Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 1 May 2014

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Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

1 May 2014

 

1. Kremlin-backed “separatism” in Eastern Ukraine

The situation in several cities in eastern Ukraine remains very tense. Kremlin-backed “separatists” continue to occupy several government buildings and police headquarters in several cities in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. In Donetsk the Oblast Prosecutors’ office was stormed and seized by “separatists.” According to reports approximately 15 people were injured. In Slovaynsk, Kremlin-backed “separatists” continue to hold hostage a group of seven German-led unarmed military inspectors from OSCE-participating states, together with five Ukrainian armed forces officers, which were taken hostage on Friday. The State Security Service (SBU) reports that claims made by Kremlin-backed “separatists” that they have released 2 of 3 personnel of the special “Alpha” special forces unit that they are holding hostage are untrue.

2. Turchynov signs decree “On Measures to Improve the Defensive capability of the state”

The decree, signed by Acting President O. Turchynov, re-establishes conscription to military service of males between 18 and 25 years old to the armed forces and other military formations.

3. IMF approves Ukraine deal

The IMF approved a two-year, $17.01 billion Stand-By Arrangement for Ukraine. The deal allows for the immediate disbursement of approximately $3.19 billion; $1.29 billion of which is allocated to budget support.

The IMF stated, “The authorities’ economic program supported by the fund aims to restore macroeconomic stability, strengthen economic governance and transparency, and launch sound and sustainable economic growth, while protecting the most vulnerable.” The IMF deal “also is expected to unlock additional and sizable international official assistance.” The deal commits Ukraine’s authorities to a flexible exchange rate, and the elimination of Naftogaz’s deficit by 2018, as well as comprehensive structural reforms in public procurement and tax administration. The IMF’s European Department Director R. Moghadam stated that “In 2015-16 the emphasis will be on a gradual expenditure-led fiscal consolidation, combined with measures to enhance public sector efficiency. This approach will place public debt firmly on a declining path from 2015 on.”

4. Statement after completion of Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery

The two-day Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery, convened by the governments of the UK and USA in support of the government of Ukraine, ended on 30 April. The Forum was attended by delegates of over 25 countries, World Bank, INTERPOL, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, EBRD, EUROPOL, and several other organizations. “Participants recognised that the recovery of the proceeds of corruption through international cooperation is essential in helping restore integrity and public trust in government, and in

sending a strong message that there can be no impunity for those who abuse their official positions. Assets misappropriated by kleptocrats in the Yanukovych government represent assets that should have been used for the benefit of the Ukrainian people.” The participants of the Forum agreed on a series of steps in the asset recovery process, including the advancement of bilateral and multilateral investigations, and pledged to “ensure that technical assistance is on-going,” and that the “key topics for technical assistance should include asset recovery strategies, domestic coordination, complex financial investigations assistance, asset tracing, asset freezing and confiscation, requesting international assistance, asset recovery and seized and confiscated asset management, and other topics identified by Ukraine.”

5. Assassination Attempt of Kharkiv Mayor

Kharkiv Mayor G. Kernes, against whom an assassination attempt took place Monday, reportedly regained consciousness on May 1.

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