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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: APRIL 26 – APRIL 30

Source : 112 Ukraine

Donbas conflict, coronavirus, Russia-Ukraine relations, Chornobyl anniversary, European Parliament resolution on Russia and other news of the week
22:30, 30 April 2021

112 Agency

Donbas conflict

Russian occupants keep shooting on Ukrainian positions in Donbas. On Monday, an enemy sniper killed Ukrainian serviceman Ivan Kovalevsky. On April 27, a vehicle of the Ukrainian military was blown up upon contact with an unknown explosive devices; one Ukrainian serviceman was killed, and three more were injured.

During the talks of the heads of delegations in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on Donbas on April 28, one of the Russian representatives acknowledged that the people invited by the Russian side from the temporarily occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions were not a party of the negotiation. Іpeaker of the Ukrainian delegation in the TCG on Donbas Oleksiy Arestovych said so in a recent interview.

Pope Francis could become a mediator in the peace talks aiming to solve the Donbas conflict. According to Leonardo Sandri, the Cardinal Prefect, Vatican can act as a supporter, and then, after the Minsk group’s job is done, the Holy See could act as a mediator.

The sides of the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas (TCG) have not succeeded to reach the agreement on the Easter truce and made a decision to continue consultations on this issue.

Russian militants got in the way of mine clearing works in the area of Hnutove, Donetsk region. As the occupants opened fire there, workers of the rescue unit were immediately evacuated.

Coronavirus

Ukraine is emerging from the third Covid-19 wave, however, the country ranked one of the last lines in the ranking of tracking vaccination rates. Besides, Ukraine closes the state border for foreigners from India. Meanwhile, Poland will provide Ukraine with 1.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca drug.

This week, Turkey has announced a lockdown; however, the lockdown will not be strict for foreigners – they will not need special passes.

Besides, the Israeli government decided to re-introduce quarantine on arrival for citizens of seven countries.

The WHO warned that Covid-19 has not stopped but instead, it has accelerated the tempo of its spread. Meanwhile, the EU plans achieve herd immunity of the EU's adult population by the middle of July.  

European Parliament resolution on Russia/PACE resolution on national minorities

This week, European Parliament has adopted a resolution on Russia, which provides for the strengthening of sanctions against Moscow in form of an embargo on oil and gas exports, and disconnection from the SWIFT system in case of an invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine. The text of the resolution on Russia, the case of Alexei Navalny, the military build-up on Ukraine’s border and Russian attacks in the Czech Republic (2021/2642 (RSP)) is published on the website of the European Parliament.

In addition, PACE adopted a resolution on the protection of rights of national minorities. The resolution was adopted by parliamentarians after the debate about ensuring the rights of persons belonging to national minorities in Europe. The discussion was based on the report of the same name, prepared on behalf of the PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination by Elvira Kovács.

"Much attention has focused on the status of Russian and on the role of Ukrainian as the State language, and on how to ensure that the legitimate goal of promoting proficiency in the State language for all can be achieved while fully protecting the linguistic rights of persons belonging to national minorities. I would underline that I firmly believe that, in addition to being able to learn and speak their own language, proficiency in the State language is crucial to allow persons belonging to national minorities to live as fully integrated members of the society in which they live. As the Advisory Committee has underlined, States should therefore facilitate – and make attractive – the acquisition by persons belonging to national minorities of full proficiency in the State language," the report reads.

Chornobyl

Ukraine marked the 35th anniversary of the largest nuclear disaster in the history of humankind. The tragedy that occurred at Chornobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986, affected the environment in several European countries and left an extremely painful trace in historical memory of the Ukrainian nation.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) published secret documents on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of Chornobyl disaster. The SBU press office reported that on Facebook.

“The state archive of the Security Service of Ukraine publishes secret KGB documents: the first report to top officials on explosion from Director of Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant Viktor Bryukhanov, talks of plant’s operation during the emergency, evacuation of almost 45,000 citizens of Prypiat and adjacent areas,” the message said.

Ukrainian show business stars led by Oleksii Potapenko created Valse 86 musical single, timed to the 35th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster. This is a a tribute to the victims of April 26, 1986; a song about mistakes, pain, life and traces of the tragedy that remained forever.

Naftogaz

On April 28, Ukraine’s government officially reported the dismissal of Andriy Kobolev from the position of Naftogaz Head. However, Kobolev stated he learned about the dismissal from social networks. It was reported that Kobolev’s dismissal may create a threat of complication of talks between Ukraine’s government and the IMF on the provision of $5.5 billion.

It is noted that Naftogaz Ukraine will be chaired by Yuriy Vitrenko from April 29.

Meanwhile, G7 Ambassadors underlined the importance of political noninterference in Naftogaz work. Besides, U.S. stated that personnel replacements at Naftogaz violate principles of corporate governance.

Diplomatic shifts

EU capitals talked about further expulsions of Russian diplomats in solidarity with the Czech Republic. 

The Romanian authorities have decided to declare Alexey Grishaev, Deputy Military Attaché at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Bucharest. The Foreign Ministry noted that his activities and actions contravene the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations provisions since 1961.

On April 26, Russia declared an employee of the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow persona non-grata. The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine also plans to expel the Russian diplomat from the Ukrainian territory on the principle of mutuality. And on April 27, Ukraine expelled the consul of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Odesa.

Then Russia has declared the aide to the defense attaché and naval attaché at the Italian Embassy, ​​a persona non grata. On April 28, it became known that Russia was expelling diplomats from the embassies of Slovakia, as well as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as appropriate measures. 

Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry called out Russia's ambassador to Bulgaria for a "serious conversation." On April 28, it became clear that a Russian trace is being investigated in the explosions in ammunition factories in our country. The prosecution compared four such cases in which similarities were observed. They have happened in the last 10 years. And on April 30, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria declared another Russian diplomat a persona non grata.

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