Ukraine: Daily Briefing
September 20, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian Armed Forces training exercises.
Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported 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. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 1 and wounded 3 enemy combatants.
2. Ukraine’s President addresses Parliament
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko delivered his annual address to Ukraine’s Parliament, “On the Internal and External Situation in Ukraine in 2018.”
President Poroshenko stated, “In the pursuit of true peace on the basis of Ukrainian interest, in the struggle for it, the issue of sovereignty, territorial integrity of Ukraine and our civilizational choice is not and will not be a subject of compromise. Otherwise there will not be us anymore, we will no longer be ourselves or there will be soldiers of another state. […]
Neither the appeasement of the aggressor … nor the consent to the terms of Russia will bring us peace. Strengthening of our country’s defense capabilities, our army, consolidation of the diplomatic corps and the increase of unity within the country will lead us to a genuine and just peace. Solid frontline and rear, unity and solidarity of society in the struggle against the enemy will secure peace and victory.”
A transcript of President Poroshenko’s address is available here
3. Ukraine’s Parliament votes to submit bills enshrining Ukraine’s course to Euro-Atlantic integration in Constitution to Constitutional Court
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “Ukrainian lawmakers have voted to submit draft bills to the country’s top court that would enshrine Ukraine’s course toward Euro-Atlantic integration in the constitution.
A total of 321 lawmakers voted on September 20 to appeal to the Constitutional Court to review the proposed amendments. After the court issues its judgement, the draft bills will return to the Verkhovna Rada where they will need at least 300 votes to pass.
Earlier in the day, President Petro Poroshenko told lawmakers that Ukraine needs the constitutional amendments to make EU and NATO membership its long-term goal.
In his annual address to parliament on Ukraine’s domestic and foreign policy, Poroshenko said the Ukrainian armed forces will meet the criteria for NATO membership by 2020.”
4. Naftogaz, MGU present roadmap to unbundle Ukraine’s transmission system operator by January 2020
Naftogaz Ukrainy stated on September 19, “Today Supervisory boards of Naftogaz and Magistralni Gazoprovody Ukrainy (MGU) held a meeting with key stakeholders to present the Roadmap of the unbundling of the transmission system operator (TSO) in Ukraine.
‘Naftogaz has set the unbundling as one of its strategic priorities. A successful TSO unbundling is both a formal goal and a personal commitment of Naftogaz top management, in particular Andriy Kobolyev,’ said Clare Spottiswoode, Chairperson of Naftogaz’ Supervisory Board.
‘With memorandum of understanding we have found a way to work together to ensure Ukraine has a fully fledged independent TSO. We have set clear targets, and we know who is in charge of each step of the plan. It is a shared priority for both companies to ensure the system works efficiently and that the transition proceeds smoothly. Of course, in this process we rely on support from our key external stakeholders, ‘said Fabrice Noihlan, Member of the Supervisory Board of MGU. […]
Naftogaz and MGU are fully aligned on achieving the task. The two boards have signed the Memorandum of understanding which sets a new framework for an efficient cooperation. The two companies cooperate on a daily basis to streamline the preparations and ensure a smooth transition.
Naftogaz has engaged experienced consultants to cover all legal, technical and operational aspects of the unbundling process. The company management is making sure that these forces work in an organized and coordinated manner to have all practical steps taken in time to create a fully functional unbundled TSO in Ukraine by 1 January 2020.”