EU will make monthly payments to Ukraine amounting to €1.5 billion a month starting in 2023

Following the decision of the European Council meeting of 20-21 October 2022, the European Commission now proposes to send an average of €1.5 billion a month to Ukraine at fixed intervals from January to help the country meet ongoing expenses, and to maintain essential public services running, such as hospitals, schools, and housing for relocated people.

Maximiliaan va… Thu, 11/10/2022 - 13:04
Ukraine signs a friendship agreement with Southeast Asian nations

Ukraine on Thursday (10 November), signed a friendship and cooperation agreement with Southeast Asian countries. This largely symbolic step is part of Ukrainian efforts to garner international support in the face if the current Russian aggression.  

Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Koeleba signed the agreement at the start of a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), taking place in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

Maximiliaan va… Thu, 11/10/2022 - 09:25
"Today Kherson, tomorrow Sevastopol"
Russia's leadership has ordered its troops to withdraw from the Ukrainian city of Kherson. It was the only regional capital Russian forces were able to capture after invading in February. The news was welcomed cautiously in Ukraine, where the government said it will proceed carefully to avoid losses. Some commentators however are saying that it is the first step to forcing a complete Russian withdrawal from Ukrainian territory. "Today Kherson, tomorrow Sevatopol" is what many Ukrainians hope, referring to the port city on the Crimean peninsula. Russia's commander in Ukraine, Gen Sergei Surovikin, said on Wednesday (9 November) it was no longer possible to keep supplying the city. The withdrawal means Russian forces will pull out entirely from the western bank of the River Dnipro. The military's top brass announced the decision on Russian state TV, with Gen Surovikin reporting on the situation on the ground in Kherson. "In these circumstances, the most sensible option is to organise the defence along a barrier line along the river Dnipro," Gen Surovikin told the meeting. Russia's annexation of Kherson, and three other occupied regions, was announced with a lot of fanfare by president Putin at the end of September.
dennis2020 Thu, 11/10/2022 - 08:21
EU and Kazakhstan strengthen their strategic partnership with the signing of agreement on raw materials
The European Union (EU) and Kazakhstan have strengthen their strategic partnership by signing an agreement on raw materials, batteries and renewable hydrogen on Monday (7 November) at a ceremony on the margins of the 27th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27), which kicked off in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The agreement focuses on the development of a secure and sustainable supply of raw materials and refined materials, renewable hydrogen and battery value chains, and contributes to the green and digital transformation, reported the press service of the European Commission.  Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, who is representing Kazakhstan at the COP27, said that the document will create conditions for the establishment of financial and technological cooperation between Kazakhstan and EU industrial alliances. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen noted the partnership will build a cleaner foundation for both economies.
dennis2020 Wed, 11/09/2022 - 07:46
Hotline established between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray forces

The African Union’s chief mediator Olusegun Obasanjo said on Monday (7 November) that the Ethiopian government and the Tigray rebel forces have established a telephone hotline following a truce struck last week.

This comes after the two parties agreed on 2 November to end any hostilities and call a ceasefire to a war that has already killed thousands and displaced millions.

patrickn97 Tue, 11/08/2022 - 12:11
Blinken hosts Armenian and Azerbaijan counterparts for talks about peace
US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on Monday hosted at Blair House in Washington DC, talks with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts, foreign minister Ararat Mirzoyan and foreign minister Bayramov. The ministers exchanged views on the elements of a possible peace agreement, noting that there were a number of outstanding issues. Both sides reaffirmed the commitments made by the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia at the meetings held on October 6 in Prague and October 31 in Sochi. Bayramov and Mirzoyan also agreed to speed up negotiations and hold another meeting in the coming weeks. Both ministers thanked the American side for hosting the peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
dennis2020 Tue, 11/08/2022 - 09:34
The Orthodox Church of Ukraine allows worshippers to celebrate Christmas on 25 December

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine had already broken away from the Russian Orthodox Church, but now it is going one step further. The Church is allowing its congregations for the first time to no longer celebrate Christmas according to the Eastern calander, as in Russia, on 7 January, but on 25 December.

The decision is a historic new step away from Moscow and closer to the West. The Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox churches used to celebrate Christmas at the same time. Orthodox Christians thus follow the old, Julian calendar, according to which Jesus was born on 7 January.

Maximiliaan va… Mon, 11/07/2022 - 16:45
Monday Commentary: Clearing the South Caucasus of landmines must remain a priority
Making the South Caucasus free from landmines and other explosive remnants of war must remain a priority. "2023 should be a turning point in the efforts in this direction", writes Dennis Sammut in this week's Monday commentary on commonspace.eu. More awareness of the problem within the three countries, more commitment and better leadership by the international community, and increased understanding of the provisions of the 'Ottawa convention' are important steps that need to be taken. In the meantime the issue of landmines and other explosive remnants of war should not be instrumentalised for short-term political gain. This is everyone's problem and a regional approach is the best way to tackle it going forward. The launch of this year's regional campaign 'Landmine Free South Caucasus' on 30 November should help focus attention on these issues.
dennis2020 Mon, 11/07/2022 - 07:02
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EU concerned at situation in the Balkans amid tension between Kosovo and Serbia

EU concerned at situation in the Balkans amid tension between Kosovo and Serbia

EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has expressed concern at recent developments in the Balkans amid increasing tensions between Kosovo and Serbia. Borrell, who is currently on an official visit to Abu Dhabi where he is participating in the 2022 Sir Bani Yas Forum, on Saturday (5 November) spoke with Serbian president Alexander Vucic and Kosovar Prime Minister, Albin Kurti. A statement issued later by the European Extern Action Service, said: "The recent developments in the relations between Kosovo and Serbia put years of hard work and achievements reached under the EU-facilitated Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina at risk and hamper the security situation in the region and beyond. The European Union calls both sides to refrain from any unilateral actions, which might lead to further tensions.