Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
4 April 2014
1. Situation in Crimea
The evacuation of Ukrainian military personnel from Crimea continues. 550 Ukrainian navy personnel left Sevastopol for mainland Ukraine with their families. They left flying Ukrainian flags and the flags of the Ukrainian navy. According to the Ministry of Defense, remaining Ukrainian military personnel in Crimea are responsible for the evacuation of military materiel to mainland Ukraine. 233 cadets, officers and their families from the PS Nakhimov Naval Academy left Crimea for Odesa. McDonald’s announced that it is closing its Simferopol, Yalta and Sevastopol resttaurants in Crimea. They have guaranteed their Crimea employees the right to work at any other McDonald’s in Ukraine, and have promised to pay travel costs and lodging for the employees and their families. Deutsche Post will no longer accept Crimea-bound mail, as the Ukrainian Postal Service informed the Universal Postal Union about difficulties in guaranteeing the delivery of mail to Crimea in the current situation.
2. NATO Deputy Sec. Gen. Ambassador A. Vershbow speaks at Security Conference in Krakow
The Deputy Sec. Gen. of NATO Ambassador A. Vershbow spoke at a Security Conference in Krakow, where he stated that “we need not only the right capabilities to project stability, but also the right relationships…This must include doing what we can to support Ukraine and other Eastern partners such as Georgia and the Republic of Moldova – in close coordination with the efforts of the European Union and other organizations. And we must keep our door open for new countries to join our Alliance, making clear that no outside power can have a veto.”
3. Council of Europe: Annexation of Crimea illegal; ad hoc report on Minority Rights
The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers deemed the annexation of Crimea illegal, and the Council of Europe Ministers’ Deputies stated that the “the illegal referendum of 16 March and the ensuing, also illegal, annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation could in no way constitute an ad hoc report of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, which “observed no immediate threat to the enjoyment of minority rights in the current situation in mainland Ukraine. It expresses urgent concerns, however, for the safety and access to rights of minority populations in Crimea, in particular the Crimean Tatars, numerically smaller minorities as well as persons belonging to the Ukrainian community, who are in a minority situation in Crimea.”
4. Ukrainian blank passports taken in Crimea invalidated
14,500 blanks of Ukrainian passports that disappeared in Crimea have been invalidated. The serial numbers on the passports have been added to the database of the Border Service of Ukraine as passports that are stolen or missing. Any attempt to use these passports to cross the border into Ukraine will be unsuccessful.
5. Rules for Russian citizens coming into Ukraine strengthened
Rules for Russian citizens coming into Ukraine are being enhanced. Beginning 7 April, citizens of the Russian Federation will be only able to remain in Ukraine for no more than 90 days of a 180 day term. The new regulations are in response to similar rules adopted by the Russian Federation in January 2014.