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.
Find out more
The First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska will join the ‘Women in Conflicts’ event in Brussels on 9 June.
The event will bring together women leaders and survivors of conflicts and will
be co-hosted by the President of the European Council Charles Michel.
The event, co-hosted with UN Women, Nadia’s Initiative and the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation, will focus on survivors, justice and reparation, and women’s leadership in conflict.
This second edition is a follow-up to the ‘Women in Conflicts’ organised in New York City on 21 September 2021.
The event will be broadcast live on Council live and social media channels: Twitter: (https://twitter.com/eucopresident, https://twitter.com/eucouncil), Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/CharlesMichel, https://www.facebook.com/eucouncil), LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Find out more
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.
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:
- Art is political.
- We are standing for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.
- 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.
- We are against dictatorship in any form.
- We are against any discrimination, xenophobia and violence.
- Freedom for all political prisoners!
Location: Hermitspace (1 Vasil Petriashvili Street, Tbilisi)
Date: 4th of June 17:30-01:00
June 3 marks the 100th day of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine. The following is a review of key events of the 100-day conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service
European Commission proposes rules on freezing and confiscating assets of oligarchs and other criminals violating restrictive measuresThursday, 26 May 2022 12:16
On 25 May, the European Commission proposed the inclusion of violations of EU restrictive measures in the EU’s list of crimes, in light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. This will allow to set a common basic standard on criminal offences and penalties across the EU.
The Commission has also proposed new strengthened rules on asset recovery and confiscation, which would also facilitate the implementation of EU restrictive measures. The proposal would modernise EU asset recovery rules, in particular by expanding the powers of Asset Recovery Offices to quickly trace and identify the assets of individuals and entities subject to EU restrictive measures. These powers would also apply to criminally derived assets, including through the urgent freezing of assets where there is a risk that assets may disappear.
“EU sanctions must be respected and those trying to go around them punished. The violation of EU sanctions is a serious crime and must come with serious consequences, said Věra Jourová, the European Commission’s Vice-President for Values and Transparency. “As a Union we stand up for our values and we must make those who keep Putin’s war machine running pay the price.”
The proposals have been put forward as part of the ‘Freeze and Seize’ Task Force, set up by the European Commission in March. So far, Member States have reported frozen assets worth €9.89 billion and blocked €196 billion worth of transactions. On 11 April, Europol, jointly with Member States, Eurojust and Frontex, launched Operation Oscar to support financial and criminal investigations targeting criminal assets owned by individuals and legal entities covered by EU sanctions.
Once the EU Member States agree on the Commission’s initiative to extend the list of EU crimes, the Commission will present a legislative proposal based on the accompanying Communication and Annex.
Find out more
On 24 May, the Council of the European Union adopted the fourth tranche of €500 million under the European Peace Facility (EPF).
This will allow the EU to further support the capabilities and resilience of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, and protect the civilian population against the ongoing Russian military aggression.
This disbursement brings the total amount of support under the EPF to €2 billion.
The scope of the equipment to be provided in the new support package is in line with the current priorities as expressed by the Ukrainian government. A total of €490 million for military equipment are designed to deliver lethal force for defensive purposes, and another €10 million will cover the provision of equipment and supplies, such as personal protective equipment, first aid kits, and fuel.
Find out more
The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, today disbursed €600 million in Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) to Ukraine to address its acute financing gap related to its exceptional humanitarian and defence needs.
The first tranche of €600 million of this emergency macro-financial assistance operation, worth €1.2 billion, was paid in two tranches on 11 and 18 March.
These funds are provided to Ukraine in the form of long-term loans on highly favourable terms. They contribute to financing part of the sizable funding gap of the country, estimated by International Financial Institutions at around $15 billion for the second quarter of 2022.
The disbursement of this macro-financial assistance was to be conditional on the implementation of a series of the structural policy measures by the Ukrainian authorities. However, due to force majeure circumstances, the Commission decided to allocate the second tranche as a matter of urgency.
“Going forward, the EU will continue to provide short-term financial support to Ukraine while accompanying it in its long-term reconstruction, in line with the plans announced on Wednesday. Ukraine will get back on its feet as a democratic and prosperous country,” President Ursula von der Leyen said.
Find out more
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.
Find out more
EU foreign ministers have agreed to allocate an additional €500 million from the European Peace Facility for arms supplies to Ukraine. This will bring the total amount of the EU military support to Ukraine to €2 billion. At the same time, however, ministers failed to agree on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia and an oil ban, EU High Representative Josep Borrell reported last night.
The EU High Representative was speaking after the EU Foreign Affairs Council that was joined by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, and Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly.
Borrell noted that the €2 billion in military support was “just the tip of the iceberg”, because Member States “do a lot from their side without asking for refunding”.
Borrell also said the EU has to help Ukraine to keep producing and exporting grains and wheat via the already established initiative ‘Solidarity Lanes’. “The storage capacity of Ukraine is full, because they cannot export this grain and they need to empty this storage capacity in order to be able to receive the next crop. So, we are working on how to help them to take this grain out by train,” added Borrell.
Regarding sanctions, he said: “We will continue imposing sanctions on Russia to make the cost of invasion unbearable for the Kremlin. We continue discussing. Unhappily today, it has not been possible to reach an agreement to finalise the 6th sanctions package. The issue will go back to the COREPER and [EU] Ambassadors will continue discussing. We are with the same difficulties about unanimity on the oil ban.”
EU ministers also met over lunch with the six foreign ministers of the Western Balkan countries to discuss their path to the European Union. “Ministers expressed their clear expectation towards the partners as future Member States, to commit to European values and to the European foreign policy. Those who have not yet done so – and Serbia is one of them – should, as soon as they can, step up their alignment and implement sanctions [against Russia],” Borrell said, adding the European Union’s partner countries could not remain neutral in the current situation: “To maintain close ties with [Vladimir] Putin’s regime is no longer compatible with building a common future with the European Union. Both things at the same time are not compatible. Being neutral today, with respect to the Ukrainian war, is a false concept.” He also said that the EU intends to support its “partners in order to mitigate the effects of this upcoming crisis”.
Find out more
National promotional banks and institutions from EU member states and the European Investment Bank on 6 May launched the €2 billion ‘Quick Response — Care for Ukrainian Refugees in Europe’ initiative. The joint initiative aims to provide immediate relief this year for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine and to promote the integration of Ukrainian refugees in EU Member States.
The initiative was launched in Paris by five European national promotional banks and institutions, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Association of Long-Term Investors (ELTI). The participants in the initiative will contribute directly or indirectly through their respective general programmes along with regional and local communities to provide housing for refugees and support their integration into local communities. The initiative could also finance education, healthcare and infrastructure needs and has a target of at least €2 billion of financial support this year.
The urgent support initiative in Europe is a first step as the group considers further measures to help Member States deal with the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The five national promotional institutions involved are:
- Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK — Poland)
- Groupe Caisse des Dépôts (CDC — France)
- Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP — Italy)
- Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO — Spain)
- Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW — Germany)
ELTI is the European association of public national promotional banks and financial institutions gathering 31 members all over Europe.
The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
The pan-European support initiative for Ukraine will provide loans, grants, equity investment and guarantees for eligible projects and develop innovative financing structures for public and private infrastructure, municipalities as well as private enterprises of different sizes.
Source: EU NEIGHBOURS east