Ukraine: Daily Briefing – March 14, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
March 14, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Canadian soldiers guide Ukrainian soldiers as they practice section attacks as part of  #OpUNIFIER. Photo – Canadian Forces

1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and eight Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Svitlodarsk, Horlivka, and the Donetsk airport with mortars.  Near Avdiivka, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with artillery, tanks and mortars. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Luhanske village with mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Pavlopil with artillery. Near Maryinka, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Popasne and Novooleksandrivka with mortars. At Krymske, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy mortar shelling of Ukrainian positions.
2. Ukraine’s Parliament ratifies Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement
Today Ukraine’s Parliament ratified the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko praised the ratification, and called it a historic moment for Canada-Ukraine relations. President Poroshenko stated, “Conclusion of FTA Agreement with Canada is the recognition of progress of our state on the track of reforms. It is a symbol of trust in principles and values of doing business that are being formed in Ukraine under the best standards and practices. […]This Agreement initiates a symbolic Transatlantic bridge of free trade. Thus, Ukrainian business will get access to the North American market. And this provides for the increase of the Ukrainian exports. […]The Agreement is a very important response to the Russian hybrid aggression, which threatens not only Ukraine, but also the EU countries, Canada and the whole Free World, which is the evidence of our unbroken Transatlantic unity and solidarity.”
3. EU extends sanctions over Russian occupation of Crimea
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on March 13, “The European Union has extended sanctions against dozens of individuals and entities over Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. EU ambassadors agreed on March 13 to prolong the sanctions against 150 individuals and 37 entities that, according to Brussels, are responsible for actions against Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The existing sanctions were due to expire on March 15. The six-month extension means they are in place until September 15. Asset freezes and visa bans were first imposed by the EU in March 2014 after Russia illegally annexed Crimea. Those sanctions have been continued and expanded by a series of additional votes by EU officials in Brussels. The official sanctions list includes Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, President Vladimir Putin’s adviser Sergei Glazyev, Russian Armed Forces General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov, and Dmitry Kiselyov, who many regard as the Kremlin’s chief propagandist. There also are 37 entities targeted by EU sanctions. They include companies active in Crimea and military battalions formed by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. The EU’s economic sanctions against Russia’s energy, military, and financial sectors are up for renewal in June.”

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