HomeAnalyticsWeekly Highlights: 17-23/11/2014

Weekly Highlights: 17-23/11/2014

Democratic parties signed the coalition agreement, the first session of the new Ukrainian Parliament will be opened next week. Deputies plan to abandon the non-aligned status of Ukraine. The economic situation remains complicated. Corruption – the main threat to the Ukrainian statehood. The intensity of fighting in Donbass does not go down. The Donbass occupied territories are under the threat of the humanitarian catastrophe.

Creation of a coalition in the Ukrainian Parliament and the formation of the Cabinet of Ministers

Five democratic parties, the winners of the early parliamentary elections, signed the coalition agreement before the first session of the Ukrainian Parliament, which is scheduled for 27 November.

During the talks with the US Vice President Biden, President Poroshenko said that the Cabinet should be formed within six days. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk invites professionals to work in the Cabinet. Political parties “Batkivschyna” and “Samopomich” do not intend to nominate candidates to the Cabinet.

Klitchko remains to be the mayor of Kiev. Ukrainian military pilot-woman Savchenko, forcibly detained in Russia, will be representing the Ukrainian Parliament in PACE.

War in Donbass

The compounds of “militants” are being replaced by the regular Russian units in the combat zone in the south of the Donetsk region. Russian tanks and other military vehicles pouring over the border from Russia into the eastern Ukraine through the border checkpoints controlled by terrorists and Russia. The Russian army is regrouping and moves military technique on the main directions of possible attack. The Russian “humanitarian convoys” freely penetrate into the territory of Ukraine. Shelling of the Ukrainian settlements and positions of Ukrainian troops have been resumed in the Luhansk region originated from Russia. During the “truce” several Ukrainian soldiers die daily. Ukrainian army successfully repelled the attacks on the key components of its defense in the Donetsk airport, Schastie, Debaltseve.

According to the official reports of the UN, more than 950 people were killed during the “truce” in the Donbass region. Total death toll has exceeded 4300, injured – 9900 people since the beginning of the conflict.

Strengthening the defense

Defense Minister Poltorak said that Ukraine will soon increase the number of combatants and technical equipment of the Armed Forces.

The National Guard received new Ukrainian armored vehicles on the basis of KrAZ.

Cabinet of Ministers has approved a draft of the President Poroshenko’s decree on the unilateral demarcation of the border with Russia.

United States granted Ukraine the first three anti-mortar radar vehicles. The next 17 similar vehicles will be supplied later.

As reported by Reuters, the US will not provide Ukraine with lethal military weapon yet, but the possibility of such supplies is still possible. The Republican majority in the Senate is ready to put pressure on the US President for such a decision.

The media scandal arose over Ukraine’s refusal to purchase military aircrafts which Canada proposed, the Ukrainian officials justified that decision by the high cost of maintenance and the impossibility of rapid retraining of Ukrainian pilots.

Lustration and the fight against corruption

The Presidium of the Supreme Court claimed a statement to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine regarding the constitutionality of the law “On the cleaning of government.”

There is no item on the suppression of tax evasion using offshore companies in the coalition agreement of the new Ukrainian Parliament.

Head of the SBU Nalyvaychenko said that as a result of lustration about 2,500 people were fired, including more than 100 people being from the commander staff. Lustration will be continued. US Vice President Biden and President of Lithuania Grybauskaite claimed to the Ukrainian authorities that the main threat to Ukrainian state is corruption.

Economical situation

State debt of Ukraine for 2014 increased by 233 billion hryvnias, the cost of its services account for more than 83 billion hryvnias.

NBU slightly decreased the forecast of inflation and the fall in GDP for the current year. Hryvnia exchange rate on the interbank exchange strengthened slightly after falling sharply last week, experts believe that the situation in the foreign exchange market is far from stable.

The Ministry of Finance predicts a fall in GDP in Ukraine in 2015 by 4.3%, with inflation of 13.4%.

Anniversary of Euromaidan

Ukraine celebrated the Day of Independence and Liberty by mass actions in memory of the Heroes of Heaven’s Hundred and soldiers who died in the war with Russia. Numerous protesters demanded the acceleration of the European integration of Ukraine. President Poroshenko signed a decree conferring the title of Hero of Ukraine to killed combatants of the Heaven’s Hundred.

The problem of the occupied territories and internally displaced persons

Number of victims of the attacks of the peaceful areas by illegal militants are continuously increasing. Particularly severe situation is in Avdeyevka and Debaltseve. Schastie, Dzerzhinsk, village Lugansk have also been shelled. Donetsk is barely managing to recover its infrastructure.

According to the UNICEF, more than 125 thousand children became homeless as a result of military actions.

Humanitarian disaster is developing in the occupied territories of Donbass, the population does not receive pensions and social benefits, in some cities, “authorities” of DNR and LNR paid salary by food rations, and in Donetsk “authorities” refused to pay salaries to teachers.

Integration with the EU and NATO

President Poroshenko told the newspaper “Bild” that it is too early for Ukraine to think about joining NATO. German Foreign Minister Steinmeier said that Ukraine has no chance to join the EU and NATO in the foreseeable future.

In the coalition agreement of the new Ukrainian Parliament registered the rejection of non-aligned status and the choice for a country’s integration into NATO.

Energy security

In October, Ukraine reduced gas consumption by 25% and a coal consumption by 33% compared to the same period last year. Naftogaz Chairman Kobolev said that Ukraine may refuse to buy Russian gas, if the weather is warm. The maximum gas required volumes are 5 billion cub.m. According to his statement, gas purchased in Europe, cheaper than Russian, but it is not enough to meet all needs. Ukraine is ready to make an advance payment to Russia for 1.5 billion cub.m.

According to the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Ukraine already has replaced more than 60% of Russian gas and intends to continue to reduce the dependence on these supplies.

The Cabinet of Ministers extended emergency measures in the energy sector for another month.

Prime Minister Yatsenyuk proposed to the Prime Minister of Norway (the largest supplier of gas to Europe) Solberg to participate in the modernization of the Ukrainian gas transportation system.

Situation with coal supply to power plants remains hard.

 

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