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Ukraine



The nationalisation of Ukraine PrivatBank: how two oligarchs bankrupted a nation

On the morning of 19 December Ukrainians got up to learn about a momentous economic decision: the biggest Ukrainian bank, PrivatBank, had just been nationalised after its two owners used depositors’ money to build a business empire and distributed the money among Jewish organisations in Europe. Why did it have to happen?

A look into the past. PrivatBank used to be Ukraine’s largest bank with 20% of the banking sector and $53bn assets.Its history is quite unusual for the country’s realities because it:

  • was one of the first private banks (formed in 1992);
  • was the first bank to introduce plastic cards and ATMs;
  • was the first Ukrainian financial institution to receive an international rating (Thomson BankWatch International Rating Agency, Fitch IBCA);
  • was the first Ukrainian bank to have opened its International Banking Unit in Cyprus in 1999;
  • introduced electronic banking in 2001;
  • received STP Excellence Award from Deutsche Bank in 2003.

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Brussels will force the Dutch to accept their failed Ukraine policy

61% of the Dutch voters rejected the Ukraine association treaty in a referendum this year. 31% of the population showed up, which is a far larger number than of those who turned up at Maidan to protest. For the second time the Dutch population cast its vote in a referendum, for the second time the outcome will be nullified in the name of European Democracy.

European leaders have celebrated the Maidan revolution as the attempt of Ukrainian people to join the family of liberal democracies of Western Europe. It couldn’t be further from the truth. In the official version presented in the West, Maidan protests were spontaneously sparked off when the pro-Russian Yanukovich government renounced to ratify an association agreement with the European Union.

Yet in November 2013, before the Maidan movement even started, Oleg Tsarov, member of the Ukrainian parliament, had reported in a parliamentary session on the recruitment of activists organized by the US embassy in Kiev for unknown purposes.

The US embassy in Kiev, via its representative Victoria Nuland, would later become a primary actor in pressuring for a regime change and the formation of a pro-West government in the first months of 2014. For clarity, Victoria Nuland is the third in charge of the US foreign policy, second only President Obama and John Kerry, who had been busy negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran. Continue reading

Juncker: ‘Dutch “NO” will result in big continental crisis’

JunckerTuskPoroshenkoIn April the Dutch people will vote on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.  In an interview with the NRC, a Dutch leading newspaper, Juncker warned the Dutch voters a “NO” would lead to a big continental crisis.  “Russia and anti-European movements will profit from a Dutch No; the Dutch have to vote yes for reasons not related to the treaty, the Dutch should act like a European strategist” according to Mr Juncker.
Even the Dutch leader of the most pro-European party, Mr Pechtold, was shocked by the warning, fearing it would have an adverse affect on the Dutch voters. Continue reading

Lifted sanctions, Ukraine left alone: Putin the big winner of the Paris attacks

Vladimir Putin is resuming the play. A year ago he was spurned on the international political scene only to become a key player nowadays. As he had a face-to-face talk with Barack Obama during the G-20 Summit in Turkey, he must have been complacent about his plan coming to fruition. Making use of the terror victims, of whom 224 were his compatriots, the Russian president is slowly but surely re-establishing his position, gradually fulfilling his aims. Europe needs Putin in her struggle against Jihadists. It will, however, have its price: Europe will have to lift the sanctions imposed on Russia and give up on plans of integrating Ukraine within the Union.

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Old wounds are reopened as Warsaw and Kyiv revive nagging grievances. Poland’s foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski, has urged Ukraine to “take concrete steps” to help defuse a dispute over World War II-era crimes. In remarks at the Polish consulate in Lviv Saturday, Waszczykowski also asked Ukraine to “unblock” the work of a Polish team searching for the remains of Polish war crime victims in what is now Ukraine. Source TOL



An explosion in Kiev on Wednesday killed one man and wounded three others including Ukrainian lawmaker Ihor Mosiychuk, an Interior Ministry official said in a post on Facebook. “Altogether four people were wounded in the explosion. Unfortunately, one could not be saved. He died on the way to the hospital from the wounds he received. This man is around 30 years old and his identity is being confirmed,” ministry adviser Zoryan Shkiryak said. Source Tomson Reuters



Some 500 national guardsmen and police have been deployed outside the Verkhovna Rada premises. There are also metal frames, people are checked for weapons and dangerous substances. Read also Brussels to continue dialogue with Ukraine on possible violations of minority rights based on Venice Commission’s opinion Chief of the Kyiv National Police Department Andriy Kryschenko said that, according to various estimates, up to 10, 000 people are expected to attend today’s rally outside the Verkhovna Rada. Source Unian









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When Islamic State fighter Marat Nurmagomedov escaped from Syria to Turkey after becoming disillusioned with the militant group, he was unable to return home to Russia for fear of arrest. Instead, he managed to obtain a passport under another name and flew from Istanbul to Ukraine, whose ability to identify him as a terrorism suspect was hindered by a lack of intelligence sharing between Moscow and Kiev. Source Reuters




Ukraine is facing a substantial fine over delays in the organisation of May’s Eurovision song contest and a decision to bar Russia’s entrant from entering Ukraine. The annual song fest was hosted in Kiev without a hitch, but the run-up to the competition was marred by Moscow’s decision to boycott the event after Ukraine barred its entrant because she had performed in Russia-annexed Crimea. Source Reuters









Ukraine could miss out on energy sector funding from China worth up to $3.65 billion because squabbles between ministries and the state-run energy firm Naftogaz have held up project proposals, according to interviews with officials. Ukraine signed the loan agreement with the China Development Bank (CDB) in 2012 and it must submit proposals for projects by June to receive funding. Source Reuters


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