• Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers abolishes tax on charitable donations to Ukrainian veterans

    The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers has abolished the income tax placed on charitable assistance to Ukrainian veterans and their families.  They also expanded the list of goods and services which may be considered as charitable aid.

    This is now stated in government decree No. 112.

    “The Cabinet has abolished the personal income tax levied on charitable aid.  They have also lifted restrictions on the monetary amount of charitable assistance to veterans and their families,” the decree states. …

  • Ukraine and IMF have not yet agreed on updated memorandum on cooperation

    According to the Deputy Finance Minister of Ukraine, Artem Chevalier, Ukraine and the IMF have not yet agreed on the updated version of the memorandum on cooperation.  This memorandum would detail the provision of new loans for Ukraine.

    After a press conference in Kiev, Chevalier said that “we do not have the updated version of the memorandum yet”.

    He also did not give a possible date for resuming Ukraine’s cooperation with the fund.  In response to a question about the nature of the possible …

  • Russia to build five military complexes along border with Ukraine; one in Crimea

    In 2016 and 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry plans to replace 330 military bases and warehouses with 24 transshipment and logistics complexes.  One of these complexes will be located in Crimea, and five will be situated near the border with Ukraine.

    The Russian newspaper, Kommersant, published a map showing the planned complexes.

    The Ministry of Defense has said that these plans will reduce the spending of the military department by almost half, which would be 14.8 billion rubles.  They …

  • Turkey expresses its support for Southern Gas Corridor

    At a conference to review the results of the second meeting of the Advisory Board of the Southern Gas Corridor in Baku, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey, Berat Albayrak, stated that “the Southern Gas Corridor is an essential project in ensuring energy security.”  

    According to him, Turkey strongly supports the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project, as reported by Trend.

    He also thanked Azerbaijan for arranging the meetings for the Advisory Board of the …

  • UK Representative to the UN: Sanctions will not be lifted until Russia withdraws its weapons and troops from eastern Ukraine

    Today, at a UN Security Council session, the British Ambassador, Matthew Rycroft, stated that sanctions against Russia would remain in effect until Moscow removes their weapons and personnel from the Donbas and influences local militias to cease hostilities.

    “Now we need a sustained ceasefire in The Donbas,” he said. According to him, the Russian Federation should “show political will” in order to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and fulfill its international obligations, UNIAN reported.

    “Russia …

  • Ukrainian Defense Ministry: Demining of Donbas will take 10-15 years

    The head of a specialized group in the Ecology and Safety department of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Colonel Sergei Zubarevsky,told Hromadske radio that the complete demining of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions affected by the current conflict will take between 10 and 15 years.

    “I think that the clearance of the Donbas region will cost more than one billion hryvnia.  Establishing complete safety for citizens of this region can only be achieved in 10 or 15 years,” Zubarevsky said.

    On the 5 …

  • Bertelsmann Foundation: Russia is becoming increasingly autocratic

    Political and social conflicts are increasing around the world and as conflict escalates, the influence of religion on politics is growing and authoritarian tendencies are intensifying.  This is evidenced by the publication of the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) for 2014-2016 on Monday, February, 29th. The BTI is a survey of political and economic developments in 129 developing and transitional countries.

    Russia is currently at 81st place in the BTI ranking, dropping four positions …

  • Meeting planned between Foreign Ministers of Iran, Russia, and Azerbaijan

    The Iranian Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that it is planning to hold a meeting with the Foreign Ministers of Russia and Azerbaijan.

    “Soon there will be a trilateral meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Iran, and Russia. At this meeting will be discussed issues concerning the realization of the agreements reached at the meeting between Hassan Rouhani [President of Iran] and Ilham Aliyev [President of Azerbaijan],” APA quoted a representative of Iranian Foreign Ministry as …

  • US company finds 5 trillion cubic meter reserve of gas in Georgia

    American company Frontera Resources has found a 5 trillion cubic meter reserve of gas in Georgia, Georgian media reported. The media quoted the President of Frontera Resources, Steve Nicandros, who said that it can take up to 5 years for Georgia to begin exporting gas.

    Steve Nicandros stated that this gas will flow to Turkey and the countries of Eastern Europe. Last year, Frontera Resources, which has been working in Georgia since the mid-1990s, came to an agreement with Ukrainian Naftogaz, …

  • Johannes Hahn: Corruption discourages investment in Ukraine

    At the opening of the Ukrainian Week in the European Parliament, the European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, noted the progress made in the area of reforms in Ukraine.  However, he also recognized that Kiev lacks perseverance and that a lot still needs to be done.

    Speaking on Monday in Brussels, Hahn called for the continuation of judicial reform.  He also emphasized the importance of fighting against corruption.

    “The situation is …