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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: MARCH 30 – April 3

Author : 112.ua News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Read about Covid-19, Donbas conflict, land sale market in Ukraine, gas, IMF, UNGA and other news from Ukraine for the week
22:30, 3 April 2020

112 Agency

Covid-19

112 Agency
As of April 3, 10 p.m. morbidity rate is 1072, 27 died, 22 recovered.

The lockdown was extended until April 24 but it is very likely it will be extended until mid-May.

Apart from this, Ukraine got the new Health Minister on March 31 - Maksym Stepanov becomes Ukraine's new Minister of Health, replacing a famous surgeon Ilya Yemets after his 30 days in office.

Related: Maksym Stepanov: Who is Ukraine's new Minister of Health


Donbas

Ukrainian soldier Volodymyr Movchaniuk was killed whilst performing a combat mission. He was shot by a sniper in Pervomaisk, Donetsk region. He died on March 30.

An employee of Ukraine's Armed Forces sustained an injury upon walking on a landmine; the incident took place near Katerynivka, Luhansk region.

The government of Ukraine will ask the international organizations to send the humanitarian convoys with protection means against coronavirus to occupied Donbas, as RBK-Ukraine reported citing Vice Prime Minister, Minister for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories Oleksiy Reznikov.

According to him, Ukraine does not leave its citizens and will take care of them.

“According to the Constitution, every citizen of Ukraine should be protected. Our task is to provide all citizens of Ukraine with tests, masks, medical aid – everything necessary. Including, of course, our citizens who live in the temporarily occupied territories,” Reznikov said.

Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stood against the restrictions of the work of the OSCE SMM in Donbas, as DW reported.

The ministers expressed concern toward restrictions of movement in the territory of self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics imposed on March 21.

“The outbreak of coronavirus pandemic cannot be the reason for obstruction of the freedom of movement of SMM and fulfillment of its mandate,” the message said.

Representatives of the occupied Donbas announced the names of people who might be passed to Ukraine during the prisoners’ exchange.

A mortar attack took place in Novotoshkivske, Luhansk region on April 1. One of the mines hit the area next to the local school. Press office of the Ministry for the Temporarily Occupied Territories reported that on April 2.

"According to specifications of Luhansk regional military and civilian administration, one 120 mm shell fell six meters away from five-story building (...)", reads the message. 

The Ministry added that due to the quarantine, the studying process is now being conducted remotely, which is why there were no victims in the incident.

 

Land sale law 

On March 31 , late at night, Ukraine’s parliament has opened the land market - 259 MPs voted for that. That means that a moratorium on the sale of land, introduced back in 2001. This temporary ban was extended ten times in Ukraine’s history (in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018).

The opening of the land market was scandalous. The idea of Zelensky’s team met with resistance among a number of political forces opposing the sale of land, while agrarians held rallies under the Verkhovna Rada and blocked state highways in protest.

The law will enter into force on July 1, 2021, except Article 2, which enters its force on the day of this law is published.


UNGA

Ukraine penalized Russia-initiated draft law of UN General Assembly on fighting coronavirus. If the Assembly passed it, Russia could have disposed of international sanctions.

Besides, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine recommends to abolish the law on amnesty of activists for the investigation of crimes in Maidan in 2013-2014


IMF + inflation

On March 30, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has approved the Bill № 3260 "On amendments to the legislative acts of Ukraine on improving some mechanisms for regulation of banking activities". This law is necessary for provision of the IMF assistance to Ukraine.

Later, it was specified that the IMF might provide Ukraine with the first tranche in the sum of $4 billion right after the adoption of the law on the banking by the Verkhovna Rada.

Besides, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is convinced that in the coming weeks, Ukraine and the IMF will sign the memorandum on the program of extended funding.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Cabinet released a refreshed macroeconomic forecast, in which this year's inflation rate was increased. In the previous forecast, the index was 5.6; in the new one, it is 11.6 percent.


Gas

This week, it was reported that in first quarter of 2020, Russia cut gas transit via Ukraine twice. In the first quarter of this year, the volume of gas transit across Ukraine made 53 percent less than last year's index.

In addition, on March 31, the analysts of A-95 consulting group reported that the price of petrol, diesel fuel and autogas in Ukraine had decreased. The avarage price of petrol of various brands is now less than 1 USD; autogas costs less than 50 cents.

On March 9, the world prices for oil fell by 31 percent due to the break of OPEC+ deal. The average price made USD 31.43 per barrel. Ukraine's Anti-Monopoly Committee claimed that the local gas stations will lower the petrol prices due to that situation.


UNGA

 

 

Sports

The World Athletics Championship was postponed for a year due to the spread of COVID-19. It was scheduled to take place in Eugene, Oregon (USA) from August 6 to August 15, 2021.

Two Ukrainian boxers got their upcoming bouts pushed back: Viktor Postol was expected to face Jose Ramirez on May 9, and Oleksandr Usyk’s bout against Dereck Chisora was booked for May 23.

ACF Fiorentina is interested in acquiring Ukraine’s Ruslan Malinovskyi. Atalanta B.C. has estimated the cost of the contract termination at 25 million euros.

 

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