Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 4 July 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
4 July 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 near Novooleksandrivka and the Bakhmutska highway. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Zaytseve and Pisky with artillery. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Horlivka, Avdiyivka and the Donetsk airport with mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions along the Talakivka-Shyrokyne line with artillery. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and two were wounded in action.

2. EU extends economic sanctions against Russia for six months
On 1 July, the European Council prolonged the economic sanctions “targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until 31 January 2017. These measures were introduced on 31 July 2014 initially for one year in response to Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine. They were reinforced in September 2014. They target the financial, energy and defence sectors, and the area of dual-use goods. On 19 March 2015, the European Council agreed to link the duration of the sanctions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements, which was foreseen to take place by 31 December 2015.Since the Minsk agreements were not fully implemented by 31 December 2015, the Council extended the sanctions until 31 July 2016. Having assessed the implementation of the Minsk agreements, the Council decided to renew the sanctions for a further six months,” the EU stated.

3. NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting to be held at Warsaw NATO Summit
A meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission (at the level of Heads of State or Government) with the participation of Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko will be held on 9 July at the Warsaw NATO Summit, NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg stated. At a press conference previewing the summit, Stoltenberg stated, “An independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law is key to Euro-Atlantic security. And NATO is committed to helping Ukraine achieve that goal. […] We will also step up our practical support, not only political support, but also practical support for Ukraine. We will agree on a comprehensive package where we will streamline our different strands of work and support to Ukraine.”

4. Ukraine receives 14 counter-battery radars from US
The US delivered 14 counter-battery radars to the Armed Forces of Ukraine on 2 July. Attending the transfer ceremony, Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko stated, “Today’s event is an additional step towards the enhancement of our interaction with American partners the purpose of which is to improve Ukraine’s defense capacity. This step is only a small part of military-technical assistance provided by the U.S. government to Ukraine this year. […] We sincerely hope that our cooperation will be further increased. I am confident that investment in security and defense of Ukraine is an additional investment in European security and defense. For we are defending not only our territorial integrity and independence, but also freedom and democracy of the entire European continent.”

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