Ukraine: Daily Briefing
January 4, 2019, 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 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 3 times in total.
2. Ukraine’s stock market world’s best performing in 2018
The Kyiv Post reported, “Ukraine’s stock market index PFTS turned out to be one of the world’s best-performing ones in 2018, according to CNBC, a business news channel, a subdivision of American-based National Broadcasting Company television network.
The media outlet reported on Jan. 3 that Ukraine’s performance has increased by as much as 80.39 percent through 2018, as demonstrated by data sources provided by Refinitiv, a global financial data center formerly associated with Thompson Reuters group.
PFTS’s skyrocketing output in 2018 comfortably headlined the list of the world’s fastest-growing stock markets, which also included Macedonia (+30.41 percent), Qatar (+20.87 percent), the United Arab Emirates (+11.75 percent), and Saudi Arabia (+11.75).”
3. Ukraine green energy investments grow
Ukraine Business News reported, “Ukraine’s installed renewable energy capacity jumped by 54% last year, hitting 2,117 MW, according to the Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Utilities. Of the 742 MW of new installed capacity, 98% was for solar and wind. Solar, the leader, nearly doubled in capacity last year, hitting 1,388 MW. Wind grew by 12%, to 533 MW. Biomass grew by 31% to 51 MW, and biogas by 35% to 46 MW.
In 2018, the Commission set ‘green’ tariffs for 202 renewable energy facilities — 163 solar stations, 16 biogas and biomass stations, 12 small hydropower plants, and 11 wind farms. One third were in Kherson, southern Ukraine’s region with the highest rate of solar radiation, after occupied Crimea. In addition, about 3,000 households installed rooftop solar panels in 2018, equal to half the total for the previous four years, reports the State Agency for Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving.
By 2035, renewables will account for 25% of Ukraine’s energy production, largely displacing coal, which will drop to 13%, predicts Kyiv’s Razumkov Center. Shares of gas and nuclear will remain virtually the same – 30% for gas and 25% for nuclear. Not counting large scale hydro projects, renewables account for 2% of energy production.”
4. Polish Foreign Minister: construction of Nord Stream 2 pipeline destroys the effect of sanctions against Russia
Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz was interviewed by German newspaper Handelsblatt. Ukrinform reported, ” ‘We need more decisive actions of the EU and NATO against Russia. The main issue here is Nord Stream 2 as the pipeline destroys the effects of sanctions. Nord Stream 2 is killing Ukraine,’ Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said in an interview with the Handelsblatt German newspaper.
If Russian gas is no longer transited through Ukraine, Kyiv will lose significant revenue, and the security of the entire country will be affected, the minister noted and assured that only the transit through the territory of Ukraine guaranteed protection against further Russian aggression. Czaputowicz also expressed regret for a failure to agree on a common European stance on the Nord Stream 2.
‘Poland, the United States and the European Commission in this context represent a pro-European stance, while Germany represents an anti-European one. Germany often thinks that the European stance is identical with the German one. However, it is not so in case of the Nord Stream 2,’ the Polish foreign minister said.
He noted that Poland and Germany had generally similar views on Russian aggression in Ukraine as they recognized the aggressive actions of Russia in Ukraine, condemned the annexation of Crimea, actions on Donbas or the attack on Ukrainian ships in the Sea of Azov.
‘We also agree with the EU’s response to Russian aggression and send a message through sanctions. However, we want more decisive actions,’ Jacek Czaputowicz emphasized.”