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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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has travelled to Kyiv today, meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
“Good to be back in Kyiv,” she tweeted. “I will take stock of the joint work needed for reconstruction and of the progress made by Ukraine on its European path.”
Speaking at a press point with the Ukrainian President, she said the EU and Ukraine were working together on a reconstruction platform to channel contributions, adding there was “huge interest from all over the world – NGOs, businesses, international institutions – to help Ukraine rise from the ashes.”
She added that the European Commission was currently preparing its recommendation for the EU member states – the so-called opinion – on Ukraine’s EU accession application. “We have been working day and night on this assessment. The discussions today will enable us to finalise our assessment by the end of next week,” she said, adding: “The path is known. It is a merit-based path forward. It is a path where I highly appreciate the enormous efforts and the determination of Ukraine in this process.”
It is the European Commission President’s second visit to Ukraine since the full-scale Russian invasion. On 8 April, Ursula von der Leyen travelled to Kyiv, launching Ukraine’s EU application process by handing the Ukrainian President the questionnaire that would form the starting point for the EU to decide on Ukraine’s membership.
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The assistance the Biden-Harris Administration has provided to Ukraine to date has made a significant difference on the battlefield, helping Ukrainians defend their country and win the battle for Kyiv. Now, as the war shifts to and intensifies in Ukraine’s eastern front, the Biden-Harris Administration is calling on Congress to provide additional resources to help ensure Ukraine’s democracy prevails over Putin’s aggression.
The supplemental resources Congress provided on a bipartisan basis in March have been critical to bolstering security in Eastern Europe, countering Russia’s malign activities in the region, and delivering critical humanitarian and economic assistance to Ukraine and neighboring partners. Almost all of the $3.5 billion in drawdown authority Congress provided in March has been exhausted as the Biden-Harris Administration has surged military assistance to Ukraine, which they have used to great effect. U.S. supplied weapons and ammunitions – including anti-tank and anti-air systems, helicopters, drones, grenade launchers, and more than 50 million rounds of ammunition – have been flowing into Ukraine daily, and the United States has been working with allies and partners to facilitate deliveries of additional weapons capabilities. The Defense Department has also used $1 billion in supplemental resources to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank and bolster NATO’s security posture to deter Russian aggression.
At the same time, the Administration is delivering humanitarian, economic, food, and other security assistance to Ukraine and the region. This includes roughly $1.7 billion to ensure continuity of Ukraine’s democratic operations and provide other macroeconomic assistance to the region. It also includes $650 million in military assistance to Ukraine, eastern flank countries, and other partners in the region, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in food, shelter, and other humanitarian aid to help Ukrainians who have been displaced by Russia’s war. Supplemental resources are also supporting efforts to hold Putin and his cronies accountable for their war of choice, helping the United States seize billions in assets and holdings.
Continued bipartisan support in Congress is vital to ensuring that the Ukrainian people have the resources they need to win this war, and this Administration is committed to working with lawmakers and our global allies and partners to keep aid flowing to Ukraine uninterrupted and to support those devastated by the food crisis that Putin’s war has exacerbated.
The $33 billion in security, economic, and humanitarian aid requested today will:
Help Ukraine Defend Itself Over the Long-Term
The Administration is requesting $20.4 billion in additional security and military assistance for Ukraine and for U.S. efforts to strengthen European security in cooperation with our NATO allies and other partners in the region. This includes $5 billion in additional drawdown authority, $6 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, and $4 billion for the State Department’s Foreign Military Financing program. These resources will put urgently needed equipment into the hands of Ukraine’s military and police, as well as help NATO deter and defend against Russian aggression over the long-term. These additional resources will be used to provide Ukraine and Eastern flank allies with:
- Additional artillery, armored vehicles, anti-armor and anti-air capabilities flowing into Ukraine uninterrupted.
- Accelerated cyber capabilities and advanced air defense systems, improved production capabilities for munitions and strategic minerals, and increased intelligence support.
- Assistance to clear landmines, improvised explosive devices, and other explosive remnants of war and for the Government of Ukraine in securing and addressing threats related to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials.
- A stronger NATO security posture through support for U.S. troop deployments on NATO territory, including transportation of U.S. personnel and equipment, temporary duty, special pay, airlift, weapons system sustainment, and medical support.
Additional Economic Aid to Support Democracy in Ukraine
The Administration is calling on Congress to provide an additional $8.5 billion in economic assistance to help the Government of Ukraine respond to the immediate crisis and continue to provide basic citizen services. This includes funds to:
- Ensure Ukraine’s democratic government continues functioning; support food, energy, and health care services for the Ukrainian people; and assist the Ukrainian government in responding to operational challenges as businesses shutter and revenue collection plummets.
- Counter Russian disinformation and propaganda narratives, promote accountability for Russian human rights violation, and support activists, journalists, and independent media to defend freedom of expression.
- Support small- and medium- sized agrobusinesses during the fall harvest and for natural gas purchases by the Ukrainian state energy company in order to address critical food security, energy, and other emerging needs in Ukraine.
Address Humanitarian Needs due to Russia’s War
The $3 billion in additional humanitarian assistance will provide critical resources to address food security needs around the globe, provide wheat and other commodities to people in need, build countries’ resilience to global food supply and price shocks, and provide lifesaving aid to people displaced by or otherwise impacted by Putin’s War in Ukraine. This funding will mean:
- Direct food support, including wheat and flour, for individuals in developing countries impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as helping countries build more resilient agricultural systems.
- Medical supplies, high thermal blankets, emergency health kits, safe drinking water, shelter materials, and other lifesaving humanitarian assistance for Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s war.
- Job training, trauma-informed mental health services, and resources for local school districts to support Ukrainians arriving in the United States, including the new Uniting for Ukraine program.
Bolster Sanctions Enforcement
Resources will also bolster the Department of Justice’s KleptoCapture Task force efforts to pursue high value asset seizures from sanctioned individuals related to Russian actions in Ukraine. The Administration is also proposing legislation to streamline the process to recoup proceeds from seized and forfeited assets and use them to remediate the harm caused in Ukraine.
Addressing Economic Disruptions at Home and Around the World Due to Putin’s Aggression
An additional $500 million in domestic food production assistance will support the production of U.S. food crops that are experiencing a global shortage due to the war in Ukraine, for example, wheat and soybeans. Through higher loan rates and crop insurance incentives the request provides greater access to credit and lowers risk for farmers growing these food commodities, while lowering costs for American consumers.
Additional funding will also allow use of the Defense Production Act to expand domestic production of critical minerals and materials that have been disrupted by Putin’s war in Ukraine and that are necessary to make everything from defense systems to automobiles. This will help address economic disruptions and reduce price pressures at home and around the world.
Strasbourg, 04.04.2022 – PACE President Tiny Kox has expressed shock and horror at reports of civilian killings by Russian forces withdrawing from Bucha and other towns around Kyiv.
“These horrible crimes need to be thoroughly investigated, and the perpetrators of any war crimes in this terrible war brought to justice,” he said.
For much of the month, the coronavirus crisis and the ongoing conflict with Russia were both temporarily overshadowed by a spate of forest fires in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone that generated lurid international headlines and plunged Kyiv into apocalyptic gloom. These blazes exposed Ukraine’s unpreparedness for such emergencies and served as a grim warning of what may lie ahead during the long summer months in a country parched by an abnormally warm winter season that saw record high temperatures and virtually no snow.
When news of forest fires in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone first started to emerge in the days following April 4, it took more than a week for it to become a hot topic on Ukrainian social media (no pun intended). With most Ukrainians already stuck at home in the fourth week of coronavirus quarantine, images began spreading of woodland blazes along with satellite maps indicating proximity to the infamous atomic energy plant. For many in nearby Kyiv, the fires brought back memories of the 1986 nuclear disaster and sparked fears of a new atomic threat as acres of radioactive woodland went up in flames.
When the wind changed direction and began blowing directly towards Kyiv, a dense and ominous smog almost completely enveloped the sprawling Ukrainian capital. With trademark gallows humor, some Ukrainians likened the grim scenes to the advent of a biblical plague and wondered whether the River Dnipro would soon turn red. The accompanying air pollution, however, was no laughing matter. By the middle of April, Kyiv had risen to first place among the world’s most polluted cities according to global air pollution ranking IQAir.
Kyiv’s scores of 380 and 429 on April 16-17 were more than double the pollution levels registered in Indian capital Delhi and other cities more traditionally associated with chronically poor air quality.
The Ukrainian Health Ministry responded to the smoky scenes by issuing somewhat redundant guidelines for Kyiv’s already quarantined residents to remain indoors and close their windows. While the smoke shrouding the city posed obvious health risks, authorities were quick to downplay fears of a radiation threat. Officials from Ukraine’s State Emergency Service assured that radiation levels remained within the normal range everywhere except for the areas closest to the fires inside the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone itself. These claims were corroborated by numerous independent third parties monitoring the situation including tour guide Kateryna Aslamova, who was taking radiation readings in Kyiv’s picturesque riverside Podil district at the height of the wildfires on April 15.
Ukrainians were quick to praise the efforts of the firefighters working in the Chornobyl Zone, but there was also concern over an apparent lack of sufficient manpower and equipment to extinguish the blazes. Since the forest fires first began, head of Chornobyl Tour Yaroslav Yemelianenko led calls for the authorities to take stronger action. He also became involved in a volunteer drive to support the firefighters, working with the Association of Chornobyl Tour Operators to deliver much-needed provisions. According to Yemelianenko, the April 2020 blazes were the largest in the history of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. He said the severity of the wildfires underlined the need for a serious and comprehensive government response.
The global brand recognition that Chornobyl continues to enjoy meant April’s fires generated a flurry of international media coverage. Ukraine’s leaders were somewhat slower to react.
President Zelenskyy did not address the situation publicly until the tenth day of the fires following reports that the blaze was rapidly approaching the site of the former atomic energy plant. At around the same time, the Ukrainian parliament voted to significantly increase fines and penalties for anyone caught burning vegetation or breaching forest fire regulations. Meanwhile, sixteen days after the fires first began, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced the launch of an operation to combat arson in the region’s woodlands.
The exact cause of the fires remains undetermined. Some have been quick to suggest that the fires may have been started deliberately in order to create a new front in Russia’s ongoing hybrid war against Ukraine and further destabilize the situation in the country. Others have pointed the finger at more mundane arson. The widespread practice of burning crop stubble and other vegetation is the most possible contributing factor.
While the debate continues over the causes of the wildfires, the consequences are already all too clear. Yemelianenko says the impact of the recent blazes has been disastrous for nature, history and tourism. All three are deeply intertwined. In the 34 years since the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone was largely abandoned following the April 1986 nuclear disaster, it has become home to a unique collection of wildlife and fauna. This thriving ecosystem is now in grave danger.
Denys Vyshnevskiy of the Chornobyl Biosphere Reserve says valuable plant life and many smaller species may have been lost in the recent fires, which left large areas of woodland devastated.
The fragmentary nature of the blazes gives reason to hope that some animals survived, with larger species including the zone’s rare Przewalski’s wild horses along with wolves and bears managing to flee.
The ecologist argues that fires pose an unacceptable threat to the future of the zone not only because of the physical damage done to the forest, but because of the potential to cause spikes in radiation.
The Association of Chornobyl Tour Operators is now raising money for firefighters and residents in and around the Exclusion Zone who lost their homes in the fires. With international interest in Chornobyl tourism currently at record highs thanks to the global success of HBO’s 2019 TV miniseries “Chernobyl”, it is hoped that routes can be adapted and restored to enable the continued expansion of the local tourism industry despite recent damage.
Nevertheless, it is clear that Ukraine is currently ill-equipped to deal with major forest fires. This is particularly alarming given the extremely dry conditions throughout the country. The Ukrainian authorities would be well advised to learn the lessons of April’s Chornobyl fires and prepare for more of the same during the coming months. Government officials should also follow up on recent EU offers to provide international assistance in combating future forest wildfires.
This article was first published by the Atlantic Council
The Energy Community Secretariat under the EU4Energy Governance Project organised a two-day workshop in Kyiv, Ukraine, on 30-31 October. The aim is to help the six Eastern Partner countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine – to improve their energy infrastructure planning. The event brought together representatives of all six countries, including from regulatory agencies, ministries and transmission system operators.
The Energy Community experts presented best practices in infrastructure planning, including the identification of priority projects, the role of regulators in investment planning, risk assessment and tariff setting, as well as long-term infrastructure plans based on the EU’s experience of Ten-Year Network Development Plans under the Third Energy Package.
The participants also discussed the methodology for the identification of so-called ‘Projects of Eastern Partnership Interest’ (PEPIs). The methodology, developed under EU4Energy technical assistance, covers projects of cross-border relevance in Eastern Partner countries that are not members of the Energy Community (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus), and projects connecting Energy Community Contracting Parties with Eastern Partner countries (e.g. Ukraine with Belarus and Georgia with Armenia). Derived from Regulation 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure, the PEPI methodology was adapted to fit the specific circumstances and needs of these countries.
A new report summarising a study on gender equality within creative industries in four Eastern Neighbourhood countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine) was recently presented by the British Council at the HeForShe conference in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
The study ‘Gender equality and empowerment of women and men in cultural and creative industries’ is the result of the work of a team of nine experts who organised focus groups, conducted online polls and interviewed opinion leaders in each of the four countries.
In total, around 500 men and women were interviewed to understand why women in some industries get lower salaries, why it is necessary to defy stereotypes even if they are not very noticeable and why men in some countries are fearful of taking up certain professions.
According to the report, creative industries make up 4% of Ukraine’s Gross Domestic Product. Similar findings were also demonstrated in the other countries of the study. The experts aimed to illustrate the situation in creative disciplines with respect to gender and to understand how this information could be used in future programmes that will work with creative industries in the region.
Be the first to test innovative payment products designed by Visa and partner banks.
Kyiv, 8 May 2017 – Visa (NYSE: V) as an official partner of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kyiv has announced about the opening of Visa Innovations Stand in Eurovision Village. Stand will be functioning during May 4 -14, 2017 from 1 to 10 PM in Eurovision Village located on Khreshchatyk St., between B. Khmelnytskoho St. and Prorizna St.
Hands-on test of Visa payWave contactless technology and an opportunity to try and buy the innovative products of Visa and partner banks: PrivatBank, FUIB, Raiffeisen Bank Aval and Oschadbank
Mobile app for contactless NFC payments by PrivatBank
Just add your Visa card to Privat24 mobile wallet and enjoy contactless payments with your smartphone. If you have no Visa card, this is an opportunity to get an instant Eurovision branded card at Visa demo stand and have a chance to win 1 of 99 SamsungGalaxy A5 smartphones.
Prepaid card in form of contactless sticker by First Ukrainian International Bank (FUIB)
Put a sticker on a mobile phone or any other device, thus transforming it into a contactless payment tool.
Visa payWave instant contactless card by Oschadbank
Instantly get Visa payWave contactless card from Oschadbank – no waiting time or documents. Moreover, every 10 days the holders of Visa cards issued by Oschadbank will have a chance to win Eurovision branded prizes.
Mobile App for contactless payments by Raiffeisen Bank Aval
In Eurovision Village, you can watch the performances of Eurovision participants and even more - enjoy significant benefits of special offers for Visa cardholders. Such as official Eurovision 2017 merchandise with 10% discount with Visa payment card, sticker, or via Visa payment app for payments over UAH 500. (approxim. 19 USD)
Shoot your Eurovision mood and share your photo or video on Instagram or Twitter with #visa2eurovision hashtag. The coolest photos and videos will be awarded with musical prizes.
We’re the same wavelength!
About Visa Inc.:
Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit: www.corporate.visa.com, www.visa.com.ge , https://www.facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE, Visa CISSEE Newsroom.
 NFC-enabled smartphone under Android 4.4 operating system or later
 Promo campaign will be held on the territory of Ukraine excl. temporary occupied territories and the territory of ATO in the period of 25 April - 30 September 2017 inclusively. Find details, rules and restrictions of the campaign on Oschadbank website (oschadbank.ua, promo.oschadbank.ua)
 Promo campaign will be held on the territory of Eurovision Village in the period of 4 -14 May 2017
 Visa International Service Association (USA) offers banks the possibility of issuing Visa payment cards. The issuing banks may impose limitations on Visa cards. Please refer to the issuing banks for information regarding the terms of issuance and operation of Visa payment cards. The issuing banks may place limitations on products, services and their usage based on the applicable law. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com , www.visa.com.ge , https://www.facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE
Digital-revolution is rapidly changing our world! Contactless payments, mobile money and innovative financial services break down traditional borders and stereotypes, opening new opportunities and prospects.
The 2016 Cashless Ukraine Summit organized by Visa will be held on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 in Kyiv.
The goal of the Summit is to bring together thought leaders in economic and financial education, businessmen, young scholars and media to discuss innovations in electronic payments and how financial literacy can serve to promote a cashless society.
8.45-9.30 Registration. Refreshments. Social Media Photo Shoot
9.30-9.35 Inspiring Remarks by Moderator
Tymofiy Mylovanov, Honorary President, Kyiv School of Economics; Deputy Chairman, Council, National Bank of Ukraine
9.35-9.50 ‘Cashless Breakthrough’ (Brief Opening Remarks)
The speakers of the opening session emphasize the importance of innovative technology and the increased role of electronic payments in today’s world as it rapidly moves toward cashless society. Ukraine should be actively involved in this process and take advantage of the opportunities it presents.
Mandy Lamb, Group Country Manager for CIS SEE, Visa
Video Greeting: Valeriya Hontareva, Governor, National Bank of Ukraine
Dmytro Shymkiv, Deputy Head, Ukraine’s President Administration (TBC)
Yakiv Smolii, Deputy Governor, National Bank of Ukraine (TBC)
Andy Woolnough, Vice President, Corporate Relations, Visa
9.50-11.00 Power of Innovative Knowledge in a Cashless Economy
In a rapidly changing world, knowledge increasingly interconnects and even overlaps with innovative technology, e-commerce and electronic & mobile payments. Innovative knowledge should address existing barriers and myths and serve as a key driver of cashless economy.
Speaker from Europe (TBC)
Eric Benz, Co-Founder, Credits, UK (in a partnership with “Future” magazine) -
Nino Masurashvili, Retail Director; Deputy CEO, JSC TBC Bank Georgia
Ana Nives Radovic, PhD; Fintech Analyst, Lecturer and Editor, Montenegro
11.00-11.20 ‘Got to Be Cashless’ by Volodymyr Lavrenchuk, Chairman of the Board, Raiffeisen Bank Aval
Global development trends focused on promoting innovative technology and cashless transactions require new, creative approaches in communicating with target audiences.
Visa has today announced its partnership with the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place in Kyiv in May in 2017. As Official Partner of the Eurovision Song Contest, which is run by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Visa has been granted extensive pan-European association, event, media (incl. programme sponsorship) and new media rights for the upcoming events in Ukraine. Jon Ola Sand, EBU Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest commented: “We are delighted to have Visa on board again for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kyiv, following a successful partnership this year. Visa’s did a superb job driving engagement with Eurovision fans via innovative payment solutions and activities at Eurovision Village in Stockholm. We’re excited to see what the next Contest will bring”. Mandy Lamb, General Country Manager for CIS&SEE said: “The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most favourite and watched events in Ukraine and across Europe. The partnership with the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kyiv is an extension of our partnership for the Contest 2016 in Stockholm, which offers us an excellent platform to engage with our client-banks and consumers via contest related promotions. We’re really looking forward to work cooperatively with Eurovision Song Contest organizers and our partners to make 2017 Contest an amazing time for all Ukrainians and guests”. The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will open with Semi-Finals on 9th and 11th May, the Grand Final will be held on 13th May at the International Exhibition Center in Kyiv. NTU (National Television Company of Ukraine) will be working with Kyiv as host city for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. -ENDSAbout Visa Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks— VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products1 . For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com, www.visa.com.ua, https://www.facebook.com/VisaUA About the EBU The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is the world’s foremost alliance of public service media (PSM). Our mission is to make PSM indispensable. We have 73 Members in 56 countries in Europe, and an additional 34 Associates in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Our Members operate over 1,800 television and radio channels together with numerous online platforms. Together, they reach audiences of more than one billion people around the world, broadcasting in more than 120 languages. We are one EBU with two distinct fields of activity: member services and business services. Our member services strive to secure a sustainable future for public service media, provide our Members with a centre for learning and sharing and build on our founding ethos of solidarity and co-operation to provide an exchange of world-class news, sports news and music. Our business services – operating under the Eurovision brand – are the media industry’s premier distributor and producer of high-quality live news, sport and entertainment with over 70,000 transmissions and 100,000 hours of news and sport every year. Discover more about the EBU on www.ebu.ch