Ukraine: Daily Briefing – September 6, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
September 6, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time
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 or wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Zaytseve, Avdiivka and Novoluhansk. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Maryinka and Starohnativka. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Krymske.
2. Ukraine MFA: Any presence of Russian personnel in possible UN peacekeeping mission is out of the question
Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on September 5, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has taken into account the statement made by the President of the Russian Federation concerning the prospect of deployment of UN peacekeepers in Donbas as published by mass media. The Ministry believes that the deployment of a UN peacekeeping operation could contribute to the restoration of peace and security in the east of Ukraine.
           In this context, MFA would like to draw attention to the fact that, in March 2015, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko sent an official request to the UN Secretary General and the President of the UN Security Council with regard to the deployment of a UN peacekeeping operation in the Ukrainian territory. […]
          Since that time Russia, the aggressor state, has continuously sabotaged Ukraine’s proposals, refusing to take our request to the UN Security Council into consideration and even claiming, as was the case in June 2016 that Ukraine had never made its request to the Security Council.
          Ukraine has always advocated a clear position that any international peacekeeping presence must be deployed by consent of and after extensive consultations with the Ukrainian side, that it must involve the withdrawal of all occupation troops and mercenaries as well as their weapons from the territory of Ukraine, and ensure reliable control over the Ukrainian-Russian border to prevent Russian military, weapons, equipment and mercenaries from infiltrating the Ukrainian territory.
          In the event the decision is made to launch a peacekeeping operation, any presence of military or other personnel of the aggressor state in the territory of Ukraine disguised as peacekeepers would be out of the question, as it would contradict the basic principles of UN peacekeeping activities. Equally out of the question would be any need to seek approval for launching the peacekeeping operation by the illegal military formations operating in the territory of certain parts of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions backed by support, funding, and inventory and logistics management provided by the Russian Federation.
           The information published by mass media concerning the statement by the President of the Russian Federation shows that Russia, as a party to the conflict, is once again attempting to present its aggression as an internal Ukrainian conflict and distort the very idea and purposes of launching a peacekeeping operation, which would not work towards achieving the principal objective of establishing sustainable peace in Donbas and restoring territorial integrity of Ukraine.
          At the same time, as a consistent supporter of the initiative to deploy a UN peacekeeping operation in Donbas, Ukraine is ready to address this matter. In this context, the Permanent Mission of Ukraine in New York has been instructed to hold corresponding consultations with the delegations to the UN Security Council.”
3. EU to renew Russia sanctions; Russia’s new Ambassador to US to remain on sanctions list
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “The European Union will prolong its asset freezes and visa bans on Russian officials and Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine for another six months, with Russia’s new ambassador to the United States likely to remain on the list, diplomats said.
          Ambassadors from the 28 EU member states decided to renew the measures at a meeting on September 6 in Brussels, according to several diplomats who were close to the talks but were not authorized to speak publicly about the decision.
          EU justice ministers are expected to give the final confirmation on September 14 […] The diplomats said that Russia’s new ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov will remain on the EU sanctions list as no country asked for his removal.
          Antonov, a former deputy defense minister and deputy foreign minister who arrived in Washington on August 31 to take up his post, is under EU and Canadian sanctions but not U.S. sanctions. […]
         A total of 149 people and 38 entities are expected to remain on the list.”
4. Bloomberg: Debt Crisis a Fading Memory as Ukraine Said to Plan Bond Return
Bloomberg reported, “Ukraine is taking advantage of a surge in appetite for high-yield debt to make its first return to Eurobond markets since a $15 billion restructuring in 2015.
         The eastern European nation has mandated JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and BNP Paribas SA for the sale of dollar-denominated sovereign bonds, according to three people familiar with the situation, who asked not to be cited because details are private. Rothschild & Co. is advising on the deal, the people said.”
         Ukraine “relied heavily on foreign funding to finance its debt until a revolution and military conflict in 2014 curbed its market access and drained reserves, forcing the country to ask creditors for debt relief. Bondholders including Franklin Templeton accepted a 20 percent writedown and a four-year freeze on repayments in 2015.
          That makes the timing for Ukraine all the more important because it has more than $1 billion a year of debt to service between 2019 and 2027. The International Monetary Fund, which has been giving the country installments in a $17.5 billion bailout since 2015, foresees the nation selling $1 billion of bonds this year, $2 billion in 2018 and $3 billion in 2019, according to a staff report published in April.
          ‘Investors are eager to see Ukraine using the window of opportunity to lengthen the maturity of its short-term debt,’ said Simon Quijano-Evans, a strategist at Legal & General Investment Management Ltd. in London. ‘Ukraine Eurobond issuance is probably the most anticipated by the market this year,” Bloomberg reported.

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