Ukrainian specialists will take part in the NATO mission in Iraq and the Maritime Guard operation in the Mediterranean sea, said Yuriy Vasyliev, deputy director of the department, head of the European and Euro-Atlantic integration department of the International Defense Cooperation Department of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. “Ukraine has been a contributor to international security throughout its years of independence, and we continue, despite the aggression that we have, our contributions to missions and operations under NATO command. Now we have specialists who are in a Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and in the forces in Kosovo. But taking into account our recent proposals that have been accepted, we are now preparing to send our specialists to another two operations: the NATO mission in Iraq and the Alliance’s operation Maritime Guard,” Vasyliev said at an online conference on Tuesday.
He stressed that the Ukrainian military, hardened in battles to defend independence and territorial integrity, will be participants in these operations.
Vasyliev also pointed out that, given the status of a partner with expanded capabilities, Ukraine will be involved in five NATO exercises, which will be held on the topic of collective defense.
In addition, he noted that work is now underway to increase the level of Ukraine’s representation in the governing bodies and command structures of the Alliance.
“We are entering a new stage and will work this year, hopefully in the second half of the year, to send our civilian representative of the Ministry of Defense as a so-called voluntary national contribution,” Vasyliev explained.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has established the National Investment Fund of Ukraine in the form of a state-owned enterprise with an authorized capital of UAH 100 million.
The corresponding government decree of March 31 was published in the Uriadovy portal.
According to the decree, the Ministry of Economic Development must, within a month, develop a bill on the National Investment Fund, which, in particular, provides for mechanisms for creating joint investment projects with the sovereign funds of the United Arab Emirates, the State of Qatar and other states, as well as a bill on amendments to the law on the state budget for 2021.
U.S. President Joe Biden in a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he expects the opportunity to visit Ukraine again and assured him of his support in reforming the country, Head of the President’s Office of Ukraine Andriy Yermak said.
“President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky held a telephone conversation with President of the United States of America Joe Biden. President Biden supports Ukraine in everything, and his team highly appreciates everything that President Zelensky does in reforming the country. Joe Biden said that he is waiting for the opportunity to visit Ukraine again and also remembered his speech in the Ukrainian parliament,” Yermak wrote on his Facebook page.
Earlier, President of Ukraine Zelensky, following the conversation with U.S. President Biden, said that he appreciates the support of the United States and intends to seriously reform the country.
During the Ukrainian-Moldovan political consultations, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vasyl Bodnar and State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova Dumitru Sokolan discussed the status of implementation of the agreements reached during the visit of President of Moldova Maia Sandu to Kyiv in January 2021.
“The parties ‘synchronized watches’ regarding the nearest political contacts at the highest and high levels. Vasyl Bodnar informed about the preparations for the inaugural summit of the Crimean platform and the celebrations on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Ukraine’s independence on August 23-24,” the statement on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website said on Thursday, March 25.
It is reported that considerable attention was paid to the implementation of cross-border infrastructure projects, primarily the construction of a bridge across the river Dniester in the area of Yampil-Koseuts settlements, the parties positively noted the progress in this case.
“Bodnar and Sokolan emphasized the importance of an early resumption of negotiations between the authorized authorities in order to resolve the entire range of issues related to the functioning of the Dniester hydroelectric complex, as well as to complete the process of demarcation of the Ukrainian-Moldovan border,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The parties checked their positions on expanding the legal framework between the two states in various fields.
A separate topic of the consultations was regional security issues, in particular the threats associated with the presence of Russian military units in the Transnistrian region of Moldova.
The Deputy Minister said that Ukraine is determined to continue supporting territorial integrity and sovereignty of Moldova within the internationally recognized borders, as well as to be an active participant in the negotiation process on the Transnistrian settlement.
“We regard the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of the Transnistrian region of Moldova as a matter of national and regional security,” the ministry’s press service quoted Bodnar as saying.
The parties discussed steps to strengthen bilateral trade and economic cooperation and implement energy projects.
In addition, it is reported that in context of humanitarian cooperation development, Bodnar asked to accelerate the ratification by the Moldovan side of the agreement signed on December 17, 2009 between Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova on cooperation in ensuring the rights of persons belonging to national minorities (Ukraine ratified it on October 5, 2010).
The parties discussed ways to deepen cooperation with the EU in context of implementation of the two countries’ course towards European integration. The diplomats also exchanged views on the efforts of the governments of Ukraine and Moldova to counter the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The perception of Ukraine in the United States is balancing on the verge of positive and negative impressions, when the fascination with promising human potential, the desire for freedom and European choice is overshadowed by constant references to the level of corruption and various political twists and turns, according to the analytical report Perception of Ukraine Abroad, carried out by the Ukrainian Prism Foreign Policy Council and commissioned by the Ukrainian Institute. “In general terms, conventionally political narratives significantly prevail over cultural ones, and the perception of Ukraine is formed either in the context of current political news [which are often associated with Russia], or through the prism of the Soviet past,” according to the analytical report, presented at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday.
Maidan/Euromaidan, an attempt to annex Crimea, information war, corruption, revolution, war with Russia, oligarchs, and “Trump-Zelensky scandal” often arise among associations from the political level. Among the cultural associations, people mainly name vyshyvanka (embroidered shirt), borsch (traditional dish), the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, traditions, modern literature, and architecture.
It is noted that respondents emphasized little general awareness of Ukrainian culture among Americans in the United States and blurred images. Awareness of the cultural diplomacy of Ukraine in general is also quite low.
The findings of the analytical report on the perception of Ukraine in Turkey indicate the limited (sometimes on the verge of lack) knowledge about the history, culture, art of Ukraine, and the basic knowledge concerns political events at the present stage.
“The traditional perception of Ukraine as part of a wider post-Soviet space [which is gradually changing] and a clear link to Russia [in different contexts – from a common cultural heritage with Russia and a professional art and scientific school to the complete opposition of two political cultures and the struggle for independence from Moscow],” the report said.
Attention is also drawn to the insufficient presence of Ukrainian topics in the Turkish media, public space, and expert and academic circles amid a powerful propaganda work on the part of Russia. In addition, the report notes the positive attitude of Turkish citizens towards Ukraine and Ukrainians and the openness of all respondents to new knowledge and experiences related to Ukraine, interest in developing cooperation, and readiness for further mutual understanding.
The findings of the analytical report regarding Japan indicate that there is a general low level of awareness about Ukraine in Japan, which was mentioned by almost every respondent.
“Due to limited information about Ukraine and a low level of awareness of Ukrainian culture and history, perceptions of Ukraine in Japan are often sufficiently formed through the Russian context,” the report said.
In particular, some items of Ukrainian culture are attributed to Russia, for example, respondents often emphasized that in Japan borsch is often considered Russian.
In addition, the events of 2014 in Crimea and Donbas, as well as the war with Russia, which continues in eastern Ukraine, in a certain way influenced the perception of Ukraine as an unstable state with a problematic state of security. One of the cornerstones in the perception of Ukraine is the topic of Chornobyl in connection with the understanding of the scale of the tragedy and its “proximity” to the accident at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant in 2011.
At the same time, negative associations around the war and Chornobyl are balanced by the positive attitude of the Japanese towards Ukrainians as friendly people with a light character.
Main trade partners of Ukraine in % from total volume (export from Ukraine to other countries) in 2020.
SSC of Ukraine