Daily: 21/09/2022

Німеччина заморозила активи РФ на майже 5 млрд євро – Spiegel

У Мінекономіки Німеччини вважають це підтвердженням значного впливу санкцій на російську економіку

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At UNGA, Biden Condemns Russia’s War on Ukraine as Putin Escalates Threats 

U.S. President Joe Biden called out Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine at the United Nations, as the Russian leader significantly escalated war efforts and threatened nuclear retaliation.

Speaking to the annual gathering of the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) in New York Wednesday morning, Biden used most of his address to condemn Moscow.

“Let us speak plainly. A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map,” Biden said. “Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter, no more important than the clear prohibition against countries taking the territory of their neighbor.”

In the biggest escalation of the Ukraine war since Russia’s February 24 invasion, hours before world leaders gathered at the U.N. headquarters, Putin in Moscow announced the partial mobilization of his country’s military, calling up 300,000 reservists and vowing he would consider all options to protect what he considers Russian territory, raising concerns of a nuclear attack.

“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will without doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people – this is not a bluff,” Putin said in a televised address to the nation.

Biden called out Putin’s “overt nuclear threats against Europe” as a “reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the Non-Proliferation regime” – the various international treaties that prohibit the use of nuclear weapons.

“And the Kremlin is organizing a sham referendum to try to annex parts of Ukraine, an extremely significant violation of the U.N. Charter,” he added, referring to Putin’s move to hold referendums on four occupied Ukrainian regions to join Russia, widely seen as a prelude to annexation of those territories.

The Russian leader’s announcement came after his troops suffered battlefield setbacks in northeastern Ukraine and came at a fortuitous time for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his Western allies, who were concerned that war fatigue had set in among U.N. members gathering this week, observers noted.

“You never want to talk about escalation, particularly when they’re vague nuclear threats, as a positive thing,” said David Bosco, who teaches international studies with a focus on the U.N. Security Council at Indiana University. “But from a diplomatic standpoint for Ukraine and for Ukraine’s backers, I do think this helped sharpen the focus on that conflict and also probably had the effect of isolating Russia to an even greater degree than it’s already been isolated,” Bosco told VOA.

Zelenskyy was to deliver remarks Wednesday afternoon. Last week, a majority of the General Assembly’s 193 member states allowed the Ukrainian leader an exception to U.N. rules that say speeches in this year’s high-level session must be delivered in person.

Belarus, Cuba, Eritrea, Nicaragua, North Korea and Syria supported Russia in voting against allowing Zelenskyy’s video speech. Since Putin is not attending in person, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will make the address on behalf of his country on Saturday, as ministers are given later speaking slots than leaders.

Traditionally, as host, U.S. presidents always speak second after Brazil, but Biden forfeited his Tuesday speaking slot as he was returning from London, where he attended Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

China

In his UNGA remarks, Biden called out Beijing’s “horrible abuses against pro-democracy activists and ethnic minorities” in China’s Xinjiang region and “the increased repression of women and girls by the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

Human rights groups have accused China of detaining more than 1 million minorities in camps, restricting freedom of movement, and engaging in torture, forced sterilization and sexual violence under the guise of Beijing’s campaign against religious extremism in Xinjiang. China has denied the accusations.

Biden touched on other global conflicts, including the war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, the violence in Haiti and political oppression in Venezuela, and reiterated support for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian people.

As negotiations stalled, Biden said the United States will never allow Tehran to obtain nuclear weapons. He also said the U.S. stands with “the brave women of Iran,” in reference to protests this week over the death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, under suspicious circumstances after she was arrested in Tehran by the morality police – a unit that enforces headscarves and strict dress codes for women.

Authorities have denied that Amini suffered any mistreatment at their hands and say heart problems caused her death. Her family said she had no history of heart trouble.

Security Council reform

In a jab to Russia, which has used its veto power to block Security Council action on Ukraine, Biden said UNSC members including the United States should refrain from wielding the veto, “except in rare, extraordinary situations,” to ensure that the council remains credible and effective.

“Russia’s use of the veto in the Ukraine situation has really brought new attention to veto and it’s obviously very unpopular with the U.N. members as a whole,” Bosco said.

In his remarks, Biden threw his support behind expansion of the membership of the Security Council “to become more inclusive, so they can better respond to the needs of today’s world.”

“This includes permanent seats for those nations we have long supported and permanent seats for countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean,” he said.

By showing that it’s open to reform, the administration hopes it can put China and Russia in a corner, said Richard Gowan, U.N. director at the International Crisis Group. “The U.S. will want to highlight the fact that they are blocking improvements to the U.N.,” Gowan told VOA.

Observers have voiced skepticism that progress on the decades-long UNSC reform debate is imminent. The U.N. Charter must first be amended, which requires a two-thirds vote of its members, and any reform must be agreed to by the five permanent members with veto power.

Last week, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, noted that since 2009, Russia has cast 26 vetoes and that in 12 cases it was joined by China, while the U.S. has used its veto only four times since 2009.

Food security and global health

Global food prices have dramatically increased because of supply chain disruptions and rising energy and fertilizer costs brought upon by the pandemic and exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Biden announced more than $2.9 billion would be used to address global food insecurity, in addition to the $6.9 billion already committed by the administration this year, according to the White House.

“A multiyear drought in the Horn of Africa has created a dire humanitarian emergency, with parts of Somalia at risk of famine for the second time in just over a decade. This new announcement of $2.9 billion will save lives through emergency interventions and invest in medium- to long-term food security assistance in order to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations from the escalating global food security crisis,” the White House said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the U.S. convened a Global Food Security Summit co-chaired by Secretary of State Antony Blinken with the leaders of the European Union, African Union and Spain, and hosted with Colombia, Germany, Indonesia and Nigeria.

Beyond aid, the world needs a much more robust international agenda to meet the U.N. goal of ending hunger by 2030, which it is currently not on track to meet, said Rob Vos, economist at the International Food Policy Research Institute.

“We do need a lot more investments in food systems for the coming decades to make them more resilient,” Vos said in an interview with VOA, “to monitor much more closely the risk of food crisis from breaking out.”

Later Wednesday, Biden delivers remarks at a Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria replenishment conference. His administration has proposed a $6 billion pledge over the next three years to meet the $18 billion the Global Fund is seeking to fight the three diseases.

The Global Fund has helped reduce AIDS-related deaths by 70 percent and new infections by 54 percent, but the gains are fragile, according to the ONE Campaign, a group working to end preventable diseases by 2030.

“In just two years, two decades of progress against AIDS slammed on the brakes as COVID-19 and other global crises took center stage,” ONE Campaign’s president, Tom Hart, said in a statement.

ONE’s analysis shows that falling just $1 billion short could result in 25 million more new cases of the three diseases in countries where the Global Fund invests from 2024 to 2026.

VOA’s Michael Lipin contributed to this report.

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VOA Gets Exclusive Access to Vessel in Odesa Preparing to Export Ukrainian Grain

On Thursday, a ship carrying Ukrainian grain to Afghanistan is scheduled to leave Odesa port. Earlier this week, VOA’s Myroslava Gongadze got exclusive access to the port and a vessel during the process of grain loading. VOA footage by Eugene Shynkar.

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З України вже експортовано понад 3 мільйони тонн зерна та харчів – світові організації

Водночас війна в Україні «продовжує загострювати глобальну продовольчу безпеку та кризу харчування», зазначають у заяві

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Путін вдався до «відкритих ядерних погроз Європі» – Байден на Генасамблеї ООН

«Ця війна – про знищення права України існувати як держава, просто і ясно»

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Кулеба закликав Сербію синхронізувати політику щодо Росії з Євросоюзом

Голова МЗС повідомив про зустріч із сербським колегою 21 вересня

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Зеленський не вірить, що Путін зможе застосувати ядерну зброю, але «є ризики» – Bild

«Я не думаю, що світ дозволить йому використовувати цю зброю», сказав президент

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UK Eases Pressure on Business by Halving Energy Bills This Winter

Britain pledged on Wednesday to cap wholesale electricity and gas costs for businesses at less than half the market rate from next month, helping relieve the pressure of soaring energy costs but adding to the government’s fast-rising spending.

Wholesale prices for electricity will be capped at about 211 pounds ($239) per megawatt hour (MWh) and for gas at 75 pounds per MWh, compared to forecast market rates of 600 pounds and 180 pounds respectively.

“We have stepped in to stop businesses collapsing, protect jobs and limit inflation,” finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng said.

Wholesale gas and electricity prices in Europe surged after Russia invaded Ukraine and have remained volatile since.

Groups representing businesses from pubs to steelmakers welcomed the intervention, saying the government had thrown a lifeline to companies battling to survive.

The government did not publish any estimate of the cost, but reports have put the price of six months of support at up to 42 billion pounds, on top of more than 100 billion pounds for a previously announced scheme to help households.

The final unit prices will be confirmed on Sept. 30.

Suppliers will be compensated for the reduction in wholesale gas and electricity unit prices that they are passing onto non-domestic customers, the government said.

After weeks of political stasis while the governing Conservative Party elected a new leader and the country mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth, Kwarteng is due to give a fiscal statement on Friday.

This is expected to set out some detail on how he will pay for the energy scheme while at the same time delivering on promises to cut taxes, although the total cost of the energy scheme will depend on market prices over the coming months.

Investors say Friday’s statement will be a critical test of confidence in British public finances as borrowing costs rise at the same time as a commitment to higher spending and banking on accelerated economic growth to pay for it.

Kwarteng said on Wednesday he had pledged to get debt down in the medium term, but it was “absolutely right” to help families and businesses in the face of a major economic shock.

The business energy scheme will initially apply from Oct. 1 to Mar. 31, 2023, for all non-domestic energy users, including charities and the public sector such as schools and hospitals as well as businesses.

The government also announced support for households in Northern Ireland on the same level as the equivalent scheme in the rest of the United Kingdom.

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Латвія не видаватиме візи росіянам, які ухиляються від мобілізації – голова МЗС

За словами очільника латвійського МЗС, йдеться як про гуманітарні, так і про інші види віз громадянам Росії

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«Програма утилізації росіян» – Данілов про рішення Путіна щодо мобілізації

«Ухилення від мобілізації – в’язниця – ПВК «Вагнер». Далі: український фронт – ліквідація – «Біла лада»

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Putin Announces Mobilization of Russian Military Reserves

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday the partial mobilization of his country’s military reserves in a move that follows Ukrainian gains in a counteroffensive in northeastern Ukraine.

Putin said in a televised address the mobilization is necessary to protect Russia’s homeland and sovereignty.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the military would be calling up 300,000 reservists.

Putin said the West is trying to weaken and destroy Russia, and that his country will “use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people.”

He also reiterated Russia’s goal in its now seven-month-old invasion of Ukraine is to “liberate” Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, saying the people there do not want to be part of Ukraine.

The separatist leaders of the Moscow-controlled Luhansk and Donetsk regions in the Donbas said Tuesday they are planning to hold votes starting late this week for the territories to declare themselves as part of Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed what he called “Russia’s attempts to stage new sham referenda.”

“The situation on the front line clearly indicates that the initiative belongs to Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address. “Our positions do not change because of the noise or any announcements somewhere. And we enjoy the full support of our partners in this.”

Referendum voting in the region, populated by many Russian-speaking people, would most likely go in Moscow’s favor.

But any declaration that the territory is part of Russia would not be recognized by either Ukraine or by the United States and its Western allies who have supplied the Kyiv government with billions of dollars in armaments to fend off Moscow’s seven-month invasion.

The White House immediately rejected Russia’s plans for the referendums, saying they may be an effort by Moscow to recruit troops in the region in the wake of its recent defeats on the battlefront.

Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, said the referendums violate the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity since the lands in question are part of Ukraine. He said Biden in a Wednesday speech at the United Nations General Assembly would issue a “firm rebuke” to Russia for its war against Ukraine.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said, “Sham referendums have no legitimacy and do not change the nature of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. This is a further escalation in Putin’s war. The international community must condemn this blatant violation of international law and step up support for Ukraine.”

If Russia were to claim the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces as its own, it could set the stage for an escalation in the fighting if Ukrainian forces try to take them back.

Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk region, said that the “long-suffering people of the Donbas have earned the right to be part of the great country that they always considered their motherland.”

He said the vote will help “restore historic justice that millions of the Russian people were waiting for.”

Since early September, Kyiv’s forces have swiftly recaptured large swaths of land in the Kharkiv region of northeast Ukraine that Russian troops took over in early weeks of the war. Moscow-backed leaders in the Russian-occupied Kherson region of southern Ukraine and pro-Russia activists in the partly occupied Zaporizhzhia region have also called for referendums on becoming part of Russia.

Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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У ВР кажуть, що найближчим часом розглянуть питання про позбавлення мандата депутата Шенцева

За даними на сайті Верховної Ради, Шенцев пропустив усі засідання парламенту з 24 лютого до 1 червня

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Боррель, Шольц і Трюдо засудили наміри РФ провести так звані референдуми на окупованих територіях

Київ та Захід не визнають так званих референдумів, які Кремль хоче влаштувати на окупованих українських територіях

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At UN, Spotlight on Global Consequences of Russia’s War

The global consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were in the spotlight Tuesday at the U.N. General Assembly, as the annual debate got underway.

Leaders spoke of the urgency to get fertilizer, in particular, to the world’s farmers at a reasonable price and in time for the planting season, which in some parts of the world has started already.

“Without action now, the global fertilizer shortage will quickly morph into a global food shortage,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of what could lie ahead next year.

He said there are reports of farmers in West Africa and other regions cultivating fewer crops because of the price or lack of availability of fertilizers.

“Fertilizers have become three times as expensive as in 2021,” Senegalese President and African Union Chairperson Macky Sall told a ministerial-level meeting on food security on the sidelines of the debate.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, it has imposed quotas on exports of its fertilizer, saying it wanted enough for its farmers. Moscow is a top fertilizer exporter, and the disruptions and shortages it has created have led to steep price increases on international markets. That has made fertilizer unaffordable for some smaller farmers, with the potential to dramatically decrease their harvests.

This threatens global food security, which is already in a bad way. The U.N. says more than 800 million people worldwide are suffering from hunger.

“Russia must end its illegal war against Ukraine, which has threatened an essential source of the world’s food supply,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told the food summit. “The truth is that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is trying to blackmail the international community with a large part of the world’s food needs.”

Despite calls for diplomacy, Russia signaled that it plans to persist, with plans for referendums soon for Luhansk and Donetsk to declare themselves part of Russia, which could set the stage for an escalation of the fighting.

While there are no Western sanctions on either Russian food or fertilizer exports, Moscow claims that there are. A deal signed in Istanbul on July 22 has moved more than 4 million metric tons of Ukrainian grain to international markets and is working to build confidence among shippers, insurers and buyers of Russian grain and fertilizer so they will resume at pre-invasion levels.

Guterres called for the removal of “all remaining obstacles” to the export of Russian fertilizers and their ingredients, including ammonia.

“These products are not subject to sanctions — and we are making progress in eliminating indirect effects,” he said.

Appeals for peace

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country brokered the Black Sea Grain Initiative along with the U.N., appealed Tuesday for a diplomatic end to the war.

“We would like to launch an appeal to all the international organizations and the countries of the world to support the peaceful initiatives of Turkey to settle this dispute once and for all,” Erdogan told the assembly. “We need a dignified way out of this crisis and that can be possible only through a diplomatic solution which is rational, which is fair, and which is applicable.”

Neither the Russian nor the Ukrainian leader are in New York this week, and no breakthroughs are expected.

“France obstinately will look for peace,” said President Emmanuel Macron, who has kept diplomatic channels open with President Putin. “Our position is clear, and we want to serve this, and that’s why I am engaging in a dialogue with Russia and have done so since the start of the war and over these past months, and I will continue to head this up.”

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Іноземцям, які укладуть контракт на службу в армії РФ, спростять отримання громадянства

Раніше іноземцям треба було відслужити в армії Росії щонайменше три роки, щоб отримати громадянство. Тепер достатньо року

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