Ukraine: Daily Briefing – July 4, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
July 4, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front 17 times in total.
2. Ukraine, UK welcome progress on trade relationship
In a joint statement, the governments of Ukraine and the United Kingdom stated, “The UK and Ukraine have been engaging on the future growth of trade and investment links between both countries after the UK leaves the EU, including during the Ukrainian Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister – Trade Representative of Ukraine, Nataliya Mykolska’s, recent visit to London.
          As the UK is in the process of exiting the EU, Ukraine welcomed the UK’s intention to avoid any disruption to trade. In particular, both countries welcomed ongoing discussions to ensure continuity of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), which facilitates more than £1.7 billion in trade between the 2 countries, once the UK leaves the EU.
         The UK informed Ukraine on the UK-EU agreement, reached at the March European Council, that the UK is to be treated as a member state for the purposes of international agreements during the EU-UK Implementation Period. This should provide further certainty to both British and Ukrainian traders that there will be no disruption to the existing trading relationship during the Implementation Period, and that in particular the preferential terms of EU-Ukraine DCFTA will continue to apply to both parties during the Implementation Period. Both countries agreed to work together to strengthen UK-Ukrainian trade.”
3. US Senate Intelligence Committee supports findings of intelligence community on Russian interference in 2016 election

The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence stated on July 3, “Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) released the Committee’s unclassified summary of its initial findings on the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Russian activities in the 2016 U.S. elections.

           The Committee finds that the overall judgments issued in the ICA were well-supported and the tradecraft was strong. The course of the Committee’s investigation has shown that the Russian cyber operations were more extensive than the hack of the Democratic National Committee and continued well through the 2016 election.
          ‘The Committee has spent the last 16 months reviewing the sources, tradecraft and analytic work underpinning the Intelligence Community Assessment and sees no reason to dispute the conclusions,’ said Chairman Burr. ‘The Committee continues its investigation and I am hopeful that this installment of the Committee’s work will soon be followed by additional summaries providing the American people with clarity around Russia’s activities regarding U.S. elections.’
         ‘Our investigation thoroughly reviewed all aspects of the January 2017 ICA, which assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign to target our presidential election and to destabilize our democratic institutions,’ said Vice Chairman Warner. ‘As numerous intelligence and national security officials in the Trump administration have since unanimously re-affirmed, the ICA findings were accurate and on point.  The Russian effort was extensive and sophisticated, and its goals were to undermine public faith in the democratic process, to hurt Secretary Clinton and to help Donald Trump.  While our investigation remains ongoing, we have to learn from 2016 and do more to protect ourselves from attacks in 2018 and beyond.'”

The unclassified summary of initial findings released by the Committee yesterday is available here

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