Vadym Prystaiko: If by year-end we're able to do a swap, then Normandy format summits make sense
Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vadym Prystaiko sat down with UNIAN to tell us about the outcome of the summit of Normandy Four leaders, impressions from Zelensky's first meeting with Putin, whether it is possible to "redraw" Minsk agreements, and why no one should be afraid of the "Steinmeier formula" in Ukrainian legislation.
Week's balance: Ukraine reaches staff-level agreement on new IMF loan, NBU lowers its key rate, while inflation seen sliding at record pace
Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund have reached a staff-level agreement on a new three-year extended fund facility, the National Bank once again lowered the key rate, while the State Statistics Service said inflation was slowing to a six-year low – these are the main economic developments of the outgoing week.
Gas transit in Normandy format. What did Zelensky and Putin agree upon
Negotiations have been held in the Normandy format between the leaders of Ukraine, Germany, France, and Russia. The main issue of discussion is the fate of Donbas. But the gas topic was also touched upon on the summit's sidelines. Zelensky and Putin discussed it bilaterally.
Wartime love story: Donetsk woman meets man from Right Sector unit
Viktoria and Anatoly Kotelenets have told UNIAN their story of love during wartime that strives among the ongoing hostilities. When the two met, "Romeo" was a fighter with the "Right Sector group, while "Juliet" was a Donetsk native.
Week's balance: Sanctions against Russia, launch of Customs Service, and new hryvnia records
The Cabinet of Ministers extended trade sanctions against Russia and launched the new Customs Service, Ukrtransnafta agreed with the Russian Federation to extend oil transit, while the hryvnia updated four-year highs five times in a week – these are the main economic developments of this week.
Another trump card for Naftogaz in dispute with Gazprom
Ukraine continues to defend its position in the gas transit dispute with Gazprom. Billions in revenue for the Ukrainian budget are at stake. So far, in international courts, the Ukrainian position looks more confident than the Russian one.
Week's balance: Ukraine seals another win over Gazprom, Cabinet repays debts, while hryvnia breaks records
Ukraine won appeal in gas transit dispute with Gazprom, the Cabinet began to pay off insurance arrears, while the hryvnia renewed its four-year high twice a week – these are the main economic developments of the outgoing week.
Ex-owner of VAB Bank Oleg Bakhmatyuk: People in power think they're immortal and that they'll be around for a hundred years, thus repeating the same mistake their predecessors made
Oleg Bakhmatyuk, ex-owner of VAB Bank, and owner of Ukrlandforming agricultural holding, who was put on wanted list on November 22 on suspicion of embezzling UAH 1.2 billion in VAB Bank's stabilization loan, told UNIAN about the circumstances of the case, the nature of conflict with NABU Director Artem Sytnyk, as well as further plans to shape up his line of defense and return to Ukraine.
Week's balance: New outlook by World Bank, reboot of EU association deal, and IMF talks
The World Bank has improved the forecast for the Ukrainian economy development, the Cabinet of Ministers updated the plan for the implementation of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, while IMF talks are still ongoing – these are the main economic developments of the outgoing week.
Week's balance: Parliament greenlights land reform and adopts 2020 budget, while IMF mission returns to Kyiv
The second week of November became historic for Ukraine – the parliament passed land reform at first reading of the law on the land market, and the next day adopted the state budget. The IMF staff mission arrived in Kyiv to complete negotiations on a new EFF program, while the statistics agency announced a slight slowdown in GDP growth in 3Q 2019.
Unfair game: A professional gamer from Ukraine tells of conspiracy in e-sports, litigation with game developers and lie detector tests
The recent release on iOS of a card game called Gwent was overshadowed by rumors about a scandal with a Ukrainian professional gamer ProNEO3001, who this summer was suspended from tournaments for 12 months. UNIAN spoke with the gamer and found out about his allegations against the manager responsible for eSports, the future lawsuit against the developers, and lie detector tests.
"DPR" secret prisons employ torture experts, not random people: ex-captives
A secret "DPR" prison opened in the summer of 2014. It hosted those whom pro-Russian forces sought to break down to get guilty pleas. Often, people would tell on themselves, giving up to torture. Despite the fact that the "DPR" doesn't recognize the very existence of this "concentration camp", it is still operating. UNIAN sat down with former inmates to hear their stories.
Week's balance: Cabinet reduces government spending, PM vows not to raise taxes, and Naftogaz places $500 mln worth of securities
The government announced its intention to reduce government spending by 10% and cut thousands of jobs in regional state bodies, Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk promised not to raise taxes, while Naftogaz placed 7-year securities worth $500 million – these are the main economic news of the past week.
Week's balance: Ukraine calls for investment in Donbas, gas transit talks continue, while regional administrations face personnel cuts
The first investment forum was held in Mariupol, where President Zelensky called on businesses to invest in restoring Donbas, representatives of Naftogaz and Gazprom held another round of gas transit talks in Brussels, while the Cabinet announced personnel cuts in regional administrations as part of decentralization reform – these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
"NATO stands by your side": Stoltenberg addressed Ukraine's parliament
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg's speech from the rostrum of the Ukrainian parliament lasted a little over ten minutes, met with several rounds of applause from people's deputies. UNIAN made a short "summary" of his recommendations for Ukraine.
Gas talks in Brussels. Ukraine holding ground against Russia's ultimatum
In Brussels, another round of trilateral Ukraine-EU-Russia negotiations on gas transit via Ukrainian pipelines has completed without yielding any significant results. Once again, Russia put forward a number of ultimatum-type conditions, while the European Union expressed disappointment over such a stance. At the same time, chances remain for the sides to ultimately reach an agreement.
Week's balance: Cabinet upgrades economic outlook, PM declares war on smuggling, while NBU again lowers key rate
The Cabinet of Ministers improved the forecast for economic growth in 2020, Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk declared war on smuggling, while the National Bank lowered the key rate for the third time in a row this year and issued a new UAH 1,000 banknote – these are the main economic developments of this week.
Week's balance: Foreign lenders upgrade Ukraine economy outlook, exports to EU rise, while Rada adopted the 2020 budget in the first reading
Ukraine's key foreign creditors, the IMF and the World Bank, have issued updated forecasts for a higher growth of Ukraine economy, the State Statistics Service noted rising exports of Ukrainian goods to the EU, while the Verkhovna Rada approved in 2020 the country's budget at the first reading – these are the main economic developments of the outgoing week.
Billions for Donbas: How much reintegration costs and where to get the money
The territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions occupied by Putin's Russia will sooner or later return to Ukraine. Experts warn that the restoration of the region will require huge investments, at the same time considering such investments to be beneficial for the country and society and naming several of their possible sources.
Week's balance: Land to farmers, budget to deputies, and gas to Europeans
Finance Minister Oksana Markarova has presented to MPs the draft state budget for 2020, the government decided on the date of the long-awaited launch of the land market, while Naftogaz held in Brussels a productive round of negotiations on the transit of Russian gas – these are the main economic news of the past week.