Ukraine: Daily Briefing – May 14, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
May 14, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian army armored units training exercises. 
Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front 63 times in total, including at least 15 times with heavy weapons – artillery and mortars.
2. EU adds five persons involved in the organisation of Russian presidential elections in illegally annexed Crimea and Sevastopol to sanctions list
The European Council stated today, “The Council added five persons to the list of those subject to restrictive measures over actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
           They are listed because of their involvement in the organisation of the Russian presidential elections of 18 March 2018 in the illegally annexed Crimea and Sevastopol, thereby actively supporting and implementing policies that undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. The five individuals hold positions of responsibility in the electoral commissions of Crimea or Sevastopol. The measures consist of a travel ban and an asset freeze.
           The decision brings the total number of individuals listed by the EU to 155. In addition, the EU has frozen the assets of 38 entities under this sanctions regime.”
3. Ukraine’s PM meets with German Minister for Economy
photo – Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers

Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers reported, “Germany sees Ukraine as a reliable gas transit country and an important trading partner in the Eastern European region. This is precisely why the Government of Germany will continue to support Kyiv on a wide range of issues, including the continuation of policy of sanctions against the aggressor-country. This statement was made by Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany Peter Altmaier in the course of a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman. The meeting took place in Kyiv as a part of the Minister’s visit to Ukraine.
           ‘We must respect the interests of Ukraine, including financial, to develop safeguards in order to continue transit of gas through the territory of Ukraine and to achieve positive results,’ the Federal Minister stressed. […]
            Speaking about the transit potential of Ukraine, the capacities of the Ukrainian gas transport system, the Prime Minister emphasized that the Russian project for the construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is far from a commercial project.
            Nord Stream 2 is exceptionally a geopolitical structure designed to exert political pressure on Ukraine and Europe and to pose a direct threat to the Ukrainian state, assures the Prime Minister of Ukraine.
           ‘For Russia, this is a lucrative project that, in the long run, will ensure the dependence of the whole Europe on Russia. And there is no specific guarantee that Nord Stream 2 isn’t intended to serve political purposes. Meanwhile, I guarantee that the Ukrainian GTS has been and will remain a reliable transit partner and provide 100% gas delivery to European consumers. We are prepared to modernize and manage our gas transit system in synergy with international partners,’ added Volodymyr Groysman.”
4. UK MI5 chief: Russia has unleashed a fog of lies and risks becoming an isolated pariah
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “Russia is seeking to undermine European democracies and sow doubt in the West through malign activities and a “fog of lies,” the head of Britain’s domestic spy agency has told European intelligence chiefs. In a May 14 address in Berlin, MI5 chief Andrew Parker said that Russia was carrying out ‘aggressive and pernicious actions’ and risks becoming an ‘isolated pariah.’
           Parker’s address to the gathering hosted by Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence service was the first public speech outside Britain by a serving head of the agency.
          Parker said that a March nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia was a ‘deliberate and targeted malign activity’ on British soil, and one of Moscow’s ‘flagrant breaches of international rules.’ […]
         Parker also condemned what he called a disinformation campaign mounted by Russia following the attack. He said there was a need ‘to shine a light through the fog of lies, half-truths, and obfuscation that pours out of their propaganda machine.’ […]
        The MI5 chief also said that the Russian occupation and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula cannot be acceptable and neither is meddling in Western elections.”
The video of Parker’s address can be seen here

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