Ukraine: Daily Briefing
April 10, 2018, 6 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and three Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front 35 times in total, including at least 5 times with heavy weapons – artillery and mortars.
2. German Chancellor: New Pipeline Impossible Without Clarity For Ukraine
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Photo – Ukraine’s Presidential Administration
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that a new natural-gas pipeline linking Russia with Germany cannot go ahead without clarity on Ukraine’s role as a gas transit route.
‘I made very clear that a Nord Stream 2 project is impossible without clarity on the future transit role of Ukraine,’ Merkel said at a news conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Berlin on April 10. She said that ‘it is not just an economic issue but there are also political considerations.’ […]
Nord Stream 2, which is to run from Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany — the European Union’s biggest economy — would double the existing Nord Stream pipeline’s annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters.
But critics argue it will increase dependence on Russia and enrich its state-owned energy companies at a time when Moscow stands accused of endangering European security.
Merkel said she had told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call on April 9, ‘It cannot be that through Nord Stream 2, Ukraine has no further importance regarding the transit of gas.’ […]
In an interview with German business daily Handelsblatt on April 9, Poroshenko urged Berlin to abandon plans to build Nord Stream 2, saying it would enable an ‘economic and energy blockade’ against Ukraine and blasting it as ‘political bribe money for loyalty to Russia.’ […]
Poland and the Baltics oppose Nord Stream 2, and U.S. officials have spoken out against it. In Warsaw in January, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that ‘the United States opposes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline,’ adding, ‘We see it as undermining Europe’s overall energy security and stability and providing Russia yet another tool to politicize energy as a political tool.'”
3. Ukraine invited to participate in meeting of G7 foreign ministers
UNIAN news service reported on April 9, “Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin was invited for the first time to attend at the meeting of G7 top diplomats that will launch in Toronto April 22, according to Ukrainian Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko. The diplomat says that for the first time in its history, Ukraine will attend a full-fledged, scheduled event of the G7 member states, Europeyska Pravda reports.
The Ambassador confirmed that Pavlo Klimkin had received an invitation to meet with his colleague, Canadian Minister Chrystia Freeland. ‘The time has come for serious, strategic decisions on Ukraine and Russia,’ Shevchenko said. ‘We are glad that Ukraine will be able to join the difficult, but critically needed discussion, and we look forward to making a valuable contribution to future joint decisions.’
Shevchenko says that Ukraine is grateful to Canada, the state chairing the G7, for the initiative. ‘We see in the invitation the common will of all our friends within G7,’ the diplomat added. Ukraine hopes that the discussion will continue at the upcoming summit of G7 leaders to be held in Canada’s Charlevoix in June, according to Shevchenko.
Earlier, a Lithuanian MP and one of the authors of the so-called ‘Marshall Plan for Ukraine’ Andrius Kubilius said that he was expecting that the plan would be discussed at the G7 summit in Canada this June.”
4. Ukraine’s Naftogaz will go after Gazprom assets in Europe
Reuters reported on April 9, “Ukraine’s state-owned energy firm Naftogaz will go to court to try to seize Gazprom’s assets in Europe after the Russian energy firm failed to make a payment ordered by an international tribunal, Naftogaz’s deputy chief said on Monday.
Gazprom is refusing to pay Naftogaz more than $2.5 billion under a Stockholm arbitration ruling meant to conclude a long legal battle that has run alongside Ukraine’s broader political stand-off with Russia.
‘For us it’s clear that they won’t do that (pay) so we will start arresting their gas and other assets of Gazprom in Europe, not in Ukraine. We will go to courts in Europe,’ Natogaz’s chief commercial officer Yuri Vitrenko told Reuters in Brussels.”