Ukraine: Daily Briefing – November 16, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

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Ukraine: Daily Briefing
November 16, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian army artillery units participate in training exercises. 
Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence
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. One Ukrainian National Police Officer was killed and two were wounded when their police car struck an anti-tank mine near Hnutove, on the Mariupol sector of the front. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions 16 times in total on the Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol sectors of the front.
2. EU Report: Evaluation of Ukrainian reforms shows considerable progress but need to accelerate implementation to reap full benefits
The European Union stated on November 15, “A report produced by the European External Action Service and the European Commission highlights that Ukraine has pursued the implementation of a number of reforms identified in its Association Agenda in 2017, with several significant successes. […]
           The report outlines that Ukraine has pursued the implementation of structural reforms, generating positive trends in the economic and social spheres despite internal and external challenges. The year 2017 also witnessed important legislative developments in areas such as the electricity market, energy efficiency, environment, education and decentralisation.
           Furthermore, key reforms such as pensions, healthcare and food safety were initiated. Justice sector reform continued with the adoption of a new law on the Constitutional Court and the setting up of the new Supreme Court. The implementation of the Strategy on Public Administration Reform has advanced and the reforming of law enforcement bodies continues.
           The report emphasises that Ukraine has continued to advance measures to tackle corruption, but that further steps need to be taken in order for these measures to have tangible benefits. […]
           The report acknowledges the continued, resolute policy actions taken by the Ukrainian authorities, supported by international partners, which resulted in a consolidated stabilisation of the economy. […]
           Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, stated, “We remain convinced of the fundamental commitment of the Ukrainian President, government and Rada to deep-seated reform of the country. Of course this has not been a straightforward process: corruption is deep-rooted and there are vested interests that need to be overcome; naturally there are setbacks along the way that we must contend with. We are at times critical, and we insist on certain conditions, yet we are aware of how much Ukraine has already changed, with much more having been achieved in the past three years than in the decades before that, and under very challenging circumstances. The European Union will stick with Ukraine.”
3. G7 Ambassadors support electoral reform in Ukraine

The Ambassadors to Ukraine of the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, USA) stated on November 15, “We congratulate the Verkhovna Rada for adopting the draft election code #3112-1 in the first reading. We agree that now is the time for electoral reform, allowing at least one year for implementation prior to the 2019 elections.
          We believe that there is still room for a transparent, inclusive and consultative process before the second reading in order to further enhance democratic representation, including through effective sanctions for violations of election laws and for the abuse of state resources, to increase political participation and representation of vulnerable and minority groups, including women and internally displaced persons, and to accelerate political finance reform.
          We also call for a renewal in 2017 of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) by filling all expired 13 seats, thereby establishing a politically balanced election commission, with a strong, long-term mandate, supported by a modernized election administration.
          We strongly believe that electoral reforms, in line with relevant international commitments and standards, are pivotal to realizing Ukraine’s full potential. Effective and credible electoral processes, and the resulting legitimacy of elected institutions and leaders, will have a profound impact on long-term democratic strengthening, political stability, and economic progress.”

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