Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Spokesperson Ned Price has said.
Secretary Blinken reiterated the United States' unwavering support for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity in the face of Russia's military buildup on Ukraine's borders. The two discussed efforts to peacefully resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine and upcoming diplomatic engagements with Russia.
Biden to talk to Putin
President Joe Biden will hold a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday afternoon "to discuss a range of topics, including upcoming diplomatic engagements with Russia," National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne told CNN.
The call was requested by Putin, according to an administration official, and Biden accepted because "he believes when it comes to Russia there is no substitute for direct leader-leader dialogue".
Biden plans to preview the upcoming bilateral talks between the US and Russia set to take place on 10 January, the official said, and will also discuss the NATO-Russia and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe meetings slated for 12 and 13 January.
UK envoy calls for SAPO head's appointment
UK ambassador Melinda Simmons has called on Ukraine to appoint the head of the Specialised Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office.
"The continued delay in appointing a Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor is avoidable bad news for Ukraine. Selection committee members should finally certify the winner & help strengthen this vital independent anticorruption institution," she tweeted.
The US embassy also called "on commission members for the Specialized Anticorruption Prosecutor to return to work, respect their own procedures & do what’s right for Ukrainian people by certifying their own SAP selection. Do not allow corrupt external forces to block the work you were entrusted to finish".
The Antimonopoly Committee has fined the Dniproazot plant (part of Ihor Kolomoyskyy's Privat Group) 80.1m hryvnyas for stopping the production of liquid chlorine in 2018.
"Dniproazot is the only producer of liquid chlorine in Ukraine. The reagent is used by water utilities for disinfection of drinking water and wastewater treatment in Ukraine," the committee said.
If the presidential election in Ukraine were held in the nearest future, Volodymyr Zelenskyy would get the most votes in the first round.
Twenty-four per cent of those who would take part in the election and decided on a candidate would vote for him, according to a poll conducted by the Razumkov Centre sociological service together with the Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation.
Petro Poroshenko is supported by 16%, Yuliya Tymoshenko by 10%, Yuriy Boyko by 9%, Dmytro Razumkov by 9%, Ihor Smeshko by 6%, Yevhen Murayev by 6%, Volodymyr Groysman by 5%, Serhiy Prytula by 3%, Oleh Lyashko by 2%, Ruslan Koshulynskyy by 2%, Anatoliy Hrytsenko by 2% and Vitaliy Klitschko by 1%.
Three people died as a result of a fire which broke out in the intensive care unit of a Kosiv hospital and another one due to Covid-19, the local authorities have said.