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Warsaw mayor appeals for help with Ukrainian refugees

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Poland has shown exceptional solidarity with Ukrainian refugeesBut help is mostly a popular phenomenon, with financial aid and materials from abroad still lacking. Sounds like the mayor of Warsaw, a city that has received more refugees than any other country in the EU since the start of the war.

Speaking of Poland, its embassy in Brussels yesterday fought a lone struggle (supported only by the Baltic states) in an attempt to extend economic sanctions on Russian companies exporting raw materials including aluminum, copper, palladium, but also oil and gas. EU diplomats say further sanctions are possible, depending on the severity of the situation in Ukraine – and also that existing loopholes may worsen.

But for now, the bloc has approved the latest package of sanctions that includes the name of Roman Abramovich (the Financial Times wrote about it Here), As well as a ban on trade with state-owned companies in other sectors, including aviation and shipping, and a ban on exports of certain European luxury goods to Russia – all of which are expected to be published in the official journal later today.

EU finance ministers are meeting again today to discuss another issue Easing of state aid rules To help companies struggling with the effects of the war in Ukraine, we will examine why some capitals are stealing the idea.

And in non-Ukrainian news, the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs is due to approve Corporate Reporting Rules On the environmental impact of companies as well as on any violation of human rights in their supply chain, and places it in the fight against the forthcoming negotiations with the European Commission and the Member States.

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A cry from Poles for help

Warsaw mayor turns to international aid to deal with wave of refugees from Ukraine threatening to surpass the Polish capital’s ability to absorb them, writes James, a policeman in Warsaw.

Raphael Trzeszowski said 300,000 people had fled to Warsaw since the Russian invasion, increasing its population by 15% and leaving the city services “on the border”.

“We will do everything we can to make sure no one stays on the street, but it has to be said that we in Poland are slowly becoming overwhelmed and therefore we need a coordinated response from the West,” Trzekowski said. Europe Express.

He added that a united response to both the Russian invasion and the refugee crisis was important also because it would send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that Western countries could not be played against each other.

“Putin is always trying to destabilize his neighborhood. So a coordinated response will prove he was wrong again, and that the West is united,” he said.

Warsaw Mayor Rafael Trezkowski says his city is becoming overwhelmed © Cherk Sokolowski / AP

The influx of refugees from Ukraine provoked a huge relief response from ordinary Poles, many of whom provided the refugees with accommodation, food, clothing and transportation.

However, Cheskowski said a more systematic response is now needed, including an international refugee relocation program. The 300,000 refugees in Warsaw alone represent a higher figure than any other country in the entire EU that has suffered since the beginning of the crisis.

“We can not afford to wait – for example when we look at the British system with all the mediocre documents and all the verifications,” he said.

“We welcome refugees without creating additional obstacles, and we think the whole world should do the same, but in a systematic and organized way.”

Terezskowski said that Warsaw had received support from sister cities in France, Italy, Germany and Austria in the form of temporary beds and other supplies. But he said financial aid was also needed, and that it should be directed to local authorities and charities and not just go through governments to ensure it reaches people “on the front line” as quickly as possible.

“Most of what we did was in a sense improvisation, and now we need a more systematic approach, not only from the government but also from the UN agencies, because they know how to deal with these problems,” he said.

“We can not do it ourselves…. If we continue to welcome more and more people without systemic help from the West, our services are going to prevail very quickly.”

The European Commission said yesterday that the Polish government has so far sought help only with medical equipment, medicines and vaccines for children, delivered by France, Germany, Denmark and Austria.

As for humanitarian aid, these funds are intended for Ukraine itself, with Poland being given the opportunity to direct some of the EU funding it receives to help refugees. “There are needs everywhere, but there are some vital immediate needs, and those in Ukraine,” said Eric Mamar, a spokesman for the commission.

Chart du jour: Still friends?

Map showing the Druzhbe Pipe

The single largest flow of Russian crude oil entering Europe – almost a million barrels a day – comes through a 5,000-kilometer-long Soviet-era pipeline called the Druzhba, which means “friendship” in Russian, which is also the most difficult to replace. (More here)

Fault in state aid

As the war in Ukraine enters its third week, Brussels’ plans to duplicate the relaxation of government aid rules from the epidemic period face opposition from some capitals, they wrote Javier Espinosa Valentina Pop in Brussels.

During breakfast this morning, the finance ministers will hold a brief exchange on the subject Suggestions Raised by the committee last week on how to support sick companies while maintaining an egalitarian plot (we wrote about this Here).

Specifically, the committee was flooded with two ideas:

  1. Temporary liquidity support For all companies affected by the current crisis (guarantees and subsidized loans)

  2. Additional cost assistance Caused by “extremely high gas and electricity prices”, which compensates for particularly intensive energy users (this help can take any form, including grants)

But not all beers are impressed.

In the economic matter of this, some point out that there is no problem with liquidity in the market and that more state support may only increase inflation. “There is also a risk of having zombie companies,” said a diplomat familiar with the discussions.

Other capitals raised the issue of inequality, which was already a problem in the epidemic given that richer countries had more money to distribute to companies than countries with less fiscal space.

Right at the start of the epidemic in 2020, the commission temporarily suspended state aid rules that allow governments to help companies – especially in the travel and hospitality industries – that have suffered from closures.

But even if the same logic is now applied to the new crisis, EU officials insist they have created a separate instrument to help companies affected by the war – and that member states will have to clean up fresh subsidies separately from aid linked to Cubid.

As in the previous time, the committee is very eager to ensure that corporate pages do not put competitors at a disadvantage, the sources added.

Margaret Westger, EU vice president in charge of the competition, said officials were working to approve the new state aid regime as soon as possible, but stressed the many unknowns and the different degrees of war impact on specific sectors.

“Not all businesses will be affected and not all will be affected in the same way and some will be indirectly affected by sanctions,” she said.

Green Reporting Conflict

Members of the European Parliament are expected to support proposals that will force non-EU companies operating in the bloc to report on certain sustainability indices, which creates the stage for a clash with the committee on green reporting standards, writes Alice Hancock in London.

Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee will today vote on new corporate reporting rules that will require EU companies with more than 250 employees to disclose their environmental impact as well as any human rights violations in their supply chain.

The rules, part of the EU Green Agreement, are intended to set a gold standard for countries and other regions that will work on them in an effort to encourage more corporations to improve the sustainability of their operations.

However, contrary to the committee’s original proposal, MPs want non-EU businesses of the same size to be held to the same standard.

“The committee is very upset [about this] “Because it is difficult to implement and could be rewarding,” said a European Union official. Get an exemption from that. “

MEPs may also support the exemption of small and medium-sized businesses on the list from the new rules amid concerns over “imposing too many administrative costs” on them, Durand said, despite being included in the committee’s support, a move that would affect some 2,000 companies.

In pushing for the dominance of the four major audit firms, MPs want to change the directive and require separate auditors to evaluate existing financial statements in the hope that it will lead to greater competition in the sector.

Obstacles will need to be overcome quickly as officials want to secure an agreement in record time before the end of the French presidency in June. The Czechs, who will take over the rotating EU presidency in the second half of the year, were less vocal in their support, saying reporting on environmental impacts should be voluntary.

What to expect today

  1. EU finance ministers met in Brussels

  2. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with his Iranian counterpart, Hussein Amirbadulian, in Moscow

Worth noting, quote

  • New momentum: In an article for FT, the head of the Euro group, Paschal Donohu, argues for a renewed push for the completion of Europe Association of BanksIn light of the economic and financial uncertainty resulting from the war in Ukraine.

  • White noise: European Central Bank Threatened To name and shame banks after discovering that none of the 109 lenders he oversees meet his expectations of climate risk exposure, but produces “a lot of white noise and no real material.” Banks will be required to publish further details on their exposure to climate risks from the beginning of next year when new European Banking Authority rules come into force.

  • Seed ultimatum: German pharmaceutical and agrochemical giant Bayer has threatened to halt crop supply sales to Russia next year unless the country stops its attacks on Ukraine. Bayer said it has already supplied Russia with essential products for this year’s growing season in an attempt to ease pressures on global food supplies, but will make a decision on supplying crops to the country in 2023 depending on the situation in Ukraine.

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