Week’s milestones. Calculated escalation, overhaul by Groysman, and imitation of mobilization
Russia is prudently escalating the situation in Donbas, while trying to remain publicly beyond the conflict. Volodymyr Groysman spoke about the country’s overhaul by his government. Arseniy Yatsenyuk called for a balance in power, reminding of his own political ambitions. Yuriy Lutsenko publicly criticized his subordinates in Dnipro. Against the backdrop of the parliamentary holidays, several parties tried to show off their activity.
Ukrainian interest. Anniversaries with follow-up, revival of cooperation, and Lukashenko in Kyiv
Both the anniversary of the MH17 crash and the jubilee of the formal end of the conflict in Transnistria saw certain follow-ups this week . Ukraine and Georgia intend to boost cooperation, having declared strategic partnership. Alexander Lukashenko's visit to Kyiv did not go without incidents. Zakharchenko’s desire to establish "Malorossiya" looks both intoxicated chatter and part of the Kremlin's plan. Poland is looking into analogies between the current protests in Warsaw and the Ukrainian Maidan.
Ukrainian interest. Tillerson's debut, Stoltenberg's optimism, and Ukraine-EU Summit
Rex Tillerson became the first high-ranking official from Donald Trump administration to visit Ukraine. Kurt Volker shaped his idea of Ukraine through a series of meetings in Kyiv. Jens Stoltenberg stressed that NATO's doors remain open to Ukraine. The Ukraine-EU summit was held without a final declaration. Russia showed its unscrupulousness to long-time partners from Siemens.
American "hawk" for Donbas
Freshly appointed U.S. Special Envoy on Ukraine settlement Kurt Volker wasted no time and took on a visit to Ukraine as part of the delegation led by State Secretary Rex Tillerson, to familiarize himself with the situation on the ground. Obviously the challenges he will be facing differ from those which his predecessor Victoria Nuland had to deal with.
Week’s milestones. PGO vs Rada Committee, London report, and fidgeting Yanukovych
The Verkhovna Rada Regulations Committee demonstrated that the cover-up in the Ukrainian parliament has no factional or political coloring. The prime minister and leading members of the government persuaded Ukraine’s partners in London that the reforms were continuing. Viktor Yanukovych recalled his defense team from his treason trial. Former drug enforcement chief Ilya Kiva declared himself a new leader of the Socialist Party of Ukraine.
Ukrainian interest. Waszczykowski case, prospects in London, and G20 with Ukrainian accent
Foreign Minister of Ukraine's strategic partner state continued the anti-Ukrainian line of his fellow party members. Warsaw felt it was becoming Washington’s leading partner in Europe and will try to play this card. The Ukrainian government in London reported on the reforms carried out and spoke on future transformation. Stratcom Dialogue was held in Riga. The G20 summit is “speaking” with a Ukrainian accent. Ahead of Rex Tillerson’s visit to Kyiv he appointed a special envoy on Ukraine.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg: "We cannot isolate Russia. Therefore, we believe in deterrence, defense and predictable approach but, at the same time, open channels for political dialogue"
Ahead of the Ukraine visit of the North Atlantic Council, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an exclusive interview with UNIAN spoke about the reason for an eight-year pause since the NAC’s latest visit, about his vision of Ukraine’s prospects of joining the Alliance, and why NATO, despite having halted practical cooperation with Russia, retains political channels open.
Trump and Putin: "Reset" or final break-up?
On the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg July 7, a meeting of the presidents of the United States and Russia has been announced. While the Kremlin is struggling to present the talks as a landmark event, Trump has already sent quite an unpleasant signal to Putin in his appeal to cease Russia’s “destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere."
Week’s milestones. Pre-holiday escalation, positioning of Ukraine authorities, and Prosecutor General’s offensive
Ukraine was taught a showing lesson of hybrid aggression. The president spoke of early elections, while prime minister positioned himself as the major center of influence in the government, and the Rada speaker said he was convinced of the parliament's potential, although recognizing the lack of political will to change the electoral law. The Prosecutor General did not stop on six requests to the Rada on lifting parliamentary immunity off MPs, hinting at a probe pending against former and today’s ministers.
Ukrainian interest. Positive Macron, deposition of Agramunt, and restless neighbors
Ukrainian and French presidents have found common language. PACE President Pedro Agramunt turned into a political outcast. Stepan Poltorak visited Brussels and will fly to Washington soon. Minsk and Chisinau are giving Kyiv new reasons for boosting political efforts. Donald Trump said the United States would sell coal to Ukraine.
Week’s milestones. New format of hostilities, dumpster drama, and sociological framework
Kyiv authorities went for a counterattack in the issue of the status of military operations in Donbas, offering to replace the obsolete, and not always effective, Anti-Terrorist Operation format. Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi went all-in with the government and president. Sociological studies not only help determine the political priorities of Ukrainian citizens but also to understand the shifts in public moods. Equality March in Kyiv was held amid the overall atmosphere of scandal.
Ukrainian interest. Visa-free carrot and stick, chance in Washington, and poetry battles
The introduction of a visa-free regime between the European Union and Ukraine is accompanied by changes in the tone of statements by the representative of the European Commission in Kyiv. The future meeting between Donald Trump and Petro Poroshenko presents a good chance for Ukraine. Volodymyr Groysman studied the experience of reintegration in Croatia. Putin was noticeably irritated by Petro Poroshenko citing Mikhail Lermontov’s poem saying “good-bye” to the “unwashed Russia.”
Week's milestones. Tectonic visa-lib, Rada at crossroads, and Avakov in spotlight
The introduction of a visa-free travel across the EU for the Ukrainians has become a reality that could have a serious impact on Ukrainian society. The parliament’s decision to confirm the country’s strategic objective to become a NATO member state was a much easier move than launching healthcare reform. Arsen Avakov has come to a spotlight playing a role of the state’s guardian angel and the enemy of firarms possession by civilians.
Ukrainian interest. Face to NATO, Baltic favorite, and British surprise
The Verkhovna Rada has defined Ukraine's entry into NATO as its strategic priority. Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin assured that his ministry is ready for the introduction of visa requirements with Russia. President Petro Poroshenko received his Lithuanian counterpart Dalia Grybauskaite in Kharkiv. Bellingcat investigators showed more images of a deadly Buk missile launcher on the grounds of a Russian military base. Every second Russian citizen polled by Levada Center regards Ukraine their country’s foe.
Ukraine and NATO: New window of opportunity
On June 5, Montenegro officially joined NATO. On June 6, the Ukrainian parliament agreed to consider the need for legislative consolidation of Ukraine's path toward the Alliance during the current session. But this, in itself, is unlikely to help Ukraine become the Bloc’s 30th member.
Week’s milestones. Great loss, dialectical resignation, and Stockholm catalyst
Lubomyr Husar passed away. The announced resignation by minister of information policy Yuriy Stets is unlikely to solve problems in the sphere of his competence. The Verkhovna Rada crossed the equator of the eighth convocation without much prospects to boost its effectiveness. The decision handed down by the Stockholm arbitration tribunal catalyzed political activity. The attempt on Adam Osmayev reminded many that any hybrid war also includes a terrorism component.
Ukrainian interest. Success in Stockholm, finish in the Netherlands, and anti-corruption Hahn
The interim award issued by the Stockholm arbitration tribunal brought some really good news to the Ukrainian authorities. The Dutch Senate has ratified the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, thus offering a “piece of cake” for the bilateral summit to be held this summer. European Commissioner Johannes Khan is determined to fight Ukrainian corruption. Emmanuel Macron successfully passed the Putin test. Russian and American presidents continue to exchange resonant statements.
Week’s milestones. President’s third anniversary, restless Lutsenko, and surprise for prime minister
Petro Poroshenko marked the triennium of his victory in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential elections. Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko intends to keep going after corrupt officials of different stripes, no matter what fate awaits them in courts. The Verkhovna Rada seemed to have finally awoken by passing language quotas for TV broadcasts but then again returned to a state of half-hibernation. Yulia Tymoshenko is desperate to remain in a public focus. Agrarian minister Taras Kutovyi’s resignation move became an unpleasant surprise for PM Volodymyr Groysman.
Ukrainian interest. Mutual understanding in Normandy, Trump’s appearance before Europe, and Dodon's maneuvers
Petro Poroshenko coordinated positions with Angela Merkel and held telephone talks with Emmanuel Macron. Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia and Israel, later leaving European allies dumbfounded during his Belgium and Italy stops. Moldova president Igor Dodon promised that the self-proclaimed Transnistria would never become independent.
Prosecutor general's "justice zone"
UNIAN has summed up the most prominent messages from the Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko’s annual address to the Ukrainian Parliament delivered on Wednesday, May 24.