Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 7 June 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
7 June 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Sokilnyky. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist fired on Ukrainian positions along the entire Donetsk sector of the front. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions 11 times along the Donetsk front, firing over 150 mortars shells. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Maryinka, Dokuchayevsk, Pavlopil and Shyrokyne with mortars. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and nine were wounded in action.

2. Ukraine’s President speaks with German Chancellor and French President
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko spoke with German Chancellor A. Merkel and French President F. Hollande. Poroshenko’s press service stated, “The Head of State informed on violations of the ceasefire regime by pro-Russian militants, which hinders political settlement. The parties agreed that the issue of security and restoration of Ukrainian control over the border was very important. They also stated that sanctions against Russia must remain until full implementation of the Minsk agreements. The interlocutors agreed to intensify negotiations. President Poroshenko urged the EU to accelerate consideration of the issue of providing the visa-free regime for Ukrainians.”

3. EU Foreign Policy chief: EU will continue to stand for Ukraine’s territorial integrity
Speaking at the UN Security Council, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy F. Mogherini stated, “The European Union will continue to stand for Ukraine’s territorial integrity – and does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. We are working closely with [Kyiv] to help them achieve the reforms the country so urgently needs. So let me mention the important constitutional amendments approved just days ago, which will improve the efficiency and independence of the judiciary.”

4. Anakonda military exercise begins in Poland
The Anakonda ’16, a military exercise involving over 31,000 troops from 24 NATO allies and partner countries, began in Poland on 7 June. The exercise runs until 17 June. Canada and Ukraine are among the countries participating in the exercise. “Anakonda will test the ability, readiness and interoperability of the Polish Armed Forces with Allies and partners, while conducting a joint defensive operation on a large scale. […]Anakonda 16 is comprised of live fire, command post, field training, cyber and electronic warfare exercises,” US Army European Command stated.

5. US Treasury Under Secretary in Paris, Berlin for discussions on maintaining sanctions on Russia
Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence A. Szubin is visiting Paris and Berlin on 7-8 June, the US Department of the Treasury stated. “During his trip, Acting Under Secretary Szubin will meet with senior government officials, including from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Interior, and Economics as well as members of the financial services community.  Discussions will focus on the importance of maintaining sanctions pressure on Russia until it fulfills the provisions of the Minsk Agreements,” the US Department of the Treasury stated.

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