Neptune anti-ship missile systems to enter service with Ukrainian Navy in 2021

KIEV, July 5. /TASS/: The Ukrainian Navy will receive Neptune anti-ship missile systems next year and deploy them in the Black and Azov seas, Ukrainian Navy Commander Alexei Neizhpapa told the Ukrainian Radio Liberty on Saturday.

"As to the question of when - next year, I think. As to how many, I would say that there will be three divisions of coastal missile battalions: two in the Black Sea and one in the Sea of Azov," he said.

"The main task now is to get the Neptunes as soon as possible and to use them wisely," the official added.

IMF urges Ukraine to keep central bank independent as governor's exit rattles market

KYIV (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund urged Ukraine on Thursday to maintain the independence of the central bank after Governor Yakiv Smoliy unexpectedly resigned, citing “systematic political pressure”.

The negative fallout from Smoliy’s resignation prompted the finance ministry to say it was not going ahead with a planned offering of dollar-denominated Eurobonds.

Smoliy’s resignation from the National Bank of Ukraine risks derailing a $5 billion deal agreed with the IMF last month to fight an economic slump exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

World Bank approves $350 million loan for Ukraine

KYIV (Reuters) - The World Bank has approved a $350 million loan for Ukraine in support of reforms that are critical to its economic recovery and to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the bank said.

Ukrainian government said earlier this month it expected to receive this loan by the end of June after securing a $5 billion loan program from the International Monetary Fund on June 9.

Ukraine to open more hospitals to coronavirus cases amid surge

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine is opening more of its hospitals to coronavirus cases as the institutions initially chosen to accept patients no longer have enough beds to cope with a surge in infections, the health minister said on Wednesday.

The daily rise of coronavirus cases hit a new high of 940 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 39,014, with 1,051 deaths. Most new cases were registered in west Ukraine and the capital.

Ukraine apartment block gas explosion kills at least one

KYIV (Reuters) - A gas explosion at a multi-storey apartment block in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv has killed at least one person, rescuers said on Sunday.

Several people could be trapped under wreckage after four floors of the nine-storey building have been destroyed, the State Emergency Services said in a statement.

It said 21 residents had been evacuated from the building, but it was not immediately clear how many people had been inside.

Ukraine cuts interest rate to historic low after sealing IMF deal

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine’s central bank cut its main interest rate for the eighth time in a row on Thursday after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government secured a $5 billion deal from the International Monetary Fund to tide the country over through recession.

The cut to 6% from 8% takes the rate down to its lowest level since Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Kiev’s choice of Donbass ‘representatives’ indicates policy of further separation — expert

KIEV, June 9. /TASS/: Kiev’s involvement of Donbass "representatives" for talks within the political sub-group of the Trilateral Contact Group will not facilitate the peace process, says Andrei Portnov, Ukrainian lawyer and former Deputy Chief of Staff of Ukraine’s fourth President Viktor Yanukovich.

"They are not bearers of the ideology of peaceful resolution," Portnov wrote in his Telegram channel, commenting on the new delegates, announced by the Ukrainian President’s Office.

Berlin talks to discuss possibility of putting pressure on Moscow - Ukrainian top diplomat

KIEV, June 2. /TASS/: Ukraine’s delegation to the Berlin consultations on the activities of the Normandy Four group will look for ways to make Russia adopt "a constructive position" on Donbass, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told ICTV.

Ukraine expects $5 billion IMF loan approval on June 5 - PM

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine expects the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to approve a $5 billion (4.05 billion pounds) loan package at a board meeting on June 5 and the first tranche of $1.9 billion to be disbursed the following day, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal told Reuters on Friday.

Ukraine needs the loans to weather an economic shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Gross domestic product could fall by 12% in the second quarter of this year, according to a preliminary estimate, Shmygal said in an interview.

Lugansk threatens to change contact line if Ukrainian shelling continues

LUGANSK, May 20. /TASS/:The self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) will be forced to take decisive measures and change the line of contact with the Kiev-controlled territory if the Ukrainian side goes ahead with its shelling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, LPR head Leonid Pasechnik said on Tuesday.

On May 16, a power supply line delivering electricity to critically important infrastructure facilities in LPR was damaged as a result of shelling by Kiev troops.

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