новини, досягнення, звершення


UK Prosecutors Authorize Five People to Be Charged with Spying for Russia

British prosecutors said on Thursday they had authorized charges to be brought against five Bulgarian nationals accused of spying for Russia for almost three years.

The three men and two women are accused of “conspiring to collect information intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy” between Aug. 30, 2020 and Feb. 8, 2023, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

The alleged spies were named as Orlin Roussev, 45, Bizer Dzhambazov, 41, Katrin Ivanova, 31, Ivan Stoyanov, 31, and Vanya Gaberova, 29, all Bulgarian nationals who lived in London and Norfolk.

They are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Sept. 26.

“The charges follow an investigation by the Metropolitan Police,” said Nick Price, head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division. “Criminal proceedings against the five individuals are active and they each have the right to a fair trial.”

Roussev, Dzhambazov, and Ivanova had already been charged in February with identity document offenses, the CPS said.

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Bank of England Joins US Fed in Avoiding Another Interest Rate Hike After Inflation Declines

The Bank of England has paused nearly two years of interest rate increases after a surprising fall in U.K. inflation eased concerns about the pace of price rises.

In a development Thursday that few predicted just two days ago, the central bank kept its main interest rate unchanged at a 15-year high of 5.25%. It comes to the relief of millions of homeowners who are facing higher mortgage rates. 

The decision was split, with four of the nine members of the Monetary Policy Committee voting for a hike.

Central banks worldwide appear to be near the end of an aggressive rate-hiking cycle meant to curb an outburst of inflation triggered by the bounceback from the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine. The U.S. Federal Reserve left rates unchanged Wednesday.

Clearly influencing the bank’s decision was news Wednesday that inflation unexpectedly fell to 6.7% in August, its lowest level since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Inflation, however, is still way above the bank’s target rate of 2% and higher than in any other Group of Seven major economy.

Higher interest rates, which cool the economy by making it more expensive to borrow, have contributed to bringing down inflation worldwide.

But for many homeowners, the pain has yet to hit. Unlike in the U.S., for example, most homeowners in Britain lock in mortgage rates for only a few years, so those whose deals expire soon know that they face much higher borrowing costs in light of the sharp rise in interest rates over the past couple of years.

Like other central banks around the world, the Bank of England has raised interest rates aggressively from near zero as it sought to counter price rises first stoked by supply chain issues during the coronavirus pandemic and then Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which pushed up food and energy costs. U.K. inflation hit a peak of 11.1% in October 2022.

As inflation has eased, the hiking cycle looks to be nearing an end.

The Swiss National Bank joined the Fed in holding rates steady on Thursday, but in a busy day for central bank action in Europe, Sweden’s and Norway’s central banks pushed ahead with quarter-point hikes.

The European Central Bank, which sets interest rates for the 20 European Union countries that use the euro currency, last week hinted that its 10th straight hike could be its last. 

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Україна отримала від США черговий грант на суму 1,25 мільярда доларів

За словами міністра фінансів України Сергія Марченка, у 2023 році Київ отримав уже 9,7 мільярда доларів прямої бюджетної підтримки від США у формі грантів

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Зеленський зустрівся з лідером Бразилії. Раніше така зустріч не відбулася через «неспівпадіння графіків»

Попередні спроби організувати зустріч Зеленського і Лули да Сілви не мали успіху. Зокрема, переговори на полях саміту «Групи семи» в Японії наприкінці травня 2023 року не відбулися через «неспівпадіння графіків»

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Польща буде змушена продовжити тимчасовий захист українцям, ЄС затвердить рішення наступного тижня

ЄС активував Директиву про тимчасовий захист 4 березня 2022 року одностайним рішенням держав-членів і автоматично продовжив її дію на один рік

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Russia-NKorea Ties: Will Putin-Kim Bromance Last?

Warming relations between North Korea and Russia could last as long as the war in Ukraine continues, making Pyongyang either disposable or expandable to Moscow, depending on its need for ammunition and interest in overturning the U.S.-led international order, experts said.

As U.S. President Joe Biden called on global leaders to support Ukraine at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un returned home after his six-day trip to Russia, during which he pledged to provide “full and unconditional support” for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Kim arrived in Pyongyang in his private train on Tuesday evening, North Korea’s state-run KCNA said the following day. His “good will visit” to Russia “opened a new chapter of the development” between the two countries, touted KCNA on Tuesday as Kim’s train crossed the border.

Using a slightly different tone from North Korea’s, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters Friday that Kim and Putin did not sign any agreements on cooperation, military or otherwise.

Putin said during his meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Friday that Russia does not intend to violate any sanctions on North Korea. Putin made his remarks two days after meeting with Kim.

KCNA said on Sunday that Kim discussed defense and security cooperation and exchanges with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Vladivostok.

Kim’s trip included a summit with Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome satellite launch facility in Russia’s far eastern Amur region on Sept. 13 and inspections of fighter jets in Komsomolsk-on-Amur as well as the Pacific Fleet in Vladivostok on Saturday.

Although the specifics of possible but unsigned arms deals between Pyongyang and Moscow were not made public, world leaders gathered at the United Nations are concerned that North Korea and Russia would exchange items banned by the U.N.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the foreign ministers of the G7 countries expressed concerns over “Russia-North Korea cooperation” that “could lead to violation” of U.N. sanctions.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol warned in his speech before the U.N. on Wednesday that Seoul would consider any arms deals between the two nations “a direct provocation.”

North Korea needs technological help to send a spy satellite into orbit after failed attempts in May and August. But the technology used to launch satellites into orbit could be also used to enhance intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are banned by the U.N. sanctions on the North.

Russia wants to replenish its depleting stockpiles of ammunition and artillery shells to sustain its war in Ukraine. It turned to North Korea late last year for those weapons, the U.S. said, even though U.N. sanctions prohibit importing arms from Pyongyang.

Although their military needs brought Kim and Putin together, some experts say their new relationship is based on short-term transactional exchanges bound to end when their needs no longer exist.

Cho Han-Bum, a senior research fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification, a think tank in Seoul, said the Kim-Putin bonding is a temporary alignment rooted in Russia’s need for weapons to fight in Ukraine.

“North Korea and Russian won’t be closely drawn together as they are now if Putin’s needs for the war in Ukraine are satisfied,” he said.

Won Gon Park, a professor of North Korean Studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, agreed.

“The relationship between North Korea and Russia is a kind of marriage of convenience rather than strategic partnership,” he said.

Putin and Kim are cooperating to evade sanctions, he added, as both countries are isolated by international and U.S.-led sanctions designating them as countries that commit illegal acts.

Russia has been heavily sanctioned by the U.S.-led coalitions since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. North Korea has been sanctioned by multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions for testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, especially since 2016.

Attempts to pass new U.N. sanctions on North Korea’s record number of missile launches last year had been blocked by Russia and China, permanent members of the Security Council.

Other experts, however, view the war in Ukraine as unlikely to end soon and see a continuation of the Kim-Putin relationship despite differences in their trajectory of cooperation.

“Putin’s calculation is more short-term than Kim’s,” said Alexander Korolev, an expert in Russia’s foreign policy at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

After Putin’s weaponry needs are fulfilled, “Kim could theoretically be disposed of at some point, but the problem is that the war in Ukraine is unlikely to end soon, and even if it ends, the sanctions regime against Russia will stay for longer, which makes Putin more willing to consider longer term cooperation,” Korolev said.

He added that Kim is not essential to Putin in countering the U.S.-led international order in the long run because “China is a better partner for that.”

“Moreover, given how close North Korea is to China, closer Russia-North Korea cooperation could be a convenient and less visible way for China to support Russia when necessary,” Korolev said.

The warming Kim-Putin relationship “is also about diversifying their options, such as exchanging and securing assets that cannot be gained from Beijing – particularly ammunition and military technologies,” said Ryo Hinata-Yamaguchi, a senior nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Indo-Pacific Security Initiative at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

Kim, on the other hand, might want “a longer-term partnership” as he needs “a whole range of things,” said Samuel Wells, a Cold War fellow at the Wilson Center.

But Putin is probably satisfied with short-term transactional exchanges because “the Russians don’t need that much from the North Koreans,” Wells said. “A lot of it depends on how the Ukraine war goes.”

Some expect the recent warming of Kim-Putin relations may outlast immediate needs for Russia’s war in Ukraine, evolving into strategic cooperation to overturn the U.S.-led international system, also their common goal.

“Even after the war in Ukraine, both of these countries will want to maintain this newly established allied relationship,” said Joseph DeTrani, special envoy for six-party denuclearization talks with North Korea during the George W. Bush administration.

“Both Putin and Kim want a long-term strategic partnership” to “challenge the U.S.-led international order” and each has the other to come to their aid during conflicts, he said.

Although North Korea is “a partner of convenience” for Russia, said Evan Revere, “Putin no doubt sees Pyongyang as a tactically useful partner because of its ability to challenge the U.S.-led alliance system.” Revere served as the acting secretary for East Asia and Pacific Affairs during the George W. Bush administration.

“Moscow finds the DPRK [North Korea] a ‘useful tool’ to remind the United States that, just as Washington is finding ways to hurt Russia by supporting Ukraine, Russia can threaten U.S. interests by supporting North Korea,” he added. 

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Russian Aerial Attacks Hit Multiple Ukrainian Regions

Ukrainian officials said Thursday that Russian forces carried out aerial attacks on multiple cities overnight, killing at least two people.

Ukraine’s military described the Russian action as a “massive missile attack on the civilian infrastructure of a number of regions.”

Oleksandr Prokudin, the regional governor of Kherson, said a Russian strike hit a residential building, killing two people and injuring five others.

Sergiy Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration, said on Telegram that debris fell on the Ukrainian capital after air defenses shot down Russian missiles.

Kyiv Mayor Vitalii Klitschko said seven people were injured and several buildings were damaged.

In northeastern Ukraine, the regional governor of Kharkiv, Oleh Syniehubov, said at least six Russian strikes hit the city of Kharkiv and damaged civilian infrastructure.

Russia said Thursday it destroyed 19 Ukrainian drones over the annexed Crimean Peninsula and nearby Black Sea.

The Russian defense ministry said it also downed three Ukrainian drones over the Kursk, Belgorod and Orlov regions of Russia.

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

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Senate Confirms Chairman of Joint Chiefs

 The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, putting him in place to succeed Gen. Mark Milley when he retires at the end of the month.

Brown’s confirmation on an 83-11 vote, months after President Joe Biden nominated him for the post, comes as Democrats try to maneuver around holds placed on hundreds of nominations by Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville over the Pentagon’s abortion policy. The Senate is also expected to confirm Gen. Randy George to be Army Chief of Staff and Gen. Eric Smith as commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps this week.

Tuberville has been blocking the Senate from the routine process of approving military nominations in groups, frustrating Democrats who had said they would not go through the time-consuming process of bringing up individual nominations for a vote. More than 300 nominees are stalled amid Tuberville’s blockade and confirming them one-by-one would take months.

But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, reversed course on Wednesday and moved to force votes on Brown, George and Smith.

“Senator Tuberville is forcing us to face his obstruction head on,” Schumer said. “I want to make clear to my Republican colleagues — this cannot continue.”

Tuberville did not object to the confirmation votes, saying he will maintain his holds but is fine with bringing up nominations individually for roll call votes.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said that Brown’s confirmation, along with expected votes on Smith and George, is positive news. But “we should have never been in this position,” he said.

“While good for these three officers, it doesn’t fix the problem or provide a path forward for the 316 other general and flag officers that are held up by this ridiculous hold,” Kirby told reporters.

Brown, a career fighter pilot, was the Air Force’s first Black commander of the Pacific Air Forces and most recently its first Black chief of staff, making him the first African American to lead any of the military branches. His confirmation will also mark the first time the Pentagon’s top two posts were held by African Americans, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as the top civilian leader.

Brown, 60, replaces Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Mark Milley, who is retiring after four decades in military service. Milley’s four-year term as chairman ends on Sept. 30.

Tuberville said on Wednesday that he will continue to hold up the other nominations unless the Pentagon ends its policy of paying for travel when a service member has to go out of state to get an abortion or other reproductive care. The Biden administration instituted the policy after the Supreme Court overturned the nationwide right to an abortion and some states have limited or banned the procedure.

“Let’s do one at a time or change the policy back,” Tuberville said after Schumer put the three nominations up for a vote. “Let’s vote on it.”

The votes come as a host of military officers have spoken out about the damage of the delays for service members. While Tuberville’s holds are focused on all general and flag officers, they carry career impacts on the military’s younger rising officers. Until each general or admiral is confirmed, it blocks an opportunity for a more junior officer to rise.

That affects pay, retirement, lifestyle and future assignments — and in some fields where the private sector will pay more, it becomes harder to convince those highly trained young leaders to stay.

The blockade has frustrated members on both sides of the aisle, and it is still unclear how the larger standoff will be resolved. Schumer did not say if he will put additional nominations on the floor.

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У мережі повідомляють про вибухи у кількох районах Криму. Інформації від окупаційної влади немає

У місцевих Telegram-каналах вказують на звуки вибухів у районі Севастополя, Сакському, Сімферопольському районах та у Євпаторії

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Zelenskyy Calls Out Russia at UN Security Council

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared before the U.N. Security Council in New York on Wednesday for the first time since Russia’s invasion to garner support for his country and accuse Russia of carrying out “a criminal and unprovoked aggression” that shatters the norms of war and the U.N. Charter.

During a somewhat contentious meeting, Zelenskyy promoted action taken, including arming Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia.

“Helping Ukraine with weapons in this exercise, by imposing sanctions and exerting comprehensive pressure on the aggressor, as well as voting for relevant resolutions, would mean helping to defend the U.N. Charter,” Zelenskyy said.

The council has met dozens of times and voted repeatedly since Russia invaded 19 months ago and has demanded that the Kremlin remove its troops from Ukraine, though it has been unable to take any action on the matter because Russia has a veto.

Zelenskyy urged support of the Ukrainian effort, emphasizing that his peace proposal begins with adherence to the charter that ensures the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all 193 U.N. member nations.

Prior to the meeting, there was speculation about whether Zelenskyy and Russia’s top diplomat, Sergey Lavrov, would confront one another, hold a discussion or just avoid each other. But Zelenskyy left the council soon after his address.

There were heated words exchanged, though, as the meeting kicked off before Lavrov arrived. Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia protested Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s decision to allow Zelenskyy to speak ahead of the 15 council members. Nebenzia accused Rama — this month’s council president — of trying to reduce the meeting to “a one-man stand-up show,” asserting it would result in “nothing more than a spectacle” — a dig at Zelenskyy’s career as a comedian before being elected Ukrainian president.

Rama cited the council rule allowing a nonmember to speak first and said, “This is not a special operation by the Albanian presidency,” which prompted laughter at Russia’s claim that its offensive against Ukraine is a “special military operation.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres then briefed the council, noting that Russia’s invasion was “in clear violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.”

The war “is aggravating geopolitical tensions and divisions, threatening regional stability, increasing the nuclear threat and creating deep fissures in our increasingly multipolar world,” the U.N. chief said.

Guterres reiterated his condemnation of the war and called for “a just and sustainable peace in Ukraine in line with the U.N. Charter and international law — for Ukraine, for Russia and for the world.”

Zelensky’s speech came at a time when some are questioning the Ukrainian war effort. Kyiv’s counteroffensive is being met with staunch Russian defense, and cold weather soon will render some rural roads impassable.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also addressed the Security Council on Wednesday, condemning Russia for its repeated violations of the U.N. Charter.

“Russia has shredded the major tenets of the United Nations Charter, the universal declaration of human rights, international humanitarian law, and flouted one Security Council resolution after another,” the top U.S. diplomat said.

Zelenskyy will travel to Washington to meet with President Joe Biden, where Biden is expected to announce a new military aid package for Ukraine.

Biden has been a staunch advocate of Ukraine and has asked other world leaders to stand with Kyiv to end the war.

Some members of the U.S. Republican Party have questioned the need to continue sending arms and aid totaling billions of dollars to Ukraine.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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Mahsa Amini, Elon Musk Nominated for EU’s Top Rights Prize

Mahsa Amini, the Iranian Kurdish woman who died in custody a year ago, and billionaire Elon Musk were among a field of nominations put forward Wednesday for the EU’s top rights prize.

The European Parliament’s three biggest political groups each backed Amini as the recipient for this year’s Sakharov Prize, making her the front-runner for the award, which will be presented in December.

The legislature’s small far-right bloc was the only one to nominate Musk, the tech titan behind X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, as well as electric car company Tesla and space rocket firm SpaceX.

Other parliamentary groupings put forward activists from Afghanistan, Georgia, Nicaragua, Poland, El Salvador and the United States as their nominations.

Amini died at age 22 on September 16, 2022, while being held by Iran’s religious police for allegedly breaching the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.

Iranian authorities, fearing the anniversary of her death could renew widespread street protests, detained her father and warned her family not to publicly mark the occasion, rights groups said.

Security forces also blocked access to the cemetery where Amini is buried.

But Persian-language channels based outside Iran showed Iranians in major cities in the country, including Tehran, yelling anti-government slogans.

Rallies also took place around the world, including in Paris, Sydney, Toronto and New York.

Amini has become emblematic of a movement in Iran calling for “Women, Life, Freedom,” seen as the biggest challenge to the country’s clerical-run government.

The EU lawmakers’ nominations of Amini for the Sakharov Prize include the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement.

Musk was put forward by the Identity and Democracy grouping in the parliament, which counts nationalistic and extreme-right lawmakers among its members.

Musk has sought to portray himself as a champion of free speech, but has been criticized by some rights groups as permitting increased anti-Semitic rhetoric and other hate speech on X.

He also has courted controversy for allowing Donald Trump, the scandal-plagued, twice-impeached former U.S. president, and other populist figures adored by the far-right back onto X.

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Зеленський у США зустрівся з Урсулою фон дер Ляєн, Олафом Шольцем та з кількома світовими лідерами

Президент Володимир Зеленський продовжує серію зустрічей зі світовими лідерами на полях 78-ї сесії Генасамблеї ООН у Нью-Йорку, повідомляє пресслужба Офісу президента.

Згідно з повідомленням, Володимир Зеленський зустрівся з президенткою Єврокомісії Урсулою фон дер Ляєн, президентом Румунії Клаусом Йоханнісом та віцепрем’єр-міністром, міністром закордонних справ Болгарії Марією Габріель. Йшлося про збереження принципу єдиного ринку та вільному доступу української аграрної продукції на ринок ЄС.

«Спільно з президентом Румунії та віцепрем’єр-міністром Болгарії сторони обмінялися думками щодо пошуку ефективних рішень у сфері логістики, зокрема збільшення пропускної здатності портів, серед іншого чорноморського порту м. Констанца, та річкового транспорту на Дунаї, а також важливості подальшого нарощування обсягів транзиту української продукції територією Румунії й Болгарії з урахуванням можливостей «Шляхів солідарності» ЄС», – розповіли в ОПУ.

Також Зеленський зустрівся з федеральним канцлером Німеччини Олафом Шольцом.

«Зеленський поінформував Олафа Шольца про ситуацію на лінії фронту й першочергові потреби сил оборони України. Президент відзначив важливість подальшого посилення української ППО для захисту цивільної інфраструктури напередодні зими та функціонування «зернового коридору»… Лідери приділили увагу підготовці до міжнародної Конференції з питань відновлення України, яка відбудеться в Німеччині влітку 2024 року», – йдеться в повідомленні.

Крім того, резидент України зустрівся з прем’єр-міністром Албанії Еді Рамою: «Глава держави високо оцінив внесок Албанії в протидію повномасштабній російській агресії, зокрема в межах непостійного членства країни в Раді безпеки ООН».

Також Володимир Зеленський мав зустріч із президентом Чилі Габріелем Боричем. Він відзначив налаштованість України на поглиблення співпраці з державами Латинської Америки. 

Одна з основних подій середи для президента – виступ на засіданні Ради безпеки ООН. Вже у четвер вранці Зеленський планує відвідати Капітолійський пагорб, щоб зустрітися із законодавцями США, а потім проведе переговори у Білому домі з Джо Байденом.

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Вірменія: протестувальники штурмували будівлю уряду, є затримані

У столиці Вірменії Єревані ввечері 20 вересня в перебігу масової акції протесту під стінами будівлі уряду є затримані через сутички протестувальників з поліцією, повідомила Вірменська служба Радіо Свобода (Радіо Азатутюн) із посиланням на правоохоронців.

Через масові заворушення затримано низку осіб, повідомив Слідчий комітет Вірменії. Повідомляється про відкриття кримінального провадження за фактами «організації масових заворушень та участі в них, публічних закликів до вчинення масових заворушень».

За повідомленням Слідчого комітету, близько 21:30 за місцевим часом протестувальники спробували взяти штурмом будівлю уряду Вірменії та не реагували на заклики правоохоронців дотримуватися громадського порядку. У відомстві кажуть, що протестувальниками було застосоване насильство до правоохоронців. «Поліцейським, які були при виконанні службових обов’язків, завдали ударів ногами та руками, кидаючи в них каміння та різні предмети», – йдеться в повідомленні вірменського Слідкому.

У мережі є кадри, що силовики у відповідь застосували до протестувальників кийки.

Демонстранти прийшли під будівлю уряду ще вдень із плакатами «Пашинян – зрадник», вимагаючи його відставки.

Перед тим президент Азербайджану Ільгам Алієв заявив, що його країна досягла всіх цілей за добу «антитерористичних заходів» у сепаратистському Нагірному Карабаху і «відновила свій суверенітет». Алієв також заявив, що під час «антитерористичних заходів» армії Азербайджану в Карабаху «цивільне населення не постраждало, не потрапили під удар цивільні об’єкти, але знищена ворожа військова інфраструктура й техніка».

За словами президента Азербайджану, під час переговорів в азербайджанському місті Євлах, які відбудуться 21 вересня, вірменським представникам нададуть план реінтеграції Карабаху. У Кремлі заявили, що російські миротворці виступатимуть посередниками у переговорах.

19 вересня азербайджанська армія оголосила про «антитерористичну операцію» в Карабаху з метою відновлення конституційного ладу. Баку повідомив про удари по об’єктах вірменської армії та вірменських збройних підрозділів у Карабаху. Єреван присутність своїх військових у регіоні заперечує.

Перед оголошенням операції Баку звинуватив фактичну владу Карабаху в організації терактів. За даними азербайджанської сторони, 19 вересня на міни наїхали два автомобілі. Загинули дев’ятеро людей, серед яких були семеро співробітників МВС Азербайджану.

Вірменська служба Радіо Свобода повідомила з посиланням на представників фактичної влади Нагірного Карабаху, що за добу там загинули кілька десятків людей, зокрема і цивільних. Баку повідомив про загибель одного жителя контрольованого Азербайджаном міста Шуша.

20 вересня Міноборони Азербайджану заявило про домовленість щодо припинення вогню у сепаратистському регіоні Нагірний Карабах. Повідомляли, що досягнуто домовленості про призупинення «локальних антитерористичних заходів» 20 вересня 2023 року о 13:00.

Прем’єр-міністр Нікол Пашинян зазначив, що Вірменія жодним чином не брала участі у розробці тексту угоди та не була стороною обговорень. Він зауважив, що в тексті згадуються збройні сили Вірменії і виведення частин збройних сил Вірменії з сепаратистського регіону Нагірний Карабах, але, за його словами, з серпня 2021 року Вірменія там не тримає своїх військових.

Міжнародне співтовариство визнає Нагірний Карабах суверенною територією Азербайджану, проте з початку 1990-х Баку не контролював більшу частину регіону.

Баку та Єреван роками перебувають у конфлікті через сепаратистський регіон Нагірний Карабах. Підтримувані Вірменією сепаратисти захопили регіон Азербайджану, населений переважно етнічними вірменами, під час війни на початку 1990-х років, у якій загинуло близько 30 000 людей.

За підсумками короткострокової війни восени 2020 року Азербайджан та Вірменія за посередництва Росії підписали угоду про припинення бойових дій. Баку повернув собі під контроль частину територій Нагірного Карабаху та прилеглі райони Азербайджану.

Упродовж понад трьох десятиліть Росія була посередником між двома колишніми радянськими республіками, але Брюссель і Вашингтон останнім часом стали активнішими, оскільки Москва на тлі повномасштабного вторгнення в Україну більше не може активно брати участь у проблемах Нагірного Карабаху.

Вірменія неодноразово звинувачувала російських миротворців у невиконанні обіцянок захистити етнічних вірмен згідно з погодженим Москвою перемир’ям 2020 року.

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Ukraine, European Allies Clash Over Food Import Bans   

Ukraine lodged a complaint this week at the World Trade Organization after several eastern European states imposed import bans on Ukrainian food products, exposing divisions in the European Union as its members try to support Kyiv in the wake of Russia’s 2022 invasion.

Hungary, Poland and Slovakia banned the import of Ukrainian grain and other food products last Friday, saying the shipments were undercutting their own farmers.

Kyiv confirmed on Monday that it had filed a complaint at the WTO.

“It is crucially important for us to prove that individual [EU] member states cannot ban imports of Ukrainian goods. That is why we are filing lawsuits against them to the WTO,” Ukraine’s economy minister, Yulia Svyrydenko, said in a statement.

The WTO is not likely to make a ruling anytime soon, according to David Kleimann, a trade expert with the Bruegel research group in Brussels, Belgium.

“The process starts with 60 days of consultations in which the parties basically have the time to come to a mutually agreeable solution to the dispute. That is not entirely unlikely given the fact that some of this is a result of election prologue in Slovakia and Poland. There might still be time in that consultation period to come to a resolution,” Kleimann told VOA. Slovakia is due to go to the polls on September 30, while Poland’s election is scheduled for October 15.


Ukraine’s president said it’s vital that European states reopen their export routes. “We need our neighbors to support Ukraine in times of war. Europe always wins when agreements work and promises are kept,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a televised statement Friday.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year cut off many of Kyiv’s export routes. In July, Moscow withdrew from a Black Sea Grain Initiative — a mechanism that had allowed Ukrainian grain to be shipped onto world markets — causing global food prices to rise. The Kremlin warned that it could not guarantee the safety of merchant ships. Russian missiles have repeatedly targeted Ukrainian Black Sea ports, causing widespread damage.

The European Union offered Ukraine other land routes to allow its food products to reach global markets via member states bordering Ukraine — what the EU calls “solidarity lanes.”

Olia Tayeb Charif, head of research at the Farm Foundation, a French think tank focused on agriculture, explained that some of the food products entered the European market.

“Ukrainian wheat is among the most competitively priced in the world, alongside Russian wheat. Since the start of the conflict, 50% of Ukrainian wheat exports have arrived in Europe, whereas before the conflict it was a really small amount. So the European Union is faced with an unprecedented situation, seeing very competitive wheat arriving in these markets which was not initially intended for them. This eventuality had not really been foreseen by the European authorities,” Charif told VOA.

Farmer protests

Farmers in several neighboring European states have staged protests, claiming that Ukrainian food is being dumped on local markets. “Low-quality, cheaper products than ours are sold in the shops. We have very high costs to produce quality meat and milk. We are operating at a loss, and therefore we will give up,” Bulgarian farmer Vassil Dzhorgov told The Associated Press on Monday.

In May, the EU offered the farmers compensation and allowed five eastern European states — Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania — to impose temporary import bans on some Ukrainian products. When the deadline expired on September 15, the EU said there was no need to renew these measures as the market distortion caused by the influx of Ukrainian products had largely disappeared.


Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, however, imposed their own unilateral import bans. Croatia also said Tuesday it would only allow the transit of Ukrainian grain.

EU criticism

European allies strongly criticized the import restrictions.

“Ukraine is under aggressive attack by Russia. And so we need to understand that here we have to see the bigger picture and support all these solidarity lanes, and also support the possibility for Ukraine to export its grain,” Finland’s minister of agriculture, Sari Essayah, told reporters in Brussels Monday.

In the meantime, the European Commission has told Ukraine to impose so-called “voluntary export restraint” as it tries to persuade eastern European member states to remove the import bans.

“What the commission is doing here is kicking the can down the road by giving an obligation to Ukraine to limit, to manage or to channel its exports to the European Union — and at the same time waiting out the time until the elections, most particularly in Poland, and hoping that the Polish political sentiment will change after the election. This is really not a sustainable solution,” analyst David Kleimann told VOA.

European divisions

The EU is caught between the demands of its member states and the need to support Ukraine, said Olia Tayeb Charif of Farm Foundation.

“Europe is really having to play a balancing act between, on the one hand, preserving its internal cohesion — that is to say, putting in place market regulation measures which prevent these agricultural markets from being disturbed by cheaper wheat — and on the other hand, helping Ukraine by allowing the transit of these grains to reach international markets. It should also be emphasized that historically, Ukraine’s export destinations are largely Africa and the Middle East, and they are also very large customers of the European Union,” Charif told VOA.

The dispute is exposing divisions within the European Union as it tries to show unity following Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, said Kleimann.

“Single market fragmentation in in these difficult times, with the security interest of the European Union and the interest of keeping pro-Russian sentiments in check — this is pretty much a worst-case scenario,” he told VOA.

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UK PM: We Will Not Force Households To Take Energy Efficiency Measures

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday the government would not force households to take energy efficiency measures as he announced new changes to some of its commitments to tackle climate change.

He said that although the nation will continue to subsidize energy efficiency, it “will never force any household to do it.”

“The proposal to make you change your diet and harm British farmers by taxing meat or to create new taxes to discourage flying or going on holiday — I scrapped those too,” Sunak said at the press conference.

The prime minister also said there would be no ban on new oil and gas drilling in the North Sea that would leave Britain “reliant on expensive imported energy.”

Sunak also reiterated that the aim was to still meet Britain’s international commitments and hit net zero carbon emissions by 2050 despite the raft of changes to previous climate pledges.

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В українському МЗС закликали «відкинути емоції» після виклику Польщею посла України

«Українська сторона запропонувала Польщі конструктивний шлях вирішення зернової проблематики. Очікуємо, що наші пропозиції стануть основою для переведення діалогу в конструктивне русло»

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Іспанія оголосила про нову військову допомогу для України

Іспанія передасть для потреб ЗСУ бронетранспортери, пускові установки для зенітної техніки, зенітні ракети та військові вантажівки

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Azerbaijan, Ethnic Armenians Reach Nagoro-Karabakh Cease-Fire

Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian authorities in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region reached a cease-fire agreement Wednesday, a day after Azerbaijan launched what it called an “anti-terrorist” operation.

The agreement, brokered by Russian peacekeepers, calls for separatist forces to disarm and Armenian forces to withdraw from the area.

Azerbaijani authorities and representatives from the ethnic Armenians in the region are also due to hold talks Thursday in the Azerbaijani city of Yevlakh about the future of the area.

The U.N. Security Council is also due to hold an emergency meeting about the situation Thursday.

Armenian authorities said the fighting, which had continued into Wednesday, left at least 32 people dead and more than 200 injured.

The violence brought international calls for peace, including Wednesday from Russia and Pope Francis.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate end to the fighting and for all parties to focus on efforts to bring long-term peace to the region, his spokesman said in a statement.

The U.S. State Department said Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke by telephone Tuesday with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Blinken told Aliyev there is no military solution and that Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh “must resume dialogue to resolve outstanding differences.”

A statement from Aliyev’s office said the operation would stop if Armenian fighters lay down their arms.

In his call with Pashinyan, Blinken said the United States “fully supports Armenia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity,” the State Department said.

Azerbaijan said it launched its operation in response to landmine explosions that killed four soldiers and two civilians in the region.

The Nagorno-Karabakh region is entirely within Azerbaijan but is populated largely by ethnic Armenians and had been under ethnic Armenian control since 1994. Parts of it were reclaimed by Azerbaijan after a war in 2020. Russian peacekeepers were placed in the region.

Some information for this story provided by the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters

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New Violence in Nagorno-Karabakh Pushes Armenia to Debate Alliances

The new flare-up of hostilities in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the separatist enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh is raising the possibility of geopolitical change in the region, as some in Armenian society say they feel betrayed by what they see as the inaction of Russian peacekeepers. Elizabeth Cherneff narrates this report from Ricardo Marquina in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.

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Зеленський хоче від Трампа деталей миру з Путіним

Дональд Трамп заявляв, що у разі свого переобрання на пост президента США він зупинить війну в Україні впродовж 24 годин

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