Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to come to Ukraine this summer. Details of the visit are being agreed, most likely he will arrive at the beginning of July, UKRINFORM reported citing its own sources involved in the preparation of the visit. It is planned that the parties will sign the agreement on free trade zone between Ukraine and Canada. According to the insider publication, at the time of the visit the agreement must undergo legal and linguistic proofreading and will be ready for signing.
Deferral of free visa regime could become one of the great mistakes of Europe, said the First Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian parliament Iryna Herashchenko. Europe must learn from previous mistakes made regarding Georgia and Ukraine: “Statements by some German and French officials that the visa regime is not at the time and we need to wait, remind me of 2008, when the position of France and Germany blocked granting the MAP to Ukraine in NATO”, – said the MP, adding that “it was the largest possible error that made possible aggression against Georgia in summer 2008 and in spring 2014 against Ukraine.”
Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Ian Tombinski said that Ukraine pays a high price for an association agreement with the EU. The democratic world should support Ukraine in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The President of Ukraine stressed the need for additional financing of the state defence order for 2016. Ukraine’s NSDC chaired by President Petro Poroshenko considered the Strategic Defence Bulletin and issues related to the planning and implementation of the state defence order. The document concerns not only the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but its aim is establishing the terms and specific targets for the integrated reform of defence and security sector.
The White House launched an approval by the US Senate of the candidacy of Marie Jovanovich for the post of the US Ambassador to Ukraine, stated the message of the administration of President Barack Obama.
Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy said that he supports the idea of creating the Baltic-Black Sea Union, wrote UNIAN. According to the Speaker, a fleet should become for Ukraine “one of the centres of decision-making, one of the centres of influence as a great powerful state,” adding that currently he seeks an appropriate platform for the creation of the fleet as geopolitical space, “which can have its own weight both in political and economic cooperation, as well as in defence sector. “
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Peter Paul rejected the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine. According to Paul, NATO should support the Ukrainian side, but not to inflame the conflict. In addition, NATO conducts training of Ukrainian soldiers, supplies non-lethal equipment and implements measures that can increase the defence capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Ukraine is preparing a petition to the European Court of Human Rights against the Russian Federation regarding the ban of Mejlis. This is already the fifth state claim against Russia.
Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in Moscow assured that the United States will not recognize the elections in the occupied Donbas. She stressed that they must comply with the Minsk agreements.
Participant in the US presidential race Donald Trump does not approve the policy of Russian President Vladimir Putin in eastern Ukraine. Trump also said that Putin’s favourable comments will not help him in negotiations with the United States. Earlier, Russian President called Trump an “absolute leader” of the US presidential race. Trump also expressed willingness to negotiate with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Ynom. Though Trump refused to give details of the plan for a political settlement of the situation with North Korea. In addition, Trump announced his readiness to put pressure on China. “Economically, the US has an impact on China,” – he said.
MPs failed to adopt a European integration draft law on the environmental impact assessment. MPs lacked two votes, reports European Pravda. The draft law is developed based on EU directives. It aims at introducing the European model of environmental impact assessment, i.e. the responsibility for damage and environmental protection are equally born by the community and business. This law must be passed by the end of 2016, as provided for by the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.
The Cabinet of Ministers dismissed Anna Vronska from the post of Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources on European integration issues. Anna Vronska temporarily acted as a Minister, until the appointment of a new Minister Ostap Semerak.
The VRU may consider candidates to the CEC this week. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko will make a presentation of the CEC candidates in the Parliament this week and it could happen as early as Thursday. A source in the Presidential Administration said that the President does not want to see any of the current committee members – Mahera, Okhendovskyi, Usenko-Chorna, because these people have occupied their positions since the time of Yanukovych. Recall that the CEC has appointed midterm elections to the Verkhovna Rada in a single-mandate constituency №23 (Volyn region) on July 17.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the reform of the State Penitentiary Service. Reform Concept was presented at a government meeting by the First Deputy Minister of Justice Sevostyanova, UNIAN reports.
MPs did not support in the first reading the draft law no.1188, which establishes criminal liability for “thieves in law” and strengthens accountability for crimes committed by criminal groups.
The Verkhovna Rada registered a draft law to change the regime of its work in September, providing for plenary sessions only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is proposed to amend the regulations under which the Parliament will operate in a three-week cycle – two weeks in a row will be allocated for plenary sessions and committee work, the third – for work with voters (under the current rules the first and third weeks of the month VRU works in plenary regime, the second – in the committees, the fourth – with voters).
The Parliament supported in the first reading a draft law to abolish the 15% tax on pensions. Recall that in Ukraine pensions are subject to 15% tax from 2015. Tax applies only to that part of pensions exceeding three minimum wage (UAH 4134 in 2016). As announced in January 2015, tax affected only 3% of pensioners.
The “hottest” point in ATO is Avdiyivka industrial zone, reported AP Spokesman on anti-terrorist operation Motuzyanyk. The situation in ATO is characterized by activation of terrorists across the front. In Luhansk area terrorists were shelling the village Trohizbenka, Stanytsia Luhanska and the ATO forces positions near Staryi Aidar with small arms and grenade launchers and grenades. In Donetsk area, terrorists violated the Minsk agreement by shelling ATO positions using artillery, grenade launchers and heavy machine guns.
In Avdiyivka terrorist attacks caused fire, reported press officer of the sector “Donetsk” Vladyslav Voloshin. Terrorists used 122-mm artillery. First, they shelled the industrial zone, and then residential areas in Donetsk.
Ukrainian military did not open fire in response of the terrorist shelling, reported spokesman of the ATO press centre Anton Myronovych. He said that we have no artillery on the front edge, thus it was senseless to open fire with small arms or grenade launchers. According to Myronovych, Ukrainian military were forced to open fire several times in response at the demarcation line. It was necessary to suppress enemy firing points.
Enemy snipers are especially active in the suburbs of Donetsk near Krasnohorivka. At Zaitseve and Luhanske terrorists staged provocations with the use of small arms and heavy machine guns. Shelling of Ukrainian units on the Mariupol direction continued. Fortifications in Shyrokyne are constantly being shelled by terrorists with heavy machine guns, grenade launchers and 120-mm mortars.
The enemy uses massively reconnaissance drones.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) detained in Donetsk region two men suspected of collaboration with DNR terrorists, the SBU press service reported. The terrorist informant was recruited in summer of 2014 and since then informed terrorists about the ATO unit’s movement near the villages Pershotravneve, Pisky and Vodiane. The terrorists used this info to adjust artillery and mortar attacks at Ukrainian positions, as well as civilians. The detainee is charged under Part. 1, Art. 256 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The second detainee in May-July 2014 used to guard the seized building
of Kramatorsk City Council. According to current information, he also participated in the capture of Kramatorsk City Police Department. He is charged under Part. 1, Art. 258-3 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. In both cases preliminary investigations have been conducted.
Terrorists recruit immigrants from Ukraine, including former military, reported the representative of the Defence Intelligence Vadym Skybitskyi. He said that to encourage mercenary fighters, terrorists provide a number of benefits, among these benefits are increase of the cash rewards, promotion, non-competitive entering military schools, including academies of the General Staff of the Armed Forces.
Near Slavyansk, terrorists are trying to seize some parts of the so-called “gray zone,” reported the press service of the Central Intelligence Agency.