Macron, Scholz, Draghi and Johannis at a meeting in Kyiv, the imminent collapse of the ruble, officials and Lada, the departure of Coca-Cola from Russia. Highlights of the day

Macron, Scholz, Draghi and Johannis in Kyiv

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis made a joint statement following a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Mariinsky Palace in Kiev. They advocated immediately granting Ukraine the status of a candidate member of the European Union. According to them, Europe will not demand that Ukraine make territorial concessions to resolve the conflict. In addition, France will supply Ukraine with six additional 155 mm Caesar artillery mounts.

Life in Russian-occupied Mariupol is “worse than hell”

Many residents of Russian-occupied Mariupol were never paid their pensions, and life in the city after the arrival of Russian military personnel is “worse than hell.” This was told by residents of Mariupol who managed to leave the city. The Russian-installed authorities promised to pay the money, but only those residents of the city who changed their Ukrainian passports to Russian ones received it. In addition, people are largely cut off from the outside world, as the city still has limited access to mobile communications and the Internet. A month after the end of the siege of Azovstal, the townspeople continue to live without access to basic amenities. 55-year-old locksmith Vladimir Korchma, who left the city at the end of May, said: “It was worse there than in hell. There are no words to describe it. We didn't have gas or electricity. Only the lucky ones had water. Also, the residents of Mariupol who left told about the screens with Russian propaganda, which were placed around all the main squares. People standing in lines for water are forced to listen to Ukrainians being freed from the Nazis.

"Automatic" citizenship for children in Kherson

Children born in the Kherson region after the start of the war will “automatically” be given Russian citizenship. This was stated by the deputy head of the "military-civilian administration" of the region Kirill Stremousov. “And orphans have already received citizenship,” he added. On May 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the simplified acquisition of Russian citizenship for people living in the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions of Ukraine.

Nabiullina announced the collapse of the ruble

The head of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina announced the abolition of foreign exchange restrictions in Russia, which should lead to a sharp weakening of the ruble. How quickly the restrictions imposed after the start of the war with Ukraine will be lifted will depend on the stabilization of the financial system. Currency restrictions, which were introduced by the regulator after the freezing of the reserves of the Central Bank, led to a sharp strengthening of the ruble: the dollar fell from a peak of around 120 rubles by half to the level of 56 rubles. The overly strong ruble exchange rate has become a real problem for the Russian economy, as the Russian budget was drawn up at an average annual rate of around 72 rubles to the dollar. A strong ruble deprives Russia of income, analysts estimate the optimal dollar exchange rate in the range of 65-75 rubles.

Russia is trying to provoke a new gas crisis in Europe

The state company Gazprom is trying to provoke a new gas crisis in Europe - the monopoly deliberately reduces supplies even to those consumers who agreed to switch to a new payment scheme "in rubles" and provokes a sharp increase in gas prices. Germany, one of the main consumers of gas in Europe, has faced major pressure from Russia. The German company Uniper, which has long been a partner of Gazprom in the Nord Stream 2 project, reported that supplies from Russia fell by 25% compared to the contractual obligations of the Russian side. In its message, the company noted that it is currently replacing Russian gas with fuel from other sources. At the same time, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) said that Russia could completely stop Nord Stream, the main pipeline for Russian gas supplies to Europe. The reason for the reduction in supplies is the German Siemens turbines, which the company sent for repairs to Canada and cannot return to Russia due to the imposed sanctions.

The cost of insulin in syringe pens will grow up to 28%

The cost of insulin in syringe pens in Russia may increase by a third. The Federal Antimonopoly Service agreed to increase the marginal price (by 5.5-28%) due to the increase in production costs associated with the imposed sanctions. The Russian pharmaceutical companies Geropharm and Medsintez, as well as the Danish Novo Nordisk, asked for an increase in the marginal price. Representatives of the companies said that prices are being reviewed for the first time in several years: during this time, manufacturers have increased costs, and since the end of February, logistics costs have increased further.

Patriarch Kirill added to UK sanctions list

The British authorities have included in the sanctions list the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, as well as the Russian children's ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova. They are banned from entering the country. Sanctions also include the freezing of assets and the restriction of doing business with organizations that are associated with people from the "black" list. On May 31, the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that Patriarch Kirill (Vladimir Gundyaev) should be included in the "black list" of the European Union (EU) due to support for the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

Coca-Cola leaves Russia

The distributor of Coca-Cola in Russia has announced that it will no longer produce and sell the brand's drinks in Russia. In early May, The Coca-Cola Company COO James Quincey said that the company's business in Russia "will completely disappear at some point" if the fighting in Ukraine drags on. In Russia, in addition to Coca-Cola, the company produces Fanta, Sprite, Powerade, Schweppes, Burn, BonAqua water, Dobry, Pulpy, Rich, Moya Semya, Innocent and other products. At the same time, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Moscow Region Georgy Filimonov said that the Moscow region producer of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages Funky Monkey has launched the production of analogues of well-known foreign brands of soda Coca-Cola and Fanta. The maker of the new soft drink says Funky Monkey tastes exactly like Coca-Cola and Fanta, the official said.

Peskov, ministers and Lada

Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that as an official he was ready for anything - this is how he answered the question about his readiness to transfer to a Lada car, as Finance Minister Anton Siluanov suggested doing.

“You know, as a civil servant, I am ready for anything, and every civil servant in our country is ready for anything,” Peskov told reporters.

On June 16, at a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Siluanov said that the state should take on the risks of Russian business in terms of selling manufactured goods, for example, Lada cars. Commenting on such a proposal, the head of the State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes, Andrei Makarov, clarified whether the state is ready to buy goods that no one needs. In response, the minister said that the state should ensure the work of the automaker in such a way that it is sustainable. In turn, Andrei Klishas, ​​Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation, suggested that Siluanov himself come to work in a Lada car. And Makarov recalled that a similar idea had already been voiced in the 1990s and "did not show its sufficient effectiveness."

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