Stand Up For Ukraine: global pledging event for refugees and internally displaced people to take place in Warsaw on 9 April
The ‘Stand Up For Ukraine’ pledging event, convened by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, will take place in Warsaw on 9 April. Poland’s important role in supporting refugees fleeing the invasion of Ukraine will thus be recognised.
The President of Poland Andrzej Duda will participate alongside President von der Leyen, while Prime Minister Trudeau will participate remotely.
The event will conclude a broader social media campaign launched earlier by the European Commission and the Canadian government at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski. The campaign, in partnership with Global Citizen, an international human rights organisation, aims to raise funding and other types of support to cater for the needs of internally displaced people in Ukraine and of refugees.
‘Stand Up For Ukraine’ seeks to mobilise governments, institutions, artists, companies and individuals to raise funding and other support for Ukrainian IDPs and refugees. Artists from around the world have already joined the campaign, including Bono, Madonna, Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Adam Lambert, Céline Dion, and Alanis Morissette.
According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, more than four million refugees have fled Ukraine since the war began. Poland is hosting more than 2.5 million refugees and plays an important role as a humanitarian hub, dispatching to Ukraine support from all over Europe.
EU agrees extra €500 million of military support for Ukraine
The Foreign Council of the European Union reached political agreement for a 7th tranche of military support to Ukraine worth €500 million.
The Council also agreed on an additional assistance measure worth €45 million for the Ukrainian forces being trained by the EU’s military training mission, EUMAM Ukraine. This brings the total military support under the European Peace Facility to €3.6 billion. According to EU High Representative Josep Borrell, the EU’s military, financial, economic and humanitarian support for Ukraine has now reached nearly €50 billion.
Before the Council discussed Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed EU foreign ministers via video conference and briefed them on recent developments on the ground and on Ukraine’s current priorities.
Regarding the creation of an accountability mechanism, EU foreign ministers stressed the importance of preserving the crucial role of the International Criminal Court in international criminal justice and expressed broad support for the establishment of the International Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague as a first step.
Regarding the effectiveness of sanctions, Josep Borrell noted that Russian oil (Urals) sells for US $40 a barrel while Brent sells for US$80. “This means that the Russian oil is being sold at a discount of 50%, and it is being bought by mainly India and China,” said Borrell. “So, it is losing US$40 per barrel. It is a big hit on Russia’s financial stability.”
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EU to disburse first €3 billion of the €18 billion macro-financial support to Ukraine
Today, the European Union will disburse the first €3 billion of the €18 billion macro-financial support agreed in December. This was announced by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
“Helping Ukraine meet its financing needs to face the Russian aggression is both crucial and urgent,” von der Leyen wrote on Twitter. “The Commission is acting with utmost speed and determination.”
The aim of this emergency assistance is to provide short-term financial relief, financing Ukraine’s immediate needs, rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and initial support towards sustainable post-war reconstruction, with a view to supporting Ukraine on its path towards European integration. The loans will have a 10-year grace period.
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EU to extend sanctions against Belarus and Iran for supporting Russian war against Ukraine, says von der Leyen
The European Union will extend its sanctions, announced in response to Russian aggression against Ukraine, to those who militarily support Russia’s war, such as Belarus or Iran. This was announced by the Head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, at a press conference today following the signing of the Third EU-NATO Joint Declaration on Cooperation.
“The European Union will keep doing everything in its power to support the brave people of Ukraine. We will keep the pressure on the Kremlin for as long as it takes with the biting sanctions regime,” said von der Leyen. “We will be coming forward with new sanctions on Belarus answering Belarus’ role in this Russian war in Ukraine.”
She also confirmed that the EU will continue its “substantial humanitarian economic and Security Assistance to Ukraine as long as it is necessary”.
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EU welcomes initiative to lay submarine cable under Black Sea
The EU will be ready to provide financial support for the Black Sea Energy submarine cable project, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on 17 December, attending the signing in the Romanian capital Bucharest of a memorandum of understanding between Azerbaijan, Georgia, Hungary and Romania, which envisages the laying of an underwater electricity cable across the Black Sea.
Ursula von der Leyen said the agreement would bring the European Union closer to its partners in the South Caucasus region, and would help both regions achieve the clean energy transition. “Since the beginning of Russia’s war, we have decided to turn our back on Russian fossil fuels and to diversify towards reliable energy partners, like the partners here around the table. And it is working,” said the European Commission President.
She added the initiative would reinforce energy security in Europe and bring new opportunities to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine: “This project could bring Georgia, a country with a European destiny, great benefits as well. It could transform the country into an electricity hub and integrate it in the EU internal electricity market. Finally, the Black Sea electric cable could also help bring electricity to our neighbours in Moldova and the Western Balkans, and of course to Ukraine – it will help start rebuilding Ukraine’s energy system and the reconstruction of the country.”
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Irakli Garibashvili: By connecting electricity transmission lines and power energy systems of Georgia, Romania, Azerbaijan and Hungary, Europe may not only connect to Georgia, but to the entire region of South Caucasus
Georgia’s strategic geographic location makes us a natural bridge between the West and the East, serving as a gateway for eight landlocked countries of South Caucasus and Central Asia; a crucial link on EU’s Global Connectivity map and a game changer, when it comes to diversification of transport routes and energy supply to Europe. It was announced by Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Plenary Session on Strategic Partnership for Green Energy Development and Transmission held in Romania today.The Head of Government of Georgia delivered a key-note speech at the Plenary Session on Strategic Partnership for Green Energy Development and Transmission held at the Cotroceni Palace of Romania and spoke about the new quadrilateral agreement along with other leaders participating in the milestone event.The Prime Minister of Georgia noted that present geopolitical challenges and the war in Ukraine has made the need for diversification and resilience even more imperative, in order to address urgent challenges of energy security.The Head of Government of Georgia expressed his gratitude to the Romanian side for organizing and hosting the historic event, while thanking Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission for her support towards the project.„I am pleased to address the distinguished audience at today’s important gathering. At the outset, I would like to thank the Romanian side for hosting and organizing this event, which has a historical importance. I also thank Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission for supporting the project.Present geopolitical challenges and the war in Ukraine has made the need for diversification and resilience even more imperative, in order to address urgent challenges of energy security. Georgia’s strategic geographic location makes us a natural bridge between the West and the East, serving as a gateway for eight landlocked countries of South Caucasus and Central Asia; a crucial link on EU’s Global Connectivity map and a game changer, when it comes to diversification of transport routes and energy supply to Europe.With this in mind, we have made connectivity a top priority, with a special vision of connectivity of the Caucasus region and Europe. We are investing in expanding and modernizing our energy, digital and transport infrastructure; we are bringing these sectors in line with the EU norms and standards according to the commitments under the AA/DCFTA, Common Aviation Area Agreement and within the Energy Community. Extended TEN-T core network and the EaP Economic and Investment Plan provide important tools to facilitate investments in the strategic projects that have national and the wider regional value as well” noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.According to the Head of Government of Georgia, by connecting the power systems of Georgia, Romania, Azerbaijan and Hungary, Europe will be able to connect not only with Georgia, but with the entire South Caucasus region.As Irakli Garibashvili noted, being a credible transit partner, Georgia has been a key link for the delivery of hydrocarbon resources via major regional energy transit routes from the Caspian Sea basin to the West.The Prime Minister of Georgia also stated that implementation of this project transforms the strategic partnership into a new dimension.“Dear Friends, a few years ago, with the initiative of Georgia, work started on the project, which envisages the connection of the electric energy systems of the Caucasus region and Europe by means of a high-voltage underwater power transmission line. Today, by signing the “Agreement on Strategic Partnership in the field of Green Energy Development and Transmission between Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary” we are confirming the readiness of our countries to cooperate closely in terms of “green energy” supply.As you may be well aware, Georgia has substantial potential for power generation surplus from renewable energy sources that it can supply to neighboring countries. Today, we have the appropriate infrastructure for electricity supply to all our neighbors, except Europe, The Black Sea Underwater Electricity Transmission Cable holds an important prospect to this end. Project will support development of the renewable energy sector and increase transit opportunities/back-to-back trade options between the EU and South Caucasus Region. As a result of this project implementation, by connecting the power systems of Georgia, Romania, Azerbaijan and Hungary, Europe will be able to connect not only with Georgia, but with the entire South Caucasus region.In June 2020 the World Bank prepared a report on Preliminary Economic Analyses of the Black Sea Submarine Cable project, which proved that the above-mentioned project is economically viable.On April 26 of 2021, GOG announced a request for expression of interest for the feasibility study of the Black Sea underwater electricity transmission cable and digital line construction project. The selection was carried out in accordance with the World Bank Procurement Procedures. As the result of selection, the winner has been identified. The feasibility study commenced on May 11 of 2022 and will be implemented during an 18 months’ period.To this end, I should emphasize that strengthening the interconnections and energy transit capabilities of the region is of strategic importance for my Government. Being a credible transit partner, Georgia has been a key link for the delivery of hydrocarbon resources via major regional energy transit routes from the Caspian Sea basin to the West.The implementation of this project, opens a new dimension for the development of strategic partnership between our countries and once again let me reiterate, that Georgia having huge potential for production and export of renewable energy, will contribute to the strengthening of Europe’s energy security” added Irakli Garibashvili.Prior to the plenary session, the President of Romania held a Greet and Welcome Ceremony at the Cotroceni Palace for the leaders of countries that are signatories to the Agreement on Strategic Partnership of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary for the Development and Transmission of Green Energy.The Head of Government of Georgia is visiting Romania with a Delegation, consisting of Levan Davitashvili, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia; Ilia Darchiashvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia; Lasha Khutsishvili, Minister of Finance of Georgia and Revaz Javelidze, Head of Government Administration.Press Service of the Government Administration