Germany may change its position on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline after the election of a new chancellor, which will be held in the autumn of 2021, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said.
“In fact, there are many voices against North Stream 2 in Germany and Berlin’s position may change after their upcoming elections,” Kuleba said in an interview with the Hungarian edition of Ceenergy News.
He said that neither has the United States given up on sanctions completely, saying it is rather a break. “Our struggle to preserve Ukraine’s national interests and European security will continue. As one golden rule of diplomacy puts it, nothing is fully agreed before everything is agreed,” the minister added.
According to him, Ukraine adheres to a “clear position” on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. “It is not only about Ukraine and our economic interests. It is very dangerous for the overall Euro Atlantic security and unity to give such a powerful political weapon as Nord Stream 2 in Vladimir Putin’s hands [Russian President],” he said.
Kuleba added that compromises on security have never worked well in the past. “Our main expectation is to convince our German and U.S. partners to take the existing threat seriously. This is what Ukrainian diplomacy is currently working on,” the Foreign Minister said.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky says that the implementation of the Big Construction program will not end after the local elections scheduled for October 25.
“To implement the Comfortable Country program we started Big Construction. And this is not just the name of the next state program. Everyone can see that the country is really undergoing a lot of construction works. We unite Ukraine, not only with the help of ideology but with roads and bridges as well,” Zelensky said during his annual address to the Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday, October 20.
“This year these are 4,000 km of national roads and 2,000 km of local roads, 100 schools, 100 kindergartens, 100 sports facilities, 210 reception services with the latest medical equipment. When we announced these numbers at the beginning of the year, many did not believe. But most of these facilities are already finished, and by the end of the year we will fulfill this plan,” the head of state added.
The president stressed that the current government is not delaying, but finishing the construction of a number of facilities, which began in previous years.
“Despite the long tradition of Ukrainian policy, Big Construction will not end after the local elections, but will become even larger,” Zelensky added.
The electoral process of local elections, scheduled for October 25, 2020, started in Ukraine on September 5.
Previously the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Ukraine said the start date of the campaign was adopted at a meeting of the CEC on August 30 in compliance with the requirements of the Electoral Code of Ukraine.
“At the same time, the commission took into consideration the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of July 15, 2020 on appointment of the next local elections in 2020, resolution No. 160 of the CEC of August 8, 2020 on the first elections of deputies of rural, town, city councils of territorial communities and the corresponding rural, town, city heads on October 25, 2020, resolution No. 161 on the impossibility of holding the first elections of deputies of individual rural, town, city councils of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the corresponding rural, town, city heads on October 25, 2020 and resolution No. 176 of August 14, 2020 on the appointment of the first elections of deputies of district councils for October 25, 2020,” the report says.
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Dmytro Razumkov predicts that the turnout in local elections will be 55-65%.
“As practice shows, the turnout in local elections is slightly less than in parliamentary or presidential ones, but it will remain give or take 55-65%,” Razumkov said at a press conference in Kharkiv on Thursday.
At the same time, according to him, given the fact that elections to territorial communities will be held in Ukraine under the new system, the interest of voters may be higher.
On July 30, a resolution of the Verkhovna Rada came into force on the appointment of elections to local authorities for Sunday, October 25, this year.
It is envisaged that on October 25 “regular elections of deputies of local councils and village, settlement, town heads” will take place, except for the annexed Crimea and the occupied territories of Donbas.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has said Ukraine is awaiting ratification of the free trade agreement (FTA) by the new Knesset after the elections on September 17. “We expect the ratification of the free trade agreement by the new Knesset after the September 17 elections. This will allow increasing the volume of trade between our countries,” Zelensky wrote on his Facebook page on Monday evening following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The president also noted that Ukraine and Israel had signed four important documents that will expand contacts between the countries in education, culture and sports. In addition, close cooperation in the agricultural sector is expected.
“I invited Israeli companies to come to work in Ukraine: to build roads and infrastructure, invest in medicine, education, energy saving and, of course, in IT. In the next five years we will grow rapidly, so Ukraine today is the most attractive place for strategic investors,” Zelensky said.
According to the results of 92.97% of electronic protocols processed, the Servant of the People Party (43.13% of the vote), the Opposition Platform – For Life – 13.05%, Batkivschyna – 8.19%, European Solidarity – 8.14%, and Holos – 5.86% enter the Verkhovna Rada.
According to the CEC website, the 5% barrier to the parliament is not yet overcome by the Radical Party with 4.01% of the vote, Strength and Honor Party, which gains 3.8% of the votes in Ukraine as a whole, the Opposition Bloc – 3.06%, and Groysman’s Ukrainian Strategy Party with 2.32% of the vote.
The Sharij Party has gained 2.24% of the vote, Svoboda – 2.17%, and Civil Position – 1.05%.
Parties that have received less than 1% of the vote are the Party of Greens of Ukraine (0.65% of the vote), Samopomich (0.63%), and the Agrarian Party of Ukraine (0.51%).
The other parties got less than 0.5% of the vote.
The exit poll was conducted on July 21 by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) and the Ukrainian Center for Economic and Political Studies named after Oleksandr Razumkov.