Ukraine: Daily Briefing – March 9, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
March 9, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
 
Door breaching exercise with Ukrainian, Canadian, US combat engineers, Starychi, Ukraine. Photo – Canada at NATO


      
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Near Zaytseve, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with artillery. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Shyrokyne with artillery. Near Maryinka, Chermalyk and Pavlopil, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Troitske, Novooleksandrivka and Popanse with mortars.
International Court of Justice. UN Photo ICJ-CIJ Frank van Beek. 
Courtesy of the ICJ
2. International Court of Justice begins deliberations in Ukraine v. Russian Federation
Public hearings at the International Court of Justice in the Hague on the “request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Ukraine in the case concerning Application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine v. Russian Federation) were concluded today. The Court will now begin its deliberation. […]The Court’s decision on the request for the indication of provisional measures will be delivered at a public sitting, the date of which will be announced in due course,” a press release from the ICJ stated. In Ukraine’s closing statement to the court, Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Dzerkal stated, “With respect to the Terrorism Financing Convention, Ukraine requests that the Court order the following provisional measures:  (a) The Russian Federation shall refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute under the Terrorism Financing Convention before the Court or make this dispute more difficult to resolve.(b) The Russian Federation shall exercise appropriate control over its border to prevent further acts of terrorism financing, including the supply of weapons from the territory of the Russian Federation to the territory of Ukraine.(c) The Russian Federation shall halt and prevent all transfers from the territory of the Russian Federation of money, weapons, vehicles, equipment, training, or personnel to groups that have engaged in acts of terrorism against civilians in Ukraine, or that the Russian Federation knows may in the future engage in acts of terrorism against civilians in Ukraine […] 3. With respect to the CERD, Ukraine requests that the Court order the following provisional measures: (a) The Russian Federation shall refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute under CERD before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve. (b) The Russian Federation shall refrain from any act of racial discrimination against persons, groups of persons, or institutions in the territory under its effective control, including the Crimean peninsula.(c) The Russian Federation shall cease and desist from acts of political and cultural suppression against the Crimean Tatar people, including suspending the decree banning the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and refraining from enforcement of this decree and any similar measures, while this case is pending. (d) The Russian Federation shall take all necessary steps to halt the disappearance of Crimean Tatar individuals and to promptly investigate those disappearances that have already occurred.(e) The Russian Federation shall cease and desist from acts of political and cultural suppression against the ethnic Ukrainian people in Crimea, including suspending restrictions on Ukrainian-language education and respecting ethnic Ukrainian-language and educational rights, while this case is pending.”
3. US at OSCE on ongoing violations of international law and defiance of OSCE Principles by the Russian Federation in Ukraine
At the OSCE Permanent Council, US Charge d’affaires Kate Byrnes stated, “The United States remains deeply concerned by Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine. Since the beginning of the year, at least 37 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 303 wounded in attacks by combined Russian-separatist forces. The unrelenting violence calls into question the commitment made by Russia and the separatists to the ceasefire. […] The United States is also deeply concerned about allegations that combined Russian-separatist forces are targeting civilian infrastructure to intentionally create a humanitarian crisis and increase pressure on Ukraine. Continued shelling around Avdiyivka on March 4 and 5 again led to a loss of electricity and water. […]The United States remains deeply concerned about ongoing Russian violations of international law and defiance of OSCE principles and commitments in Crimea. Russian occupation authorities continue to commit serious abuses against Crimean Tatars, ethnic Ukrainians, and all others who oppose Russia’s occupation of the peninsula. We note the restrictions that occupation authorities place on the exercise of peaceful assembly in Crimea. [..]Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia ends its occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea and returns control of this territory to Ukraine. We join our European and other partners in restating that our sanctions against Russia for its aggression in eastern Ukraine will remain until Russia fully implements its commitments in the Minsk agreements.”
4. European Parliament Committee approves Ukraine visa liberalization
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “A European Parliament committee has voted to scrap visa requirements for Ukraine in a further step to give Ukrainians easier access to EU countries. The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on March 9 voted 39-4 in favor of the measure, with one abstention. The committee’s approval follows a March 1 agreement between the European Parliament and EU member states to allow access for up to 90 days during any 180-day period to Ukrainians who have biometric passports. A plenary session of the parliament is expected to vote on the measure in Strasbourg next month, probably on April 5. The parliaments of the 28 member states will then have to individually approve the measure, most likely after the second round of the French presidential poll scheduled for May. Visa-free travel for Ukrainians could then enter into force in mid-June.”

 


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