Ukraine: Daily Briefing – November 9, 2018, 4 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
November 9, 2018, 4 PM Kyiv time
 
UAF and CAF personnel, demining training, Operation UNIFIER. 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 and two Ukrainian soldiers were 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 14 times in total, including at least 3 times with heavy weapons. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 1 and wounded 11 enemy combatants in the last 24 hours.
2. US Treasury Sanctions Officials and Targets Entities Supporting Russia’s Occupation of Crimea and Forcible Control of Eastern Ukraine
The US Department of the Treasury reported on November 8, “The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today imposed additional sanctions in response to Russia’s continuing malign activity and destabilizing behavior by designating three individuals and nine entities under Ukraine-related authorities.  […]
         ‘The United States is leveraging new authorities to target Russian actors for serious human rights abuses in parts of Ukraine that the United States government has determined are forcibly occupied or otherwise controlled by the Russian government, and other reprehensible acts in furtherance of the Kremlin’s malign agenda,’ said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.  ‘Treasury remains committed to targeting Russian-backed entities that seek to profit from Russia’s illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea.  Our sanctions are a clear reminder that efforts seeking to normalize investment and economic relationships with those operating in Crimea will not be tolerated and are subject to U.S. and EU sanctions authorities.’
          Today’s designations underscore the United States’ steadfast partnership with Ukraine and the European Union (EU) and our unified opposition to Russia’s purported annexation and occupation of Crimea and use of force to control parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine.
           OFAC’s action targets those engaging in serious human rights abuses in furtherance of Russia’s occupation or control over parts of Ukraine, as well as entities and individuals supporting Russia’s attempts to integrate Crimea through private investment and major privatization projects.  This activity includes, among others, the Russian-backed sale of Ukrainian assets unlawfully seized and nationalized to actors supporting the Kremlin’s agenda.  As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.”
More information on the US Treasury’s designations is available here
3. EU report: Ukraine makes important progress on reforms but more needs to be done on judiciary and fight against corruption
 
EU Commissioner Hahn presents report to Prime Minister Groysman. Photo – Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers


The European Union stated, “Ukraine has made progress in a number of important areas over the past year, but several outstanding reforms still need to be reinforced so that Ukrainian citizens can fully reap the benefits of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.
           The EU published today the Association Implementation Report, which monitors the implementation of the commitments under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement over the past year – since November 2017. […]
           ‘Ukraine has advanced in a number of important and demanding reforms over the past year, including healthcare, pensions, decentralisation, public administration, public procurement and the environment. These are all vital for the implementation of the Association Agreement and therefore for a more prosperous and stable Ukraine. Now, in Ukraine’s pre-election period, it is crucial to maintain the reform momentum and to make these changes irreversible. There cannot be roll-back on issues such as anti-corruption efforts. Continued reforms in the economic and justice sectors will send a strong signal not only to the citizens, but also to domestic and international investors and help boost the creation of jobs in Ukraine,’ said the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.
            At the same time, the report notes the slower pace of reforms in the areas of the judiciary and anti-corruption measures, and emphasises the need to reinforce the reform momentum. While the renewal of the judiciary continued, there have been only few convictions in high-level corruption cases so far. The establishment of the High Anti-Corruption Court remains a test case in this regard. The selection earlier this week of the international experts who will assist Ukraine in selecting the judges of the High Anti-Corruption Court is an encouraging sign.”
The report is available here: Association Implementation Report

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