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New $ 40 billion aid package for Ukraine and increasing pressure on Russia (LAST NIGHT'S HIGHLIGHTS)
11 May, 2022
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US House of Representatives live screenshot

US has approved a new $ 40 billion aid package for Ukraine, CzechRepublic to take the seat on the Human Rights Council vacated by Russia. Here is what you may have missed from the night of May 11.

US House of Representatives approved a new $ 40 billion aid package for Ukraine. Two weeks ago, President Joe Biden had asked Congress to approve an additional $33 billion in aid for Ukraine, but lawmakers decided to increase the military and humanitarian funding. This money will be forwarded to both military and humanitarian aid. The document has yet to be approved by the US Senate before it will be handed over to President Joe Biden for signature.

WHO office may move from Russia. WHO Regional Committee for Europe supported the resolution proposing the relocation of the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases to an area outside the Russian Federation. Of the 48 Member States present to vote, 43 voted in favor of adopting the resolution, 3 countries (Russia, Belarus, and Tajikistan) voted against. The Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal suggested moving the office to Kyiv during a meeting with WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus.

Tedros Ghebreyesus and Denys Shmyhal Denys Shmyhal / Telegram

The UN General Assembly has elected the Czech Republic to a seat on the Human Rights Council vacated by Russia in April. It is noted that the Czech Republic will retain its seat on the Council until December 31, 2023.

At the same time, the UN Human Rights Council convenes the 34th special session in Geneva on May 12 on the "deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression."

US Senate unveiled a resolution calling to designate Russia as a sponsor of terrorism due to the full-scale Russian war against Ukraine and other Russian war crimes in Chechnya, Syria, and Donbas since 2014.

To date, the Biden administration has resisted calls to add Russia to what is a tiny list of countries designated as terror sponsors: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria. Countries with this status are subjected to a number of sanctions such as restrictions on US foreign aid, ban on the export and sale of defense products, control over the export of dual-use goods, and a list of other financial restrictions.

EU is considering financial compensation to Hungary if it agrees to Russian oil embargo in an attempt to persuade Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to sign the sixth package of anti-Russian sanctions, reports Politico quoting three EU officials familiar with the matter. The package envisages a gradual embargo on oil exports from Russia. Still, Hungary is not satisfied with this condition, saying that ending imports would be like dropping a "nuclear bomb" on Hungary's economy.

The money could be channeled to Budapest within the EU's new energy strategy REPowerEU, which is to be announced on May 18 and aims to end EU dependence on Russian fossil fuels well before 2030.