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.
Ukrainian interest. Reappointed Putin, encouraging Czaputowicz, and Szijjarto breaking bad
Putin became Russia's president for the fourth time. Even after Brexit, EU states have not lost confidence in London's position. Hungarian foreign minister has crossed the line. The political struggle French foreign minister visited Kyiv. Poland's Jacek Chaputowicz reiterated his country's interest in a democratic and sovereign Ukraine.
Ukraine's Permanent Envoy to CoE Dmytro Kuleba: "Surprisingly, some EU member states still believe dialogue is needed with Russia"
Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe, Dmytro Kuleba, sat down with UNIAN to talk about the diplomatic war with Russia, unofficial talks in this regard on international platforms, effectiveness of foreign policy built on emotional bonds between nations, expected attempts by Russia to meddle in the election campaign in Ukraine, and the need for Ukraine to not use Venice Commission as an arbitrator so much.
Ukrainian interest. Klimkin's landmarks, Mogherini's support, and new State Secretary in Washington
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, in an interview with the BBC Ukrainian Service, outlined goals and priorities of Ukrainian diplomacy. Illegal elections in the occupied Crimea are a litmus test of Kyiv-Moscow relations. Federica Mogherini visited Kyiv. Donald Trump replaced his top diplomat. Robert Fico gave a kind of a lesson to Ukrainian politicians.
Week's balance: Mogherini promises another billion, Smolii takes lead of NBU , hryvnia sees new coins
EU High Representative Federica Mogherini paid a visit to Kyiv, President Petro Poroshenko met with Ukraine's businesses, Parliament finally appointed a new head of the National Bank, who announced the issue of coins instead of small hryvnia bills - these are the key economic news of the outgoing week.
Week's milestones. Terrorist threat, Kobzar and bloggers, and Magnificent Seven in Forbes list
Volodymyr Ruban has turned from a negotiator beloved by some media outlets into a major terrorist threat. Petro Poroshenko promised a decade of the rise of Ukrainian language and chatted with a group of loyal bloggers. Mikheil Saakashvili is trying to sit on two chairs, engaging in politics in two different countries. Seven Ukrainian nationals are part of the Forbes billionaire list.
Russian opposition's Leonid Gozman: The Russian regime today is similar to that of Mussolini. We must make sure that, after Putin is replaced by someone else, this will not be Hitler
Exactly four years after Crimea's illegal annexation, Russia is holding yet another so-called presidential election. Artists diligently play their roles in a play called "election race", while the final is evident to all - the tsar retains his seat in the Kremlin for at least another six years. UNIAN spoke with a Russian opposition politician Leonid Gozman to hear his views on how this will all go down what is likely to follow.
Week's balance: 4G licenses worth UAH 5.4 billion, Gazprom's Stockholm syndrome, and hryvnia ascent
Mobile operators will pay UAH 5.4 billion to the state budget for their 4G licenses, Russia's Gazprom informed Naftogaz of their intention to terminate gas contracts, prompting the European Union to reflect on its energy security, while the hryvnia continues strengthening against higher foreign currency earnings of exporters - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Federica Mogherini: We would like OSCE SMM to have full access to Ukrainian territory, incl. along Ukraine-Russia border
Prior to her visit to Ukraine, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini has told UNIAN what messages she will communicate to the Ukrainian authorities, whether the EU's more active participation in the settlement of the Donbas crisis is possible and whether the EU is considering proposals concerning the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission to Donbas.
Crime without punishment: Why corruption is flourishing in Ukrainian universities
The public has been raging in social networks throughout the weekend over the court ruling lifting a suspension from post head of a Kyiv-based medical university Kateryna Amosova. At the same time, cases are not uncommon in Ukraine when courts take the side of rectors, deans and professors who were not just involved in scandals and fights with government officials, but were caught red-handed in blatant corruption acts.
Week's milestones. Anticipation of Euro-Atlanticism, #turnitdown, and Constitutional Court's resonant ruling
Petro Poroshenko outlined the tonality of his future presidential campaign, of which he has not yet spoken out loud. Yulia Tymoshenko called the huge price of the Ukrainian GTS a couple of days before the new round of gas war with Russia. The nationwide #turnitdown campaign helped Naftogaz while running the risk of getting lost in a series of similar appeals. Viktor Yanukovych resurfaced in Moscow. Protesters' tent camp outside the Verkhovna Rada has been dismantled. The Tripartite Contact Group in Minsk announced a general truce starting March 5. The Kivalov-Kolesnichenko language law was declared unconstitutional.
Week's balance: Stockholm victory for Naftogaz, Gazprom's new gas war, and major aid from EU
Naftogaz claimed a resounding victory in the Stockholm Arbitration over Gazprom, in response to which the Russian gas monopoly decided to go for a despicable revenge in contravention of the Swedish court decisions, but Ukraine holds its ground and intends to seek penalties. The National Security and Defense Council extended sanctions against Russian banks, while the European Union promised a new program of macro-financial assistance worth EUR 1 billion - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Yanukovych resurfaces at Moscow presser: Main comments on "masters", assets, and return to Ukraine
Ukraine's former president complained to journalists about his difficult life, commented on his letter to Vladimir Putin and relations with Paul Manafort.
Life is no sugar: Main messages of Poroshenko's big presser
A rather rare occasion, the big press conference of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has over the four years turned from a platform for broad discussions into one of the many PR events for the head of state.
Candidates in search of allies ahead of upcoming elections in Ukraine
Disastrously low ratings of all key players who will next year try to compete both for presidency and parliament seats are forcing them to feverishly seek allies and merge. But it remains unclear whether any of them will manage to find common ground and come up with a "single candidate".
Week's milestones. Zealous testimonies, new format for Donbas, and irrepressible Moskal
The anniversary of the Maidan deadly shootings became another occasion to recall the impunity of murderers. Presidential testimony in the Yanukovych treason case was accompanied by excessive zeal by law enforcers. Law "On special aspects of state policy to ensure state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions" came into force. Polls of presidential candidates by "Rating" pleased Yulia Tymoshenko. Rada Speaker Andriy Parubiy promised to enhance parliament's performance. Gennady Moskal did not choose words too carefully.
Week's balance: American locomotives to get on Ukrainian tracks, IMF demanding anti-corruption court, inspections of Ukrainian businesses returning
Ukraine plans to purchase several hundred American diesel locomotives over the next decade, the IMF insists that the country create an Anti-Corruption Court and implement reform of the energy sector, while the government unexpectedly lifted the moratorium on business inspections, and the NBU reported on disappointing performance by banks in 2017 - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Operation "Crimea is Ours"
The Yanukovych trial was anticipated for these four long years only because everyone wished to hear the truth about how the Russian annexation of Crimea had actually taken place since high-ranking witnesses are likely to voice facts under oath rather than some speculations.
Ukraine and IMF: Critical point
Without external financial support, Ukraine will in the coming years not be able to pay back its debts. UNIAN clears up why the country's key creditor, the International Monetary Fund, insists on raising gas prices and creating an independent anti-corruption court in order to continue providing assistance to Kyiv.