The French government has opened entry for all types of travel for Ukrainians in accordance with the recommendation of the EU Council, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said.
“Visa-free with France is valid again! The French government has opened entry for all types of travel of Ukrainians according to the recommendation of the EU Council. A certificate of vaccination or a fresh negative test is needed at the entrance,” Kuleba said on Twitter on Friday.
The website tripadvisor.mfa.gov.ua of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine says that Ukraine is included in the list of countries of the so-called “green” zone, therefore, the entry of Ukrainian citizens into France takes place in accordance with the immigration rules of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of France (https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actu-du-Ministere/Attestation-de-deplacement-et-de-voyage).
In particular, there are no restrictions on entry if a citizen of Ukraine is vaccinated with one of the vaccines recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and approved for use in France. These include Pfizer/Comirnaty, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria/Covishield and Jansen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines. In this case, the vaccination is considered complete if 28 days have passed since the moment of vaccination with the Janssen vaccine and seven days since the second dose in the case of vaccination with such vaccines as Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeeca/Vaxzevria/Covishield.
If a citizen of Ukraine has not been vaccinated, he can enter France if he has a PCR test done no earlier than 72 hours before entry, or an antibody test done no earlier than 24 hours before entry. The specified entry conditions apply to both adults and children (over 12 years old).
The Aviation of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine this year has received the fifth out of 28 helicopters under a contract with the French company Airbus Helicopters, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said.
“Today, the National Guard has already in its arsenal four modern French aircraft. Their pilots have passed theoretical and practical training abroad. The helicopters perform civil protection tasks on the territory of Ukraine. In particular, they are involved in the operational movement of the National Guard personnel over long distances, performing certain tasks, evacuation of the sick and wounded, search and rescue measures. We make the country service-oriented to people and even safer,” he said.
The minister stressed that this is the fourth H-225 helicopter, which will begin to perform combat missions by units of the National Guard of Ukraine.
He also noted that the contract with Airbus Helicopters for the supply of 55 helicopters is being successfully implemented, and by the end of 2021 Ukraine will receive 28 helicopters as part of the formation and development of the aviation security system of the Interior Ministry.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba held a telephone conversation with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at the initiative of the French side.
“Dmytro Kuleba separately touched upon the issue of France’s recognition of Ukrainian certificates of vaccination against COVID-19. The parties agreed that the corresponding Ukrainian-French consultations will soon take place,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
The ministers noted the unprecedentedly high level that bilateral relations between Ukraine and France have now reached. The French minister expressed satisfaction with the close dialogue he had with his Ukrainian counterpart.
Le Drian expressed his gratitude to Kuleba for his personal assistance in the quick and well-coordinated relocation of the French Embassy in Ukraine to the new premises.
“The ministers welcomed the active development of economic cooperation, in particular the conclusion of four strategic intergovernmental agreements totaling more than EUR 1.3 billion. The parties positively noted a recent visit of a plenipotentiary delegation of the Movement of the Enterprises of France [MEDEF] to Ukraine, which included top leaders of a number of French companies,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said.
The parties also discussed the prospects for the Normandy format at all levels: heads of state and government, foreign ministers, and advisers to leaders.
“Kuleba noted that Ukraine highly appreciates the efforts of France in the framework of the Normandy format, which despite the provocative behavior of Russia, remains the main platform for the settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict,” the ministry said.
In addition, Le Drian explained in detail to Kuleba the motives behind a recent German-French initiative to restore the EU’s dialogue with the Russian Federation, which did not find support among the EU member states.
“The French minister stressed that Paris is in favor of a demanding dialogue towards Moscow. The head of Ukrainian diplomacy recalled that the EU suspended summits with Russia in 2014 as a result of Russia’s aggression against our state, and without constructive steps from the Russian side, there are no grounds to talk about the restoration of this format of a dialogue,” the report said.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has signed a framework agreement with the French government on loan financing of projects to modernize water supply systems in Kyiv and Luhansk region in the amount of EUR 70 million each.
According to the draft decree of the Cabinet of Ministers on the signing of a framework agreement, a concessional treasury loan in the amount of EUR 70 million will be directed to the reconstruction of water supply facilities of the Dnipro and Desnianska waterworks. The project will improve the quality of water for a quarter of the capital’s population, says the government’s press service.
The second loan in the amount of EUR 70 million will finance a project to reconstruct the infrastructure for the production and distribution of drinking water at Popasna District Vodokanal utility company. As a result of modernization, it is planned to achieve a volume of water flow of 135,000 cubic meters per day, which will provide drinking water for more than 20 settlements.
Under the terms of the agreement, the loan is provided for 40 years, including a 15-year grace period. The loan rate is 0.0092% per annum. The condition for the provision of funds is the purchase of goods and services from France in the amount of at least 70% of the loan amount for the implementation of the project.
In addition, in order to obtain a loan, contracts between French suppliers and the project implementer must be accepted for execution by the end of 2022, and the loan must be selected by the end of 2026.
The framework agreement signed on Thursday by the governments of Ukraine and France, providing for the supply of 370 rescue vehicles-car lifters for the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in the amount of up to EUR 300 million, provides for the provision of financing by the French side in the amount of EUR 255 million (85% of the contract amount). According to the text of the framework agreement at the disposal of the Interfax-Ukraine agency, the support will consist of a treasury loan of up to EUR 100 million provided by the French government represented by Natixis, and a bank loan of up to EUR 155 million, which will be provided by a bank or consortium banks from the EU. Bpifrans Assurance Export will act as a guarantor for it.
The agent bank will be Ukreximbank (Kyiv), the equipment supplier will be the French company Desautel SAS.
According to the agreement, financial support is provided for the purchase of goods and services from France, and also provides for the purchase of Ukrainian or foreign goods for the implementation of the contract in the amount of up to 50% of the amount of financial support.
The maturity of treasury and bank loans is no more than 10 years.
The terms of the agreement stipulate that in order to receive financing through a loan, the contract must be accepted for implementation no later than December 31, 2023, and the loan must be selected by the end of 2028.
The supply of goods and services from French suppliers, as well as the import and use of related goods for their production will be subject to VAT, other taxes and duties at a “zero” rate.
As reported, within the framework of the contract, the production of firefighting car lifts to provide extinguishing fires and rescue people from high-rise buildings will be partially concentrated in Ukraine. The first samples will be made in France.
According to Mykola Chechetkin, chairman of the State Emergency Service, at the present time, the service units have only 290 units of high-altitude lifts at their disposal, of which 260 have worked out their resource.
During the visit of French Finance and Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire to Kyiv on Thursday, four strategic intergovernmental agreements will be signed totaling EUR 1.3 billion.
“Indeed, during my visit, France will sign four strategic intergovernmental agreements with Ukraine for a total of EUR 1.3 billion. This is very significant! And I want to emphasize one key point: these projects will help improve the living conditions of Ukrainians. We are talking about drinking water, mobility, security and civil protection,” Le Maire said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
He said that he was happy to come to Kyiv, meet with the Ukrainian authorities and have the opportunity to strengthen economic ties between the two countries.
“France and Ukraine have a lot in common: we are both industrial countries, we are countries with an important part of agriculture, we are European countries fully committed to strengthening Europe’s place in the international arena,” the minister said.
Le Maire also said that in 2020, the total trade volume between France and Ukraine reached EUR 1.6 billion.
“Our economic relationship is very dynamic and we are on the right track. I want to give you one single figure: in 2020, the total trade volume between France and Ukraine reached EUR 1.6 billion – a very important amount that remains stable despite the COVID-19 recession. Now we want to strengthen and accelerate economic cooperation between our two countries. This is the purpose of my visit to Kyiv,” he said.