EU country resolves grain dispute with Ukraine – Reuters

Slovakia and Ukraine have agreed to set up a new licensing system in order to settle a dispute over grain imports, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing the Slovak Agriculture Ministry.

  • The decision comes after Kiev filed a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary.

All three countries announced unilateral bans on the import of Ukrainian seeds and grain last week, arguing that deliveries undercut domestic prices and threatened the livelihoods of local farmers.

Earlier this summer, the EU allowed five Eastern European member states, including Romania and Bulgaria, to block the import of certain Ukrainian agricultural products for domestic sale.

However, the bloc announced it had refused to extend the ban this month.

  • Romania has not applied unilateral measures after the EU measures were lifted, while Bulgaria imposed an embargo on sunflower seeds from Ukraine on Wednesday after days of protests by farmers.

“[Ministers] agreed on creating a grain trade system based on issuing and controlling licenses,” the Slovak Agriculture Ministry said in an email to Reuters.

  • “Until this system is up and running and fully tested, the ban on imports of four commodities from Ukraine remains in place,” it added.

According to the ministry, Kiev has also agreed to drop its complaint against Slovakia at the WTO.

The Slovak ban on imports of Ukrainian wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds was approved until the end of the year. Prime Minister L’udovit Odor previously said that Bratislava had been forced to “prevent excessive pressure on the Slovak market” to remain fair to local farmers.

According to the Financial Times, the European Commission is likely to defend Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia against the complaint filed by Ukraine, despite the three member states going against the EU policy of acting in unison on trade matters.

Source: RT

Poland stops weapons supplies to Ukraine – PM

Poland will no longer provide arms to the Ukrainian military, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said, adding that Warsaw would instead shift focus to its own security.

The decision follows a diplomatic row over Ukrainian grain imports, which were banned in Poland after flooding local markets.

Morawiecki told reporters on Wednesday that the government would halt the weapons shipments, highlighting a growing rift between the two neighbors after more than a year of heavy support from Warsaw.

  • “We are no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine, because we are now arming Poland with more modern weapons,” Morawiecki said. He later warned that additional trade bans could be imposed on Kiev, given that the “Ukrainian authorities do not understand the degree to which Poland’s farming industry has been destabilized” by foreign imports.
  • The comments came after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky appeared to make a thinly veiled jab at Poland during a speech before the UN General Assembly earlier this week, saying that “some [countries] in Europe play out solidarity in a political theater” and are “making a thriller for the grain.”

The trade spat has steadily escalated in recent months. As major Black Sea shipping lanes were closed off due to the conflict with Russia, Ukrainian grain poured into Central and European markets, tanking prices and wreaking havoc for local producers.

The grain glut prompted a formal import ban among five EU members to protect domestic farmers – Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

Though the bloc-wide ban expired last week, Warsaw, Budapest and Bratislava have opted to keep the policy in place on an individual basis, each arguing it is needed to stabilize prices.

  • Kiev has insisted that the bans are illegal, with Economy Minister Yulia Sviridenko stating that “it is crucially important for us to prove that individual member states cannot ban imports of Ukrainian goods.”

The government has since filed lawsuits with the World Trade Organization, seeking to halt the trade restrictions, though Warsaw dismissed the move, saying that a “complaint before the WTO doesn’t impress us.”

Poland has been among Ukraine’s most vocal supporters throughout the conflict with Moscow, repeatedly urging other EU members to step up military aid while approving a long line of its own arms shipments. Polish President Andrzej Duda recently urged Kiev to “remember” his country’s status as a logistical hub for weapons deliveries and compared Ukraine to a drowning man, who might drag his rescuers under the water with him.

The decision to stop the flow of weapons comes as Kiev’s summer counteroffensive continues to lag into the fall, with Ukrainian forces struggling to penetrate Russia’s heavy front-line fortifications despite more than a year of Western arms transfers, training and intelligence support.

Source: RT

EU country’s farmers stage major Ukraine grain protest

Bulgarian farmers have taken to the streets in protest, causing blockades at dozens of highways and border crossings on Monday.

They are voicing their discontent with the government’s decision to lift the ban on Ukrainian grain imports.

The protest follows unsuccessful attempts to resolve the matter through negotiations with the government. Professional associations are actively participating in this widespread demonstration, with 26 joining the cause.

  • The protest is slated to continue with a mass rally in the capital, Sofia, scheduled for Tuesday. National authorities have called on participants to adhere to the law.

The farmers’ grievances stem from the government’s refusal to maintain the prohibition on Ukrainian grain in the domestic market. An EU-wide ban, initially imposed in May, expired the previous Friday.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov’s comments ahead of the protests further fueled tensions. As farmer groups announced their plans, he characterized them as behaving “like terrorists” and stated, “I do not negotiate with terrorists” during a television appearance last Saturday.

Denkov held a press conference on the eve of the demonstration, reiterating his belief that the protesters’ demands were unreasonable.

He emphasized that Kiev had pledged to regulate its exports to Bulgaria based on the country’s capacity to absorb specific products. The organizers of the strike, he claimed, refused to engage in negotiations.

  • Members of the Bulgarian agriculture sector are advocating for reinstating the ban on Ukrainian products, with potential expansion to include items such as fruits, vegetables, meat, milk, and honey.

They are also demanding total compensation for farmers, a commitment the EU had made to Sofia when agreeing to the initial ban.

Local media outlets have linked protest organizers to President Roumen Radev, although his office is largely symbolic. Radev has been a vocal critic of the EU’s policy of providing military support to Kiev.

The original EU restrictions were instigated by five member states neighboring Ukraine in response to a surplus of affordable grain that had depressed local prices and incited mass protests.

Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia have maintained their national restrictions, defying Brussels, while Bulgaria and Romania have opted out.

Source: RT

Ukraine has ‘zombie’ economy – ex-PM

The Ukrainian economy has turned into a “zombie” that only shows signs of life with Western financing, former Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov claimed on Monday.

  • Writing on Telegram, the former politician argued that the national economy is “falling apart,” and that Ukraine is faced with minimal GDP growth and a looming devaluation of the hryvna “under pressure from the International Monetary Fund.”

Meanwhile, public debt is surging and the budget deficit is widening despite Western aid, according to Azarov.

  • “The best illustration of the catastrophic state of affairs is that the budget of the country at war lacks more than $6 billion to pay the Ukrainian military alone,” he said.

Azarov claimed that the families of Polish mercenaries killed during the conflict had not received any compensation despite promises from Kiev.

“As a result, the Ukrainian economy increasingly resembles a ‘zombie’ – it shows signs of life only with foreign financial assistance, which it requires more and more,” the former prime minister argued.

According to Azarov, Ukraine’s “closest analogues” in terms of economic woes are Afghanistan and Haiti, which are faced with similar problems.

He added that the “most daring” forecasts show that Ukraine will need more than 30 years to catch up with the current economic level of Romania or Poland.

Source: RT

Radu Banciu: ”O impostoare, un nimeni, o jucătoare de duzină, o arogantă”

Mă uitam la cazul lui Paul Pogba, nu există nicăieri nicio publicaţie care să susţină ideea că e nevinovat. Te-a prins, eşti dopat. Ea a fost o impostare şi a plătit. Este pentru prima dată, în tenis, când un sportiv este prins cu o astfel de substanţă. Tu eşti un nimeni, mă, erai o jucătoare de duzină. Chiar dacă eşti curat ca lacrima (n.r. problema cu paşaportul biologic) nu te poţi juca cu asta. E ca şi cum eu m-aş duce într-un magazin alimentar, mi-aş băga un obiect contondent sub geacă şi după când vine la mine zic că era o glumă.

Nu era extraordinar de talentată şi dintr-o dată i s-au umflat mâinile, o arogantă venită dintr-o familie care dispreţuia tot. Întrebaţi toate fetele, toate o detestau, nu avea nicio prietenă, nu mai ştia de unde plecase, nu a fost niciodată un sportiv plăcut ochiului. Nu reprezenta nimic, dădea tare într-o minge”, a declarat Radu Banciu, la Prima Sport.

Mă uitam la cazul lui Paul Pogba, nu există nicăieri nicio publicaţie care să susţină ideea că e nevinovat. Te-a prins, eşti dopat. Ea a fost o impostare şi a plătit. Este pentru prima dată, în tenis, când un sportiv este prins cu o astfel de substanţă. Tu eşti un nimeni, mă, erai o jucătoare de duzină. Chiar dacă eşti curat ca lacrima (n.r. problema cu paşaportul biologic) nu te poţi juca cu asta. E ca şi cum eu m-aş duce într-un magazin alimentar, mi-aş băga un obiect contondent sub geacă şi după când vine la mine zic că era o glumă.

Nu era extraordinar de talentată şi dintr-o dată i s-au umflat mâinile, o arogantă venită dintr-o familie care dispreţuia tot. Întrebaţi toate fetele, toate o detestau, nu avea nicio prietenă, nu mai ştia de unde plecase, nu a fost niciodată un sportiv plăcut ochiului. Nu reprezenta nimic, dădea tare într-o minge”, a declarat Radu Banciu, la Prima Sport.

Source: Stiri de Cluj

NATO member state threatens to shoot down Russian drones

The Romanian Armed Forces are ready to shoot down Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the deputy chief of its general staff, General Gheorghița Vlad, said on Friday. Bucharest will also deploy additional forces to the Danube Delta near the Ukrainian border, he told the Swedish SVT 2 broadcaster.

  • “We decided to deploy around 600 soldiers to strengthen our defense line in the northern part of Dobrogea,” Vlad said, referring to Romania’s eastern coastal region, which borders Ukraine in the north. The border between Ukraine and Romania goes along the Danube River.

According to the general, additional radar systems were also deployed in the area, and the local air defenses were put on alert. Romania also “had discussions” with other NATO member states regarding its potential response to what Vlad described as possible “Russian aggression.”

  • When asked whether Romania was ready to use its air-defense systems against Russian UAVs, the general said they were “ready to use all the military power to defend the Romanian territory.” The exact response would depend “on the level of threat,” he added.

The Romanian Defense Ministry restricted flights over northern Dobrogea and particularly near the border with Ukraine on Thursday. It also announced the construction of two bomb shelters in the Plauru-Ceatalchioi area, located just across the Danube from Izmail, Ukraine’s largest river port in the Danube Delta.

Earlier this week, Bucharest claimed that wreckage from a suspected Russian drone had been discovered in the area. “If it is confirmed that the remains belong to a Russian drone, the situation would be completely unacceptable and would constitute a serious violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Romania,” President Klaus Iohannis said at the time.

Kiev claimed on Monday that a Russian drone had crashed in Romania during an attack on Izmail. The Romanian Defense Ministry initially denied that claim. Moscow did not comment on the incident.

Russia began targeting port infrastructure in Odessa and other Ukrainian Black Sea towns in July, following an attack by Kiev’s seaborne drones on the bridge that connects Crimea to mainland Russia. The attack resulted in two civilian deaths and injured a minor.

Source: RT

How tensions over Ukrainian grain split the EU

A temporary moratorium on the import of Ukrainian wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds, imposed by the EU in early May, was lifted earlier this week. The move has split the eastern members of the bloc, with some voicing support for the decision and others vowing to defy the order.

Why was the ban on Ukrainian grain purchases initially imposed?

Earlier this year, several EU states voiced deep concerns over a massive influx of cheap agricultural produce from Ukraine, citing an urgent need to protect local markets from destabilization. In May, the European Commission (EC) imposed “exceptional and temporary preventive measures on imports” of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seed to five member states, to ease the impact of plummeting prices in neighboring EU countries.

The ban allowed Ukrainian products to be transported through member states, but not sold or warehoused there. It was originally supposed to end in June but was extended through mid-September.

Which EU nations stopped importing the grain?

Substantial financial losses due to the glut of Ukrainian grain were particularly felt by the members of the bloc that share a border with Ukraine. However, several other nations have joined in demanding action from the EC over Ukrainian exports.

The measures adopted by Brussels allowed Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Bulgaria to stop importing Ukrainian agricultural produce.

Why are they important for the shipping of Ukraine’s produce?

In July, Russia suspended its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative that allowed Ukrainian grain to be safely shipped from the country’s ports. The deal, initially clinched between Moscow and Kiev last year and brokered by the UN and Türkiye, was supposed to facilitate the delivery of Ukrainian grain to world markets amid the military conflict between the neighboring states.

The frontline members of the bloc were seen as a safe gate for exports of Ukrainian crops that, according to Brussels, were “critical to feed the world and keep food prices down.”

However, the produce got stuck in Eastern Europe, endangering the livelihoods of local producers.

What are the reasons behind Brussels’ reversal of its decision?

The EU restrictions were lifted on Friday after Ukrainian authorities agreed to tighten control over its agricultural exports. In particular, Kiev pledged to introduce “legal measures” such as a 30-day licensing system, to avoid new surges in grain exports.

The decision to eliminate the ban came after weeks of negotiations. Ukraine was even threatening to sue the bloc through the World Trade Organization for compensation.

What steps did opposing member states take?

Before the EC decision was announced, Poland and Hungary had warned that they would act alone to keep cheap Ukrainian grain out.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday that Warsaw would unilaterally block the import of agricultural produce from Ukraine, starting September 16.

  • Hungary, in turn, imposed an import ban on 24 Ukrainian products such as grain, rapeseed and sunflower seeds, as well as certain meat products, honey and eggs.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban accused Brussels of “turning a blind eye” to the problems of European farmers, adding that Ukrainian crops “destined for Africa are flooding Central European markets.”

  • Meanwhile, the government of Slovakia decided to ban imports of Ukrainian wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds.
  • The country’s Prime Minister Ľudovit Odor said that Bratislava was forced to “prevent excessive pressure on the Slovak market” to remain fair to local farmers.

Why did Romania and Bulgaria support Brussels’ decision despite obvious negative impact on their agricultural sectors?

  • Bulgaria became a notable exception, after deciding to lift the embargo even before the EC’s step was announced.

Finance Minister Asen Vassilev said the ban had deprived the government of tax revenue and led to higher food prices. The country’s losses in value-added tax alone reportedly amounted to €74.6 million (almost $80 million). Sofia expected to further lose €20.4 million every month if the embargo was extended.

As a result, more than 20 Bulgarian agricultural associations have pledged to stage a national protest starting September 18. The farmers claim that imports of Ukrainian agricultural produce are disastrous and would destroy the Bulgarian agricultural sector.

Meanwhile, Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu has called for supporting Ukrainian grain exports, saying that his nation will try to boost the volume of traffic through Romania from two million to four million tons.

  • He also highlighted the importance of establishing a mechanism to compensate Romanian farmers for their losses until the next harvest.

Source: RT

Zelensky issues warning to EU neighbors

Kiev will respond if EU countries decide to impose unilateral restrictions on Ukrainian grain in contravention of decisions made in Brussels, President Vladimir Zelensky has said.

On Friday, the European Commission opted not to extend a ban on deliveries of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia. The curbs, which were introduced in May, expired on September 15.

  • While the Bulgarian authorities supported the move, the other four EU member states said they would now introduce restrictions at national level due to the need to protect their agricultural industries.
  • Zelensky wrote on Telegram that he had talked to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the phone, telling her that he was “deeply grateful” to her for “keeping her word and maintaining the rules of the free market.”

The decision by Brussels not to extend the ban “is an example of true unity and trust between Ukraine and the EU. Europe always wins when the rules work and the treaties are fulfilled,” he said.

However, the Ukrainian leader added that “now it’s important [to make sure] European unity also works on a bilateral level; that the neighbors support Ukraine” amid its conflict with Russia.

If Poland, Hungary, Romania or Slovakia make decisions that “violate EU law, Ukraine will respond in a civilized way,” Zelensky warned, without specifying the countermeasures to which Kiev may resort to protect its interests.

  • After learning about the ruling by the European Commission on Friday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Warsaw would “extend the ban on Ukrainian grain. We won’t listen to Berlin, von der Leyen… because it’s in the interest of the Polish farmers.”
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced a similar plan, saying he was preparing for “a serious fight in Brussels” over the grain issue.

Warsaw and Budapest have vigorously resisted deliveries of Ukrainian grain, despite having quite opposite views on the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Poland has been one of the main backers of Ukraine in the EU, providing the country with weapons and insisting on increasingly harsh measures against Russia, while the Hungarian authorities have consistently criticized the bloc’s sanction on Moscow as ineffective, and insist on a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Source: RT

Poland has threatened to introduce an indefinite embargo on supplies of Ukrainian grain if the EU does not extend its own bloc-wide import ban. Warsaw’s minister of economic development and technology, Waldemar Buda, said the measure could enter force at midnight on Friday.

  • A temporary EU ban on Ukrainian grain imports, introduced after Poland and four other Eastern EU countries complained about cheap Ukrainian produce flooding the market, is set to expire on September 15.
  • “If the European Commission does not make a decision on the issue of [banning imports of] Ukrainian grain, Poland will make its own at midnight. It [the ban] will be indefinite,” the minister said.

Echoing the remarks, Polish Minister for EU Affairs Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek stressed that his country would protect the interests of its farmers “one way or another,” regardless of whether a decision was made at EU or national level.

  • “The decision [to ban Ukrainian agriculture produce] was made by the Council of Ministers. On Tuesday, the resolution was unanimously adopted. We intend to introduce a national import ban if such a measure would not be introduced at the EU level,” Szynkowski vel Sek warned.

Poland would not be satisfied with another temporary extension of the embargo on Ukrainian grain, and is expecting “structural decisions” from the European Commission, Agriculture Minister Robert Telus warned earlier on Friday.

“We should resolve this for the future. We need tools for future cooperation between Ukraine and the EU,” the minister urged.

In May, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia imposed a sweeping ban on Ukrainian grain imports. The move came after Brussels suspended customs duties on all agricultural produce from Ukraine for one year, to support the nation’s economy.

However, a glut of cheap Ukrainian grain left EU producers struggling against what they viewed as unfair competition.

  • Telus said Ukrainian agricultural products should be sent to the destinations they were typically delivered to before the conflict with Russia broke out last year, adding that they “cannot constantly flood Europe.”

Farmers in the five EU countries most affected claim they have suffered substantial losses due to the surge in imports of Ukrainian agricultural produce, which was initially destined for Africa and the Middle East.

Source: RT

NATO member contradicts Ukraine drone claim

Russian drones that were used over the weekend to strike targets in Ukraine did not pose any military threat to Romania’s territory, the country’s Ministry of Defense announced on Monday.

The statement comes after Oleg Nikolenko, a representative of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, claimed on Facebook that several Russian drones had fallen and detonated on the territory of Romania.

  • “During a massive attack by Russia in the area of the Izmail port, Russian ‘shaheds’ fell and detonated on the territory of Romania tonight,” Nikolenko wrote, citing sources within the Ukrainian Border Guard.

Nikolenko provided an unverified picture purported to depict the event and said that the alleged incident proved that “Russian missile terror” threatens not only Ukraine, but also neighboring NATO member states. To counter this, he insisted that Kiev’s Western backers should provide Ukraine with additional modern anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense systems, as well as aviation.

Romania’s Defense Ministry, however, said that it “firmly denies the information circulating in the public space with regard to a so-called situation [that] occurred during the night of 3-4 September, when Russian drones would have fallen on Romania’s national territory.”

While the ministry said it condemned the attacks on Ukraine, it stressed that “at no time did the means of attack employed by the Russian Federation pose direct military threats to our national territory or Romania’s territorial waters.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Sunday that its forces had successfully conducted a drone strike on an oil depot and facilities used to refuel Ukrainian military vehicles in the port of Reni, on the left bank of the Danube River.

  • “The objective of the strike was achieved. All designated targets have been hit,” the ministry said in a statement, noting that the Russian military had also destroyed two Ukrainian ammunition depots and one drone command center in the southeastern region of Dnepropetrovsk and a Kiev-controlled part of the Kherson region.

Source: RT

Ukraine threatens to challenge EU states in court

The government in Kiev intends to refer the EU to arbitration if the bloc extends its restriction on Ukrainian agricultural exports beyond September 15, President Vladimir Zelensky’s deputy chief of staff, Igor Zhovkva, said on Friday.

  • “If the European Commission extends its decision on Ukraine’s grain imports, we will complain to the arbitration panel under our agreement,” Zhovkva said, referring to the trade pact with the bloc signed after the 2014 coup.

Zhovkva also said the EU “must react” if Poland extends the ban on its own, arguing this would violate the EU single-market rules.

Poland and Hungary have warned they would implement unilateral measures if the EU ban were allowed to expire.

Poland has eagerly served as a hub for NATO efforts to supply Ukraine with money, weapons, and ammunition. The EU has also opened its market to Ukrainian exports as a way of supporting Kiev in the conflict against Russia.

The practical result of this policy, however, has been a glut of cheap wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower oil from Ukraine in the markets already heavily regulated by the EU.

A Polish ban on Ukrainian “dumping” of grain was rolled out in April, after widespread protests by farmers.

Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria quickly followed suit. The EU responded in May by imposing a “temporary” moratorium on Ukrainian imports to those countries – while allowing for transit of the goods to the rest of the bloc. The moratorium, already extended once, is due to expire on September 15.

Ukraine is not happy about the transit, either, according to Zhovkva.

“Poland doesn’t block the transit de jure, but de facto — there were protests, they increase time of our foodstuffs’ checks on the border,” he told Bloomberg.

De facto, it is a blockade.”

With the general election approaching in October, however, Warsaw is unlikely to budge on the issue.

Poland’s Agriculture Minister Robert Telus said last Friday that he would seek an extension of the import ban through the end of 2023.

Jadwiga Emilewicz, the Polish state secretary for development cooperation with Ukraine, told the Financial Times on Tuesday that Warsaw had an obligation to protect its farmers first.

Poland is willing to allow for increased transit of Ukrainian goods, Emilewicz said, but would need the EU to pay a subsidy of 30 euros per every ton that passes through its territory.

Source: RT

Unul dintre muncitorii nepalezi aflați la ATI, după explozia de la Crevedia, a plătit 4.300 de euro ca să muncească în România. Soția lui nu știe nimic despre el

Într-un document oficial, trimis pe 27 august de Ministerul Afacerilor Externe din România către Ambasada Nepalului din Berlin, se precizează că „există o mare probabilitate ca doi cetățeni nepalezi să fi fost răniți” în exploziile de la Crevedia, indicându-se și numele lor.

  • „Pentru că cei doi sunt tratați la secția de Terapie Intensivă a Spitalului Bagdasar Arseni din București, nu este posibil să fie confirmată identitatea lor la acest moment”, mai precizează documentul văzut de Libertatea. Nepalul nu are ambasadă în București, cererile fiind procesate de Ambasada Nepalului din Berlin.
  • Cei doi au 39, respectiv 34 de ani.

Un medic de la Spitalul Bagdasar Arseni ne-a spus că unul dintre nepalezi a fost transferat în străinătate, cu arsuri pe 30-40% din corp, și că celălalt, cu arsuri pe aproximativ 90% din corp, a rămas la Terapie Intensivă, cu șanse mici de supraviețuire.

  • În total, patru cetățeni nepalezi munceau la stația de gaz. Erau angajați ai firmei Flagas SRL, dar figurau scriptic ca angajați la alte puncte de lucru decât cel în care se aflau, a precizat procurorul general Alex Florența.

Starea de sănătate a celorlalți doi ar fi bună, conform informațiilor obținute de Libertatea, însă le-au ars documentele.

Rudele au aflat de pe Facebook Unul dintre cei doi grav răniți este Deepak*, un bărbat în vârstă de 34 de ani din sud-vestul Nepalului.

A venit la muncă în România la mijlocul lui martie anul acesta. Am discutat cu mai multe rude ale bărbatului. Acestea au aflat de pe Facebook că Deepak a fost rănit în explozie.

Soția lui nu fusese contactată de nicio autoritate până luni la prânz. „Mă simt atât de rău și nu mă pot opri din plâns”, i-a spus ea reporterului Libertatea.

A vorbit cu soțul ei ultima dată înainte de accident. „Vă rog să ne spuneți cum se simte”, a adăugat ea, cu disperare.

  • Pe avizul lui de muncă emis de Ministerul Muncii din Nepal apare „general worker”. Urma să lucreze doi ani în România, pe un salariu de 550 de dolari, 8 ore pe zi, 6 zile pe săptămână.
  • Firma de intermediere din România, care e trecută și ca angajator, este Work Inn Locations SRL. Pentru locul de muncă în România,

bărbatul a plătit agenției de recrutare din Nepal 610.000 de rupii nepaleze, echivalentul a 4.300 de euro, spun rudele lui. Bani împrumutați de la bancă.

  • Deepak are doi copii mici, o fetiță de 5 ani și un băiat de 2 ani. „Să ai o călătorie sigură spre România”, i-a scris soția lui pe Facebook în martie, când a plecat din Nepal, postând două fotografii cu el.

Contactat de ziar, Nawa Raj Pokharel, consulul onorific al Nepalului la București, a spus luni dimineață că nu are informații oficiale despre starea nepalezilor răniți. Întrebat despre starea celor doi muncitori nepalezi, dr. Florin Bica, purtătorul de cuvânt al Spitalului Bagdasar Arseni, a spus că nu intră în atribuțiile lui să dea astfel de informații, că centralizează datele pentru Ministerul Sănătății și ne-a recomandat să întrebăm acolo. Ministerul Sănătății nu a răspuns până la momentul publicării articolului.

*Numele muncitorului a fost schimbat pentru protejarea identității.


Moscow publishes footage of attack on Ukrainian military speedboat

The Russian Defense Ministry has published footage of an attack on a US-made speedboat operated by the Ukrainian military in the Black Sea. It was reportedly destroyed by a warplane earlier on Tuesday.

The video, which was apparently shot from the Russian warplane, showed the boat making sharp turns as the aircraft fired its cannon in short bursts.

The target was identified by the Russian military as a US-produced Willard Sea Force model. California-based Willard Marine produces several sizes of rigid inflatable patrol boats. The firm has sold a number of these to the Ukrainian Navy, according to local media reports.

  • The Russian military did not reveal the exact model of the boat, but said it was carrying a Ukrainian amphibious team when it was intercepted on Tuesday morning to the east of Snake Island.


  • The small land mass is located off the coast of Odessa Region, close to Romanian territorial waters. It changed hands twice last year and Kiev has attached symbolic significance to the island, which was previously the subject of a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Romania.

Source: RT

How the EU is cracking down on democracy in Moldova

By sanctioning a leading Moldovan opposition figure, the EU is working hand-in-hand with the country’s unpopular government to stifle dissent.

When Western interests are on the line, ‘European values’ becomes a flexible term.

The EU imposed sanctions on Ilan Shor earlier the summer, accusing the Shor Party leader without evidence of working with the Kremlin to “destabilize the Republic of Moldova” by organizing protests against President Maia Sandu’s government. Shor and his deputy, Marina Tauber, filed applications to the European Union General Court last week to have the sanctions dropped, arguing that they were politically motivated.

  • “Unlike the sanctions created in respect of Russia, Belarus, Syria, Iran, and similar situations, the measures do not aim to put pressure on a foreign government, but rather to the contrary, aim to support that government against opposition forces,” Shor’s lawyers said in a press release.
  • The EU’s campaign against Shor coincided neatly with Sandu’s own efforts to silence her opponent, which were initiated after Moldova was granted EU candidate status last summer.

Shor’s party was banned by court order in June, after it funded peaceful demonstrations in Chisinau against Sandu and her government’s inability to tame the rising cost of living.

Sandu said at the time that the party was created “out of corruption and for corruption,” and “threatens the constitutional order and security of the state.”

While the EU’s Venice Commission warned that banning the party would violate its members’ right to freedom of association, Brussels did not utter a single word of condemnation as the court order was handed down.

At the time of the ban, Shor’s party was the second most popular in Moldova, behind Sandu’s Action and Solidarity Party (PAS).

Despite leading Moldova’s largest party, Sandu’s approval rate consistently sits between 20% and 40%.

Even rampant corruption within Sandu’s own party has not raised eyebrows in Brussels. According to covertly-recorded videos published by the Grayzone in May, foreign investors in Moldova pay hefty bribes for access to the president’s circle. These payments guarantee preferential contracts and “100% full political support,” one PAS official admitted on camera.

  • Former Justice Minister Stanislav Pavlovschi added that this system flourishes with the blessing of the EU and US, who exercise “very strict control” over the country.

This corruption has been noted in Western media outlets, with an EU Today report in March declaring that the problem “has become much worse under Sandu’s regime, despite its Western facade.”

The EU states that it uses sanctions to promote “consolidating and safeguarding democracy and the rule of law.” However, Brussels has stood by as Sandu systematically removed political opponents before.

  • Businessman and political leader Vladimir Plahotniuc was exiled in 2019 and convicted of fraud in absentia in May, while Socialist Party leader and former President Igor Dodon, another pro-Moscow politician, was arrested on corruption and treason charges last year. The charges came after an investigation by Community Watchdog – an NGO set up by PAS officials and funded by the US and German governments.

As well as investigating Sandu’s rivals, Community Watchdog funds protests and voter outreach – the same activities that the EU sanctioned Shor for.

  • Shor fled to Israel in 2019, after Sandu came to power and revoked his parliamentary immunity.

He had been convicted of bank fraud four years earlier, and his sentence was doubled to 15 years in prison this April, with the verdict handed down in absentia. The EU cited Shor’s fraud conviction when it announced the sanctions against him in May, but Shor’s lawyers claim that he is a victim of “legal harassment” by Sandu’s government.

From Brussels and Washington’s point of view, maintaining a friendly government in Chisinau is a top priority.

  • Around a third of the Moldovan population speaks Russian, and with energy costs soaring following Sandu’s decision to embargo Russian fossil fuels last year, Western leaders likely see the popularity of pro-Moscow politicians like Shor and Dodon as a very real threat to their influence in the region.

To maintain that influence, the EU and US are apparently willing to tolerate – or even reward – high level corruption, and to punish any figure threatening to upset the apple cart, no matter the cost in political credibility.

  • Moldova has received €250 million ($270 million) in grants and loans from the EU since it was granted candidate status, and $320 million from Washington. Sandu has also received promises of “considerable” military aid from the EU and donations of weapons from the US.

Whether this outpouring of Western support will be enough to ensure Sandu’s political survival is unclear. Nearly two thirds of Moldovans feel that their country is “heading in the wrong direction,” and Shor has vowed to win “total victory in local, presidential and parliamentary elections” with a new political bloc.

  • “For years we have been told that the EU stands for … political freedom and the ability to change those in power through fair and transparent elections,” Shor tweeted on Wednesday.
  • “We believe that it is time for the west to stand up for what they pertain to believe in. Free and fair elections are the only way any future government of Moldova should be decided.”
  • The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Source: Graham Dockery – RT

Hunter Biden netted big money from Ukraine – court documents

Court documents stemming from Hunter Biden’s failed plea-bargain deal on federal criminal charges have revealed that US President Joe Biden’s son brought in income of more than $4.4 million, mostly from China and Ukraine, while paying no taxes in 2017 and 2018.

  1. In 2017 alone, Hunter Biden netted nearly $2.3 million from foreign sources, including over $1.6 million from his Chinese business interests and $500,000 in director’s fees from a Ukrainian energy company, according to a filing released on Wednesday by US District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika in Wilmington, Delaware. He also had $70,000 in earnings from a Romanian business and $48,000 from a multinational law firm.

The president’s son belatedly reported an additional $2.1 million in earnings from 2018. He didn’t pay taxes for either year, despite having enough money and being repeatedly urged by his accountant to do so, according to the documents, which Noreika released in response to a request from NBC News.

  • Biden became addicted to crack cocaine in 2016, contributing to the collapse of his marriage and his most significant business relationship the following year. Despite his escalating drug use, “Biden successfully entered into business ventures and landed legal clients, earning millions of dollars.”
  • Republican lawmakers have accused the Biden family of soliciting bribes through Hunter Biden’s overseas business forays, including a stint serving as a director for Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings. Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky reportedly urged Hunter Biden, whose father was then the US vice president, to help end a corruption investigation against the company in 2015.

Zlochevsky later told an FBI informant that he was coerced into paying a $10 million bribe to the Bidens and that he had multiple recordings to verify his claims.

Hunter Biden’s substance abuse worsened in 2018, when he moved to Los Angeles for a “spring and summer of nonstop debauchery,” according to the plea agreement.

  • Weeks before his 2017 tax return was due to be filed, he received a $1 million payment for legal services to Chinese business associate Patrick Ho, but he spent almost all of the money over the next six months on travel, entertainment and other expenses. Similarly, around the time his 2018 return was due, in April 2019, he received $758,000 and spent almost all the money by the end of May.

The documents showed that an unidentified third party paid Biden’s nearly $2 million in combined tax liabilities for 2017 and 2018 in October 2021. That same person also paid about $243,000 on Biden’s behalf for unresolved tax liabilities from 2016 and 2019. Media outlets have identified that backer as Kevin Morris, Hunter Biden’s “sugar brother” lawyer in Los Angeles.

Noreika refused to accept the plea agreement last week, saying she had concerns about the terms granted to Biden. Republicans had accused prosecutors in the Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) of giving the president’s son a “sweetheart” deal on the tax charges against him and a separate case involving an illegal gun purchase. Republican lawmakers launched an investigation this week of the DOJ’s handling of the plea and diversion agreements in Hunter Biden’s cases.

Source: RT

West to begin training Ukrainians on F-16s next month

Ukrainian pilots will begin training on US-made F-16 fighter jets in August, top defense officials said on Tuesday during a NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The training process is expected to take at least six or eight months, with first “results” expected early next year.

The training center will be set up in Romania and will be operational next month, Dutch caretaker Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren has said.

The center will be used to train Ukrainians, as well as pilots from other allied nations, according to the minister.

  • Ollongren has said she “assumes that it will take at least six to eight months before they will be able to fly and maintain such an F-16.”
  • “Hopefully, we will be able to see results in the beginning of next year,” Denmark’s acting defense minister Troels Lund Poulsen has said.

The development has been welcomed by Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov, who claimed it would ultimately benefit the US-led NATO alliance.

  • “F-16s will protect Ukraine’s skies and NATO’s Eastern Flank. The Ukrainian Air Force is prepared to master them as quickly as possible,” Reznikov tweeted.

So far, however, no Western country has pledged to actually supply F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Potential deliveries of the jets will require permission from Washington, Ollongren said, noting that the US had not granted it yet.

According to Kiev, the F-16 training process was originally planned to begin back in June, but the country’s Western backers failed to live by their promises.

  • Last week, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said one of the countries of the so-called “fighter jet coalition” – which involves, according to Ukraine, the US, UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal and France – had “miscalculated” when it made its original pledge on the start of training.

Kiev has been long demanding F-16s, as well as other modern aircraft from its Western backers, amid the ongoing hostilities with Russia.

The potential deliveries had not materialized yet, with the country receiving only a limited number of older Soviet-made aircraft from several Eastern European nations instead.

Moscow has repeatedly urged the collective West to stop “pumping” Ukraine with weaponry, warning that delivering more and more sophisticated systems only risks a major escalation and inflicts more destruction on the country. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said F-16s “will burn” just like Western tanks used in the ongoing counteroffensive effort launched by Kiev in early June.

Thus far, Kiev has failed to achieve any major gains amid the push, losing multiple Western-supplied armored vehicles, including US-made Bradley IFVs and German-made Leopard 2 tanks in the process.

Source: RT