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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: JUNE 21– 25

Source : 112 Ukraine

Check out this week's news from Ukraine: Donbas conflict, coronavirus, Nord Stream 2, UEFA Euro 2020, sanctions and more
22:44, 25 June 2021

112 Agency

Donbas conflict

OSCE SMM continues to observe hundreds of ceasefire violations in Donbas combat area. On June 22 alone, the number made 166.

Ukrainian serviceman was wounded in the attack on government forces positions on June 24.

President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that Ukraine would have to build a wall on the border with Russia if the negotiations to resolve the ongoing conflict fail.

Сoronavirus

On June 22, the World Health Organization stated that a large number of poorer countries receiving Covid-19 vaccines through a global sharing scheme do not have enough doses to continue programs. At the same, the fourth stage of the vaccination against coronavirus has started in Ukraine. And it has become known that Ukraine holds talks with Johnson & Johnson, Moderna on the supply of Covid-19 vaccines. On June 24, children were allowed to be vaccinated with Pfizer. 

The Delta Plus coronavirus strain has been detected in 9 more countries. On June 23, Slovakia confirmed the first case of Delta coronavirus strain. Later, the newest Indian strain of coronavirus Delta was recorded in Ukraine but detected cases of Delta coronavirus strain in Ukraine are not related to each other. In this regard, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has introduced a mandatory coronavirus antigen test for crossing the Ukrainian border for people traveling from a number of countries. The United Kingdom, Portugal, Russia, and India are also about to introduce extra restrictions related to the spread of the Delta coronavirus strain. German Health Minister stated that Delta Covid strain will dominate in Germany this summer. On June 25, the first case of infection with a new Delta Plus coronavirus strain found in Russia. Delta Plus strain is a variant of the Indian Delta strain. At the same time, not all vaccines work equally well with the Delta coronavirus strain. And Oxford University reported that vaccines against coronavirus produced by the Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca and the Pfizer-BioNTech alliance are effective against Delta and Kappa variants of the COVID-19.

There was also a number of scientific studies. In particular, the size and stiffness of red and white blood cells can change if people are infected with the coronavirus; the active sneezing can be the sign of Covid-19 but only if a person was vaccinated; the virus that causes COVID-19 could have started spreading in China as early as October 2019; airborne pollen grains could transport airborne virus particles such as the airborne coronavirus (CoV) disease (COVID-19).

British Destroyer in Black Sea

On June 23, an incident between the Russian and the British Navy took place in the Black Sea. A Russian border guard vessel fired warning shots at HMS Defender, the British destroyer that was on its way not far from Cape Fiolent. Russian combat aviation scrambled, too; a Su-24 frontline bomber dropped four bombs along the course of the British vessel.

The Russian side claimed that HMS Defender entered Russia's territorial waters near cape Fiolent in the Black Sea. According to them, the incident took place at 11.52 a.m. Wednesday. The British crew were warned about the weapon use in case of the border violation, but they did not respond.

The British military attache was summoned to Russian Defense Ministry immediately after the incident.

However, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said no Russian warning shots were fired at the Royal Navy’s HMS Defender, which sailed into the Black Sea earlier this month, and it did not recognise assertions that bombs were put in its path.

“We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior-warning of their activity,” the defence ministry said in a statement on Twitter.

Commenting on the incident, the United States claimed its support for Great Britain and Ukraine, which repels the Russian aggression. Washington also reaffirmed its stance regarding Ukraine's territorial integrity.

Nord Stream 2

America would not allow the Russian Federation to use the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as a tool for putting pressure on Ukraine and Europe. Moreover, Washington together with Berlin is working to prevent Russia from using the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as such a tool.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky plans to discuss the issue of Nord Stream 2 with U.S. President Joe Biden.

At the same time, the Head of Ukraine’s Naftogaz stated that the completion of the Nord Stream 2 construction process doesn't mean the pipeline is going to be used

Sanctions

The Biden administration is preparing to impose additional sanctions on Russia over the poisoning of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny. On June 21, European Union foreign ministers approved a fresh set of sanctions against scores of officials in Belarus and approved sectoral sanctions against Belarus over the forced landing of a Ryanair aircraft in Minsk. The EU Council also decided to renew sanctions introduced in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation for a further year until 23 June 2022 and instructed the head of the European External Relations and Security Policy Service Josep Borrell and the European Commission to prepare new sanctions against Russia. And Zelensky enforced sanctions against Russian banks in occupied Donbas, Crimea.

On June 23, the United States agreed to lift sanctions on Iran's oil and gas sector and shipping, as well as the country's top leadership.

On June 24, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree imposing sanctions on 312 individuals and 103 legal entities proposed by the Cabinet of Ministers and promulgated the sanctions against four companies and six individuals involved in the development of NotPetya computer virus. Later, Oleksiy Danilov, the Secretary of the Council said that National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine will hold a session to consider the introduction of sanctions against citizens of Ukraine who are on the US sanctions list now.

UEFA Euro 2020

This week, all teams of Euro 2020 playoffs have become known. The playoff matches will begin on June 26. The final will be played in London on July 11.

Ukraine’s national team also secured place in playoffs. The national team of Ukraine took the third place in its group and did not know about its fate until the last matches. In the end, Shevchenko's team got into the top four third teams.

Ukraine will play on June 29 against Sweden.

PS752 crash

Canadian official forensic examination of the UIA plane downed in Teheran did not find evidence that the aircraft was bagged on purpose. It is noted that Iran did not provide a “credible explanation of how and why" its military downed the plane.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reacted to the results of Canadian investigation saying that a report of Canadian forensic experts confirmed that Iran's civilian and military authorities are fully responsible for the downing of PS752.

“This report confirms Ukraine's position on systemic miscalculations in the organization of the civil aviation security system in Iran. That is why the attempt to reduce the cause of the tragedy to ‘erroneous’ actions of the missile operator does not stand up to any criticism. The facts are clear: Iran is responsible for the deaths of 176 innocent people,” the statement reads.

 

 

 

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