Scandal around Eurovision: Russia should be disqualified first
We should respond rigidly to all attempts to blame Ukraine for “bad attitude” towards disabled Russian singer Samoilova, Ihor Petruk writes in an article for Ukrinform.
March 28, 2017, Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick published the article, referring to Director General of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Ingrid Deltenre, about the unacceptability of Ukraine’s attitude towards Russian singer Yulia Samoilova and the plans of the Eurovision Song Contest organizer to impose sanctions on Ukraine, in particular, to temporarily suspend it from participation in Eurovision, according to the edition.
Where was Mrs. Deltenre’s letter written?
March 31, 2017, the letter signed by Ingrid Deltenre addressed to Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman appeared on the Internet.
“No previous host country has prevented an artist performing at the Eurovision Song Contest and the EBU would not like a precedent to be set in 2017,” Deltenre tries to misinform the addressee. However, it is well known that back in 2009, when Moscow hosted Eurovision Song Contest, the Russian side blocked performance of Stefane and 3G band from Georgia. The reason for that was unequivocally political: a year earlier, in 2008, Russia invaded Georgia. Moscow banned the Georgian band from participation in the Song Contest for one line in the lyrics of their song: “we do not want put in.” It is a so well known fact that we have to assume even the most incredible thing: Was this letter to the Ukrainian PM written in the EBU office in Geneva?
In addition, the letter of the EBU director general reads that the situation with Samoilova allegedly caused outrage among the broadcasters from all over Europe. A number of them have allegedly criticized the Ukraine’s decision and “are considering to withdraw from the event”… This is also as much interesting as illogical. After all, if they decided to “scare intolerant Ukraine”, what’s the use of anonymity? Who has “criticized” Ukraine? Which country is “considering to withdraw”? And here again we have to make a suggestion: they mistake the wish for the reality, hoping to scare Kyiv!
When nothing threatens reputation…
And now let’s see who is making a fuss and how. Leaving out of the discussion little-known pro-Russian media outlets, the authoritative newspapers emphasize that sanctions against Ukraine have no official confirmation from the contest organizer while citing the Deltenre’s letter. At the same time, a statement by EBU representative Dave Goodman, who said that the issue of sanctions could be discussed only after holding the contest in Ukraine, has not been widely spread in the media for some reason…
At the request of DW, the EBU confirmed the quotes by Ingrid Deltenre published in the Swiss tabloid though stressing that they “cannot be responsible for conclusions, made by the newspaper, about the imposition of sanctions against Ukraine and excluding it from the Eurovision Song Contest.” This important clarification has not yet received a wide response. However, the situation is clear now: such “sanctions” are pipe dreams of Sonntagsblick and those, who disseminate conjectures and lies.
Who wants to support SUCH Russia, go for it!
The Russian machine of disinformation, blackmail and bribery never stops. It is necessary to remind Europe, and not only Europe, that Ukraine and the entire world now do not live the Eurovision, more precisely, we do not live the Eurovision at all. We need to use all our capacities to send a message across the world: There is such a country, the Russian Federation, a colossal chip of a colossal Russian Empire, which has been dying for 100 years, diffusing around itself the stench of injustice, lies and the horror of death. Currently, this country is poisoning the information channels around the world with lies, interfering in other people’s elections, waging the open bloody war in Syria and the unannounced hybrid war in Ukraine, killing tens of thousands of people. This country has annexed the foreign territory in Europe for the first time in more than 70 years. This country secretly sends its servicemen to the Ukrainian Donbas, supplying them with powerful weapons, which are used to down civil aircrafts with hundreds of passengers on board. Not disdaining the outright terror, this country does everything possible to weaken the united Europe up to the disintegration of the EU… It also should be mentioned a blasphemous, planned provocation with the “appointment” of disabled Yulia Samoilova as a representative of the Russian Federation at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. We need to emphasize that the Ukraine’s Security Service has banned Samoilova (and not only her) from entering Ukraine not for being disabled, but for her demonstrative disregard for Ukraine, its territorial integrity and, eventually, European values.
If the EBU, its chief and the “anonymous boycotters” want to provide moral support for SUCH Russia, this is their right. You may boycott or “express concern”, we have our work to do, which is far more important than all the “international song competitions” put together. Actually, the Security Service of Ukraine did its work and did it right.
Eurovision Song Contest, as well as the Olympic Games, is the activity of peaceful life. We have war here in Ukraine.
Central bank names buyer of Russian Sberbank’s subsidiary in Ukraine
The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has received a package of documents from the investor, a citizen of the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation Said Gutseriev, to agree on the acquisition of a major share in Ukrainian-based Russian Sberbank’s subsidiary, the NBU press service told an UNIAN correspondent.
The investor intends to purchase a 77.5% stake in Sberbank of Ukraine.
His documents have been received and are currently under consideration, the press service said. At the same time, the National Bank says that based on the schematic diagram of the future Sberbank ownership structure, another investor JSC Norvik Banka is expected to submit its package of documents to acquire a 22.5% stake in Sberbank, if the said investor purchases a significant stake in the near future.
According to the current legislation, the NBU shall consider such documents within three months from the date of receipt of the full package of documents, while the regulator monitors the business reputation of the investor, its financial condition, and the origin of funds.
“The National Bank of Ukraine has the right to prohibit a legal entity or an individual from acquiring or increasing a substantial share in the bank,” the regulator said.
It should be recalled that Russia’s Sberbank announced on March 27 conclusion of an agreement to sell a 100% stake in the Ukrainian-based subsidiary to a consortium of investors with the participation of the Latvian Norvik Banka, controlled by Russian businessman Grigory Guselnikov and a private company from Belarus.
Russia’s Sberbank subsidiary has been operating in Ukraine since 2001, being one of the largest financial institutions in terms of assets.
Central bank cuts key rate to 13%
The Board of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has decided to cut the key policy rate to 13%, effective April 14, 2017, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.
The resumed cycle of the monetary policy easing is in accord with the pursuit of inflation targets set for 2017-2019 and will help propel Ukraine’s economic growth, the NBU said in a press release Thursday. In March 2017, headline inflation was recorded at 15.1% yoy.
Price growth has accelerated primarily due to base effects and higher production costs. Actual acceleration of headline inflation was as expected, although at a lower trajectory than projected in the NBU’s Inflation Report in January 2017.
The NBU back then projected inflation in March to accelerate to 16.4%. The fundamental factors that determine inflation have remained under control.
Prudent fiscal and monetary policies against a backdrop of improved inflation expectations restrained acceleration of core inflation (in March 2017, 6.3% in annual terms).
Demand-pull pressure on prices has remained moderate, as evidenced by the anemic growth in retail goods turnover in the first months of the year.
The revival of economic activity and the improvement in business outlook of enterprises contributed favorably to the recovery of labor demand. However, unemployment remains at a high level due to labor market mismatches.
The situation in the FX market has helped weaken pressure on prices. The external price environment for Ukrainian exporters has become more favorable since early 2017 due to recovery in prices for steel, iron ore, and grains, with an export potential being further bolstered by record high grain and oil crop yields.
Appreciation of the hryvnia since mid-January was underpinned by solid export revenues.