Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 302

Posts Tagged ‘ukraine’

Viasat Ukraine Subscribers to Get Best-in-Class TV Reception in Ukraine

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 20 settembre 2017

ViasatViasat Ukraine (Vision TV LLC), the largest DTH operator in Ukraine, will be providing top-quality TV reception to its subscribers using SES Video’s reliable services on ASTRA 4A. Under the multi-year agreement with SES, Vision TV will be broadcasting approximately 40 pay-TV channels, out of which 13 are in high-definition (HD), and about 60 free-to-air channels at 5 degrees East. SES serves close to 13 million TV homes in Ukraine from this key orbital position, of which 4.5 million are DTH homes.“We are very pleased that Viasat Ukraine has trusted us with the delivery of their video content,” said Norbert Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Commercial Europe, SES Video. “This agreement with such an important TV player in Ukraine confirms our leading position in the country when it comes to DTH services. With the digital switchover approaching, and the drive for encryption of satellite channels, we strongly believe there will be considerable growth opportunities in the market, and we expect to support our customers in seizing them.” “Viasat Ukraine offers the best collection of content available in local languages, and a reliable transmission of this content is key to keep entertaining our audience in the best possible way. That is why we chose to rely on SES’s track record in delivering high-quality services,” said Svitlana Mischenko, CEO at Viasat Ukraine. “We are confident that SES’s expertise will help us grow our audience and our TV business in the coming years.” (photo: Viasat)

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Parliament approves Ukraine visa waiver

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 8 aprile 2017

ucrainaBruxelles. Ukrainian citizens will be exempted from EU short-stay visa requirements, after Parliament endorsed an informal deal with the Council on Thursday. Under the new law, Ukrainians who hold a biometric passport will be able to enter the EU without a visa for 90 days in any 180-day period, for tourism, to visit relatives or friends, or for business purposes, but not to work. The exemption applies to all EU countries, except Ireland and the UK, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.“Ukraine has achieved all the benchmarks, sothe visa requirement should be lifted”, noted rapporteur for the proposal Mariya Gabriel (EPP, BG), adding that the visa waiver will be a “another very strong message that Ukraine is a key partner for the European Union in the Eastern Partnership”.The legislation, approved by 521 votes to 75 with 36 abstentions, still needs to be formally adopted by the Council of Ministers. It is likely to enter into force in June, 20 days after it is published in the EU Official Journal.Before exempting Ukrainians from visa requirements, the EU strengthened the visa waiver suspension mechanism, to allow visas to be reintroduced more easily in exceptional cases.

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Civil Liberties MEPs back deal with Council on Ukraine visa waiver

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 11 marzo 2017

ucrainaThe informal deal between Parliament and Council negotiators exempting Ukrainians of visa requirements to enter the EU received on Thursday the backing of the Civil Liberties Committee.The agreement was supported by 39 MEPs, 4 rejected it and 1 abstained. It will now be put to a vote in a next plenary. Afterwards, it will have to be formally adopted by the Council and signed into law. The visa exemption will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal.Once the visa waiver is in place, Ukrainian citizens who have a biometric passport will be able to travel to the EU for up to 90 days in any 180-day-period for business, tourist or family purposes.Before giving Ukrainians visa-free access to the EU, member states wanted to strengthen the visa waiver suspension mechanism to allow visas to be reintroduced more easily in exceptional cases. The review of this emergency tool has already been completed.The EU and Ukraine started visa liberalisation negotiations in 2008. At the end of 2015, the European Commission concluded that Ukraine had made the necessary progress and had met all the benchmarks. It presented the proposal to grant its citizens visa-free access to the EU in April 2016.
The visa waiver will apply to all EU member states, except Ireland and the United Kingdom.

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As America and Russia talk, Ukraine fights

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 6 febbraio 2017

ukraineTHE timing was ominous. A day after the first, seemingly cordial telephone conversation between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, the residents of Avdiivka, a small town on the Ukrainian side of the conflict line with Russian-backed separatists, heard the echoes of heavy artillery fire. The conflict that Russia started in Ukraine in 2014 has been partly frozen over the past two years. But on January 29th it flared up with renewed force.Three days later, on February 1st, the bodies of seven Ukrainian soldiers killed in the fighting were brought to Kiev. Maidan, the city square that was the site of the country’s 2014 revolution, once again swelled with people. Social media were filled with messages of support for soldiers and calls to collect supplies for victims, along with videos of shelling by Russian Grad rockets. Ukrainian soldiers received text messages seemingly sent by the Russian side: “You are just meat to your commanders”. Since then other Ukrainian positions along the front line have been attacked, and the death toll is rising.Following the flare-up, the American ambassador to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which monitors the ceasefire, blamed “combined Russian-separatist forces” for starting the attacks. Ukrainian forces have been creeping forward into the “grey zone” in recent months, seizing positions in several small towns. The rebels might have felt it was an opportune moment to hit back.Whoever started the fighting, its victims are the 16,000 civilians in Avdiivka, who for days were cut off from electricity in temperatures of -20°C, and those in the rebel-held territories, many of whom lack water. The violence underscores the difficulty of implementing the Minsk Two ceasefire agreement, signed in February 2015, which the two sides interpret differently. For Kiev and its Western backers, the agreement is a path for Ukraine to reassert control over its east and close its border with Russia, followed by a decentralisation of power to its regions. Russia, however, sees the agreement as a way of retaining control over eastern Ukraine, keeping the border open and demanding that Kiev recognise Donbas as an autonomous region within Ukraine. This would give Russia permanent influence over Ukraine’s future.From Ukraine’s point of view, the violence was a warning to its American and European allies, several of whom are considering lifting sanctions against Russia. “Who would dare talk about lifting the sanctions in such circumstances?” asked Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president, who cut short a visit to Germany to attend to the crisis. Mr Poroshenko later said he would call a national referendum on joining NATO—which Russia considers a red line and NATO itself does not want.
ukraine1Many Russia-watchers think Mr Putin may have stoked the conflict to test his new American counterpart. Mr Trump has promised better relations with Moscow. Mr Putin may have decided to probe his willingness to turn a blind eye to Russian actions in Ukraine, the two countries’ main point of conflict. The Russian government says Ukraine was discussed in their telephone conversation.
In the past, significant escalations of fighting were quickly met by the White House or the State Department with strongly worded statements condemning Russian aggression and supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity. This time it took the State Department two days to say it was “deeply concerned”; it did not mention Russia. This response was duly noted in Moscow. “Washington does put the blame on the [separatist] republics, does not express support for Kiev and does not say a word about Russia’s role,” Rossiiskaia Gazeta, the official government newspaper, wrote jubilantly. The Kremlin also noted the American failure to react to the news that Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner, would be tried again on trumped-up charges. Mr Navalny pledged to run against Mr Putin in next year’s presidential elections, but is now likely to observe Mr Putin’s re-election from a prison cell. (by The Economist)

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President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to open the plenary sessions of the 13th YES Annual Meeting

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 16 settembre 2016

Ucraina-graBruxelles. On Friday, 16 September, the plenary sessions of the 13th Yalta European Strategy annual meeting, “The World, Europe, Ukraine: Storms of Changes”, will start by a welcome speech of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, followed by the debate of speakers and participants of the forum with the chief of the Ukrainian State. As previously reported, the 13th YES annual meeting will be held in Kyiv on September 15-17. The plenary sessions and special sections of the forum will take place at the Mystetsky Arsenal national museum and cultural centre. More than 350 prominent politicians, diplomats, businessmen, civil activists and experts from 20 countries of the world will take part in the work of the forum. The first day of the plenary sessions will be focused on the key geopolitical, economic and social challenges that Europe, Ukraine and the world are facing. The discussion panels of the first plenary day will include a debate on the current situation in the European Union; prospects and challenges that Turkey is facing; implications of the US presidential election 2016 for the global politics and international relations, as well as the global challenge of social inequality, terrorism and radicalism issues. The first plenary day will resume with a debate on the issues of international support for Ukraine in the context of the Russian aggression, economic crisis and running the reforms. The discussions of the first plenary day will feature President of the European Commission (2004-2014), Prime Minister of Portugal (2002-2004) Jose Manuel Barroso, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark Kirstian Jensen, 39th Prime Minister of Denmark (2001-2009), 12th NATO Secretary General (2009-2014) Anders Fogh Rasmussen, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, Vice Prime Minister of Turkey Mehmet Simsek, European Commission Vice President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, Prime Minister of Latvia (2009-2014) Valdis Dombrovkis, philosopher and writer Bernard-Henri Levy, director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, Chief Strategist and senior advisor to US President Barack Obama (2009-2011) David Axelrod, Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff during the George W. Bush administration Karl Rove, 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (1995-1999) Newt Gingrich, Foreign Minister of Sweden (2006-2014), Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994) Carl Bildt, Managing Partner at Parnasse International, IMF Managing Director (2007-2011) Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Niall Ferguson, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, member of the YES Board Wolfganf Ischinger, United States Secretary of Defence (2006-2011), CIA Director (1991-1993) Robert Gates. The Ukrainian speakers of the first plenary day will include Head of the Supervisory Board of Aspen Institute Kyiv, Minister of Finance of Ukraine (2014-2016) Natalia Jaresko, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Co-Founder of the Centre for Economic Strategy, civil activist, singer at “Okean Elzy” Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, Chair of the People’s Front party, Prime Minister of Ukraine (2014-2016) Arseniy Yatseniuk.

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The European neighbourhood and the EU’s security of supply with natural gas

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 20 gennaio 2016

ucrainaAs domestic gas production in the EU is falling, the EU’s gas import dependence will probably rise in the future. Security of supply is thus ever more important. However, the gas transit from Russia to the EU via the Eastern route is still insecure due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Russia’s Gazprom together with Western European companies now plans to double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline with “Nord Stream 2”. This raises geopolitical questions on the Ukrainian transit route, but also legal questions on the regulatory status of Nord Stream 2, especially since Central and Eastern European Member States urge the Commission to stop the project by political or legal means. Given that Nord Stream 1 operates without any Intergovernmental Agreement and the German government backs the Nord Stream 2 project, the question remains whether the Commission would have explicit legal means to prevent the building of Nord Stream 2. To find a compromise between the diverging interests among EU Member States, Philipp Offenberg proposes, in this Policy paper, a bilateral agreement between the EU and Russia to find a coherent regulatory framework for all Russian export pipelines to the EU – the Ukrainian route, the Yamal pipeline via Belarus, Nord Stream 1 and potentially Nord Stream 2. In this agreement Russia should commit itself to a minimum transit volume through Ukraine.
Alors que sa production interne de gaz diminue, l’Union européenne risque à l’avenir de devenir de plus en plus dépendante de ses importations de gaz. La sécurité d’approvisionnement est donc d’autant plus importante. Toutefois, le transit du gaz de la Russie vers l’UE via la route orientale reste peu sûr en raison du conflit entre la Russie et l’Ukraine. L’entreprise russe Gazprom, en partenariat avec des entreprises d’Europe occidentale, envisage de doubler la capacité du gazoduc Nord Stream 1 en construisant Nord Stream 2.
Ce projet soulève des questions géopolitiques sur la route de transit ukrainienne, mais aussi des questions juridiques sur le statut réglementaire de Nord Stream 2, notamment depuis que les pays d’Europe centrale et orientale appellent la Commission européenne à stopper le projet par des moyens politiques ou juridiques. Étant donné que Nord Stream 1 fonctionne sans aucun accord intergouvernemental et que le gouvernement allemand soutient le projet Nord Stream 2, la question est de savoir si la Commission dispose de moyens juridiques explicites pour empêcher la construction de Nord Stream 2.Afin de trouver un compromis entre les intérêts divergents des États membres de l’Union européenne, Philipp Offenberg, chercheur associé de notre bureau en Allemagne, le Jacques Delors Institut – Berlin, propose, dans ce Policy paper, un accord bilatéral entre l’UE et la Russie afin de trouver un cadre réglementaire cohérent pour tous les gazoducs reliant la Russie à l’UE : la route ukrainienne, le gazoduc Yamal via le Bélarus, Nord Stream 1 et potentiellement Nord Stream 2. Dans cet accord, la Russie devrait s’engager sur un volume de transit minimum via l’Ukraine.(foto: gas)

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EIB and World Bank join forces with new agreement to support Ukraine

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 14 ottobre 2015

Ucraina-graThe European Investment Bank (EIB) and World Bank (WB) today signed an agreement under EU guarantee that aims to facilitate the purchase of gas by Ukraine’s national gas company, NJSC Naftogaz. The agreement was signed today by EIB President Werner Hoyer and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. The EIB will guarantee up to USD 520 million of selected World Bank loans in Ukraine, which will enable the World Bank to guarantee letter of credit facilities for gas purchases by Naftogaz. Today’s agreement was facilitated by a counter-guarantee of the European Union granting comprehensive cover to the EIB linked to risks of these selected WB loans in Ukraine.
EIB President Werner Hoyer commented: “European and global institutions are committed to helping Ukraine avert a potentially severe energy crisis as winter approaches. The guarantee agreement we signed today will facilitate Ukraine’s purchase of gas at a critical time. The deal reflects the EIB’s enduring support for Ukraine as part of EU cooperation with the country and the Union’s Eastern Neighbourhood region.”
“The new agreement is part of our broad support to the restructuring of the gas sector in Ukraine and it will contribute to adequate gas supplies for the next three years,” said Jim Yong Kim. “The World Bank Group is committed to continue supporting Ukraine’s ambitious reform program and we are pleased to work jointly with the EIB.”
The new agreement is part of the support for Ukraine by the European Union and international financial institutions, under which the EIB guarantees World Bank investment development projects in Ukraine. The EIB guarantee is structured under the 2014-2020 External Lending Mandate and benefits from the EU comprehensive guarantee.
The EIB – the European Union’s bank – finances projects in Ukraine on the basis of the EU External Lending Mandate, including also Eastern Neighbourhood countries comprising Ukraine. The mandate provides EIB with a guarantee covered by EU Budget for projects of significant interest to the EU and its Eastern Neighbours in the areas of local private sector development, social and economic infrastructure and climate change.In March 2014, the European Commission announced an EU support package amounting to EUR 11 billion for 2014-2016 for Ukraine in grants and lending. For its part, the EIB is contributing to this package by lending up to EUR 3 billion during 2014-2016, should political and operational conditions allow. The EU bank will focus on energy and infrastructure investment as well as access to finance for SMEs. Since the beginning of 2014 and by mid-October 2015, the EIB has already contributed EUR 1.8 billion, supporting a series of high priority projects in Ukraine.The World Bank Group has provided in the last 18 months more than US$4.1 billion to Ukraine in budget support, investment operations and private sector financing, including US$3.875 billion from IBRD, of which US$2.25 billion in fast-disbursing budget support, and US$250 million from IFC.The World Bank is also supporting Ukraine through policy advice and technical assistance in formulating and implementing comprehensive structural reforms. These include, among others, reforms to: improve public sector governance and efficiency in the use of public resources and fight corruption; restore fiscal and external account balances; stabilize the banking sector; enhance the investment climate; restructure the energy sector; and strengthen the social safety net system to target assistance to the poor and most vulnerable.

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“The Unsung Heroes of 1989: Churches and Religious Leaders, Then and Now in Eastern Europe and Beyond”

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 23 marzo 2015

SantaMariaMaggioreRoma Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore, 7 Giovedì 24 marzo 2015 – ore 17:30 Aula Magna Fr. James McCann S.J., Rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, announces a new series of occasional lectures on topics of contemporary importance relating to the Christian East. These lectures will explore religious, political, and historical aspects of contemporary life all over the world, but especially in regions where Oriental Christian communities are thriving or have thrived.The first lecture in the series concerns the pivotal year of 1989. More than 25 years after the “earthquake” that shook Eastern Europe, little is still known about the crucial role of the Christian Churches and their leaders in bringing about truly revolutionary change. The same Churches and their leaders not only helped to overthrow Communist rule, but worked very hard to build democracy in the region. What are the Churches doing today to construct a democratic society? Could they play a significant part in resolving conflict and bringing about change in areas such as Ukraine and Georgia? We are delighted to welcome to the Pontifical Oriental Institute Professor Jane Leftwich Curry of Santa Clara University, a Jesuit University in California. Since 2011 she has also been Visiting Professor at the Centre of East European Studies of the University of Warsaw. Professor Curry is an eminent specialist in the politics and history of Eastern Europe.
She is calling her lecture “The Unsung Heroes of 1989: Churches and Religious Leaders, Then and Now in Eastern Europe and Beyond.”

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Ukraine crisis at a crossroads to find a long-term solution

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 20 dicembre 2014

putinThe nature of the crisis within and around Ukraine is beginning to change. Kiev has no choice but to engage in a painful process of reforms as a prerequisite for its viability and continued international support.Western and eastern Ukraine will be economically interdependent, if economic viability is to be secured. However, the political agenda will instead be overshadowed, if not torn apart, by deep divisions over ‘who lost what?’. Ukraine depends on both Europe and Russia. The West has an important part to play in helping Ukraine follow a route of ‘Europeanisation without membership’. The West also has to engage Russia in a process of continental re-ordering.( by Dr Uwe Nerlich, director of Centre for European Security Strategies (CESS) Munich, Germany). (photo Putin)

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Will Europe stand by Ukraine after trade pact?

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 27 giugno 2014

Ukraine1 – together with Georgia and Moldova – are set to sign a controversial trade pact with the European Union on Friday, June 27. It is likely to prompt Russia’s wrath, says Geopolitical Information Service author Professor Stefan Hedlund, Research Director in Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden.Russia has taken punishing measures against those nations who are seeking closer ties with the West. It was Ukraine’s refusal to sign the deal at the last moment which sparked massive riots in Kiev in November 2013 and split the nation.But will Europe turn its back on Ukraine if the former Soviet republic plunges further into crisis as Russia squeezes the last economic breath from the nation of 45 million? asks Professor Hedlund.‘The contradiction between lofty ideals and realpolitik – power and material considerations – has remained something of a founding principle of international relations,’ he says.In 2008, the Georgians believed that the door to Nato was open for them, and that they would receive support against Russian retaliation. ‘When Russian tanks rolled in, the West averted its eyes,’ says Professor Hedlund.‘Although the crisis in Ukraine has caused the rhetoric on the freedom to choose to become a bit more subdued, Western political leaders will, as a rule, still insist that Ukraine retains a right to join both Nato and the European Union, irrespective of what Russia may feel.‘Reiterating statements of the kind, which have become so central to Western political culture, may provide a feeling of warm glow, and of moral superiority’, adds Professor Hedlund. ‘But there is also a downside’.
‘When oppressed people listen to the lofty rhetoric, they may be deluded into believing that the speakers stand ready to back their words with action.’‘The tragedy in Ukraine is unlikely to be the last illustration of the ingrained Western practice of speaking loudly and carrying a limp stick.’Read Professor Hedlund’s full statement here.


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The European Commission stands zero chance of success in delivering all the support Ukraine needs to achieve its political and economic reforms

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 13 giugno 2014

Ukraine1That is the view of Ukraine expert Professor Stefan Hedlund who is Research Director at the Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University, and author for intelligence consultancy Geopolitical Information Service. The European Commission said in May that it is ‘determined to make sure that Ukraine has all the support it needs to undertake the political and economic reforms necessary to consolidate a democratic, independent, united and prosperous Ukraine’. But it stands zero chance of success, of delivering that writes Professor Stefan Hedlund, Ukraine had US$8 billion in forex reserves at the end of April 2014 and a recognised total debt service for the second half of the year of US$9 billion. Ratings agencies downgraded the country’s sovereign debt to default imminent. ‘Matters appeared to change following the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) decision, April 30, to approve a US$17 billion package of support. With the EU and others jointly contributing US$11 billion, it looked as though Ukraine had a new lease on life. This is a grand illusion,’ says Professor Hedlund.‘First, Ukraine has a major debt to Russia the size of which is under debate. Nobody doubts that Moscow will succeed in squeezing several billion dollars out of the support package,’ he says.‘Second, there is substantial debt service for 2015 as well, which further erodes what little support is made available.’Third, and most important, the support is staggered over several years and conditional on Ukraine implementing successful reforms. ‘This not only reduces the value of the outside commitment to a ‘democratic, independent, united and prosperous Ukraine’ but also puts in focus the ability of Ukraine’s government to stay on track with its commitments to the IMF, and to even survive,’ he adds.
A political threat conveniently ignored in technocratic discussion of the support package is that Ukrainian households have been dealt a triple whammy over future heating bills. Russia has hiked the export price of gas, a major devaluation of the hryvna, Ukraine’s national currency, has raised the import price of gas, and the IMF has called for gas subsidies to be revoked. ‘The final price for household gas is difficult to predict, but a hike of 50 per cent or more is likely. Households unable to pay their gas bills will be freezing come October and November,’ says Professor Hedlund.‘Ukraine is heading for a train crash while Western officials are busily involved in activities reminiscent of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.’


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Ukraine crisis will forever change Europe’s security architecture

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 20 maggio 2014

Ucraina-graThe current  crisis in relations between Europe and Russia over Ukraine is the first major continental crisis since the end of the Cold War in 1991. The consequences remain uncertain, writes World Review author Dr Uwe Nerlich, founding director of the Centre for European Security Strategies GmbH, Germany. ‘The crisis will change the European security architecture,’ he says. ‘It will change the geopolitical fabric on the continent, no matter what the future coherence and viability of Ukraine may turn out to be. Russia will be a different strategic player.’Europe faces multiple challenges. It has to maintain growth, competitiveness and social-political cohesion and to find the institutional solutions required to forge future common responses to upcoming crises. Further confrontational policies towards Russia will reinforce Europe’s drive to diversify its energy imports. ‘This would open an emerging market in Europe for US shale gas exports to replace Russian gas. Revenue from gas exports is vitally important for Russia’s economic viability,’ he says. Russia could move to more confrontation with the US and Europe in critical regions and to a greater anti-American, if not anti-Western alliance with China. This could increase Russia’s dependence on China, reduce its dependence on Europe, and free China’s hands in the evolving global competition – with the US newly-entangled in a distant quagmire.‘The world is undergoing thorough geopolitical change,’ says Dr Nerlich. ‘An unprecedented kind of global competition is unfolding. And it is creating unique conditions for Europe.  ‘Europe’s societal model and its strong, though underused technology-base, could provide it with the ability to dominate future global competition, provided it succeeds in alleviating internal tensions and increases its ability to compete globally as a united Europe.’
World Review author and international security advisor Dr Uwe Nerlich is a founding director of the Centre for European Security Strategies (CESS) based in Munich, Germany. Dr. Nerlich was a senior vice-president of IABG, and a member of the SWP directorate (now the German Institute for International and Security Affairs) which advises the Bundestag and the federal government on foreign and security issues. He has brought experience as chairman of a number of   international and national research organisations such as the European-American Institute for Security Research, the European Strategy Group (ESG) and he was a council member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London from 1978 to 1987. (font: website.)


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World Jewish Congress concerned about anti-Semitic agitation in Ukraine, urges restraint

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 21 aprile 2014

NEW YORK – The head of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Friday expressed concern about the situation in Ukraine and urged all sides in the conflict there to refrain from using anti-Semitic propaganda to further their political goals. Following the distribution in Donetsk and other towns in eastern Ukraine of an anti-Jewish flyer attributed to a pro-Russian separatist leader in Ukraine, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder condemned the pamphlet and called on all sides to show restraint. “We don’t know yet who instigated this latest affront, but it shows the seriousness of the situation.”Lauder went on to say: “All sides must ensure that any form of anti-Semitism is condemned and fought vigorously. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian Jewish community is caught up in a situation for which it bears no responsibility, and it needs to be protected against unfair attacks, no matter where they may come from.” Lauder added the WJC was closely following events in Ukraine and was in constant contact with the local community.A Ukrainian news agency reported on Wednesday that armed men had handed out a leaflet calling on Jews to register their property with the interim pro-Russian government or face deportation and loss of citizenship. The leaflet, a copy of which was distributed by the ‘Donbass’ news agency, demanded the city’s Jews supply a detailed list of all the property they own, or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation, and have their assets confiscated. Donetsk, where pro-Russian separatists captured government buildings in the past week, is home to around 17,000 Jews. Reportedly bearing the signature of the pro-Russian separatist leader Denis Pushilin, the flyer was distributed to Jews near the Donetsk synagogue and later in other areas of the city where pro-Russians activists recently declared Donetsk as an ‘Independent People’s Republic’. Pushilin denied any connection to the flyers, calling them a provocation. According to the document Jews would need to supply “ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles.”

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Statement of Victor Pinchuk

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 19 febbraio 2014

victor pinchuk1Victor Pinchuk said: “A peaceful solution must be found, it is imperative to refrain from the use of force and find a compromise. Ukraine since its independence has avoided bloodshed. We must return to this tradition immediately. From this minute, this is the responsibility of everyone – those in power, the opposition, civil society, business. It is time for all sides to take courageous steps towards compromise that they may not yet have been ready to take even this morning. For each of us, love for Ukraine must be immeasurably more important than any other feelings and interests.”

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United in diversity: Anthems and flags of the European Union

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 9 dicembre 2013

Europe - Satellite image - PlanetObserver

Europe – Satellite image – PlanetObserver (Photo credit: PlanetObserver)

This study’s purpose is to highlight the meanings and con­text underlying the appearance of the main symbols attached to each EU member country, that are the national anthem and the flag, by also associating the portrayal of this union. Because they are “united in diversity”, EU countries regularly put forward their colours and anthems, the lyrics and harmonies of which represent as many different historical context and traditions, which are not well known among Europeans. Yet, these symbols perfectly illustrate the concept of a “European federation of nation states” promoted by Jacques Delors, and based on both the uniqueness of each country, and on the lasting reconciliation among the countries in the EU, to the point where the fiercest showdowns between them these days are of the sporting variety! The Union makes sense in a globalising world, yet in its partners’ and competitors view “Europe” is grow­ing old and shrinking. The answer is not to build a new nation or superstate but to forge greater unity among countries and peoples while continuing to respect their unique characteristics and features.Bearing all of this in mind, this study has the merit of homing in on the nitty-gritty, of getting straight to the heart of the matter, condensing in a few lines the reasons why certain colours, words and tunes make our neighbours’ hearts beat that little bit faster. It is particularly useful, and even unique, in that it does not make do with simply introducing the EU countries’ symbols in alpha­betical order, it also illustrates the historical context that led to the develop­ment and adoption of the flags and anthems, grouping them together in like cat­egories.A feeling of belonging is something you build, it is a result of imagi­nary interpretation and needs to be rooted first and foremost in a political project, but it can also be usefully rooted in such tools as flags and national anthems. In the EU’s case it is not simply a matter of getting the peoples of Europe to feel greater attachment to the star-spangled flag or to the “Ode to Joy”. It is also necessary to help them learn more about the flags towards which their “European compatriots” turn and the anthems they entone on ceremonial occasions, at European sporting events or during the Olympic Games.

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L’UE à l’épreuve du Partenariat oriental

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 2 dicembre 2013

Night skyline of Vilnius, Lithuania.

Night skyline of Vilnius, Lithuania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ce Policy paper de Florent Parmentier dresse un état des lieux et perspectives du Partenariat oriental à l’heure où s’ouvre le sommet de Vilnius des 28 et 29 novembre. Quatre ans après son lancement, deux ans après la révision de la politique européenne de voisinage, et quelques jours après la défection ukrainienne, où en est le Partenariat oriental ? Répondre à cette interrogation suppose de dresser un premier état des lieux sur les partenaires orientaux. Ensuite, les chances d’une plus grande intégration européenne sont liées aux composantes actuelles du PO côté européen. Des pistes d’amélioration peuvent alors être proposées afin de renforcer l’efficacité de cette politique.Après avoir dressé le bilan des défis, puis des objectifs et enjeux du partenariat oriental, l’auteur propose des recommandations ainsi qu’une prospective à horizon 2020 d’un partenariat fragilisé par le revirement de l’Ukraine à quelques jours du sommet de Vilnius.

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Parliament strongly condemns homophobic laws and violence in Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 maggio 2012

EU Member states should set an example in fighting homophobia, says Parliament in a resolution adopted by a clear majority on Thursday. MEPs condemn homophobic laws and violence in European countries, and call on EU member states to consider giving access to cohabitation, registered partnerships or marriage to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. European countries, whether or not they are EU member states, and including Russia, Ukraine and Moldova, should ensure that LGBT people are protected from homophobic hate speech and violence, and that same-sex partners enjoy the same respect as the rest of society, says the resolution, tabled by the EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens/EFA and GUE/NGL groups and adopted with 430 votes in favour, 105 against and 59 abstentions.

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Ukraine Unveils New Airport in Donetsk

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 15 maggio 2012

Kyiv, Ukraine, (PRNewswire) Country officials open the renewed terminal at Donetsk international airport in Ukraine just in time for EURO 2012. The renewed airport boasts a seven-storey terminal capable of servicing up to 3,100 passengers per hour (previously – 700), reads the statement by Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry.
Donetsk airport recently introduced an artificial runway suitable for all types of airplanes, including the heavy Boeing 747 and Airbus A380. It boasts the tallest in the country 52 meter control tower. The International Civil Aviation Organization granted the airport the ICAO III A category, allowing it to accept landings at zero visibility conditions.
Ukrainian state budget contributed USD 758 million into the Donetsk airport reconstruction. Additionally, private investments and local budget funded the construction. Curiously, in November of 2011 the airport was named after renowned classical composer Serhiy Prokofiev, who originated from Donetsk.EURO 2012 triggered reconstruction works at Kyiv and Lviv airports, while Donetsk and Kharkiv ones were built from scratch. In 2012 western Ukrainian EURO 2012 host Lviv opened a new terminal. It services up to 2,100 persons per hour. Interestingly, Budapest airport has the channel capacity of 970 persons per hour (8.5 million a year).
The Airport in Kharkiv boasts a new 2.5 kilometer runway (allowing the airport to service Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 landings), renewed infrastructure, and a terminal. New terminal F at Boryspil airport in Kyiv has a waiting zone of 5,670 square meters and capacity of 2,400 passengers per hour. Comparably, the waiting area in Moscow’s Domodedovo airport is 2,900 square meters.Final renovations are under way at Kyiv airports Zhuliany and Boryspil. In May 2012 Zhuliany will get a new terminal with a total area of 14,270 square meters and channel capacity of 320 persons per hour. In June 2012 Boryspil will open additional terminal D, servicing over 20 planes at a time. Currently, Boryspil operates 62 percent of passenger traffic in the country.

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Ukraine Open to Joining Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 maggio 2012

Kyiv, Ukraine, (PRNewswire) Ukraine is ready to participate in the construction of the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline from Azerbaijan through Turkey to Europe. Ukraine wants to “both make a financial contribution and provide pipes and compressor stations,” said Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov during the meeting with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan. The Trans Anatolian gas pipeline project (also known as Trans Anadolu, or TANAP) was announced in November of 2011. In December 2011 Turkey agreed with Azerbaijan to take the 2,000 kilometer pipeline from the largest natural gas field in Azerbaijan – Shah Deniz-II – through Georgia to Turkey and then to Europe. According to Georgian expert Neil Dunn, the main strategic choice for TANAP is whether to direct gas to the Balkans and Italy or send it to Central Europe. It is projected that TANAP would transport up to 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year (16 billion in the initial stage). Turkey plans to buy 6 billion for domestic needs, while the rest would head to Europe. Reportedly, the price of the construction may reach USD 5-7 billion. The new pipeline will open in 2017. Ukraine’s move is not the first attempt to diversify the country’s gas imports. Dependent on Russian gas, the country strives to find new sources of domestic gas production and foreign supply.As part of these efforts, Ukrainian government is negotiating an agreement with Azerbaijan. The deal stipulates the supply of 10 to 15 billion cubic meters of Azeri gas per year. The gas will be supplied through LNG terminal, to be launched in 2014. Its capacity is planned at 10 billion cubic meters.Additionally, Ukraine envisages the reverse use of the existing pipelines in order to import gas to Ukraine from the EU, according to Ukraine’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade Petro Poroshenko. Ukrainian state oil and gas company Naftogaz, reportedly, plans to contract with the German company RWE, providing for the supply of spot gas purchased in Europe via Slovakian pipelines.

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Ukraine Invests in Energy Independence

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 29 aprile 2012

Natural Gas Usage

Natural Gas Usage (Photo credit: drbrain)

Kyiv, Ukraine, (PRNewswire) The jack-up rig for oil and gas extraction from the shelf of the Black Sea will enter the territorial waters of Ukraine on May 1st, 2012. This move is part of Ukrainian policy aimed at energy independence through increasing domestic energy production. The two newly acquired jack-up rigs will allow Ukraine to extract additional 250 million cubic meters of gas by the end of 2012, said Minister Boyko.The state-owned company Chornomornaftogaz bought two jack-up rigs from the Singapore producers pursuing the aim of ridding Ukraine of energy dependency from outside suppliers. The purchase of the two mobile platforms will provide the country with additional 3 billion cubic meters of gas by the end of 2014, said Ukraine’s energy minister Yuriy Boyko. The first rig will be installed at the joint fields Odeske/Bezimenne on the Black Sea shelf in June 2012.Equipment Chornomornaftogaz currently uses allows for drilling at depths not exceeding 100 meters. The new rig, on the other hand, works with wells located 100-120 meters under the water surface. This opens new opportunities to develop the shelf reserves. Additionally, the new equipment can drill 9 kilometers into the shelf, whereas previously it was only possible to drill wells 4.5-5 kilometers deep.At the beginning of 2012, Chornomornaftogaz was developing 17 wells, including 11 gas wells. Total estimated reserves amount to 58.56 billion cubic meters of natural gas, 1.231 million tons of natural-gas condensate, as well as 2.53 million tons of oil, informs Uaenergy.Besides increasing domestic extraction, Ukraine is also diversifying its energy sector by looking for new oil and gas suppliers. The country is eyeing projects on gas supply from Azerbaijan, Iraq, Norway, Romania, and Turkey. Moreover, Ukraine plans to construct the LNG terminal with annual capacity of 10 billion cubic meters on the Black Sea shore. The construction is scheduled to be completed by 2014. At the beginning of 2012 Ukraine announced its intention to buy 27 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia, as opposed to more than 40 billion the country acquired in 2011. Ukrainian officials insist the country overpays some USD 4 to 5 billion annually for Russian gas.

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