Minister for Communities and Territories Development Oleksiy Chernyshov and Swiss Ambassador to Ukraine Claude Wild have launched a new Ukrainian-Swiss project UCORD (Ukraine’s Cohesion and Regional Development) with a budget of CHF 18 million (about EUR 17.2 million), aimed, among other things, at the improvement of public infrastructure in Ukraine, which is critical for the environment.
On the official Facebook page of the Swiss Embassy in Ukraine, it is specified that the UCORD project is synchronized with the adopted State Strategy for Regional Development until 2027, is designed for 12 years, and its total budget is CHF 18 million.
The key areas of support will be the institutional strengthening of the Regional Development Agencies, the improvement of environmentally critical municipal infrastructure (water supply, sanitation and waste management), as well as cultural initiatives to improve community cohesion.
The UCORD project will work both at the national level, supporting the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development, and at the level of regions and communities.
At the initial stage, the UCORD team will prepare a detailed project document and select target regions. The first four-year implementation phase will begin in September 2022.
NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy has appointed Oleksandr Scherba as head of its Swiss subsidiary, Naftogaz Trading Europe S.A., instead of Willem Coppoolse.
The relevant notice was published in the Swiss press in early February.
Scherba, who served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Austria from November 2014 to April 2021, joined Naftogaz in October last year as Chief Adviser to the CEO on international activities’ coordination.
Coppoolse completed his work at Naftogaz back in May 2021, where he was responsible for the trading direction, and since January 2022 he has been appointed director of the Energy Resources of Ukraine (ERU) group of companies.
As reported, Naftogaz resumed imports of natural gas in early February 2022.
Naftogaz Ukrainy unites the largest oil and gas producing enterprises of the country (100% of Ukrgazvydobuvannia and 50% plus 1 share of PJSC Ukrnafta). The Group also has a monopoly on natural gas storage in underground storage facilities (100% of Ukrtransgaz) and oil transportation by pipeline across the country (100% of Ukrtransnafta), and is actively developing gas supplies to household consumers.
The Swiss authorities have lifted restriction on entry of Ukrainian citizens into the country.
“The restriction on entry into Switzerland has been lifted for citizens of Ukraine since August 2,” the online resource of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reports.
It is noted that in order to enter Switzerland, Ukrainians must present a certificate of a full vaccination course (if 14 days have passed since the last dose), a negative PCR test result (must be done a maximum of 72 hours before entry), a negative rapid antigen test result (must be done a maximum of 48 hours before entry) or confirmation that you have had coronavirus in the last six months and have recovered.
At the same time, only a certificate of vaccination with drugs recognized in Switzerland is taken into account, in particular, Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2/Comirnaty/Tozinameran), Moderna (mRNA-1273/Spikevax/COVID-19 vaccine Moderna), AstraZeneca (AZD1222 Vaxzevria/C, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (Ad26.COV2.S), Sinopharm/BIBP (SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell)), Sinovac (CoronaVac).
“For persons who arrived in Switzerland from regions with dangerous variants of the virus and who have been in these regions for more than ten days, and who are not vaccinated or cannot prove that they have had COVID-19 in the last six months, a ten-day quarantine is provided,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The Swiss Embassy in Ukraine recalled that seven years ago the Swiss Federal Council decided to freeze all assets of ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and his entourage in the country.
“In taking this measure, the Swiss Government wished to avoid any risk of misappropriation of Ukrainian state assets. Since then, Swiss authorities have been closely cooperating with their Ukrainian counterparts in order to complete the process of restitution of these assets to the Ukrainian people following court rulings on their illicit origin,” it said on Twitter.
The Embassy also reminded that the maximum duration of such a freeze is limited to 10 years.
Avia Association, the Swiss international network of fuel filling stations, represented by Polish-based Unimot, has signed a memorandum of cooperation in the fuel and energy complex of Ukraine with Wexler Group, the supplier of light oil products, the press service of Wexler Group has reported. According to the group, the first Avia fuel filling stations could appear in the country before the end of 2019.
In addition, Avia is expected to launch production of motor fuels and lubricants jointly with Wexler Group this year.
As reported, Unimot received permission from Swiss-based Avia International to use the brand in Ukraine and announced the plan to open the first fuel stations in the country in 2019. Unimot reported on the receipt of a large number of applications from Ukrainian businessmen that are owners of fuel stations interested in cooperation.
Earlier, Wexler Group also announced plans to significantly increase its presence in the retail market of petroleum products in Ukraine.