Month: March 2023
The head of the Ukrainian state holds meeting with President of Moldova
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held talks with President of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu, visiting our country at his invitation.
The head of the Ukrainian state noted the importance of Moldova’s solidarity with the people of Ukraine in the conditions of ongoing Russian aggression and emphasized the commitment to continue doing everything necessary to build friendly and close relations between our states.
He highly appreciated the signals of the Moldovan side in support of Ukraine and the visit of the President of Moldova to the cities affected by the Russian invaders.
The head of the Ukrainian state briefed his counterpart on the situation at the front.
The leaders expressed readiness to strengthen cooperation in countering challenges coming from Russia and exchanged views on the need for further sanctions pressure on Moscow.
Zelenskyy and Sandu discussed current issues of bilateral cooperation in detail.
The President of Ukraine welcomed the joint progress in the development of transport infrastructure, in particular, the connection of Odessa region and the south of Moldova by a new railway line with common border and customs control.
The parties positively noted the work of the relevant departments of the two countries, aimed at increasing the throughput capacity at certain border sections.
Particular attention was paid to the issue of creating a special tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.
The presidents of Ukraine and Moldova also discussed the progress and further prospects of the movement of the two states through European integration.
At the meeting, Zelenskyy expressed gratitude to the Moldovan side for the decision adopted by its national parliament to recognize the Holodomor in Ukraine as an act of genocide of the Ukrainian people.
Ukraine received CAD 2.4 billion from Canada
The State Budget of Ukraine received from Canada CAD 2.4 billion (equivalent to USD 1.8 billion) of the concessional loan under the Additional Agreement*. The funds were provided through the mechanism of the Administrated Account of the IMF.
“Canada once again demonstrated that it is a reliable partner of Ukraine – today we received CAD 2.4 billion, which will be directed primarily to financing priority expenditures of the State Budget. These funds will allow us to support the citizens of Ukraine in war conditions and bring our victory over the russian aggressor closer,” said Ministry of Finance of Ukraine Sergii Marchenko.
The repayment period of additional loan is 10 years, the interest rate is 1.5% per annum.
*Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated March 14, 2023, No. 245 On State External Borrowings in 2023 by Obtaining a Loan from Canada
Electric scooters, electric bikes and unicycles were recognized as electric vehicles — the law was signed
The president signed bill 8172, which recognized scooters and other means of electric micro-mobility as light personal electric transport.
Bohdan Lepiavko, traffic safety and advocacy coordinator at U-Cycle, noted that in the adopted law “On some issues of the use of vehicles equipped with electric engines and amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine on overcoming fuel dependence and development of electric charging infrastructure and electric of vehicles” have taken into account recommendations developed by the U-Cycle team and community and partners.
In the post, he summarized the main theses adopted in the law.
A light personal electric vehicle is a wheeled vehicle that is equipped and driven exclusively by electric traction motors (one or more) with power in the range of up to 1000 W, an electric energy storage system (battery) that can be charged by connecting to an external source of electrical energy, with one, two, three or four wheels with a maximum design speed of up to 25 kilometers per hour.
A low-speed light electric vehicle is a wheeled vehicle that is equipped and driven exclusively by electric traction motors (one or several), an electric energy storage system (battery), which is capable
to be charged by connecting to an external source of electrical energy, with two, three or four wheels, which has a maximum design speed of less than or equal to 50 kilometers per hour and more than 10 kilometers per hour, and a curb weight of not more than 600 kilograms.
Of course, some devices can go over 50 km/h – nothing new is foreseen for them, but they do not fall into these categories and will obviously be considered generally, probably as motorcycles.
The existence of the definition represents these devices as vehicles, and in case of any accidents, the user of such a device is already 100% the driver of the vehicle, not a pedestrian. This greatly simplifies the interpretation and removes a number of cases and issues that have already arisen and were widely discussed.
The allocation of the category of vehicles with a speed of up to 25 km/h and with a power limit of up to 1000 W fully complies with European regulations. All rental scooters fall into this category.
SSU Head and Ambassador of Japan discuss cooperation to counter common threats
The SSU Head Vasyl Maliuk and the Ambassador of Japan to Ukraine Kuninori Matsuda agreed practical steps to strengthen cooperation between Ukraine and Japan in responding to common threats.
The partners discussed counteraction to russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, information security, cyber threats and international terrorism.
‘We seek to deepen cooperation with the law enforcement and special services of Japan and will be happy to share our unique experience in countering russia’s armed and hybrid aggression,’ Vasyl Maliuk emphasized.
The SSU Head thanked the Government of Japan for consistent assistance to the Ukrainian people and for massive sanctions against russia and belarus.
In his turn, Kuninori Matsuda noted that such support would continue.
‘The Japanese Government and the entire people of Japan are ready to comprehensively assist until real peace returns to Ukraine. Following the visit of the Prime Minister of Japan to Ukraine and the meeting with the President of Ukraine, a new stage of relations between our states has begun – a special global partnership. Its first step is concluding the Agreement on Information Protection,’ the Ambassador of Japan to Ukraine informed.
The parties discussed preparations for the signing of this international agreement.
Ambassador Matsuda also underscored that Japan highly appreciates the professionalism of the SSU officers and all Ukrainian defenders.
‘The SSU, together with the Defence Forces, is at the forefront of protecting the territorial integrity and independence of our country. Our priorities are counterintelligence and performing operational and combat missions,’ Vasyl Maliuk said.
The SSU Head added that another major line of the SSU’s work is investigating war crimes committed by the occupiers. Currently, the Service is investigating over 43,000 criminal proceedings on russia’s war crimes.
Russia is preparing an alternative to the grain agreement with Turkey
In the Russian State Duma, they started talking about creating a “Persian hub” – a new transport hub in one of the Iranian ports, which will be used mainly for supplying wheat and other grains from Russia.
The Eastern Herald writes about it.
The costs of Russian exporters of agricultural products within the “grain agreement” framework have seriously increased; the one-time commission for a money transfer now reaches 7% of the amount payment due to “exchange risks”.
For six months, from mid-September 2022, within the framework of the North-South international transport corridor, the organization of a logistics channel from Russian ports on the Volga in the Ulyanovsk region to the Iranian port of Enzali and customs terminals and a warehouse in Qazvin worked.
At the beginning of December 2022, as part of the XIV International Forum “Business Climate in Russia”, a memorandum was signed, which will allow the launching of the large-scale project “Middle Volga – Enzali – Qazvin” for the direct delivery of “river-sea” cargo. It was reported that the route should have a two-way orientation and show all the advantages of “free ports”. At the same time, an agreement was concluded on the supply of wheat to Iran with the company Shamsazar of 600 million rubles.
Also, Russia and Iran plan to combine into one system the transit of goods from the Indian Ocean basin through the ports of southern Iran and their delivery by Iranian railways to the ports of the Caspian Sea. The Iranian government fully supports the project.
It will be recalled that Erdogan reacted to Putin’s offer to supply grain to the poorest countries in the world for free. He stated that Turkey is ready to buy grain to grind it into flour and send it to the final destination in this form.
In addition, the President of Turkey noted that his country is ready to facilitate the supply of fertilizers produced in Russia to poor countries.
SSU exposes Zhytomyr customs chief on systemic corruption
The SSU has shut down a large-scale corruption scheme at Zhytomyr Customs. The leadership of this entity systemically extorted ‘tributes’ from local businessmen.
According to the investigation, the organizer of the scheme is the head of Zhytomyr Customs. The official involved a chief of unit and a local broker as intermediaries in the unlawful activity.
The customs officials extorted bribes from local businessmen who imported various goods to Ukraine.
In exchange for the money, they promised not to create artificial obstacles during customs clearance. If entrepreneurs refused, the customs representatives threatened with additional inspections, delays and downtime.
In the course of the operation, the SSU documented two episodes of bribery.
The SSU detained the chief of Zhytomyr customs, the chief of the customs value control unit and the involved customs broker ‘red-handed’, when they received another illegal benefit.
Urgent investigative activities are underway at the suspects’ offices and homes.
Investigators are preparing notices of suspicion for the detained under the Article 368.3 of the CCU (acceptance of an offer, promise or receipt of an unlawful benefit by an official).
The SSU carried out the operation under the procedural supervision of Kyiv City Prosecutor’s Office.
The activities are conducted pursuant to the instruction of the President of Ukraine to strengthen systemic work in the area of combating corruption and shadow mechanisms at customs, as well as to ensure stable functioning of the state’s financial system under martial law.
Defence Intelligence: The “Big Offensive” turned out to be a “flop” for Russia
The “big offensive” announced by the Russians in the winter turned out to be a “bust”, but they will have the resources to continue the war in 2023 and, possibly, 2024. Andriy Chernyak, a representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, talked about this in an interview with Ukrinform.
“Currently, we see that the Russian army has proved incapable of conducting strategic offensive operations. The so-called “big offensive” announced by propaganda for several months turned out to be a “flop” for Russia – they did not get any significant results,” Andriy Chernyak said.
The representative of the military intelligence of Ukraine added that now the Russians are trying anything to reach the administrative borders of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, but the received intelligence allows the Armed Forces of Ukraine to take effective countermeasures and inflict maximum losses on the occupiers.
“If we talk about an inertial scenario, that is, when the current intensity of hostilities is maintained, then the available resources of the Russians will be enough to wage a conventional war in 2023 and, possibly, in 2024. If the sanctions pressure is increased, then critical difficulties in the state – the aggressor will start earlier,” Andrii Chernyak emphasized.
The representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence also noted that even now, the impact of sanctions on the military industry of the aggressor country is very noticeable. Now the Russians are experiencing the biggest losses during the entire war, and their production cannot compensate for this due to a lack of components.
Oleksii Reznikov: Ukraine is a key element of a strong system of international security architecture
On March 30, Minister of Defence of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov met with a delegation of the European Union’s Political and Security Committee headed by Committee’s Chair Delphine Pronk.
The Minister of Defence informed the European partners about the current situation at the frontline, in particular on the northern, eastern and southern directions. Special attention was also paid to the EU’s assistance to the Ukrainian Defence Forces and the professional training of Ukrainian service members abroad.
Oleksii Reznikov thanked the foreign partners for standing in solidarity with Ukraine since the first days of Russia’s full-scale invasion and providing our country with comprehensive support and assistance in the political, economic, military and humanitarian spheres.
“I am sincerely grateful to your countries for their systematic support and the work done. Thanks to the supply of Western weapons, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are making progress on the battlefield. However, we are preparing for a counter-offensive operation, so Ukraine needs, first of all, heavy equipment and trained reserves. We are interested in training the Ukrainian military at all levels: from individual soldier training to joint brigade-level exercises. I have personally seen that Ukrainian defenders have a high morale. I am confident that our men and women defenders are ready to continue fighting for Ukraine,” said Oleksii Reznikov.
The Minister of Defence stressed that Ukraine was looking forward to the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius, which should demonstrate that our country was not only a reliable partner of the Alliance, but also a country that had got to know the Russian aggressor well and was able to fight against it.
“The main threat to NATO is Russia. And only Ukraine knows how to fight the enemy of the entire civilised world in practice. Therefore, our country’s membership in the North Atlantic Alliance and the European Union is one of the key elements of a strong international security architecture,” said the Head of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry.
Oleksii Reznikov also noted that the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of Ukraine paid very close attention to the issue of weapons supply and its accounting. He briefed the foreign guests on the logistics programme, LOGFAS, which had been introduced in the Ministry of Defence and had been used by all NATO members, allowing to monitor the supply of weapons to Ukraine from partner countries and control the movement of material and technical aid. The Minister said that maintaining the trust of partners was a top priority for Ukraine, the Defence Ministry, and the Armed Forces.
EU representatives expressed their support for Ukraine on its path to victory over the aggressor country.
Delphine Pronk, on behalf of more than 40 representatives of European countries present at the meeting, expressed great gratitude and respect to all the defenders of Ukraine, who were protecting not only their homeland but also the whole of Europe, and assured of readiness to stand together until victory.