Most Ukrainians believe that Ukraine needs to join the European Union. This is evidenced by the results of a survey conducted by the Razumkov Center in March 2021. Ukraine’s accession to the European Union is supported by 59% of respondents, while 26% are of the opposite opinion. The share of those who support EU accession exceeds the share of those who adhere to the opposite point of view in the west (84% and 8.5%, respectively) and in the center of the country (63% and 19%, respectively). In the east, there are slightly more of those who believe that there is no need to join (38.5% and 46%, respectively), and in the south, the shares of the former and the latter do not differ statistically significantly (41.5% and 42%, respectively).
Accession to the European Union is mainly supported by young people (76% “for” in the age group from 18 to 29 years old, some 44% “for” among respondents over 60). At the same time, in all age groups, the share of those who support accession to the EU exceeds the share of those who oppose it.
In the event of a referendum on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, some 59% of those polled (80% of those who intend to take part in the referendum) voted in favor of joining, and, respectively, 26% and 17% were against. At the same time, among fans of joining the European Union, some 96% of those polled expressed their readiness to vote in the referendum, and among opponents some 46%.
The share of those who intend to vote for accession to the EU exceeds the share of those who intend to vote against in the western (84% and 8%, respectively) and in the central regions (64% and 18%, respectively). In the eastern regions, there are slightly more of those who are going to vote against joining (39% and 46%, respectively), and in the south, the shares of the former and the latter are the same (42% each).
Among respondents aged 18 to 29 years, some 75% intend to vote for accession to the European Union, among respondents over 60 years old some 44%.
Among the representatives of the electorate of the European Solidarity party some 91% intend to vote for joining the European Union (against some 5%). Among the respondents who intend to vote for the Servant of the People party at the parliamentary elections were 78% and 13%, respectively, for the Batkivschyna party some 60% and 21%, respectively. At the same time, the overwhelming majority among the representatives of the electorate of the Opposition Platform – For Life party would vote against 15% and 73%, respectively.
The share of those who believe that relations between Ukraine and the EU will improve is highest in the western region (34.5%), lower in the central (27.5%) and lowest in the southern (22%) and eastern (17.5%) regions. In the same regional sequence, the share of those who believe that they will worsen is growing (4%, 6%, 15% and 21%, respectively). Optimism is more often expressed by representatives of young people (34% among respondents from 18 to 29 years old, some 19% among respondents over 60 years old).
The research was conducted by the sociological service of the Razumkov Center from March 5 to March 9, 2021 using the method of face-to-face interviews at the place of residence of the respondents. A total of 2018 respondents aged 18 and over were interviewed in all regions of Ukraine, with the exception of Crimea and the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, according to a sample representing the adult population in terms of basic social and demographic indicators. The theoretical sampling error (excluding the design effect) does not exceed 2.3% with a probability of 0.95.
The EU Council decided to extend for another year, until March 6, 2022, sanctions in the form of freezing assets for seven persons identified as responsible for the misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds.
The corresponding decision was published on Thursday. “The Council today decided to prolong for one more year, until March 6, 2022, the existing asset freezes directed against seven individuals identified as responsible for the misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds or for the abuse of office causing a loss to Ukrainian public funds. The restrictive measures against one person were prolonged until September 6, 2021, and those against two persons were not extended,” the statement said.
The EU Council noted that this decision was taken on the basis of the annual review of the measures, with the subsequent publication in the Official Journal on March 5, 2021.
The names of those, in respect of which the sanctions were not extended, were not indicated. Initially, there were 18 people in the sanction list.
The European Union will support vaccination against coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in Ukraine with project worth EUR 40 million to provide critical assistance to ensure local readiness and preparedness for safe and effective vaccination of the population in each of the six Eastern Partnership countries, according to a press release from the EU Delegation to Ukraine.
“The European Union [EU] and the WHO Regional Office for Europe will work together in a major effort to support deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination in Ukraine. The project, funded by the EU and implemented by the Regional Office, will cover all phases – constituting ‘end-to-end’ support – of COVID-19 vaccine deployment and vaccination. It will also serve as a major investment to strengthen routine immunization system,” a press release, posted on the delegation’s website on Thursday, said.
The project will be implemented by WHO over a three-year period as part of a EUR 40 million European Union-funded initiative to support the Eastern Partnership countries in preparing for, deploying and monitoring the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
“The European Union has stood by Ukraine since the onset of the pandemic. We have provided medical equipment like oxygen concentrators for its hospitals and protective equipment for its frontline workers; we have supported Ukraine’s small businesses and cultural industry with access to finance; and we have mobilised protection for vulnerable groups like conflict-affected people and women whose livelihoods and personal safety were at risk during the lockdown. The WHO has been a key partner for the EU and now that vaccination is becoming accessible, we are happy to continue working hand in hand to ensure Ukraine is ready to receive and deploy vaccines,” Head of the European Union Delegation to Ukraine Matti Maasikas said.
“Thanks to support of the European Union and the World Health Organization we will be able to effectively and coherently carry out all stages of vaccination provided by the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan against COVID-19. It is possible to stop the pandemic in Ukraine and in the world only by joint efforts, so we are grateful to our partners for their help and unity for the common goal of overcoming COVID-19,” Chief Sanitary Doctor, Deputy Health Minister of Ukraine Viktor Liashko said.
Dr. Jarno Habicht, the WHO Representative and Head of the WHO Country Office in Ukraine, said: “Vaccines offer hope and protection to those fighting on the frontlines of this pandemic and to those at highest risk. Thanks to this generous support and collaboration with European Union, WHO can scale up its efforts to support Ukraine to ensure that vaccines can reach those who need them most, as soon and as efficiently as possible. Our joint and multi-year actions will support COVID vaccine deployment and vaccination in Ukraine, as well strengthens overall immunisation programme in medium term.”
The funds are reported to be used initially to support the first phase of preparation and deployment, with a focus on immediate needs for strategic program areas such as planning, equipment/supplies, health worker training and awareness campaigns.
The project builds on the European Union’s and WHO’s ongoing support to countries’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the joint EUR 35 million EU Solidarity for Health Initiative, aimed to support the partner countries in their fight against the virus and address better the needs of the most vulnerable people.
“Since early 2020, the EU has mobilised over 190 million euro to help Ukraine face the challenges of COVID-19, supporting its health system, frontline workers, small and medium-sized businesses and vulnerable groups. It has activated its Civil Protection Mechanism to transfer medical equipment and supplies from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland and Slovakia to Ukraine and is providing emergency Macro-Financial Assistance worth EUR 1.2 billion to Ukraine to help limit the economic fallout of the pandemic,” the EU Delegation to Ukraine said.
Finally, the European Union is the largest donor to COVAX, an initiative which is set to provide the first batches of vaccines to Ukrainian frontline workers shortly. These efforts are part of #TeamEurope, the EU’s global approach to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
New head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, Armin Laschet, supports the idea of expanding the EU and giving Ukraine a “European perspective”, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk said on Twitter.
“We must support Ukraine in its difficult path and at the same time also open up a European perspective,” Melnyk quoted Laschet.
According to Melnyk in an interview with Hromadske Radio on Monday, this is the first promising prospect.
“The announcement of the a leader of the CDU is extremely important. This is a real breakthrough […] It is too early to rejoice, this is just a good start. Now we are starting to work even more actively so that new important steps emerge from this announcement,” Melnyk said.
According to him, Ukraine has good chances of EU membership.
“If we succeed in the near future […] to do more, to enlist the support of the entire CDU-CSU faction in the Bundestag, as well as other influential members of this party, then we, generally, have good chances that the topic of Ukraine’s membership will sound more weighty in context of the elections to the Bundestag, which will be held in September this year,” the ambassador said.
At the same time, Melnyk said that the military conflict in Donbas influences European integration very strongly, and while it continues, there is no talk of membership [of Ukraine in the EU]
“Of course it does. And it affects very negatively. And this is precisely where, among other things, all the cynicism of this war unleashed by Russia lies. Since all the resources of Germany, more precisely, almost all the resources of Germany, which, as you know, acts as a mediator in ending the war, cessation of Russian aggression. They have so far focused primarily on a peaceful settlement in Donbas and on the reintegration of these territories. Therefore, as long as the conflict continues, as long as this war continues, it was impossible to talk about membership, because the main issue for the political establishment of Germany was the war,” the ambassador said.
He also said that, first, the issue of ending the war has to be resolved, and only then other possible projects will be discussed, including issues of European integration in the sense that it is enshrined in the Ukrainian Constitution.
The European Union has approved a humanitarian budget of EUR 1.4 billion, of which EUR 28 million will be allocated to finance projects to overcome the crisis caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and climate change in Ukraine, the Western Balkans and the Caucasus. The relevant information was circulated by the European Commission in Brussels on Tuesday. “As global humanitarian needs worsen further due to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the effects of climate change, the European Commission has adopted its initial annual humanitarian budget of EUR 1.4 billion for 2021. This represents an increase of more than 60% compared with the initial humanitarian budget of EUR 900 million adopted last year,” the commission said in a press release.
In addition, EUR 505 million will be allocated to Africa to support people affected by the long-term Lake Chad Basin crisis, impacting Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad; those suffering from food and nutrition crisis, worsened by security incidents and community conflicts, in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger); and those displaced by armed conflicts in South Sudan, Central African Republic and Horn Of Africa (Somalia and Ethiopia).
Some EUR 385 million of EU humanitarian funding will be allocated to the needs in the Middle East and Turkey to help those affected by the Syria regional crisis, as well as the extremely severe situation in Yemen. Some EUR 180 million in humanitarian assistance will continue to help the most vulnerable populations in Asia and Latin America. In Latin America, this includes those affected by the crises in Venezuela and Colombia.
“The European Union will also continue to provide help in Asian countries such as Afghanistan, where the conflict has been qualified as one of the deadliest conflicts worldwide, and Bangladesh, which is currently hosting almost one million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. The EU will also allocate EUR 28 million to fund projects addressing crises in Ukraine, Western Balkans and the Caucasus,” the commission said in the statement.
The rest of the funding, EUR 302 million, will be used for EU humanitarian air services and for unforeseen humanitarian crises or sudden peaks in existing crises.
Imports of poultry meat from Ukraine into the EU countries (hereinafter excluding the United Kingdom) decreased in January-November 2020 by 18.1% compared to the same period in 2019, to 100,880 tonnes, however, the country retained the third place among top three exporters in this segment, according to a report on the website of the European Commission with reference to Eurostat.
According to it, in general, imports of these products into the EU for 11 months of 2020 amounted to 479,000 tonnes, which is 14.3% less than in 11 months of 2019.
Among other large exporters, Brazil reduced imports of poultry meat into the EU by 3.9%, to 213,010 tonnes, Thailand by 24.1%, to 124,520 tonnes, and China by 25.7%, to 15,430 tonnes.
Imports of poultry meat from the EU into Ukraine in January-November 2020 amounted to 134,740 tonnes, decreasing compared to the same period in 2019 by the same 18.1%. According to this indicator, Ukraine also ranked third.
In general, exports of these products from the EU decreased by 4%, to 1.590 million tonnes.
According to the report, in 2020, poultry meat production in the EU is expected to decrease by 2%, to 13.23 million tonnes, and consumption by 1.6%, to 12.43 million tonnes. The largest producers are Poland (19%), Spain (13%), France (12%), Germany (12%), Italy (10%) and the Netherlands (8%).
The European Commission said that the United Kingdom in January-September imported 478,660 tonnes of poultry meat, and exported 658,930 tonnes.
As the State Customs Service of Ukraine said, in 2020, exports of poultry meat from Ukraine in quantity terms increased by 4%, to 431,000 tonnes, while in monetary terms it decreased by 4.1%, to $555 million.