SITUATION IN UKRAINE: July 14-20, 2022

The operational pause announced earlier by the Russian Federation is over or may not have even started. Gradually, the RF Armed Forces began to increase the intensity of hostilities in the Donbas region. And Ukrainian troops are increasing pressure on the Kherson direction. The termination of the operational pause is unlikely to lead to a sharp increase in ground attacks in Ukraine (the Russian Federation does not have enough forces and means). Still, it will probably intensify assault operations in the Sloviansk-Seversk-Bakhmut directions. There are no significant changes in other directions (Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia regions).

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to inflict mutual missile strikes on civilian and military infrastructure to destroy the parties’ resources and exert political pressure through the deterioration of the living conditions of the civilian population.

Attempts by a part of the US Republican Party during the election campaign for the US Congress continue to use the Ukrainian card to attack the policy of President J. Biden in Ukraine. The Ukrainian opposition picked up the increased criticism from the United States and some European partners, whose goal is to change the leadership of the Office of the President and the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The change in the administration of the SBU and the OGPU is primarily a consequence of this struggle.

US Congresswoman V. Spartz demanded the resignation of the head of OP A. Yermak. Her statements may complicate the process of approving new aid packages for Ukraine. The West is already considering the possibility of creating a kind of control system for weapons supplied to Ukraine. In response to the accusations, on the initiative of the head of the Office of President Andriy Yermak, a commission was created in the parliament to control the use of weapons supplied to Ukraine.

The dismissal of the head of the SBU and the Prosecutor General of Ukraine is an attempt by the Ukrainian authorities to channel criticism from Western elites, as well as to shift responsibility for the seizure of the Russian Armed Forces in the south of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions and the failure of the anti-corruption policy, which caused a deterioration in relations with the US and the EU. In general, the new heads of the OGPU (A. Symonenko) and the SBU (V. Malyuk), due to their proximity to the director of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak, strengthen their position in the political system and influence decision-making.

Due to the rapid growth of military costs and falling tax revenues, the financial crisis in Ukraine is deepening, and the need for additional country financing is growing. At the same time, Western partners continue to provide financial assistance to Ukraine intensively. It is enough to stabilize the situation but not enough to restore the country or create the resources necessary to create a turning point in the war.

Western countries are reviewing sanctions against the Russian Federation to increase their effectiveness. And those sanctions that cause damage to the West to a greater extent are canceled or modified. Sanctions, which hit the Russian Federation to a greater extent, remain and are intensifying. This process, in turn, causes concern in Ukraine.

After the talks in Istanbul and the visit of Russian President V. Putin to Iran, the situation with the unblocking of Ukrainian ports is still not completely clear. But most likely, the parties are approaching certain agreements, taking into account the decision of the United States and the European Union to lift sanctions on Russian food exports. Perhaps this or next week, an appropriate agreement on the deblockade of Ukrainian ports will already be signed.

We can conclude that the Russian Federation and the US/NATO/EU are preparing for a prolonged confrontation. The adopted US budget demonstrates the intention of the US government to continue to help Ukraine. It indicates that the United States believes the war in Ukraine will not end soon. The EU also continues to help maintain Ukraine's military and financial capabilities.

Military situation


On the Slobozhansky direction: The city of Kharkiv is regularly shelled. The Armed Forces of Ukraine repulsed the assault on the settlement Dementievka. In the direction of Izyum, north of the town of Sloviansk, fighting is going on in the village of Bogorodichny. They were attacking the settlement of Dolina and the village Ivanivka. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine confirmed the capture of the territory of Dovgenke.

On the Donbas: The RF Armed Forces are attacking in the direction of the city of Seversk, the city of Bakhmut, and the town of Soledar. To the northeast of the city of Bakhmut, the Armed Forces of Ukraine repulsed an attack on the settlement of Berestove, and the settlement of Bilogorivka is fighting in the settlement area of Spirne and Pokrovske (Donetsk region). An invasion is underway on the settlement on the outskirts of the city of Seversk (Donetsk region). Ivano-Daryevka, the territory of Verkhnekamenskoye, has already been captured, but the information has not been confirmed. The RF Armed Forces periodically attack the Uglegorsk CFPP. There is an offensive of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation settlement of Nikolske to the east of the city of Vugledar.

In the southern direction: the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are conducting massive shelling of the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the border of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. They are strengthening their defensive positions in the occupied territories of southern Ukraine.

Black Sea-Azov direction: no significant changes. The Coast of the Odessa region was subjected to regular Russian rocket and artillery attacks. There are six Russian carriers in the Black Sea cruise missiles.

The RF Armed Forces continue missile strikes on Ukraine's civilian and military infrastructure. Since the invasion, Russia has inflicted 17,614 strikes on the territory of Ukraine ( artillery, rockets). According to the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs E. Enin, only about 300 strikes fell on military facilities, the rest - on civilian infrastructure. This week Dnipro, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, Kremenchuk, Kramatorsk, and other Ukrainian cities were shelled. The RF Armed Forces continue missile strikes on Ukraine's civilian and military infrastructure. On Thursday, July 14, Russia launched rocket attacks on the city of Vinnytsia. The targets were civilian objects in the city center. About 25 dead (including three children) and 90 wounded are known. Rocket attacks similar to Vinnytsia are also carried out to pressure the population and leadership of Ukraine to force the latter to make concessions and accept the conditions put forward by the Russian Federation.

The topic of potential Ukrainian shelling of Crimea arose in the context of missile strikes. The head of the Office of President A. Arestovich said that the Crimean bridge could become the target of Ukrainian attacks. For Ukraine, strikes on the Crimean bridge could be a significant symbolic victory (like the sinking of the Moskva cruiser) and provoke panic on the peninsula. In turn, they reacted to this in the Russian Federation. They threatened there with a “ crushing blow,” from which Ukraine “ will not recover.” In particular, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation D. Medvedev warned Ukraine about " Judgment Day for Ukraine " in the event of an attack on the Crimean bridge. Potential strikes on the Crimean bridge by Ukraine could provoke the announcement of mobilization in the Russian Federation or even increase the likelihood of a tactical nuclear strike.

Combat maps


The situation in the occupied regions.

The Russian leadership continues the plan of the annexation of the occupied territories of Ukraine. The new Russian curator of the occupied territories of Donbas may be the ex-head of Roskosmos, Dmitry Rogozin. The Russian-appointed "government of the Zaporizhzhia region" was headed by Anton Koltsov, previously vice-governor of the Vologda region.

Also, the occupied regions were visited by the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, S. Kiriyenko (Kharkiv, Kherson regions), and the Chairman of the State Duma V. Volodin (“LPR”). This demonstrated that the Russian Federation considers these territories part of its internal space - the territory of the Russian Federation.

In the occupied territories, preparations are underway for a "referendum" on joining the Russian Federation. An organizational headquarters has already been created in the "LNR.” On the eve of preparing such a "referendum" was announced in the Zaporizhzhia region.

At the same time, the Russian Federation continues to face difficulties in holding the occupied territories. In particular, the Ukrainian special services continue terrorizing the pro-Russian leaders of the occupied territories and have already made several assassination attempts. Thus, local elites' potential attractiveness of cooperation with the Russian Federation has significantly decreased. In response, the occupying "authorities" strengthened the police regime in the Kherson region. In particular, the corresponding "document" refers to the prohibition of activities that impede the work of the occupation administrations, "election commissions," and other bodies. “Discrediting the authorities of the Russian Federation” and any informational propaganda directed against the occupying authorities is prohibited. In case of a curfew violation, violators are threatened with execution.


The negotiation process between Ukraine and the Russian Federation has been completely stopped. But at the same time, work continues on security guarantees for Ukraine. According to the head of the Office of the President, A. Yermak, negotiations are underway with countries such as the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Turkey, Australia, and many others. According to him, it is expected that this will be an agreement with many participants, and then bilateral, more detailed agreements will be additionally concluded. Today Great Britain and Poland have declared their interest in such agreements, and negotiations with the United States are underway.

There are predictions that the war in Ukraine will not end anytime soon. In particular, the former Commander-in-Chief of NATO Allied Forces in Europe, James Stavridis, predicts that the War in Ukraine could last another 4-6 months.

On the other hand, Ukraine believes negotiations with Russia are possible "only after its defeat," and Kyiv does not intend to resume talks now; Ukrainian Foreign Minister D. Kuleba expressed this opinion.

The same is being said in the Russian Federation: The military operation in Ukraine will end when its goals are achieved. The main thing is not timing, but efficiency,” notes the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, D. Peskov. In addition, the Russian Federation makes it clear that they are preparing to tighten the terms of the peace agreements. Previously, the conditions of the Russian Federation were the recognition of the Russian status of Crimea and the “independence” of Donbas, the neutrality of Ukraine, and the so-called. Demilitarization and denazification. In particular, now they say that after the resumption of Ukrainian-Russian negotiations, the conditions on the part of the Russian Federation to end the war will be more stringent both in essence and in time for their implementation. Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov said that the "geographical objectives" of the war had changed and threatened to seize new territories if long-range weapons were supplied to Ukraine.

The internal situation in Ukraine

The situation around the letter to US President J. Biden by Congresswoman Victoria Spartz.

US Congresswoman Victoria Spartz, an American politician of Ukrainian origin, and a member of the Republican Party, accused the head of the OP A. Yermak of having ties with Russia and accused her of slowing down the anti-corruption reform and the issue of uncontrolled arms supplies to Ukraine was also raised. As a result, V. Spartz demanded that the head of the Office of President A. Yermak resign. The situation caused a big scandal, and the response of the Ukrainian authorities to the statements of the congresswoman was harsh - V. Spartz was accused of working for Russia and in an attempt to undermine trust between Ukraine and the United States. Congresswoman V. Spartz was also opposed by her colleagues in Congress from the US Democratic Party. Aleksey Arestovich, the adviser to the head of the President’s Office, accused Mayor of Dnipro Boris Filatov and leader of the National Corps Andriy Beletsky of allegedly pitting V. Spartz against the head of the OP A. Yermak. To fend off the accusations against him, the director of the Office of the President, Andriy Yermak, proposed the creation of a parliamentary commission to control the use of weapons supplied to Ukraine. The commission for monitoring the receipt and use of international material and technical assistance during martial law was headed by a deputy from Golos - Rustem Umerov.

In this situation, A. Yermak needs to demonstrate that all Western weapons received are registered and sent to the front and that he is open to creating a transparent process.

The statements of Congresswoman V. Spartz are part of a broader goal to change the leadership of the Office of the President of Ukraine and the Ukrainian government to promote people associated with the American establishment, P. Poroshenko’s team, and a conditional pro-American, pro-European group within the Ukrainian political class to these positions. Also, V. Spartz herself is part of a broader campaign of the Republican Party against the Democrats in the fall elections to the US Congress, the purpose of which is to discredit the foreign policy of the Democrats, including Ukraine, against the backdrop of the economic crisis in the United States. V. Spartz's statements may complicate approving new aid packages for Ukraine. The West is already considering the possibility of creating a kind of control system for weapons supplied to Ukraine.

Personnel changes.

This week, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky unexpectedly dismissed Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova and SBU head Ivan Bakanov. For both I. Venediktova and I. Bakanov, this decision came as a surprise. They did not discuss the issue of their resignation or dismissal with the President. Subsequently, the Verkhovna Rada supported the firing of Ivan Bakanov from the post of head of the SBU and Irina Venediktova from the position of Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

V. Zelensky explained that he removed the heads of departments due to a large number of state traitors among representatives of law enforcement agencies. According to him, 651 criminal proceedings have been registered regarding high treason among the prosecutor’s office employees, pre-trial investigation bodies, and other law enforcement agencies. In 198 criminal proceedings, the persons concerned were notified of suspicion. More than 60 employees of the prosecutor's office and the court " remained in the occupied territory and are working against the state."

Temporarily acting as head of the SBU, now there will be the first deputy, Vasily Malyuk, and the acting Prosecutor General of Ukraine was appointed his deputy Oleksiy Symonenko, who investigated the ex-president P. Poroshenko. The Anti-Corruption Center immediately reacted to this. They pointed out the connection between A. Simonenko and the so-called former "regionals,” the presence in the "Peacemaker" database, and in particular, the deputy head of the OP O. Tatarov. In general, the figures appointed to act as heads of the OGPU and SBU are considered close to the director of the Office of the President, Andriy Yermak, who, thus, significantly strengthened his political position and influence on decision-making. But in the future, whether these posts will become part of a compromise between the Office of the President, the leaders of the EU, and the United States, remains to be seen.

Probably, the crisis of distrust towards I. Venediktova and I. Bakanov, the members of the President's inner circle, most likely arose in the first days of the war, when they, to a large extent, lost the threads of control. There is a version that the President made such a decision precisely after the interrogation and testimony of the arrested ex-head of Crimea, Oleg Kulinich. With these dismissals, the President, in essence, shifted the responsibility for the seizure of the Russian Armed Forces in the south of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions (to the leadership of the SBU) and the failure of the anti-corruption policy, which caused a deterioration in relations with the US and the EU (to the leadership of the GPU). The appointment of heads of anti-corruption agencies is required today by both the United States and Europe and is part of the conditions for Ukraine's membership in the EU.

In any case, such a removal from office of the heads of law enforcement agencies suggests that the country is increasingly moving to direct presidential control. The President is willing to refuse and distance himself from representatives of his closest circle and team members. As well as the willingness to make rapid, unexpected decisions will significantly affect the entire system of public administration in Ukraine. It is expected that after the dismissal of the head of the SBU, several dismissals of regional heads of the SBU will occur. V. Zelensky has already appointed new heads of the SBU

▪️In the Dnipropetrovsk region — Sergei Lisak.

▪️ In the Kharkiv region - Alexander Kutsa;

▪️ In the Poltava region - Ivan Rudnitsky;

▪️ In the Transcarpathian region - Evgenia Borzilova;

▪️ In the Sumy region - Eduard Fedorov;

In parallel, personnel changes in the government begin. The head of the Ministry of Social Policy, Marina Lazebnaya, resigned, and the Verkhovna Rada supported this decision. M. Lazebnaya was considered a person close to Rinat Akhmetov. Oksana Zholnovych, Head of the Department of Social Policy and Health of the Office of the President of Ukraine, was appointed the new Minister of Social Policy. This is expected further to strengthen the OP's control over the government.

The financial situation in Ukraine.

Due to the rapid growth of military costs, falling tax revenues, and duties, the financial crisis in Ukraine is deepening, and the need for financing is growing. Oleg Ustenko, the economic adviser to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, said that Ukraine needs $9 billion to cover the state budget deficit, which is almost double the previous request. An additional $4 billion a month over the next three months to cover emergency housing and home renovations for millions of people and fund a basic minimum income for Ukrainians who have lost their jobs. The amount of $9 billion looks more objective if you include military spending of UAH 130 billion.

Ukraine has asked for a two-year delay in the payment of external debts. Until September 1, 2022, Ukraine had to repay $1.4 billion in interest on its external debt.

According to the statement, international creditors have agreed to suspend Ukraine's debt service from August 1, 2022, until the end of 2023, with the possibility of a year's extension. Eurobond holders have not yet announced their readiness to agree to a moratorium on payments. As of June 1, 2022, direct loans from foreign countries accounted for $2 billion of Ukraine's external public debt. At the same time, all issues of Ukraine's Eurobonds amount to $22.68 billion. And the total external debt as of June 1, 2022. amounted to $51.23 billion.

Earlier, Naftogaz turned to creditors with a request to defer the payment of debts for two years. But Naftogaz was denied the postponement since the enterprise is considered profitable. Lenders will demand from Naftogaz the full repayment of one type of bond as early as next week, as well as additional interest payment on a different kind of securities. In July 2022, Naftogaz must fully repay its 3-year Eurobond issue (placed in 2019) for $335 million and pay interest.

Naftogaz is asking the Cabinet of Ministers for 150 billion hryvnias of budget financing since there is nothing to buy gas for the heating season. All this complicates the financial situation in the country and increases the need for additional financial resources. The Ukrainian government spends about UAH 150 billion to cover the difference in tariffs between the international and domestic market prices, or 5.1 billion dollars (at the official hryvnia exchange rate - 29.25 hryvnias per dollar).

It isn’t easy to estimate the amount of necessary financing for the country, but starting from the position of Prime Minister D. Shmyhal, that is 250 billion hryvnias. - the expenditure part of the budget, from 40 to 100 billion hryvnias. - budget revenue, the rest of the amount must be compensated either by issuing the hryvnia or increasing the attraction of external funds.

At the same time, Western partners continue to provide financial assistance to Ukraine intensively. It is enough to stabilize the situation but not enough to restore the country or create the resources necessary to create a turning point in the war.

The Cabinet approved a $4.5 billion grant from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association. Non-repayable support will be used to finance the project "Public Expenditure Support for Sustainable Public Administration in Ukraine.” In parallel, the topic of blocking a new loan to Ukraine from the European Union continues to develop. A €9 billion loan is being held up by Germany, which is trying to reduce its share of the loan. Since Berlin previously provided Ukraine with non-refundable grants. Brussels has offered to allocate €1 billion in emergency financial assistance. The EU has prepared such an alternative after the European Commission failed to get the consent of Germany.

The parliament’s work.

The Verkhovna Rada did not support the establishment of a moratorium on the increase in tariffs for heat and gas during martial law.

The bill provided for the introduction of a moratorium on the increase in prices and tariffs in the natural gas market and the heat supply sector, as well as securing guarantees and compensation for the difference in tariffs to market entities. The Cabinet of Ministers has fixed gas prices for thermal power plants and other heat producers. They will receive it for 7,400 hryvnias per thousand cubic meters.

The bill was not adopted in the second reading and sent for revision with a reduced deadline.

The Verkhovna Rada supported the expansion of the list of persons not subject to conscription during mobilization. The bill was adopted in the first reading. Preparation for the second reading will follow an abbreviated procedure. We are talking about citizens whose close relatives died or went missing during the fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of the territory of Ukraine. In this case, close relatives are considered a husband, wife, son, daughter, father, mother, grandfather, woman, or native (full-blooded, half-blooded) brother or sister. Scientists and educators will not be called in either

In the first reading, bill No. 7550 on special rights for citizens of Poland was adopted and voted to reduce the time for consideration. The bill will allow Polish citizens to freely work, study and receive medical care on a par with Ukrainians. Also, citizens of Poland will be able to stay on the territory of Ukraine for 18 months legally. The law is a symmetrical response to the adoption by the Republic of Poland of the Law of March 12, 2022, on assistance to citizens of Ukraine in connection with the armed conflict on the territory of the country, which has been in force since February 24, 2022.

The situation around Ukraine.

NATO and EU countries intend to tighten control over the transfer of weapons to Ukraine.

On the one hand, Western partners continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine. Still, on the other hand, Western countries are becoming more concerned about the targeted use of the supplied weapons. At the same time, several NATO member states are now discussing with Ukraine the possibility of creating a tracking system or a detailed list of the supplied weapons. There are no facts of the sale of Western weapons by Ukraine, although, in the future, it cannot be ruled out that such weapons fall into the hands of the RF Armed Forces or facts of local corruption, which will undoubtedly be used against Ukraine.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has already created a special temporary parliamentary commission to ensure control over weapons supplied from the West. Thus, the Ukrainian leadership is trying to share responsibility for this issue with all parliamentary (main internal) political forces, to demonstrate openness and transparency in this matter, and to outplay critics in information and political terms. Absolute control over the use of weapons by the parliamentary commission is impossible (there is no authority).

In addition to the fact that the arms control of Ukraine is connected with the statements of US Congressman V. Spatrz. It is also essential that with the growth of socio-economic problems in Western countries, citizens’ dissatisfaction is also growing because Ukraine is being allocated large military and financial assistance. And thus, with the help of the control system, Western partners are trying, among other things, to bring down the discontent of the citizens of their countries. It is also evident that the topic of “selling Western weapons supplied to Ukraine” is actively promoted by the Russian Federation, trying to undermine the mechanisms of military assistance.

In general, the establishment by NATO and the EU countries of control over weapons supplied to Ukraine should bring down internal criticism and remove responsibility in the future for the possible use of these weapons by opponents or terrorist forces.

US Congress approves defense budget

with an amendment about Ukraine.

The adopted US budget demonstrates the intention of the US government to continue to help Ukraine. It indicates that the United States believes the war in Ukraine will not end soon. The lower house of Congress passed a budget of $839 billion. This is $37 billion more than the record $773 billion proposed by President Joe Biden. At the same time, members of Congress introduced an amendment that provides for the creation of a fund for the purchase of ammunition for Ukraine in the amount of up to $500 million a year. For the defense budget law to come into force, it still needs to be approved in the Senate (the upper house of Congress) and signed by the President of the United States. Also included in the bill is a requirement for the Inspector General to supervise the use of aid to Ukraine. The report must be submitted every six months.

The US defense budget bill provides funding for fighting against dependence on Russian energy resources. First of all, it concerns assistance to the European Union. The priority now is assistance for Ukraine, for which, unlike Lend-Lease, there will be no need to return funds. The budget proposes allocating $ 100 million for training Ukrainian pilots. We are talking about training F-15 and F-16 fighters.

To support the security of Ukraine provides 1 billion dollars, which is 700 million more than the current budget. In 2021, In addition to the previously agreed amount of $250 million, Ukraine received weapons, necessary ammunition, high-precision weapons, and radar surveillance equipment for another $60 million from its American partners.

The United States allocated the most significant financial support in 2019. in the amount of $ 397.9 million. Then the army, in particular, received communications, cybersecurity, night vision, medical, and various spare parts. The assistance program included in the new US budget does not apply to the lend-lease program approved for Ukraine in May, which provides that the recipient will have to return money for military equipment in the future.

While other programs under which the United States assists Ukraine, such as USAI (Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative) and the presidential powers program, do not provide a refund. The current deliveries of American weapons to Ukraine are carried out under these programs. The US presidential administration is using funds for them allocated by the US Congress - we are talking about a $ 40 billion package, where more than half is money directly for weapons. These funds must be spent before the end of the US fiscal year, which falls at the end of September.

The European Commission has submitted a seventh draft package of sanctions against Russia for consideration by the EU countries.

The seventh package of sanctions includes a ban on the import of Russian gold. It also strengthens control over the export of dual-use and advanced technologies to the Russian Federation. The package also confirms that the EU sanctions are in no way aimed at trade in agricultural products between third countries and Russia.

Sanctions on the import of Russian gold will deprive the Russian Federation of approximately 3.1% to 3.4% of the total exports of the Russian Federation, or from 0.8% to 1% of the country's GDP. For comparison, 63% of Russia's export earnings come from selling oil and oil products, 32% from natural gas, and 5% from coal. The total export of Russia in 2021 amounted to 493.3 billion dollars, and the GDP of the Russian Federation in 2021. amounted to - 1.78 trillion dollars.

In 2021, Russia exported over 302 tons of gold worth $17.4 billion. The UK, a significant global hub for the circulation and storage of precious metals, accounted for the lion's share of the turnover (266 tons for $15.4 billion).

According to forecasts, Russian GDP will decrease this year by 8-10%, inflation has already reached 17%, and industrial output has fallen by 8%.

On the other hand, the main problems that the West now faces because of the sanctions are energy, unemployment, and inflation. High inflation has already changed the political elite and caused internal crises in several European countries. And the EU's plans to impose an embargo on Russian oil later this year could lead to even sharper increases in energy prices and push the US and Europe into recession.

Also, the Ukrainian authorities fear that Western countries will ease sanctions against Russia. The reason for such discussions was Canada's agreement to return the turbine from the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. As well as the European Commission’s compromise on the transit of Russian goods through Lithuania to Kaliningrad. Earlier, the United States lifted restrictions on seed trade operations and sanctions against the former subsidiary to facilitate the trade in food and fertilizers. The EU will ease sanctions against certain Russian banks.

On the one hand, it seems Western countries are easing sanctions pressure against the Russian Federation. But in fact, adapting sanctions against the Russian Federation to world economic processes is taking place. The West is reviewing sanctions against the Russian Federation to increase its effectiveness. Those sanctions that cause damage to the West to a greater extent are canceled. And those sanctions that hit the Russian Federation to a greater extent remain and are intensifying.


The situation around grain exports

It is expected that the decision regarding the unblocking of Ukrainian ports will likely turn out to be political, the results of which will be difficult to predict.

After the talks in Istanbul and the visit of Russian President V. Putin to Iran, the situation with the unblocking of Ukrainian ports is still not completely clear. But most likely, the parties are approaching certain agreements, taking into account the decision of the United States and the European Union to lift sanctions on Russian food exports. Perhaps this or next week, an appropriate agreement on the deblockade of Ukrainian ports will already be signed.

The parties allegedly agreed on critical aspects of a plan to resume the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea. The potential deal for supplying Ukrainian grain includes several points, including a ceasefire, inspection of ships by Turkey and the UN for arms smuggling, and partial demining of ports.

For the export of Ukrainian grain from the ports of Ukraine, a special Ukrainian-Turkish company can be created, which, despite the risks and the impossibility of insurance, will be engaged in the export of our grain.

The technical part of the agreement, which concerns the demining of water areas near Ukrainian ports, has not been worked out.

According to the agreement, grain can be shipped from three Ukrainian ports in convoys escorted by Turkish ships with a ceasefire. It is known that one of these ports is the seaport of Odesa. The deblockade will probably also apply to neighboring ports: Chernomorsky and Yuzhny.

The Russian Federation demands that all restrictions related to the supply of Russian grain be lifted. According to the President of the Russian Federation, V. Putin, Russia is ready to export 30 million tons of grain. According to the current year’s results, it will be 50 million tons. The EU will ease sanctions against certain Russian banks to facilitate trade in food and fertilizers. The issue of unblocking Ukrainian ports may also be connected with transit to the Kaliningrad region and the US decision to ease sanctions. Lithuania will adhere to the recommendations of the European Commission on transit to Kaliningrad.

Obviously, for the Russian Federation and Ukraine, it is essential not to be accused of world hunger and destabilization, as well as failure to fulfill contractual obligations to export grain. But in fact, the Russian Federation will not contribute to the implementation of the process of creating a grain corridor since the export of its (as well as part of Ukrainian) grain is already carried out through the occupied Ukrainian ports.

In particular, the "head" of the occupational "administration" of the Zaporizhzhia region, Yevhen Balitsky, said that 100,000 tons of grain are planned to be exported from Ukraine through the port of Berdyansk. Grain is transported by rail. More than 100 wagons have already been sent, and a "contract" for another 150,000 tons has been signed. Earlier, Ukraine accused the Russian Federation of stealing grain and other types of food for 600 million rubles. Doll.

In general, the export of Ukrainian grain products decreased three times compared to previous years. Unblocking ports can add 5% of GDP and bring Ukraine up to $1 billion in additional monthly export earnings. Now the export of Ukrainian grain is carried out through the Black Sea-Danube canal, but its throughput is relatively low (4-10 ships per day).


Ruslan Bortnik, Oksana Krasovskaya, Andrey Timchenko

For the Ukrainian Institute of Politics.