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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: MAY 4 – 8

Source : 112 Ukraine

Read about Donbas conflict, coronavirus, Ukraine and IMF relations, Saakashvili appointment and other news of the week
22:35, 8 May 2020

112 Agency

About Donbas conflict

Russian mercenaries continue to shell Ukrainian positions in Donbas, using Minsk-banned weaponry, such as artillery and mortars. Militants also launched an unguided S-8 aircraft missile in Donetsk region; it landed not far from residential buildings on the outskirts of Pavlopil. This week, more attacks on civilian infrastructure occurred in Luhansk region, too; no casualties were reported, but buildings took damage.

Leonid Kuchma, the second President of Ukraine, will be leading this country's delegation for negotiations in the Minsk trilateral contact group.

SBU, the State Security Service of Ukraine found out that currently, 214 Ukrainians remain in captivity of Russian mercenaries in the occupied Donbas.

Head of Ukraine’s President’s Office Andriy Yermak held a phone talk with political advisers of the leaders of the Normandy Format countries. The Ukrainian side offered to reboot the work of the Trilateral Contact Group.

U.S. State Department insisted that the local election in Donbas would be impossible until Ukraine re-gains control over the state border with Russia. Safety guarantees should be provided, too.

About coronavirus

As of May 8, 14,195 cases of Covid-19 infection were spotted in Ukraine. 1,721 infected are registers in Kyiv.

On May 4, Ukraine’s government extended the lockdown until May 22. However, it also provided a number of mitigations. It was also stated that the quarantine might be extended until September 2020.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian parliament adopted two laws. The first one enables involving interns and doctors without confirmed qualification to the fight against coronavirus on a voluntary basis. Another one provides the state insurance for employees of the medical and academic institutions who got the degree of disability or died due to the coronavirus. 

Besides, it was underlined that the Covid-19 pandemic not to affect the visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU. Instead, the Council of the EU made the decision to provide Ukraine with 1.2 billion Euros for overcoming the economic and social consequences of coronavirus.

About Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation and Victory Day in Ukraine

In 2020, a lot of holidays celebrated a little differently than before due to the coronavirus pandemic. May 8 is the Day of Remembrance and ReconciliationIt is marked in Ukraine annually since 2015.

May 9 is the Victory Day to mark the Day of Victory over Nazism in World War II. And only May 9 is an official day off in Ukraine. As this year, May 9 falls on the weekend, May 11 will be the day off.

The mass rallies will for sure be banned on this day in Kyiv. In the regions of Ukraine, it is also planned to refrain from holding mass gatherings.

About Ukraine and IMF

On May 7, Ivana Vladkova-Hollar became the leader of the IMF mission in Ukraine. She previously led the Fund's missions in Moldova and North Macedonia.

Meanwhile, IMF Representative in Ukraine Jerry Rice reported the switch to the 18-months-long stand-by program between the Fund and Ukraine.

As a result, Ukraine will start preparing for a new EFF cooperation program with the IMF next summer. The next step is the consideration of banking law that may take place on May 13.

About Saakashvili's appointment

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky assigned Mikheil Saakashvili to the post of Head of Executive Committee of Reforms. This is mentioned in the decree released on the website of the head of the state. The document also puts Oleksandr Olshansky second in charge in the Executive Committee of Reforms of Ukraine, that is, Saakashvili's deputy.

Thus, Saakashvili got an office in the Ukrainian government. His compatriots in Georgia’s top authorities are obviously disappointed with Ukraine’s decision. On Friday, Foreign Minister of Georgia David Zalkaliani claimed that his country recalled the ambassador for further consultations, which is a common diplomatic procedure when bilateral relations spoil.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky called the Georgian side’s move a ‘mistake’, insisting that appointments in the Ukrainian government belong to Ukraine’s inner policy.

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