Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 29 June 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
29 June 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time
 
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Krymske and Zolote. At Novozvankivka, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions along the Avdiyivka-Krasnohorivka line with mortars, firing 120 mortar shells. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Novotroitske and Lebedynske with artillery. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions along the Talakivka-Shyrokyne line. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.

2. Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau and FBI sign Memorandum of Understanding
Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen existing cooperation between the agencies as they pursue anti-corruption initiatives. The US Embassy in Ukraine stated, “The memorandum establishes that the FBI and NABU will work together on crimes related to international money laundering, international asset recovery, and Ukrainian high-level official bribery and corruption. The memorandum sets out a framework for cooperation between the agencies in combating these crimes of mutual interest.   The participants intend to implement the MOU in the spirit of partnership and cooperation in addressing the corruption problem.”

3. Atlantic Council publishes report “Restoring the Power and Purpose of the NATO Alliance” ahead of Warsaw Summit
The Atlantic Council published its report, “Restoring the Power and Purpose of the NATO Alliance,” ahead of the NATO Warsaw Summit, which will be held July 8-9. Among its recommendations, the Atlantic Council’s report states that NATO should “Build up NATO’s military presence in the Baltic states, Poland, and Black Sea Region. […] Commit to greater military spending among NATO allies. […] Keep the pressure on Moscow. At Warsaw, NATO allies should reaffirm their commitment to maintain sanctions on Russia over its egregious violations of Ukrainian sovereignty. NATO nations should transfer lethal defensive armaments to Ukraine so that it can defend its border.” The report is available at http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/images/publications/Restoring_the_Power_and_Purpose_of_the_NATO_Alliance_web_0624.pdf

4. Statement by Special Assistant to the US President at OSCE Annual Security Review Conference

Speaking at the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference, C. Wallander, Special Assistant to the US President, stated, “Russia claims that the conflict in eastern Ukraine is ‘internal.’ Russia continues to supply personnel and equipment to combined-Russian-separatist military forces in Donbas. The OSCE and Ukrainian military have documented Russian shipments to combined Russian-separatist forces – shipments of sophisticated hardware that does not exist in Ukrainian arsenals […].We once again call on Russia to stop the violence and fully implement its Minsk commitments. Ukraine cannot be expected to make progress on the political elements of Minsk until there is sustained quiet on the line, pullback of heavy weapons, and unimpeded access for OSCE monitors – three commitments that Russia signed on to in February 2015, but which we still not have seen fully implemented. […] Despite Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine and its continued occupation of Crimea, Ukraine continues to make progress on reforms, bringing the country closer to fulfilling the dreams of those who sacrificed on the Maidan to set Ukraine on a European path. We welcome in particular the recent passage of judicial, energy, and corporate governance legislation as important steps in Ukraine’s reform program. We will continue to stand by Ukraine as it takes difficult steps to fight corruption, loosen the hold of oligarchs over business and politics, and build a modern, transparent, prosperous country for all of its citizens. […] We have been very clear with Moscow that sanctions will remain until Moscow fully implements its commitments under the Minsk agreements. Finally, we will not recognize Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea, and our separate, Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until that piece of territory is returned to Ukraine. Respect for the basic principles of international law, the Helsinki Final Act, and other OSCE commitments has not been universal to this hall; a reality demonstrated by Russia’s actions in Ukraine.”

 


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