Ukrainian interest. Babchenko test, maneuvers around Nord Stream 2, and demonstrative visit
The Babchenko case attracted the attention of various world players to Ukraine. Sergei Lavrov in Minsk recalled the "Steinmeier formula," complete with various "horror stories" about Ukraine. Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Haiko Maas visited Kyiv. Ukraine-Poland partnership is reflected in their cooperation within the UN Security Council. Andriy Parubiy paid a visit to Israel.
Naftogaz attacks Gazprom's assets
Naftogaz launched a forced recovery of Gazprom's debt in the jurisdiction of European countries within the framework of the award of the Stockholm Arbitration. The first blow was struck on the assets of the Russian gas monopoly in the Nord Stream 2 project. Experts believe that this will at least delay construction of the gas pipeline bypassing Ukraine, while Gazprom will have to pay off debts anyway.
"Urgent" anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine
The two-year saga around the creation of the High Anti-Corruption Court has reached the home stretch as last week the relevant bill was finally brought to the Verkhovna Rada's session hall for its final consideration. Although the deputies failed to pass the legislation from first attempt, they have gone through almost a half of some 2,000 amendments.
Week's balance: New tunnel to Europe, anti-corruption court's final stretch, and Russia sanctions
Ukraine has opened the Beskidy Tunnel passing through the Carpathian ridge and connecting the country with European Union with a new railway line, the National Bank warned about the need to fulfill IMF conditions as soon as possible, while the presidential administration promulgated the sanctions list against Russia – these are the key economic developments in the outgoing week.
Bosch's Dr. Stefan Hartung: I might still want to be allowed to have my secrets. In the era of the Internet of Things, discussion on personal data issues is needed – individuals are at stake
Humankind is entering a new era of the Internet of Things. In the coming years, everyday necessities like cars and household appliances will become interconnected in a single network to ensure our comfort. Technology already allows accomplishing this. But the risks to an individual that innovation might bring along lead to an active discussion about the boundaries of people's personal space, where technology might penetrate.
Ukrainian interest. Russia's aggression in Crimea, Black mark for Moscow, and President's bravery
Russia's moves in Crimea and the Sea of Azov are becoming increasingly provocative. The JIT probe into an MH17 crash gave Australia and the Netherlands an impetus to form their position. PM Groysman held talks in Brussels. Emmanuel Macron did not live up to general hopes during a St. Petersburg visit. In Italy, a Eurosceptic government is being formed. Hungary once again tried to use NATO to exert more pressure on Ukraine. Johannes Hahn sees no reason for abolishing the visa-free regime for Ukraine. Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid visited Donbas.
Week's balance: EU decides to lend EUR 1 bln, Rada outlaws palm oil, Kyiv ups public transport fares
The EU plans to lend EUR 1 billion to Ukraine, demanding more efforts to fight corruption, on the eve of summer vacations the Verkhovna Rada intends to outlaw the use of palm oil in food production, and the Kyiv authorities have decided to sharply raise the fare in public transport to prevent collapse – these are the major economic developments of the past week.
Ukrainian interest. Putin's tricks, tireless Volker and cold shower from Mingarelli
The Russian president demonstrated an arsenal of various moves to maintain the image of the "great and terrible." Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin quoted Ukrainian film maker Oleh Sentsov, who went on hunger strike in a Russian prison. U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker was persistently promoting a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbas. On the eve of Europe Day in Ukraine, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli disclosed several unpleasant facts for Ukraine.
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 Armenia. 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.