Ukraine: Daily Briefing – October 19, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
October 19, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
 
Ukrainian Armed Forces training exercises.
Photo – Ukraine’ s Ministry of Defense


 
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 16 times in total, including at least 3 times with heavy weapons. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 2 and wounded 4 enemy combatants in the last 24 hours.
2. Minister Carr hosts Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Joint Commission meeting
Minister Carr and Vice-Prime Minister Kubiv. 
Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade


Global Affairs Canada reported, “Canada and Ukraine are connected by deep and enduring people-to-people ties and growing commercial relations. The entry into force of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) in 2017 marked another milestone in a partnership that has been creating prosperity for citizens of both countries since Canada became the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence in 1991.
           Today, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, will host the first meeting of the CUFTA Joint Commission in Ottawa with Stepan Kubiv, First Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine. At the meeting, Canadian and Ukrainian representatives will discuss progress on the implementation of the agreement to further increase trade opportunities in important sectors such as aerospace, agriculture and minerals.
         The Ministers will also formally sign the rules of procedure for the Joint Commission, which will provide guidance for future meetings. Moving forward, these meetings will take stock of progress in the successful implementation of CUFTA, with an emphasis on limiting any trade irritants and reducing red tape. Canada is committed to supporting Ukraine as it becomes a more secure, stable and prosperous country.”
         Minister Carr stated, “The Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement will enhance economic prosperity and job creation for both countries. Canada is committed to working continuously with Ukraine to advance trade and investment opportunities for our respective businesses so they may better compete and succeed in global markets.”
3. US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations speaks at Atlantic Council event
Video of Atlantic Council's Championing the Frontlines of Freedom: Erasing the 'Grey Zone' event. Kurt Volker's remarks begin at 33:50 in the video
Video of Atlantic Council’s Championing the Frontlines of Freedom: Erasing the ‘Grey Zone’ event. Kurt Volker’s remarks begin at 33:50 in the video
US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker spoke at the Atlantic Council’s Championing the Frontlines of Freedom: Erasing the ‘Grey Zone’ event in Washington on October 18. Volker stated, “We did not impact the decision-making from President Putin and others in Russia about whether to continue the war. They are determined to continue to do so. And my estimation is that the chances of their changing position now are lower then they were even a year ago, […] I think we need to keep on track. I believe that sanctions do have an impact and we see evidence of that in Russia. I believe that having a strong position and some resilience and stamina over time is what’s necessary to convince Russia that it’s not going to get better for them and potentially can get worse.”
4. Ukraine’s Prime Minister wants Rada to pass budget by December 1
Ukraine Business News reported that Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman “wants the Rada to give final approval to the 2019 state budget by December 1. Alluding to the need for IMF loans, he tells TV Direct: ‘The earlier we will approve the budget, the better we will work, including the maintenance of the foreign debt.’ Timothy Ash writes from London: ‘In December, the focus will be on the Rada to keep to the government’s promise and deliver an IMF compliant final budget reading, which could then see the release of $2 billion in IMF money, and likely something equivalent in terms of other international financial institution credits.’

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