The neighboring countries of Ukraine, in addition to Poland, Belarus and the Russian Federation, are in the “red” zone for COVID-19, according to data published on the website of the Ministry of Health as of December 24.
The “red” zone includes countries with an incidence rate per 100,000 population over the past 14 days higher than in Ukraine (374). There are 45 countries in total.
Of the closest neighbors of Ukraine, the “red” zone includes Slovakia (634,900 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population), Moldova (460,400), Romania (400,300) and Hungary (521,700).
Lithuania, Georgia, Slovenia, U.S., Montenegro, Sweden, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Great Britain, Turkey, Austria, Germany are also among the countries of the “red” zone.
The list of countries of the “green” zone includes, in particular, Italy, Israel, Belgium, France, Canada, Spain, Greece, Japan, India, and Egypt.
Of the closest neighbors of Ukraine, the “green” zone includes Belarus (279 cases per 100,000 of the population), the Russian Federation (206,900) and Poland (366,700).
Ukraine has fulfilled all the obligations assumed during the meetings of the Mixed Commissions on International Road Freight Transport, but the Polish side does not honor the agreement at the presidential level, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine has said.
As reported on the website of the Ministry of Infrastructure, a working meeting of the Ministers of Infrastructure of Ukraine and the Republic of Poland Vladyslav Krykliy and Andrzej Adamczyk was held in Kyiv on Monday, during which the Ukrainian minister pointed out the fact that Ukraine’s fulfillment of its obligations led to a significant increase in the share of use of permits for 2019 by Polish haulers.
Krykliy reiterated that Poland should lift transit restrictions for Ukrainian haulers, since this negatively affects not only trade relations between the two countries, but also with other EU countries.
At the same time, he said that Ukrainian haulers are ready to compete in the two-sided market.
The ministers of Ukraine and Poland also discussed the work of crossing points across the Ukrainian-Polish border, in particular, the Korcheva-Krakovets point.
In addition, Krykliy said that currently the Verkhovna Rada is expected to consider at second reading a bill that solves the problem of VAT payment by work performers and service providers under the so-called “Polish loan,” but asked the Polish side to speed up the work of the construction company to repair the crossing point.
The Ukrainian minister suggested that the Polish side conduct a joint audit to determine the possible reasons for the appearance of queues at the border crossing points with the involvement of a third independent party, and introduce general border and customs control at crossing points to increase their efficiency.
The bus operator FlixBus will open three new routes on November 4 and on November 5: Kyiv – Warsaw – Szczecin (both are in Poland), Chernivtsi – Warsaw and Lviv – Ostrava (the Czech Republic).
As Managing Director of FlixBus in Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States Michal Lehman said at a press conference on Tuesday, route number 3222 Kyiv-Warsaw-Szczecin, which will be operated jointly with private entrepreneur Serhiy Sherstiuk, will also pass through the following cities: Zhytomyr, Rivne, Lutsk, Lublin, Lodz, Poznan and Gorzow Wielkopolski. The trip frequency is twice a week.
Route 3241 Chernivtsi – Warsaw (partner – IV-AUTO) will pass through Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Lublin. The frequency is three times a week.
Route CUA025 Lviv – Ostrava (partner – ACIK, Poland) will pass through Krakow, Katowice and Bohumin. Its frequency is twice a week.
“The first two lines are fully compliant with the green FlixBus standards. The third line will be fully operated by ACIK, but we will also sell tickets for these trips. There are separate seats on ACIK buses, which are marked with a green sticker, which will be assigned to FlixBus passengers,” he said.
According to him, to date, the FlixBus network connects 16 cities of Ukraine from 12 regions with 48 cities in Europe (six countries).
Polish-based PGNiG has postponed the start of gas exploration in Ukraine from the previously announced third quarter of 2020 to the first half of 2021, head of the company Jerzy Kwieciński has said.
“PGNiG also intends to more actively participate in projects related to production of hydrocarbons in Ukraine. The company plans to start exploration for natural gas in this country in the first half of 2021,” the company said in a press release.
As reported, in February 2020 Vice President of the Board of Directors of PGNiG Robert Perkowski said that PGNiG intends to start developing hydrocarbons in Lviv region in the third quarter of 2020.
Earlier, in early December 2019, the Polish company PGNiG SA and the Ukrainian group of companies ERU signed an agreement on the exploration and production of natural gas in Lviv region.
PGNiG is the largest oil and gas company in Poland, engaged in the development of gas and oil fields, production, storage and transportation of energy resources, as well as construction and development of oil and gas transport networks, export and import of gas.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and President of Poland Andrzej Duda will hold a meeting in Kyiv on October 12, the presidential press service of Ukraine said.
“On October 12, a meeting will take place between President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, who will be in Ukraine on an official visit,” the service said in the statement.
According to the presidential website, the official meeting ceremony will take place at Mariyinsky Palace, where the signing of Ukrainian-Polish bilateral documents will also take place.
In addition, on October 13, Zelensky and Duda will visit Odesa, take part in the work of the Ukrainian-Polish economic forum.
Kyiv is standing in front of building a complicated, but necessary dialogue with Warsaw, which has reached a dead end in recent years. It is fair to say that both sides derailed the relations between Ukraine and Poland, however, this does not mean that Kyiv should wait for a full or partial reboot of the government in the neighboring country, moreover, this may not happen, according to political expert Valentyn Haidai.
“We should not forget that in both cases with Poland and with Russia one should differ between sociopolitical and economic dialogues. It is no secret that under conditions of political confrontation between the Ukrainian and Russian elites trade and economic cooperation between the two countries is growing. We can see the same situation in case with Poland,” Haidai said in a program on the Expert Club YouTube channel.
In the expert’s opinion, there is no especial confrontation between the political elites of both countries. Poland and Ukraine do not have any territorial disputes, despite the desire to revise the borders by certain marginal circles, or a sharp conflict related to humanitarian policy, as in the case of Hungary.
“Speaking about economic cooperation, it should be noted that it was estimated at more than EUR 7 billion at the beginning of this year, which is EUR 2 billion more than in 2015, and it continues growing even during the coronavirus pandemic. Ukrainian export to Poland has increased, just the same as Polish import to Ukraine did. An increase in trade, in particular, was registered in the following segments: mineral fertilizers, textile, mechanical and electric equipment, animal fat and metal goods. In addition, Ukraine is one of the largest recipients of Polish food. According to Statistics Poland, export of agricultural goods to Ukraine has grown by more than 20%,” the political expert said.
As of the end of 2019, more than 400 joint enterprises operated in Ukraine and Poland in machine building, consumer goods and food industry, agriculture, etc. Cultural and scientific cooperation continues. Poland, which has a range of grant and scholarship programs, including the Eastern Studies, Stipend for Young Researchers and Krzysztof Skubiszewski Scholarship programs, is traditionally preferred by Ukrainian school graduates, postgraduate students and scientists.
“The problem is that if liberal Trzaskowski won, it is highly probable that Warsaw would take a step forward towards the normalization of relations with Kyiv on its own, while after the victory of conservative Duda in the presidential election the search for compromises was put off,” Haidai said.
The full interview is available on the Expert Club YouTube channel