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Щонайменше 70% українців підтримують ідею вступу України до Євросоюзу – Порошенко

У березні президент заявив про намір ініціювати внесення змін до Конституції, за якими стратегічною метою держави буде членство в ЄС і НАТО

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Progress in Struggle to Save Animals From Extinction

Conservationists around the world are making great strides in rescuing animal species from the brink of extinction. Despite the recent death of the last male white rhinoceros, there is hope that science can bring the species back. In Europe, scientists are raising bison almost a century after they vanished from the wild, and California’s population of sea otters has rebounded from only 50 specimens in the 1930s. VOA’s George Putic has more.

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India, EU Give WTO Lists of US Goods for Potential Tariff Retaliation

India and the European Union have given the World Trade Organization lists of the U.S. products that could incur high tariffs in retaliation for U.S. President Donald Trump’s global tariffs on steel and aluminum, WTO filings showed Friday.

The EU said Trump’s steel tariffs could cost $1.5 billion and aluminum tariffs a further $100 million, and listed rice, cranberries, bourbon, corn, peanut butter, and steel products among the U.S. goods that it might target for retaliation.

India said it was facing additional U.S. tariffs of $31 million on aluminum and $134 million on steel, and listed U.S. exports of soya oil, palmolein and cashew nuts among its potential targets for retaliatory tariffs.

One trade official described the lists of retaliatory tariffs as “loading a gun,” making it plain to U.S. exporters that pain might be on the way.

India said its tariffs would come into effect by June 21, unless and until the United States removed its tariffs.

The EU said some retaliation could be applied from June 20.

Trump’s tariffs, 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, came into force in March to strong opposition as many see the measures as unjustified and populist.

There were also objections that the tariffs would have little impact on China, widely seen to be the cause of oversupply in the market.

Trump justified the tariffs by claiming they were for U.S. national security, in a bid to protect them from any legal challenge at the WTO, causing further controversy.

Rather than challenging the U.S. tariffs directly, the EU and India, like China, South Korea and Russia, told the United States that they regarded Trump’s tariffs as “safeguards” under the WTO rules, which means U.S. trading partners are entitled to compensation for loss of trade.

The United States disagrees.

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Putin: New Nuclear Weapons to Enter Duty in Next Few Years

President Vladimir Putin says the Russian military will start receiving new nuclear weapons in the coming years.

Speaking at a meeting Friday in Sochi, Putin said delivery of the new Avangard hypersonic vehicle will begin next year while the new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile will enter duty in 2020.

The Avangard and the Sarmat were among an array of new nuclear weapons Putin presented in March, saying that they can’t be intercepted. They also included a nuclear-powered global range cruise missile and an underwater drone designed to strike coastal facilities with a heavy nuclear weapon.

Putin said two other new systems unveiled in March —  the Kinzhal hypersonic missile and the laser weapon called Peresvet —  have already been put on duty with the units of Russia’s Southern Military District.

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Turkey Urges Muslim Nations to Stand with Palestinians

Turkey has called on Muslim nations to stand with Palestinians and to work to stop countries joining the United States in relocating their Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The call came at the end of a week that has seen Turkey take a leading role internationally to condemn Israeli actions in Gaza after Israeli forces killed dozens of people in Gaza. A diplomatic spat ensued with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu trading barbs on Twitter and both countries expelling senior diplomats.

As part of its condemnation of events in Gaza earlier this week, the Turkish government organized a massive “Curse Oppression, Support Jerusalem” rally and an extraordinary summit of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, as a show of solidarity Friday.

Speaking to tens of thousands waving Palestinian and Turkish flags, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah criticized the U.S., describing its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving its embassy there Monday a “big mistake.”

Erdogan told the rally the responsibility to defend Jerusalem lay with them as crowds chanted “Chief, take us to Jerusalem.” He said the U.S. can no longer play the role of a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as it is “siding with creating problems rather than solving them.”

He also lambasted those elements of the Islamic world that failed in what he termed “the Jerusalem exam,” saying “all we Muslims do is condemn” and not unite. Erdogan argued Muslim countries were “severe, intolerant and unconscientious” to each other and “toothless and cowardly” to unspecified enemies.

Erdogan is expected to address leaders of Muslim nations later Friday at the OIC and demand action.

At the morning session of the OIC summit, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, “we must prevent other countries from following the U.S. example” and that “precautions” are taken within the grouping after some nations voted against, abstained or did not show up at a United Nations vote in December. Some 128 countries overwhelmingly supported the U.N. motion against Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Despite that, Cavusoglu said “the U.S. administration did not give up on ignoring the basic principles of international law or the will of the international community.”

High-level officials from more than 50 member states, including Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, are attending the summit.

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Putin Seeks Common Cause With Merkel Over Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday that he would stand up to any attempts by U.S. President Donald Trump to block a Russian-German gas pipeline project.

Berlin and Moscow have been at loggerheads since Russia’s annexation of Crimea four years ago, but they share a common interest in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which will allow Russia to export more natural gas to northern Europe.

A U.S. government official this week said Washington had concerns about the project, and that companies involved in Russian pipeline projects faced a higher risk of being hit with U.S. sanctions.

“Donald is not just the U.S. president, he’s also a good, tough entrepreneur,” Putin said at a news conference, alongside Merkel, after the two leaders had talks in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.

“He’s promoting the interests of his business, to ensure the sales of liquefied natural gas on the European market,” Putin said, departing from his usual approach of being scrupulously respectful when speaking about Trump. “But it depends on us, how we build our relations with our partners, it will depend on our partners in Europe. We believe it [the pipeline] is beneficial for us, we will fight for it.”

As well as the differences over Nord Stream 2, European capitals are at odds with Washington over Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal. Moscow shares Europe’s position on the deal.

Some commentators have said that a shared opposition to Trump’s stances on Iran and other issues could lead to a rapprochement between Europe and Russia, repairing a relationship badly damaged by the Ukraine conflict.

Merkel, who earlier in the day received a bouquet of pink and white roses from Putin as she arrived at his residence in Sochi, also hinted at tensions between Berlin and the Trump administration.

Asked about differences with the United States over the Iran deal and other issues, Merkel told reporters: “We have a strong transatlantic friendship, which during its history has had to withstand many questions of different opinions, and I think that might be the case now as well.”

While the Russian leader is frequently critical of U.S. policy, he has been meticulous about not attaching blame to Trump personally. Kremlin officials have said in the past the two men have a personal rapport that Putin wishes to preserve.

Pipeline politics

European states involved in Nord Stream 2 say it is a purely commercial project but the Trump administration say it is helping the Kremlin pursue its political agenda.

The pipeline may result in less Russian gas being transported via Ukraine, depriving Kiev’s struggling pro-Western government of transit fees that are a vital source of revenue.

In a nod to the U.S. concerns, Merkel said Russian gas should still be pumped through Ukraine. “We see Nord Stream 2 as an economic project but it also has implications and that’s why we are working on what guarantees Ukraine could be given,” she said.

Putin said he was willing to negotiate with Kiev about continued transit of Russian gas.

Despite the common ground on Nordstream and the Iran deal, long-standing tensions in the Berlin-Moscow relationship surfaced at the news briefing.

Merkel said she was worried about a new property law implemented by the government of Syria, which is backed by Moscow. Rights activists say the law allows the Syrian government to deprive people who have been displaced by the fighting of their homes.

“That is bad news for people who want one day to return to Syria. We will discuss that intensively and ask Russia to use their influence to persuade Assad not to do that. We must prevent facts being created on the ground,” Merkel said.

Putin a day earlier had received Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad at his residence in Sochi for talks.

At the briefing with Merkel, the Russian president chided European leaders over Syria, saying if they want Syrian refugees living in their countries to return home, Europe had to commit to reconstruction in Syria.

Diplomats say that is a bone of contention, because European governments believe Russia should pay the lion’s share of the multi-billion-dollar reconstruction cost since it is the main military force and powerbroker in Syria.

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China Ends US Sorghum Anti-Dumping Probe, OKs Toshiba Deal

China has dropped an anti-dumping investigation and given long awaited approval for the sale of Toshiba’s memory chip business, in gestures that could suggest a thaw between Beijing and the U.S. as trade talks resumed in Washington.

The Commerce Ministry said Friday ended the probe into imported U.S. sorghum because it’s not in the public interest. A day earlier, Beijing cleared the way for a group led by U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital to buy Toshiba Corp.’s computer memory chip business.

The moves signaled Beijing’s willingness to make a deal with Washington amid talks between senior U.S. and Chinese officials aimed at averting a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies, analysts say.

“I think China is willing to make concessions,” said Wang Tao, chief China economist at UBS. “The Chinese stance has been very clear, that China wants to mute any trade dispute. But of course it doesn’t mean China would heed to all the demands the U.S. would place.”

A White House official said China had offered to work to cut the trade deficit with the U.S. by $200 billion, while stressing that the details remained unclear. But China’s Foreign Ministry denied it.

“It’s untrue,” said spokesman Lu Kang. “The relevant discussion is still underway, and it is constructive.”

The Commerce Ministry said it was ending the anti-dumping probe and a parallel anti-subsidy investigation because they would have raised costs for consumers.

The U.S. is China’s biggest supplier of sorghum, accounting for more than 90 percent of total imports. China’s investigation, launched in February, had come as a warning shot to American farmers, many of whom support the Trump administration yet depend heavily on trade. They feared they would lose their largest export market for the crop, which is used primarily for animal feed and liquor.

The Commerce Ministry said that, “Anti-dumping and countervailing measures against imported sorghum originating in the United States would affect the cost of living of a majority of consumers and would not be in the public interest,” according to a notice posted on its website.

It said it had received many reports that the investigation would result in higher costs for the livestock industry, adding that many domestic pig farmers were facing hardship because of declining pork prices.

China’s U.S. sorghum imports surged from 317,000 metric tons in 2013 to 4.76 million tons last year while prices fell by about a third in the same period.

The ministry said any deposits for the preliminary anti-dumping tariffs of 178.6 percent, which took effect on April 18, would be returned in full.

The announcement came after President Donald Trump met at the White House with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the leader of China’s delegation for talks with a U.S. team headed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Trump had told reporters earlier that he had doubts about the potential for an agreement. He also raised fresh uncertainty about resolving a case involving Chinese tech company ZTE, which was hit with a crippling seven-year ban on buying from U.S. suppliers, forcing it to halt major operations. Trump said the company “did very bad things” to the U.S. economy and would be a “small component of the overall deal.”

Song Lifang, an economics professor and trade expert at Renmin University, said haggling is currently underway.

“It’s time for both to present their demands, but it’s also a time to exhibit their bargaining chips,” said Song, adding that approval for the Toshiba deal, worth $18 billion, was “an apparent sign of thaw” amid a U.S. investigation into Chinese trade practices requiring U.S. companies to turn over their technology in exchange for access to China’s market.

The Trump administration has proposed tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese products to punish Beijing while China has responded by targeting $50 billion in U.S. imports. Neither country has yet imposed tariffs.

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Виставку, присвячену «великому терору» в Білорусі, відкрили у Києві

У Києві, в Українському національному інституті національної пам’яті 18 травня відкрили документально-мистецьку виставку «Великий терор» у Білорусі: правда про Куропати». Куропати – лісове урочище на околиці Мінська, де у 1930-ті роки радянські органи безпеки знищили до трьохсот тисяч людей.

Як повідомив на відкритті виставки директор Інституту національної пам’яті, співорганізатор виставки Володимир В’ятрович, правда про розстріли у Куропатах відкрилась у 1988 році, це місце для білорусів є тим, чим для українців є Биківня.

«Місця пам’яті, такі як Биківня, цілий архіпелаг тих Биківень, на жаль, не обмежувався українською територією. Він був і за межами нашої країни, він був в інших, радянських на той момент республіках. Одним з таких місць і є Куропати, воно стало символом комуністичного тоталітарного режиму у Білорусі. Нам важливо розповідати про глобальний вимір злочинів цього режиму, адже світ потребує засудження злочинів комунізму», – наголосив В’ятрович.

Відкриття виставки саме 18 травня не є випадковим, зазначив В’ятрович.

«Цього дня світ вшановує жертв ще одного злочину радянського режиму – депортації кримськотатарського народу», – сказав він. Виставка, присвячена «великому терору» в Білорусі, триватиме у приміщенні Українського інституту національної пам’яті до кінця травня.

Співорганізатор виставки, білоруський журналіст і громадський діяч Марат Горевой зазначив: «Сталінський режим знищив у Куропатах найкращих дочок і синів білоруського народу, знищивши таким чином інтелект, патріотизм, рух нації і країни».

Урочище Куропати почали досліджувати білоруські науковці і громадські активісти у 1988 році; через п’ять років влада надала цій території статус історико-культурної пам’ятки міжнародного значення. У 1989 році білоруський уряд ухвалив рішення звести у Куропатах пам’ятник, але це рішення досі не виконане.

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EU Mulls Direct Iran Central Bank Transfers to Beat US Sanctions

The European Commission is proposing that EU governments make direct money transfers to Iran’s central bank to avoid U.S. penalties, an EU official said, in what would be the most forthright challenge to Washington’s newly reimposed sanctions.

The step, which would seek to bypass the U.S. financial system, would allow European companies to repay Iran for oil exports and repatriate Iranian funds in Europe, a senior EU official said, although the details were still to be worked out.

The European Union, once Iran’s biggest oil importer, is determined to save the nuclear accord, that U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned on May 8, by keeping money flowing to Tehran as long as the Islamic Republic complies with the 2015 deal to prevent it from developing an atomic weapon.

“Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has proposed this to member states. We now need to work out how we can facilitate oil payments and repatriate Iranian funds in the European Union to Iran’s central bank,” said the EU official, who is directly involved in the discussions.

The U.S. Treasury announced on Tuesday more sanctions on officials of the Iranian central bank, including Governor Valiollah Seif,. But the EU official said the bloc believes that does not sanction the central bank itself.

European Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete will discuss the idea with Iranian officials in Tehran during his trip this weekend, the EU official said. Then it will be up to EU governments to take a final decision.

EU leaders in Sofia this week committed to uphold Europe’s side of the 2015 nuclear deal, which offers sanctions relief in return for Tehran shutting down its capacity, under strict surveillance by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, to stockpile enriched uranium for a possible atomic bomb.

Sanctions-blocking law

Other measures included renewing a sanctions-blocking measure to protect European businesses in Iran.

The Commission said in a statement it had “launched the formal process to activate the Blocking Statute by updating the list of U.S. sanctions on Iran falling within its scope,” referring to an EU regulation from 1996.

The EU’s blocking statute bans any EU company from complying with U.S. sanctions and does not recognize any court rulings that enforce American penalties. It was developed when the United States tried to penalize foreign companies trading with Cuba in the 1990s, but has never been formally implemented.

EU officials say they are revamping the blocking statute to protect EU companies against U.S. Iran-related sanctions, after the expiry of 90- and 180-day wind-down periods that allow companies to quit the country and avoid fines.

A second EU official said the EU sanctions-blocking regulation would come into force on August 5, a day before U.S.

sanctions take effect, unless the European Parliament and EU governments formally rejected it.

“This has a strong signaling value, it can be very useful to companies but it is ultimately a business decision for each company to make [on whether to continue to invest in Iran],” the official said.

Once Iran’s top trading partner, the EU has sought to pour billions of euros into the Islamic Republic since the bloc, along with the United Nations and United States, lifted blanket economic sanctions in 2016 that had hurt the Iranian economy.

Iran’s exports of mainly fuel and other energy products to the EU in 2016 jumped 344 percent to 5.5 billion euros ($6.58 billion) compared with the previous year.

EU investment in Iran, mainly from Germany, France and Italy, has jumped to more than 20 billion euros since 2016, in projects ranging from aerospace to energy.

Other measures proposed by the Commission, the EU executive, include urging EU governments to start the legal process of allowing the European Investment Bank to lend to EU projects in Iran.

Under that plan, the bank could guarantee such projects through the EU’s common budget, picking up part of the bill should they fail or collapse. The measure aims to encourage companies to invest.

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Проїзд у транспорті: влада вирішила почути думку киян про зростання цін

Київська міськдержадміністрація (КМДА) оголосила, що з 17 травня до 3 червня проводить громадське обговорення проекту розпорядження про підвищення тарифів на проїзд у громадському транспорті до 8 гривень.

Думку киян вивчатимуть шляхом електронних консультацій на офіційному веб-порталі КМДА, йдеться в повідомленні.

Читайте також: Підвищення вартості проїзду в громадському транспорті Києва. Яке ж економічне обґрунтування?

Станом на 11:30 18 травня на користь підвищення цін у транспорті висловилися двоє учасників обговорення, проти – 37. Пізніше сторінка, на якій серед зареєстрованих на офіційному веб-порталі КМДА користувачів відбувається обговорення, стала недоступною, з’явився напис про перевантаженість сервера і пропозиція спробувати увійти пізніше.

Крім того, влада Києва заявляє, що планує провести зустріч із громадськістю, про час і дату якої повідомлять додатково.

Раніше київська влада повідомила, що з 14 липня вартість проїзду у міському транспорті столиці України зросте до 8 гривень – за разову поїздку або до 6,3 гривень – за умови користування проїзним квитком (безконтактною карткою). Водночас у «Київському метрополітені» заявили, що після подорожчання усі пільги на проїзд в метро для 23 категорій населення будуть збережені.

Міський голова Києва Віталій Кличко пояснив, що підвищення ціни пов’язане з тим, що нинішня собівартість проїзду набагато вища.