Ukraine: Daily Briefing – July 27, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
July 27, 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, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and one Ukrainian soldier was 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 32 times in total.
2. US Senate Foreign Relations Committee passes bipartisan resolution strongly condemning Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea
On July 26, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a bipartisan resolution strongly condemning Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea and reaffirming the United States’ policy of recognizing Crimea as a part of Ukraine.
            Rob Portman (R-OH), co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, stated, The United States continues to stand with Ukraine against Russian aggression. As Secretary Pompeo made clear in his declaration yesterday, Crimea was illegally seized from Ukraine by Russia, and the United States must never recognize this illegitimate occupation. This violates not just the rights of the Ukrainian people, but also the fundamental principles of the international order that America has proudly led for more than 70 years. Crimea is part of Ukraine. Until Russia recognizes that fact and returns Crimea to Ukrainian control, the United States must maintain and tighten sanctions on Russia. I applaud the Committee’s passage of this resolution and urge my colleagues to support it when it comes to the floor.”
            Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez (D-NJ) stated, “This resolution shows the world that the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty is absolute. Now, more than ever, it is important to show our allies that the United States will stand by them when they face Russian aggression. The American people know that ensuring the sovereignty of our allies is critical to our national security, and I look forward to having this important and timely effort adopted by the full Senate.  The Senate should also move quickly on new sanctions measures that would increase pressure on the Kremlin to address this illegal occupation and ongoing Russian military hostilities in eastern Ukraine.”
The full text of the resolution is available here
3. Ukraine plane maker turns west with Boeing tie-up
Reuters reported, “Ukrainian plane maker Antonov, known for producing the world’s biggest aircraft, plans to restart serial production by the end of next year thanks to a deal with Boeing that will end Antonov’s dependence on Russia. Relations between Ukraine and Russia collapsed following the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and Antonov, which imported more than 60 percent of its plane parts from Russia, halted serial production two years later.
            It now plans to build eight planes a year thanks to a deal with Aviall, Boeing’s parts, equipment and services unit, with the first two or three planes ready by the end of 2019, Antonov chief Oleksandr Donets told Reuters in an interview. […]The companies will jointly set up storage facilities in Ukraine by November, he said. ‘(The agreement with) Aviall has given us two gains. We are setting up a joint warehouse, located on Ukrainian territory in (the city of) Gostomel,’ Donets said. […]The warehouse could cost tens of millions of dollars, Donets added, to be funded by Aviall. […]
            Aviall will support Antonov’s new manufacturing program to build the AN-1X8 planes and will have exclusive rights to help service the planes, Donets said, envisaging that Aviall will source parts from the United States, Canada, Israel and Europe. Antonov also wants Aviall to procure equipment for Antonov to produce more parts domestically, he said.
            Boeing rival Airbus also made a recent foray into Ukraine, announcing an agreement in July to sell 55 helicopters to the interior ministry for search and rescue, public services and emergency medical service missions.”
4. Ukraine prepares to put 44 gas fields, with 150 billion cubic meters of gas stocks, up for sale
Ukraine Business Journal reported, “Ukraine is ready to put 44 gas fields, home to 150 billion cubic meters of gas stocks, up for sale, the government has said. ‘Today we are making a decision to open information about geospatial data and about holding auctions.’ the Prime Minister said, opening a government meeting on Wednesday. ‘Our task is to open all the geological information about the deposits and to provide opportunities for Ukrainian and world business on the basis of transparent auctions and extract Ukrainian gas so that we refuse to import it. As soon as we refuse to import gas, we would immediately decisively reduce gas prices, and we would not depend on the global gas price,’ he added.

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