Commentary | April 10, 2014

Ukraine Crisis Updates - April 10, 2014

EWI offers a daily situation report on Ukraine.

Internal Security News:

  • Fire broke out in Kiev’s Communist Party headquarters late on April 9. A preliminary emergency services investigation determined arson as the cause, though the fire is still under investigation.
  • Acting Ukrainian President Turchynov assured protestors occupying government buildings that they would not be prosecuted if they laid down their arms and peacefully vacated the premises. Deputy head of the presidential administration Andriy Senchenko said that the situation has stabilized in Donetsk, but if protesters in Lugansk do not surrender by the end of the day, security services will have to use force.

Diplomacy News:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin met with government members to discuss the situation in Ukraine and prospects for developing economic ties between the two countries, particularly in the energy sector. “Our partners in Europe have recognized the legitimacy of the incumbent Kiev authorities, but they are not doing anything to support Ukraine–not a single dollar or euro [has been given],” Putin said.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had a telephone conversation on Wednesday, initiated by the U.S., as reported by Russia’s Foreign Ministry. “The heads of Russian and U.S. diplomacy called for renouncing any use of force and for directing the situation to a political and legal channel through talks. In this context the Russian side once again stressed that there is no alternative to the involvement of all the regions in the process of constitutional reform," a ministry report says.
  • Russian FM Lavrov requested clarification on the purpose of four-party talks proposed by the U.S. and EU.
  • Russia does not intend to impose retaliatory sanctions against the West, according to a statement by Russian Deputy FM Igor Shuvalov. However, “it is clear that we will have to take relevant actions in order to protect our economy.”
  • The Ukrainian Party of Regions, which is Russian-speaking, and has strong support in the southeast, wants to participate in negotiations between Ukraine, Russia, the U.S. and EU. The U.S. and EU only support inclusion of the Kiev government, however, on April 9, Moscow advocated the inclusion of "all regions, all political forces" in talks. 
  • "Russia must withdraw its forces from the border of Ukraine and begin a dialogue with Kiev, which would lead to a reduction of tensions in the east," said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
  • Germany is in “intensive dialogue” with China and Japan regarding the situation in Ukraine, said German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
     

Ukraine Governance News:

  • Ex-Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko indicated that she will participate in upcoming elections, despite calls from her opponent, Pyotr Poroshenko, to withdraw her candidacy “for the sake of the Ukrainian people’s unity,” in light of his leading poll numbers.
  • The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council of Ukraine) adopted a bill allowing parliamentary opposition to have representation in a number of regulatory bodies.
     
  • The World Bank Group announced that it intends to support reform in Ukraine and will provide up to $3 billion USD in 2014.
     
  • Head of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Stepan Kubiv allowed the hryvnia to strengthen after receiving the first IMF tranche of $3 billion USD. 
     
  • Putin informed the EU about Ukraine's critical gas debt situation, indicating that it may affect gas transit.  

International Observations News:

  • The OSCE proposed an increase in the number of its Ukraine specialists to 200 from 121, which will require a funding increase, according to Adam Kobieracki, director of the Conflict Prevention Centre. The OSCE has a mandate from its Permanent Council that allows it to send up to 500 civilian observers.
  • Russia’s delegation to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) will abstain from Thursday’s debate regarding its status, which is in question following European objections to Russia’s Crimean annexation, a source told RIA Novosti. “The Russian delegation refuses to take part in the discussion, or even remain in the assembly hall. This political farce is repulsive,” said Alexei Pushkov, head of the Russian delegation, in a statement posted on his Twitter account.
  • Moscow again accused the OSCE of bias, responding to OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović’s April 8 comments regarding deteriorating media freedoms in Ukraine.