Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
18 March 2014
1. Soldier killed in Crimea
According to reports a Ukrainian soldier has been shot and killed in Simferopol, Crimea during an attempt to storm a military building by Russian troops. PM Yatseniuk stated that the invasion of Crimea is turning from a political to a military conflict. Yatseniuk ordered the Minister of Defense of Ukraine to immediately contact the Secretary of Defense of the US, Minister of Defense of UK and Russia as signatories of the Budapest Memorandum to “not allow for further escalation of the conflict and for dialogue to re-establish the rights of the Ukrainian state and for the cessation of violations of norms of international law by the Russian Federation.
2. Putin signs “Treaty” annexing Crimea
Russian President Putin has signed a “Treaty” with the self-proclaimed and illegal authorities of Crimea – A. Aksyonov, and V. Konstantinov – “On the Accession of the Republic of Crimea in the Russian Federation on Forming New Constituent Entities within the Russian Federation.” The “Treaty” shall be “applied provisionally from the date of signature and shall enter into force on the date of ratification.” It is possible that the State Duma will “ratify” this “Treaty” as soon as tomorrow. This agreement amounts to an annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territory by the Russian Federation. It is in direct contravention to international law and a series of Russia’s international obligations. It is the biggest threat to European and world security since the end of the. Cold War, and constitutes a direct challenge to European borders established after WWII.
3. Ukraine reacts to “Treaty” on Crimea
Acting President O. Turchynov called signing of the “Treaty” a “dirty game connected with the annexation of Crimea…Putin today is copying the fascists of the last century, annexing the territory of an independent country recognized by the entire world.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that “we insist that all countries and international organizations use effective measures against the aggressor.”
4. European Commission does not recognize Annexation of Crimea
The President of the European Commission and President of the European Council issued the following statement: “The European Union does not and will not recognise the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation. In line with the declaration of the Heads of State and Government of the EU of 6 March and our statement on Crimea of 16 March, the European Council will discuss the situation in Ukraine at its meeting this week and agree on a united European response.” German Chancellor Merkel stated that the annexation of Crimea is in violation of international law.
5. US President invites G7 to meet on Ukraine
White House spokesperson Caitlin Hayden stated that President Obama invited leaders of the G7 and European Union states to discuss the situation in Ukraine and “further steps that the G-7 may take to respond to developments and to support Ukraine.” The meeting will take place on the sidelines of the nuclear summit being held in the Netherlands next week. In Poland today, American Vice President Joe Biden called the “Treaty” signed today a “land grab” and stated that additional sanctions are being prepared against the Russian Federation.
6. Foreign Affairs Council of EU on Ukraine
The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union yesterday confirmed their support for Ukraine signing the political provisions of the Association Agreement with the European Union on 21 March. They reiterated the commitment of the EU to enhancing people-to-people contacts through visa liberalization, as part of the Visa Liberalization Action Plan.
7. Draft Law on Ukraine accession to the European Union
A draft law on Ukraine accession to the European Union was tabled today in Ukraine’s parliament.