President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that the European Union’s response to Ukraine’s application for membership will show whether Europe has a future.
“Now, of course, is a decisive time. Not only for Ukraine, but also for the European Union, for the entire European continent. Now it is being decided what the future of a united Europe will be like and whether it will be at all. Russia wants to destroy European unity, wants to leave Europe split and weak. All of Europe is a target for Russia, and Ukraine is only the first stage in this aggression, in these plans,” Zelensky said at a briefing with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Kyiv on Saturday.
That is why, according to the head of state, “a positive response of the European Union to the Ukrainian application for EU membership can become a positive answer to the question – does the European project have a future at all.”
Zelensky stressed that the people of Ukraine have already made a great contribution to the protection of freedom and values shared with the European Union.
“Thousands of Ukrainian lives were given to live in Ukraine and all of Europe as a person, to live freely. During such a brutal war, Ukrainians made sure that state and public institutions remain stable. Our people are absolutely integrated into the European space,” he said.
He also noted that polls conducted among the European population showed that people support Ukraine in joining the EU.
“And this is fair. And we are really looking forward to the recognition of this reality at the political level on June 23-24, when the historic meeting of the European Council for us should take place. Its logical decision should be to grant Ukraine the status of an EU candidate country. We really believe in this … The Ukrainian people will do everything necessary for the European integration of Ukraine,” Zelensky stressed, adding that “the European project definitely cannot be completed without Ukraine.”
The number of refugees from Ukraine registered for temporary protection or similar national protection schemes in Europe stood at 3.207 million as of June 9, 2022, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported on its website.
Compared to the June 1 data, the increase was almost 0.3 million, and the main contribution was made by the data update for Germany – an additional almost 0.24 million.
According to UNHCR data collected from national governments, Poland has the most refugees with this status – 1 million 152.36 thousand, while 3.865 million arrived in the country from Ukraine, according to the Polish border service, from the beginning of the war to June 9 people, and in the opposite direction departed for Ukraine 1.738 million.
Following are Germany and the Czech Republic, where the number of refugees registered for temporary protection from Ukraine amounted to 565.82 thousand and 366.49 thousand, respectively.
The UN, referring to government data, indicates that in total in Germany, where Ukrainians are allowed to stay without registration until the end of August, 780,000 refugees from Ukraine were recorded. So, based on the data presented, a significant proportion of them have not yet applied for temporary protection status in this country.
In the Czech Republic, the situation, according to UN information, is different: almost all arrivals applied for protection status – 366.49 thousand out of 366.63 thousand.
In the vast majority of other countries, the picture is similar to the Czech Republic: the statistics of registered refugees is completely or almost equal to the statistics of those who applied for protection status, which is probably due to the peculiarity of their registration. An exception, similar to Germany, is only Romania – 37.32 thousand with the status of 89.78 thousand refugees registered in the country, Estonia – 25.69 thousand out of 39.8 thousand and Italy – 97.31 thousand out of 125 .91 thousand
In addition to Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany and Italy, more than 50 thousand refugees from Ukraine have also registered for temporary protection status in Spain – 118.12 thousand, Slovakia – 77.14 thousand (out of 270 thousand net inflows across the border since the beginning of the war) , Austria – 69.76 thousand, the Netherlands – 62.97 thousand, Lithuania – 53.89 thousand and Switzerland – 53.12 thousand.
Following are Belgium – 45.3 thousand, France – 43.3 thousand (data from the end of April), Portugal – 41.45 thousand, Sweden – 38 thousand, Great Britain – 37.4 thousand (data from the beginning of May ), Ireland – 33.15 thousand and Denmark – 27.21 thousand, as well as the above-mentioned Romania and Estonia.
From 10 to 25 thousand refugees from Ukraine with the status of temporary protection in Finland – 24.46 thousand, Latvia – 23.38 thousand, Hungary – 24.09 thousand, Norway – 16.71 thousand, Greece – 14, 89 thousand, Croatia – 13.76 thousand and Cyprus – 12.79 thousand.
In addition, the UN statistics on those who received the status of temporary protection include refugees of Ukraine in Slovenia – 7.05 thousand, Luxembourg – 5.3 thousand, Montenegro – 2.53 thousand, Iceland – 1 thousand, in Malta – 0.92 thousand, in Serbia and Kosovo – 0.7 thousand and Liechtenstein – 0.21 thousand.
In addition, the table contains data from Bulgaria, possibly entered with an error: according to them, 78.29 thousand refugees from Ukraine were recorded there, but 113.03 thousand received protection status.
The UN also indicated the countries in which refugees from Ukraine were recorded, but there is no data on their obtaining status: Moldova – 86.25 thousand, Turkey – 145 thousand, Georgia – 20.03 thousand, Azerbaijan – 5.06 thousand. , Albania – 1.48 thousand, North Macedonia – 1.1 thousand, Bosnia and Herzegovina – 0.36 thousand and Armenia – 0.3 thousand.
Separately, it is worth mentioning Russia and Belarus, the Ukrainian border with which, respectively, 1 million 136.24 thousand and 16.65 thousand people crossed. The UN information indicates that in the Russian Federation all those who crossed the border were recorded, while in Belarus – less than half. There is no data on any status of these people, as well as data on crossing the border of Ukraine in the opposite direction.
In response to a temporary, for a year, full trade liberalization by the EU, Ukraine is ready to abolish duties on European goods, said Deputy Minister of Economy – Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka.
“So that we can continue to talk about maintaining the zero-to-zero regime for longer than 12 months, we are ready to introduce such a mechanism now,” Kachka said during a meeting of the committee on finance, tax and customs policy on Thursday.
He added that Ukraine intends, first of all, to abolish duties on agricultural products from the EU.
The trade representative indicated that he sees the need to protect the Ukrainian market from goods from those countries with which there are no preferential terms of trade.
“The competition that we want to defend against is Turkey, China and other countries with which we do not have a preferential trade regime,” he said.
“Therefore, in order to work with the EU on a permanent customs-free trade regime, we want to take such a step. And in the context of our candidacy for the EU, this is very correct and appropriate,” Taras Kachka added.
“It is economically beneficial for us. The only industry where there is an economic imbalance is pork meat, but here it is more likely due to African swine fever, as well as cheese. We had a discussion on cheese whether the market should be protected. On the one hand, in In recent years, there has been an increase in cheese imports, mainly from Poland, but the total share of imported cheeses does not exceed 25%… There are no clear signs of harm for Ukrainian cheese producers,” Kachka explained.
Ukrenergo offers several options for distributing funds that will be received by the company from the sale at auctions of interstate cross-sections for commercial electricity exports to Europe, Head of the operator Volodymyr Kudrytsky said at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday.
According to him, the potential supply of generating capacities of Ukraine, which can be released and directed to the export of electricity, is calculated in gigawatts. At the same time, according to the current legislation, the proceeds from Ukrenergo shall be directed to the development of interconnectors.
“Given the scale of potential income, we simply won’t be able to use so many funds in the short term. In such a situation, various mechanisms for socializing this money into the energy sector are possible. For example, we have debts on the balancing market, and we can pay off debts over a certain period of time proportionally to all market participants using this money,” Kudrytsky said.
The head of Ukrenergo said that energy companies would be able to stabilize their work by using the money received to prepare for the upcoming winter, purchase fuel and carry out repairs.
Transmission system operators in Continental Europe have responded positively to NPC Ukrenergo’s request to resume electricity exports from Ukraine, the company said.
“Today, the energy system of Ukraine is operating in the trial emergency synchronization mode with ENTSO-E, which means that export-import operations with European counterparties are not performed. However, both the Ukrainian and European sides are considering the possibility of a phased increase in export volumes, which would be mutually beneficial” , – reported on the Ukrenergo website on Wednesday.
Ukrainians have reduced the rate of importing cars from Europe on preferential terms: on average, 2.65 thousand cars entered per day in early June compared to 4-5 thousand in May on a weekday, said the deputy head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance , tax and customs policy Yaroslav Zheleznyak.
“As of June 6, 140,310 cars were imported from us. The total amount of the tax rebate was provided for UAH 15.4 billion,” he said on the Telegram channel on Monday.
According to him, the largest number of such cars drove through the Volyn customs – almost 36 thousand, followed by Lviv customs, through which over 27 thousand cars drove in and Rivne customs – almost 14 thousand cars.
He added that, excluding benefits for cars, the budget received less revenue from duties and VAT on imports of UAH 9.17 billion.
As reported, from April 6, the Verkhovna Rada exempted the import of goods to Ukraine from import duties and VAT for single tax payers of the first and third groups, paying tax at a rate of 2% of turnover, and also established a simplified form of customs clearance. The deputies also completely exempted the import of vehicles by citizens, as well as subjects of the simplified system, from taxation.
At the same time, at the end of May, the Cabinet of Ministers registered in the Verkhovna Rada draft law No. 7418 on the return of all customs duties and VAT on imported goods, including cars. In particular, it is proposed to cancel the customs-free import of cars from July 1.
According to the State Border Service, over the past two weeks, about 18.6 thousand cars cross the western border of Ukraine in both directions every day.