Business news from Ukraine

UK general election set for July 4

The UK general election will be held on July 4, King Charles III has already approved the dissolution of Parliament, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.

“Earlier today, I spoke to His Majesty King Charles III to request the dissolution of Parliament. The King has granted this request. We will hold a general election on July 4,” said Sunak, speaking in Downing Street.

“This is the moment for Britain to determine its future,” he emphasized.

The election campaign will begin in the country after the dissolution of Parliament.

According to Sky News, on Downing Street there were “long and open discussions” about whether to hold elections now or in the fall. Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, for example, has been pushing for a summer election.

Earlier in May, the Conservative Party of the current British Prime Minister lost almost half – 474 – of the seats in local councils in the English elections. The Conservatives had about 1,000 seats in English councils so far.

The Liberal Democrats gained an additional 104 seats, while the Greens gained 74 seats. In addition, taking advantage of the Conservatives’ failure, some smaller parties improved their positions.

Then the head of the British opposition Labor Party Keir Starmer spoke in favor of a general election in the UK.

Sunak holds the post of British Prime Minister since October 2022.

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Zaluzhnyi officially appointed as Ambassador to UK

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has appointed former Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhnyi as Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“To appoint Valeriy Zaluzhnyi as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” reads the text of Decree No. 316/2024 of May 9, published on the President’s website.

As reported, on February 8, Zelensky signed decrees dismissing Valeriy Zaluzhny from the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and appointing Oleksandr Syrsky to this position.

On March 7, it became known that Zelenskyy had approved Zaluzhnyi’s candidacy for the post of Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reported. The Foreign Ministry sent the British side a request for an agrimand.

On May 9, Zelensky signed a decree dismissing Zaluzhny from military service.

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Ukraine to receive an additional £500m from UK

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will travel to Poland on Tuesday, April 23, to announce a massive increase in military support for Ukraine, specifically £500 million of additional military funding, according to the British government’s website.

According to the release, Sunak will meet with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to discuss deepening British-Polish relations. The two sides will also hold talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Warsaw on European security and support for Ukraine. The British prime minister will then travel to Germany to meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin.

“Ukraine faces an existential threat as Russia continues its barbaric invasion, risking the security and stability of the whole of Europe,” the statement said.

The additional funding of £500 million is being used to quickly deliver urgently needed ammunition, air defense, drones and engineering support. The drones will be procured from the UK.

The UK Ministry of Defense will send Ukraine a package of equipment designed to repel a Russian invasion on land, sea and air. The aid package contains 60 boats, including raid and dive boats and naval guns, more than 1,600 strike and anti-air missiles, as well as additional long-range Storm Shadow missiles, more than 400 pieces of equipment, including 160 Husky protected vehicles, 162 armored vehicles and 78 all-terrain vehicles, and nearly 4 million rounds of small arms ammunition.

“Protecting Ukraine from Russia’s brutal ambitions is vital to our security and to all of Europe. If Putin is allowed to succeed in this war of conquest, he will not stop at the Polish border… Ukraine’s armed forces continue to fight bravely but need our support – and need it Now today’s package will help ensure that Ukraine has everything it needs to fight Russia,” Sunak emphasized.

At the same time, UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said that “this record-breaking military aid package will give President Zelensky and his brave nation more of the tools they need to kick Putin out and restore peace and stability in Europe.”

“The UK was the first to provide NLAW missiles, the first to give modern tanks and the first to send long-range missiles. Now we are going even further. We will never let the world forget the existential battle Ukraine is fighting and with our continued support they will win,” said Shapps.

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Zelenskyy approves candidacy of Valeriy Zaluzhnyy for post of Ukraine’s ambassador to UK

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has approved the candidacy of Valeriy Zaluzhnyi for the post of Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Kingdom, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reports.

“On Thursday, March 7, 2024, the President of Ukraine approved the candidacy of Valeriy Zaluzhny for the post of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” the Foreign Ministry said on its official website.

Reportedly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has sent the British side a request for the appointment.

As reported, on February 8, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed decrees dismissing Valeriy Zaluzhnyy from the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and appointing Oleksandr Syrskyy to this position.

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UK to provide Ukraine with 200 more Brimstone anti-tank missiles

The United Kingdom will send 200 more Brimstone anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and train 10,000 more Ukrainian soldiers, British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said in parliament.

“Today I am able to announce a new package of 200 Brimstone anti-tank missiles, which will provide an additional boost to the defense of Ukraine. These missiles have already had a significant impact on the fighting, in one case forcing Russian troops to abandon a river crossing attempt and retreat,” The Guardian quoted Shapps as saying on Thursday.

PA Media also reports, citing the minister, that the UK will train the Ukrainian military together with other allies.

“Together, we will train another 10,000 people in the first half of 2024,” the UK Defense Secretary said.

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Greece insists on return of Parthenon sculptures from UK

Greek Foreign Minister Yorgos Gerapetritis said on Wednesday that the return of the Parthenon sculptures by the United Kingdom is a matter of justice and ecumenical cultural values, EFE news agency reports.

“I have to say that the return of the Parthenon sculptures is a demand based not only on history, not only on justice, but also on the principles of preserving cultural values,” Gerapetritis said upon arrival at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

The issue of Greek sculptures stored in the UK has recently caused a sharp deterioration in relations between Athens and London.

The day before, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak canceled a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was visiting London. The Guardian, citing sources, reports that “the meeting became impossible” after Mitsotakis called for the sculptures to be returned to Athens.

“I would like to express my irritation that the British Prime Minister canceled our planned meeting a few hours before it was to take place,” Mitsotakis said.

On Sunday, Mitsotakis gave an interview to the BBC, in which he reiterated his long-standing call for the return of ancient cultural monuments from the Parthenon to Greece, which are currently in the British Museum.

Sunak has repeatedly emphasized that he would not support a change in the law adopted in 1963, which prohibits the British Museum from “parting” with exhibits from its collection.

For many years now, Greece has been demanding that London return dozens of marble sculptures from the Parthenon, which were taken out of Greece in the early 19th century by British diplomat Lord Elgin when it was part of the Ottoman Empire.

In 1816, the British Museum acquired the ancient Greek art.

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