Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 1 April 2014

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Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

1 April 2014

 

1. Situation in Crimea

One of the leaders of the Crimean Tatar people, MP M. Dzhemiliev, spoke yesterday at the UN Security Council. He stressed several threats facing the Crimean Tatars, including the fact that Crimean “self-defence” units, and “Cossacks” are “openly discussing the necessity to again deport the Crimean Tatar people.” He reiterated that there have been reports of Crimean Tatar homes being marked by x’s. He also stated that some 5000 Crimean Tatars (of a population of about 300,000) have left Crimea as refugees. The deputy head of the Presidential Administration A. Senchenko stated that all Ukrainian officers and military personnel still held in captivity will be released in the next days. The evacuation of units of the Ukrainian military from Crimea continues, and according to Senchenko, the schedule for evacuation of personnel and materiel has been agreed to by the Ukrainian and Russian sides.

2. NATO Meeting in Brussels – cooperation with Russia suspended

The foreign ministers of NATO member states meet in Brussels on April 1 and 2. According to today’s statement NATO will intensify cooperation with Ukraine “in the framework of our Distinctive Partners,” and agreed with Ukraine “to implement immediate and longer-term measures in order to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to provide for its own security.” NATO also stated that “Russia has violated international law…It has gravely breached the trust on which our cooperation must be based.” NATO has decided to “suspend all practical civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia.” NATO’s Secretary General stated that he could not confirm reports of Russia withdrawing its troops from the border with Ukraine.

3. Military Exercises in Ukraine

Ukraine’s parliament passed legislation, with 235 votes, “On approval of the decision of the President of Ukraine to allow military units of other states on the territory of Ukraine for participation in multinational training,” which allows for American, Polish, Romanian and military units from some 14 other states to take part in training exercises with Ukrainian military units. The exercises will involve some 7000 personnel and take place in southern and western Ukraine.

4. Parliament – all illegal arms must be surrendered

Ukraine’s parliament passed a resolution stating that “in connection with the extraordinary social political situation in the country…systemic provocations by foreign citizens in southeastern Ukraine and in Kyiv city,” to order the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Security Service to ensure that all extralegal armed formations are disarmed “immediately.” 235 MPs supported the resolution.

5. Three injured by gunfire in Kyiv

Three people were injured (31 March) by gunfire in central Kyiv near European Square. According to reports, the gunfire was the result of a conflict between a member of the Right Sector organization and a member of the Maidan self-defence organization. Right Sector has confirmed that the man who opened fire was a member of the organization, but claim that the conflict was of a personal nature. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has opened a criminal investigation.

6. PACE to reconsider Russia’s credentials

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will hold a spring session in Strasbourg from 7-11 April. One of the items on the agenda is the reconsideration “on substantive grounds, of the credentials of the Russian delegation over the situation in Crimea.”

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