Ukrainian media review on February 1, 2015

The situation in the east became more complicated, and the trilateral meeting on peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbas yielded no results. Basing on the outcome of the meeting, it became clear that militants wanted more preferences than the Ukrainian party is able to provide. Thus, following the results of the meeting, militants published a vague statement that the agreement will not be fulfilled “while the DPR territories are being shelled”. Nevertheless, OSCE representatives stated in their report that the militants were not even ready to discuss fulfillment of ceasefire. Latest shelling of Debaltseve town executive committee and two buses with migrants are the evidence of the conflict reaching a deadlock.  It should be noted that one of the districts in Donetsk was shelled before the meeting, resulting in death of 7 people, which can be treated as premeditated provocation aimed at obstructing the meeting in Minsk.

WAR. ACTIONS IN THE ATO ZONE.

Shelling of Popasna, Stanytsya Luhanska, Schastya localities continued in past days. “Azov” battalion reports that militants do not stop their activity in Mariupol direction, confrontation is underway.

 PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT OF THE CRISIS.

On January 31 Kuchma informed on breakdown of consultations with the DPR and LPR representatives. Later he added that the representatives of self-proclaimed DPR and LPR, present at consultations in Minsk on Saturday, were threatening the Ukrainian party with renewal of full-scale military actions along all the length of the confrontation line in case their demands are not met. OSCE blamed breakdown of the meeting on militants stating that they were not ready to discuss ceasefire and were calling upon the memorandum revision instead. The militants called the OSCE report “inadequate” and stated that “Donetsk was not going to fulfill Kyiv’s ultimatum under the fire”. Former head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden Karl Bildt wrote in his Twitter that pro-Russian separatists no longer accept the agreements signed in Minsk.

First deputy head of the Russian government Igor Shuvalov stated that disconnection of Russian benks from SWIFT international payment system is not going to make Russian authorities change their standpoint in the conflict in Ukraine.

The USA President Barak Obama reported the intention to increase pressure upon Russia and support Ukraine. According to The New York Times’ sources, talks on supplying Ukraine with weapons renewed at the US President’s administration. Gazeta Wyborcza informs that Poland is ready to sell weapons to Ukraine, but Kyiv should decide on its own whether there are costs for it on its budget.

ACTIVITY OF THE PARLIAMENT. WORK OF THE GOVERNMENT.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USA to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said in his interview to ZN.UA that the United States are interested in success of the present Ukrainian “democratic authorities” and are urging it to avoid the mistakes made by Viktor Yushchenko and Yuliya Tymoshenko. According to Mr. Pyatt, if Petro Poroshenko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk end up with the same situation, many participants of the international society will wash their hands and say: “Been here, done that”.

REFORMS.

The EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus Francis Malige stated that Ukraine was not acting promptly enough to prevent financial breakdown. Malige believes that Ukraine should reform three main branches: banking and energy sectors as well as investment environment. He suggests cleansing Ukrainian banking market from unfair players, reform “Naftogaz Ukrayiny” company and state fair rules of the game in economy in order to attract foreign investors. Ukrainian government is running out of time to introduce these changes, Malige says.

STABILIZATION OF ECONOMIC SITUATION.

The US authorities intend to provide Ukraine with additional funds, the “5th channel” reports, referring to the White House representative Josh Earnest. According to the White House representative, “taking into consideration a number of reforms implemented by the authorities of Ukraine, we support provision of funds in the second half of the year”.

SITUATION IN DONBAS.

Donetsk regional state administration is considering the possibility to disconnect Donetsk from electricity supply due to ongoing shelling of the city.

THE STATE AND THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL GROUPS. ATTEMPTS OF THE ECONOMY REDISTRIBUTION.

The deputy of Severodonetsk town council Serhiy Samarskyi stated in his address to the Head of the Ministry of Internal Arsen Avakov that the former deputy from the Party of Regions Rinat Akhmetov personally offered up to 25 million dollars to the securities of Shastya heat and power plant in Luhansk region for lifting the security measures off the object. Olena Dovzhenko, the head of Rinat Akhmetov’s press-service, stated to the Ukrayinska Pravda periodical:
“Serhiy Samarskyi’s words are cheap provocation and a lie”.

“Ukrnafta” state company, controlled by Ihor Kolomoyskyi, made an application for sale of oil and gas condensate at the auction planned for 11:00am, February 6.

“Gaz Ukrayiny” company (subsidiary of the SJSC “Naftogaz Ukrayiny”) applied to Commercial Court of Cherkasy region asking to declare PJSC “Azot” (Cherkasy) bankrupt. “Azot” company is a part of Dmytro Firtash’s Ostchem holding.

On February 1 PJSC “Donetskhirskmash” plant caught on fire as a result of artillery shelling in Leninskyi district of Donetsk. The plant is a part of Rinat Akhmetov’s System Capital Management holding.

The Prosecutor-General’s Office received a permit to arrest 125 million hryvnias in accounts of people related to the former minister of finance Yuriy Kolobov.

The Prosecutor-General’s Office of Ukraine opened a criminal proceeding on forgery pf signature of former owner of “Inter” TV-channel Ihor Pluzhnykov during transfer of ownership of the channel in 2005.

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