Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
2 July 2015, 7 PM Kyiv time
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that Russian- terrorist forces continue intense artillery shelling of Ukrainian positions at several locations towards Mariupol. Towards Donetsk, clashes with Russian-terrorist forces took place near Horlivka. The most intense confrontations towards Donetsk were at Pisky and Maryinka. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at several locations with mortars and small arms. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported at 9 AM Kyiv time that Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 54 times in the last 24 hours. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four were wounded.
- Ukraine, commercial creditors to begin debt negotiations next week
On 1 July, Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance stated, “A meeting took place at the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington DC on 30 June 3015 between a Ukrainian delegation headed by Ukrainian Debt Envoy Vitaly Lisovenko, members of Ukraine’s ad hoc creditors committee and representatives of the International Monetary Fund. The meeting provided a forum for a useful exchange of views on the Ukrainian macroeconomic setting and technical aspects of Ukraine’s envisaged debt operation. Following the meeting, Ukraine and members of the ad hoc creditors committee reached agreement on confidentiality arrangements that will allow principal to principal negotiations on the substance of possible solution to start next week. The parties have agreed to enter such negotiations in good faith, with no preconditions and with the objective of concluding an agreement on the terms of the debt operation as soon as possible.”
- Ukraine’s State Security Service: Russian generals leading terrorist forces in Donbas
According to a report published by Bloomberg, the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) provided a document to the US government which states that “five Russian generals are playing a key role in organizing and commanding separatist forces inside Ukraine […]Top Ukrainian intelligence officials shared the document with White House, State Department and U.S. intelligence officials in Washington late last month.” The full story is available at http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-07-02/ukraine-says-russian-generals-lead-separatists
- Ukraine suspends purchase of Russian gas
State energy firm Naftogaz Ukrainy suspended the purchase of natural gas from Gazprom on 1 July, stating that the delivery of Russian gas via Ukraine to the EU and Turkey would not be affected. Naftogaz stated, “Naftogaz is ready to renew gas purchases from Gazprom after a comprehensive temporary agreement is reached between the parties. Such an agreement should cover all unresolved issues related to the disputed gas supply contract between Naftogaz and Gazprom at least until 31 March 2016. Just as the previously agreed ‘winter package’, this solution should be trilateral and binding in order to ensure its implementation by all sides. The final settlement between the companies is to be made based on the outcome of the ongoing arbitration proceedings in Stockholm. At the recent trilateral negotiations in Vienna, the European Commission and Ukraine have offered Russia to agree on such a temporary solution. It would prevent the unwanted escalation during the next winter season and ensure security of supply of Russian gas to Europe. However, the Russian delegation rejected the offer and refused to sign a trilateral protocol.”
- President submits draft constitutional amendments on decentralization to Parliament
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko submitted draft constitutional amendments on decentralization to Parliament. The draft law “On changes to the Constitution of Ukraine (on decentralization of power) is available in Ukrainian at http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=55812
- Parliament fires Minister of Ecology; approves appointment of new chief of State Security
Ukraine’s parliament passed a resolution removing Ihor Shevchenko from the post of Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, at the request of the Prime Minister. Parliament also approved the appointment of Vasyl Hrytsak as head of the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) at the request of the President.