Ukraine: Daily Briefing – June 6, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
June 6, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Basic Leader Training Course, Ukraine. Photo – US 7th Army

1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy shelling of Ukrainian positions at Avdiivka and near the Donetsk airport with mortars and tanks. Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Verkhnotoretsk with mortars. One civilian was injured. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Bohdanivka with Grad rockets and mortars. Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Pavlopil, damaging a school. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Krasnohorivka with mortars, damaging two residential buildings. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions on the Krymske-Novoshkivske line with mortars and artillery. At Stanytsia Luhanska and Popasne, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions.
2. EU to extend Crimea sanctions
Ambassadors of EU member states decided to prolong the EU’s ban on investments in Crimea for another year. The ban was put in place in response to Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “The measures include an EU-wide ban on imports from Crimea unless they have Ukrainian certificates; a prohibition of the purchase by EU companies of property and companies on the Black Sea peninsula; and a ban on cruise ships flying the flag of an EU member state or controlled by a member state to call at ports there. Goods and technology for the transport, telecommunications, and energy sectors cannot be exported to Crimean companies or for use in Crimea. […] EU foreign ministers are likely to confirm the decision by the ambassadors when they meet in Luxembourg on June 19.”
3. Draft legislation on healthcare reform tabled in Ukraine’s Parliament
Ukraine’s Parliament added the draft legislation on the reform of Ukraine’s healthcare system to the Parliamentary agenda. A vote on first reading of the legislation is expected later this week. Ukraine’s Ministry of Health stated, “the Government, together with the Ministry of Health and experts, developed legislation which will change Ukraine’s health care system and will bring it in line with international standards. As a result of discussions on the draft legislation at the National Reform Council and consultations with Members of Parliament, we have finalized draft legislation which will launch healthcare reforms in Ukraine.”
4. Ukraine, Poland develop gas hub to end Central, Eastern European dependence on Russian supplies
The Associated Press reported, “Poland and Ukraine say they are taking steps toward developing a regional gas hub that would end Central and Eastern Europe’s dependence on Russian supplies and keep prices in line with European standards.
The region still relies to some extent on Russian natural gas and has been exposed to political pressure from Moscow, which has limited supply volumes or hiked gas prices in the past. Government officials participating in a debate Tuesday said the hub should be in place by 2022 on the Polish-Ukrainian border to supply the region with gas from Western Europe, liquefied natural gas from Poland’s ports and from a new Baltic Pipe that will bring gas from the North Sea. The existing pipelines, interconnections and storage facilities will be developed for the purpose.”

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