Ukraine: Daily Briefing – July 27, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
July 27, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian, US and Turkish Marines participate in amphibious landing exercises as part of Exercise Sea Breeze 2017. Photo – US Marine Corps

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, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Krasnohorivka with mortars. Near Vodyane, Mykolaivka and Maryinka, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Stanytsia Luhanska and several other locations along the Luhansk sector of the front.
2. US House and Senate leaders reach deal on Russia sanctions bill
CNN reported, “House and Senate Republicans have reached a deal that is paving the way to send a bill to President Donald Trump’s desk that slaps Russia with new sanctions and limits Trump’s ability to remove them. […]
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker reached an agreement Wednesday evening on the legislation for new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, Corker’s office announced.
‘Following very productive discussions with Leader McCarthy, I am glad to announce that we have reached an agreement that will allow us to send sanctions legislation to the president’s desk,’ Corker said in a statement. […]
Under the deal, the Senate will pass the House’s bill, sending it to the President’s desk. In exchange, McCarthy pledged to take up future North Korean sanctions that come from the Senate. […]
The bill, which is expected to be taken up at some point before the Senate leaves for recess, rebukes Trump by giving Congress newfound veto power over any administration attempt to remove sanctions on Moscow.
The White House pushed for changes to that provision, and Trump has not said if he will sign the bill. The original bill, however, passed the Senate 98-2 last month, which means Congress will have a significant veto-proof majority.”
3. US special envoy and NATO Deputy Secretary General hold talks on Ukraine
photo – NATO
US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker and NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller met at NATO Headquarters on July 26 to discuss “the security situation in eastern Ukraine, Kyiv’s reforms, and NATO’s support for Ukraine,” NATO reported.
Deputy Secretary General Gottemoeller stated, “I was pleased to meet with Kurt Volker today. We agreed that the situation in eastern Ukraine and Russia’s military build-up in Crimea continue to be of great concern. Russia must respect the Minsk Agreements, which are vital for Ukraine’s security and stability.”
4. EU expands sanctions over Siemens case
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “European Union ambassadors have agreed to impose sanctions on four additional Russian individuals and three Russian entities after the revelation earlier this month that four gas turbines from the German company Siemens had been ‘illegally diverted’ from Russia to the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, sources told RFE/RL on July 26.
The European Union ambassadors backed a push by Germany for the additions to the EU’s existing sanctions list, according to two officials who are familiar with the matter but were not authorized to speak publicly about the decision.
The identities of the Russian individuals and entities have not been released, but a person familiar with the matter told RFE/RL that they are likely to include Russian firms and corporate leaders responsible for transferring the Siemens turbines from Russia to Russia-occupied Crimea. […]
Siemens has said the turbines were ‘illegally’ diverted ‘against our will’ to Crimea and that it was cutting some of its ties to Russia following reports of the illegal shipments.”
5. Atlantic Council: Reform in Ukraine – Surpassing Expectations and Public Perceptions
John Herbst, Director of the Dinu Particiu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council and former US Ambassador to Ukraine (2003-06) writes about the progress on reforms in Ukraine since the Revolution of Dignity. To read the article, please click here

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