Prime Minister Yatsenyuk held talks with the German Chancellor Merkel on additional funding for Ukraine. The US Senator McCain has promised to increase support for Ukraine. Odessa remains the base of the Ukraininan Navy.
Key Events In Ukraine
● Prime Minister Yatsenyuk held talks with the German Chancellor Merkel on additional financial assistance to Ukraine, stressing that the government has initiated reforms and is ready to pay on the debt. Merkel rules out lifting sanctions against Russia before the return of Crimea to Ukraine, but indicted on the possible easing of the sanctions if Minsk agreements are fully implemented..
● The IMF mission will stay in Ukraine until the end of January. The decision to allocate the next tranche of a stand-by credit loan and the possibility to increase the amount of financial support to Ukraine will be based on the practical results produced by the goverment.
● The Press Service of the European Commission announced the allocation of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine in the amount of € 1.8 billion to strengthen the balance of payments. The program is to be approved by the European Parliament and by the EU Council of Ministers.
● Hryvnia FX rate against the dollar remained almost unchanged: 15.76 UAH / USD (-0.01 UAH), 18.64 UAH / EUR (-0,16 UAH) 2.80 UAH / 10 RUR (-0.01 UAH).
● The head of the parliamentary faction “Poroshenko Bloc”, the former Interior Minister Lutsenko, announced a new project calling on creation of a National Police that would replace the existing force. The new police force will have electable command structure and is to be headed by a civilian person.
● After delivery of the Russian coal , the second power generator (out of existing 10) resumed operations at Zmievka power-generating plant in the Kharkiv regionl. The governor promises the end to the power outages in the region.
● Kyiv citizens brought flowers and candles to the French Embassy in Kyiv to pay their respect to memory of French journalists killed in a terrorist attack in Paris.
War in Ukraine
● After the invasion of yet another “convoy” from Russia into Donbas, the situation sharply worsed in the Luhansk region, the Donetsk airport, and in the vilagges of Peski, Mar’yinka, Staromykhailivka in Telmanovo district..
● The Defense Minister Poltorak said that the naval base of Ukrainian Navy will remain in Odessa. In 2015, the army is expected to mobilize 50,000 mandatory draftees, and another 54,000 could be called up if necessary. According to Minister Poltorak’s estimates there are currently about 7500 Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine. The defense of Donetsk airport can be enhanced at any moment.
Ukraine and the World
● Senator McCain demanded the immediate return of Crimea to Ukraine and the Russian withdrawal from the eastern Ukraine as a basis to discuss the non-alignment of Ukraine with NATO. He confirmed that since the Republican Party won the majority in both houses of the US Congress the support for Ukraine and Eastern Europe would increase dramatically.
● The German Chancellor Merkel has said that the decision to held talks in Astana on resolving the conflict in Donbass will be made in a few next days.
● The foreign ministers of Germany and Russia held telephone talks. The Minister Lavrov insisted on Russian control over any policy matters by Ukraine, and in particular on carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine favoring Russian Federation.
● The NATO is increasing its military presence in Eastern Europe and plans to restructure its forces. The Alliance partially replaced US troops at military bases with the local armed forces. The US troops have moved further away from the borders with Russia and Belarus, but the borders are visibly strengthened.
● The Ukrainians demand explanations from the Minister of Defence Poltorak why Ukrainian troops’ rotation occurs under the control of militants in the Donetsk airport, and why the Ukrainina army maintaines the state of ceasefire in the face of constant shelling and soldiers’ death from continuous insurgent’s attacks.
● The immediate allocation of EU and IMF financial assistance is extremely important to Ukraine, but the Ukrainian government has not yet convinced the lenders on the reach of the currently implemented reforms.