Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 1 April 2016, 6 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
1 April 2016, 6 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PMKyiv time that yesterday Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy artillery and mortar shelling of Ukrainian positions. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces fired over 100 artillery and over 370 mortars shells at Ukrainian positions. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Popasne. Towards Donetsk, the heaviest shelling by Russian-terrorist forces of Ukrainian positions took place near Avdiyivka and Zaytseve. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Maryinka, Novotroitske and Shyrokyne. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours one Ukrainian soldier was killed and eight were wounded in action.
2. Ukraine’s President meets with US Vice President; US to provide additional $335 million in security assistance
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko met with US Vice President J. Biden yesterday in Washington. The White House stated, “President Poroshenko updated the Vice President on coalition negotiations to form a new Ukrainian government that is committed to a reform program, including IMF and EU requirements, and the full implementation of its Minsk commitments. President Poroshenko also noted his commitment to installing a new, credible Prosecutor General. The Vice President welcomed the efforts of President Poroshenko to form a stable, reform-oriented government, and stressed that this step, as well as the enactment of needed reforms, are critical to unlocking international economic assistance, including the third $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee. The Vice President also informed President Poroshenko that the United States is moving forward with an additional $335 million in security assistance, which will fund additional advisors, training, and non-lethal assistance. The leaders condemned the illegal imprisonment of pilot Nadia Savchenko, and called for her release and for immediate and unimpeded medical access. The Vice President reaffirmed U.S. commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, emphasizing that the U.S. continues to reject the occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea, and reiterated the importance of maintaining sanctions against Russia until Minsk is fully implemented.”
3. World Bank: Signs of stabilization in Ukraine, but delay in reforms would undermine recovery
The World Bank stated that Ukraine’s economy is projected to grow by 1% in 2016 and 2% in 2017. Q. Fan, World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine stated, “Reforms on multiple fronts are crucial to achieve sustainable recovery and growth in 2016 and beyond. Delay or reversal of reforms will undermine economic recovery and lead to negative social consequences.” The World Bank’s Ukraine Economic Update, released today, is available at http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2016/04/01/ukarine-economic-update-spring-2016
4. Ukraine, Australia sign nuclear cooperation agreement
Ukraine’s Minister of Energy and Coal Industry V. Demchyshyn and Australia’s Foreign Minister J. Bishop signed a Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, enabling Australia to export uranium to Ukraine. “This Agreement provides Ukraine with the opportunity to diversify its energy supply and will enhance bilateral cooperation between Australia and Ukraine on nuclear-related activities, including nuclear safeguards, security, safety and science,” Australia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated.

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