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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: MAY 3 – 7

Source : 112 Ukraine

Donbas conflict, coronavirus, visit of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to Ukraine, Nord Stream 2 and other news of the week
22:33, 7 May 2021

112 Agency

Donbas conflict

May 6, Russian mercenaries delivered six attacks on Ukrainian positions. One Ukrainian serviceman lost his life in combat, and one of his comrades suffered tough shrapnel injuries.

Italian law enforcers apprehended a man who fought in Donbas on the side of Russian militants. ANSA cited the investigated team, which revealed that the individual sided with the so-called "people's republics" in Donbas and was regularly paid for his service. The 28-year-old did not own Ukrainian citizenship; he was not even a permanent resident in this country.

The agreement of all partakers, including Russia, is necessary to extend the Normandy Format as RBC-Ukraine reported citing Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.“The extension of the Normandy Format demands agreement of all partakers of the format, first of all, Russia. If at this stage the change of the structure of the Normandy Format is impossible, we urge our friends and partners to help us, as well as France and Russia to put pressure on Russia to make its behavior constructive in the Normandy Format,” Kuleba said.

Coronavirus

Ukraine has emerged from the third wave of Covid-19. The last Ukrainian region left the “red” quarantine zone. Besides, Ukraine will get the first batch of Novavax vaccine in July-August 2021. Meanwhile, Covid certificates of vaccination should be launched in Ukraine by July 1.

It was reported that tests for coronavirus strains developed in Turkey. Meanwhile, the first case of Indian strain was registered in Poland. However, Poland annuls outdoor face mask requirements. The catastrophic situation with Covid-19 spread in India continues. Ukraine will support the country with oxygen.

EU will allow entry for vaccinated foreigners; while the EU plans to launch Covid-19 passport next month.

Israel closed the border for foreigners from seven countries. Meanwhile, restaurants, shopping malls, and parks closed for lockdown in Egypt.

Visit of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to Ukraine

The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was in Ukraine on an official visit on May 5-6. He has met with Ukrainian MPs and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba and President Zelensky. Fight against corruption is one of the most important issues for Ukrainian people, according to him.

Blinken promised Ukraine support from U.S. in fight against Russia. He also noted that significant Russian forces remain near border with Ukraine, and United States is monitoring the situation. He stated that the U.S. was ready to consider extra military assistance for Ukraine.

US Secretary of State described his meetings with Ukrainian officials as "productive."

Nord Stream 2

This week, the Nord Stream 2 construction was suspended over the lawsuit filed by German environmentalists. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken stated the US’s strong opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Later, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky stated the positions of Ukraine and the U.S. toward Nord Stream 2 are the same.

G7

Foreign Ministers of G7 member countries gathered for a meeting in London. They made a number of statements concerning Ukraine and the Russian aggression against this country. In a communique, they urged Russia to assume measures on de-escalation at the border with Ukraine in Crimea. The officials recognized that the Russian aggression remains the key challenge for Ukraine. The bloc representatives also consider strengthening counteraction in the information war with the Kremlin.

Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States

This week, presidents of Poland - Andrzej Duda, Lithuania - Gitanas Nauseda, Estonia - Kersti Kaljulaid, Latvia - Egils Levits and Ukraine - Volodymyr Zelensky adopted a joint declaration on the occasion of the 230th anniversary of the adoption of the Polish Constitution on May 3. In the declaration, the presidents mentioned the topic of territorial integrity.

"Mindful of the historical experiences, proud of the achievements of our contemporary cooperation in the region and conscious of the challenges, we look with hope to the future. We express the conviction that the prosperity of our common heritage and common home, rooted in the European civilization, demands that, just like home, also Europe be built on the basis of fundamental values and principles. These are with no doubt: freedom, sovereignty, territorial integrity, democracy, the rule of law, equality and solidarity. A uniting Europe should remain open to all countries and nations which share the above-mentioned values."

Zelensky explained declaration on Ukraine’s European integration signed by Poland. The signing of the declaration of the European prospect of Ukraine approaches the full-fledged integration in the European Union, according to him. It is the second document concluded between Ukraine and the EU state. In March 2021, such a declaration was signed with Lithuania.

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