Ukraine: Daily Briefing
June 26, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one Ukrainian soldier was 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 24 times in total, including at least 4 times with heavy weapons.
2. A New Ukraine Rising
Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, and Volodymyr Groysman, Prime Minister of Ukraine, wrote for the EU Observer, “In Copenhagen this week we will see the international community gather for the Ukraine Reform Conference, an important driver for change in a country still torn by war. […]
In 2014 – 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall – a European country once again found itself caught in a make-believe zero-sum game, where outdated principles of spheres of influence and territorial claims incited the Kremlin to use military aggression against a neighboring country.
Today, four years later, Russian aggression against Ukraine is still ongoing and includes the conflict in Donbas and the attempted annexation of Crimea, as well as other attempts at destabilisation. Russia has set aside international law and principles and has caused instability and unpredictability in Europe. People are suffering, 1.5 million are displaced and many are dying in a military conflict on European soil, in a neighbour country to the EU.
Europe must not allow itself to forget this or forget what caused it: a people’s free choice of a European future in the winter of 2014, a choice which was attempted hindered through violence by Russia and the corrupt elite – embodied by former president Viktor Yanukovych. Yet the Ukrainian people prevailed and through democratic elections, they chose a leadership committed to reforms and European values.
Ukraine has come a long way since 2014, not least through the will of the Ukrainian people and its active civil society and with the firm backing of the international community. The government of Ukraine has undertaken remarkable reforms to ensure economic growth, provide effective governance, facilitate human capital development, implement the rule of law and fight corruption. […]
For the reform process to succeed, the fight against corruption is crucial. We welcome the recent breakthrough decision of the Ukrainian parliament, the Rada, to establish an independent high anti-corruption court in line with the Venice Commission’s recommendations. This is a major achievement. Ukraine is committed to establishing the new court as soon as possible. […]
Denmark will host the Ukraine Reform Conference on June 27 in Copenhagen. The Copenhagen Conference constitutes more than a gathering of governments; it is also a driver for change and a process in Ukraine and internationally in support of a reformed Ukraine and a stronger partnership between Ukraine and the international community. It is our hope, that the rising of a reformed new Ukraine will demonstrate to Russia that 19th century aggression will not be tolerated nor prove itself worthwhile in our 21st century Europe.”
3. Ukraine’s President speaks with NATO Secretary General
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko spoke by phone with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Ukraine’s Presidential Administration reported, “The President expressed gratitude to NATO for its consistent and unequivocal support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as its solidarity in countering Russian aggression.
Petro Poroshenko informed the Secretary General of the developments in the Donbas and stressed the importance of deploying multinational peacekeeping forces under the UN mandate in the occupied part of the Donbas.
The Head of State stressed that Ukraine continued to implement the course of Euro-Atlantic integration and reform of the security and defense sector in accordance with the NATO standards and with the involvement of the Alliance’s practical assistance. In this regard, the Secretary General of the Alliance praised the recent adoption of the Law on the National Security.
The parties discussed preparations for Ukraine’s participation in the NATO Summit in Brussels in July 2018. Jens Stoltenberg invited the President of Ukraine to take part in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of the heads of state and government, as well as in the high-level meeting of the member states and partner countries of the Peacekeeping Mission ‘Resolute Support’ in Afghanistan.
Petro Poroshenko and Jens Stoltenberg called for the release of all Ukrainian hostages held in prisons both in Russia and in the occupied territories as soon as possible.”
4. Ukraine exports to EU up 26.6%
Ukraine Business Journal reported that Ukraine’s exports to EU grew by 26.6%. Ukraine Business Journal stated, “‘The European Union is Ukraine’s main trading partner in the export of goods. […] Compared to the same period in 2017, we managed to make a qualitative leap in the trade with the EU,’ the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said. Ukraine’s exports to the EU soared to USD 6.6 billion In January-May 2018, the share of Ukraine’s exports that went to the European Union constituted 42.9% of total exports, Ukrinform reports.”