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Scoop of the day: Pro-presidential MP defies calls to leave faction

Scoop of the day: Pro-presidential MP defies calls to leave faction

MP under fire

The pro-presidential faction Servant of the People will hold an internal survey to decide whether it should expel its member, MP Oleksandr Dubinskyy, who was designated by the US Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control over "dissemination and promotion of fraudulent and unsubstantiated allegations involving a US political candidate", faction head Oleksandr Korniyenko, has said. He added that the faction had had an "emotional" debate on possible options such as standing up for Dubinskyy; expelling him from the faction; and dismissing him as deputy head of the committee for taxation and customs policy.

"We will be examining the situation for a day or two," he noted.

Exclusive: Sources have told LB.ua that President Volodymyr Zelensky had a "tough talk" with Dubinskyy and suggested that he should leave the faction. "In response, Dubinskyy threatened that 30 more MPs will leave together with him. Reportedly, opinion leaders in the faction would follow him," a source said.

More from Servant of the People meeting

Exclusive: A candidate for deputy prime minister for energy, Yuriy Vitrenko, did not agree to refuse from a $4m bonus for Naftogaz's victory over Russian Gazprom in the Stockholm arbitration, sources in the Servant of the People faction have told LB.ua. However, there will be enough votes to appoint him as first deputy prime minister, they added.

Revolution of Dignity activists commemorated

A tribute to the first fallen activists of the Revolution of Dignity were commemorated in central Kyiv today. People lit candles and laid flowers at the plaques installed in Hrushevskyy Street.

Energy security

The remainder of coal at Ukrainian heating plants reached 455,000 t as of 25 January, which is a historical minimum which does not guarantee the country's energy security, according to Ukrenerho. Last week the company managed to balance the country's energy system by importing electricity from Belarus, however this is not enough. "Without sufficient coal supply, it will only be possible to balance it by moving to burning natural gas or by cutting off customers," the company said.

Economy

G7 ambassadors have presented a list of priority steps aimed at restoring public confidence in the Ukrainian judiciary and anticorruption infrastructure. "In particular, we believe urgent action is necessary to 1) reestablish with a firm legal basis the anti-corruption provisions recently declared unconstitutional; 2) prevent the CCU from causing further harm even while it is being reformed into a truly independent and accountable institution; and 3) ensure all nominations to key judicial and law enforcement bodies are transparent, merit-based, and credible," they said.

Coronavirus

President Zelenskyy has instructed the government to develop a coronavirus vaccination plan for every region as soon as possible. "It is necessary to determine the number of vaccines, clear timing of vaccination, the list of categories of the population that should be vaccinated in the first place," he said.

Later in the day, Zelensky said in a video address that Ukraine would soon receive the first batch of 1m doses of a coronavirus vaccine from a "leading international company". He added that vaccination would start as soon as next month.

On the morning of 25 January, Ukraine reported 2,516 new Covid-19 cases, 5,783 recoveries and 63 deaths.

Donbas

A Ukrainian serviceman was wounded near Zolote in Donbas today, the Joint Forces Operation HQ has said.

Local elections

Ihor Sapozhko has been elected Brovary mayor for the third term.

Navalnyy

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said that Ukraine supports calls for Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's release because he is an enemy of Russian President Vladimir Putin. "We should not be charmed by Alexei Navalny as far as Ukraine's interests are concerned," Kuleba said, recalling the activist's remark about Crimea not being a "sandwich" which can be moved back and forth. "I'm sure that the 'sandwich' will need to be returned unbitten, fresh and in good condition".

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