Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine held a meeting with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Estonia
27 January. Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Ihor Zhovkva, held a meeting with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Estonia, Marko Mihkelson. First of all, Mr. Zhovkva provided the information on the current security situation in Donbas region, Crimea and along the borders of Ukraine. Mr. Zhovkva also thanked the Estonian side for a clear and consistent position in support of Ukraine and for significant practical assistance in strengthening Ukraine’s defense capabilities. He stressed the importance of maintaining the consolidated position of EU and NATO member states on the current security situation and further support for Ukraine. Mr. Mihkelson claimed, – “Ukraine, as an independent democratic state, is facing the most serious threat in its history, and the international support of friends and partners is vital. Estonia supports Ukraine actively both diplomatically and by giving real defence assistance.”
Members of the meeting focused on NATO Summit in Madrid which will be held in June 2022 and on the expected outcomes. The key tasks of further practical cooperation between Ukraine and Estonia through NATO were coordinated. In addition, Mr. Zhovkva told Mr. Mihkelson about the further activity of the Crimea Platform. In this regard, the planned activities within the initiative for the current year in the parliamentary dimension were discussed.
Sources: https://www.riigikogu.ee/en/press-releases/foreign-affairs-committee-en/chair-of-the-foreign-affairs-committee-marko-mihkelson-speaks-at-security-conference-in-kiev/; https://www.president.gov.ua/news/igor-zhovkva-zustrivsya-z-golovoyu-komitetu-u-zakordonnih-sp-72577
President of Ukraine gave a press conference to foreign journalists
28 January. The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave a press conference to foreign journalists. Firstly, Mr. Zelenskyy claimed that to stabilize the economy of Ukraine, the country would need approximately $4-5 billion. “I do not expect a smaller figure so this is the amount we need,” – stated Mr. Zelensky.
While talking about the security threats, Mr. Zelenskyy claimed that he did not think the level of escalation on the Ukrainian borders by the troops of the Russian Federation was higher than it had been at the beginning of 2021. Furthermore, the President stated, – “you can’t tell for sure: it’s an increase in troops, it’s an attempt to intimidate, it’s an attack or it’s a rotation of troops.” According to Mr. Zelenskyy, preventive sanctions of the West could help curb the Kremlin’s escalation. He also condemned statements by politicians dating the invasion. The President stated that the biggest risk for Ukraine would be destabilization inside the country which might provoke the Russian Federation to escalate.
In addition, Mr. Zelenskyy considered withdrawal of employees of diplomatic missions to be a mistake and claimed that Ukraine had to receive a clear answer in the near future about the prospects of membership in NATO. And the President expected Russia to take actions to de-escalate the situation near the border with Ukraine.
Poland expects up to a million refugees in case of Russia’s war against Ukraine
29 January. Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration of Poland Maciej Wonsik thinks that in case the war breaks out, up to a million refugees from Ukraine can be expected on the border with Poland. Mr. Wonsik stated that Poland had to be prepared to the flow of 1 million refugees. Moreover, according to Mr. Wonsik, there could be several scenarios. It is possible that more positive scenario might come true. However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has already been taking measures to face and tackle the black scenario. Maciej Wonsik added that it was an issue of preparation of transitions, medical care, accommodation and food for refugees. “According to the Geneva Conventions, these people will be under the protection of Poland, and we will not distance ourselves from this,” – stated Mr. Wonsik.
Recently, a meeting of the Polish National Security Council was held in Warsaw on Friday to discuss the current situation related to the threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine was held. At the beginning of the meeting, President of Poland Andrzej Duda stated that there was no direct military threat to Poland. He also added that such a situation as today has not existed since 1989.
The Prime Minister of Poland will arrive in Ukraine
30 January. The Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki will arrive in Ukraine on February 1 to talk to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal. The sides will discuss the assistance Poland could provide considering the threat possessed by the Russian Federation. Mr. Morawiecki noted that Ukraine needed more than just diplomatic gestures. The politician stated that Poland was ready to provide real assistance to Kyiv. At the meeting, the issue of Ukrainian-Polish bilateral relations. The Polish Prime Minister expressed support for the protection of Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity.
Leaders of Poland and the United Kingdom are preparing to announce a new format of cooperation with Ukraine
31 January. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson and the Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki plan to announce the creation of a new format of cooperation with Ukraine during their visit to Kyiv. Currently, there is almost no information on the new form of cooperation. It was first mentioned by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss at her speech in Australia in January. According to Ms. Truss, this format was discussed during the visit of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to London in December 2021. Ms. Truss also stated: – “We are strengthening our bilateral partnership after the talks in London in December – and we are developing new tripartite ties with Poland and Ukraine.”
The Czech Republic will hand over artillery ammunition to Ukraine and provide medical assistance to the Armed Forces
1 February. The Czech Republic will hand over artillery ammunition to Ukraine free of charge. The relevant agreement was signed on February 1, 2022 by the Deputy Minister of Defense Daniel Blažkovec and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Lieutenant General Valery Zaluzhnyy. This agreement aims at strengthening the defense capabilities of Ukraine considering the threat of the Russian Federation’s invasion. Earlier, the Czech media reported that the Czech Republic would hand over 4,000 artillery shells to Ukraine, and the total cost of aid would be 37 million Czech crowns (€ 1.5 million). In addition, the Czech Republic might send a symbolic contingent of troops to Ukraine if it receives a request. The Czech Republic is also ready to accept Ukrainians in case of evacuation.
2 February. A briefing was held following the meeting of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands and the President of Ukraine
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mark Rutte at their meeting discussed steps that should de-escalate the situation around Ukraine’s borders. Mr. Zelenskyy noted that visit of Mark Rutte came at a time when Ukraine especially needed the support and solidarity of all friends and allies. Moreover, the President of Ukraine claimed: “We spent most of our time today on the issue of security in Ukraine and security on our borders, which affects the economy of our country. We also discussed possible sanctions from the European Union and the Netherlands in case of escalation.” The Netherlands is an important partner for Ukraine in terms of trade, therefore, the Ukrainian-Dutch bilateral agenda is “as rich and meaningful as possible.” Mr. Zelenskyy also stated that he had invited large Dutch companies to participate in such areas as energy, resources’ management, infrastructure, and many others.