The Parliament approved the government’s Program of Action. The US Senate approved a law to provide assistance to Ukraine, which gets a status of a special partner outside the NATO. Russia continues concentrating its troops in Donbass during the announced “Regime of Silence”.
Events In Ukraine
● Deputies approved the government’s Program of Action, introduced by the Prime Minister Mr. Yatsenyuk. The cabinet received a mandate of trust for a year and can not be re-elected during this period.
● Prime Minister Mr. Yatsenyuk believes the main causes of the economic crisis in Ukraine are corruption, energy dependence and the Russian aggression.
● The Verkhovna Rada adopted an appeal to the Russia’s authorities to release Ukrainian citizens, forcibly held in Russia.
● A bill about expanding the powers of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) was adopted by the Parliament in a first reading. NSDC will be given powers of coordinating and controlling governmental branches in struggle against corruption and crime.
● The deputies decided to remove former members of the Party of Regions, who voted for the “dictatorial laws of ex-President Yanukovych” on January 16th, from the parliamental commitees’ management .
● Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Mr. Groisman said that the Parliament has no reason to consider the imposition of martial law.
● Finance Minister Mrs. Yaresko said that despite the difficulties in Ukrainian economy it is not under a threat of default.
● The first deputy head of the IMF Mr. Lipton is going to visit Ukraine next week to discuss the economic situation in the country. IMF mission is working with the government from 9 till18 of December.
● The National Radio Company of Ukraine began its broadcasting in Russian to the Russian territory in the medium waves frequency. The programs are also available on the station’s website.
● Russian natural gas transit through Ukraine declined by a quarter compared with the previous year. This is related to the attempts by “Gazprom” to restrict deliveries to the EU countries which carrying out reverse gas supply to Ukraine.
● National Bank continues to support banks by providing them overnight credits to maintain liquidity. Banks got another credit in the amount of 2.27 billion UAH.
NBU continues gradual decline of the hryvnia exchange rate (UAH) 15.67 UAH/$ (+0.02 UAH), 19.42 UAH / € (+0,07 UAH), 2.89 UAH/10 Russian rubles.
War in Ukraine
● Despite the declared “Regime of Silence”, militants continue shelling Ukrainian army positions in Donets’k airport, Avdiyivka, near Debaltseve and Mariupol. During the day, three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and eight wounded.
● Another Russian “humanitarian” convoy invaded Donbass.
● DPR and LPR militants did not allow OSCE mission to observe Novoazovs’k and Anthratsit. On the route there, the mission recorded movement of a convoy of unmakred trucks.
● Head of the Security Services of Ukraine Mr. Nalyvaychenko accused former President Yanukovych and his surroundings including oligarch Kurchenko in financing of terrorists in Ukraine. He urged deputies to adopt laws to protect the national security and establish a national tribunal that will hear cases of crimes against Maydan and aggression in the Donbass before handing them over to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. According to him, the traitors, who worked at the anti-terrorist operation headquarters, were neutralized.
● The Ministry of Defence has published on its website the names of the victims of the hostilities in the Donbass for the period from April 19th to November, 30th.
● According to the General Staff of Ukraninan Armed Forces, about 50 thousand Russian troops combined into 40 battalion tactical groups are concentrated near the state border, and 10 thousand more are in the areas controlled by LPR and DPR terrorists. Dozens of military trucks with equipment, mercenaries and ammunition invade Ukraine on a daily basis through the uncontrolled border. Russian Foreign Ministry does not recognize the presence of Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine.
Ukraine and the World
● The US Senate has passed a bill in support of Ukraine. Ukraine was granted the status of a special partner outside the NATO. Also it will get lethal weapons, financial and advisory assistance, including support for internally displaced people. There will be additional sanctions against Russia as well.
● Presidents of Ukraine and Australia met with members of the workgroup which investigate the crash of MH-17 aircraft in the Donbass. They said that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian militants, with the help of arms supplied by Russia.
● According to former NATO Secretary General Mr. Rasmussen, the conflict between the Alliance and Russia might take decades, unless something affects the price of oil. He is sure the war in Ukraine is unlikely to end soon.
● US Treasury Secretary Mr. Lew convinced that sanctions against Russia, along with the continued decline of oil prices, caused a double blow to its economy.
● EU Energy Community requires the Cabinet to cancel preferences in the gas market for the company “Naftogaz”, which contradict the Energy Community Treaty and the Association Agreement with the EU.
● According to the Wall Street Journal, the EU can cancel sanctions against some officials close to the former Ukrainian President Yanukovych in the absence of an investigation against them in Ukraine.
● According to the Minister of Defence of Poland Mr. Semonyak, Russian activity in the airspace over the Baltic Sea has increased dramatically.
● Republic of Belarus expects Russia to lower its natural gas prices due to the decrease in global energy prices and the devaluation of the national currency ruble (RUB).
● According to most of domestic experts, the Ukrainian government’s Program of Actions approved by the Parliament is too declarative and contains no cardinal reforms needed to overcome the situation in the Ukrainian economy.