May 23-29, 2016

Situation in Eastern Ukraine

Recently, two Armed Forces soldiers were captured by terrorists, reported AP spokesman for ATO Andriy Lysenko. It happened in Donetsk area. Currently, military are in Donetsk. Ukrainian government and military command make efforts for their release.

On May 25, no Ukrainian military was killed, but two soldiers were wounded in Avdiyivka “industrial zone,” reported AP spokesman for ATO Andriy Lysenko.

In Donetsk area terrorist snipers fired ATO forces positions, reported AP Speaker for ATO Oleksander Motuzyanyk. The fighting was in Luhanske, Zaitseve and Avdiyivka, mostly at night. Terrorists used mortars, APCs and sniper fire, said O.Motuzianyk.

As of today SMM OSCE consists of 701 observers, including 589 in eastern Ukraine, reported deputy head of OSCE Mission Alexander Hug.

The OSCE observers could not get into occupied Novoazovsk as LNR terrorists prevented them from this, reported Deputy Chief of mission Alexander Hug. Patrol had to go back to Mariupol. In addition, an incident occurred in Avdiyivka – one of the mission drones was shot down by a missile above Horlivka.

Near Novotroitske, terrorists shelled ATO forces with Grads, ATO press centre reported. In the same area terrorists used 120-mm mortars and powerful 152-mm artillery systems to shell Ukrainian fortifications near Mykolayivka. In Luhansk area terrorists used heavy machine guns, grenade launchers and weapons on APCs against Ukrainian soldiers near the village Luhanske and ATO fortifications near Popasna. It was reported about a combat clash with enemy sabotage and intelligence group in Mariupol direction. As a result, enemy sabotage and intelligence group receded.

Terrorist military units began to spread rumours among its gunmen to raise their combat readiness, reported the coordinator of the “Informational Resistance,” MP Dmytro Tymchuk. Militants talk about the planned massive attack at positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in a couple of months.

Politics and Economy

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed into law no.1369-VIII “On Amendments to Some Laws of Ukraine to Strengthen Social Protection of Persons who Care for Disabled Children and Disabled Group I,” adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on May 17, 2016. The Law is aimed at strengthening state support for families with disabled children, subgroup A.

Public and publicly guaranteed debt in April increased by 2.8% – up to USD 67.090 billion compared with March 2016, reported the official website of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine. According to the Ministry, in particular public debt in April totalled USD57.527 billion, including domestic debt USD21.73 billion. At the same time, foreign debt in April totalled USD35.796 billion. State guaranteed debt for this period amounted to USD9.563 billion.

The eldest son and a daughter of Ilma Umerov, the deputy head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, refused to give evidence during the interrogation in the Crimean Department of the FSB of Russia, said Umerov’s youngest daughter Aishe. Earlier, the Kurultai CEC chairman Zair Smedliayev said that the FSB invited children of the Deputy Chairman of Mejlis for interrogation in Simferopol. Recall Ilma Umerov is accused by Russian law enforcement authorities in Crimea of separatism under Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of Russia. On May 19 after interrogation by the Russian FSB in Crimea he was indicted and released on bail.

The Pension Fund has a problem, its deficit compared to last year increased by UAH65 billion and constitutes UAH 145 billion this year. The Fund has provided only UAH 112 billion, reported the press service of the Ministry of Social Policy.

Investigators of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine together with the employees of the Security Service of Ukraine carried out searches in the offices of former Consul General of Georgia Teimuraz Nishnianidze who is currently advisor to the head of Odesa regional administration, reported the official website of the GPU. According to the GPU, the investigators of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine together with the employees of the Security Service conducted searches in criminal proceedings on the fact of illegal VAT refund by the officials of the Consulate General of Georgia in 2012-2013.

Between January and April 2016 payments from Ukrainian customs to the general fund of the state budget amounted to UAH 69.8 billion. In particular, most of the revenues were received from the Energy customs UAH 14.4 billion, Kyiv customs UAH 12.4 billion and Kyiv City customs UAH 11.5 billion.

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has plans to free Ukrainian political prisoners detained in Russia and Crimea, announced Nikolai Polozov, the lawyer of

the Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko. As M.Polozov reported, in AP they discussed a happy return of Nadiya Savchenko home. The President thanked them for the work done and thanked them for their support in this matter.

Ministry of Finance of Ukraine attracted UAH2.395 billion and USD271.07 million under the planned placement of T-bills. According to the Ministry, a loan in the amount of UAH 2.395 billion was drawn at 17.3% per annum and foreign currency bonds – at 7.52% per annum. Bonds in UAH need to be repaid on May 23, 2018 and in foreign currency on November 22, 2017.

The governments of Ukraine and the US signed an agreement on mutual assistance between customs administrations. The signing ceremony was held with the participation of Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman and the US Ambassador to Ukraine Jeoffrey Pyatt, reports UNN.

Ukraine agrees on participation of international donors to build confinement at Chernobyl in time, stated the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko during the humanitarian UN summit in Istanbul.

International Arena

US expects that EU sanctions against Russia will be once again renewed this summer, said Sanctions Policy Coordinator of the US Department of State Daniel Fried, reports UNN citing TASS. In addition, the State Department said that Washington is governed by the fact that sanctions against Russia due to hostilities in eastern Ukraine will be kept for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

President Petro Poroshenko met with the Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland in the framework of his visit to Turkey, during which the President asked Secretary General of the Council of Europe to increase pressure on Russia because of systemic violations of the rights of Crimean Tatars in the occupied Crimea, reported UNN with reference to the press service of the Head of State.

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Vaschykovski said that the decision to extend the European Union economic sanctions against Russia had been taken, reported UNN with reference to Polish Radio. According to him, such a conclusion can be drawn from informal conversations on this topic. The debate on this subject took place in particular during the April meeting of leaders of the United States, Germany, Britain, France and Italy in Hanover. As noted Vaschykovski, it was recognized that the Minsk agreements are “absolutely ignored by Russia, so it is obvious that the sanctions will continue.”

The European Union will provide Ukraine with additional EURE 20 million to reform the institutions of the Ministry of Infrastructure, stated the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Ian Tombinski.

EU Council on Foreign Affairs has decided to complete the procedures for ratification of the Association Agreement with Georgia, reported UNN with reference to the press service of the Foreign Ministry of Georgia. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, the agreement will take effect from the beginning of July. “Association Agreement is another important date in the history of relations between Georgia and the EU, as the Association Agreement have officially become the basic legal framework that defines a completely new, high level of cooperation with the EU.”

EU Parliament will speed up consideration of the visa-free regime with Ukraine. This was discussed in a telephone conversation between the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and the European Parliament President Martin Schulz, reported UNN with reference to the press service of the President of Ukraine. President of the European Parliament welcomed the Head of State and the Ukrainian nation with the release of Nadiya Savchenko.

The United States does not see grounds for easing sanctions against Russia after the release of the Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, said the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt. The Ambassador said that the sanctions, the US imposed in response to Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine, will be eased when Russia fulfils its commitments under the Minsk agreements.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev instructed the government to prepare proposals for Putin on extension the food embargo from the EU and the US until the end of 2017, reported TASS.

The leaders of the “Big Seven” (UK, Germany, Italy, France, USA and Japan) called on all parties to fulfil their obligations without delay in order to hold local elections as soon as possible in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions under the Minsk agreements, stated the final declaration of the G7 Summit in Japan, reported UNN.

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