Ukraine: Daily Briefing
January 21, 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 16 times in total. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 1 and wounded 2 enemy combatants in the last 24 hours.
2. Ukraine’s President on official visit to Israel
Ukraine’s Presidential Administration reported, “On January 20-21, 2019, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko will make an official visit to the State of Israel.
The program of the visit provides for the talks with President of the State of Israel Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister of the State of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and Speaker of the Knesset of Israel Yuli-Yoel Edelstein.
In the framework of the visit, it is planned to sign a Free Trade Agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the State of Israel. The President will also meet with Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem.”
3. Ukraine’s President visits World Holocaust Remembrance Center Yad Vashem
Photo – Ukraine’s Presidential Administration
Ukraine’s Presidential Administration reported, “President Petro Poroshenko and his wife Maryna Poroshenko visited the World Holocaust Remembrance Center “Yad Vashem” during the official visit to the State of Israel.
The presidential couple got acquainted with the exposition “Flashes of Memory”. Petro Poroshenko and his wife put a wreath to the monument to the victims of the Holocaust and visited the Children’s Memorial. The attendees honored memory of the deceased with a moment of silence.
” ‘We remember’ and ‘Never again’ – this is what Ukrainians, along with other nations say commemorating January 27 as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and honoring memory of the millions of victims of the Nazis,” Petro Poroshenko said. […]
‘Ukraine, as a state that suffered from the Holodomor of 1932-1933, when millions of Ukrainians were tortured by the communist Stalinist regime that committed genocide against the Ukrainian people, reverently keeps the memory of the Holocaust victims as well,’ the Head of State emphasized.
He also noted that the memory of those who have been saving people sentenced to death at the risk of their own lives is also honored today. Among them there were more than two and a half thousand Ukrainians.
‘Today, on behalf of the Ukrainian people, I would like to bow my head in memory of every victim of the Nazi regime, in memory of the millions of victims of the Holocaust innocently tortured and killed in dreadful years of the Holocaust in Ukraine and around the world. We cherish the memory of them,’ Petro Poroshenko emphasized.”
4. Ukraine gas firm says Russia delaying gas talks as they spur work on Nord Stream 2
Reuters reported, “Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz does not expect progress in gas transit talks on Monday with Russia which it says is delaying negotiations in order to get its Nord Stream 2 pipeline built first.
Russia’s planned doubling of capacity on the Nord Stream pipeline across the Baltic Sea to Germany could help Moscow bypass exports via Ukraine. That would deny Kyiv of transit fees that account or up to 3 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP).
‘Gazprom is delaying real talks in terms of transit in order to build Nord Stream 2 and then to have a different negotiating position,’ Naftogaz Deputy Chief Executive Yuriy Vitrenko told Reuters. ‘Then they will say, ‘We are okay without any Ukrainian transits at all’.’
To ease market concerns, Vitrenko said the two sides should aim to reach an agreement by the beginning of the summer.
The European Union is chairing Monday’s three-way meeting in Brussels with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.
Ukraine has stopped buying gas from Russia in the wake of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the EU has called on member states to lessen their reliance on Russian energy imports.[…]
A lengthy legal dispute between Gazprom and Naftogaz led to court rulings in February 2018 which instructed each company to compensate the other. Naftogaz emerged the net winner, gaining $2.56 billion from Gazprom. Gazprom is challenging the ruling.
Gazprom’s partners in the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline project include Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall and France’s Engie.”
5. Germany, France willing to monitor shipping through Kerch strait
Ukraine Business News reported, “Germany and France are willing to monitor ship traffic through the Kerch Strait, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Friday in Kyiv. Fresh from meetings in Moscow, he said that Russia ‘must permanently ensure freedom of passage’ through the Kerch Strait to the Azov, a binational sea.”