Ukrainian interest. Prospects in Germany's Aachen, Putin's oath and Trump vs. Obama policy
A meeting took place in a hybrid Normandy format in Aachen, Germany, – without the participation of Vladimir Putin. Kurt Volker announced a visit to Ukraine, having made a number of statements. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issued the award, obliging Russia to pay compensation to Ukrainian companies for the loss of property in Crimea. Putin took the oath of office for his fourth term as Russian president. Nikol Pashinyan became Prime Minister of Georgia. Donald Trump continued wiping out the gains of the Barack Obama Administration's foreign policy.
Week's balance: Punishment for Crimea, Nord Stream 2 in Germany, and oil price hikes
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issued its award on Russia, making it responsible for the seizure of Ukrainian companies' assets in Crimea; the construction of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was launched in the north of Germany; and the prices of crude oil soared in connection with a decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and the imposition of sanctions on that country – these are the major economic developments of the past week.
Normandy format without Russia: Agenda of Poroshenko's talks with Merkel and Macron
Almost two years have passed since the last meeting of the Normandy Four leaders. Now, on May 10, the German chancellor, the president of France and the Ukrainian president sat down to hold negotiations without the Russian leader.
Victory Day across Ukraine: No St. George ribbons in Kyiv while Odesa hears "Hail Putin!" and occupied Donetsk sees "parade"
The more years pass since Nazi Germany in 1945 surrendered to the anti-Hitler coalition, the fewer witnesses remain of those events, and the more some unscrupulous politicians in Ukraine are trying to speculate on the theme of Victory Day and play into the Kremlin's hands, which turned the topic into mass hysteria.
Ukrainian interest. U.S. assistance, Pashinyan's promotion, and football event of continental importance.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell's visit and further confirmation of deliveries of Javelin ATGMs to the Ukrainian military testify that the Ukraine issue remains in Washington's focus. Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) along with a group of former hostages spoke at the European Parliament about the situation in Ukraine. Benjamin Netanyahu did a favor to Donald Trump. Milos Zeman played a Kremlin tune. Nikol Pashinyan stopped short of a taking up the prime minister's office.
Week's balance: cuts in subsidies, completion of sowing campaign, and large privatization list
The Cabinet decided to reduce the number of recipients of social assistance for utilities, having introduced new criteria for their provision; agrarians sowed 90% of the target area with early grains and leguminous crops; the Government committee decided on a list of large-scale state enterprises to put up for sale; and infrastructure minister Volodymyr Omelyan traveled in a second class rail car to inspect Ukrainian Railways - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Ukrainian interest. Sargsyan's fall, PACE dialectics and foreign ministries' positioning
Serzh Sargsyan resigned as Prime Minister of Armenia, which did not stop the political crisis in the country. Alexander Lukashenko delivered an annual address to the nation. Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel each had meetings with Donald Trump. PACE failed to pin down it members with alleged corruption trace behind them, but also chose not to go for rapprochement with Russia. The European Commission announced measures to combat fake news. Johannes Hahn made a tempting offer to Ukraine. The two Koreas held a summit in an idyllic atmosphere. G7 and NATO foreign ministers (with the exception of Hungary) showed support for Ukraine.
Week's balance: Roundwood timber in exchange for EU aid, slowdown in industrial output, and billions on road safety
To get a billion euros from the European Union, Ukraine will have to meet a number of useful requirements, in particular, to introduce an automatic verification of those astonishing "riches" declared by the country's officials. Meanwhile, the State Statistics Service released data on the slowdown of industrial output, and the Cabinet adopted a large-scale state program to improve road safety and ordered that the Ukrzaliznytsia [Ukrainian Railways] top managers ride trains - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Ukrainian interest. Unrest in Yerevan, escalation by MFA Russia, and Kim's curtsey
The prospect of longtime Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan becoming PM sparked riots in Yerevan. Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron met in Berlin. The Russian Foreign Ministry produced more absurd statements. Early presidential and parliamentary elections were appointed in Turkey. Kim Jong-un announced halt to North Korea's nuclear tests.
Week's balance: UAH 30 per dollar, burden of minimum wage rise, and energy regulator's staffing issue
The government set Ukraine's budget policy for 2019-2021, predicting a fall of the national currency down to UAH 31.8 per dollar; the IMF issued an outlook for the country's economic development; the finance ministry came out with an unexpected confession that raising minimum wage is impossible, while Prime Minister Groysman named Ukraine's main economic problem - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Head of NATO Military Committee General Petr Pavel: We are heading to make Ukrainian defense forces capable and credible enough to deter any potential aggression
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee General Petr Pavel sat down with UNIAN to explain whether it's possible to bring Ukrainian forces to NATO standards by 2020, be granted a Membership Action Plan, whether to expect from Russia a full-scale invasion into Ukraine in the short term, and why he believes the Donbas conflict has no military solution to it.
Ukrainian interest. Syria escalation, Poroshenko's efforts, and Orban's triumph
The United States, UK, and France went for a joint airstrike at Syrian facilities where the intelligence believes chemical weapons are produced. Peter Poroshenko held intensive negotiations with German leadership and outlined Ukraine's further foreign policy priorities. U.S. sanctions against Russia, probably for the first time, became truly effective, forcing the Kremlin to look for ways to save face. Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party secured a constitutional majority in the Hungarian parliament.
Week's balance: Partners recommend reforms, Groysman declares war on "secret club of subsoil users," and law enforcers go for useless searches at Ukrzaliznytsia
The World Bank urged Ukraine authorities to speed up reform, Prime Minister Groysman attacked extraction companies from the President's entourage, while law enforcers once again raided the Ukrzaliznytsia headquarters - these are the key economic news of the past week.
Can sanctions against Russian oligarchs hit their Ukraine property
A few years ago, the dependence of the Ukrainian economy on that of its northern neighbor was so strong that a sanctions strike against Russia would ricochet violently over Ukraine. However, despite the fact that the hryvnia today saw no damage from the ruble plunge, a new package of Russia sanctions could still affect certain Ukrainian companies.
Ukrainian interest. Chemical Kremlin, Washington's new sanctions, and Orban's all-in
Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia came out of a critical condition amid intensive treatment. Russia's efforts in the UN Security Council and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons found no support. Donald Trump met with presidents of the Baltic States. In Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan applied diplomatic asymmetry. Nord Stream 2 continues its advance toward the practical phase of construction. The U.S. imposed new sanctions against Russian oligarchs and officials. Viktor Orban resorted to unbridled propaganda.
Week's balance: Start of sowing campaign and road repairs, new stage of decentralization and delay of rail ticket price hike
The agrarians started the sowing campaign that will cost them at least 10% more than last year, road repairs were launched after a long winter, Ukrzaliznytsia postponed the increase in train ticket prices, while the authorities announced a new stage of decentralization - these are the main economic news of the outgoing pre-Easter week.
Admiral Ihor Kabanenko: Situation with "Nord" fishing vessel may be a planned provocation by Russia to "legitimize" deployment of its naval group in the Azov Sea
Navy Admiral (Rtd), Former Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Ihor Kabanenko told UNIAN why the Ukrainian coast guards, having seized the Nord vessel in the waters of the Azov Sea, acted lawfully, and hinted that the situation with the Nord could well be a provocation on the part of Russia.
Week's balance: FTA with Israel, paradise for low-cost airlines, and record placement of domestic bonds
The Ministry of Finance made a placement of domestic bonds, this year's largest. Ukraine and Israel are finally set to sign off an agreement on a free trade zone. Discount airlines will open new flights from Ukraine. These are the past week's key economic news.
Ukrainian interest. Poisoned diplomacy, Normandy with no effect, and Orban's "Soros move"
The Salisbury poisoning has led to the largest-scale diplomatic expulsion since the end of the Cold War. Germany has issued all permits for the construction of NordStream-2. Normandy Four leaders spoke for the Easter truce in Donbas – without much effect though. Kurt Volker intends to pay a visit to Donbas. Johannes Hahn stood up for Ukraine's anti-corruption activists. Some in Poland paid attention to the "Kremlin trace" in the amendments to their law on the institute of national remembrance. Victor Orban rushed into the political bayonet attack.
Week's balance: Ryanair in Ukraine, break-up with Russia, billions on roads, and farmers fighting for VAT
The Cabinet of Ministers announced the largest ever road construction and repair efforts in Ukraine, Ryanair discount carrier signed the long-awaited cooperation agreement with the airports Boryspil and Lviv, the government severed economic relations with Russia, while the agrarians continue to demand from deputies to give them back VAT refunds for oilseeds exports - these are the key economic developments of the outgoing week.