Ukraine: Daily Briefing – October 13, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
October 13, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian artillery units participate in training exercises. 
Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense
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. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions 22 times in total on the Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol sectors of the front.
2. Ukraine’s President addresses Veterans on Day of Defender of Ukraine
Photo – Ukraine’s Presidential Administration
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko addressed military veterans on the Day of the Defender of Ukraine. Poroshenko stated, “Prince’s warriors, Zaporozhian Cossacks, Sich Riflemen, warriors of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, Ukrainian Insurgent Army, soldier in the Second World War, warriors of the Armed Forces, the National Guard, other military units – they have been defending the Homeland for generations. They have contributed to the independence of our state with iron, blood and sweat.[…]
           The highest honor for me on behalf of the Ukrainian people is to express the words of sincere gratitude to all servicemen for heroism and courage, self-sacrifice and victories, patriotism and loyalty to the oath. […]
           Today, we bow our heads to those who gave life for the peaceful future of Ukraine. The bright memory of the heroes will remain forever in our hearts. […]
In this difficult period for our state, you serve in the modern Ukrainian army. This is a truly new people’s army, as it was created by the people. Everyone took part in its formation.”
3. Ukraine’s PM confident of receiving new IMF tranche
Reuters reported, “Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said on Friday he was sure the International Monetary Fund will issue the next tranche of its loan to Ukraine.
 ‘I do not want to talk about any problems in this issue, even hypothetically, because (they)…will not happen,’ Groysman told Interfax Ukraine news agency.
             Finance Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk is in Washington for talks with the IMF on outstanding issues for the next loan tranche, including gas prices and pension reform.
           In an interview with Reuters on Monday, Danylyuk emphasised Ukraine was committed to the IMF programme.
           Market-determined gas pricing and an overhaul of the pensions system are among conditions Ukraine was expected to meet to qualify for a long-delayed next loan tranche under its $17.5 billion programme from IMF.
          The country is trying to change the formula with the IMF and Groysman on Thursday said that he saw no reason to increase gas prices according to a formula agreed with the Fund.’We’re currently discussing this (with the IMF) in terms of adopting this fair formula,’ he said.”
4. US Mission to OSCE on Russia’s ongoing violations of international law in Ukraine
The US Mission to the OSCE stated on October 12, “We welcome Ukraine’s October 6 extension of the Special Status Law and view its passage as another example of Kyiv’s commitment to a lasting and peaceful resolution in eastern Ukraine.
           But this law cannot be implemented without reliable and sustainable security for all those living in the Donbas region on both sides of the Line of Contact. We call on Russia to use its leverage with the forces it trains, equips, leads, and fights alongside to disengage from the line of contact, to take steps to withdraw from disengagement areas, and to withdraw and store its proscribed weapons in accordance with its Minsk commitments. […]
          We reiterate our deep concerns about the large numbers of Crimeans imprisoned for nothing more than their opposition to Russia’s occupation, and we call on Russia to immediately release all Crimeans imprisoned on baseless political pretexts. […]
          The United States fully supports Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders. We do not, nor will we ever, recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. Crimea-related sanctions on Russia will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine. We join our European and other partners in restating that our sanctions against Russia for its aggression in eastern Ukraine will remain until Russia fully implements its commitments under the Minsk agreements.”

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