EU renews sanctions against Russia for another six months
The Council of the European Union today decided to prolong by six months, until 31 January 2023, the restrictive measures targeting specific sectors of the economy of the Russian Federation.
These sanctions, first introduced in 2014 in response to Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine, have been significantly expanded since February 2022, in light of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine. They currently consist of a broad spectrum of sectoral measures, including restrictions on finance, energy, technology and dual-use goods, industry, transport and luxury goods.
In addition to the economic sanctions on the Russian Federation, the EU has in place different types of measures in response to Russia’s destabilising actions against Ukraine. These include: restrictions on economic relations with the illegally annexed Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as well as the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts; individual restrictive measures (asset freezes and travel restrictions) on a broad range of individuals and entities, and diplomatic measures.
Since 24 February, the EU has adopted a number of unprecedented and hard-hitting packages of sanctions in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
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A MEETING TOOK PLACE BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT OF TURKMENISTAN AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL
On September 18, 2023, the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov held a meeting with the President of the European Council Charles Michel in New York.
As the head of state noted, Turkmenistan attaches great importance to strengthening friendly ties and constructive dialogue with the EU, which is expanding every year, covering new areas of interaction.
In this context, the successful cooperation of Turkmenistan with this international structure, both in a bilateral format and within the framework of the European Union - Central Asia Dialogue, was emphasized.
The European Union is a long-time partner of Turkmenistan in the implementation of a number of specialized projects and programs aimed at solving priority tasks for the further economic and social development of our country, including in the field of legislation, education, information and communication technologies, agriculture and water management, environmental protection, climate change, the head of state emphasized.
At the same time, it was noted that currently leading European companies are represented in many sectors of the Turkmen economy - in the oil and gas complex, transport, electricity, construction, communications and communications.
During the conversation, an interested exchange of views took place on the prospects for further interaction in the context of its key aspects and the existing diverse potential.
Ukrainian House Opens Its Doors in Tbilisi!
UNDP and Germany promote social integration of Ukrainian nationals living in Georgia
TBILISI. 13 September 2023 — The newly inaugurated Ukrainian House in Tbilisi marks a significant milestone in enhancing support for Ukrainian nationals living in Georgia. The initiative is spearheaded by the Ukrainian community organization “Georgian-Ukrainian Platform” with support from the Government of Germany through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Ukrainian House stands as a symbol of unity and collaboration, committed to supporting Ukrainian nationals who sought refuge in Georgia amidst the devastating war that inflicts unmeasurable suffering upon the Ukrainian people and has profound global repercussions.
This multifunctional space, situated in the heart of Tbilisi, will address the needs of Ukrainian non-governmental organizations and volunteer groups committed to assisting Ukrainian beneficiaries in Georgia. The Ukrainian House will serve as both a communal hub, an operational office space, and a referral point for various socio-economic services tailored for Ukrainian nationals.
In addition to its core mission, the Ukrainian House will be a focal point for cultural exchange. Its dynamic calendar of events will cater to both adults and children, fostering integration and enhancing the growth of Georgian-Ukrainian relations.
The Ukrainian House officially opened its doors on 13 September 2023, during a ceremony attended by Tanja Hutt, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy in Georgia; Oleksandr Shulha, charge d'affaires of Ukraine in Georgia; Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia, Valentina Marjanishvili, Head of the Georgian-Ukrainian Platform, and members of the Ukrainian community in Georgia.
“Germany is proud to contribute to the establishment of the Ukrainian House in Tbilisi. We are confident that this vibrant space will offer support to various Ukrainian community groups in Georgia, while actively fostering social integration," said Tanja Hutt, Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy in Georgia.
“Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has led to the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Nearly one-third of the Ukrainian population was forced to flee their homes, including more than half of all Ukrainian children. Around 25,000 found shelter, security, and hope in Georgia, and UNDP, with the generous support of Germany, is committed to assisting them. We're establishing a community space for Ukrainian civil society organizations, providing grants to entrepreneurs, and offering vital support for employment, recovery, and integration,” said Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia.
"The establishment of the Ukrainian House reflects the close ties between Georgia and Ukraine. This space will offer practical assistance to Ukrainians living in Georgia and will foster connections and nurture talents within our community through cultural and educational events," noted Valentina Marjanishvili, Head of the Georgian-Ukrainian Platform.
The establishment of the Ukrainian House in Tbilisi is part of UNDP’s broader efforts, funded by the Government of Germany, to support refugees and Ukrainian nationals living in Georgia. ln partnership with CARE Caucasus, UNDP boosts economic recovery and income generation for refugees and Ukrainian nationals by creating a grants programme for entrepreneurs and providing business training, employment advice, and job-matching services within Georgia's private sector.
‘Crucial time for Georgian future’: Borrell comes to Tbilisi to discuss country’s European path
EU High Representative Josep Borrell, visiting Georgia today, held a series of meetings on EU-Georgia co-operation and Georgia’s European perspective.
Speaking at his first press conference yesterday after arriving in Tbilisi, Borrel said this was “a crucial time” for Georgia’s future because in a few weeks, the European Union would consider the next steps in Georgia’s path to the European Union and, for the first time, the report on Georgia’s progress as an enlargement country.
“I want to be very clear in that important moment: the European Union’s door is open to Georgia and the European Union is committed to supporting Georgia on its path towards European Union membership,” said Borrell.
Today, Borrell met Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia, to discuss Georgia’s path to the EU, as well as the regional security situation.
He also met Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili to “pass three messages”: “time must be used wisely now to advance reforms”, the EU welcomes Georgia’s support for Ukraine, and it remains steadfast in its support for Georgia’s territorial integrity.
The EU High Representative visited the Georgian Parliament to meet the representatives of all the political parties present in the Parliament. At the meeting, Borrell said that “polarisation is part of political life, but needs to be measured. All political parties must cooperate to advance the reform agenda”.
Finally, Borrell had an “important meeting” and “useful dialogue” with civil society representatives in Georgia. “Impressed by their work. Ensuring involvement of CSOs in the decision-making processes at all levels is key,” wrote Borrell on X (formerly Twitter) after the meeting.
Tomorrow, the High Representative will visit the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia and participate in mission activities along the Administrative Boundary Line, organised by the EUMM.
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European Commission releases €1.5 billion in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine
Today the European Union is providing another €1.5 billion to Ukraine under its annual macro-financial assistance package.
The European Commission made today a third payment of €1.5 billion under the Macro-financial Assistance (MFA)+ package for Ukraine, worth up to €18 billion.
This support will help Ukraine cover its immediate financial needs: to continue paying salaries and pensions and to maintain basic public services such as hospitals, schools and housing for the displaced. It will also allow Ukraine to ensure macroeconomic stability and restore critical infrastructure destroyed by Russia in its war of aggression, such as energy infrastructure, water systems, transport networks, roads and bridges.
Today’s payment comes after the Commission found that Ukraine continued to make satisfactory progress to strengthen the rule of law, enhance financial stability, improve the functioning of the gas system and promote a better business climate.
This finding will also enable the disbursement of two further monthly payments of €1.5 billion each in May and June.
Overall, since the start of the war, the support to Ukraine and Ukrainians amounts to around €68 billion.
“We will continue helping Ukraine resist Russia’s aggression, keep its institutions and infrastructure running, and conduct crucial reforms,” President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter.
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Committee for European Union of the German Bundestag visits Tbilisi
A delegation from the committee for European Union affairs of the German Bundestag will visit Georgia from May 2nd to 5th, 2023. Members of the delegation are: Christian Petry (SPD, Head of delegation), Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU/CSU), Michael Sacher (BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN), Thomas Hacker (FDP) and Dr. Harald Weyel (AfD).
During the visit, meetings are planned with the Minister of Justice, H.E. Rati Bregadze, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, H.E. Levan Davitashvili, and Deputy Foreign Minister, H.E. Teimuraz Janjalia.
Furthermore, the delegation will hold talks with the Speaker of the Parliament, Shalva Papuashvili and the chairmen of several committees of the Georgian Parliament.
The program is completed by exchanges with representatives of civil society, the media, business and cultural institutions.
As Georgia submitted an application for membership to the European Union in March 2022 and has had the prospect of joining the EU since June 2022, the talks will concern necessary reforms and the structure of relations and cooperation between Georgia and the EU.
Against the background of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the focus will also be on coordinating questions of foreign and security policy, as well as on the regional effects of the war and geopolitical aspects.