Ukraine complains to WTO about Hungary, Poland and Slovakia banning its farm products
Ukraine has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia after they banned grain and other food products from the country. The move highlights a growing rift between Ukraine and the three EU member states. Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia have imposed bans on imports from Ukraine, arguing that it has negatively impacted local farmers. Ukraine, a major agricultural supplier, has criticized the bans as "unfriendly" and discriminatory. The EU recently lifted restrictions on Ukraine's exports to five member states. Ukraine has warned that it may retaliate with a ban on goods from Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia if the bans are not lifted.
Graft accusations plague top Zelensky aides
The Globe and Mail
Oleh Maiboroda, the former CEO of a major Ukrainian construction firm, has accused Oleh Tatarov, a senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, of accepting bribes to approve building projects. Maiboroda alleged that Tatarov acted as a go-between, paying off public officials on behalf of the construction firm between 2014 and 2019. Tatarov, who denies any wrongdoing, has previously faced accusations of corruption, with Ukraine's anti-corruption agencies having alleged that he organised a bribe. The case against Tatarov was closed in April 2022.
More mini-Putins are waiting in the wings across Europe
The European Union's (EU) fight against Russia has created a breeding ground for far-right, nationalist politicians, according to Jake van der Kamp, writing in the South China Morning Post. As ordinary people suffer from economic hardships, their leaders are fighting a proxy war against Russia, which has become a bottomless pit, with austerity and cuts to social welfare programmes being imposed, and real hourly wages dropping in 22 EU countries. Van der Kamp argues that voters are increasingly blaming their own politicians and big corporations, many of which profit from the war in Ukraine, rather than Putin and the Russians, as they are told to do. He argues that the EU's fight against Russia is leading to a drift towards ultra-right-wing, xenophobic nationalism across Europe. This nationalism is more pronounced in countries such as Poland and Hungary, which are anti-Russian, but will not necessarily remain pro-Ukrainian. Van der Kamp calls for the EU to end its fight against Russia before the 2030s become the 1930s.
Kyiv acts on 'compromise' plan after filing WTO trade complaint over food ban
Ukraine has appealed to neighbouring countries in the European Union (EU) to resolve a dispute over agricultural trade. Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal, has called for “constructive dialogue” to resolve the situation, and has approved a “compromise scenario” to this effect. The call comes after Poland, Hungary and Slovakia placed restrictions on imports from Ukraine, in order to protect their farmers and economies. Ukraine has initiated a trade dispute by filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization. Ukraine has also proposed an export control plan to the EU and neighbouring countries to prevent market distortions.
Amid imports dispute, Poland tells Ukraine to remember its help
The Polish president, Andrzej Duda, has warned Ukraine to remember that it receives help from Poland, amid a dispute between the two countries over agricultural imports. Poland recently extended a ban on imports of Ukrainian grains, which it claims is necessary to protect its own farmers. However, Ukraine has appealed for a “constructive dialogue” and has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO). Duda said that Poland would explain the situation before the WTO tribunal and highlighted that the ban only applies to imports, not transit of Ukrainian grain.
U.S. touts commitment to Ukraine despite battlefield challenges
The Biden administration called for increased air-defense donations to Ukraine on Tuesday, as Pentagon leaders vowed to sustain weapons supplies that Western nations hope will fuel a breakthrough in the country’s slow-going offensive against Russia. Officials from more than 50 countries gathered here to discuss sourcing future military aid to Kyiv, now in the fourth month of a counteroffensive that so far has achieved only modest success in piercing thick, deadly defenses laid over the past year by Russian troops.
‘The Amazon is speaking for itself’: Brazil President Lula puts climate and inequality at the center of UN address
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva used his speech at the UN General Debate to highlight the issues of inequality and the climate crisis. Lula called for greater political will to overcome inequality and urged rich countries to fulfil their clean energy and climate funding goals. He positioned Brazil as a global leader on climate issues, noting the reduction in Amazon deforestation since he resumed office. However, Lula has faced criticism for his administration's investments in fossil fuels. He also pushed for greater dialogue around the war in Ukraine and called for negotiations to achieve peace.
US says Ukraine needs urgent air defence support
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has downplayed Ukraine's requests for longer-range missiles but has pledged to meet Kyiv's "most urgent" air defense needs. Austin said the US was focused on supporting Ukraine's war effort but was not enthusiastic about providing Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), as the US is concerned about depleting its own stocks amid rising tensions with China. Ukraine has been requesting ATACMS for months. President Joe Biden is expected to make a decision on whether to provide Ukraine with ATACMS this week.
UK pledges "tens of thousands" more artillery shells for Ukraine
Britain has announced that it will supply "tens of thousands" more artillery shells to Ukraine this year, as part of its commitment to supporting the country's defence. The UK is also planning to provide further military support in areas such as air defence, long-range strike capabilities, and training. Britain is a key defence supplier for Ukraine and is working to increase its production of weaponry to assist in pushing back Russian forces and replenishing Ukraine's stockpiles.
UN General Assembly: Ukraine urgently needs air defenses -NATO head
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has urged the urgent provision of air defences to Ukraine. Speaking in New York, Stoltenberg argued that the war in Ukraine was not a stalemate, but rather a "war of attrition". He emphasised the need for air defence systems, including ammunition, maintenance and spare parts. He also stressed the importance of reinforcing Ukraine's air defences to protect critical infrastructure as winter approaches. Stoltenberg did not reveal how many rounds of munitions NATO allies can deliver to Ukraine each year, or when F-16s would be delivered to Kyiv. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Business Highlights: The UAW prepares to expand its strike, Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents are sued
The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has threatened to expand its strike against Detroit's Big Three automakers if there is no progress in contract negotiations. UAW President Shawn Fain stated that workers at more factories will join the strike on Friday unless there is "serious progress" towards agreements. The UAW strike, which is currently limited to three plants, has been ongoing for five days. In other news, lawyers for collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX Trading have accused the parents of the company's founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, of unjustly enriching themselves with company funds. The lawsuit alleges that Allan Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried siphoned millions of dollars from the company for personal use. Instacart's shares rose 12.3% in their stock market debut on the Nasdaq. The grocery delivery company, which provides services for more than 80,000 stores, has 7.7 million active customers. The stock market slipped as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates. Treasury yields climbed, pushing mortgage rates higher, and weaker-than-expected homebuilding activity was reported. Foreign companies operating in China have expressed concerns over tensions with Washington and uncertainty over Chinese policies, according to surveys by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. Ukraine has filed a complaint against Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia at the World Trade Organization after they banned grain and other food products from the country.
Evening Update: India expels Canadian diplomat following allegations over killing of Sikh activist in B.C.
The Globe and Mail
India has responded to Canada expelling a senior Indian diplomat by expelling a senior Canadian diplomat, claiming the allegations that New Delhi was involved in the killing of a Sikh activist on Canadian soil are “absurd” and “unsubstantiated”. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has called for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to provide hard evidence of the allegations, which have led to a chill in Indo-Canadian relations. The killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a prominent Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia, was allegedly carried out by “agents of the government of India”. Meanwhile, Canada’s annual inflation rate rose to 4% in August, up from 3.3% in July. The central bank is now under pressure to increase interest rates after announcing a pause on tightening monetary policy earlier this year. The annual rate is well above the bank’s 2% target.
Ukraine rejects defective lot of German tanks in second embarrassment for Berlin
Ukraine has rejected a delivery of Leopard tanks from Germany after discovering that they were defective. The ten tanks required maintenance that Ukraine could not perform due to a lack of trained engineers. This is the second time technical problems have arisen with Germany's tanks, and it raises questions about Germany's ability to supply Ukraine. Germany had prioritised training tank crews over training technicians skilled in repairs, at Ukraine's request. The Leopard 1 tanks were first developed in the 1960s and were decommissioned by the German army a decade ago.
Russia ‘weaponising’ food, energy and kids in Ukraine war: Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of weaponising food, energy, and abducted children in its war against Ukraine. Addressing the UN General Assembly, Zelensky said there are no real restrictions on weaponisation, despite agreements to restrict arms and trade. Zelensky called on the international community to stand up to Russia's aggression and warned that no nation can be secure if Ukraine is carved up. US President Joe Biden, who also addressed the assembly, stressed the need to defend Ukraine and highlighted the value of international institutions and coalitions in confronting global challenges.
Biden and Lula try to find common cause, despite their differences
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and US President Joe Biden have called for a return to multilateralism at the UN General Assembly. Lula, attending the event for the first time since 2009, celebrated Brazil's renewed global standing after four years of Jair Bolsonaro's unpredictable rule, which was widely criticised. Biden, meanwhile, used his speech to repudiate former President Donald Trump's "America First" policy. Both leaders highlighted the challenges of climate change and economic inequality, but Lula also criticised the US over its blockade of Cuba and said that great power competition had exacerbated inequalities. Biden, on the other hand, focused on Russia's invasion of Ukraine and called on the international community to support Kyiv. While Lula and his allies believe that the conflict reflects a broader conflict between Russia and the West, Biden and his allies have accused Russia of being solely responsible for the war. On Wednesday, Biden and Lula will focus on workers' rights, with the aim of convening a focus group to discuss the future of the working class.
Putin ‘weaponising’ food as troops target cargo ship in Black Sea
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russian society has "raised a second Hitler" in a powerful speech delivered at the UN General Assembly. Zelensky urged the world to unite against Russian aggression and claimed that Russia was using tactics more catastrophic than nuclear destruction. He argued that while nuclear weapons remain in place, the "mass destruction is gaining its momentum" through the weaponization of food, energy, and children. Zelensky's speech comes ahead of a face-to-face meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the UN Security Council, where Zelensky is due to speak about Ukraine.
Zelensky’s speech at the UN General Assembly emphasized the need for collaboration and peace in the face of Russian aggression. He accused Russia of using tactics that are more destructive than nuclear weapons, claiming that food, energy, and children are being weaponized. Zelensky’s warning about the dangers of Russian aggression comes ahead of a meeting with Lavrov, where tensions are expected to be high. In their last encounter at the UN Security Council, Lavrov called Zelensky a derogatory name and stormed out of the room.
Zelensky’s speech and upcoming meeting with Lavrov highlight the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The Ukrainian president is calling for international unity against Russia and warning of the catastrophic consequences of Russian aggression. As tensions continue to escalate, it remains to be seen how the international community will respond and what actions will be taken to address the situation.
Zelensky says UN incapable of stopping Putin’s ‘criminal aggression’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused the United Nations (UN) of being incapable of preventing aggressors from invading other countries, specifically referring to Russia's "criminal and unprovoked aggression" against Ukraine. Zelensky made his comments during a special meeting of the UN Security Council, where he called for reform of the General Assembly and Security Council to address Russia's aggression. He proposed removing Russia's veto power on the Security Council and expanding the membership to include Germany and the African Union, among others. Zelensky argued that the UN has failed to defend the sovereign borders of nations and that humankind no longer pins its hopes on the organization for defense. He called for efforts to protect territorial integrity, sovereignty, human rights, and prevent aggression and genocide to be centered in the General Assembly and Security Council.
Zelensky’s criticism of the UN comes as tensions between Ukraine and Russia continue to escalate. The meeting at the UN Security Council was significant as it marked the first face-to-face encounter between Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambassador to the UN since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Zelensky accused Russia of violating the norms of war and the UN Charter itself with its aggression. He called for international support to end Russia’s war on Ukraine and emphasized the need for reform within the UN to address the ongoing conflict.
The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has been ongoing since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea. Since then, fighting has continued in Eastern Ukraine, leading to thousands of deaths and displacements. The UN Security Council has met numerous times to discuss the situation, but its ability to take action has been hindered by Russia’s veto power. Zelensky’s call for reform aims to address this issue and ensure that the UN can effectively respond to acts of aggression and protect the sovereignty of nations.
To endure a long war, Ukraine is remaking its army, economy and society
Ukraine is preparing for a long war with Russia, making significant changes to its military planning, economy, and society. To build its own capability, Ukraine is rebuilding its arms industry, which has been severely damaged since the Soviet era. The government is encouraging private arms manufacturers and is willing to pay local firms in advance if they can demonstrate their ability to make useful equipment. Ukraine is also focusing on developing its drone industry, hoping to win in a technological war. The country is increasing its production of reconnaissance drones and plans to produce 120 to 150 times more drones than last year. Ukrainian strategists are also adopting new tactics, taking the war inside Russia and targeting military factories and infrastructure to disrupt supply chains and shatter the facade of normality in Russia. Ukraine is also aiming to deter Russian attacks on its own infrastructure. In order to cope with a long war, Ukraine's economy will need a drastic overhaul. The government plans to improve the business climate and foster industry to help the economy grow. Ukraine is also trying to lure back Ukrainians who have left the country by offering startup grants for businesses and subsidised mortgages for those rebuilding homes. However, the exodus of Ukrainians is not only an economic cost but also a social one. An outflow of people from Ukraine could create further economic problems and widen the gap between those who left and those who stayed.
Poland says it will no longer supply Ukraine with weapons
The Polish government has announced that it will no longer supply weapons to Ukraine, but has not ruled out doing so in the future. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that Poland would instead focus on its own defence. The announcement comes amid a growing row between the two countries over grain exports, with Warsaw having summoned Kyiv’s ambassador. Poland has previously armed Ukraine unilaterally and played a key role in allowing foreign allies to store and transport arms over the Polish border into Ukraine.
Ship with Ukraine grain back in Turkey under "humanitarian corridor"
The cargo ship "Resilient Africa" became the first vessel loaded with grain from Ukraine to sail in and out of the Black Sea using a temporary corridor. The ship left the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk with 3,000 metric tons of grain. Ukraine had announced a "humanitarian corridor" to release ships bound for African and Asian markets and to circumvent a de facto blockade after Russia abandoned a deal that had guaranteed its exports during the war.