Ukraine: Daily Briefing – September 14, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
September 14, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian soldiers cover their sectors of fire during contact obstacle course training, part of Exercise Rapid Trident 17, Yavoriv. Photo – US Army Europe
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 Zaytseve and Avdiivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions on the Hnutove-Shyrokyne line, and near Maryinka and Starohnativka. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Stanytsia Luhanska and Krymske.
2. Ukraine’s Defence Minister meets with Canada’s representative to Ukraine’s Defence Reform Advisory Board
photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence
Ukraine’s Minister of Defence Stepan Poltorak met with Jill Sinclair, Canada’s representative to Ukraine’s Defence Reform Advisory Board on September 13, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence reported. They discussed the reforms of Ukraine’s Defence Ministry and further cooperation between Ukraine and Canada. Poltorak stated, “All activities supported by Canada are very successful in Ukraine. Particularly, I would like to praise the operation UNIFIER and material support Ukraine receives from Canada. There is a very high level of confidence between our countries and we hope for development of cooperation.”
3. Ukraine’s PM: Reforms we’re pursuing are needed by Ukraine, not the IMF
photo – Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman met with First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF David Lipton in Kyiv on September 13. Groysman stated, “The Government highly appreciates the cooperation with the Fund and its contribution to the introduction of vital reforms in Ukraine. We are committed to prolong the implementation of our joint with the IMF program, which is of paramount importance for Ukraine. The reforms we are pursuing are needed by Ukraine, not the IMF.”
             Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers reported that Lipton “emphasized that, in his opinion, Ukraine is showing excellent results in addressing topical economic and social issues. According to him, the fact that the Government has managed to settle the situation over the past year creates good preconditions for transition to more dynamic economic growth.”
4. Bloomberg: Ukraine coming back to international capital markets
Bloomberg stated, “Ukraine is coming back to the international capital markets for the first time since the $15 billion restructuring in 2015. A potential flood of investors into this one makes a lot more sense than the flurry of demand we’ve seen in some recent deals.
           A 10- to 15-year bond for as much as $2 billion could price this week. The timing couldn’t be better for the country, as yields on existing 10 year debt have plummeted from 9.3 percent in March to 7 percent now. Interest already seems substantial. […]
           The key is the presence of the International Monetary Fund. This deal is the next step in its plan to help Ukraine recover from a recession bought on by revolution and conflict. The arrangement calls for $1 billion in new money to be raised from outside investors this year, rising to $2 billion next year and $3 billion in 2019. A successful transaction this month will instill investor confidence that Ukraine is fulfilling its side of the bargain.
           The plan seems to be taking hold — about half the money raised in the new bond deal will be new money. Ukraine is tendering to buy back probably up to $1 billion of its existing 2019 and 2020 debt, which is trading a little above 5 percent. It looks like holders of these notes are keen to keep them so they can participate in the tender on Friday, and be assured of an allocation in the (higher yielding) new deal. It’s all to the better, as success will ease Ukraine’s struggle to make repayments due before the end of the decade. […]
           As the IMF has Ukraine’s back, with $8.4 billion already committed, investors can take a more considered view. The fund has said it will release a further tranche of $1.9 billion after pension reforms are put into law, and the government sees that happening in the coming weeks, according to Reuters.”
5. EU extends sanctions over actions against Ukraine’s territorial integrity until15 March 2018
Today the European Council “prolonged the restrictive measures over actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine for a further six months, until 15 March 2018. The measures consist of asset freezes and travel bans.
           An assessment of the situation did not justify a change in the sanctions regime. The list was reviewed and the Council removed four deceased persons from the list of persons subject to these restrictive measures. Following a merger involving three listed entities, these entities were removed from the list and the entity into which they have merged was added in order to maintain the existing level of sanctions. The restrictive measures now apply to 149 persons and 38 entities. […]
          Other EU measures in place in response to the Ukraine crisis include:
  • economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the  Russian economy, currently in place until 31 January 2018;
  • restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, limited to the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, currently in place until 23 June 2018.”

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