MainPolitical

Scoop of the day: Zelenskyy meets dissenter MPs

Scoop of the day: Zelenskyy meets dissenter MPs

EU

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has met the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, in Brussels. Shmyhal expressed hope that the meeting of the Association Council will ensure progress in Ukraine's further economic integration into the EU.

"Ukraine is looking forward to agreeing with the European Union a specific timeframe for launching a comprehensive review of progress on objectives under the EU Association Agreement. We see the Agreement as a tool for Ukraine's integration into the EU," he added.

Russia

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said that Russia's plans to impose ideas of the "Russian world" in Ukraine are doomed to fail. "Russia failed to impose the 'Russian world' in Ukraine with tanks. Soft power will not help it either," he tweeted. Yesterday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia considers Ukraine to be part of the "Russian world" and will use "soft power" to promote its ideology here.

Donbas

Russia-backed militants have violated the ceasefire twice since midnight, the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) HQ said in its evening update. They fired with small arms and underbarrel grenade launchers near Shumy and small arms near Pisky. The JFO troops returned fire.

On 8 February, a JFO serviceman opened fire on a VAZ-2105 passenger car which attempted to drive through to the separatist-controlled territory without stopping at a checkpoint, the JFO HQ said. The driver and a passenger were wounded. The former later succumbed to wounds.

Party politics

Exclusive: The pro-presidential Servant of the People party has again postponed its congress until 11 February due to uncertainty over candidates in by-elections in single-seat constituencies 50 and 87, sources in the party have told LB.ua.

President Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting with 20-30 members of the Servant of the People party at the presidential office, including those who did not vote for Yuriy Vitrenko's appointment as first deputy prime minister and energy minister, sources have told LB.ua. Zelensky reportedly asked the MPs "to make their mind on who they are with". One of the party's MP told LB.ua Vitrenko's nomination may be put to vote again next week.

Showman and former Kyiv mayoral candidate Serhiy Prytula has left the political council of the Voice party. He is no longer its deputy head either but will remain a party member.

Survey

A survey by the Razumkov Centre think-tank has found that speaker Dmytro Razumkov enjoys higher trust among Ukrainians (32%) than President Zelensky (26.5%).

However, were a presidential election held this weekend, Zelensky would defeat Petro Poroshenko, Yuriy Boyko or Dmytro Razumkov in the runoff, the survey has revealed.

SBU

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has renewed investigative actions at Ukraine's biggest metal works ArcelorMittal Kryvyy Rih, the company has said. On 8 February, investigators came to check mining and enrichment facilities and planned to inspect pits and take samples on 9 February. The SBU is investigating a case on possible tax evasion by the company in 2015-19, which the company denies.

The SBU's main directorate in Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the counterintelligence department have detained a Mykolayiv resident suspected of working for the Russian FSB. He was reportedly tasked with collecting confidential information about state-of-the-art arms and drone programmes. He offered 10,000 dollars to a Kharkiv-based research company head for information about a secret programe on the development of drone destruction means.

Energy

In 2020, the national oil and gas company Naftogaz of Ukraine for the first time lost the status of the biggest gas importer, Business Censor has said, quoting customs statistics. Naftogaz only imported 720m cu.m. of gas, ranking the fifth among 50 traders. This happened because the company had stocked up the record-high volume of gas in its underground storage facilities in anticipation of the end of the transit contract with Gazprom.

Coronavirus

The Ukrainian Health Ministry has reported 2,656 new Covid-19 cases after 17,658 tests. Some 8,865 patients have recovered and 127 died.

Read LB.ua news on social networks Facebook, Twitter and Telegram