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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: NOV. 29 – DEC. 3

Source : 112 Ukraine

Check out this week's news from Ukraine: Donbas conflict, Covid -19, Russian aggression, NATO, migrants, and others
22:25, 3 December 2021

112 Agency

Donbas conflict

There are 94.3 thousand servicemen of regular Russian army on Ukraine's border and in the occupied territory of Donbas. Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said so during the question hour in the session hall of the Parliament on Friday morning. The Minister assumed it had to do with the upcoming meeting between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. Besides, he said that the escalation would most likely happen, if ever, in January.

A civilian was wounded in the attack on Stanytsia Luhanska, as Russian occupants used the artillery to shell Ukrainian positions there.

US Department of the State believes that the escalation of Ukraine-Russia conflict can only be avoided through diplomacy. Secretary of the State Antony Blinken said so, adding he was ready to act as a mediator. He previously expressed his worries about Russian leader Putin’s readiness to invade Ukraine.

Despite the massive build-up of military forces on the border with Ukraine and the occupied Donbas and Crimea, Russia once again stated it was not a party to the conflict. Mariya Zakharova, the spokeswoman of Russian Foreign Ministry said this when commenting on Turkey’s offer to act as mediator in the talks between Ukraine and Russia.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said he was ready to talk with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in person. According to the head of the Ukrainian state, it’s impossible to solve Donbas conflict without negotiations with Russia.

Covid-19

After a new coronavirus strain “Omicron” was discovered on November 27, G7 health ministers hold an urgent meeting on November 29. Although no severe forms of Omicron Covid-19 strain were spotted in South Africa and WHO urged not to impose flight bans on South Africa due to Omicron strain, Austria, Japan, France, United States, United Kingdom, South Korea tighten entry restrictions in one way or another. Currently, most cases of the new strain of coronavirus have been recorded in South Africa (77) and in the UK (22). No Omicron strain was detected in Ukraine, and Ukrainians are urged not to travel to a number of African countries.

South African scientists fear that the Omicron strain may replace Delta, become dominant worldwide. WHO sees no need to develop a new vaccine, seeing as Pfizer and BioNTech have begun adapting their vaccines to the new Covid variant. European Commission President urges EU to discuss mandatory Covid vaccination, and WHO starts negotiations on international agreement to fight pandemic.

Ukraine has ranked second in world in terms of daily Covid-19 mortality, and Covid-19 ranks third among causes of death in Ukraine. Ukraine has passed the peak of the current Covid-19 wave, and six Ukrainian regions may soon leave the red zone. The rules of adaptive quarantine will be updated in Ukraine on December 6, the same as the validity of Ukrainian yellow vaccination certificate. Over 11 million people receive two Covid-19 vaccine doses.

Newly adopted laws in Ukraine

This week, Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers approved the draft of the state budget of Ukraine for 2022 for second reading in Parliament. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a bill on dual citizenship for the diaspora and introduced an "economic passport" for Ukrainians on December 1. Ukrainians will be able to get up to $20,000 on the accounts of economic passports. Some consider the economic passport to be a bad idea.

NATO

The expansion of NATO military infrastructure on the territory of Ukraine might become the red line for Russia. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin said so at the investment forum session.

Jens Stoltenberg, the Alliance's Secretary General reported that Foreign Ministers of NATO member countries agreed on possibilities to introduce sanctions against Russia in case of the invasion into Ukraine. He reiterated that the Kremlin has no right to veto Ukraine’s NATO membership. In turn, Putin required that the Alliance provide guarantees of non-expansion to the east.

Census, Apple

President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Ukraine will become the world's second country to conduct a census in cooperation with Apple. It is planned to hold a digital census in February 2023. You can read HERE why it is a bad aide to hold a census with the help of Apple.

Migrants

Amid the migrant crisis, Poland closes its border zone with Belarus for three months. Besides, European Commission proposed the solution to the migrant situation; however, Poland rejected it.

Meanwhile, Lithuania plans to initiate the international trial against Lukashenko. At the same time, Ukraine claimed that the forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs will be on a border within 30 minutes in case of a migrant breakthrough.

In its turn, Belarus is ready to shut down the transit of energy carriers if Poland closes its border.

 

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