Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
22 April 2015, 8 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded. The areas of the most intense confrontation were Shyrokyne (towards Mariupol); the area around the Donetsk airport and the suburbs of Horlivka. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported at 8 AM Kyiv time that on 21 April, from 6 PM to midnight Kyiv time, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 20 times, including 8 times with mortars. The press-center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) reported that on 22 April frommidnight to 6 PM Kyiv time, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 32 times, mostly with mortars and small arms.
2. Ukrainian Parliament passes resolution appealing to Putin to free Nadiya Savchenko
The Ukrainian Parliament passed a resolution appealing to Russian President V. Putin to release Ukrainian pilot, MP and PACE delegate Nadiya Savchenko, film director Oleh Sentsov and all other Ukrainian citizens illegally detained and imprisoned by the Russian Federation.
3. US Ambassador to UN meets with Nadiya Savchenko’s mother
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power met with Maria Savchenko, mother of Nadiya Savchenko. Power stated, “It has now been 307 days since Nadiya Savchenko was abducted in eastern Ukraine and smuggled against her will into Russia. I was very moved to hear Maria talk about Nadiya and can only imagine how painful it must be to see one’s daughter’s health deteriorate in prison, with no clear idea about when she might be freed. The United States is committed to working to secure her daughter’s release, just as we also remain dedicated to securing the release of all of those Ukrainians illegally held by the separatists and Russia.”
4. Ukraine, OECD sign Action Plan on fighting corruption, improving public governance
Ukraine and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) signed an Action Plan “for strengthening co-operation to help tackle corruption, improve public governance and the rule of law, boost investment and foster a dynamic business environment,” the OECD reported today. “The Action Plan, signed during a visit to the OECD by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, deepens the collaboration between the OECD and Ukraine by setting concrete actions in those areas where OECD’s expertise can help Ukraine meet its policy challenges and advance its public reforms. The Action Plan includes a series of policy reviews and capacity building activities aimed at establishing a sustainable and effective reform process.”
5. EU accuses Gazprom of breach of anti-trust rules on Central, East European gas markets
The European Commission sent a Statement of Objection to Russia’s Gazprom “alleging that some of its business practices in Central and Eastern European gas markets constitute an abuse of its dominant market position in breach of EU antitrust rules. […]On the basis of its investigation, the Commission’s preliminary view is that Gazprom is breaking EU antitrust rules by pursuing an overall strategy to partition Central and Eastern European gas markets, for example by reducing its customers’ ability to resell the gas cross-border. This may have enabled Gazprom to charge unfair prices in certain Member States. Gazprom may also have abused its dominant market position by making the supply of gas dependent on obtaining unrelated commitments from wholesalers concerning gas transport infrastructure,” the EU said in a statement. According to the Wall Street Journal, the charges “open up the possibility of multibillion-dollar fines for Gazprom and injunctions that could have far-reaching effects on how the company does business in Europe, its most lucrative market.”