Chernobyl: EBRD says it will need at least €100 million to repair the damage caused by Russia
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is calling on international donors to help repair the damage to the Chernobyl nuclear plant caused by Russia’s reckless actions.
The bank, which has been at the forefront of efforts to rebuild Chernobyl, says it will need at least €100 million to do so.
“Russia’s military occupation of Chernobyl has thrown into uncertainty decades of international cooperation in helping make safe the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident,” says the EBRD.
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European Commission proposes ninth package of sanctions against Russia
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced its proposal for a ninth package of sanctions against Russia on Wednesday evening.
The Commission proposes to add almost 200 additional individuals and entities to the EU’s sanctions list. This includes the Russian armed forces, as well as individual officers and defence industrial companies, members of the State Duma and Federation Council, ministers, governors and political parties. “This list covers key figures in Russia’s brutal and deliberate missile strikes against civilians, in the kidnapping of Ukrainian children into Russia, and in the theft of Ukrainian agricultural products,” says the press release by the Commission.
Secondly, the Commission proposes to introduce sanctions against three additional Russian banks, including a full transaction ban on the Russian Regional Development Bank “to further paralyse Putin’s cash machines”.
Third, the Commission suggests imposing new export controls and restrictions, particularly for dual-use goods. This includes key chemicals, nerve agents, electronics and IT components that could be used by the Russian war machine.
Fourth, the sanctions will cut Russia’s access to all sorts of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles. The Commission proposes to ban the direct exports of drone engines to Russia and the export to any third countries, such as Iran, which could supply drones to Russia.
Proposed economic measures against the Russian energy and mining sector include a ban on new mining investments in Russia.
Ursula von der Leyen also said that the Commission aims to target the Russian propaganda machine by taking four additional channels off the air and all other distribution platforms.
She added that this package comes on top of the full EU import ban on Russian seaborne oil that came into force this week, as well as the global oil price cap agreed between the G7.
“Russia continues to bring death and devastation to Ukraine,” said von der Leyen. “We stand by Ukraine and we are making Russia pay for its cruelty.”
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New EU military support mission to Ukraine already training 1,100 Ukrainian soldiers
The new Military Assistance Mission of the European Union to support Ukraine (EUMAM for Ukraine), established on 15 November, is already training 1,100 Ukrainian soldiers in different camps, EU High Representative Josep Borrell announced during his visit to the Brzeg training facility in Poland on Friday.
Borrell said this was the broadest military mission the European Union had ever undertaken for any partner. Twenty EU countries are taking part, and they are expected to train 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers. Borrell added that the EU is also going to provide resources – €16 million for lethal equipment for training purposes.
“The Ukrainian army is one of the best in the world. They have proven to be. Ukraine is resisting, fighting off the Russian aggression, which is trying to cruelly push the country into darkness and cold. Humbled by the courageous soldiers and their will to defend their people,” wrote Borrell on Twitter.
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Grain from Ukraine: European Commission pays to ship 40,000 tons of Ukrainian grain via two boats
On 26 November, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the European Commission would pay for the transportation of 40,000 tonnes of Ukrainian grain on two ships, as part of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s ‘Grain from Ukraine’ initiative.
This will be on top of the 28 million tons of agri products shipped via the EU’s Solidarity Lanes and the Black Sea Grain Initiative, von der Leyen added.
Ukraine launched the ‘Grain from Ukraine’ initiative at the International Summit on Food Security, organised in Kyiv on the anniversary of the Holodomor, the starvation of millions of Ukrainians caused by Soviet policies in 1932-33.
“90 years after the Holodomor, we honour the memory of Ukraine’s victims. They died in silence, starving to death, and, at that time, the world did not rise to help them. We will not let this happen again,” said von der Leyen. “Today, Russia is again using food as a weapon.
As part of its brutal aggression against Ukraine, Russia has destroyed your agricultural production, targeted your grain silos, and blockaded your ports.”
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MEETING OF THE CO-CHAIRS OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL TURKMEN-RUSSIAN COMMISSION ON ECONOMIC COOPERATION
Today, on November 15, 2022, a meeting was held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan between the co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Russian Commission on Economic Cooperation, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R.Meredov and Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation A.Overchuk.
At the beginning of the meeting, the importance and productivity of today's meeting of A.Overchuk with the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov was noted, during which the guidelines for further promotion of multifaceted cooperation between the two countries were determined.
The co-chairs of the commission discussed in detail the prospects for partnership in the financial and banking sector, the oil, transport, electric power industries, as well as in the areas of education, culture, healthcare and tax administration.
Also, issues of preparation for the upcoming 12th meeting of the joint commission in Moscow on December 6-7 this year, on the sidelines of which it is planned to sign more than ten bilateral documents in various fields, were considered separately.
Further, the meeting continued in an expanded format with the participation of heads and representatives of a number of relevant ministries and agencies of Turkmenistan and Russia, within which the above mentioned topics were discussed in more depth.
Discussing cooperation in the field of education and culture, the parties expressed the need for further intensification of mutual actions in order to expand humanitarian cooperation. In particular, the importance of implementing projects for the creation of the Turkmen-Russian University and the construction of a new building of the Russian Drama Theater named after A.S.Pushkin in Ashgabat was noted.
European Commission proposes unprecedented support package for Ukraine – up to €18 billion for 2023
The European Commission today proposed an unprecedented support package for Ukraine of up to €18 billion for 2023. These funds will be provided in the form of highly concessional loans to be repaid in regular instalments starting in 2033.
“This stable, regular and predictable financial assistance – averaging €1.5 billion per month – will help cover a significant part of Ukraine’s short-term funding needs for 2023, which the Ukrainian authorities and the International Monetary Fund estimate at €3 to €4 billion per month,” says a press release from the European Commission.
Thanks to this package, Ukraine will be able to keep on paying wages and pensions and keep essential public services running, such as hospitals, schools, and housing for relocated people. It will also allow Ukraine to ensure macroeconomic stability, and restore critical infrastructure destroyed by Russia in its war of aggression, such as energy infrastructure, water systems, transport networks, roads and bridges.
The funds will be provided through highly concessional loans, to be repaid in the course of maximum 35 years, starting in 2033. The EU also proposes to cover Ukraine’s interest rate costs, through additional targeted payments by Member States into the EU budget.
EU Member States and third countries will also be able to add more funds to the instrument, to be used as grants, should they wish to do so. The funds will then be channelled through the EU budget, allowing Ukraine to receive the support in a coordinated manner.
The MFA+ instrument will be accompanied by reforms to help Ukraine advance on its path to becoming a member of the EU. This means that the Ukrainian government will have to complement the financial support with sectoral and institutional reforms, including anti-corruption and judicial reforms, respect of the rule of law, good governance, and modernisation of the national and local institutions.
The Commission’s proposal will need approval by the European Parliament and EU Member States in the Council before entering into force.
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