Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
20 October 2016, 6 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy mortar shelling of Ukrainian positions at Stanytsia Luhansk. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Krymske. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Avdiyivka with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Luhanske village with mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Krasnohorivka, Talakivka and Vodyane with mortars and artillery. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and three Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. Leaders of Ukraine, Germany, France, Russia meet in Berlin
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko, German Chancellor A. Merkel, French President F. Hollande and Russian President V. Putin met in Berlin on 19 October. President Poroshenko stated that during the negotiations the parties agreed to elaborate a roadmap for the implementation of the Minsk agreements, adding that the Ministers of Foreign Affairs have been instructed to approve the basis of the “roadmap” by the end of November. “President Petro Poroshenko emphasizes that local elections in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions must be preceded by mandatory fulfillment of all security components of the Minsk agreements and full withdrawal of foreign troops from the territory of Ukraine,” the President’s press service reported. “Our position provides for the withdrawal of all foreign armed units before the elections, which is a necessary condition for the electoral process,” President Poroshenko stated.
3. Ukrainian Canadian lawyer appointed Director of Ukraine’s Investment Support Office
Ukrainian Canadian lawyer Daniel Bilak was appointed Director of Ukraine’s newly-formed Investment Support Office. Bilak, managing partner at CMS Cameron McKenna in Kyiv, has over 25 years of experience working in the private and public sectors in Ukraine. Between 1995 and 2006 he was a senior United Nations Development Programme governance expert, providing advice and assistance on rule of law, anti-corruption and regulatory issues to the Ukrainian government, including the President, Prime Minister, and the Minister of Justice of Ukraine. Ukraine’s Prime Minister V. Groysman presented the Investment Support Office at a Government meeting on 19 October. The Office “will serve as a mechanism to solve problems of businesses and to fulfill all organizational activities to accompany new investment projects,” the Cabinet of Ministers reported.
4. Ukraine’s President meets with Presidents of European Council, European Commission
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko met with the President of the European Council D. Tusk and President of the European Commission J-C. Junker. President Poroshenko’s press service, reported, “The parties once again confirmed the importance of preserving sanctions against Russia until full restoration of territorial integrity of Ukraine. Petro Poroshenko and Donald Tusk also coordinated positions on the eve of the European Council’s Summit to be held on October 20-21 in the course of which the strategy of the EU towards Russia will be discussed. Special attention was paid to the issue of speeding up ratification of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU by the Netherlands. During the negotiations, Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk assured Petro Poroshenko that they did everything to accelerate the introduction of the visa-free regime for Ukrainians. The parties also discussed the agenda of the Ukraine-EU Summit that will take place in Brussels on November 24.”