Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
1 December 2015, 7 PM Kyiv time
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Luhanske village and Mayorsk with small arms and grenade launchers. On the western outskirts of Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions several times throughout the day. Near Maryinka, Russian-terrorist snipers fired on Ukrainian positions. There was no combat at the Mariupol or Luhansk sectors of the front. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and one was wounded in action.
- US Sanctions Coordinator: US, EU have agreed to extend sanctions against Russia
US State Department Coordinator for Sanctions Policy D. Fried stated that the US and EU have agreed to extend sanctions against Russia until the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. Fried stated that only after the renewal of full Ukrainian control over its eastern border can sanctions begin to be lifted. Fried also stated that sanctions imposed on Russia over its occupation of Crimea are separate and part of the US and EU policy of non-recognition of Russia’s attempted annexation, Radio Svoboda reported.
- No deal in Ukraine-EU-Russia trade talks, talks to continue
Ukraine, the EU and Russia did not reach a deal on trade talks but agreed to keep talking ahead of the EU-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement coming into force on 1 January, 2016. Following the talks with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Klimkin and Russian Minister of Economic Development Ulyukayev, EU Trade Commissioner C. Maelstrom stated that “The clock is ticking very, very fast and … on Jan. 1 the DCFTA will enter into force,” Reuters reported.
- Russia lists Soros Open Society as “undesirable” organizations
On 30 November the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office designated Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation, founded by George Soros, as “undesirable” organizations because the activities of the organizations “represents a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and the security of the state.” NGOs designated as “undesirable” are prohibited from having offices, carrying out programs or transferring money to Russia. Individuals or legal entities who take part in the activities of “undesirable” NGOs face steep fines and prison sentences for a repeat “offense”. The US State Department said, “We are deeply troubled by Russia’s continued restrictions against civil society organizations in Russia. […] This action is yet another example of the Russian Government’s growing crackdown on independent voices and a deliberate step to further isolate the Russian people from the world.”
- Atlantic Council: Two Years after Euromaidan – what has been accomplished?
Atlantic Council Senior Fellow A. Aslund, in article Ukraine Two Years After Euromaidan: What Has Been Accomplished?, wrote, “many reforms have been carried out. […]Thanks to these reforms, the economy seems to have stabilized. […] The critical shortcoming of Ukraine’s current reforms is the absence of reforms in the judiciary system. The prosecutor general’s office needs to be cleaned up, and then the court should be reformed, which is a complex task. […]Ukraine’s greatest asset is its strong civil society. Ukraine is far too transparent and open to stay so corrupt. Ukrainians are also far too educated to stay so poor. Something has to give. It is not likely to be the Ukrainian population.” The full article is available at http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/ukraine-two-years-after-euromaidan-what-has-been-accomplished