Ukraine: Daily Briefing – July 11, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

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Ukraine: Daily Briefing
July 11, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Cruiser USS Hue City and Destroyer USS Carney in port in Odesa for annual Sea Breeze exercise, which began July 10. Photo – US Navy
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed in a land mine explosion.  Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Avdiivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions along the Pavlopil-Shyrokyne line. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Novooleksandrivka, Katerynivka and other locations with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Novozvanivka and Novotoshkivske.
2. NATO Secretary General addresses Ukraine’s Parliament
NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg addresses Ukraine’ s Parliament. Photo – NATO


On July 10, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addressed Ukraine’s Parliament. He stated, “Today we are here to show solidarity with Ukraine and to underline our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia’s annexation of Crimea dealt a terrible blow to Ukraine. It also has serious implications for all the free countries of the world. It was the first time since the end of the Second World War that one European country had annexed part of another by force. It undermined the decades of progress that all nations – including Russia – had made to establish a rules-based international order, where borders are respected and where all nations reject the idea that one country should be beholden to another, within a ‘sphere of influence’.
I have said this many times before, but let me say it here, in the sovereign parliament of the Ukrainian people. NATO does not, and will not, recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea. Russia, and you know this better than anyone else, is trying to destabilise Ukraine, through its support of the militants in the east, its cyber-attacks, disinformation and not least by the presence of Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine. This must end.  Europe and North America are united in their condemnation of Russia’s actions and in their continued support for economic sanctions. Russia must withdraw its forces and military equipment from Ukraine’s internationally recognised and sovereign territory.  […]
Ukraine is a sovereign nation and it has the right to choose its own security arrangements. Last month, NATO welcomed Montenegro as the 29th member of our Alliance. This shows that NATO’s door remains open. The road to NATO membership is not easy. For those who seek it, it requires dedication and substantial reform. But in the end membership is a decision for the 29 members of the NATO Alliance and for those who wish to join. And for them alone. No one outside has the right to try to intervene or to veto such a process. […]
Ukraine needs modern, efficient armed forces. It needs strong, accountable, democratic institutions. It needs strong, accountable and democratic leaders. Ukraine needs you to be the best you can be! For twenty years, NATO has stood by Ukraine’s side and NATO will continue to stand with you in the long and difficult years ahead.” Secretary General Stoltenberg’s full speech is available at http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_146017.htm?selectedLocale=en
3. European Council adopts EU-Ukraine Association Agreement; full implementation as of September 1
The European Council stated, “On 11 July, the Council adopted a decision to conclude the Association Agreement with Ukraine on behalf of the European Union. This takes place on the eve of the EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv, on 12 and 13 July.
This is the final step of the ratification process through which the EU and Ukraine commit to a close, long-term relationship in all main policy areas. It will allow the full implementation of the agreement as of 1 September 2017.
Most of the Association Agreement is already operational. Many political and sectoral parts of the agreement have been provisionally applied since 1 September 2014, while its trade part, the deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA), has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2016. The conclusion and entry into force of the agreement will now give a new impetus to the cooperation in areas such as foreign and security policy, justice, freedom and security (including migration) taxation, public finance management, science and technology, education and information society.”
4. Royal Canadian Navy departs for Ukraine on SEA BREEZE 2017
On July 10, Canada’s Department of National Defence stated, “The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) will deploy a contingent of 14 personnel comprised of divers and support staff and staff officers from Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic and Maritime Forces Atlantic to support SEA BREEZE 2017 (SB17), multi-national training event in Odessa, Ukraine, led by the United States and Ukraine Navies from 10 to 21 July.
SB17 will train and exercise partners in maritime operations support information sharing and awareness of the maritime domain. The exercise will enable and enhance collaborative naval operations amongst maritime security partners in the Black Sea.SB17 is an excellent opportunity for the Canadian Armed Forces to build and strengthen interoperability and combat effectiveness between Canada’s military and our US, Ukraine, and international maritime allies.
Rear-Admiral John Newton, Commander Joint Task for Atlantic and Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic, stated,  “SEA BREEZE 2017 highlights the Royal Canadian Navy’s commitment to security in the Black Sea. Canadian sailors and staff officers will work with a host of like-minded partners to enhance our collective skills in developing an accurate and shared picture of maritime activities in the region. These are advanced skills finely honed in the Canadian context amongst our federal maritime partners and hemispheric allies, and they are remarkably exportable to achieve higher levels of security in the international setting.”
5. Joint Statement of the NATO-Ukraine Commission
The NATO-Ukraine Commission met on July 10 in Kyiv in the presence of Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and members of Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers, to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine. NATO “reiterated its strong support for Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, and its inherent right to decide its own future and foreign policy course free from outside interference, as set out in the Helsinki Final Act.” The Joint Statement of the NATO-Ukraine Commission issued following the meeting is available at http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_146087.htm?selectedLocale=en

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