The images cannot be authenticated

Written by on February 2, 2023

Supporting videos, pro-Russian networks are leading a campaign of destabilization on the mobilization of Ukrainian citizens by force. The images cannot be authenticated, but it seems possible that the Ukrainian army will arrest citizens who refuse mobilization.
Several pro-Russian Twitter accounts claim that the Ukrainian army is forcibly conscripting new recruits. Ukrainians who refused to mobilize would be arrested to be sent to the front. “All Ukrainian soldiers have identification marks, they do not have the right to be hooded and must state their identity, if all that is not respected, then it is a fake, a staged” , says Serhii Kuzan, president of the Ukrainian center for cooperation and security, facing the videos.

Men aged 18 to 60 banned from leaving the territory
Some videos were indeed shot in Ukraine, such as one in Odessa where it is impossible to say that the man was arrested for refusing to mobilize. On another video, we see a man arrested complaining about the mobilization, but it is not possible to locate or date the images. This video remains plausible, especially in the current context where men aged 18 to 60 are prohibited from leaving the territory and must participate in the war effort. It is possible that the Ukrainian army will arrest citizens who refuse mobilization, which the Russians are using to carry out a campaign of destabilization on social networks.

State aid, sovereign wealth funds, ecological transition… What the European Commission’s plan contains to respond to the American Inflation Reduction Act
The EU executive has published its “Green Deal Industrial Plan”, its response to the US measures providing for massive subsidies to industry. The European Parliament and the Twenty-Seven will have to consider these proposals.

A counter-attack against Washington. The European Commission presented its Green Deal Industrial Plan* on Wednesday 1 February to support European industry. The proposals made by its president, Ursula von der Leyen, aim in particular to respond to the Inflation Reduction Act, the 430 billion dollar investment and subsidy program adopted by the United States to help American companies. The goal of the European executive is simple: avoid mass relocations and invest in energy transition.

“We have a unique opportunity to lead the way with speed, ambition and determination, to secure the lead of EU industry in the zero-carbon technology sector”, explained Ursula von der Leyen to the press. The avenues put forward by the Commission will be discussed by the European Parliament, as well as by the 27 Heads of State and Government of the EU during a special Council scheduled for Brussels on 9 and 10 February. The debates promise to be tense, with some countries already rejecting the idea of ​​relaxing the rules surrounding state subsidies. Franceinfo details the main European proposals.

Temporarily relax state aid rules for companies
The European Commission wants to introduce a “temporary crisis and transition framework” until 2025, to relax the rules on state aid, i.e. subsidies granted by national governments to companies. This mechanism will make it possible in particular to simplify the procedures, which are now rigid, for renewable technology projects, but also to grant higher subsidies to align with aid received “by competitors located outside the EU”. , in this case in the United States.

The European executive also wants to allow member states to grant tax benefits to what it calls “strategic zero-emission sectors”, a direct response to the American plan. These proposals worry some Member States, which have fewer resources. They fear a questioning of the functioning of the single European market, with massive subsidies from France and Germany to their companies. “The single market is the key to our competitiveness, and whatever we do, we must avoid a subsidy race,” said Margrethe Vestager, Vice-President of the Commission.

Use existing funds by directing them towards the ecological transition
Instead of new financing, the Commission proposes to use funds already released, in particular within the framework of the post-Covid recovery plan REPowerEU, amounting to 750 billion euros, by redirecting them towards the ecological transition. The document published by the Commission thus promises new guidelines “on the national recovery and resilience plans that the Member States must put in place to have access to the funds of the recovery plan”, explains the Euractiv site. The European innovation fund, as well as the InvestEU plan, aimed at companies affected by the Covid-19 crisis, will also be put to use.

The European executive also wishes to facilitate the use of existing funds for research, for “innovation, production and deployment” of so-called clean technologies. But these measures are considered unambitious by some European officials. “Going to dip into existing European programs, being content with budgetary recycling will not allow us to achieve true sovereignty,” said French MEP (Renew) Valérie Hayer to AFP.

Create a sovereign wealth fund for European industry
In the medium term, the Commission wishes to put in place “a structural response to investment needs” by creating a European sovereign fund for industry. “We need European funding for new technology projects,” said Ursula von der Leyen.

The Commission remains vague on the contours of this fund, but explains that it could be discussed during the debates on the EU budget, scheduled for summer 2023. Some hope that the mechanism will be built according to the model of the plan European Recovery Plan, which allowed the EU to borrow money on its behalf. A prospect that does not please some countries, such as the Netherlands or Germany. “I am not sure that we need such an instrument,” reacted German Finance Minister Christian Lindner on Monday, reports the Politico* site.

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