World Press Freedom Day: EU urges Russia to stop attacks on journalists

Published in Society
Tuesday, 03 May 2022 16:43

On the eve of World Press Freedom Day tomorrow, EU High Representative Josep Borrell has congratulated brave journalists, camera crews, reporters, photographers and bloggers on behalf of the EU, saying that they are “risking their lives to keep us informed about Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine”.

Russian forces are detaining, abducting or kidnapping and targeting journalists and civil society actors to prevent the world from hearing the truth,” J. Borrell said. “We strongly urge the Russian Federation to immediately stop such attacks and practices.” 

According to the Council of Europe platform for the protection of journalism and safety of journalists, ten Ukrainian and international media workers have already been killed, and many others were wounded.

J. Borrell said the safety of journalists was an EU priority,adding that the EU is providing emergency support to media outlets and journalists covering the war in Ukraine, including psychological support, helmets and other protective equipment, as well as financing to cover salaries.

By reporting from the front lines and shedding light on the gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law committed by the Russian armed forces, journalists importantly contribute to counter disinformation and information manipulation surrounding the invasion,” said J. Borrell. “They play a crucial role in ensuring that these atrocities do not remain unpunished.”

J. Borrell also noted the courage of independent journalists in Russia and Belarus, who are trying to convey accurate information about Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Source: https://euneighbourseast.eu/news-and-stories/latest-news/world-press-freedom-day-eu-urges-russia-to-stop-attacks-on-journalists/

“This friendship will last longer than the war” – Georgia in support of Ukraine

Published in Politics
Thursday, 28 April 2022 13:26

Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February. For more than two months since then, every single day has begun with the latest news on Ukraine. Along with sad news, people tune in, hoping to catch some better news, or drawing home and inspiration from stories of heroism and solidarity. Indeed, from the very first day, thousands of Georgians have united in support of Ukraine, and ordinary civilians, volunteers and organisations engage in humanitarian activities every day.

On 18 February, five Ukrainian friends had arrived in Georgia for a short stay. On 24 February, they found themselves trapped in Gudauri, unable to go home. Left in a foreign country, they were scrambling for resources to keep going, while desperately worried about their family and friends in Ukraine and the fate of their country.

Some of the friends eventually went to the Ukrainian border in Poland, but Yuliana and Katerina stayed in Georgia.

That was when they met Rusudan Tskhomelidze, who published a post on social media, offering shelter to Ukrainian citizens for free. The search for lodging marked the beginning of a friendship between the young Ukrainians and Rusudan’s family.

“We feel enormous support from the Georgian people” – Yuliana

A sociologist by profession, Yuliana was born and raised in Kyiv. She has a cat who is with her father in Kyiv, and her mother lives near Irpin. Yuliana is in a state of constant worry, but at least she is happy she can regularly communicate with her family.

“As soon as the war started, I created a family chat and I check it once every few hours, to know what is happening,” says Yuliana.
“The American press constantly writes that the Russian aggressors will run out of strength, equipment, also their morale is weak, and all this gives me hope that everything will end soon. It is hard to be certain about anything, no one knows what Russia will do. I hope that the political and economic pressure will have an effect and yield the desired results.”

The relationship with Rusudan’s family and the support of the Georgian people have been an enormous help to Yuliana in these difficult times.

“The relationship with Rusudan’s family eases our sorrow, they try to support us as much as they can. In addition to us not having to think about financial issues, they support us mentally as well. We’ve become friends with Rusudan’s family and this helps us. Generally, we feel great support from the Georgian people.

“Good news from Ukraine help me to deal with these days, there are bad news in between too, but I try to feel a little relief from the good news. I have video calls with my friends and family, I see my cats, I check social media and see that life goes on in Ukraine, they have switched to a new routine – all this reduces the worry in a way,” says Yulyana.

“There should be no war in any country” – Katerina

Before the war, Katerina had helped refugees from Belarus, Russia and Uzbekistan – she provided legal assistance, and facilitated their access to social services in Ukraine. Now she has ended up as a refugee herself.

“We did not leave because of war, but we became refugees because we cannot go back to Ukraine. I helped refugees before the war, I was a volunteer and tried to change people’s lives for the better. Now that Ukrainians are leaving the country and Europe has given them the same opportunity, that makes me happy,” says Katerina.

EU triples initial support to Ukrainian Armed Forces – up to €1.5 billion under the European Peace Facility

Published in Economics
Thursday, 14 April 2022 10:42

On 13 April,  the Council of the European Union adopted two assistance measures under the European Peace Facility (EPF) that will allow the EU to further support the capabilities and resilience of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to defend the country against the ongoing Russian military aggression.

The EU will add €500 million to the resources already mobilised under the EPF for Ukraine, thereby tripling the initial budget to €1.5 billion.

The next weeks will be decisive. As Russia prepares for an offensive on the East of Ukraine, it is crucial that we continue and step up our military support to Ukraine to defend its territory and population and prevent further suffering,” said EU High Representative Josep Borrell.

The agreed measures will finance both the provision of equipment and supplies to the Ukrainian Armed Forces by EU Member States, including personal protective equipment, first aid kits and fuel, as well as military equipment designed to deliver lethal force for defensive purposes. The duration of the assistance measures is also extended by 24 months.

Source: EU Neighbours East

Twenty Russian airlines added to EU Air Safety List

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 13 April 2022 16:16

On 11 April, the European Commission included 21 airlines certified in Russia to the EU Air Safety List.  

The EU Air Safety List is the list of airlines that are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, because they do not meet international safety standards.

According to the Commission, this decision reflects the EU’s serious safety concerns due to Russia’s forced re-registration of foreign-owned aircraft, knowingly allowing their operation without valid certificates of airworthiness. “This is in breach of international aviation safety standards,” says a press release by the Commission.  

This is not only a clear breach of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention), but it also poses an immediate safety threat,” Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said.

She added that despite the context of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, this decision is not another sanction against Russia: “It has been taken solely on the basis of technical and safety grounds. We do not mix safety with politics.”

Following the update, a total of 117 airlines are banned from EU skies.

On 27 February, the EU shut down EU airspace for all Russian-owned, Russian registered or Russian-controlled aircraft. These aircraft are no longer able to land in, take off or overfly the territory of the EU.

EU cooperation with its Eastern partners

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding the so-called elections in the occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia

Published in Politics
Monday, 11 April 2022 11:00
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia condemns the so-called presidential elections held on 10 April, in the occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia as yet another illegal act of the Russian Federation directed against Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in complete contradiction with the norms and principles of international law.

Such provocative actions are aimed to legitimize the illegal occupation of the Georgian regions and the ethnic cleansing of Georgians.
Given the illegal occupation of Georgia’s two regions and the occupying power exercising an effective control on the ground, the so-called elections cannot have any legal effect. The so-called referendum on unification with Russia recently announced by the Tskhinvali occupation regime will likewise be null and void as another illegal step taken towards annexation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls on the Russian Federation to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and to comply with its international obligations, including the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, and to reverse its illegal decision on recognition of so-called independence of the occupied regions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals to the international community to give a due assessment and take effective measures on the illegal step aimed to infringe on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. 

MFA Georgia

The President of Turkmenistan congratulated the President of the Russian Federation on the 30th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations

Published in Politics
Friday, 08 April 2022 15:35

President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, on behalf of the people and the Government of Turkmenistan, as well as on his own behalf, sent sincere congratulations and best wishes to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and all the friendly people of the country on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation.

“We in Turkmenistan attach special importance to the steady development of relations with Russia,” the head of state noted in his message, emphasizing that over the years of cooperation in almost all areas, positive experience of interaction has been accumulated and good results have been achieved.

Our countries are successfully cooperating not only in a bilateral format, but also within the framework of international structures, as evidenced by the mutual support of international initiatives and proposals put forward within the framework of authoritative organizations of a global and regional scale, the message emphasizes.

The President of Turkmenistan, noting the dynamic development of Turkmen-Russian trade and economic relations, spoke in favor of the need to continue work to promote direct contacts between business circles, as well as to increase the interaction of Government structures in order to fully unlock the existing potential.

Emphasizing that Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation have developed centuries-old historical and humanitarian ties, the Turkmen-Russian cooperation in the cultural, scientific, and educational fields is successfully expanding and strengthening, the head of state confirmed his readiness to further promote the strengthening and development of a strategic partnership that meets the long-term interests of the two peoples.

At the end of his message, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov wished President Vladimir Putin good health, happiness and new successes in his work, and further progress and prosperity to the friendly people of Russia.

GLOBALink | Latest on Russia-Ukraine conflict, April 8

Published in CHINA
Friday, 08 April 2022 12:03

Moscow said the draft agreement submitted by Ukraine demonstrated a shift in Kiev's negotiating positions.

NATO members have agreed to ramp up the supply of weapons to Ukraine and impose new sanctions on Russia.

Xinhua reporters in Moscow and Brussels bring you the latest.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service

Denmark condemns Proposed Tskhinvali referendum on joining Russia

Published in Politics
Friday, 01 April 2022 15:34
Today, when the occupied Tskhinvali region plans to hold a referendum, we stand with Georgia" the Danish Foreign Minister, Jeppe Kofod said when commenting on the Tskhinvali region’s plans to hold a referendum to join Russia. He made this comment at a joint briefing following his meeting with the Georgian Vice Prime Minister/Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani.
According to the Danish Foreign Minister,  when a very dangerous authoritarianism is rising in the world and Russia is waging a war against Ukraine, and Russian troops are still stationed in the occupied territories of Georgia, the West strongly supports Georgia and all countries that adhere to international rules and values. "We have to stop Russia. Democratic countries and the democratic world stands together" - Jeppe Kofod said.

It is unacceptable to discuss any referendum while Georgia’s territory is occupied by Russia – David Zalkaliani

Published in Politics
Friday, 01 April 2022 10:03

“It is unacceptable to discuss any referendum while Georgia’s territory is occupied by Russia. No referendum will have any legal force amid the occupation, especially against the backdrop of hundreds of thousands of our citizens being expelled from their homes as a result of the ethnic cleansing and not being allowed to return” - the Georgian Vice Prime Minister/Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani said at a joint briefing following his meeting with his Danish counterpart, Jeppe Kofod.
The Georgian Foreign Minister said that the Government will not allow Georgia to be dragged into provocations or the dire consequences of the 2008 Russo-Georgian War to repeat again.
Zalkaliani stressed that Georgia remains consistent with and committed to its policy of peaceful de-occupation. “We will not use force to restore territorial integrity, this is our legal obligation, which the international community clearly supports” – he added.
According to Zalkaliani, Georgia remains committed to the engagement policy and is ready to share the benefits of EU integration with those Georgian citizens who live on the other side of the occupation line.  

GLOBALink | China calls on Russia, Ukraine to keep to direction of dialogue and consultation

Published in CHINA
Wednesday, 30 March 2022 17:41

China calls on Russia and Ukraine to keep to the direction of dialogue and consultation, and restore peace at an early date, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.

 Produced by Xinhua Global Service

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