America House Opens in Odesa Despite Ongoing War in Ukraine 

A new America House is celebrating its opening in Odesa, making it the third major cultural and educational center in Ukraine supported and financed by the U.S. Embassy. America House Odesa was supposed to open in early 2022, but Russia’s invasion changed those plans. Anna Kosstutschenko visited the center and found out how the war altered its program. Camera — Pavel Suhodolskiy.

Greece Angry After UK’s Sunak Cancels Meeting Over Parthenon Marbles

Greek officials said Tuesday that they will continue talks with the British Museum about bringing the Parthenon Marbles back to Athens, despite U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak abruptly canceling a meeting with his Greek counterpart where the contested antiquities were due to be discussed. 

But the U.K. government said ownership of the marbles is “settled” — and they’re British. 

The two European allies traded barbs Tuesday in a deepening diplomatic row that erupted when Sunak called off a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hours before it was due to take place. 

Mitsotakis had planned to raise Greece’s decades-old demand for the return of the ancient sculptures when he met Sunak at 10 Downing Street on Tuesday. The two center-right leaders were also slated to talk about migration, climate change, and the wars in Gaza and Ukraine. 

Mitsotakis was instead offered a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, which he declined. 

British officials were annoyed that Mitsotakis had appeared on British television Sunday and compared the removal of the sculptures from Athens to cutting the Mona Lisa in half. 

Sunak’s spokesman, Max Blain, said Mitsotakis had reneged on a promise not to talk publicly about the marbles during his three-day visit to Britain. 

“The Greek government provided reassurances that they would not use the visit as a public platform to relitigate long-settled matters relating to the ownership of the Parthenon sculptures,” he said. “Given those assurances were not adhered to, the prime minister felt it would not be productive” to have the meeting. 

The Greek government denied Mitsotakis had agreed not to raise the subject in public. 

Mitsotakis met Monday in London with U.K. opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, whose party leads Sunak’s governing Conservatives in opinion polls. The prime minister’s office denied that meting had contributed to Sunak’s decision to cancel. 

Dimitris Tsiodras, head of the Greek prime minister’s press office, said Mitsotakis was angry at the “British misstep.” 

“Of course he was angry. … Look, Greece is a proud country. It has a long history. Mitsotakis represents that country,” Tsiodras told private network Mega television. 

Opposition parties in Greece, from the Greek Communist Party and centrists to far-right nationalists, also condemned Sunak for the cancellation. Left-wing opposition leader Stefanos Kasselakis said the issue of the sculptures goes “beyond party differences.” 

“It is a national issue that concerns the history of an entire people. And it is a moral issue concerning the shameless theft of cultural wealth from its natural setting,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

Athens has long demanded the return of sculptures that were removed from Greece by British diplomat Lord Elgin in the early 19th century. Part of friezes that adorned the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple on the Acropolis, the Elgin Marbles — as they are known in Britain — have been displayed at the British Museum in London for more than two centuries. The remainder of the friezes are in a purpose-built museum in Athens. 

The British Museum is banned by law from giving the sculptures back to Greece, but its leaders have held talks with Greek officials about a compromise, such as a long-term loan. 

Earlier this year, museum chairman George Osborne — Treasury chief in a previous Conservative U.K. government — said the discussions had been “constructive.” 

Tsiodras said Tuesday that discussions “are ongoing with the British Museum for the return — I should say the reunification — of the marbles to Athens.” 

“I don’t think the effort stops there,” he said. “Clearly, there are domestic reasons and 2024 is an election year and (Sunak) is quite behind in the polls … but the discussion with the British Museum is ongoing.” 

Sunak’s government appears to have hardened its position, however. 

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said that “the government set out its position about the Elgin Marbles very clearly, which is they should stay as part of the permanent collection of the British Museum.” 

And Blain said that “a loan cannot happen without the Greeks accepting that the British Museum are the legal owners” of the antiquities. 

Зеленський підписав закон про держбюджет на 2024 рік

9 листопада Верховна Рада схвалила проєкт держбюджету на 2024 рік в цілому

Stoltenberg ‘Confident’ of Continued US Support for Ukraine

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday he is confident the United States will continue to provide support for Ukraine amid divisions among U.S. lawmakers about approving more funding for the Ukraine war effort.

Speaking to reporters before the start of two days of talks with NATO foreign ministers in Brussels, Stoltenberg lauded what he called the unprecedented military support NATO allies have provided to Ukraine in response to Russia’s invasion.

“The challenge now is that we need to sustain that support,” Stoltenberg said.

He described supporting Ukraine as NATO’s obligation, saying that a Russian victory in Ukraine would be both a “tragedy for Ukrainians” and dangerous to NATO members.

Stoltenberg was due to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken before the start of the ministerial meeting.

A senior U.S. State Department official said ahead of the NATO talks that the United States is joining NATO members in renewing the alliance’s “steadfast commitment” to Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression. 

Wednesday, Blinken will lead the U.S. delegation to NATO member North Macedonia which is hosting a meeting of foreign ministers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe or OSCE in its capital Skopje later this week.

The United States is hosting the next NATO summit in Washington from July 9 to 11, 2024.  

Blinken will discuss priorities for the Washington meeting with his counterparts as the alliance celebrates its 75th anniversary next year.  

NATO-Ukraine Council foreign ministers

The chief U.S. diplomat is also set to attend the first foreign minister-level meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council as Kyiv aspires to be a NATO member.

“The Council supports Ukraine’s close partnership with NATO,” said Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Jim O’Brien.  “Allies will continue to support Ukraine’s self-defense until Russia stops its war of aggression,” he added.

The NATO-Ukraine Council was inaugurated at the NATO Summit in Vilnius on July 12, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other heads of member governments also in attendance. 

It convened for the second time in late July to discuss Black Sea security following Russia’s withdrawal from a deal overseeing grain exports from Ukrainian ports. 

The third meeting was held in October to discuss substantial assistance to Ukraine and to ensure Ukraine’s forces are fully interoperable with NATO. 

The NATO-Ukraine Council is the joint body where Allies and Ukraine sit as equal participants to advance political dialogue.

Western Balkans 

One of the sessions at this week’s NATO foreign ministers’ meeting is to address security and democracy in the Western Balkans. 

“A stable, prosperous future for the Western Balkans must be based on good governance, rule of law, multi-ethnic democracy, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” O’Brien said.

NATO officials have affirmed the alliance’s commitment to maintaining a safe and secure environment while contributing to broader stability in the Western Balkans. 

The statement came in response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s earlier warning this month, in which he conveyed information suggesting that Russia has a plan for the destabilization of the Balkans.

Speaking on Nov. 21 in Skopje, North Macedonia, during the final stop of a tour of the Western Balkans, NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg stated that the alliance closely monitors Russia’s activities in the region.  But he said there is currently no perceived military threat to any NATO member in the area.

North Macedonia, OSCE 

After the government of North Macedonia announced that it would briefly lift a flight ban and permit the plane carrying Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to land in Skopje for the OSCE ministerial, Lavrov said on Monday he would attend the OSCE foreign ministers meeting in North Macedonia if Bulgaria opened its air space to the Russian delegation.

North Macedonia’s sanctions will remain in place against Russia for all other flights. 

Most European countries banned flights from Russia after its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

O’Brien declined to comment on whether there will be any interaction between Lavrov, should he attend the OSCE ministerial, and the U.S. delegation but told VOA during a phone briefing that U.S. Secretary of State Blinken will “have a good discussion with” OSCE counterparts about U.S. “support for Ukraine.”

Some information for this story came from Reuters.

Просування в районі Авдіївки є одним із найбільших досягнень сил РФ на фронті з весни – британська розвідка

«Попри скромність наступу, цей прогрес, ймовірно, є одним із найбільших досягнень Росії з весни 2023 року. Це коштувало залученим підрозділам тисяч жертв»

Ukraine Reports Russian Missile Attack on Zaporizhzhia

Ukraine’s military said Tuesday that Russian forces carried out aerial attacks overnight, including firing a missile that struck the Zaporizhzhia region.

Zaporizhzhia’s regional military administration said on Telegram that according to preliminary reports, the missile damaged a shop and injured one person.

The Ukrainian military also said Tuesday its air defenses destroyed a Russian attack drone.

In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday there has been intense fighting along the frontlines in Ukraine, along with waves of Russian drone attacks against Ukrainian cities.

Stoltenberg said that while the front lines in Ukraine have not moved much during the past year, Ukrainian forces have inflicted heavy losses on Russia’s military.

Speaking ahead of a two-day meeting with NATO foreign ministers, Stoltenberg called for NATO allies to continue providing support for Ukraine.

He said the stronger Ukraine is on the battlefield, the stronger its position will be at the negotiating table with Russia.

Russian defense spending

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a national budget for the next three years that increases spending by around 25% and reportedly devotes a robust amount to defense as Russia’s war in Ukraine drags on.

The budget foresees spending in 2024 of $415 billion with an expected deficit of $9.5 billion.

After the budget was passed by the lower house of the parliament, Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said it was developed specifically to fund the military and to mitigate the impact of international sanctions imposed on Russia after its Ukraine invasion in February 2022.

Record low unemployment, higher wages and targeted social spending should help the Kremlin use most of its budget to fund the military, but could present a problem in the long term, analysts say.

Part of the Russian budget is secret as the Kremlin tries to conceal its military plans and sidestep scrutiny of its military operation in Ukraine. However, it is estimated that around 39% of all federal spending will go to the military and law enforcement according to independent business journalists Farida Rustamova and Maksim Tovkaylo.


While on a visit to Kyiv on Monday, EU Commission Vice President Vera Jourova praised Ukraine’s fight against corruption, but said additional efforts were needed if Ukraine aspires to become a member of the European Union.

In November, the commission recommended that the 27-member EU formally start accession talks once Ukraine meets several remaining conditions, including strengthening anti-corruption efforts.

Jourova said she was impressed with Ukraine’s improvement since 2017. However, she added there are still things that need to be done.

She also stressed that the EU needed “to think about our absorption capacity” when it comes to new members’ accession and adapt the system.

Membership talks take years as candidates must meet extensive legal and economic criteria before joining. The EU is also unwilling to take in a country that is at war.

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

Столтенберґ про подальшу підтримку України: зараз виклик полягає в її продовженні

«Українці змогли завдати великих втрат російським силам завдяки глибоким ударним можливостям крилатих ракет, поставлених союзниками НАТО. Тому ми повинні продовжувати підтримувати їх»

Ukraine Has New Way to Get Grain to World Despite Russia’s Threat in Black Sea

Grain thunders into rail cars and trucks zip around a storage facility in central Ukraine, a place that growing numbers of companies turned to as they struggled to export their food to people facing hunger around the world.

Now, more of the grain is getting unloaded from overcrammed silos and heading to ports on the Black Sea, set to traverse a fledgling shipping corridor launched after Russia pulled out of a U.N.-brokered agreement this summer that allowed food to flow safely from Ukraine during the war.

“It was tight, but we kept working … we sought how to accept every ton of products needed for our partners,” facility general director Roman Andreikiv said about the end of the grain deal in July. Ukraine’s new corridor, protected by the military, has now allowed him to “free up warehouse space and increase activity.”

Growing numbers of ships are streaming toward Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and heading out loaded with grain, metals and other cargo despite the threat of attack and floating explosive mines. It’s giving a boost to Ukraine’s agriculture-dependent economy and bringing back a key source of wheat, corn, barley, sunflower oil and other affordable food products for parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia where local prices have risen and food insecurity is growing.

“We are seeing renewed confidence among commercial operators keen to take Ukrainian grain cargoes,” said Munro Anderson, head of operations for Vessel Protect, which assesses war risks at sea and provides insurance with backing from Lloyd’s, whose members make up the world’s largest insurance marketplace.

Ihor Osmachko, general director of Agroprosperis Group, one of Ukraine’s biggest agricultural producers and exporters, says he’s feeling “more optimistic than two months ago.”

“At that time, it was completely unclear how to survive,” he said.

Since the company’s first vessel departed in mid-September, it says it has shipped more than 300,000 metric tons of grain to Egypt, Spain, China, Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Tunisia and Turkey.

After ending the agreement brokered by the U.N. and Turkey, Russia has attacked Ukraine’s Black Sea ports — a vital connection to global trade — and grain infrastructure, destroying enough food to feed over 1 million people for a year, the U.K. government said.

The risk to vessels is the main hurdle for the new shipping corridor. Russia, whose officials haven’t commented on the corridor, warned this summer that ships heading to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports would be assumed to be carrying weapons.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that allies had agreed to provide ships to help his country protect commercial vessels in the Black Sea but that more air defense systems were needed.

“Air defense is in short supply,” he told reporters Saturday at an international food security summit in Kyiv. “But what’s important is that we have agreements, we have a positive signal, and the corridor is operational.”

While a deadly missile strike on the port of Odesa hit a Liberian-flagged commercial ship this month, not long afterward, insurers, brokers and banks teamed up with the Ukrainian government to announce affordable coverage for Black Sea grain shipments, offering shippers peace of mind.

Despite such attacks, Ukraine has exported over 5.6 million metric tons of grain and other products through the new corridor, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink tweeted Friday. Before the war, it was nearly double that per month, Ukrainian Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka said.

“The way that they’re transporting right now, it’s certainly much more expensive and time consuming,” said Kelly Goughary, a senior research analyst at agriculture data and analytics firm Gro Intelligence.

“But they are getting product out the door, which is better than I think many were anticipating with the grain initiative coming to an end,” she said.

Russia Extends Detention of US Journalist

A Russian court has extended the detention of U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich until Jan. 30, 2024.

The two-month extension was announced after a closed-door hearing Tuesday.

Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was arrested on espionage charges in March while on a reporting trip in Yekaterinburg.

Gershkovich and the newspaper have denied the allegations, and the U.S. government has said he was wrongfully detained.

Russia has not made public any evidence to support the spying charges.

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


Суд у Москві продовжив арешт американському журналісту Гершковичу у справі про шпигунство

Лефортовський районний суд Москви продовжив на два місяці, до 30 січня 2024 року, арешт журналісту американського видання The Wall Street Journal Евану Гершковичу, звинуваченому в зборі даних із категорії «держтаємниця», повідомила пресслужба московських судів загальної юрисдикції.

Загалом Гершкович проведе під арештом 10 місяців.

24 серпня Лефортовський райсуд Москви продовжив на три місяці, до 30 листопада, арешт Гершковичу, якого утримують в московському СІЗО «Лефортово».

Сторона захисту Гершковича раніше заявила, що він не визнає провини.

29 березня 2023 року Гершковича заарештували в Єкатеринбурзі за звинуваченням у шпигунстві. Це стало першим із 1986 року випадком арешту американського журналіста в Росії за таким звинуваченням. Покарання за цей злочин передбачає позбавлення волі терміном до 20 років.

Раніше Держдепартамент США оголосив Гершковича «неправомірно затриманим», що дає підстави відомству діяти на користь звільнення громадянина США.

Російське слідство стверджує, що Гершкович збирав на замовлення США секретні дані про одне із підприємств військово-промислового комплексу.

Еван Гершкович близько шести років живе у Москві, висвітлюючи події в Росії та Україні для американської газети The Wall Street Journal. Раніше він працював у Agency France-Presse, The Moscow Times та The New York Times. Останню статтю за авторством Гершковича The Wall Street Journal опублікувала 28 березня.

Нардепа Лабазюка заарештували на 2 місяці з правом внесення застави у 40 млн грн – ВАКС

Вищий антикорупційний суд обрав запобіжний захід два місяці під вартою з правом внесення застави у розмірі 40 мільйонів гривень для народного депутата групи «За майбутнє» Сергія Лабазюка з Хмельниччини. Його підозрюють у підкупі держслужбовців. Про це із зали суду передає кореспондент Радіо Свобода.

Прокурори клопотали про взяття під варту нардепа на два місяці із заставою у 100 мільйонів гривень. Водночас адвокат і сам Лабазюк наполягають, що для арешту немає підстав.

«Я найбільше, швидше за все, у цій залі зацікавлений, щоб якомога швидше встановити справедливість і об’єктивність. Я запевняю вас, що я обов’язково буду приїжджати на усі засідання. Прошу об’єктивного рішення для того, щоб я зміг продовжити свою (депутатську – ред.) діяльність», – сказав Сергій Лабазюк у суді під час обрання запобіжного заходу.

Також він додав, що ще не вирішив, чи буде вносити заставу. 40 мільйонів, каже, зараз не має, однак схиляється до того, щоб внести заставу – гроші планує позичити.

НАБУ і САП 21 листопада повідомили про підозру народному депутату і «його спільнику» – керівнику приватної компанії. Прізвище не називала, але колеги депутата по парламенту підтвердили Радіо Свобода, що йдеться про члена групи «За майбутнє» Сергія Лабазюка. За даними слідства, народний депутат і його спільники намагалися підкупити віцепрем’єр-міністра з відновлення України – міністра розвитку громад, територій та інфраструктури Олександра Кубракова, а також голову Держагентства відновлення та розвитку інфраструктури Мустафу Найєма.

Як стверджують у НАБУ, у серпні 2023 року депутат звернувся до топпосадовців Міністерства відновлення з проханням надати його компанії підряди з відбудови інфраструктурних об’єктів на один мільярд гривень, за це пообіцяв винагороду у розмірі 3-5% від вартості кожного підряду.

Слідчі стверджують, що після надходження 50 мільйонів гривень за підряд із відновлення зруйнованого мосту в одному з регіонів України народний депутат через довірену особу надав високопосадовцю Держагентства відновлення обіцяний відсоток у сумі 150 тисяч доларів. Передача грошей відбулася на паркінгу одного зі столичних супермаркетів, а гроші були у китайській шкатулці, повідомили в НАБУ.


Finland Will Close Last Russian Border Crossing if Necessary, Its PM Says

Finland is ready to close its last border crossing with Russia if Moscow keeps pushing migrants across, Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said Monday as migrants continued to make the treacherous journey through the Arctic.

“We have closed all our border stations on the eastern border except for one and we are ready to close the last one if needed,” Orpo told reporters in Helsinki.

“Finland is protecting the European Union’s external border and NATO’s border. We will not let this phenomenon continue,” he added.

Finland has seen a surge in asylum-seekers entering without visas across its 1,300-kilometer border with Russia, with around 800 crossing since August.

The migrants are predominantly from the Middle East and Africa.

This has prompted Finland to close all but its northernmost border crossing, in the remote Murmansk region in the Arctic, over the past two weeks.

Finnish officials claim Russia is attempting to destabilize its Nordic neighbor, with Orpo last week calling it “a systematic and organized action by the Russian authorities.”

In April, Moscow warned it would take “countermeasures … in tactical and strategic terms” after branding Finland’s decision to join NATO as an “assault on our security.”

Since last Thursday, the only border crossing that has remained open is the Raja-Jooseppi station.

Migrants continued to cross there this weekend, with a total of 60 arriving on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, according to the Finnish Border Guard.

Finland is obligated by international law to ensure that migrants can seek asylum, and the availability of locations can be limited only in exceptional circumstances, according to Finnish legal experts.

Білий дім: додаткове фінансування для України та Ізраїлю є «критично необхідним»

«Дуже і дуже високий рівень пріоритетності. В обох випадках часу стає все менше й менше», – сказав Джон Кірбі

Niger Junta Repeals Law Aimed at Slowing Migration to Europe 

Niger’s junta said Monday that it had revoked an anti-migration law that helped reduce the flow of West Africans to Europe, but that was reviled by desert dwellers whose economies had long relied on the traffic. 

The law, which made it illegal to transport migrants through Niger, was passed in May 2015 as the number of people traveling across the Mediterranean Sea from Africa reached record highs, creating a political and humanitarian crisis in Europe where governments came under pressure to stop the influx. 

Niger’s junta, which took power in a July coup, repealed the law on Saturday and announced it Monday evening on state television. 

The junta is reassessing its relations with former western allies who condemned the coup, and is seeking to shore up support at home, including in the northern desert communities that had benefited most from migration. 

The number of migrants moving through Niger, a main transit country on the southern fringe of the Sahara Desert, dropped sharply over the years because of the law, but the change drained the lifeblood from towns and villages that had fed and housed migrants and sold car parts and fuel to traffickers. 

In return, the European Union launched the nearly $5.5 billion Trust Fund for Africa in 2015, aimed at eradicating the root causes of migration, but many felt it was not enough. Unemployment soared in places like the ancient city of Agadez, a popular gateway to the Sahara. 

How European leaders greet the news and what the impact will be on migration to Europe are yet to be seen. 

But some people welcomed it. Andre Chani used to earn thousands of dollars a month driving migrants through the desert before police impounded his trucks in 2016. He plans to restart his business once he has the money. 

“I’m going to start again,” he said via text message from Agadez on Monday. “We are very happy.”

Top ICC Prosecutor Ends Further Probes into 2010 Kenya Case

A senior International Criminal Court prosecutor on Monday announced that she was dropping all further investigations into crimes committed in Kenya relating to violence that erupted following elections in 2007.

The decision by the ICC’s deputy chief prosecutor Nazhat Shameen Khan ends a 13-year legal saga which involved senior Kenyan politicians.

In 2010, the Hague-based tribunal started probing post-election fighting in the eastern Africa nation in which prosecutors said 1,300 people died and some 600,000 others were left homeless.

Initially, six suspects faced charges of crimes against humanity, including murder and deportation.

The suspects included current Kenyan President William Ruto and his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta.

But former chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda withdrew the charges against Kenyatta in 2014 and in 2016 the case against Ruto was stopped too, after judges said the prosecution’s evidence was too weak.

The case against all six collapsed due to a lack of evidence.

Bensouda blamed a relentless campaign of victim and witness intimidation for making a trial impossible and prosecutors launched a new probe into witness intimidation and bribery.

Current chief prosecutor Karim Khan was Ruto’s defense lawyer at the time and recused himself from the Kenya investigations after taking over the job from Bensouda in 2021.

Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru handed himself over to the ICC in late 2020, but the witness bribery case against him was dropped last year after news that he had died.

Two other suspects in the intimidation and bribery case, Philip Bett and Walter Barasa are still at large and face charges before the court.

But the ICC’s deputy chief prosecutor Nazhat Shameen Khan on Monday said she was ending further investigations into the post-election violence in Kenya.

“I have reached this decision after considering the specific facts and circumstances of this situation,” she said in a statement.

“Accordingly, the Office will not pursue additional cases into the alleged criminal responsibility of other persons,” Khan said.

Зеленський і фон дер Ляєн обговорили виконання Києвом рекомендацій Єврокомісії

Президент України Володимир Зеленський повідомив про «важливу розмову» з президенткою Єврокомісії Урсулою фон дер Ляєн напередодні засідання Європейської ради в грудні.

«Обговорили прогрес України у виконанні рекомендацій Європейської комісії для початку переговорів про вступ до ЄС. Запевнив, що Україна виконає всі рекомендації до грудневого засідання Європейської ради, включно з тими, що стосуються прав національних меншин і зміцнення антикорупційних інституцій», – повідомив Зеленський у телеграмі.

У свою чергу, Урсула фон дер Ляєн після розмови з Зеленським повідомила, що Україна зосереджена на реалізації кроків та реформ, пов’язаних з фінансовою підтримкою ЄС.

«Гарний обмін думками з Володимиром Зеленським напередодні важливих дискусій на грудневому засіданні. Україна зосереджена на реалізації 7 кроків та реформ, пов’язаних з фінансовою підтримкою ЄС. Єврокомісія твердо підтримує Україну у підготовці її майбутнього в ЄС», – написала вона в соцмережі Х.

27 листопада віцепрезидентка Єврокомісії з питань цінностей і прозорості Вера Юрова перебувала в Києві, де обговорювала питання про вступ України до Європейського союзу. Вона зустрілася з представниками всіх політичних груп українського парламенту. 

У червні 2022 року Європейська рада ухвалила рішення про надання Україні статусу кандидата на вступ до Європейського союзу.

8 листопада Єврокомісія рекомендувала почати переговори з Україною про вступ до ЄС. Президентка комісії Урсула фон дер Ляєн заявила, що Україна виконала 90% рекомендацій, які дав ЄС.

Як повідомив в ефірі Радіо Свобода (програма «Свобода. LIVE») заступник керівника Офісу президента Ігор Жовква, всі критерії для початку переговорів українська сторона виконає до середини грудня, коли буде засідання Європейської Ради.

На саміті у грудні лідери 27 країн-членів ЄС мають політично затвердити рішення про початок переговорів, а вже в березні за умови, що Україна виконає всі рекомендації, можуть розпочатися переговори.


Більшість у Конгресі підтримує додаткове фінансування для України – Держдеп

«Ми з оптимізмом дивимось на додатковий пакет від США. Вважаю, що Сенат готується до рухів упродовж наступних кількох тижнів»

Кулеба їде до Брюсселю: візьме участь у засіданні Ради Україна-НАТО і зустрінеться з Боррелем

29 листопада Кулеба візьме участь у першому засіданні Ради Україна-НАТО на рівні міністрів закордонних справ

Obama Portraitist Turns His Brush to African Presidents

Acclaimed American artist Kehinde Wiley — known for portraying former US president Barack Obama and U.S. pop star Michael Jackson — has turned his brush to Africa. His “A Maze of Power” exhibit in Paris, portrays 11 former and current African presidents, exploring power through the lens of historical European portrait painting. Lisa Bryant went to the show and has this report from the French capital

Spain to Invest 1.4 Billion Euros to Protect Threatened Donana Wetland

National and regional authorities in Spain signed an agreement Monday to invest 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in areas around the treasured national park of Donana in a bid to stop the park from drying up.

Ecological Transition Minister Teresa Ribera said the plan was aimed at encouraging farmers to stop cultivating crops that rely heavily on water from underground aquifers that have been overexploited in recent years, damaging one of Europe’s largest wetlands.

“This is an agreement with which we put an end to pressure on a natural treasure the likes of which there are few in the world,” Ribera said.

Andalusia regional President Juan Moreno said farmers will receive financial incentives to stop cultivating and to reforest land in and around some 14 towns close to Donana. He said farmers who wish to continue cultivating will receive less money but must switch to farming dry crops ecologically.

As part of the agreement, Andalusia will cancel previously announced plans to expand irrigation near Donana, a decision that UNESCO, the central government and ecologists criticized for putting more pressure on the aquifer.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, Donana is a wintering site for half a million waterfowl and a stopover spot for millions more birds that migrate from Africa to northern Europe.

Ecologists working in and near the park have long warned that its ecosystem of marshes and lagoons is under severe strain because of agriculture and tourism. The situation has been made worse by climate change and a long drought, along with record high temperatures.

Andalusia recently announced a plan to allow the Donana park to annex some 7,500 hectares (18,500 acres) by purchasing land from a private owner for 70 million euros.

Donana currently covers 74,000 hectares (182,000 acres) on an estuary where the Guadalquivir River meets the Atlantic Ocean on Spain’s southern coast. 

«Якість і швидкість мають значення». Віцепрезидентка ЄК в Києві обговорила вступ України до ЄС

«Мала честь обговорити приєднання України до ЄС із представниками всіх політичних груп українського парламенту»

СБУ прокоментувала слова Данілова щодо Росії та шпигунів

У СБУ кажуть, що «насправді ж, це не відповідає дійсності, а наші спецслужби регулярно нейтралізують будь-які спроби ворога використати ворожу агентуру»

Понад 57 тисяч росіян попросили притулку у США після вторгнення РФ в Україну – прикордонники

Понад 57 тисяч росіян-прохачів притулку перетнули кордон США у період від жовтня 2022 року до 30 вересня 2023 року, що вчетверо більше, ніж за цілий 2021 рік. На це звертає увагу телеканал «Настоящее время» (створений Радіо Свобода за участю «Голосу Америки») і наводить дані прикордонного управління США.

Якщо в 2021 році кордони США перетнули 13240 громадян Росії, то в 2022-му число росіян, що шукають притулок в США, дійшло до 36 271 людини.

Найбільший приплив росіян у США в американському прикордонному відомстві зафіксували у листопаді та грудні 2022 року – тоді кордони країни перетнули, відповідно, 6931 та 9227 громадян РФ.

З січня 2023 року приплив біженців із Росії почав поступово спадати: якщо у першому місяці цього року кордон США перетнули 5805 росіян, то у вересні – 2906 російських громадян.

Серед основних причин, через які росіяни просили притулок у США, – мобілізація, переслідування з політичних мотивів і незгода з політикою влади щодо України.

За даними Росстату, за минулий рік із Росії виїхало понад 24 мільйони людей. Це майже на три мільйони більше, ніж за 2021 рік. Статистика охоплює цілі – від туристичних та ділових поїздок до зміни постійного місця проживання. Офіційно зміну постійного місця проживання вказують одиниці.

ДБР повідомило про завершення розслідування авіатрощі у Броварах

Державне бюро розслідувань завершило розслідувати авіакатастрофу гелікоптера 18 січня 2023 року у Броварах. Матеріали справи відкриті для ознайомлення підозрюваним та їхнім захисникам, а також потерпілим та їх законним представникам, повідомляє у понеділок пресслужба ДБР.

Повідомляється, що після ознайомлення матеріали будуть передані до суду.

У серпні слідчі повідомили про підозру п’ятьом посадовцям Державної служби України з надзвичайних ситуацій за порушення правил безпеки польотів гелікоптера, на борту якого перебувало керівництво Міністерства внутрішніх справ та ще кілька осіб.

Вранці 18 січня у Броварах Київської області поруч із дитячим садком та 14-поверховим житловим будинком впав гвинтокрил Держслужби з надзвичайних ситуацій. Внаслідок падіння гелікоптера загинули 14 людей, з них одна дитина та 9 людей, які перебували на борту. Постраждала 31 людина, серед яких 13 дітей.

На борту вертольота, який розбився, було керівництво МВС. Загинув міністр Денис Монастирський, перший заступник міністра Євген Єнін і державний секретар МВС Юрій Лубкович. В Офісі президента заявили, що керівництво МВС прямувало «в одну з гарячих точок».

Росія активізувала в Україні мережу шпигунів – Данілов

Данілов зазначив, що Росія намагається скористатися «так званою напругою» між Зеленським та Залужним

Church Official Says Kidnapped German Priest Freed in Mali

German missionary Father Hans Joachim Lohre who was kidnapped in Mali’s capital Bamako last year has been freed by his captor, a church official told Reuters on Sunday.

Patient Nshombo of the Missionaries for Africa told Reuters by telephone that Lohre had been released.

“Yes, he has been freed, but we have to wait for further details from the authorities,” Nshombo said.

The government of Mali did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for the German foreign office declined to comment.

Lohre, who had been living in Bamako for 30 years, was meant to celebrate Mass on a Sunday morning in the Malian capital last year when his colleagues noticed that his car remained parked in front of his house and his telephone was switched off.