Merkel and Macron to discuss Donbas with Zelensky

A trilateral meeting involving German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to take place within a week.

The main topic of the conversation will be “the aggravation of the situation in Donbas and the coordination of the positions of the parties in connection with this.” It is also specified that the conversation between the leaders of the three countries was to take place immediately after the video conference with Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, and Emmanuel Macron on March 30.

The situation in Donbas deteriorated in late February, with exchanges of fire, including the use of mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, recorded in the region almost every day. The sides blamed each other for the escalation.

Scandal: in France investigates ministers’ participation in clandestine quarantine parties

In France, the police will check the veracity of information about the participation of several French ministers in underground parties in restaurants in Paris, which should be closed because of the quarantine imposed due to the pandemic COVID-19.

This was announced by the head of the Ministry of Interior Gerald Darmanin on Twitter.

He made this decision on the basis of a revealing report from such an event filmed by the French TV channel M6.

“After the M6 report, I asked the prefect of the Paris police to check the veracity of the reported facts so that, if they are confirmed, to prosecute the organizers and participants of these secret dinners,” Darmanin wrote.

The earlier M6 TV channel reported that a restaurant in an expensive district of Paris organizes clandestine parties at which neither waiters nor customers wear masks and do not observe the social distance.

In confirmation of this, a video from a private party attended by dozens of unmasked people, which was filmed by a hidden camera, was published.

The TV channel contacted one of the organizers of the party, who said that he had attended dinners in restaurants with a number of members of the French government.

It should be noted that the organizers of such parties face up to one year in jail and a fine of 15 thousand euros.

Recall that bars, cafes, and restaurants in France actually do not work since late October because of the epidemic of coronavirus. And on March 31, President Emmanuel Macron announced the introduction of a curfew across the country from April 3 at 19:00.

We also reported that France has banned gatherings in groups of more than six people because of the continuing rise of the disease.

The French will be banned from drinking in public places

In the next few weeks, the French will be banned from drinking in public places due to the risk of the spread of the coronavirus. This was stated by the Prime Minister of the country, Jean Castex, reports by The Straits Times.

Presenting a plan for a new regime of self-isolation in the National Assembly of France, the prime minister condemned those who do not comply with epidemiological measures. He also stressed that the control over their compliance will be strengthened.

“If we are talking about festive gatherings and non-compliance with the curfew, or refusal to wear masks, we must prevent this. I have asked the Minister of the Interior to increase the number of police and gendarmes to monitor this, “ Castex said.

The Prime Minister recalled that it is forbidden for companies of more than six people to gather in public places. In addition, the authorities want to prohibit access to “a number of places favorable for mass gatherings.”

On March 31, French President Emmanuel Macron tightened restrictions due to the spread of the infection. The quarantine regime, which was in effect in 19 regions of France, will now be extended to all regions of the country. From next week, schools and kindergartens will be closed for three weeks, and the French will only be able to move no more than 10 kilometers from home. Travel between regions will be restricted.

Seven EU countries have come out in defense of nuclear power in Europe

The heads of state and government of the seven EU countries defended nuclear energy in Europe.

This is reported by Le Figaro.

The English-language letter, signed by French President Emmanuel Macron and the Prime Ministers of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, was released on Thursday and is an “urgent call to ensure a level playing field for nuclear energy in the EU, without excluding it from climate and energy policies and benefits.”

The call comes in the midst of a debate in Brussels over a future European green “taxonomy” that should condition access to finance, and therefore investment, for many years to come.

Some countries advocate the inclusion of nuclear power for its climate benefits with very low CO2 emissions. Other countries, such as Germany and Austria, are against it.

The signatories of the letter ask for their part that the European energy and Climate policy support always to achieve climate neutrality in accordance with the principle of technological neutrality. They also emphasize the “important contribution (of nuclear energy) to the fight against climate change” and see it as a means of supporting the development of renewable sources and hydrogen, without forgetting about jobs.

Member States have very different visions of the role of nuclear power in the future. Germany decided to abandon it after the Fukushima disaster. On the other hand, countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic rely on it to limit the consumption of coal, which is very polluting and emits greenhouse gases.

More than six people banned from gathering in France

French authorities imposed a ban on gathering in groups of more than six people due to the continuous increase in the number of new infections with coronavirus.

The corresponding order was sent by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to all police prefectures of the country on Tuesday, AFP reports.

According to the order of the head of the French Ministry of Internal Affairs, Gerald Darmanen, the ban is being introduced in all regions, and not only in those where quarantine was introduced last week.

In addition, quarantine is going to be introduced in three other departments of the country, which is already in effect in 16.

On Wednesday, government spokesman Gabriel Attal, after a weekly meeting on the coronavirus pandemic chaired by President Emmanuel Macron, said most businesses in the departments of Rhone, Ob, and Nievre would be closed and residents would be asked not to leave their homes for no good reason.

It is noted that in France, the number of seriously ill patients in intensive care units continues to grow.

We will remind, on March 16, the French authorities said that the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic began in the country. Then-Prime Minister Jean Castex hinted that strict quarantine measures could be introduced in the metropolitan region, including Paris, in the coming days.

We also reported that France is one of many European countries to temporarily stop using AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 drug.