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Yabloko's nominee for president of Russia in 2018 sees Crimea as Ukraine


Grigory Yavlinsky, the social-liberal Russian United Democratic Party "Yabloko" nominee for president in the 2018 election in Russia, asserts in his election program that Crimea is territory of Ukraine, according to Krym.Realii.

The program was announced by Yabloko's press service on January 17 and available on Yavlinsky's personal website, Krym.Realii wrote.

The program includes the following statement: "Any form of forceful intervention in the internal affairs of Ukraine, as well as the incitement and propaganda of war should be stopped. Commitments to Ukraine's territorial integrity and respect by Russia of its international obligations should be declared at the highest state level."

Yet, Yavlinsky emphasizes that "the implementation of these obligations on Crimea should be inextricably linked with the respect for the dignity and interests of all the residents of the peninsula, it requires a special plan, time, special status, international guarantees, an international conference. However, this does not undo the fact that Crimea is territory of Ukraine, annexed in defiance of international law and agreements signed and ratified by Russia."



#Russia #Moscow #Kremlin #Putin #Yavlinsky #Yabloko #nominee #presidential #election #Crimea #annexation #Ukraine #territory #news #новини #новости #UNIAN
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U.S. envoy to UN: Russian aggression poses threat to international order


U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Samantha Power accuses Russia of the aggression that poses a threat to the international order.

"Russia's actions are not standing up a new world order. They are tearing down the one that exists," she said in her last speech as a member of Barack Obama's outgoing Administration at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., on January 17.

"This is what we are fighting against – having defeated the forces of fascism and communism, we now confront the forces of authoritarianism and nihilism," she added.

Ambassador Power mentioned the illegal annexation by Russia of Ukraine's Crimea, the Kremlin's aggression in the east of Ukraine, the support of Syria's regime in that country's civil war and attempts to meddle in elections in Western democracies by way of cyber attacks.

Ambassador Power will be replaced by Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley nominated to that position after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20.


#US #Trump #Washington #AtlanticCouncil #UN #Power #Ambassador #envoy #Russia #Kremlin #Putin #aggression #Ukraine #Donbas #Crimea #war #Syria #cyberattacks #security #threat #news #новини #UNIAN
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Ukraine's SBU confirms Przemysl mayor as persona non grata with 5-year ban

The Ukrainian SBU Security Service has confirmed that Mayor of Poland's Przemysl Robert Choma is persona non grata in Ukraine for the next five years, according to SBU Press Secretary Olena Hitlianska.

"He was declared persona non grata in 2016 for five years for activity undermining Ukraine's national safety and in the interests of ensuring national security and in accordance with laws of Ukraine on the legal status of foreigners and stateless persons and on principles of Ukraine's national security," she told UNIAN.

Choma earlier said he had been refused entry into Ukraine when he was crossing the Polish-Ukrainian border on Tuesday, January 17. He was travelling on the Ukrainian side's invitation.

The mayor told Poland's weekly Życie Podkarpackie he did not know why he had not been allowed to cross the border.

He spent about half an hour trying to clarify the situation.

"Then I received an official notification in the Ukrainian language, issued by the SBU, saying I was refused entry into Ukrainian territory. I informed the Consul General of Ukraine about this, spoke with the commandant of the Bieszczady Division of the Border Guard Service in Przemysl," he said.

As was earlier reported, anti-Ukrainian slogans, namely "Death to Ukrainians," were chanted amid the annual march of Polish nationalists held in the town of Przemysl under the patronage of the town's mayor on December 10, 2016. Poland's Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Pieklo said it might be an act of provocation where the Kremlin could have been involved in.


#Ukraine #UA #Ukrainian #Kyiv #Poland #Polish #mayor #Przemysl #border #ban #nationalists #news #новини #UNIAN
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OSCE monitors report over 360 explosions in Donetsk region within 24 hours


The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has reported over 360 explosions in Donetsk region between the evenings of January 15 and 16.

"The SMM recorded more ceasefire violations in Donetsk region between the evenings of January 15 and 16, including around 362 explosions, compared with 200 in the previous 24 hours," the mission said in an update based on information received as of 19:30 local time on January 16, 2017.

Throughout the evening on January 15 while in government-controlled Svitlodarsk (57km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard 37 artillery fire explosions overall, including two assessed as impacts 5-8km west, five assessed as impacts 3-6km south, and 30 undetermined 5-6km south.

The SMM also heard 22 explosions assessed as impacts of 120mm mortar rounds, 14 outgoing explosions assessed as tank fire, three outgoing explosions of recoilless gun (SPG-9, 73mm) fire, ten bursts and six shots of infantry fighting vehicle (IFV; BMP-2) cannon (30mm) fire, and intermittent small-arms and heavy-machine-gun fire, including nearly 60 minutes of intense firing, all 3-6km south.

In Luhansk region, the mission recorded a similar number of ceasefire violations between the evenings of January 15 and 16 compared with the previous 24 hours, including 24 explosions compared with 21.

#Ukraine #UA #Ukrainian #Kyiv #Donetsk #Luhansk #Donbas #war #OSCE #monitors #monitoring #report #update #news #новини #UNIAN
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Chubarov: Donbas terrorist leaders come to Crimea for further instructions


Leader of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis Refat Chubarov says that the de-facto heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic ("DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic ("LPR") have arrived in Russia-occupied Crimea to take part in a secret meeting and receive further instructions from Russian President Vladimir Putin's envoys, according to Obozrevatel, a Ukrainian online news outlet.

"The official narrative is that the chiefs of these terrorist organizations are in Crimea to take part in the anniversary of the [1654] Treaty of Pereyaslav ... I'm sure there will be a certain meeting where Putin's designated agents will hand instructions over to ["DPR" chief Alexander] Zakharchenko and ["LPR" chief Igor] Plotnitsky for the coming months," Chubarov said, Obozrevatel wrote.

Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov was earlier reported to have expressed his dissatisfaction at a meeting in Donetsk with actions by certain "ministers" of the local "government" and accused the "law enforcement agencies" there of full inactivity and incompetence. It was reportedly announced at the meeting that Moscow was going to halve the financing of Donbas militants. He also warned that the self-proclaimed republics should get ready "to re-integrate with Ukraine" on certain terms to be imposed on Kyiv, namely the full amnesty of militants and "DPR"/"LPR" special status.

UNIAN note. In January 1654, Ukrainian Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky called a military council in the town of Pereyaslav (modern Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky) to settle relations between the Zaporozhian Cossacks Army and the Tsardom of Muscovy (Russia).

No written treaty was concluded in Pereyaslav. An oath of allegiance to the Russian monarch from the leadership of Cossack Hetmanate was taken.

The exact nature of the relationship stipulated by the agreement between the Hetmanate and Russia is a matter of scholarly controversy.


#Ukraine #UA #Ukrainian #Russia #Crimea #Donbas #occupation #Mejlis #Chubarov #DPR #Zakharchenko #LPR #Plotnitsky #policy #instructions #Surkov #news #новини #UNIAN
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Avakov to border guards: be prepared for de-occupation of Donbas this year

In 2017, the task is to reach an internationally recognized state border of Ukraine in Donbas, and later in Crimea, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Tuesday during the meeting at the State Border Guard Service HQ.

"That's no propaganda statement or some idee fixe. This is the realities we'll face soon, and the state should rely on your willingness to take decisive action and the will to ensure that process," he said.
According to Avakov, the process will primarily involve border guards, and later the police, the National Guard, and judicial authorities.
Thus, the key task of border guards for this year is to be fully ready to take control over the border.
He also stressed that it would be a long-term mission because after the development of a plan and the definition of the task, it would be necessary to ensure control over the state border within a two-week period.

#Avakov #border #guards #deoccupation #Donbas #Crimea #news

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European Parliament election: Antonio Tajani new president – BBC


Italian conservative Antonio Tajani has been elected the new president of the European Parliament, according to the BBC.

Tajani, 63, is a former spokesman for Italy's Silvio Berlusconi and an ex-European commissioner, the BBC said.

He defeated another Italian, Gianni Pitella, and will take over from Germany's Martin Schulz.

The European Parliament has the power to block or amend EU laws, and will have the final say on whether to approve a Brexit deal with the UK.

Tajani secured 351 votes, against 282 for Pittella, a socialist. The contest ran to the maximum four rounds.

Tajani's European People's Party (EPP) group benefited from a new coalition with the parliament's liberals, the ALDE, who hope to curb the influence of anti-EU populists.

ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt withdrew his candidacy at the last minute, paving the way for Tajani's victory.

The EPP candidate dedicated his win to those who died in August's earthquake in central Italy, and all victims of terror attacks.

"We must devote our attention to all those who are in tough living conditions," he said in a short speech.

The election of Tajani puts the centre-right in charge of the three main EU institutions - the European Commission, Council and Parliament.



#Europe #EU #EP #Parliament #Tajani #Schulz #election #legislation #news #новини #UNIAN
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EBRD head assures Poroshenko of supporting reform in Ukraine


President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Suma Chakrabarti has assured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko of further support by the EBRD of reforms implemented in Ukraine, according to the presidential press service.

Chakrabarti and Poroshenko met on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, January 17, it said.

They in particular discussed the reform of the banking sector.

The EBRD head highly evaluated the Ukrainian authorities' operation to nationalize the country's No. 1 bank, PrivatBank.

Chakrabarti confirmed the EBRD would continue providing expert assistance to Ukraine in that bank's reorganization.

Further, the sides discussed prospects for cooperation and implementation of investment projects supported by the EBRD.

Poroshenko said he hoped that the EBRD would allocate more financial resources for its operations in Ukraine in 2017.

The Ukrainian president also noted the key role of the EBRD as the administrator of the Chornobyl Shelter Fund and the Nuclear Safety Account. The sides agreed on further cooperation in that area.

#Ukraine #UA #Ukrainian #Poroshenko #EBRD #Chakrabarti #Davos #WEF #bank #banking #PrivatBank #reform #Chernobyl #Chornobyl #projects #finance #financing #news #новини #UNIAN
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Bloomberg: Ukraine's leader dismisses Trump gloom, sees IMF cash in weeks


Ukraine's leader dismissed talk that Donald Trump's presidency will damage U.S. backing for his nation and said he expects to receive the next slice of a $17.5 billion bailout within weeks, according to Bloomberg.

President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine had enjoyed "very strong bilateral support" from the U.S. in recent years and is confident the new administration will maintain it. Poroshenko, who took power after his pro-Russian predecessor was ousted, said he was one of the first world leaders Trump called after his victory in November, Bloomberg wrote.

"We had quite a promising conversation," Poroshenko said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum in Davos. "We agreed the date of my visit to Washington D.C. immediately after the inauguration and the agenda of our negotiations will be quite big."

Ukraine has been on edge since Trump's election triumph, fearing a seemingly warm rapport with President Vladimir Putin will weaken support for sanctions put in place to restrain Russia's military adventures. With the U.S. president-elect having suggested he may review the penalties and could recognize the annexation of Crimea, the hryvnia has plunged 7.3% since his victory, the worst performance among eastern European currencies.

It's unclear what Trump's stance will be on Russia. Despite praising Putin, he's also accepted allegations from U.S. intelligence that Russia was responsible for hacking. Trump's pick for secretary of state – former Exxon Mobil Corp. boss Rex Tillerson, who's done business in Russia for years – has also called the country a "danger" to the U.S.

Poroshenko said his government had done everything required by the IMF to clear the fifth disbursement of financial aid in the coming weeks. Previous transfers were dogged by delays to economic overhauls and implementation of anti-corruption measures. The latest tranche, which had been due in November, was held up over approval of this year's budget.

"Ukraine by the end of 2016 had fulfilled everything we have in the memorandum," Poroshenko said. "I'm confident in very few, let's say weeks, we should have a board meeting and we should have this" money.



#Ukraine #UA #Ukrainian #Kyiv #Poroshenko #Davos #WEF #US #Trump #Biden #IMF #loan #money #news #новини #UNIAN
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Italy's MFA Alfano: World leaders should consider reopening G7 to Russia


Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano says Russia is an important international partner and world leaders should consider inviting it back to the annual summit of major industrialized nations, according to Reuters.

Looking to pave the way for good Italian relations with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, Alfano said on Tuesday the world would welcome warmer relations between Washington and Moscow, Reuters wrote.

He also signaled that Rome was open to revising NATO's global role.

Russia used to be part of the so-called Group of Eight (G8) meetings until it was suspended in 2014 after it annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula following a popular uprising in Kiev that toppled its pro-Moscow president.

The pared-down G8 has been rebranded the Group of Seven (G7) and Italy will host this year's summit in the Sicilian town of Taormina in May. Alfano said it might be impossible to involve the Russians in the 2017 event, but thought the G8 might be revived in future.

"We discuss with Russia all the most delicate international crises. This is the truth. Perhaps it won't be possible for Taormina, but we should consider in the future returning to a G8 that replaces the current G7," Alfano told parliament.

The coming G7 will be the first involving Trump, who has spoken warmly of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has pledged to improve relations with Moscow.



#Europe #EU #Italy #Alfano #G8 #G7 #Russia #return #partnership #international #crisis #summit #news #новини #UNIN
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Gerashchenko voices Kremlin's scenario for Donbas

Russia so far is not going to withdraw from the occupied Donbas, Vice-Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s humanitarian envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group, Iryna Gerashchenko said in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda.

"It is important for it [Russia] that a 400 km border remain open, the militants further hold on to Debaltseve, where Russian weapons are delivered by railway daily, while the 40,000-strong illegal armed groups, including at least 6,000 Russian troops with altered insignia, continue to operate in the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions," Gerashchenko said.
She is also convinced that Russia wants, through "elections", to make Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky the official leaders of breakaway areas.
"Moreover, Russia seeks to foist all of this on Ukraine. They want us to assume all [responsibility] and thus, practically, get an internal civil conflict and have our path to the EU blocked. This is how I see the Kremlin’s scenario," Gerashchenko said.

#Gerashchenko #Russia #Kremlin #scenario #Donbas #withdrawal #troops #weapons #Ukraine #news

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Poroshenko says meeting with Trump agreed

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has told Bloomberg that he had earlier agreed with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to hold a meeting, Poroshenko administration’s press service tweeted.

In a tweet, Poroshenko is quoted as saying that he was one of the first world leaders, whom Donald Trump called after the elections.
"We agreed to meet," the tweet reads.
According to the president's spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko, Poroshenko noted that "the window of opportunities is open in connection with Donald Trump having been elected the U.S. president."
As UNIAN reported earlier, November 15, 2016 Poroshenko had a telephone conversation with Trump. He congratulated Trump on his victory in the presidential elections and pledged readiness to actively cooperate with the new U.S. Administration to strengthen strategic partnership.

#Ukraine #Poroshenko #meeting #US #Trump #news

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The Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (UNIAN) is one of Ukraine's biggest producers and suppliers of political, business and financial information.