Ukraine: Daily Briefing
November 7, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
|UAF and CAF personnel participate in demining training, Operation UNIFIER. Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense|
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one Ukrainian soldier was 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 10 times in total. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 2 and wounded 2 enemy combatants in the last 24 hours.
2. US State Department to impose additional Russia sanctions
Reuters reported, “The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it would impose additional sanctions on Russia after Moscow failed to give reasonable assurances it would not use chemical weapons after a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England.
The department in August had threatened Russia with added sanctions after 90 days unless it complied with the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act.
Under the law, Russia had to end the use of the nerve agent Novichok, which was used in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March, commit to not using chemical weapons against its own people, and allow on-site inspections by agencies like the United Nations.
‘Today, the department informed Congress we could not certify that the Russian Federation met the conditions,’ U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. ‘We intend to proceed in accordance with the terms of the CBW Act, which directs the implementation of additional sanctions,’ she added. […]
The State Department did not say when the next batch of sanctions against Russia would be issued. Republican House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said he was not surprised that Russia had not complied with the chemical weapons law and pressed the administration to move on the next round of penalties.”
3. Ukraine’s Prosecutor General submits resignation to President
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko has submitted his resignation to President Petro Poroshenko amid the public outrage over the handling of an investigation into an acid attack that killed anticorruption activist Kateryna Handzyuk, whose funeral was held the same day.
However, it remains uncertain whether Lutsenko will actually step down after Iryna Herashchenko, the first deputy parliament speaker, a day earlier said Poroshenko’s governing coalition would not support his resignation and a later vote in parliament showed little support for his departure.
Larysa Sarhan, Lutsenko’s press secretary, said the prosecutor’s resignation letter was sent to the presidential office on November 7. Poroshenko has not publicly commented on whether he will accept the resignation and submit it to parliament for a vote. Lutsenko had earlier said he would offer his resignation in order to eliminate concerns that he was ‘clinging to power.'”
4. Ukraine, Israel to sign free-trade agreement by the end of the month
Ukraine Business News reported, “Israel and Ukraine will sign their free trade agreement by the end of this month, Prime Minister Groysman writes on Facebook following his meeting Tuesday in Kyiv with Israel’s new ambassador Joel Lyon. The deal is to drop duties on most trade in industrial goods and to phase out all Israeli duties on Ukrainian farm products by 2025. The deal is to double bilateral trade in three years, from this year’s $1 billion level. To spark IT investment, about 50 Israeli IT companies come to Kyiv Nov. 20 for the Ukrainian-Israeli Innovation Summit at UNIT.City.”
5. Defense Minister of Ukraine meets with High Level Strategic Advisers from NATO countries
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported, “On November 6, Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak held talks with High Level Strategic Advisers from NATO countries – retired general Nick Parker, Great Britain and Jill Sinclair, Canada. During the negotiation parties discussed issues regarding further reforms of the Armed Forces of Ukraine command and control system.
‘We had a fruitful discussion and our partners’ advices are very important for me. The key during our reformation process is to follow all main principles of NATO member-states armies development in order to achieve interoperability with them in future’, Stepan Poltorak stressed.”