Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
13 December 2016, 5PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Krymske with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Novozvanivka with artillery and mortars. At Novooleksandrivka, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Avdiyivka with high-caliber machine guns and grenade launchers. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions on the Pavlopil-Shyrokyne line with mortars. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in action.
2. EU Report: Ukraine undertaking intense, unprecedented reforms
A joint report by the EU External Action Service and the European Commission on the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement stated, “In 2015 and 2016, Ukraine has undertaken intense and unprecedented reforms across a number of sectors of the economy and society, while its democratic institutions have been further revitalised. Ukraine is committed to the protection and promotion of common fundamental values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and the conflict in the east of the country provoked by Russia’s destabilising actions pose significant challenges to Ukraine’s reform process from a political and economic perspective, in addition to causing significant human suffering. Ukraine is actively seeking peaceful legal and political solutions in this area.” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy F. Mogherini stated, “Ukraine has taken big steps in the last two years, under very difficult circumstances, not least the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. Today’s report fully recognises this work done by the Ukrainian authorities. It is now crucial to move from passing legislation and setting up institutions to full implementation of these reforms so that Ukrainian citizens can reap the benefits. Ukraine can count on the European Union’s support moving forward”. The report, released ahead of the EU-Ukraine Association Council which will be held on 19 December, is available at https://eeas.europa.eu/
headquarters/headquarters- homepage/17066/eu-report- ukraine-carrying-out- unprecedented-reforms_en
3. Reuters: Merkel, Hollande back extending sanctions on Russia over Ukraine
German Chancellor A. Merkel and French President F. Hollande stated that they want to extend sanctions against Russia due to lack of progress on implementing a ceasefire deal in eastern Ukraine, Reuters reported. Merkel and Hollande were speaking two days before an EU summit where the extension of EU sanctions against Russia will be discussed. Merkel stated, “It will be necessary to extend the sanctions against Russia again – although we would have wished for better progress in the implementation of this process,” Reuters reported. French President F. Hollande stated, “We must continue to apply the terms of the Minsk agreement and when they are not carried out, we must continue with sanctions,” Reuters reported.