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Golden Finish for Uzbekistan | Euronews

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The crowd inside the Humo arena were ready for action, and the packed out stadium got exactly what they wanted.

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Before the third and final day of the 2024 Tashkent Judo Grand Slam, Naser AL TAMIMI IJF General Treasurer and Ismoil Mahmadzoir President of the Tajikistan Judo Federation, signed an historic deal for Tajikistan to host this year’s junior world championships.

At -100kg, home favourite Muzaffarbek TUROBOYEV faced off against Matvey KANIKOVSKIY with the whole country behind him!

And he used his seemingly unstoppable trademark technique in the very first exchange of the match to score ippon!

The triumph was met by rapturous applause as the whole stadium beamed with national pride.

He was awarded his medal by Azizjon KAMILOV, Uzbekistan Judo Federation President.

“I really appreciate the support from my country, my family and coaches and I think it was the reason I won today.” said Turoboyev. “For athletes, you can always win and lose but thank god everything worked out today. I’ve won 2 gold medals in the Humo Arena, in big tournaments, this makes me really happy.”

At -78kg Rika TAKAYAMA took on Fanny Estelle POSVITE. It was Takayama who took the win in spectacular fashion!

She was awarded her medal by Vlad MARINESCU Director General of the IJF

“The crowd here in Tashkent were doing some great cheering with musical instruments.” said Takayama. I wasn’t sure if they were cheering for me or not, but it sure did motivate me.”

At -90kg Bulgarian Ivaylo IVANOV took on Theodoros TSELIDIS of Greece in a thrilling encounter! But it was TSELIDIS who managed to score two waza-aris to take the win!

Oybek KASIMOV General Secretary of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan was on hand to award the medals.

At +78kg Xin SU took the win. First throwing, then pinning Ruri TAKAHASHI of Japan.

The medals were awarded by Ki-Young JEON Head Referee Director of the International Judo Federation.

At +100kg Hyoga OTA bested Tamerlan BASHAEV. The Japanese athlete scoring waza-ari deep into golden score!

The medals were awarded by Naser AL TAMIMI General Treasurer of the IJF.

The powerful Local Uzbek fighters made sure it was raining ippons on the tatami as supporters watched in awe.

The highlight was Davlat Bobonov taking a fantastic bronze medal with one of the best throws of the tournament!

Next week we’re in Linz! We’ll see you there!



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The crowd inside the Humo arena were ready for action, and the packed out stadium got exactly what they wanted.

ADVERTISEMENT

Before the third and final day of the 2024 Tashkent Judo Grand Slam, Naser AL TAMIMI IJF General Treasurer and Ismoil Mahmadzoir President of the Tajikistan Judo Federation, signed an historic deal for Tajikistan to host this year’s junior world championships.

At -100kg, home favourite Muzaffarbek TUROBOYEV faced off against Matvey KANIKOVSKIY with the whole country behind him!

And he used his seemingly unstoppable trademark technique in the very first exchange of the match to score ippon!

The triumph was met by rapturous applause as the whole stadium beamed with national pride.

He was awarded his medal by Azizjon KAMILOV, Uzbekistan Judo Federation President.

“I really appreciate the support from my country, my family and coaches and I think it was the reason I won today.” said Turoboyev. “For athletes, you can always win and lose but thank god everything worked out today. I’ve won 2 gold medals in the Humo Arena, in big tournaments, this makes me really happy.”

At -78kg Rika TAKAYAMA took on Fanny Estelle POSVITE. It was Takayama who took the win in spectacular fashion!

She was awarded her medal by Vlad MARINESCU Director General of the IJF

“The crowd here in Tashkent were doing some great cheering with musical instruments.” said Takayama. I wasn’t sure if they were cheering for me or not, but it sure did motivate me.”

At -90kg Bulgarian Ivaylo IVANOV took on Theodoros TSELIDIS of Greece in a thrilling encounter! But it was TSELIDIS who managed to score two waza-aris to take the win!

Oybek KASIMOV General Secretary of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan was on hand to award the medals.

At +78kg Xin SU took the win. First throwing, then pinning Ruri TAKAHASHI of Japan.

The medals were awarded by Ki-Young JEON Head Referee Director of the International Judo Federation.

At +100kg Hyoga OTA bested Tamerlan BASHAEV. The Japanese athlete scoring waza-ari deep into golden score!

The medals were awarded by Naser AL TAMIMI General Treasurer of the IJF.

The powerful Local Uzbek fighters made sure it was raining ippons on the tatami as supporters watched in awe.

The highlight was Davlat Bobonov taking a fantastic bronze medal with one of the best throws of the tournament!

Next week we’re in Linz! We’ll see you there!

Video. Latest news bulletin | March 3rd – Midday

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Catch up with the most important stories from around Europe and beyond – latest news, breaking news, World, Business, Entertainment, Politics, Culture, Travel.



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Catch up with the most important stories from around Europe and beyond – latest news, breaking news, World, Business, Entertainment, Politics, Culture, Travel.

Lombardo and Agbegnenou shine in Tashkent

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We’re in the capital of Uzbekistan for the second day of the Tashkent Grand Slam.

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Inside the Humo arena, spectators were treated to a fantastic Opening Ceremony. A glittering show of lights, dancing, music and singing, showing the best of Uzbek tradition and culture. A rousing choral rendition of the Uzbek national anthem brought the spectators to their feet!

Director General of the IJF, Vlad Marinescu congratulated the Uzbek Judo Federation, and welcomed Otabek UMAROV, Vice President of the Olympic Council of Asia. Then Adham Ikramov, Minister of Sport of the Republic of Uzbekistan officially opened the event.

After the amazing show, the crowd were pumped up for some action on the tatami, and that’s exactly what they got!

At -73kg Manuel Lombardo edged a tight contest with Danil Lavrentev to take the top spot in Tashkent.

He was awarded his medal by Otabek UMAROV Vice President of the Olympic Council of Asia

“There are beautiful people around.” said Manuel Lombardo. “I feel like I’m in the south of Italy and it was great to fight here, and I’ll say it again, I really felt the warmth of the crowd.”

At -63kg, the familiar face of Clarisse AGBEGNENOU was looking to achieve her 10th grand slam title, this time against Momo TATSUKAWA

The supreme French athlete improvised brilliantly to secure an arm-lock and submit her opponent.

This result pushing her into the all important top 8 seedings for the upcoming Paris Olympics!

Shahrullo MAHMUDOV Deputy Minister of Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan awarded the medals.

“It was really nice, the crowd was cheering for me.” said Clarisse AGBEGNENOU. “Amazing again. And I think everything was perfect. The food was great and I’m going to celebrate with my baby!”

At -70kg, Miriam BUTKEREIT scored ippon against French Veteran Margaux Pinot. The German, thrilled to take the gold!

She was awarded her medal by Armen BAGDASAROV Head Referee Director of the International Judo Federation.

At -81kg, Matthias CASSE, the World#1 showed grit and determination to earn the win over his fellow Olympic bronze medalist Shamil BORCHASHVILI.

The medals were awarded by Vladimir BARTA Head Sport Director of the International Judo Federation.

The local crowd were calling for success and their Uzbek judoka did not let them down, once again on fire as they showed their throwing prowess.

On Sunday, Tashkent welcomes the heavyweights! It will be a perfect end to a great event!



Source link
rewrite this content and keep HTML tags

We’re in the capital of Uzbekistan for the second day of the Tashkent Grand Slam.

ADVERTISEMENT

Inside the Humo arena, spectators were treated to a fantastic Opening Ceremony. A glittering show of lights, dancing, music and singing, showing the best of Uzbek tradition and culture. A rousing choral rendition of the Uzbek national anthem brought the spectators to their feet!

Director General of the IJF, Vlad Marinescu congratulated the Uzbek Judo Federation, and welcomed Otabek UMAROV, Vice President of the Olympic Council of Asia. Then Adham Ikramov, Minister of Sport of the Republic of Uzbekistan officially opened the event.

After the amazing show, the crowd were pumped up for some action on the tatami, and that’s exactly what they got!

At -73kg Manuel Lombardo edged a tight contest with Danil Lavrentev to take the top spot in Tashkent.

He was awarded his medal by Otabek UMAROV Vice President of the Olympic Council of Asia

“There are beautiful people around.” said Manuel Lombardo. “I feel like I’m in the south of Italy and it was great to fight here, and I’ll say it again, I really felt the warmth of the crowd.”

At -63kg, the familiar face of Clarisse AGBEGNENOU was looking to achieve her 10th grand slam title, this time against Momo TATSUKAWA

The supreme French athlete improvised brilliantly to secure an arm-lock and submit her opponent.

This result pushing her into the all important top 8 seedings for the upcoming Paris Olympics!

Shahrullo MAHMUDOV Deputy Minister of Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan awarded the medals.

“It was really nice, the crowd was cheering for me.” said Clarisse AGBEGNENOU. “Amazing again. And I think everything was perfect. The food was great and I’m going to celebrate with my baby!”

At -70kg, Miriam BUTKEREIT scored ippon against French Veteran Margaux Pinot. The German, thrilled to take the gold!

She was awarded her medal by Armen BAGDASAROV Head Referee Director of the International Judo Federation.

At -81kg, Matthias CASSE, the World#1 showed grit and determination to earn the win over his fellow Olympic bronze medalist Shamil BORCHASHVILI.

The medals were awarded by Vladimir BARTA Head Sport Director of the International Judo Federation.

The local crowd were calling for success and their Uzbek judoka did not let them down, once again on fire as they showed their throwing prowess.

On Sunday, Tashkent welcomes the heavyweights! It will be a perfect end to a great event!

Video. Latest news bulletin | March 2nd – Midday

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Catch up with the most important stories from around Europe and beyond – latest news, breaking news, World, Business, Entertainment, Politics, Culture, Travel.



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Catch up with the most important stories from around Europe and beyond – latest news, breaking news, World, Business, Entertainment, Politics, Culture, Travel.

More gas could be on the way for the EU through the Southern Gas Corridor

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The tenth Southern Gas Corridor and second Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meetings took place in Baku in Azerbaijan

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Plans to expand the Southern Gas Corridor and provide more gas for Europe have been discussed in Azerbaijan.

23 countries in the Southern Gas Corridor council met in Baku to discuss the capacity of gas supply expansion, seen as a crucial route of gas supply diversification for the EU and its neighbouring countries.

High on the agenda was the exploration of joint goals to ensure long-term energy security, diversification of supply, and a transition to green and renewable energy.

“We do it not because we lack traditional resources, but because we want to contribute, using the financing, using the revenues which we get from oil and gas sales to invest in renewables and to create a common understanding about the need for that,” said Azeri President Ilham Aliyev.

The strategic energy partnership between Azerbaijan and the EU was also discussed, along with the achievements and next steps in the operation and development of the Southern Gas Corridor.

Last year, Azerbaijan increased its gas exports by nine per cent up to 22 billion cubic metres. Its main buyers are currently Italy, Greece, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.

“There are many, new, partner countries who are willing to receive additional volumes of natural gas, even though we are transitioning away from fossil fuels,” said Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy.

“But, this takes some decades. Now we want to establish also the futureproof cooperation,” she added.

Collaboration across the industry is seen by many as key to its further development for the foreseeable future.



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The tenth Southern Gas Corridor and second Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meetings took place in Baku in Azerbaijan

ADVERTISEMENT

Plans to expand the Southern Gas Corridor and provide more gas for Europe have been discussed in Azerbaijan.

23 countries in the Southern Gas Corridor council met in Baku to discuss the capacity of gas supply expansion, seen as a crucial route of gas supply diversification for the EU and its neighbouring countries.

High on the agenda was the exploration of joint goals to ensure long-term energy security, diversification of supply, and a transition to green and renewable energy.

“We do it not because we lack traditional resources, but because we want to contribute, using the financing, using the revenues which we get from oil and gas sales to invest in renewables and to create a common understanding about the need for that,” said Azeri President Ilham Aliyev.

The strategic energy partnership between Azerbaijan and the EU was also discussed, along with the achievements and next steps in the operation and development of the Southern Gas Corridor.

Last year, Azerbaijan increased its gas exports by nine per cent up to 22 billion cubic metres. Its main buyers are currently Italy, Greece, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.

“There are many, new, partner countries who are willing to receive additional volumes of natural gas, even though we are transitioning away from fossil fuels,” said Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy.

“But, this takes some decades. Now we want to establish also the futureproof cooperation,” she added.

Collaboration across the industry is seen by many as key to its further development for the foreseeable future.

Ukraine war in maps: Kyiv fears Russian advances in summer should it not get more ammunition

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Western hesitancy to resupply Ukrainian Armed Forces has become an urgent concern.

Kyiv warns of potential Russian advances in the summer

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Ukrainian officials fear that Russian troops may be able to make significant gains this summer should Kyiv’s Western allies fail to provide new artillery ammunition soon, new reports say.

According to Bloomberg, Ukraine’s current assessment of the situation on the battlefield looks “bleak” as its troops are unable to hold off Russian attacks as they try to ration the number of shells they can fire before completely running out.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last weekend that Russian forces are preparing for a new offensive that is expected to start in late May or summer 2024.

According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russian troops could make major advances as soon as this summer, with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin still planning to take the Ukrainian capital.

At the moment, some of the heaviest fighting in Ukraine continues west of Adviivka, where Russian forces have reportedly captured several settlements.

Geolocated footage analysed by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) shows that Russian forces have so far advanced into fields south and southwest of Stepove, to the northwest of Avdiivka, and northwest of Lastochkyne, which lies west of Avdiivka.

Ukraine and the Netherlands strike security deal

Zelenskyy and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte signed a deal on Friday under which €2 billion in military aid from the Netherlands will be delivered to Ukraine through 2024, to be followed by further defence assistance over the next 10 years.

“I am grateful to Prime Minister Rutte for this agreement, which will strengthen the protection of Ukraine, including the city of Kharkiv, where we met today,” Zelenskyy wrote in a social media post on X.

“According to the document, the Netherlands also supports Ukraine’s future membership in the EU and NATO.”

The deal was signed in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.

“Ukraine is now assured of our ongoing support and engagement: not only across the spectrum of defence cooperation, but also in the areas of reconstruction, sanctions and the fight for truth and justice,” Rutte wrote on X. 

“We stand side by side with Ukraine, together with a broad, international coalition of like-minded countries,” he continued. “My visit today made it all the more clear to me that Putin cannot be allowed to win this barbaric war. Ukraine must prevail. Humanity must prevail. Peace and justice must prevail.”



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Western hesitancy to resupply Ukrainian Armed Forces has become an urgent concern.

Kyiv warns of potential Russian advances in the summer

ADVERTISEMENT

Ukrainian officials fear that Russian troops may be able to make significant gains this summer should Kyiv’s Western allies fail to provide new artillery ammunition soon, new reports say.

According to Bloomberg, Ukraine’s current assessment of the situation on the battlefield looks “bleak” as its troops are unable to hold off Russian attacks as they try to ration the number of shells they can fire before completely running out.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last weekend that Russian forces are preparing for a new offensive that is expected to start in late May or summer 2024.

According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russian troops could make major advances as soon as this summer, with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin still planning to take the Ukrainian capital.

At the moment, some of the heaviest fighting in Ukraine continues west of Adviivka, where Russian forces have reportedly captured several settlements.

Geolocated footage analysed by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) shows that Russian forces have so far advanced into fields south and southwest of Stepove, to the northwest of Avdiivka, and northwest of Lastochkyne, which lies west of Avdiivka.

Ukraine and the Netherlands strike security deal

Zelenskyy and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte signed a deal on Friday under which €2 billion in military aid from the Netherlands will be delivered to Ukraine through 2024, to be followed by further defence assistance over the next 10 years.

“I am grateful to Prime Minister Rutte for this agreement, which will strengthen the protection of Ukraine, including the city of Kharkiv, where we met today,” Zelenskyy wrote in a social media post on X.

“According to the document, the Netherlands also supports Ukraine’s future membership in the EU and NATO.”

The deal was signed in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.

“Ukraine is now assured of our ongoing support and engagement: not only across the spectrum of defence cooperation, but also in the areas of reconstruction, sanctions and the fight for truth and justice,” Rutte wrote on X. 

“We stand side by side with Ukraine, together with a broad, international coalition of like-minded countries,” he continued. “My visit today made it all the more clear to me that Putin cannot be allowed to win this barbaric war. Ukraine must prevail. Humanity must prevail. Peace and justice must prevail.”

Germany to deploy troops in Lithuania, first move of its kind since World War II

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The base in Lithuania is expected to cost around €30 million per month.

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As NATO allies continue to reject calls to send ground troops into Ukraine, around 5,000 German soldiers are preparing to relocate to Lithuania in 2027, in a historic move that will see the first permanent deployment of German troops since the Second World War.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius visited troops in Bavaria who will be affected by the move. He said Germany has “experience with foreign deployments, including through the Battle Group”.

“Nevertheless, the conditions here are different, as we are talking about several years and, in many cases, deployments accompanied by families,” Pistorius added.

Germany is to deploy two combat battalions to support Lithuania following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago. 

The reinforcement of Lithuania is high on the agenda amid mounting concerns about a potential attack from Moscow, whose Kaliningrad enclave borders Lithuania, along with its ally Belarus. 

The permanent deployment of German troops will be only 100 km away from the border of Russia. NATO hopes the stationing of the troops will protect Lithuania as they predict Russia could attack the 60km stretch of land on the Polish-Lithuanian border called the ‘Suwalki Gap,’ if the conflict escalates.

Watch the full report in the player above to find out more



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The base in Lithuania is expected to cost around €30 million per month.

ADVERTISEMENT

As NATO allies continue to reject calls to send ground troops into Ukraine, around 5,000 German soldiers are preparing to relocate to Lithuania in 2027, in a historic move that will see the first permanent deployment of German troops since the Second World War.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius visited troops in Bavaria who will be affected by the move. He said Germany has “experience with foreign deployments, including through the Battle Group”.

“Nevertheless, the conditions here are different, as we are talking about several years and, in many cases, deployments accompanied by families,” Pistorius added.

Germany is to deploy two combat battalions to support Lithuania following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago. 

The reinforcement of Lithuania is high on the agenda amid mounting concerns about a potential attack from Moscow, whose Kaliningrad enclave borders Lithuania, along with its ally Belarus. 

The permanent deployment of German troops will be only 100 km away from the border of Russia. NATO hopes the stationing of the troops will protect Lithuania as they predict Russia could attack the 60km stretch of land on the Polish-Lithuanian border called the ‘Suwalki Gap,’ if the conflict escalates.

Watch the full report in the player above to find out more

A cinematic feast: Budapest hosts Francophone Film Days festival

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14th Francophone Film Days in Budapest feature Oscar & Cesar nominees, celebrating French cinema until Mar 10, expanding to 16 cities

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Oscar and Cesar award-nominee films are set to be screened at the 14th edition of the Francophone Film Days in Budapest. 

The film festival aims to show the year’s best French-speaking films, among them titles like The Three Musketeers: Milady. Participants will be able to meet the directors and actors of several of the 25 films expected to screen in the Hungarian capital.

“The French language, it is something that so many people across the world have in common,” Claire Legras, Ambassador of France in Budapest, said.

“So it is really a language with proud history, a language for today and a language for tomorrow. So we will now have the cinematographic celebration of francophonie.”

The Francophone Film Days will run until 10 March in Budapest. A selection of the programme will be screened in 16 cities in the countryside in the coming weeks.



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14th Francophone Film Days in Budapest feature Oscar & Cesar nominees, celebrating French cinema until Mar 10, expanding to 16 cities

ADVERTISEMENT

Oscar and Cesar award-nominee films are set to be screened at the 14th edition of the Francophone Film Days in Budapest. 

The film festival aims to show the year’s best French-speaking films, among them titles like The Three Musketeers: Milady. Participants will be able to meet the directors and actors of several of the 25 films expected to screen in the Hungarian capital.

“The French language, it is something that so many people across the world have in common,” Claire Legras, Ambassador of France in Budapest, said.

“So it is really a language with proud history, a language for today and a language for tomorrow. So we will now have the cinematographic celebration of francophonie.”

The Francophone Film Days will run until 10 March in Budapest. A selection of the programme will be screened in 16 cities in the countryside in the coming weeks.

Zelenskyy seeks more ammunition support at southeastern European summit in Albania

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The summit aims to build further support for Kyiv among southeastern European countries as signs of war fatigue grow

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Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, pleaded for more ammunition to repel Russian advances at a summit he co-hosted in Albania on Wednesday.  

Zelenskyy said that increasing the supply of armaments, and especially ammunition, was paramount for Ukraine just over two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion:

“I think this is the question of: Will we stand or not,” he said during his speech to the summit.

Zelenskyy arrived in Albania overnight to join a summit of eleven countries from southeastern Europe, along with officials from the European Union and other international organisations. 

During his visit to Tirana, Zelenskyy signed a friendship and cooperation agreement with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

In a statement posted on social media on Wednesday, Zelenskyy called Rama “Ukraine’s unwavering friend” adding the two would “discuss defence and political cooperation, support for the Peace Formula, and security agreements.”

He also awarded Rama with the “Yaroslav the Wise” medal for his contribution to Ukraine.

Zelenskyy’s visit is the latest stop in an international tour that saw him in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to push for a peace plan and the return of prisoners of war from Russia.

In Tirana, he sought to build solidarity among his country and those of the Western Balkans, saying that all of them deserved to be members of the European Union and NATO if they chose.

“The European Union and NATO have provided Europe with the longest and most reliable era of security and economic development, and we are all equally worthy of being a part of the European and Euro-Atlantic communities,” Zelenskyy said.

Securing further support is key to Ukraine’s leader while his country faces these battlefield challenges. Zelenskyy on Sunday announced that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in action since Russia’s invasion, the first time that Kyiv had confirmed the number of its losses.

He acknowledged, again, in Tirana that “the problems with the supply of ammunition” were impacting the situation on the battlefield.

Albania, a NATO member since 2009 and a candidate for EU membership has voiced its full support for Kyiv against Russia’s invasion. It has provided military assistance in the form of ammunition and training for the Ukrainian military. It was among the first countries to offer shelter to Ukrainian refugees. It has joined international sanctions against Russian officials and institutions.

Rama wrote on Facebook that he was proud to welcome Zelenskyy for “a solidarity meeting and to further the commitment of our democracies against Russian aggression.”

As a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the last two years, Albania joined the US in initiating resolutions against Russia’s invasion.

Zelenskyy said all of the countries at the summit must remain vigilant over what Russian President Vladimir Putin does next.

“The interaction between us, between neighbours, between neighbouring regions, between all partners, has become a factor that along with the resilience of our people in Ukraine, does not allow Putin to prevail,” Zelenskyy said.



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The summit aims to build further support for Kyiv among southeastern European countries as signs of war fatigue grow

ADVERTISEMENT

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, pleaded for more ammunition to repel Russian advances at a summit he co-hosted in Albania on Wednesday.  

Zelenskyy said that increasing the supply of armaments, and especially ammunition, was paramount for Ukraine just over two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion:

“I think this is the question of: Will we stand or not,” he said during his speech to the summit.

Zelenskyy arrived in Albania overnight to join a summit of eleven countries from southeastern Europe, along with officials from the European Union and other international organisations. 

During his visit to Tirana, Zelenskyy signed a friendship and cooperation agreement with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

In a statement posted on social media on Wednesday, Zelenskyy called Rama “Ukraine’s unwavering friend” adding the two would “discuss defence and political cooperation, support for the Peace Formula, and security agreements.”

He also awarded Rama with the “Yaroslav the Wise” medal for his contribution to Ukraine.

Zelenskyy’s visit is the latest stop in an international tour that saw him in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to push for a peace plan and the return of prisoners of war from Russia.

In Tirana, he sought to build solidarity among his country and those of the Western Balkans, saying that all of them deserved to be members of the European Union and NATO if they chose.

“The European Union and NATO have provided Europe with the longest and most reliable era of security and economic development, and we are all equally worthy of being a part of the European and Euro-Atlantic communities,” Zelenskyy said.

Securing further support is key to Ukraine’s leader while his country faces these battlefield challenges. Zelenskyy on Sunday announced that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in action since Russia’s invasion, the first time that Kyiv had confirmed the number of its losses.

He acknowledged, again, in Tirana that “the problems with the supply of ammunition” were impacting the situation on the battlefield.

Albania, a NATO member since 2009 and a candidate for EU membership has voiced its full support for Kyiv against Russia’s invasion. It has provided military assistance in the form of ammunition and training for the Ukrainian military. It was among the first countries to offer shelter to Ukrainian refugees. It has joined international sanctions against Russian officials and institutions.

Rama wrote on Facebook that he was proud to welcome Zelenskyy for “a solidarity meeting and to further the commitment of our democracies against Russian aggression.”

As a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the last two years, Albania joined the US in initiating resolutions against Russia’s invasion.

Zelenskyy said all of the countries at the summit must remain vigilant over what Russian President Vladimir Putin does next.

“The interaction between us, between neighbours, between neighbouring regions, between all partners, has become a factor that along with the resilience of our people in Ukraine, does not allow Putin to prevail,” Zelenskyy said.

MEPs vote to update EU rules on driving licences to improve road safety

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Mobile driving licences, self-assessment of fitness to drive and a probationary period for novice drivers are some of the changes MEPs voted on

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The European Parliament voted on Wednesday in favour of plans to update driving licence rules to improve road safety.

The proposals include introducing mobile licences and mandatory health checks for the issuing and renewing of driving licences.

Mobile driving licences, self-assessment of fitness to drive and better awareness of pedestrians were some of the changes to EU driving licence rules by MEPs voted on.

“We’ve taken best practices from different Member States and are now partially making this applicable across Europe,” said Green MEP, Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg.

“In Germany, for example, accompanying driving, which I’m allowed to do with my children, contributes to novice drivers learning how to drive better. In Spain, the health checks…when you renew your driver’s license is improving safety and security. And we would like to see this every 15 years,” she added.

MEPs also agreed that inexperienced drivers should undergo a probationary driving period of at least two years and driving licences should be valid for at least 15 years for motorcycles and cars, and five years for trucks and buses.

The draft rules on EU driving licences were adopted by 339 votes in favour, 240 against and 37 abstentions.

The draft law will be followed up by the new Parliament after the European elections on 6-9 June.



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Mobile driving licences, self-assessment of fitness to drive and a probationary period for novice drivers are some of the changes MEPs voted on

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The European Parliament voted on Wednesday in favour of plans to update driving licence rules to improve road safety.

The proposals include introducing mobile licences and mandatory health checks for the issuing and renewing of driving licences.

Mobile driving licences, self-assessment of fitness to drive and better awareness of pedestrians were some of the changes to EU driving licence rules by MEPs voted on.

“We’ve taken best practices from different Member States and are now partially making this applicable across Europe,” said Green MEP, Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg.

“In Germany, for example, accompanying driving, which I’m allowed to do with my children, contributes to novice drivers learning how to drive better. In Spain, the health checks…when you renew your driver’s license is improving safety and security. And we would like to see this every 15 years,” she added.

MEPs also agreed that inexperienced drivers should undergo a probationary driving period of at least two years and driving licences should be valid for at least 15 years for motorcycles and cars, and five years for trucks and buses.

The draft rules on EU driving licences were adopted by 339 votes in favour, 240 against and 37 abstentions.

The draft law will be followed up by the new Parliament after the European elections on 6-9 June.