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

War in Ukraine: European Commission proposes 5th package of sanctions

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 06 April 2022 11:33

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU High Representative Josep Borrell today proposed a 5th package of sanctions against Russia for the approval of the European Council.

These sanctions aim to further cripple Putin’s war machinery, following the atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces in Bucha and other places under Russian occupation in Ukraine.

This fifth package has six pillars. 
  1. An import ban on coal from Russia, worth €4 billion per year. This will cut another important revenue source for Russia.
  2. A full transaction ban on four key Russian banks, among them VTB, the second largest Russian bank. These four banks, now totally cut off from the markets, represent 23% of market share in the Russian banking sector. This will further weaken Russia’s financial system.
  3. A ban on Russian vessels and Russian-operated vessels from accessing EU ports. Certain exemptions will cover essentials, such as agricultural and food products, humanitarian aid as well as energy. Additionally, the Commission will propose a ban on Russian and Belarusian road transport operators. This ban will drastically limit the options for the Russian industry to obtain key goods.
  4. Further targeted export bans, worth €10 billion, in areas in which Russia is vulnerable. This includes, for example, quantum computers and advanced semiconductors, but also sensitive machinery and transportation equipment. With this, the EU will continue to degrade Russia’s technological base and industrial capacity.
  5. Specific new import bans, worth € 5.5 billion, to cut the money stream of Russia and its oligarchs, on products from wood to cement, from seafood to liquor. In doing this, the EU also closes loopholes between Russia and Belarus.
  6. A number of very targeted measures, such as a general EU ban on participation of Russian companies in public procurement in Member States, or an exclusion of all financial support, be it European or national, to Russian public bodies.

The European Commission also proposed further listings of individuals, adding, according to Borrell, “dozens of people from politics, the business sector and engaged in propaganda activities”.

According to Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission is also working on additional sanctions, including on oil imports, and reflecting on some of the ideas presented by Member States, such as taxes or specific payment channels such as an escrow account.

Source: https://euneighbourseast.eu

We’re going to seek Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council - U.S. Ambassador to UN

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 05 April 2022 16:45
"In close coordination with Ukraine, European countries and other partners at the UN, we’re going to seek Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council.
A hundred and forty UN Member States have already voted to condemn Russia over its unprovoked war and the humanitarian crisis it has unleashed upon the people of Ukraine. My message to those 140 countries who have courageously stood together is simple: the images out of Bucha and devastation across Ukraine require us now to match our words with action. We cannot let a Member State that is subverting every principle we hold dear to continue to sit on the UN Human Rights Council." - Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to UN.
 
US Embassy Tbilisi
 

EU-China Summit: Restoring peace and stability in Ukraine is a shared responsibility

Published in World
Monday, 04 April 2022 10:13

The European Union and China held their 23rd bilateral Summit via videoconference on 1 April, bringing together President of the European Council Charles Michel, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping. 

The EU and China discussed extensively Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, the world’s economy, food and energy security, and the fight against COVID-19. 

The EU called on China to support efforts to bring about an immediate end to the bloodshed in Ukraine, consistent with China’s role in the world as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and its uniquely close relations with Russia.

“As major global powers, the EU and China must work together on stopping Russia’s war in Ukraine as soon as possible. We have a common responsibility to maintain peace and stability, and a safe and sustainable world,” Charles Michel said“We count on China’s support to achieve a lasting ceasefire, to stop the unjustifiable war and address the dramatic humanitarian crisis it has generated.”

“We underlined that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is not only a defining moment for our continent, but also for our relationship with the rest of the world. There must be respect for international law, as well as for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Ursula von der Leyen, adding that China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has a special responsibility.

Referring to the tightening of sanctions against Russia, von der Leyen said that more than 40 countries in total have joined these sanctions. “So we also made it very clear that China should, if not support, at least not interfere with our sanctions,” she stated in a joint press conference following the summit.

She also said that in terms of bilateral trade between the EU and China, continuing business with Russia carries great reputational risks: “This is a question of trust, of reliability and, of course, of decisions on long-term investments. Let me remind you that every day, China and the European Union trade almost €2 billion worth of goods and services. In comparison, trade between China and Russia is only some €330 million per day. So a prolongation of the war, and the disruptions it brings to the world economy, is therefore in no-one’s interest, certainly not in China’s.

Stand Up For Ukraine: global pledging event for refugees and internally displaced people to take place in Warsaw on 9 April

Published in Economics
Friday, 01 April 2022 12:22

The ‘Stand Up For Ukraine’ pledging event, convened by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, will take place in Warsaw on 9 April. Poland’s important role in supporting refugees fleeing the invasion of Ukraine will thus be recognised. 

The President of Poland Andrzej Duda will participate alongside President von der Leyen, while Prime Minister Trudeau will participate remotely.

The event will conclude a broader social media campaign launched earlier by the European Commission and the Canadian government at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski. The campaign, in partnership with Global Citizen, an international human rights organisation, aims to raise funding and other types of support to cater for the needs of internally displaced people in Ukraine and of refugees.

Stand Up For Ukraine’ seeks to mobilise governments, institutions, artists, companies and individuals to raise funding and other support for Ukrainian IDPs and refugees. Artists from around the world have already joined the campaign, including Bono, Madonna, Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Adam Lambert, Céline Dion, and Alanis Morissette.

According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, more than four million refugees have fled Ukraine since the war began. Poland is hosting more than 2.5 million refugees and plays an important role as a humanitarian hub, dispatching to Ukraine support from all over Europe.

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

GLOBALink | Russian, Ukrainian delegations arrive in Istanbul for peace talks

Published in CHINA
Tuesday, 29 March 2022 11:38

The Russian and Ukrainian delegations arrived in Turkey's largest city Istanbul on Monday for a fresh round of face-to-face peace talks, aiming to achieve substantial progress to end the crisis.

The Russian delegation has settled in the Ciragan Palace Kempinski hotel while the Ukrainian delegation has checked in the Shangri-La Bosphorus, both very close to each other in the Besiktas district.

Media reports said the arrival of the Ukrainian delegation had been postponed to evening hours due to the closure of Ukrainian airspace and some logistical problems. According to the NTV broadcaster, the Ukrainian delegates had to go to a neighboring country by road to fly to Istanbul.

Tuesday's negotiations will begin at 10:30 a.m. local time (0730 GMT) at the Dolmabahce Presidential Working Office in Besiktas.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to address the delegations at the opening of the meeting.

"We will have a short meeting with the delegations tomorrow morning," Erdogan said at a press conference after a cabinet meeting in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday.

So far, Russia and Ukraine have held three rounds of in-person talks in Belarus, and their fourth session was in a video conference format.

Turkey, meanwhile, has increasingly accelerated its diplomatic efforts in the international arena, reiterating its policy that it is ready to play a mediator role for lasting peace in the region.

In a phone call on Sunday, Erdogan told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that a ceasefire and peace between Moscow and Kiev must be achieved as soon as possible, and the humanitarian situation in the region should be improved.

Erdogan repeated that Turkey would continue to contribute in every possible way during this process.

The "phone traffic" that he has been conducting with Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is progressing in a positive direction, Erdogan said on Monday.

Turkey has been exerting significant efforts to resolve the crisis through agreement and dialogue, he said.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service

 

EU4Youth cancels grant call to adapt to impact of war in Ukraine

Published in World
Tuesday, 29 March 2022 10:26

In response to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the EU4Youth programme has announced that it has decided to terminate its call for proposals “EU4Youth phase III Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship: Fostering Youth Employment and Societal Change through Social Entrepreneurship”, which was published on 26 January 2022 and extended on 3 March.

“Following the military aggression initiated by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the war in the country and the flood of refugees have comprehensively changed the demographic situation, social environment and labour market in Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership countries,” the programme said, adding that the need to address the immediate war-related needs and to build capacities for crisis response, including re-qualification, integration to labour markets, and development of entrepreneurship skills, had significantly impacted the context of EU4Youth Phase III. 

In order to address these challenges, the priorities of the grant, and the requirements for applicants and procedures will be revised accordingly. 

Depending on the situation, further information about the status of the call for proposals “EU4Youth phase III Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship: Fostering Youth Employment and Societal Change through Social Entrepreneurship” is planned to be announced until the end of April.

All those interested in the programme and potential grant applicants should subscribe to the EU4Youth newsletter for updates.  

EU and USA: we are united in our resolve to support Ukraine and defend our shared values

Published in Politics
Friday, 25 March 2022 18:41

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden issued a joint statement after their meeting in Brussels on 24 March expressing their condemnation of Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine and their solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

“Today, we are continuing coordinated transatlantic efforts to support the Ukrainian people, impose severe costs on Russia for its unjustifiable actions, and strengthen the resilience of our democracies, economies, and societies,” the statement said. 

They confirmed they would coordinate responses against sanctions evasion and continue to mobilise and coordinate significant humanitarian relief to support people within Ukraine. This includes more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance the United States is prepared to provide and €550 million from the EU.

The EU and the United States said new actions would be taken to strengthen democratic sustainability and protect human rights in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. They will also continue supporting the work of war crimes documentation experts who are gathering evidence on the ground in Ukraine.

Von der Leyen and Biden added that the EU and USA were taking further, concrete steps in energy cooperation to ensure the security of supply and to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

In order to prevent a potential food crisis triggered by price hikes and disruptions to food supply sparked by Putin’s war in Ukraine, the EU and USA intend to redouble their combined efforts to increase global food security and provide direct food aid, where warranted, worldwide.

Both sides will also advance their cooperation on cybersecurity through a variety of actions – from supporting the Government of Ukraine on cyber resilience and cyber defence to aiming to combat the abuse of virtual currency.

Resolution presented within the framework of the UN General Assembly special session - "Humanitarian consequences of aggression against Ukraine"

Published in Politics
Friday, 25 March 2022 13:54
On 24 March, the UN General Assembly adopted at its special session a resolution entitled "Humanitarian consequences of aggression against Ukraine."The resolution was co-sponsored by Ukraine and a group of countries (including Georgia).

The main purpose of the resolution is to respond to the dire humanitarian situation in the country as a result of Russia's aggression against Ukraine. The resolution calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and for the protection of the civilian population, medical and humanitarian personnel. The Resolution condemns violations of international humanitarian law and human rights and calls on the parties to ensure safe and unimpeded movement for the population.

The Resolution also requires that the parties fulfill their obligation to provide unhindered humanitarian access for humanitarian personnel, their means of transportation, supplies and equipment, to those in need within Ukraine and neighbouring countries. The resolution calls on the UN Secretary-General, member states, UN bodies and the international community to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to refugees. The resolution also welcomes the appointment of the Secretary-General’s appointment of a United Nations Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine.
The resolution echoes the UN Secretary-General's call for Russia to end its military offensive and return to talks. It also requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations to provide information to the General Assembly on the implementation of this resolution.
At the same time, the Resolution underlines the efforts made by Ukraine's neighboring countries to receive IDPs from Ukraine and respond to their needs.
The resolution emphasizes support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
 
MFA Georgia 

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