Ukraine: Daily Briefing – October 10, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
October 10, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
UAF training exercises. Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was 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 39 times in total, including at least 14 times with heavy weapons – mortars and artillery. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 3 and wounded 5 enemy combatants.
2. EU calls for immediate release of Sentsov and all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in Russia and Crimea
The European Union’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson stated on October 7, “Oleh Sentsov was jailed for alleged activities conducted on the Crimean Peninsula, the illegal annexation of which by the Russian Federation he strongly opposes. The EU considers the case to be in breach of international law and elementary standards of justice. Oleh Sentsov has shown incredible courage, determination and selflessness during his 145 days of hunger strike.
           His health has now deteriorated to a critical state. In refusing to provide him with appropriate medical treatment in an institutionalised medical setting, the authorities of the Russian Federation have violated his human rights as well as their own human rights commitments under international law, namely the European Court of Human Rights interim measure of 25 July this year.
           The European Union stands in solidarity with Oleh Sentsov and, in addition to swift and appropriate medical treatment, expects his immediate release, along with all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in Russia and on the Crimean peninsula. International human rights standards on the peninsula must be upheld.”
3. UNDP to support 15 municipal agricultural biomass heating projects in Ukraine
The United Nations Development Programme stated, “Following the UNDP/GEF call for municipal projects proposals in the heating sphere using agricultural biomass, 15 such projects will be provided with technical assistance, including consultancy in the process of technical documentation development, as well as the search for the most relevant project financial mechanisms. […]
           The submitted project proposals feature the construction of a new, or a reconstruction of existing boiler houses, and the installation of biofuel boilers using agricultural biomass (for instance, straw, corn stalks, sunflowers, energy crops).
           This is an effective alternative source of thermal energy, bringing significant economic benefits and allowing municipalities to save both fuel and energy resources. The highest number of applications was received from the city of Uman, Cherkasy region, while the city of Bakhmut in Donetsk region submitted the projects with the highest capacity. […] The implementation of selected projects is scheduled for October 2018.”
4. UK Secretary of State for International Trade addresses Ukraine Week in London
UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox addressed 150 senior executives at the Ukraine Week 2018 event hosted by FT Live. Fox stated, “It is axiomatic that there can be no military security without economic security. Few countries understand this better then Ukraine.
           We are here today not only to deepen the commercial ties between our two nations, but as a show of solidarity and unity in the face of external aggression.
           The United Kingdom, of course, has also recently suffered direct action by Russia. If nations are to successfully meet and combat external aggression, then they must first ensure their own strength, both politically and economically. Part of this is winning internal battles against the forces that stifle economic activity and threaten investment, such as corruption and bureaucracy. […] The UK stands ready to help Ukraine in any way we can in these challenges, not only for our mutual prosperity, but as a common defence. […]
           Ukraine’s economy has undoubtedly suffered in recent years, not only through the annexation of physical territory and infrastructure, but through the uncertainty of ongoing conflict. Yet there are encouraging signs that the recovery is underway. Last year the total trade between Ukraine and the UK topped £1 billion, following two years of strong growth across the board, in goods and services, imports and exports. […]
          British companies, like many others across the world, are increasingly aware of all that Ukraine has to offer, and the huge commercial opportunities that exist in the country. […] But as well as external threats there are, as I have mentioned, internal challenges to be resolved if the country is to fully realise its opportunities.
          Corruption exists, as it does in many nations around the world. A key difference here though is awareness, and a strong desire to tackle and resolve the issue. The Ukrainian people recognise the threat that corruption, inefficient public ownership, and overzealous and stifling bureaucracy pose to foreign investment, economic output, and ultimately prosperity.
          The establishment of a Business Ombudsman and the National Anti-Corruption Agency are important steps in the right direction, as is the commendable ambition to bring Ukraine into the top ten nations globally on the ease of doing business rankings. It has already become the most improved country in the world since 2010.
          Ukraine has made more progress in the last 4 years than in the previous 20, particularly in reform of the banking sector, good governance institutions and launching the electronic asset and income declaration system. I am proud to say that the United Kingdom, and my own Department, is taking a leading role in helping Ukraine to achieve these goals. […] This year, we are delivering a £35 million package to support reforms in good governance, anti-corruption and defence. […]
          But perhaps the most important immediate task, and certainly the most important facing my own department, is the post-Brexit transition of the Ukraine-EU Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement into a new bilateral settlement.
We have designated Ukraine as one of the UK’s post-Brexit priority markets, and our ambition is to further improve and liberalise the trading relationship between us. […]
          The progress that has been made by Ukraine is hugely significant, and already the dividends are appearing. Nothing should be taken for granted. But if we work together to meet the challenges of the future, then we can, and will, defend our freedom, our prosperity, and our liberty.”

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