HomeAnalyticsDaily Highlights: 16/12/2014

Daily Highlights: 16/12/2014

Former Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Turchinov was appointed as the Secretary of the NSDC. The OPEC countries aren’t going to restrain the fall in oil prices. Russian currency and stock markets are crashing. Europe insists on the strict implementation of Minsk agreements by Russia.

Important Events In Ukraine

●      The former Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Turchinov has been appointed by President Poroshenko as the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council .
●      Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said that Ukraine is taking all possible steps to ensure that a decision on the introduction of visa-free regime with the EU will be adopted at the  Eastern Partnership Summit next May.
●      According to the new Minister of Finance Yaresko, the government is able to prepare a package of reforms which could pass Parliament before the end of the year to get the next tranche of the IMF stand-by credit next January.
●      Ministry of Health, World Health Organization and the International Red Cross office in Ukraine signed an agreement on the creation of mobile clinics to help temporarily displaced people of the Donbass. The program will be launched in January 2015.
●      Education Minister Kvit said that approximately 70 universities may be closed in Ukraine before the end of the year. He also stated that it is necessary to develop specialized secondary education.
●      Presidential Administration and the Cabinet of Ministers in the next few days will present a bill to reform the judicial system which is supposed to merge the High Qualification Commission of Judges and the High Council of Justice. However, their final merging would require amendments to the Constitution.
●      National Bank has slightly changed the official hryvnia exchange rate: 15.77 UAH / USD (+0.01 UAH), 19.62 UAH / EUR,  2.70 UAH / 10 RUB. (-0.07 UAH). The Cabinet intends to increase currency purchase tax for individuas four times, though companies will be exempt from it.

Kyiv

●      Kiev authorities have reported of a large-scale financial irregularities in the capital’s hospitals, which resulted in budget losses of at least 3.5 billion UAH.

Warfare

●      Ukrainian army positions were under insurgents fire about 12 times today,. OSCE mission representatives, who were accompanying rotating Ukrainian troops were under fire at the Donetsk airport.
●      According to the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, daily military spending in Ukraine is about  95 mln UAH ($ 5.5 mln).
●      The General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stated that the fourth stage of  mobilization is needed immediately.
●      Head of Ukrainian Security Service Nalyvaychenko stated that Ukraine is ready to exchange POW’s in “all for all” format and that all necessary arrangements have been prepared.
●      Volunteer battalions’ command intends to stop the delivery of  food and other supplies to the occupied territory of the Donbass until the release of all hostages.
●      Terrorist “athorities” of Luhans’k “people republic” launched the “nationalization” of all banking institutions on the territory under their control. They plan to create a “judicial system” similar to  Abkhaz, North Ossetian and Transdniestrian and introduce the death penalty.
●      Russia is preparing to send yet another “humanitarian” convoy to Ukraine.
●      According to observers the number of Russian troops, mercenaries and arms in the Donbas increases despite the statement by the Russian authorities. Russian army makes a partial rotation. The command is busy creating a regular “army of Novorossia”. Strike forces have been consentrated on the main directions of possible attack in full combat readiness. According to experts, Russia is not going to stop the project “Novorossia”, but only masks its continuation. The leader of the Chechen Republic Kadyrov announced his intention to participate in the war in the Donbass.

Ukraine and the World

●      The most extensive fall of the ruble exchange rate and stock market since the 1998 default take place in Russia. The euro exchange rate reached 100 rubles per Euro. Central Bank announced a critical situation in the foreign exchange market. Sberbank of Russia stopped lending to individuals. Russians are buying expensive goods in the shops, trying to rescue their savings from hyperinflation.
●      US State Department spokesman Psaki confirmed that President Obama is ready to sign a bill in support of freedom of Ukraine which has been adopted by both houses of the US Congress. The document provides additional sanctions against Russia and financial, military and advisory assistance to Ukraine. However, the law authorizes the President to impose sanctions only as needed.
●      White House spokesman Ernst said that the US is ready to phase out sanctions against Russia only in the case of unconditional fulfillment of international agreements achieved. The pressure on the Russian economy will grow until it happen, .
●      Kuwait’s oil minister said that OPEC members are not going to hold further meetings to discuss pricing policy until June. In his opinion, high-cost prodution oil should disappear from the market. Growth of consumption and the price increase will be possible only after it happe and prices will stabilized by market mechanisms.
●      The presidents of France, Russia, Ukraine and the German Chancellor discussed the issues of peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Donbass. The leaders of Germany and France insist on the convening of the contact group in Minsk format as soon as possible. The main objective of the contact group is a full ceasefire, exchange of POW’s, the withdrawal of heavy military equipment from the line of confrontation and improving the humanitarian situation in the Eastern Ukraine.
●      European Commissioner for Foreign Policy Mogerini stated that the EU will insist on implementation of all items of the Minsk Agreement with unconditional compliance with the principle of territorial integrity of Ukraine.
●      Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said that Russia supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine, but the Autonomous Republic of Crimea illegally annexed will be a part of Russian Federation.
●      , Russia held large-scale military exercises in the Kaliningrad region according to the Polish media. 9,000 troops, ships, tanks, artillery and “Iskander-M” missile systems, were secretly brought to the region and took part in the exercises.
●      Russian sailors who were preparing to receive helicopter carrier of “Mistral” type are leaving France.
●      Russia demands that the West should refuse to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine and put a pressure on its leaders to ensure constitutional reforms and political dialogue in Ukraine.
●      Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has sent yet another note of protest to the Russian Federation about the violation of human rights of the Verkhovna Rada deputy Savchenko who was forcibly confined in a Russian prison, and demanded to release her immediately.
●      The President Poroshenko said Ukraine will be able to join the “Vyshegrad Four” (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary) in the case of the successful implementaion of pro-European reforms. Four countries of the alliance agreed to share areas of assistance for Ukraine.
●      President Poroshenko during the talks with UN Deputy Secretary General Feltman reported that most of the humanitarian aid delivered to the occupied territory of Donbass, have been stolen by militants and it leads the region closer to a humanitarian disaster.
●      European Court of Human Rights rejected Russia’s appeal against the claim in the YUKOS case. Russia must pay $ 1.9 billion for property damage, compensate $ 30 billion for the grab of the assets and also pay for legal expences till January 15th, 2015.
●      The international community is deeply concerned about the sharp rising of Islamic extremism. 126 people, mostly children have been killed as a result of the terrorist attack of Taliban on a school in Pakistan. According to media, ISIL militants have killed 150 women which were refused to engage in an intimate relationship with them in Iraq.

Trends

●      Europe and the United States drastically increased their pressure on the Ukrainian authorities to accellerate political and economic reforms. Increase of  a financial support for Ukraine is impossible without implementing of reforms.

 

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