Ukraine: Daily Briefing – November 28, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

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Ukraine: Daily Briefing
November 28, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian army sniper participates in training exercises. 
Photo – Joint Task Force-Ukraine
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 Luhansk, Donetsk and Mariupol sectors of the front.
2. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs protests illegal detention by Russia of Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko
Roman Sushchenko. Photo – PEN America
Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its absolute protest regarding the Moscow City Court’s ruling as of November 27, 2017, to extend the custodial term of Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, who is illegally detained in Russia under fabricated charges, for another two-month term until January 30, 2018.
          The Court once again rejected defense’s request to change Roman Sushchenko’s precautionary measure for non-custodial, which proves a continued pressure and prejudication of Russian judicial organs.
          Purposeful political character of case against Roman Sushchenko confirmed by the closed judgement session, as well as denial to grant access for a consular officer to participate in the session as public defender in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation.
         Ukraine calls upon the international community, international human rights institutions and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of Media to take all appropriate legal and political actions to release and return Ukrainian citizen and journalist Roman Sushchenko to Ukraine.”
3. Ukraine extremely concerned Council of Europe caving to Russian blackmail
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on November 27, “Ukrainian officials and politicians have reacted with alarm to reports that the Council of Europe is considering lifting sanctions imposed against Russia over its military intervention in Crimea out of fears that Moscow might otherwise leave the body.
          ‘We are extremely concerned,’ Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s ambassador to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), told RFE/RL from Strasbourg on November 27. ‘The issue now goes far beyond interests of Ukraine. It’s in the interests of the entire region to defend the Council of Europe from Russian blackmail and leaning toward Russia.’
           Kuleba’s comments came after the Financial Times (FT) reported on November 26 that Moscow was demanding that its voting rights in PACE — which were revoked in 2014 in response to Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula — be restored, and that the secretary-general of the Council of Europe was lobbying in support of the idea.
          FT said Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland had been touring European capitals warning that Moscow could withdraw from the 47-member Council of Europe, which oversees the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), unless its demands were met. […]
          The interview with Jagland sparked anger in Kyiv. In a Facebook post, Volodymyr Ariyev, Ukraine’s PACE delegation head and a lawmaker for the ruling party of President Petro Poroshenko, accused Jagland of suffering from ‘Stockholm syndrome,’ suggesting he had become a hostage to Russian interests. […]
          If Russia is given back its voting rights now, Kuleba said, Ukraine would remain a member of the Council of Europe, ‘though our parliamentarians [would] seriously consider pulling out from PACE.'”
4. India becomes biggest consumer of Ukraine agriculture exports
Reuters reported, “India was the biggest market for Ukrainian agriculture products in the first 10 month of 2017, importing 11.3 percent of exports in cash terms, Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday.
           Ukrainian agriculture exports were worth $14.7 billion in the 10 months to October, about 23 percent more than in the same period last year, the ministry said in a statement.
           Egypt was the second-largest importer, with a 7.5 percent share, and the Netherlands was the third, with 6.9 percent.
          The ministry said sunflower oil dominated Ukrainian agriculture exports in January-October, worth $3.6 billion. Ukraine also exported 15.6 million tonnes of maize for $2.4 billion and 14.2 million tonnes of wheat for $2.2 billion.
           Ukraine is among the world’s biggest exporters of sunflower oil, maize and wheat. […]
           Agriculture consultancy UkrAgroConsult said Ukrainian sunflower oil available for export was expected to fall 4 percent to 5.58 million tonnes in the 2017/18 season due to a smaller sunflower harvest.
           Ukraine has almost completed the 2017 sunseed harvest, threshing 11.9 million tonnes compared with 13.3 million tonnes in 2016.
           Sunflower oil exports in the first two months of this season set a record of 850,000 tonnes, up from 710,000 tonnes a year earlier.
           UkrAgroConsult said 334,000 tonnes of sunflower oil was exported to India in September-October against 206,000 tonnes in the same two months of 2016. Ukraine’s share of the Indian market rose by 10 percentage points to 39.4 percent.
India is a key market for Ukrainian sunflower oil, taking about a third of exports. The EU takes about 29 percent, while 10 percent goes to China.”

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