Ukraine

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17:55 PM Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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Russia to impose sanctions; Hungary complicates Euro-Atlantic aspirations; Ukraine looks to Canada; Renault developing interest in Ukraine; Authorities to investigate logging.
image/svg+xml Kyiv Lutsk Rivne Zhytomyr Lviv Ternopil Khmelnytskyi Uzhgorod Chernivtsi Vinnytsia Chernigiv Sumy Kharkiv Poltava Cherkasy Kirovohrad Lugansk Dnipropetrovsk Donetsk Zaporizhzhia Mykolaiv Odesa Kherson Simferopol Sevastopol Ivano- Frankivsk

The Russian government will establish sanctions on Ukraine, reports Russian media. Moscow will sanction several hundred individuals and about 100 businesses in its new move. Financial assets in Russia will be blocked and accessing the capital linked to said assets will be controlled, reported one Russian daily newspaper. Kremlin sources told reporters in Moscow that their sanctions were retaliatory measures against similar steps by Ukraine.

In response to Russia's anti-Ukrainian sanctions, the Justice Ministry has issued a statement saying that nobody in Ukraine will be seriously affected by the move.

Ukrainian Deputy Justice Minister Natalia Bernatska told journalists that the moves by Russia were merely a reciprocal step and nobody in Ukraine would be particularly affected since "no politicians here are willing to go to Russia" or "have any connections to the country".

Hungary continues to complicate Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations, some observers have noticed. Disputes over language issues continue to cause a diplomatic rift between Budapest and Kyiv. So incensed are some policy-makers that they are undermining Ukraine's bid for NATO membership, citing perceived anti-Hungarian tendencies. Some Hungarian politicians criticize the lack of protection for the Hungarian language as an official language in Ukraine. But at the same time, many Ukrainians observe that their language has absolutely no such protection in Hungary.

Five countries have joined the European Union in Crimea-related sanctions on Russia, as of yesterday. Montenegro, Albania, Norway and Georgia have joined EU countries in sanctioning Russia in relation to their illegal occupation of Crimea. The fifth country, Ukraine, also joins the list.

Ukraine will increasingly look to Canada for support against Russian aggression and progressing with the reforms, the Prime Minister has said. The PM met with Canadian ministers and delegates in Kyiv on Thursday. "Canada occupies a special place for Ukraine. We are linked by a long history and warm friendship." Since 2014, Canada has begun implementing over 60 projects in Ukraine valued at more than C$400 million, the Prime Minister posted to social media. After the summit between President Trump and President Putin in Helsinki, some international observers have said that countries like Canada will need to step up and fill a vacuum of moral leadership.

Canada has launched a new entrepreneurship development fund in Ukraine of $30 million, the press service of the Economic Development in Trade Ministry has reported. One of the priorities of the fund is women's entrepreneurship.

Renault, the French car manufacturer, could be planning to open a production facility in Ukraine, according to government sources. Ukraine's PM met with senior Renault executives this week to discuss prospects of creating vehicles in the country. Ukraine's automotive manufacturing industry has been slowly recovering but the sector is still in need of foreign investment. "We already have excellent examples of enterprises producing both components and final product for Ukrainian and European markets," said the PM in a Facebook post. "I have personally visited these producers," said Groysman, referencing a recent visit to EuroCar in western Ukraine.

Authorities in Ukraine will inspect logging companies following an investigation that revealed EU companies were fueling Ukraine's illicit timber trade. The UK-based NGO Earth Sight reported that timber exports from Ukraine to the European Union had a grown by 75 percent in the past four years, vastly exceeding EUR 1 billion reported in 2017. The Ukrainian government has instructed multiple agencies to investigate the allegations.

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