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War in Ukraine: nearly a billion euros in donations promised to kyiv at the Paris conference

The international conference in support of Ukraine organized in Paris has raised almost a billion euros in donations to help people get through the winter in a country whose infrastructure has been ravaged by Russian strikes, announced this Tuesday, December 13 the head of French diplomacy Catherine Colonna.

Of this billion euros, 415 million will be allocated to the energy sector, 25 million for water, 38 million for food, 17 million for health, 22 for transport, the rest not being still ventilated, said Catherine Colonna.

  • Macron wants to help Ukrainians “resist” this winter

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday underlined the will of the international community to help the Ukrainians “to resist during this winter” in the face of a Russia which is acting “cowardly” and whose objective is to “plunge them into darkness and cold”.

“Russia, whose military weaknesses have come to light, has opted for a cynical strategy aimed at destroying civilian infrastructure in order to bring Ukraine to its knees,” he said at the opening of the conference. of aid to Ukraine which is being held in Paris. He accused Moscow of acting “cowardly” to “sow terror among civilians, trying to break the rear for lack of being able to hold the front”. “These strikes, which Russia openly admits are only intended to undermine the resistance of the Ukrainian people, constitute war crimes” which “will not go unpunished”, insisted the French head of state.

Often criticized for his insistence on negotiations between Moscow and Kiev, Emmanuel Macron has made it clear that it is up to Ukraine “to decide on the conditions for a just and lasting peace”. He considered that “the ten-point peace plan” of his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensly was “an excellent basis on which we will build together”. But “in the immediate future, the urgency consists in supporting the capacity of the Ukrainian people to resist”, he recalled, hoping for international contributions “at the height of the stakes”. He announced additional French aid of 76.5 million euros to spend the winter in early 2023, “in the field of electricity and energy” in particular for the acquisition of leds. This is in addition to 48.5 million euros already announced and in the process of being disbursed “for the priorities identified within the framework of the conference: 27 million on the winter emergency, the rest distributed between the displaced persons, sexual violence , food aid, mental security”.

  • IAEA to deploy missions to ‘secure’ Ukraine’s nuclear power plants

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will send missions to “secure” five nuclear power plants in Ukraine, including that of Zaporizhia, occupied by the Russian army, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Chmygal said on Tuesday. . “These missions are intended to secure these power plants and to record all the impacts coming from outside, in particular the strikes by the Russian aggressor”, wrote the Ukrainian official on Telegram after a meeting in Paris with the boss of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi. He did not specify a timetable or the size of these missions, while the IAEA already has experts in Zaporijjia, the most sensitive site due to its proximity to the front and the Russian occupation.

According to Denys Chmygal, the IAEA experts will therefore be deployed in Zaporizhia, Rivne, Khmelnytsky, Pivdennooukraïnsk and Chernobyl, the famous power plant damaged in 1986 and which the Russians briefly occupied at the start of their invasion of Ukraine in February. “This will greatly increase the technical and technological security” of these sites, he said. Denys Chmygal also indicated that Ukraine’s priority was the “demilitarization” of the Zaporizhia power plant, the largest in Europe. Russians and Ukrainians have been accusing each other for months of pounding this site, at the risk of causing a catastrophe.

  • World must rethink nuclear safety says Ukrainian energy minister

The world must “rethink nuclear safety”, urged Ukrainian Energy Minister German Halouchtchenko, describing the risks incurred in Zaporijjia where the plant has already missed an accident five times. “This is a question posed to all the countries of the world,” he said Monday evening in an interview with AFP on the sidelines of a trip to Paris for a conference in support of Ukraine. German Halouchtchenko comes both to ask for equipment to help Ukrainians get through the winter when more than 40% of the energy infrastructure has been demolished in the past two months, and to prepare for the future and reconstruction.

“We have plans for new plants, contracts already signed, and we will continue with nuclear because we have great experience and thousands of professionals,” he said. The country depends more than 50% on nuclear power for its electricity production, and there is no intention of giving it up. On the other hand, according to the Ukrainian Minister, it is urgent to review the civil nuclear safety manuals which, according to him, have not foreseen what is happening in Ukraine. “We have to consider military threats, it’s absolutely new, not just for us but for the whole world, we have to think about it together […] This war absolutely changes our view of nuclear security and safety,” he said.

  • The international community gathered in Paris to help Ukrainians get through the winter

After the conferences in Lugano, Warsaw and Berlin in recent months, this meeting aims to neutralize the strategy implemented since October by Russia, which consists of attacking civilian infrastructure to make the Ukrainian population suffer and weaken resistance. The conference takes place in the morning at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Called “Solidarity of the Ukrainian people”, it is held in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal. “We synchronized our positions before […] the support conference in Paris,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter on Sunday after an interview with Emmanuel Macron.

Conference speakers will focus on five fundamental areas – energy, water, food, health and transport – to enable Ukraine to keep critical infrastructure in working order. The effort must focus on restoring the infrastructure after each Russian bombardment so that the population can get through the winter, and also keep their morale up. Quantified announcements are expected from the French president. In addition to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will speak by videoconference. “Heads of state, heads of government, ministers” from 47 countries will be represented, the Elysee said.

  • The EU must guarantee the sustainability of its support for Ukraine (Charles Michel)

The President of the European Council, the Belgian Charles Michel, called on EU leaders to “guarantee the continuity of military and financial support for Ukraine” during their summit on Thursday in Brussels. The meeting will last one day. It was preceded on Wednesday by a summit between the 27 and their counterparts from the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Charles Michel called in his letter of invitation on Monday for decisions to ensure aid for the millions of civilians deprived of electricity, heating and running water in Ukraine with the arrival of snow and sub-zero temperatures. “Beyond the country’s immediate needs, a substantive debate is also needed on how to ensure the sustainability of our military and financial support to Ukraine,” he added. The European Union has pledged to provide Kyiv with macro-financial assistance of 18 billion euros during the year 2023. An agreement on the terms of this support, which will take the form of interest-free loans, has yet to be finalized. . EU leaders must also secure their energy supplies to “anticipate the challenges of next year”, insisted Charles Michel.

  • Compromise with Hungary to unblock EU aid to Ukraine

A compromise was found on Monday evening to release European funds intended for Hungary, which made it possible to lift Budapest’s reservations on the granting of macro-financial aid of 18 billion euros to Ukraine in 2023 , announced the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU. “EU ambassadors approved in principle €18 billion aid to Ukraine, 15% minimum tax for large companies, approval of Recovery Plan (PRRF) of Hungary and an agreement on conditionality,” said the Czech presidency on its twitter account. “The package will be confirmed by written procedure,” she said. It will be launched on Wednesday, a diplomatic source said.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban refused to give Hungary’s agreement to granting this financial aid to Ukraine if its recovery plan and the cohesion funds planned for his country were blocked by its partners. The agreement reached on Monday is a disavowal for the European Commission. The Brussels executive chaired by the German Ursula von der Leyen recommended freezing 7.5 billion European funds intended for Hungary, considering that the latest reforms adopted by Budapest to fight against corruption were still not sufficient.

  • Russia appears to be using expired bombs: Pentagon

Moscow’s modern ammunition stockpiles are “dwindling rapidly” and may only last until early 2023 if Russian forces continue bombing Ukraine at the current rate, the senior official told reporters. anonymity. This is “probably what forces them to use bombs that we would consider stale,” he added. “In other words, you load the bomb and cross your fingers and hope that it will go away, or that it will explode on landing.”

The U.S. Defense Secretary spoke last month about problems with Russian forces’ ammunition stockpiles, which he attributed to Moscow’s logistical problems and strikes by Ukrainian forces against Russian ammunition depots.

  • Zelensky demands weapons and gas from the G7

“Ukraine needs modern tanks”, would like “artillery, guns and shells”, as well as “long-range missiles”, listed Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 meeting by videoconference, according to comments reported by the Ukrainian presidency. Facing his Western allies, the Ukrainian leader once again deplored Russia’s military advantage “in terms of artillery and missiles”. “It’s a fact”, he insisted , to support his request. For several months, the West has been delivering abundant weapons of all kinds to Kiev, including the very precise American Himars rocket launchers or the French Caesar guns. Their impact on the battlefield has been beneficial for the Ukraine, gradually reversing the balance of power.

In September, Ukrainian soldiers forced the Russian military to withdraw from a large part of the northeast, in the Kharkiv region. Before the Ukrainians drove the Russians out of the southern city of Kherson, the main Russian war prize since the end of February, in early November. “The more effective we are with such weapons, the shorter the Russian aggression will be,” Volodymyr Zelensky swore.

In addition to weapons, the Ukrainian president has demanded more gas from the West, as Ukraine is facing major energy difficulties following large-scale Russian strikes on its entire network since the beginning of October. “We need additional support this winter. We are talking about a volume of about two billion cubic meters of gas that needs to be purchased additionally,” he said. Ukraine has had to “use more gas than expected” in recent weeks, unable to use its electricity network, put out of action by multiple strikes by the Russian army, which seems determined to pursue this strategy.


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