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

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
July 6, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian army artillery training. Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence
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 two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.  Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka. At Pisky, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Shyrokyne. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Stanytsia Luhanska and Krymske.
2. Ukraine, UK co-host international conference on reforms in Ukraine
Image – UK Foreign Office


The Ukrainian and UK governments co-hosted an international conference in London on reforms in Ukraine “to showcase the progress Ukraine has made on reform since 2014, present the Ukrainian Government’s Reform Action Plan 2017-20, and bring the international community together to agree priority reform areas and show support for Ukraine,” the UK Foreign Office stated. Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland attended the conference.
Ministerial-level plenary discussions were held, as well as “detailed conversations on each of the priority reform areas agreed in the Action Plan: good governance, economic growth, rule of law and anti-corruption, defence and security reform, and human capital,” the UK Foreign Office stated.
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said, “Ukraine’s recent progress on reform has been astounding, but more needs to be done. Achieving the stable, prosperous future that Ukrainians desire will require absolute commitment to reform from the Ukrainian Government, as well as unwavering support from the international community. […] The UK is committed to helping Ukraine deliver reform, fight against corruption and build its ability to stand up to Russian aggression. As one of Ukraine’s closest friends, we are pleased to be by Ukraine’s side as it fulfils the aspirations of Ukrainian citizens, and realises the economic potential of a great European country.”
3. Ukraine’s President speaks with German Chancellor ahead of G20
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko held a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. President Poroshenko’s press service reported, “The parties discussed the situation in Donbas and coordinated the implementation of the Minsk agreements in the context of preparations to the G20 Summit in Hamburg and the meeting of the leaders of France and Germany with the President of Russia. Angela Merkel assured Petro Poroshenko that during the meeting nothing would be decided about Ukraine without Ukraine.
The two leaders emphasized the priority of fulfillment of the key security requirements of the Minsk agreements. They expressed concern over the constant violation of the ceasefire regime by the Russian militants. Petro Poroshenko noted the importance of liberation of Ukrainian hostages kept in the occupied territories and Russia. […] Petro Poroshenko and Angela Merkel stressed the need for continuing active contacts in the Normandy format with a view to return Russia to the logic of the Minsk agreements’ implementation.”
4. US State Department “actively considering” Minsk envoy
In a background briefing on US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s upcoming visit to Ukraine (July 9), a senior State Department official stated, “I would say that all of the members of the Normandy format – France, Germany, Ukraine, and Russia – have expressed their desire to have a U.S. counterpart that they can work with in the negotiations, not as a member of the Normandy format but as an important support to that format and collaborator with those countries as they negotiate implementation of the Minsk agreements. And so there is broad-based support across the four of them for U.S. involvement, and we are currently considering how best to support the Normandy format and the Minsk negotiations. […]
I think I’ve already covered that all of the parties to the Normandy format have asked for a U.S. interlocutor that they can work with, some sort of Minsk coordinator or envoy, if you will, and we’re actively considering that, but we’re looking for all the ways in which we might be able to be helpful and supportive to the Normandy format and to Minsk implementation more broadly.”

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