Editor’s note: We will be off tomorrow for the Fourth of July, but the Daily Memo will resume on Friday.

Ukraine’s defenses. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Toronto, after which Zelenskiy said Ukraine and Canada will sign an agreement on defense cooperation, having already agreed on the supply of armored vehicles to Ukraine. He did not provide additional details. Zelenskiy also said that he and Trudeau discussed joint defense projects and that Kiev was interested in deepening its cooperation with UNIFIER, the Canadian military training mission that’s in Ukraine until 2022. Trudeau, for his part, announced that Ukraine was included in the list of countries to which Canada is allowed to supply weapons.

Demographic declines. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova has said that Russia is losing the people – not the confidence or the hearts or the minds of its people, but the people themselves. Over the past four months, the country’s population has declined by nearly by 150,000 as birth rates fall and life expectancy decreases. Two weeks ago, U.N. experts analyzed Russia’s demographic problems, and according to a more pessimistic scenario, the population of Russia could fall below 100 million by 2100. (Its current population is about 146 million.)

Italy, meanwhile, is also dealing with slower population growth. In 2018, there was a 4 percent decline in births, bringing the total number to the lowest the country has had since 1861. Much of Italy’s population is, moreover, aging. Over 23 percent of its population is 65 or older, which means Italy has the second largest share of seniors in the world after Japan.

Italian finances. A couple of days after the Italian Cabinet trimmed its 2019 budget deficit back in line with original targets (to about 2 percent from a revised 2.4 percent in April), the European Commission agreed not to start disciplinary proceedings against Rome – for now. Italian government debt has rallied on the news, with 10-year bonds falling this week below 2 percent for the first time since May 2018. As part of the compromise, the Italian government also reportedly vowed that next year’s budget, which will be crafted this fall, will not exceed European Union limits. But with Rome still touting a costly flat tax plan and refusing a value-added tax hike it had previously agreed to had it failed to hit its deficit targets, this fight is far from over.

Honorable Mentions