On August 16, Ukraine received 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Greek government, on August 18, 650,400 doses of the same vaccine from Poland and 46,000 doses from Lithuania as humanitarian aid, the Ministry of Health reported on Facebook.
According to the report, part of the vaccine from these supplies would be used to vaccinate those who should receive the second dose of AstraZeneca, the rest will be distributed between vaccination centers and vaccination points.
AstraZeneca is a COVID-19 vector vaccine manufactured in the EU, UK, South Korea and India. It is approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have opened borders for Ukrainians for all types of travel, according to the recommendation of the European Council, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said.
“Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania have opened for all types of travel for Ukrainians, according to the recommendation of the EU Council. Visa-free weekend in the Baltic countries? Now it is possible again,” Kuleba said on his Twitter.
The profile ministries of Ukraine and Lithuania have agreed to launch a pilot project to develop multimodal transportation between the countries, according to the website of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine on Thursday.
In Klaipeda, Lithuania, a meeting was held between Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov and Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania Marius Skuodis, during which the parties discussed issues of strengthening cooperation and prospects for new projects.
“Partnership in the field of transport is one of the priorities. We are restoring a dialogue on the implementation of an old idea – connecting the Baltic and Black Sea regions by rail. For both countries this is a chance to optimize logistics, increase the load on seaports and enter new world markets. We have already agreed to launch a pilot project, within the framework of which we will develop multimodal traffic between countries, including by increasing the flow of semi-trailers,” Kubrakov is quoted as saying.
He also noted the relevance of the resumption of the passenger railway route “four capitals” from Kyiv to Riga.
According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, there are currently large cargo flows between the Baltic and Black Sea regions, but the share of cargo moving from Ukraine is very low. At Klaipeda seaport, Ukrainian cargo accounts for only about 1-2% of all cargo. At the same time, according to the estimates of the Lithuanian side, the flow of goods from Ukraine could potentially be 10 times higher.
“For the implementation of multimodal cargo transportation by sea and rail, road semi-trailers will also be used as intermodal transport units. To make this possible, the ministry will initiate amendments to Ukrainian legislation, which will allow semi-trailers to be classified as cargo, and not as a vehicle,” the report said.
The launch of the pilot project is planned for September this year.
The successful implementation of the agreement, as noted in the Ministry of Infrastructure, has the potential to make Klaipeda seaport in Lithuania the northern gateway of Ukraine to Scandinavia and at the same time Odesa – the southern sea gate of Lithuania to the Black Sea region.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky plans to visit the Lithuanian capital in 2021 to participate in a conference on reforms in Ukraine, said Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the President’s Office of Ukraine. “We hope that the conference will take place this year. The Ukrainian government and the President’s Office are already working on this. The head of state will be happy to come to Lithuania to discuss progress in Ukrainian reforms and support for Ukraine from European partners,” the President’s Office on Tuesday quoted Zhovkva as saying who gave an interview to the Lithuanian branch of the leading news agency in the Baltic region, Baltic News Service (BNS).
He also noted that currently “preparations are underway for the fourth conference on reforms in Ukraine, which was postponed from 2020 to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
According to Zhovkva, “over the past year and a half, Ukraine has shown significant progress in reforms, in particular, recently the President of the European Council Charles Michel noted the efforts of Volodymyr Zelensky in judicial and banking reforms, as well as in the agro-industrial sector.
“We count on a fair assessment of the process. And we count on help to Ukraine to continue this path of reforms,” Zhovkva stressed.
The Deputy Head of the President’s Office also focused on the process of Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration.
He recalled that Ukraine received the status of a NATO partner with expanded capabilities and is raising the issue of providing an action plan for membership in the Alliance.
“We understand that we have to do our homework, including reforms in the security and military sector of Ukraine. We are working on this,” Zhovkva said.
He also assured that now work is underway to deepen Ukraine’s integration with the European Union.
“Much depends on Ukraine, but not everything. We will work on our ‘homework’, but we really count on the support of Brussels and the EU member states. And here, by the way, the role of Lithuania is very important, because I hope that Lithuania has unanimous support for Ukraine’s membership in the EU and NATO, “said the deputy head of the President’s Office.
He added that the Republic of Lithuania is not just a strategic partner for Ukraine, but a “strategic friend and brother”, and both countries have great potential for cooperation.
TK-Domashniy Tekstyl (TK-Home Textile), an operator in production and sale of home textiles in the structure of the trade and production group Textile-Contact, has signed the first significant contract for the supply of products to Lithuania for EUR 200,000, owner of Textile-Contact Oleksandr Sokolovsky said.
“The decrease in demand in the domestic market forces us to look for new sales channels for our products. Therefore, I am glad that TK-Domashniy Tekstyl has confidently started to enter the European market. If previously there were only small supplies to Poland and other countries, now the first serious contract has been signed with Lithuania,” Sokolovsky told Interfax-Ukraine on Monday.
He said that the first batch of mattresses, pillows and blankets has already been shipped for a large wholesale company from Lithuania, which works closely with both Lithuanian government agencies and leading hotels and restaurants. In the first half of 2021, it is planned to complete the entire delivery and conclude a new contract for a large amount.
Sokolovsky said that the implementation of such a contract became possible thanks to the receipt of the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 European quality certificate by a textile factory in Chernihiv (TK-DT Chernihiv).
Oeko-Tex Standard is an international system for testing and certification of products made of textile materials, which sets restrictions on the use of certain chemicals, it is recognizable by the buyer and serves as an additional confirmation of the quality of products for manufacturers.
According to Sokolovsky, another factor that contributed to the conclusion of the contract was the receipt of the EUR1 certificate, confirming the Ukrainian origin of the goods and exempting the buyer from import duties.
Sokolovsky said that such a certificate can only be obtained if Ukrainian raw materials were used in the manufacture of products, which was fully consistent with Textile-Contact.
According to him, more than 50 jobs were involved in the implementation of the contract, and in total 430 people work at TK-Domashniy Tekstyl (including three production factories in Chernihiv, Kyiv and Odesa).
“TK-Domashniy Tekstyl company is actively negotiating to start cooperation with representatives of other European countries. The pilot delivery of textile products of its own production to Lithuania served as a serious impetus in this direction,” Sokolovsky said.
Foreign ministers of Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania – the countries that founded the Lublin Triangle format – agreed to meet in Ukraine in the fall, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.
“We are already working on the content of our new partnership, making plans and believe that the Triangle should become an important element in the configuration of forces in Central Europe and in Europe as a whole. I can inform you that we have reached an agreement with my Polish and Lithuanian colleagues on that the next meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Lublin Triangle will be held in Ukraine this fall. We are committed to maintaining a dynamic dialogue and the dynamic development of our new format,” he said at an online briefing on Friday.Kuleba recalled that the Lublin Triangle is the first international format that Ukraine has been creating in its Western vector since independence, since 1991.
“Usually, when it comes to different European formats and structures, we join or seek to join the existing structures. Here we are already taking a leadership position and, together with partners, create new mechanisms that meet our regional and European interests,” the minister explained.As reported, Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine have established the Lublin Triangle format. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that that format would become an important element in strengthening Central Europe and Ukraine, as a full member of the European and Euro-Atlantic family of nations.