EU expands list of sanctions against individuals and entities supporting Russian aggression against Ukraine

Published in Economics
Friday, 22 July 2022 12:46

The EU has expanded its list of sanctions against individuals and entities supporting Russian aggression against Ukraine. The list of the additional 57 individuals and 10 companies and organisations has been posted in the EU’s official journal. This decision comes in addition to the “maintenance and alignment” package of sanctions adopted by the Council on 21 July 2022.

Personal sanctions under this latest package of sanctions include Sergei Sobyanin, Moscow mayor, Stanislav Chemezov, son of the head of Rostec, Yury Chaika, member of the Russian Federation Council and former prosecutor-general, well-known Russian actors Sergei Bezrukov and Vladimir Mashkov, Alexander Zaldostanov, leader of the ‘Night Wolves’ motorcycle club, and other Russians who actively support Russian aggression against Ukraine. 

The sanctioned entities include Sberbank, a major financial institution, the ‘Night Wolves’, companies operating in the military sector or the shipbuilding industry or involved in the stealing of Ukrainian grain, and a variety of entities that have disseminated pro-Kremlin and anti-Ukrainian propaganda.

The all-Russia ‘Young Army’ Military Patriotic Social Movement, the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo), Russkiy Mir Foundation and the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund are also on the sanctions list.

A number of individuals involved in the leadership of the territories of Ukraine occupied by the Russian authorities have also been put on the sanctions list.

Altogether, EU restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine now apply to a total of 1,212 individuals and 108 entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.

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Press release

European Commission adopts new package of measures to reinforce impact of sanctions against Russia

Published in World
Monday, 18 July 2022 13:05

The European Commission today adopted a proposal for a new package of measures to maintain and strengthen the effectiveness of the EU’s six wide-ranging and unprecedented packages of sanctions against Russia.

Today’s “maintenance and alignment” package clarifies a number of provisions to strengthen legal certainty for operators and enforcement by Member States. It also further aligns the EU’s sanctions with those of its allies and partners, in particular in the G7. Importantly, the package reiterates the Commission’s determined stance to protect food security around the globe. The measures also include a ban on the import of Russian gold.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine continues unabated. Therefore, we are proposing today to tighten our hard-hitting EU sanctions against the Kremlin, enforce them more effectively and extend them until January 2023. Moscow must continue to pay a high price for its aggression.”

EU High Representative Josep Borrell added: “Today’s package reflects our coordinated approach with international partners including the G7. In addition to these measures, I will also present proposals to Council for the listing of more individuals and entities, with their assets frozen and ability to travel curtailed.”

Today’s package will introduce a new import ban on Russian gold, while reinforcing dual use and advanced technology export controls. In doing so, it will reinforce the alignment of EU sanctions with those of the G7 partners. It will also strengthen reporting requirements to tighten EU asset freezes.

The package also reiterates that EU sanctions do not target in any way the trade in agricultural products between third countries and Russia. Likewise, the text clarifies the exact scope of some financial and economic sanctions.  

Finally, it is proposed to extend the current EU sanctions for six months, until the next review at the end of January 2023.

The package will now be discussed by Member States in the Council in view of its adoption.

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Press release

EU and 43 countries back Ukraine in its case against Russia at UN International Court of Justice

Published in World
Thursday, 14 July 2022 14:38

A total of 43 countries, including EU Member States and Moldova, as well as the EU itself, have issued a joint statement supporting Ukraine’s application to bring a case against the Russian Federation before the UN International Court of Justice under the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This case seeks to establish that Russia has no legitimate grounds for taking military action in Ukraine on the basis of unfounded allegations of genocide.

We reiterate the importance of these proceedings and urge, again, Russia to immediately suspend its military operations in Ukraine, as ordered by the Court in its Order on Provisional Measures of 16 March 2022,” says the Joint Statement.

The signatories also reiterated that Russia must be held accountable for its actions: “In this regard, we consider that Russia’s violations of international law engage its international responsibility, and that the losses and damage suffered by Ukraine as a result of Russia’s violations of international law require full and urgent reparation by Russia, in accordance with the law of State responsibility.

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Press release

GLOBALink | Czech EU Presidency to focus on consequences of Russia-Ukraine conflict

Published in CHINA
Thursday, 07 July 2022 13:34

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala told the European Parliament's plenary session on Wednesday that managing the consequences of the Russia-Ukraine conflict will top the list of priorities of the Czech Republic, which took over the rotating six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) on July 1.

Under the slogan "Europe as a task," the Czech Presidency's five priorities are managing the refugee crisis and Ukraine's post-war recovery; energy security; strengthening Europe's defense capabilities and cyberspace security; the strategic resilience of the European economy; and the resilience of democratic institutions.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the country's grain harvest is projected to reach 60 million tons this year.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Markiyan Dmytrasevych said Ukraine would have to export between 30 million tons and 40 million tons of grain from this year's harvest to free its storage facilities.

The official said by the end of October, Ukraine will lack capacities for storing 10-15 million tons of grain due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict that damaged storage infrastructure and blocked exports through the Black Sea.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service

 

EU faces a difficult choice – where the pendulum will swing?

Published in Politics
Friday, 17 June 2022 22:25

European Commission is drawing closer to presenting its opinion on candidate status to Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova – members of the Association Trio. Meanwhile, questions and suggestions are mounting how to proceed in this way to find a “golden mean” amidst the war in Ukraine and highly unpredictable geostrategic context.

The stakes are high and considering all circumstances the European Union (EU) faces a difficult but historical decision. While, it is premature to talk in which direction the scales will swing, it’s evident that either negative or some intermediary decision about on any of the applicant state, will significantly affect their geopolitical future in the short and mid-term perspective.  What about Georgia – the sole strategic ally of the West in the South Caucasus, the situation with regard to the status, still remains unclear. While we watch Ukraine as arena of a brutal geopolitical competition between the West and Russia on the European theater, Georgia remains another arena of geopolitical rivalry between Russia and the West. The absence of war nowadays, doesn’t mean it will not be unleashed tomorrow, if Russia finds Georgia alienated by the West. Thus, it's safe to say that EU candidate status for Georgia is highly likely to strengthen the EU foothold in the region and have a far-reaching influence on the other states of the region.   

Before the pendant conclusion of the European Commission about candidate status for Georgia some opinions are present  both in Georgia and outside  calling the EU on either refraining from granting the status to Georgia, or suggesting something transitional. These suggestions are largely generated by ongoing domestic political infighting in the country. 

The benefits from granting candidate status to Georgia, which considerably outstrips other members of the Association Trio by the pace of fulfillment of the components of the EU Association Agreement appeared to be far more tangible, than conditional gains in case of refusal.

Let's put the questions specifically and directly. Whether it’s a prudent step to hold Georgia back from the candidate status, as some groups argue, and detach it somehow from the Association Trio in this truly extraordinary situation?  

What will the EU gain and what will it lose if decides to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, and say "NO" to Georgia, or give it something different? Hardly this “cold shower” from the EU would contribute to political stability in Georgia, which is apparently important for the EU in this turbulent geopolitical environment.  Georgia’s opposition groups and their supporters are highly likely to use this “NO” to embark on mass anti-governmental protests and Georgia is expected to plunge into another cycle of confrontation, turbulence, and uncertainty, with the ensuing consequences. It’s hard to imagine that the EU would be satisfied with such state of affairs in its key partner in the region.

Refusal to grant Georgia candidate status under any plausible pretext, can significantly increase not only Euro-skepticism but outright anti-Western sentiments in a sizeable part of Georgian society, providing anti-Western forces with an excellent opportunity to increase their influence and strengthen their stance. Nowadays, they are quite industrious in creating an anti-European atmosphere in society. Will the EU be satisfied with this perspective?

Pinning hope that the refusal to give a candidate’s status will force Georgia’s ruling party to become more malleable to the EU demands looks unconvinced. Quite the contrary, the care for its own political future, will make the current government far more dutybound to implement the EU-recommended reforms. The idea cultivated by some Georgian and foreign pundits and politicians that Georgia will better meet EU standards under the new government after the pre-term elections, looks rather emotional than well-calculated. If consider the balance of political powers in Georgia, as well as composition of the current political landscape, this scenario looks unrealistic.

And, last but not least,the status of the candidate for EU membership is not an act of mercy for Georgia. It will give the country a strong and unequivocal signal from the EU to take the road to justice, peace and security, or be faced, even more than before, with tension and confrontation that would not be in the interests of any party. It’s time for making extraordinary but geopolitically far-sighted decisions.

Zaal Anjaparidze, political analyst, Tbilisi, Georgia

Туркменистан и Россия готовят к подписанию документы о торгово-экономическом сотрудничестве

Published in World
Friday, 10 June 2022 21:44

 

Туркменистан и Россия готовят к подписанию ряд документов о торгово-экономическом сотрудничестве, их планируется заключить во время первого официального визита президента Сердара Бердымухамедова в Российскую Федерацию 10 июня, говорится в сообщении правительства РФ.

Накануне переговоров на высшем уровне заместитель председателя правительства Российской Федерации Александр Новак провел встречу с вице-премьером Туркменистана Шахымом Абдрахмановым.

Решение избранного президента Туркменистана совершить свой первый официальный зарубежный визит именно в Россию подтверждает курс официального Ашхабада на дальнейшее укрепление отношений с Москвой, отметил Александр Новак в ходе встречи.

Вице-премьер России отметил значительную роль топливно-энергетического комплекса в экономическом взаимодействии двух стран. «ТЭК исторически занимает одно из основных мест в нашем торгово-экономическом обороте. Туркмения обладает значительными запасами природного газа, по этой линии ведется успешное сотрудничество «Газпрома» с «Туркменгазом», заключен договор на покупку-продажу туркменского газа с 1 июля 2019 года. Кроме того, Россия оказывает услуги по транспортировке туркменской нефти, идет взаимодействие в нефтяной сфере, продолжается работа по реконструкции туркменских энергетических объектов», – сказал Александр Новак.

Также Россия и Туркменистан имеют значительные возможности для увеличения грузовых потоков по восточному маршруту международного транспортного коридора «Север – Юг». Уже сейчас российские компании активно прорабатывают с туркменскими коллегами вопросы своего участия в проектах электрификации железнодорожных линий Туркменистана, модернизации его железнодорожной инфраструктуры. Совместными усилиями мы решим вопрос привлечения транзитных грузов, в целом реализуем транзитный потенциал Туркменистана, отметил Новак.

Александр Новак передал туркменской делегации приглашения посетить 25-й Петербургский международный экономический форум, а также пригласил к участию во втором Каспийском экономическом форуме и Российском энергетическом форуме, запланированными на осень этого года.

У Туркменбаши появился российский город-побратим

Published in World
Friday, 10 June 2022 21:43

Соглашение о сотрудничестве между Астраханской областью (РФ) и Балканским регионом Туркменистана, соглашение о побратимстве между городами Астраханью и Туркменбаши, соглашение в сфере образования – это итоги встречи в Москве посла Туркменистана в Российской Федерации Батыра Ниязлиева с вице-губернатором и председателем правительства Астраханской области Олегом Князевым.

В переговорах от российской стороны также приняли участие глава муниципального образования «Город Астрахань» Олег Полумордвинов, министр внешних связей Астраханской области Владимир Головков, ректор Астраханского госуниверситета Константин Маркелов.

Участниками встречи было отмечено, что спектр отношений между Астраханской и Балканской областями может быть весьма широким. Прежде всего это сотрудничество в сферах развития морского транспортного сообщения, судостроения, туризма.

Уже вышеупомянутое соглашение в сфере образования подписали ректоры Астраханского государственного университета им. В.Н. Татищева Константин Маркелов и Туркменского государственного университета имени Махтумкули Байрамгуль Ораздурдыева. Вузы двух стран договорились о реализации совместных проектов, академических обменах, организации курсов повышения квалификации, разработке и реализации образовательных программ, выдаче двойных дипломов.

Начался официальный визит Сердара Бердымухамедова в Россию

Published in World
Friday, 10 June 2022 21:41

В пятницу начался официальный визит президента Туркменистана Сердара Бердымухамедова в Россию, в рамках которого состоятся переговоры с главой РФ Владимиром Путиным, пишут официальные туркменские СМИ.

Первый визит Сердара Бердымухамедова в Россию в качестве главы государства придаст импульс развитию многопланового туркмено-российского диалога, отмечается в анонсе.

По итогам встречи президентов Туркменистана и России ожидается подписание Декларации об углублении стратегического партнерства между станами. Также планируется подписать ряд документов о торгово-экономическом сотрудничестве.

EU condemns Russia’s attempts to forcefully integrate parts of Ukraine

Published in World
Tuesday, 07 June 2022 09:10

The European Union strongly condemns Russia’s attempts to forcefully integrate parts of Ukrainian territory.

On 25 May and 30 May, the Russian president issued decrees, simplifying the process for granting Russian citizenship and issuing Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, which are temporarily under Russian military control, as well as to Ukrainian children without parental care and legally incapacitated persons from Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. 

The European Union will not recognise these passports, issued as part of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” said EU High Representative Josep Borrell in a declaration issued on behalf of the EU. 

The EU also strongly condemns any attempts by Russia to replace democratically elected and legitimate Ukrainian administrations, to introduce the Russian rouble as a parallel currency to the Ukrainian hryvnia, and to impose Russian curricula and education materials and change the language of tuition in schools in those parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions that are currently under the illegal control of Russian armed forces.

Any attempts to alter the status of parts of Ukrainian territory are a clear violation of international law, the UN Charter and Ukraine’s Constitution, they further undermine sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and will not be recognised by the European Union,” said the declaration by Borrell.

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Press release

Charity Evening «NOW»

Published in Society
Friday, 03 June 2022 17:33

NOW is an association of artists from different countries who have gathered to host a charity event in support of Ukraine.  The event will present different areas of anti-war art: actionism, performance art, audiovisual art, music, cinema. During the war, we, the artists, must continue to speak the language that is available to us — the language of art. Also we will conduct the auction, where everyone can buy anti-war art, all the proceeds from sales will also go to charity.

Exhibition would be curated by patron of the art Ria Keburia, performance art — by poet and performer Andro Dadiani, photography section — by Elene Glonti.

The event will represent many different kinds of art:

- Salome Jashi and Tornike Bziava participate in the short movie screening

- Performance by artists from Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Turkmenistan and Russia

- Musicians Sandro Bibich & Nodariko Khutsishvili & Zuka Simonishvili & Dato Kakulia will also perform on the event

- Experimental music by Tornike

A fixed donation of 25 GEL will be set at the entrance.  All collected donations will be divided between partner funds: Helping to leave, Paliashvili 60 and Library About Georgia. ⅔ amounts will be sent to help Ukraine and its residents, ⅓ funds will be transferred to help Georgian refugees.

Main point of our festival that we want to spread the word about:

  1.  Art is political.
  2. We are standing for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.
  3. We are for the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Georgia and for the complete de-occupation of Georgia.  Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region are territories of Georgia.
  4. We are against dictatorship in any form.
  5. We are against any discrimination, xenophobia and violence.
  6. Freedom for all political prisoners!

Location: Hermitspace (1 Vasil Petriashvili Street, Tbilisi)

Date: 4th of June 17:30-01:00

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