The German authorities intend to support bilateral energy projects with Ukraine and will dedicate the funding of $70 million for this, according to a joint statement by Washington and Berlin on the Nord Stream 2.
“Germany will continue to support bilateral energy projects with Ukraine, especially in the field of renewables and energy efficiency, as well as coal transition support,” the document says.
Germany, among other things, “will appoint a special envoy with dedicated funding of $70 million.”
In addition, Germany is also ready to launch a Ukraine Resilience Package to support Ukraine’s energy security. Berlin will provide assistance for Ukraine’s integration into the European electricity grid, support efforts to reform Ukraine’s energy sector, and assist with identifying options to modernize Ukraine’s gas transmission systems.
U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (Democratic Party), Chris Murphy (Democratic Party) and Rob Portman (Republican Party) have pledged bipartisan support to Ukraine.
At a briefing following a meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Wednesday, Shaheen said the senators paid this visit to express their bipartisan support to the people of Ukraine, independence and the progress that Ukraine has made in reforms, and they had a very effective meeting with the President of Ukraine.
According to her, their meeting with the president started with a briefing from people from the area of combat operation about the current situation there.
Shaheen said the senators have a very clear picture of the challenges that Ukraine’s troops and everyone on the front face. This will help them so that when the senators return to the United States, they talk about the continuing need to support Ukraine’s efforts.
Senator Rob Portman said they discussed with the president the importance of strengthening relations between Ukraine and the United States, providing even more effective military assistance so that Ukraine can defend itself.
Portman said they also talked about other assistance that the United States can provide, namely, in the area of economy, reform and countering Russian disinformation.
Senator Chris Murphy (Democratic Party, Conneticut) said that many have been done in Ukraine in a short period of time, but many serious challenges are still facing Ukraine. He said that the three senators will persuade colleagues in the Senate of the need to continue providing security assistance to Ukraine.
Murphy also said that ongoing reforms are also important to the U.S.-Ukrainian partnership. The senators spoke with President Zelensky about some specific reforms, namely reforming the SBU, guaranteeing NABU independence and continuing corporate governance reform.
Senator Shaheen said that Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran briefed the senators about Ukraine’s needs for weapons, and assured that she would inform Congress and the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden about them.
She also said that today the senators met with the Ukrainian defense minister, he was very specific about Ukraine’s weapons needs. The senators will convey this message to Congress and the administration in Washington, and they promised to continue supporting Ukraine’s security.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today $100 million in Additional Financing for the country’s COVID-19 response under the Ukraine Access to Long Term Finance Project, the funds of which will be used to support export-oriented small and medium-sized businesses.
“The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today $100 million in Additional Financing for the country’s COVID-19 response under the Ukraine Access to Long Term Finance Project,” the WB said on Saturday.
The Ukrainian state-owned Ukreximbank (UEB) is a borrower and implementing agency of the ongoing Bank project, the message reads.
“Bank project, Access to Long Term Finance, and the additional funds will be used by the UEB to provide loans to export-oriented small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is focused on providing sub-loans of longer maturity than are currently present on the market,” the WB said.
“These new loans from Ukreximbank will create jobs, stimulate competitiveness, help Ukrainian companies find new customers abroad, increase revenues, and contribute to poverty reduction as Ukraine recovers from the pandemic,” the bank’s press service quoted Arup Banerji, World Bank Regional Country Director for Eastern Europe, as saying.
Implemented since the summer of 2018, the ongoing $150 million Access to Long Term Finance Project has already had a positive effect on Ukraine’s SME sector. More than 50 entrepreneurs from all over Ukraine had already received financial support as part of the project. The majority of SMEs supported by the project work in agriculture and food processing industries, where Ukraine’s exporters hold natural comparative advantages and where SMEs traditionally dominate. The project also provided loans to firms in various production industries: manufacturing of mining equipment and refrigerators, dental and electric equipment, plastic packaging, wood processing, carpet-weaving, etc.
The World Bank’s current investment project portfolio in Ukraine amounts to about $3.3 billion, in 11 ongoing investment projects and one Program for Results operation.
The government is doing everything to support the Ukrainian film business, even despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and Ukraine has gained a good reputation as a partner of international film companies, Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko has said.
“Even during the difficult period of the pandemic, we are doing everything so that the Ukrainian film business has support from the state, and Ukraine gains a good reputation as a partner of international film companies. We have cool locations and equally cool productions for this. This has already been proven by the film The Last Mercenary from Netflix with Jean-Claude Van Damme in the title role, of which the lion’s share of the shooting took place in Kyiv,” Tkachenko wrote in his Telegram channel.
He also said that Ukraine presents its films and a national stand at the European Film Market of the Berlin Film Festival. There are such domestic films as “Stop-Zemlia” and “Ursus”, animation “Gulliver Returns”, documentary “Puzzles”.
According to Tkachenko, the stand is “a guarantee for the future. Both for promoting our films abroad, and for advertising the system of cash rebates and other benefits from filming in Ukraine.” In particular, the Locations.com.ua service was presented – an online catalog for finding the best locations in our country.
The European Parliament reaffirmed its continued support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, continuing to condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea and the de facto occupation of certain regions in the east by Russia.
This is discussed in the section “Cooperation in the field of the common foreign and security policy (CFSP)” of the resolution on Ukraine’s implementation of the Association Agreement, voted by the European Parliament during the plenary session. The spokesperson was deputy from the European People’s Party Michael Gahler (Germany).
“The European Parliament Reiterates the Union’s unwavering support for and commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, and its support for the internationally coordinated sanctioning of the Russian Government and agents who are undermining the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to the resolution.
In addition, the European Parliament ontinues to condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol and the de facto occupation of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk and calls on the Russian Federation to fulfil its international obligations, to withdraw its military forces from the territory of Ukraine.
The European Parliament also welcomes the resumption of the peace talks under the Normandy four format on 9 December 2019 in Paris after a deadlock of three years.
The European Parliament strongly condemns Russia’s destabilising actions and military involvement in Ukraine; expresses concern about Russia’s ongoing build-up of military facilities and installations in the Crimean Peninsula. In addition, the European Parliament condemned Russia’s illegal actions aimed at seizing control of the Kerch Strait, as they constitute a breach of international maritime law and Russia’s international commitments, in particular the construction of the Kerch Bridge and its rail link without Ukraine’s consent, the laying of underwater cables and the closing up and militarisation of the Azov Sea, which severely hinders Ukraine’s economic activities. The European Parliament called on the Russian Federation to ensure unhindered and free passage to and from the Azov Sea in line with international law, and access to the occupied Ukrainian territories of Donbas and annexed Crimea for international non-governmental organizations and international humanitarian organisations and to release of all Ukrainian political prisoners and prisoners of war in Russia, Crimea and the parts of Donbas not controlled by the Ukrainian Government.
The European Parliament also considers it possible for the Commission and the European External Action Service to intensify their efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
In addition, the European Parliament called on the EU High Representative, the Commission and the member states to provide the necessary support for the creation of the Crimean International Platform, which will coordinate, formalize and systematize efforts aimed at restoring the territorial integrity of Ukraine.