Ukraine: Daily Briefing – November 1, 2017, 8 PM Kyiv time

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Ukraine: Daily Briefing
November 1, 2017, 8 PM Kyiv time
 
Ukrainian army training exercises. Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense


1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and five Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions 17 times on the Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol sectors of the front, including at least 5 times with heavy weapons – mortars and artillery.
2. Ukraine’s Prime Minister meets with Canada’s Prime Minister
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman met with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on October 31. Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers stated, “Ukraine and Canada have a strategic partnership based on enduring friendship, strong political dialogue, commitment to democratic values and prospects of joint implementation of projects in the most promising sectors of the economy today.
           For this reason, Ukraine is counting on the enhancement of the political dialogue and the expansion of the free Trade Agreement. Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman made this statement in the course of the meeting with Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. The negotiations became one of the key events of the visit to Canada. […]
           The Prime Minister of Ukraine emphasized that the development of mutually beneficial cooperation with Canada both at the geopolitical level and in the trade and economic sphere is a top priority. […] The cooperation in the international political arena is efficient as well. The issues at stake are countering Russian aggression and […] sanctions policy.
          The Heads of Government discussed priorities pertaining to Canada’s G7 presidency in 2018. It was agreed that during the forthcoming G7 summit in June 2018, the Ukrainian issue will be considered both in the context of strengthening security and peace as well as in the coordination of international support for the implementation of reforms.
          The interlocutors also discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine and the possibilities for the deployment of a peacekeeping operation under the auspices of the United Nations in Donbas.”
3. Ukraine’s PM at Canadian parliamentary hearing: We have launched a process of transforming Ukraine into a country with a sound economy
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman spoke at the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade on October 31. He stated, “The process of shaping Ukraine into a State having a sound economy has begun, and we express gratitude for the support of our international partners, especially of Canada, that was with us in the time of hardship and is still remaining our partner. […]
          We have great opportunities for cooperation in the agricultural sector, considerable potential in aerospace industry and energy sector, inter alia alternative energy. Construction, light industry, services sector, etc. – all these are included into a list of opportunities for our partnership.”
          Prime Minister Groysman’s testimony can be viewed in its entirety here
4. Atlantic Council on new US sanctions on Russia
Writing for the Atlantic Council, Daniel Fried (former US State Department Coordinator for Sanctions Policy) and Brian O’Toole, non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program, stated, “The Trump administration on October 26 issued a robust list of Russian defense and intelligence sector entities plus public guidance, which together seem to indicate its intention to robustly implement the new Russia sanctions.
          Although the list does not itself impose sanctions, it is a significant action, which, if implemented carefully, could impose new restrictions on Russian military and intelligence apparatus.
          Section 231 of the recent Russia sanctions law (the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”) requires the administration to choose from a menu of sanctions on persons engaging in “significant transactions” with the Russian defense or intelligence sector. The intention appears to be to put pressure on third countries to curtail arms purchases from Russia and isolate Russia’s defense industry. […]
          The list of Russian defense and intelligence entities subject to Section 231’s restrictions is strong. Notably, the list includes Sukhoi, the Russian airplane manufacturer whose planes were reportedly used in the horrific Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack in Syria in April; Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state arms exporter that was involved in the controversial S-300 missile sale to Iran in 2016; and Tupolev, which makes bombers that have also been used in Syria. Rostec, a massive industrial conglomerate that serves as a holding company for much of Russia’s defense sector and includes up to 700 entities across civilian as well as military sectors, is also on the list.
         The list further includes the SVR, Russia’s external intelligence service and the one major arm of Russia’s intelligence apparatus not designated by the Obama administration in response to Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election. The listing of these entities will increase the potential risk for any company or country that engages with them in business, sharpening a choice: do business with the United States, or do business with these Russian entities.  […]

Implemented wisely, and working with allies, Section 231 could put additional pressure on Russia’s defense industry, a significant source of national income and a point of national (and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s) pride. Whatever doubts may have been generated by earlier rhetoric from US President Donald J. Trump, the administration’s action is a meaningful and proportional response to Russian aggression that the US Congress appears to have intended when it passed the law.”


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