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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: JUNE 14 – 18

Source : 112 Ukraine

Check out this week's news from Ukraine: Biden Putin Summit, Donbas conflict, coronavirus, NATO summit, Nord Stream 2, UEFA Euro 2020, and more
22:30, 18 June 2021

112 Agency

Donbas conflict

It appears that Russian militants received special instructions from the Kremlin; they are ordered to interfere with the work of OSCE in Donbas combat area, which includes even blocking the Organization’s patrols.

U.S. President Joe Biden claimed that the situation in Donbas does not rule out the possibility of Ukraine's accession to NATO. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky believes that his country is already worth this membership.

Meanwhile, Russian leader Vladimir Putin accused Ukrainian military of building up its forces close to the combat area.

Biden Putin Summit

On June 16, the meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin took place in Geneva. Firstly, they negotiated in restricted attendance, later they held expanded talks.

Putin called summit with Biden "quite constructive" and summed up the results of the first summit with Biden. Besides, Putin stated that Biden agreed with him on the position toward the Minsk Agreements. It was noted that Russian ambassador will return to Washington by the end of June.

In his turn, Biden underlined that U.S. agenda does not aim against Russia. He also announced to Putin list of infrastructure entities that “closed” for cyber-attacks.

Later, Russia expressed hope that the U.S.’s influence on Ukraine on the necessity of the fulfillment of Minsk Agreements can help to make progress.

Ex-U.S. president Donald Trump also commented on the summit stating that the meeting between American leader Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin was a success for Russia, while the States got nothing out of it.

Meanwhile, Ukraine welcomed United States President Joe Biden's tough messaging when he met Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Coronavirus

On June 14, G7 countries pledged more than two billion doses of coronavirus vaccines to poor countries as a "big step towards vaccinating the world." On June 18, it became known that the Tokyo government has started vaccinating against Covid-19 employees and media representatives who will work at the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

And the Council of the European Union has abolished the restrictions for inner traveling for tourists who have digital Covid certificate. Over half out of 27 EU states-members have started to use digital Covid-19 certificates within the preparation for the tourist splash. Meanwhile, the inner Ukrainian Covid-19 certificate should appear at the Diia app on July 1, 2021, according to the Ministry of Digital Transformation. 

The Health Ministry of Slovenia has announced the end of the coronavirus epidemic from June 16. But the new wave of the coronavirus pandemic can start in Ukraine already by the end of summer if the Covid strain Delta will not be taken under control.

As of June 17, Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) has returned more than $41 million to passengers for flights canceled due to the coronavirus since April 2020. 

NATO summit

The NATO summit took place on June 14, in Brussels. The main agenda included Russia and China that “oppose international order based on rules”, the threat of terrorism, cyber-attacks, climate change. Secretary-General of the Alliance Jens Stoltenberg stated that the Alliance's relations with Russia have deteriorated recently and NATO leaders warned of a military threat posed by China, calling its behavior a "systemic challenge" to Alliance security.  

During the meeting, U.S. President Joe Biden said that the situation in Donbas does not exclude the possibility of Ukraine's accession to NATO. And NATO leaders have confirmed the decision of the Bucharest summit about Ukraine becoming the Alliance member. At that, Kyiv still needs to move forward with reforms, reads the document. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky expressed gratitude to NATO leaders for the promise to accept Ukraine in the Alliance; however, he paid attention that such plans do not contain particular terms. In turn, The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved an action plan for the implementation of the annual national program under the auspices of the Ukraine-NATO Commission for 2021 and performance indicators.

But Putin commented that he did not think there is anything to discuss Ukraine joining NATO. Later, The Kremlin said Ukraine's membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will be a "red line".

Nord Stream 2

At the beginning of the week, Ukraine stated it is ready to consider compensation for Nord Stream 2’s launch. Besides, Ukraine needs extra security guarantees in case of implementation of the gas pipeline.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky underlined that the Nord Stream 2 is weapon against Ukraine. It was also noted that Ukraine's gas transport system to have hard times due to Nord Stream 2 launch.

Meanwhile, Candidate for German Chancellor Armin Laschet stated that Nord Stream 2 should not be used to blackmail Ukraine.

UEFA Euro 2020

As of Friday morning, there are already three teams that made their way into the playoffs of Euro 2020. Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands won two games each and, consequently, qualified on to the next stage. The competition is gathering pace, and June 18 is the time for England, Scotland, Croatia and Czechia to make their statements.

Music

Ukraine's Eurovision participant Go-A's Shum entered top 50 popular tracks in US. The single was on second place.

Another popular Ukrainian band ONUKA presented a new album KOLIR. It will include a joint track with DakhaBrakha Uyavy.

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