EAD Weekly News Summary (23-28/01/2023)

EAD Weekly News Summary (23-28/01/2023)

The European Union approves additional military aid to support Ukraine


Foreign Ministers from the European Union countries reached a political agreement to allocate another 500 million euros for Ukraine’s seventh (7th) tranche of military support on January 23.


A further €45 million aid package for the Ukrainian forces being trained by EUMAM Ukraine, the EU’s military training mission, was also approved by the Council. This brings the European Peace Facility’s total military funding to €3.6 billion.


(Source: EU Neighbours east)


Corruption at a time of War: Ukraine’s Defense Minister Resigns as President Zelensky Renews Crackdown against corruption


Nearly a year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that as part of a new crackdown on corruption, he would make swift changes to government and security services. This comes after the corrupt practices of government officials came to light. 


In one instance, the Defense Ministry had reportedly been purchasing food for soldiers at inflated prices, which raised concerns regarding the procurement procedures used by the government. Additionally, the anti-corruption police claimed that in September of last year, they had detained the Deputy Infrastructure Minister on the suspicion that he had been paid $400,000 to facilitate the import of generators into Ukraine during the war. As a result, the Deputy Minister was recently removed from his position.


As such, donors, including The European Union and the International Monetary Fund, have repeatedly requested improved governance and increased transparency.


(Source: Al Jazeera)


Germany Faces Pressure Over Sending  tanks to Ukraine


According to a statement made by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on January 22, the German government will not object should Poland decide to send Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine. This comes despite the government’s initial hesitation to increase its military aid to Ukraine, as it is seen as rooted in the country’s political culture and history.


In this regard, Germany, one of the prominent donors of weapons to Ukraine, has ordered a review of its Leopard 2 tank stocks in anticipation of an eventual green light. Kyiv has described the weapons as essential to fending off an intensified Russian offensive.


(Source: AP News)


A Wave of Discontent against raising the age of retirement in France


On January 19th, a mass show of resistance and the outpouring of outrage from over a million protestors took to the streets of Paris amid the onslaught of nationwide strikes against the plan to see an increase in the age of retirement from 62 to 64.


French President Emmanuel Macron claims it is necessary to maintain the pension system’s financial viability—which is a central pillar of his second term. While acknowledging public discontent, he stated that “we must do that reform” to “save” French pensions. However, opponents of Macron’s policy point out that to receive a full retirement, people in France already have to work longer hours than in some of their neighboring countries. Additionally, they view the plan as putting the foundation of French society at risk—the welfare state.


(Source: AP News)


UK’s Labour Party Sets out to Reconnect with the EU


The foreign policy chief of the Labour Party in Britain said on January 24th that if the opposition wins power, it will “reconnect” with the rest of Europe and try to repair the damage the governing Conservatives caused during Brexit.


According to David Lammy, a Labour government would not want Britain to join the European Union or its single market. Still, it would work to rebuild trust with the bloc after years of damaging disagreements over Brexit.


(Source: Reuters)



Al Jazeera. (2023, January 24). Ukraine’s Zelenskyy renews war on corruption amid scandals. Corruption News | Al Jazeera. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/1/24/ukraines-zelenskyy-renews-war-on-corruption-amid-scandals 

Corbet, S. (2023, January 19). France: Over 1 million march against raising retirement age. AP NEWS. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://apnews.com/article/france-retirement-age-limit-protests-866eb86aea5cf0d39894b96d2888c26f 

EU NEIGHBOURS east. (2023, January 24). EU agrees extra €500 million of military support for Ukraine. EU NEIGHBOURS east. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://euneighbourseast.eu/news/latest-news/eu-agrees-extra-e500-million-of-military-support-for-ukraine/ 

Meldrum, A. (2023, January 22). Minister: Germany won’t block Poland giving Ukraine tanks. AP NEWS. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-politics-government-united-states-c9459e1bed9ad7358a59b541b3a5ae8c 

Piper, E. (2023, January 24). ‘reconnecting with Europe’, UK’s labour sets out foreign policy priorities. Reuters. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/reconnecting-with-europe-uks-labour-sets-out-foreign-policy-priorities-2023-01-24/