Ukraine is preparing itself for the next NATO Summit
27 December. Ukraine is preparing itself for the next NATO Summit which will be held in Madrid, Spain on June 29-30, 2022. NATO Summit will be dedicated to the implementation of the NATO 2030 concept and the Alliance’s adaptation to modern challenges. Prior to this Summit, Ukraine plans to approve an individual partnership program with NATO and update the partnership goals. This information was released by Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna. According to Ms. Stefanishyna, the individual partnership program will define five areas of Ukraine-NATO cooperation which are based on the formation of an annual Ukrainian national program respectively to the formation of action plans for membership. The partnership goals will be expanded in the light of the experience Ukraine gained within the enhanced opportunities partnership with NATO.
The USA will allocate $24.5 million to Ukraine to strengthen its border with the Russian Federation and Belarus
28 December. The USA will provide $24.5 million to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine to implement two projects that should increase security of the Ukrainian border.
The first project will cost the USA $20 million. The relevant joint action plan was signed on December 10, 2021. The project will be aimed at providing technical assistance to Ukrainian border guards in order to improve the efficiency of their work on the protection of the Northern and Eastern borders of Ukraine. The Head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine Oleksandr Demchenko identified the priority needs for Ukrainian border guards. They are video recording means, unmanned systems, individual protection of border guards and ensuring guards’ location in the field.
The second project will be focused on the capacities building and development of the Ukrainian border infrastructure. The USA will provide assistance in the engineering arrangement of the border. This project will cost $4,5 million.
Sources: https://suspilne.media/193443-videokameri-ta-bezpilotniki-ssa-vidilat-ukraini-25-miljoniv-dolariv-dla-posilenna-kordonu/; https://suspilne.media/188603-dpsu-otrimae-20-miljoniv-griven-dopomogi-na-posilenna-ohoroni-kordonu/
Ukraine will record the facts of illegal searches in Crimea and open criminal proceedings on them
29 December. Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Anton Korynevych announced that Ukraine would record the facts of illegal searches in Crimea and open criminal proceedings on them. Mr. Korynevych claimed that the Russian Federation constantly practices He noted that Russia constantly practiced searches, mainly in the houses of the Crimean Tatars, on the territory of the Crimean Peninsula. On December 28, 2021 a search took place in the rented house of Rustem Ibadlaev in the village of Sovetskoye in Crimea. Later, it turned out that the charges were unfounded. Prior to this incident, officers of the Russian FSB searched the house of Nariman Ametov in Old Crimea. As a result, Mr. Ametov was taken to an unknown destination and tortured.
Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a new program for the arrangement of the border
30 December. Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved a new program for the arrangement of the Ukrainian border with the Russian Federation and Belarus. This program will cost Ukraine about 36 billion hryvnias (about $1,32 billion). The previous border management program (the “Wall” project) has been in effect since May 2015 and ends on January 1, 2022. Instead, a new program will operate until 2024. According to the new project, 1,676 km of the Ukrainian border with Russia and 1,084 km – with Belarus is planned to be equipped in 2022. Border with Moldova and EU countries will be protected by 2024. It is expected that the borders arrangement will lead to a decrease in the Ukrainian state budget expenditures from smuggling. The program will be implemented by the State Border Service, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Administration.
The number of deaths from Covid-19 in Eastern Europe has exceeded 1 million
31 December. The number of deaths from Covid-19 in Eastern Europe, according to Reuters, has exceeded 1 million. Three out of five states, reporting the highest death rates in Europe, are from Eastern European region. They are Poland, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. It is noted that Eastern Europe makes up 39% of the region’s population. The region reported more than half of the total Covid-related deaths in Europe.
At the same time, the Czech Republic and Hungary have been the leaders in the level of vaccination in the region. At least 64% of the population have minimum one vaccine against Covid-19. To compare, Reuters claims that in Ukraine only 33% of the population have at least one dose of vaccine which is the lowest rate in Eastern Europe.