the US.

                            According to Russian officials, the introduction of new sanctions against Russian organizations and companies undermines the prospects of collaboration in the fight against ISIS.

                            “This step is not at all in line with Washington’s statements on the priority of fighting against terrorism, including the foothold it has gained in Syrian territory. On the contrary, it is completely at odds with such declarations and undermines the prospects of setting up comprehensive multilateral cooperation to defeat ISIS and other terrorist groups which threaten all countries, including the US,” said Maria Zakharova, the official spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry. UAWire - Eight Russian companies placed under new US sanctions

                            æ, !

                            Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

                            Comment


                            • Dozens detained at anti-corruption rallies across Russian cities In Russia’s far eastern city of Vladivostok, local police detained some 30 protesters at a rally against corruption held March 26, another five people were detained at a rally in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and six – in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, according to Meduza.
                              UNIAN 26 March 2017



                              The rallies were sparked by the recent report by Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation revealing posh real estate and yachts at disposal of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Meduza reports.
                              Several dozen Russian cities were to host a wave of protests this Sunday. In many cities, local authorities had not greenlight the rallies under various pretexts.

                              According to the media, nearly a thousand people took to the streets in Vladivostok. Police cracked down on protesters right after the rally started, snatching the "most active" men and women from the crowd into police vans. Amid mass detentions, protests partially shifted to the street outside the police station, where the detainees had been taken.

                              https://www.unian.info/world/1842491...an-cities.html

                              æ, !

                              Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

                              Comment


                              • Snap Election to Test Bulgaria's Divided Loyalties
                                VOICE OF AMERICA Source: Reuters March 26, 2017

                                SOFIA —

                                Bulgarians were voting in a snap general election on Sunday, with the center-right GERB party challenged for power by Socialists who say they will improve ties with Russia even if it means upsetting the country's European Union partners.

                                Many Bulgarians feel a strong cultural affinity for Russia, with which they share the Cyrillic script and Orthodox Christianity and a decade after joining the EU, the Balkan country remains the bloc's poorest member with corruption rife.

                                The Kremlin's most loyal satellite during the Cold War era, Bulgaria remains a popular holiday destination for Russians attracted by its Black Sea beaches and low prices, and it is also almost entirely dependent on Russian energy supplies.

                                Opinion polls put the GERB party of former prime minister Boiko Borisov, 57, only narrowly ahead of the Socialists (BSP), who have seen their popularity rise since the candidate they backed, Rumen Radev, won the presidency in November.

                                Voting in the country of 7.2 million people got underway at 7 a.m (0400 GMT) on Sunday with the turnout by 10 a.m. (0700 GMT) 8.4 percent, slightly up from the previous parliamentary vote in 2014, the central electoral commission said.

                                Borisov resigned in the wake of Radev's victory, triggering Bulgaria's third parliamentary election in just four years.

                                While Bulgaria historically has had strong ties with Moscow, Borisov's GERB party is strongly pro-EU and has supported the bloc's sanctions imposed on Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis.

                                "BSP is quite right. Who, if not Bulgaria, should be Russia's closest partner? Why don't we remember what Russia did?" said Georgi Kasabov, a 69-year-old pensioner.

                                "It liberated us, it helped us build so many factories," Kasabov said, referring to the end of Ottoman rule in 1878 and industrial development during the Communist era.

                                The Socialists, led by 48-year-old Kornelia Ninova, have vowed to vote against continuing the sanctions, posing another potential headache for the EU as it grapples with Britain's move to leave, the rise of right-wing populists and the future shape of the bloc.

                                Bulgaria takes over the EU's rotating six-month presidency in January 2018.

                                "The GERB party, to a much greater extent, will maintain Bulgaria's Euro-Atlantic orientation and integration," said Boriana Dimitrova, an analyst with pollster Alpha Research.

                                "If Bulgaria begins giving up on participation in a number mof EU integration policies, underlining its specific interest and privileged relations with Russia, that wouldn't just put it on Europe's periphery, it would move it into a different orbit."

                                Fragile coalition

                                The latest opinion poll put the GERB party on 31.7 percent and the Socialists close behind on 29.1 percent.

                                If it retains power, the GERB party is expected to maintain a tight rein on public spending – key to Bulgaria's currency peg to the euro – in contrast to the Socialists who have pledged to raise wages and pensions and expand public spending.

                                "GERB deserves another chance to complete the good things it started," said voter Radoslava Kamenova, 57, after casting her ballot in a Sofia suburb polling station.

                                "It is a modern party, which takes care of the young who are the future of this country," she added.

                                Neither party, however, is likely to win enough votes to govern alone and will struggle to form what analysts expect to be a fragile and diverse coalition.

                                They will almost certainly have to court the United Patriots, an alliance of three nationalist parties polling third before the election thanks to widespread anger over the flow of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia trying to reach Western Europe via the Balkans.

                                On Friday, the nationalists blocked Bulgaria's border crossings with Turkey, saying they would stop Turks who hold Bulgarian passports from trying to vote to sway the election. Snap Election to Test Bulgaria's Divided Loyalties

                                æ, !

                                Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X