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Germany to roll out mass golding centres for asylum seekers

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Germany’s policy to embed new arrivals in communities across the country is being reversed as a populist backlash builds against the chancellor’s handling of the refugee crisis. But the transit centre in Manching  has experienced high crime rates, mass protests and rising tensions between asylum seekers and security forces, the Guardian found during a visit.The converted army compound is part of a complex in Upper Bavaria and holds about 1,100 people, mainly from the west Balkans, Ukraine, Nigeria and Afghanistan.  Critics say the new centres create a double-bind on those inmates at the transit centres who have realistic chances of being granted asylum: while they are actively hindered from integrating into German society while their application is pending, they are expected to immediately integrate as soon as they get the all-clear.

Protests about seemingly small issues like food are often actually protests about the conditions in these centres as a whole. The main source of troubles is that the people inside have no perspective and aren’t allowed to work. The inability of the migrants inside the centre to engage themselves in the community was also stoking resentment and prejudice among the local population.

Human rights activists call for social protection of civilians affected in Donbas

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Human rights activists have stressed the need for legislative regulation of the rights of all civilians affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The head of the board of the Luhansk regional human rights center “Alternative”, Valeriy Novikov, said at a briefing in Kyiv on Monday that servicemen injured as a result of hostilities in Donbas were very carefully counted, but civilians are not taken into account. “Many who were in captivity and were illegally detained by illegal armed groups have injuries and disabilities. They need help from the state in regulating their status. Today it can be said that at the legislative level the status of civilians affected by the conflict is not regulated. There is no law on compensation or social protection for such people”, he said at a briefing in Kyiv on Monday.

Defense: Poroshenko approves plan for multinational military exercises for 2018

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has approved a plan for conducting multinational military exercises of the Ukrainian Armed Forces units in Ukraine in 2018 and their participation in exercises outside Ukraine, the press service of the head of state has reported, with reference to a respective presidential decree. “President Petro Poroshenko approved a plan for conducting multinational exercises involving the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the territory of Ukraine and their participation in multinational exercises outside Ukraine in 2018”, the report says. Poroshenko also signed law No. 2270-VIII on approving the decision by the president of Ukraine on admitting units of the armed forces of other states to the territory of Ukraine in 2018 for participation in multinational exercises. According to the documents, a number of multinational exercises on the training of the Armed Forces are to be held in Ukraine this year, in particular, Ukrainian-U.S. exercises Rapid Trident 2018 and Sea Breeze 2018, multinational exercises Light Avalanche 2018 and Clear Sky 2018, as well as Ukrainian-Romanian exercises Riverian 2018.

Manafort had his own people in every Ukrainian ministry

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, had his own people in every ministry in Ukraine. Such conclusions were made by Franklin Foer, a staff writer at The Atlantic, according to hromadske.ua His article reveals still unknown things from the biography of the U.S. political consultant. Foer notes that Manafort developed a highly personal relationship with disgraced ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. They often played tennis and visited a bathhouse. Manafort got Yanukovych to wear the same suits as he did and to comb the hair backward as he does. “Manafort taught him how to smile and how to do small talk. And he did it all quietly, from a back seat. He did it very elegantly”, Foer wrote. At the same time, the journalist notes that Manafort has deeply penetrated into the Ukrainian political system. “Paul has a whole separate shadow government structure… In every ministry, he has a guy”, Foer said.

Russia to revise its position on Donbas if it finds occupation of Ukraine disadvantageous – Volker

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Russia will reconsider its position on Donbas when it comes to the conclusion that occupation of Ukraine’s territory is no longer in its interests, but so far Moscow continues to deny its direct involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has said. The Minsk agreements are very important. Firstly, they are a tool confirming Russia’s adherence to the restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. This is very important. The reintegration of these territories into Ukraine – and this is part of the Minsk agreements – should become the basis of a Security Council resolution. Secondly, the Minsk agreements have all elements needed for this – a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons, local elections, amnesty for those who took part in the military conflict, and a special status for eastern Ukraine, which must be secured in the Constitution of Ukraine, Volker said in an interview with Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, which was released on Wednesday, January 24.

Volker talks about Donbass

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U.S. Special Representative on Ukraine Kurt Volker during a meeting with deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine said he thinks resuming pension payments to residents of areas controlled by Russian occupation forces in eastern Ukraine, as well as restoring mobile telephone communications, will help in during talks scheduled with Russian representatives, Rada human rights committee chairman and MP (Batkivschyna Party) Hryhoriy Nemyria has said. “Volker supported the position that defending human rights of persons living in areas controlled by Russian occupation forces is part of the solution to the problem, rather than a part of the problem. He supported my position and the position of the human rights committee on steps to pay pensions, restore communication and other steps because this will help him in his dialogue and talks with the Russian side”, Nemyria told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

Ukrainian foreign minister vows to continue work on denunciation of bilateral documents with Russia

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Ukraine has denounced 35 of its documents with Russia and is about to denounce eight more soon, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said. “By the end of 2017, if I am not mistaken, we had denounced 35 various documents with Russia, including inter-state, intergovernmental and inter-departmental ones”, Klimkin told a press conference on Ukrainian diplomacy’s 2017 results and 2018 priorities in Kyiv on Monday. Eight more bilateral documents are on the way out, he also said, without specifying which. “We will consistently continue this work,” the minister said.

The Gazprom and Naftogaz dispute

in ENERGY/EUROPE by

Gazprom will not be disputing the ruling by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce regarding the contract to supply gas in the dispute with Ukraine’s Naftogaz, Alexander Medvedev, the Russian gas giant’s deputy CEO, told reporters. Gazprom filed an appeal with the Svea Court of Appeal (District 356) in Sweden on November 7 against an interim ruling by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce on a claim regarding the gas supply contract dated January 19, 2009 and the partial cancelation of the contract. The interim ruling was made on May 31. The final ruling was handed down at the end of December.

Anti-corruption bill meets Venice Commission’s standards

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The bill on the Anti-Corruption Court has been drafted in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine and the recommendations of the Venice Commission, and discussions on specific norms should be held in the Ukrainian parliament, the press service of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration has told Interfax-Ukraine. “The bill on the Anti-Corruption Court has been drafted in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine and in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission. Today, the draft law is in the Verkhovna Rada, therefore all discussions on special norms should be held within the legal framework in the Ukrainian parliament”, the administration’s press service reported on Monday.

Bill on Donbass reintegration goes against Ukraine’s constitution, politician says

in ASIA by

Provisions of the bill on the reintegration of Donbass that will be given a second reading on Tuesday, run counter to the Ukrainian constitution and violate the rights of its citizens, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights told a news conference on Monday. “Passing the bill the way it has been drafted for a second reading will have considerable risks for the rights and freedoms of the people”, said Mikhail Chaplyga. Besides, some provisions, in particular on martial law, run counter to the country’s constitution, the spokesman added.

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