Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak has said that a new ambassador of Ukraine to France will be appointed next week.
“Finally we will have a new ambassador to France, next week,” he said during a meeting of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky with businessmen in Khmelnytsky region on Wednesday, when asked by a participant of the meeting to help businesses establish contact with Ukraine’s embassies in a range of countries.
Oleh Shamshur has been working as Ambassador of Ukraine to France since October 2014.
The An-225 Mriya aircraft belonged to Antonov State Enterprise flew to China on April 15 to deliver medical supplies to help in fight against the coronavirus disease COVID-19 pandemic in France.
The state-owned enterprise (SOE) Antonov said on its Facebook page that the Mriya aircraft will take on board a new batch of medical supplies in China to fight COVID-19 and will land at Chalons Vatry Airport in France on April 18.
The enterprise also said that Antonov Company continues manufacturing the An-178 aircraft under the contract concluded by SpetsTechnoExport with the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Peru. As of today, the preparatory works for jig assembly of the aircraft’s fuselage have been completed.
“Assembly of the fuselage nose part (F1) and the fuselage center section (F-2) are at the final stage in the production shop. Manufacture of the central part of the wing, left and right cantilever parts of the wing, empennage has been fully completed. Two engine pylons are ready for further integration into the aircraft,” the company said in the statement on its website.
According to the company, to date, Antonov Airlines has already transported more than 1,400 tonnes of cargo from China to various countries in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East.
The French government has allocated technical assistance to the Ukrainian state concern Ukroboronprom in the amount of about EUR 900,000 Aivaras Abromavičius, director general of the state concern, has said.
“This is a sign of confidence in Ukraine, it is a sign of confidence in the changes that are taking place now in the Ukroboronprom concern … This is an amount close to EUR 900,000, one of the largest amounts that the French government has allocated to Ukraine,” he said at a briefing in Kyiv on Wednesday.
According to Abromavičius, this assistance will be used to fight corruption and raise corporate governance standards.
“France’s technical assistance will be directed in two main areas. This is, firstly, the anti-corruption area, and secondly, the improvement of corporate governance standards. In the area of anti-corruption policy, we plan to carry out a comprehensive criminalistics, so-called forensic, audit on some processes, contracts, which, unfortunately, the financial audit does not have the opportunity to reach,” he said.
He said that the forensic audit reveals hidden schemes and frauds that look like legitimate transactions, but are actually fraudulent, and there have been a lot historically in the concern.
Abromavičius stressed that the allocated funds would help build the best corporate governance standards in Ukroboronprom, according to Western standards.
“Within the project, we plan to develop new principles of corporate governance both at enterprises and at the concern itself. This is a large-scale project that requires time, which requires not only our efforts, but, as I said, the support of international partners. Branches of government will be involved, as well as Ukroboronprom partners themselves,” he added.
Abromavičius said that the French Embassy in Ukraine would choose a consultant company from the Big Four, and it will help find the best model for organizing a business.
“That is, we are starting to build a modern company,” he stressed.
According to Abromavičius, the forensic audit process should take four months.
“But, unfortunately, this information will be more for the leadership of the country, for the leadership of Ukroboronprom and for law enforcement agencies,” he said.
Head of Luhansk Regional State Administration Serhiy Haidai has met with Ambassador of France to Ukraine Etienne de Ponsen in Kyiv to discuss financing opportunities for the railway communication in Luhansk region.
“The meeting with the ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of France to Ukraine had good results for our region. We agreed on several issues and our French partners will provide financing for them. The amount of investment is estimated at more than EUR 100 million,” the press service of Luhansk Regional State Administration quoted Haidai as saying on Wednesday.
The funds will be spent on the construction of the railway communication to connect the Lantrativka – Kondrashivska-Nova section with the national railway system.
In addition, the sides agreed on the electrification of the railway network in the region and on the implementation of a project on cleaning the water supply system.
“The dialogue with Head of Luhansk Regional State Administration Serhiy Haidai regarding the priorities of the region’s economic development was very productive,” the ambassador said.
Ukraine and France have signed an intergovernmental agreement on the manufacture and technical maintenance of a batch of patrol boats, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said.
“On behalf of the Ukrainian government the agreement was signed with French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner (EUR 136.5 million) on the production and technical maintenance of 20 patrol boats. Five of them and all RIB-boats [rigid inflatable boats] will be built in Ukraine. We thanked France for the support in building up the maritime security and protection system,” Avakov wrote on Twitter.
France’s OCEA will manufacture the 32-meter-long patrol boats.
“Every fourth boat will be produced in Ukraine. We will thus protect the basins of our seas and owing to the production localization in Ukraine – provisionally, this will be one of the Mykolaiv-based plants – we will be able to restart the manufacture of boats with aluminum hulls. We hope that following this deal we will produce boats at the Mykolaiv plant on a permanent basis,” the press center of the Ukrainian State Border Service quoted the minister as saying.
The new Ambassador of France to Ukraine, Etienne de Poncins, has arrived in Kyiv. “I’ve safely arrived in Kyiv. My mission as the head of the French Embassy in Ukraine may begin,” the diplomat wrote on Twitter.
Etienne de Poncins was appointed Ambassador of France to Ukraine on July 24. Prior to that, he worked as an inspector of the French Foreign Ministry, and in the European External Action Service, and was also the French ambassador to Kenya and Bulgaria.
The previous Ambassador of France to Ukraine, Isabelle Dumont, completed her work in Ukraine on July 27.