Ukraine: Daily Briefing
April 04, 2019, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that on April 3, the Ukrainian Armed Forces suffered no casualties. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire six times on Ukrainian positions in the Donetsk and Luhansk sector using heavy weapons 4 times.
According to the Ukrainian military intelligence report two invaders were killed and three were wounded as a result of returning fire by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on April 3.
2. Euronews: Ukraine’s Presidential Challenge Steps up a Gear
The winner of the first round of presidential election Volodymyr Zelenskiy has issues a challenge through the social media to debate and the current Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has accepted it.
“Poroshenko responded on Twitter in a more sombre tone, adding that election rules as outlined by the country’s law states that presidential debates occur at Ukraine’s TV public broadcasting station. “But if stadium, then stadium it is,” said Poroshenko,” as reported by the Euronews.
Notably, the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Ukraine finished processing 100% of the protocols in the first round of presidential elections in Ukraine. CEC data confirms that showman Volodymyr Zelensky is leading with 30.24% of the votes, while 15.95% of voters cast their ballots in favor of incumbent head of state Petro Poroshenko, followed by the leader of the Batkivshchyna party, Yulia Tymoshenko with 13.40%, thus stopping short of the second round of the election.
Read more here
3. Canadian Soldiers Land in Ukraine
More than a hundred soldiers from Valcartier flew to Ukraine on Wednesday as part of Operation Unifier, which aims to support the Ukrainian security forces, as reported by Le Journal De Quebec.
The military, mainly from 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, will be deployed for six to seven months. They will take over after the previous team that has been in Ukraine since September 2018 and will be back in the country in a few weeks. The Canadian military will carry on with the training mission focusing on joint training, military engineering, logistics, military police and medical training.
Read the full Le Journal De Quebec article here
4. Stoltenberg: As Sovereign Nation, Ukraine Has Right to Choose Own Path
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine had the sovereign right to choose its own path as a sovereign nation. “We have stepped up support for our close partners, Georgia and Ukraine, sovereign nations with the sovereign right to choose their own path,” Stoltenberg said in his U.S. Congress address on April 3.
In his speech he mentioned Russia, which illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, saying that it was the first time in Europe that one country had taken part of another by force since World War Two. He also mentioned that NATO does not provoke conflict but prevents it, and its objective is not to attack but to defend.
In view of 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, today issued the statement recognizing major milestones for Euro-Atlantic security and for Canada.
He emphasized that since its inception in 1949, NATO has brought countries on both sides of the Atlantic together to build peace, security, and stability, and to uphold the fundamental values of individual liberty, human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. As a founding member, Canada would continue to do so defending important values that Canadians hold dear reaffirming its commitment to work with its Allies to build a safer, more peaceful world for its citizens and people around the world.
5. National Bank of Ukraine: Foreign Companies Can Open Accounts in Ukrainian Banks
Foreign legal entities such as stakeholder companies and investment funds will now be allowed to open accounts directly in Ukrainian banks, according to statement issued on April 3 by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU).
“This change is part of Ukraine’s move towards broader currency liberalization and the free flow of capital across its borders. It’s tied to the law “on currency and currency operations,” that went into effect on February 7, easing a series of restrictions on currency operations and doing business in Ukraine.
In response to this law, the NBU renewed its instructions about the process of opening and closing client and correspondent bank accounts for both residents and non-residents. The central bank also simplified companies’ identification procedures when opening accounts, and said that the new law exempts businesses from having to submit declarations on currency and other foreign assets,” as reported by the Kyiv Post.
Previously, a non-resident legal entity could only have a Ukrainian investment account with highly restrictive rules. New legislation offers “greater freedom in the types of investment transactions they can make through their Ukrainian bank accounts and non-resident entrepreneurs who receive foreign money from abroad are no longer obliged to convert 50 percent of the sum into hryvnias.”
The regulator also plans to cancel the mandatory sale of foreign currency, restrictions on the repatriation of dividends and the issuance of loans in hryvnias to buy foreign currency, stated NBU deputy governor Oleh Churiy after draft laws on the international exchange of tax information pass through the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament).
6. CUTIS: Ukraine Collects Record Harvest of Apples Since its Independence
Ukraine, one of the largest exporters of apple juice to Canada, harvested the largest amount of apples since its independence, namely 1.46 million tons, up 35 percent (1.08 million tons) from 2017, as reported by Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investments Support (CUTIS) project and Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association.
According to the experts the reasons were weather conditions, late fall in 2017, as well as the intensification of production and the introduction of fruiting plantations that were laid several years ago.
In 2018, Ukraine boasted 91.8 thousand hectares of apple orchards compared to 91.2 in 2017, despite the fact that the total horticulture area in Ukraine has been decreasing.
Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investments Support or CUTIS Project is a 5-year (2016-2021) development assistance project, funded by Global Affairs Canada.