На міжбанку стрімко зміцнюється гривня

На українському міжбанківському валютному ринку відбувається стрімке посилення гривні. Станом на 11:00 торги відбуваються на рівні 26 гривень 97 копійок – 27 гривень 0 копійок за долар, повідомляє профільний сайт «Мінфін». Це на чверть гривні менше за офіційний курс, встановлений НБУ на 22 березня – 27 гривень 25 копійок.

«Торги по долару почалися зі зростання пропозиції валюти, що призводить до зниження котирувань. Багато учасників ринку очікують виходу НБУ з викупом надлишку пропозиції, що утримає курс від подальшого падіння», – вказують фахівці.

«Після масованого розігріву ринку за минулий тиждень і позиційних курсових війн першої половини цього тижня в останні два дні ринок активно розгортають в бік падіння котирувань. Спекулянти також грають «на пониження» і навіть готівковий ринок теж пішов на обережне зниження», – відзначає сайт «Мінфін».

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!

US Reportedly Gives Tacit OK to Taiwan’s Fighter Jet Shopping List

A senior U.S. State Department official said arms sales to Taiwan are “a matter of a policy in the United States that Taiwan’s defensive needs are merited,” adding “China has been busy changing the status quo” that has maintained long-standing peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, including threats to use force against Taiwan.

Thursday, Bloomberg News, quoting unnamed sources, reported that the Trump administration has given tacit approval to Taiwan’s request to buy more than 60 F-16 fighter jets. Taiwan had submitted a formal request earlier this month. The United States is Taiwan’s largest military equipment supplier.

“As a matter of policy, the Department does not comment or confirm proposed defense sales or transfers until formally notified to Congress,” a State Department spokesperson told VOA.

China, which claims democratically self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory, usually condemns such sales.

China changing status quo

In a phone briefing, Patrick Murphy, the State Department’s principal deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told VOA that arms sales to Taiwan “are allowed under the framework” of Washington’s “One China Policy,” which is based on three U.S.-China joint communications and the Taiwan Relations Act enacted in 1979 to govern relations between the United States and Taiwan.

“Our primary desire is to see a strong commitment to the status quo” that “has brought about peace, stability and prosperity,” Murphy said.

He added China is changing the status quo by threatening “the use of violence directed at Taiwan, aggressively trying to “reduce the number of diplomatic partners that Taiwan enjoys around the world,” and “cropping Taiwan out of the international space and international organizations where Taiwan has made important contributions to public health, civil aviation and many more.”

In 2018, China persuaded the Dominican Republic, Burkina Faso and El Salvador to forge relations with Beijing, which leaves 17 countries that still recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation.

Tour of Pacific allies

On Thursday, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen embarked on a diplomatic tour to allies in the Pacific that will end with a stopover in Hawaii on March 27.

China urged the United States to block Tsai’s transit through Hawaii on her way home.

“We have consistently and resolutely opposed the United States or other countries which have diplomatic relations with China arranging this kind of transit,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Thursday.

In 2011, the Obama administration rejected a similar Taiwanese request for F-16 fighter jets over concern about antagonizing China.

The Trump administration, however, has taken a more assertive approach toward China. Vice President Mike Pence, in remarks on China policy last year at the Hudson Institute, accused the Chinese Communist Party of “rewarding or coercing American businesses, movie studios, universities, think tanks, scholars, journalists, and local, state and federal officials.”

“Worst of all, China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections,” Pence added.

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!

Interference in Elections? The View From Moscow

As U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller prepares to file a report of his findings in the investigation into Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election, pressure over how to handle his conclusions is building in the U.S. The Kremlin strongly denies meddling and says it is a victim of the U.S. political infighting. But what do Russian citizens know of Mueller’s work and the accusations? VOA’s Igor Tsikhanenka discussed the topic with experts in Moscow.

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!

Trump Signs Campus Free Speech Executive Order

President Trump is signing an executive order requiring U.S. colleges to reaffirm protection of free speech or risk losing federal research funding. The order is a sign of support to conservatives who say their voices have been stifled on liberal campuses. But civil liberty activists are concerned the move is politically motivated and see it as contradictory to Trump’s own attacks on freedom of speech. White House Correspondent Patsy Widakuswara has this report.

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!

Суд у Лондоні заборонив «Газпрому» виводити активи з Англії та Нідерландів

У Англійському комерційному суді 15 березня пройшли слухання щодо примусового виконання рішення Стокгольмського арбітражу в транзитній справі між НАК «Нафтогаз України» та «Газпромом».

«Лондонський суд постановив, що примусове виконання рішення Стокгольмського арбітражу може бути проведене після рішення Апеляційного суду округу Свеа, за умови виконання «Газпромом» певних дій. Зокрема, суд обтяжив «Газпром» додатковими зобов’язаннями щодо неприховування та невиведення своїх активів із юрисдикцій Англії та Нідерландів. Крім того, «Газпром» зобов’язаний протягом 28 днів з моменту задоволення клопотання надати грошове забезпечення на рахунок суду чи ескроу-рахунок одного з лондонських банків як гарантію виконання вимог суду», – повідомили 21 березня у «Нафтогазі».

Там додали, що останнє рішення не скасовує обов’язків «Газпрому» щодо неприховування активів та невиведення їх із території Англії.

«Якщо «Газпром» ухилятиметься від виконання ухвали Англійського комерційного суду, до нього будуть застосовані санкції у вигляді штрафів або притягнення до кримінальної відповідальності директорів чи інших посадовців «Газпрому». У свою чергу, «Нафтогаз» зможе безперешкодно продовжити виконання рішення Стокгольмського арбітражу на території Англії та Уельсу», – мовиться у повідомленні.

У «Нафтогазі» нагадали, що в Нідерландах триває процес щодо активів «Газпрому», що були «заморожені» на вимогу «Нафтогазу» в рамках запобіжного заходу. Рішення Англійського комерційного суду на це провадження не впливає.

У вересні 2018 року «Нафтогаз» подав заяву до нідерландського апеляційного суду щодо визнання та примусового виконання рішення Стокгольмського арбітражу в транзитній справі. «Газпром» вирішив не захищатися, а його представники не з’явилися на усні слухання в січні. Рішення у цій справі очікується невдовзі, зазначили у корпорації.

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!

На міжбанку уповільнилося знецінення гривні

На українському міжбанківському валютному ринку триває знецінення гривні, хоча його темпи уповільнилися порівняно з показниками, що фіксувалися наприкінці минулого та в перший день поточного тижнів.

Національний банк України, відбиваючи події на міжбанку, станом на 12:00 21 березня встановив довідкове значення курсу на рівні 27 гривень 27 копійок за долар США, це приблизно на 10 копійок більше, ніж офіційний курс, встановлений на сьогодні.

Водночас упродовж сесії міжбанку пропозиція незначно перевищувала попит, і станом на 14:00 гривня дещо посилилася – торги зараз відбуваються на рівні 27 гривень 21–24 копійки за долар.

Фахівці з сайту «Мінфін» вказували на «завершення подій, що підтримували нацвалюту в останні дні – період податкових платежів у клієнтів та кінець сплати за куплені нерезидентами 19 березня ОВДП». Натомість на користь гривні працює фактор зниження ліквідності в банківській системі. «Коррахунки на ранок 21 березня знизилися майже на 5 мільярдів гривень — до 53,966 мільярда, що й не дивно після дня оплати за великі партії куплених ОВДП», – вказують аналітики.

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!

AP Fact Check: Trump Falsely Says Mueller Appointment Biased

Seeking to discredit a highly anticipated report on the Russia investigation, President Donald Trump is attacking the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller by falsely claiming it was biased and conflicted.

He suggested in remarks to reporters Wednesday that Mueller’s appointment was inappropriately made by the Justice Department and that Mueller arbitrarily decided “out of the blue” to put together the report as part of his two-year probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign. That’s not the case.

Trump also falsely asserted the U.S. economy is the greatest ever and overstated the nature of his win in the 2016 race.

 

A look at the claims and the reality:

 

RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

 

TRUMP: “Again I say, a deputy, because of the fact that the attorney general didn’t have the courage to do it himself, a deputy that’s appointed appoints another man to write a report.”

 

THE FACTS: The attorney general at the time, Jeff Sessions didn’t lack courage in the matter; he lacked standing.

He recused himself from anything to do with the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russia because his work for the campaign placed him in a potential conflict of interest. It then fell to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to decide whether to appoint a special counsel, and he did.

 


 

TRUMP: “I know that he’s conflicted and I know that his best friend is Comey, who’s a bad cop.”

 

THE FACTS: Though James Comey succeeded Mueller as FBI director, and though they served together in the Bush administration, the men are not known to be social friends.

There is certainly no evidence, as Trump has repeatedly suggested, that they are “best friends.”

 


 

TRUMP, on the Mueller report: “It’s sort of interesting that a man out of the blue just writes a report.”

 

THE FACTS: Mueller didn’t wake up one day “out of the blue” and decide he wanted to write a report. It’s mandated under the regulation that spells out the grounds for his appointment and duties as special counsel.

 


 

2016 ELECTION

 

TRUMP: “I got 306 electoral votes against 223. That’s a tremendous victory. I got 63 million more — I got 63 million votes. And now somebody just writes a report?”

 

THE FACTS: He did not have as lopsided a victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton as he suggests.

 

Trump did indeed win nearly 63 million votes in the 2016 election, but it was fewer than the 65 million for Clinton, who won the popular vote after racking up lopsided victories in big states such as New York and California, according to election data compiled by The Associated Press. Clinton, however, lost the presidency due to Trump’s winning margin in the Electoral College, which came after he narrowly won less populous Midwestern states, including Michigan and Wisconsin.

 

As is typical, Trump also misstates the Electoral College vote. The official count was 304 to 227, according to an AP tally of the electoral votes in every state.

 


 

ECONOMY

 

TRUMP: “I want to see the report. And you know who will want to see it? The tens of millions of people that love the fact that we have the greatest economy we’ve ever had.”

 

THE FACTS: The president is vastly exaggerating what has been a mild improvement in growth and hiring. The economy is healthy but not nearly one of the greatest in U.S. history.

The economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.9 percent last year, a solid pace. But it was just the fastest in four years. In the late 1990s, growth topped 4 percent for four straight years, a level it has not yet reached under Trump. And growth even reached 7.2 percent in 1984.

 

Independent economists widely expect slower growth this year as the effects of the Trump administration’s tax cuts fade, trade tensions and slower global growth hold back exports, and higher interest rates make it more expensive to borrow to buy cars and homes.

 

 

 

 

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!

Mindful of History, Democrats Hold Off on Attempt to Impeach Trump

Democratic congressional leaders have, for the time being, ruled out pursuing impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. That could all change depending on what is in the eagerly awaited report on the Russia investigation being prepared by special counsel Robert Mueller.

On his way to Ohio Wednesday, Trump told reporters outside the White House that the public should have access to the Mueller report. 

“Let it come out. Let the people see,” Trump said. “Let’s see whether or not it is legit.”

The decision by Democratic congressional leaders to pass on impeachment seems to be mindful of recent history, especially the Republican-led impeachment effort against President Bill Clinton in 1998.

In announcing her opposition to impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said simply that Trump “wasn’t worth it.”

Pelosi is sticking to her position despite pressure from liberal activists.

“Impeachment is a divisive issue in our country, and let us see what the facts are, what the law is, and what the behavior is of the president,” Pelosi recently told reporters at the Capitol.​

WATCH: Mindful of History, Democrats Hold off on Impeaching Trump

​Trump: ‘Great job’

For President Trump, the idea of impeachment is, not surprisingly, a non-starter.

“Well, you can’t impeach somebody that is doing a great job. That is the way I view it,” Trump said when asked about the issue in January.

Late last year, Trump told Reuters that he was not concerned about impeachment.

“I think that the people would revolt if that happened,” he said.

Trump’s Republican allies in Congress are also poised to leap to his defense.

“I don’t think it is good for the country,” House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters last week. “The Democrats made a decision (to want to impeach) on the day President Trump one.”

Some Democrats want to keep pushing, including former Hillary Clinton senior adviser Philippe Reines. Reines wrote recently in the New York Times that Democrats would be doing a “civic duty” to pursue impeachment.

“There is a mounting political cost to not impeaching Mr. Trump,” Reines wrote last week. “He will hail it as exoneration and he will go into the 2020 campaign under the banner, ‘I Told You So.’”​

Polls say no

Recent polls show most voters do not favor impeachment at this time. A Quinnipiac University poll earlier this month found that 59 percent of those surveyed do not think House Democrats should initiate impeachment proceedings against the president, while 35 percent support the idea.

Given that the 2020 election cycle is underway, Democrats may prefer to have the voters try to oust Trump during next year’s election, according to George Washington University analyst Matt Dallek.

“By the time impeachment proceedings were even to ramp up, you are talking about the end of 2019 or early 2020,” Dallek told VOA this week. “That creates its own complication because there is another remedy for removing a president and it is called the election.”

​Political risk

Democrats clearly recall what happened to Bill Clinton in 1998. Clinton lied about and tried to cover up his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, which led to his impeachment by the House. Clinton remained in office after he was acquitted in a trial in the Senate.

Historically, impeachment has been a rare event. Clinton was only the second president impeached by the House. Andrew Johnson was the first back in 1868. Johnson avoided removal by a single vote in the Senate.

Presidential impeachments have been rare and that is by design, according to University of Virginia expert Larry Sabato.

“They (the founders) did not want presidents impeached and convicted and thrown out of office for minor offenses. They expected Congress to do it only in extreme circumstances.”

Republicans paid a price for the Clinton impeachment, losing five House seats in the 1998 midterm elections. And Sabato said that lesson could have resonance for Democrats today as they mull impeaching Trump.

“Given the fact that the Republicans took a wounded Bill Clinton and made him almost invulnerable for the rest of his term, it should serve as a warning to Democrats,” he said.

Experts also note that the damage to Republicans from the Clinton impeachment was not long-lasting. George W. Bush narrowly beat Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, and the political fallout from Clinton’s scandal may have cost Gore the presidency.

​Senate obstacle

The biggest obstacle facing any impeachment effort of Trump is the Republican-controlled Senate. Democrats would have to bring over at least 20 Republican senators in any impeachment trial in order to get a conviction and remove the president from office.

A vote to impeach a president only requires a majority vote in the House, now controlled by Democrats. But in a Senate trial, it would take 67 of 100 senators to vote for conviction in order to remove the president from office, and Democrats concede that is not a possibility at the moment.

“It has less than zero chance of passing the Senate,” Sabato said. “Why would you go through all this in the House of Representatives, torpedo your entire agenda to impeach Trump in order to send it to the Senate to have him exonerated and not convicted?”

​Nixon case

President Richard Nixon was not impeached over the Watergate scandal in 1974, but the process was well underway. The House began impeachment proceedings through the House Judiciary Committee and was preparing to move Articles of Impeachment to the House floor when Nixon decided to resign.

Several Republican senators including Barry Goldwater went to the White House and made it clear to Nixon that he had lost Republican support and would not survive an impeachment trial in the Senate.

Some analysts predict that President Trump could face renewed calls for his ouster depending on the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“I think if the Mueller report indicates some serious wrongdoing by the president and his campaign, it really empowers Democrats to begin deliberating how to move forward with impeachment proceedings,” said Brookings Institution scholar John Hudak.

But other experts caution that it would have to be something quite serious for Republicans to even consider abandoning the president.

Given the lack of bipartisan support for impeachment at the moment, it does seem more likely that Trump will face the voters again in 2020 before he has to contend with a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry in the House.

Build a better website in under an hour. Start for free at us!