Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
7 July 2015, 8 PM Kyiv time
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Novotroitske, and a clash between Ukrainian forces and Russian-terrorist forces took place at Bohdanivka. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces carried out two attacks at Lozove. The attacks were repelled. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces heavily shelled Shchastya with mortars. Firefights with Russian-terrorist forces took place at Krymske. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and three were wounded.
- Russia lays additional charges against Nadiya Savchenko
Russia has brought additional fabricated charges against Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko, who has been illegally imprisoned in Russian since July 2014. Russian investigators have accused her of direct participation in the killing of two Russian reporters, adding more charges to attempted murder and illegally entering Russian territory. The charges against Savchenko potentially carry a life sentence, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported. Savchenko was serving in eastern Ukraine, when abducted by Kremlin-backed terrorists in June 2014 and taken to Russia, where she has been illegally detained and imprisoned since that time. Russia has ignored repeated calls from the international community for her release.
- Ukraine’s PM: We are not going to subsidize Gazprom
Ukraine’s Prime Minister A. Yatsenyuk stated that Ukraine and the EU share a common position on gas contracts – the signing of “a comprehensive agreement between the EU, Ukraine and Russia, which should include a tripartite protocol and addendum to the existing contract between Naftogaz and Gazprom,” the Cabinet of Ministers press service stated. “Russia is trying, as always, to blackmail us. Last year we bought [gas] according to market prices and this year we will purchase at market price,” Yatsenyuk stated. Yatsenyuk said that Ukraine’s Antitrust Committee has launched an investigation into the monopoly position of Gazprom in the Ukrainian market. “Jointly with our European partners, who are also conducting an antitrust investigation against Russian Gazprom, we will see this investigation through to its conclusion,” Yatsenyuk stated.
- Ex-Minister of Education placed on wanted list
Dmytro Tabachnyk, Ukraine’s former Minister of Education (2010-2014) has been placed on the Ministry of Internal Affair’s wanted list. He is suspected of large-scale embezzlement and abuse of office.
- Atlantic Council Senior Fellow: EU must do far more to help Ukraine
Anders Aslund, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, wrote on 6 July, “Last spring, the EU proudly announced that it had opened its markets to Ukraine, but some 40 key quotas remain, causing its imports from Ukraine to fall sharply in the last quarter of 2014. Europe must open its markets to Ukrainian exports more widely, especially since Russia has closed its own markets as an act of war—and especially since the EU has delayed launching its vital Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine at Russia’s behest. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s first serious, able government in years has quickly adopted vital reforms the West had called for. It quadrupled household gas prices on April 1 without sparking any popular protests. It abolished corrupt coal subsidies and has opened up public procurement for competition, and has cut the oligarchs down to size. Kyiv is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, but what is the EU doing? It has committed merely €5 billion in loans to Ukraine, compared with €200 billion for Greece. This makes no sense. Ukraine does all the reforms, while Greece has ignored similar demands for years and now openly opposes them. Ukraine has more than four times as many people as Greece, and it is far more strategically important for Europe. After having lost Greece, Brussels needs a success story—and Ukraine is the obvious choice. But the EU must do far more. If it won’t give Ukraine the military aid it badly needs, it could at least offer crucial financial aid. The European central banks could easily give Ukraine a €10 billion credit swap, which would stabilize the hryvnia without costing the EU anything, because the ECB could impose strict conditions that force Kyiv to change policies before it needs the swap. The money would stay with the ECB in Frankfurt. There is no reason not to offer such assistance.” The full article is available at: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/ukraine-is-more-important-than-greece