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UKRAINE CRISIS

BANK

French bank to cut jobs in Ukraine over crisis

French bank BNP Paribas said Monday it plans to cut 1,600 jobs at its Ukrainian unit UkrSibBank by 2015 due to political uncertainty in the country.

French bank to cut jobs in Ukraine over crisis
BNP bank to cut 1,600 jobs in Ukraine over the political crisis. Photo: Dierk Schaefer/Flickr

A presentation for investors published on its website cited a "challenging environment bolstered by political uncertainties".

It added it had closed 84 branches last year as it rationalised its business in the country.

UkrSibBank currently has around 500 branches and employs some 7,000 people.

Earlier Monday, BNP Paribas chief executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said that UkrSibBank would continue to operate despite the tensions in the country.

Three months of demonstrations against a decision by President Viktor Yanukovych to abandon a historic trade and political pact with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Russia ended with his fleeing the country.

While the interim government has signed the pact with the EU, Russia has annexed the strategic Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and there are fears that predominately Russian-speaking regions in eastern Ukraine might also try to secede.

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UKRAINE

Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have met the Ukrainian president in Kyiv, after the trio travelled overnight by train from Poland.

Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv

The three leaders left in the early hours of Thursday, arriving into Kyiv on Thursday morning. After a visit to the heavily-bombed town of Irpin, they met Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

It is the first time that the leaders of the three European Union countries have visited Kyiv since Russia’s February 24th invasion of Ukraine, and the visit comes as Kyiv is pushing for membership of the EU.

Macron has been paying a two-day visit to Romania and Moldova to discuss the ongoing crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

There had been widespread speculation in France that he would combine the trip with a visit to Zelensky in Ukraine, but this was not confirmed until Thursday morning.

In a joint press conference with Romanian president Klaus Iohannis, Macron reiterated his desire that Ukraine should win the war, but added that eventually negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will be necessary.

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