The 6th Batumi Summer University 2022 – Nuclear Security after Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: New Challenges and Risks
The impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the nuclear security and nonproliferation order was the primary debate topic of the 6th Batumi Summer University on Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation Issues. Discussions were centered on the conflict’s consequences for national, regional, and global security.
Internationally renowned academics and researchers have been lecturing and facilitating debates in Batumi every summer for almost seven years. We are proud of our collaboration with academics and learners from Stockholm University, Kings College London, GIPA, Odessa Mechnikov National University, Caucasus University, the University of Georgia, and European University (Georgia), Kutaisi State University, Ilia State University.
The Batumi Summer University on Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation was founded in 2015 and serves as a forum for networking, learning, and exchange among experts in the nuclear industry, decision-makers, academics, and students. It is a yearly, worldwide event with its headquarters at the Batumi State University. The Civil Council on Defense and Security, Batumi State University, and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority are working together on the proposal.
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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SHALVA PAPUASHVILI: THE PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATIONS WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO YET AGAIN SHOW THEIR SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE
"The Parliamentary Delegations will have the opportunity to yet again show their support for Ukraine on the International Crimea Platform”, - the Speaker, Shalva Papuashvili, who, attending the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform in Croatia along with the Parliamentary Delegation, stated.
According to the Speaker, Georgia is well aware of what Russian aggression means and how important it is to respond appropriately from the international community.
"As for our delegation and my speech, based on the experience of Georgia, we will focus on the meaning of Russian aggression, possible improper response of the international community at the time, and the correct response to Russian aggression. We are a country that has experienced Russian aggression several times and we know very well what the right reaction should be. Based on our experience, we will dwell on what solidarity with Ukraine should mean”, - Shalva Papuashvili stated.
The Speaker is expected to address the participants of the session of the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform.
43 delegations of 32 parliaments, 5 international parliamentary organizations and 26 parliament chairpersons are participating in the Platform.
As part of the visit, bilateral meetings of the Speaker and the Parliamentary Delegation are also scheduled.
The Parliamentary Delegation of Georgia is composed of the Vice Speaker, Archil Talakvadze and the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Nikoloz Samkharadze.
EBRD commits up to €3 billion to Ukraine
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will commit up to €3 billion over 2022-2023 to help Ukraine’s businesses and economy keep functioning.
On a visit to Kyiv, EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of the Bank’s determination to support Ukraine while it defends itself against Russia’s aggression.
Since the invasion began in February, the EBRD has committed more than €1 billion, and aims to triple that figure by the end of 2023. Its primary focus will be to support the “real” economy – maintaining energy and food security, restoring rail infrastructure, and supporting the pharmaceutical industry.
EBRD investment has already been made into Ukraine’s electricity company Ukrenergo, as well as providing up to €500m liquidity support for ‘Naftogaz’, the country’s main gas supplier. Discussions are also underway to scale up funding for urgent repairs of the electricity grid and to support municipal authorities in Kyiv, Lviv and Dnipro, says the EBRD.
EBRD investments are backed by donors or guarantors from EU and G7 countries, including the US. Norway recently pledged €200m in support.
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