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2 February, 2022

Digest of Ukrainian news: 24.01 – 30.01.2022

The world through the prism of Ukrainian interests

Trends

 
  • Foreign policy and international agenda

 

Over the past week, Ukraine's international partners have been continuing to provide substantive support to official Kyiv amid a possible increase in Russian aggression.

The European Commission proposed 1.2 billion euros in emergency macro-financial assistance to Ukraine. According to the head of the institution Ursula von der Leyen, this step is designed to meet the state's funding needs, which arose due to the conflict [possible increase in Russian aggression]. She also hopes that the Council of the EU and the European Parliament will support the initiative as soon as possible, after which Brussels will immediately be able to provide the first tranche of 600 million euros.

At the same time, last week, in its written response to Russia's security ultimatums, NATO refused to make any commitment not to admit Ukraine to the Alliance, as the Kremlin wanted. This was stated by Secretary-General of the Alliance Jens Stoltenberg.

Amid the concentration of Russian armed forces along the border with Ukraine, the Czech government decided to donate more than 4,000 artillery shells to official Kyiv for protection. Thus, Prague became the seventh foreign capital where it was decided to provide weapons or funds to increase the defence capabilities of Ukrainian partners. The Polish Sejm later passed a resolution calling on the EU and NATO countries to give their full support to Ukraine. This week, the Polish government announced its readiness to provide weapons to Kyiv.

Meanwhile, the German Minister of Defence Christine Lambrecht said her country was not supplying arms to Ukraine for fear that such a move could escalate the conflict. Earlier, the head of the institution said that Berlin would provide Kyiv with 5,000 protective helmets.

 

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved an appeal to the United Nations, the European Parliament, governments and parliaments of foreign states and parliamentary assemblies of international organizations. In particular, MPs call for condemnation of Russia's actions to block the settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict, use all available diplomatic means to de-escalate the situation, and set specific timeframes and modalities for Ukraine's accession to NATO.

 

A meeting of political advisers to the heads of state of the Normandy format took place in Paris. To hold it, Russia demanded that Ukraine withdraw the bill "On the Principles of State Policy in Transition," which provided for the creation of rules for the reintegration of the occupied territories. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine eventually withdrew the document, formally explaining the need to implement the recommendations of the Venice Commission. During the Normandy meeting, the parties adopted a communiqué expressing support for the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine on July 22, 2020, and agreed to intensify the work of the Tripartite Contact Group to progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements. The head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak praised the meeting, noting that the adopted communiqué is the first document of the format from 2019.

 
  • Domestic policy

 

A soldier of the National Guard of Ukraine shot dead 5 people and wounded 5 others. The incident happened in Dnipro at the Pivdenmash plant, where the employee was on guard. Law enforcement officers establish the exact motives for this act. Shortly after the incident, the commander of the National Guard, Colonel-General Mykola Balan, resigned.

 

The cyberattack on the websites of the state authorities of Ukraine, which took place on January 14, 2022, was most likely planned in Russia. This was announced by Minister of Internal Affairs Denis Monastyrsky. He said such a conclusion could be drawn from an analysis of the data that hackers were trying to gain access to. According to the Minister, the purpose of their actions was not to seize information and sell it, but to destroy it. Later, the head of the State Special Service of Ukraine Yuriy Shchyhol said that 22 sites of state institutions of Ukraine were affected by the cyberattack, 6 of which caused serious damage.

 

The Chairman of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ruslan Stefanchuk, announced that the draft law on remote voting would soon be submitted to the Ukrainian Parliament. Its text is ready and is being edited. According to Ruslan Stefanchuk, this document will allow the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to work in emergency situations, such as epidemics, Russian aggression, etc.

 

Rivne oblast got the highest level of epidemic danger due to the rate of COVID-19 spread. This is the second region of Ukraine to move to the red zone; the first was Ivano-Frankivsk region.

 
  • Security

Material support of allies. During this week, Ukraine's allies and partners intensified their provision of weapons and equipment to deter potential Russian aggression. The Czech Ministry of Defense has announced a plan to hand over 4,000 152-mm artillery shells to the Ukrainian army. Danish Prime Minister Matte Frederiksen has also said she is ready to provide additional defense equipment to Ukraine. On January 28, the fourth cargo plane from the United States arrived in Ukraine, delivering 81 tons of ammunition, and on January 31, the fifth plane delivered 84 additional tons of military equipment.

 

The Verkhovna Rada passed a law ratifying the Framework Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the United Kingdom. The agreement concerns official credit support for the development of the capabilities of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Ratification by the Ukrainian parliament of the relevant agreement allows for a domestic procedure. The procedure is related to the entry into force of this document, which in turn contributes to the launch and implementation of joint projects to develop the capabilities of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

 

Canada continues security cooperation with Ukraine. Against the background of continued accumulation of troops by Russia and in the absence of any indicators of de-escalation, Canada has joined the countries that actively support the strengthening of Ukraine's defense capabilities. On January 27, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the continuation of the UNIFIER training mission, which is planned to be significantly expanded over the next three years. In addition, Canada will become more active in providing intelligence to the Ukrainian armed forces. On January 30, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand paid a visit to Ukraine. The program of the visit includes a meeting with the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov and meetings at the working level with other officials.

 
  • Bilateral relations

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba met with the Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen during his visit to Copenhagen. The head of Ukrainian diplomacy thanked the head of the Danish government for Denmark's proactive position in counteracting Russia's aggressive intentions, including attempts to destabilize Ukraine. The parties agreed on further participation of Denmark in supporting the reform process in Ukraine, in particular in the framework of technical assistance in the next phase of the Danish Neighborhood Program (DANEP) for 2022-2026. The officials paid special attention to the possibilities for Danish companies to build multi-purpose ships in Ukraine, in particular for the needs of Ukrainian border guards and rescue services.

 

First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine - Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yulia Svyridenko and Minister of Foreign Trade, Export Support, Small Business and Economic Development of Canada Mary Ing during an online meeting on January 27 announced talks on modernizing the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine (CUFTA). In the forthcoming CUFTA modernization talks, Canada and Ukraine will discuss expanding cooperation in various dimensions. In particular, in the field of services, investment, e-commerce, employment and the environment.

 

A Ukrainian delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yulia Svyridenko visited France. The group met with the Minister of Economy, Finance and Reconstruction of France Bruno Le Mer, representatives of Airbus, Alstom and Bouygues, etc. Yulia Svyridenko said that during the meetings the Ukrainian side informed the French partners about the security situation around Ukraine. According to her, despite the information available today about the processes around the Ukrainian state, the situation in the Ukrainian economy remains stable and under control.

Foreign Policy Council" "Ukrainian Prism"


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