The issue of supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine remains relevant this week, taking into consideration that Kyiv is waiting for Biden’s visit. Several countries spoke either in support of or against such initiative yesterday, the main argument “against” being that Russia may start a full0fledged war against the USA.
Following the tragedy in Mariupol and separatists’ offensive in January, intellectual and political environment in Washington plunged into an argument on lethal weapons supply to Ukraine. Legislativeframeworkforithasbeenpreparedearlier. A report “Preserving Ukraine’s Independence, Resisting Russian Aggression: What the United States and NATO Must Do” has been prepared by three leading American institutes (the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution, the Center for a New American Security and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs). The report states that Russia aims at freezing the conflict in Ukraine. The experts believe that in case it succeeds, Kremlin would be bold enough to challenge European security even further. It requires more extensive military aid then provided for as of today, including lethal defensive weapons, and the US government is to provide $1 billion military aid to Ukraine in 2015 with subsequent tranches of $1 billion in 2016 and 2017.
Western media continue listing the risks of providing Ukraine with weapons. The Financial Times mentions that considerable increase of aid may lead to direct conflict between the USA and Russia, thus “freezing” the conflict at present stage would be the best solution.
WAR. ACTIONS IN THE ATO ZONE.
Ukrainian artillery made a number of preemptive blows on staging posts of Russian-terrorist troops and their line of deployment nearby Debaltseve. “Information Resistance” group informs that militants in Donbas lack munition and intensity of shelling decreased. Avdiyivka coking plant was shelled on February 04, one worker of the plant died.
PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT OF THE CRISIS.
The US administration is considering the possibility to supply weapons to Ukraine, but at the same time it understands the necessity to avoid escalation of the conflict in this country, said the spokesperson for the US Department of State Jen Psaki. Barak Obama’s nominee to the position of the Pentagon Chief, Ashton Carter supports the idea to give American defensive weapons to Ukraine. “I’m a big supporter of this step, for I believe we have to help Ukrainians defend themselves. I can’t say any more right now on what these weapons should be, for I need to talk to our military and Ukrainian leaders, but I support lethal weapons provision to Ukrainian people”, – quotes Carter Rzeczpospolita periodical.
German diplomat and the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger also believes that Russia’s refusal from fulfilling Minsk agreements may force Western countries supplying Ukraine with military equipment. The President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves also believes that Ukraine should be aided be weapons, while the Prime-minister of Finland Alexander Stubb in convinced that “we must try and avoid military conflict at any cost”. Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark Martin Lidegor spoke for maintaining pressure upon Russia, but against supplying weapons to Ukraine. Head of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier said two times in one day that supplying Kyiv with lethal weapons will not support the conflict regulation. France has no plans at the moment to supply Ukraine with weapons to help it fight in Donbas, said the Minister of Defence of France Jean-Yves Le Drian.
The Financial Times writes that the Ukrainian President was too persistent in his attempts to receive support of the West. Speaking on the USA Congress in September, Poroshenko thanked Washington for providing Ukraine with non-lethal aid which included blankets and night-vision devices. Nevertheless, he made a scalding comment that “no one managed to win a war with blankets”. The White House which had opposed supplying armament to Ukraine turned furious.
ACTIVITY OF THE PARLIAMENT. WORK OF THE GOVERNMENT.
Six deputies of the Block of Petro Poroshenko faction – Serhiy Valentyrov, Bohdan Dubnevych, Borys Kozyr, Vadym Kryvokhatko, Vadym Nesterenko and Boryslav Rozenblat – supported a request to the UN to bring in peacemakers, having voted for the draft law of the Opposition Block. Borys Filatov wrote on his Facebook page: “Lutsenko and Hroysman almost sank into the earth trying to represent this shameful move as a “mistake”. Dear Petro Oleksiyovych [Poroshenko], do you remember the day when you turfed me out of the Block of Petro Poroshenko and accepted another deputy governor instead? Not Kolomoyskyi’s, but Vilkul’s? Right, the same Nesterenko who got into Rada with a scandal on 38th electoral district”. Filatov’spostreceived16.6 thousand “likes”.
Policy of the Minister of Energy Volodymyr Demchyshyn makes Ukraine buy expensive electricity from the Russian Federation at a loss, informed the chair of the Anti-corruption committee Yehor Sobolyev.
“Novoye Vremya” newspaper writes that Yarema is not going to be dismissed in the nearest future. According to the periodical, certain work has been conducted with trouble-making deputies from the BPP faction before the meeting with Yarema. “Some of them were given a call by the president personally and some were otherwise persuaded to call their signatures off [the application of the General-Prosecutor’s dismissal]” – told one of the BPPP deputies on the condition of anonymity.
“Svoboda” political party is going to picket Verkhovna Rada tomorrow, stated a people’s deputy Andriy Illyenko. He said “Svoboda” members will demand from the parliament “to keep their promises to Maidan and their promises in elections“.
THE STATE AND THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL GROUPS. ATTEMPTS OF REDISTRIBUTION OF THE ECONOMY.
Viktor Pinchuk’s oil and gas extracting business faced a threat of nationalization. According to “Delovaya Stolitsa” periodical, Prosecutor-General’s Office of Ukraine voiced its claims to Viktor Pinchuk’s structures recently. LLC “Inteck Geo” company affiliated with this businessman illegally holds a special permit for extraction at Pivdenno-Orylske oil and gas deposit; thus, in Vitaliy Yarema’s opinion, this field is to be returned to the state ownership.
OJSC “Lysychanskugol” concluded an agreement with LLC “Podshypniksbyt” to purchase bearings for 1.96 million hryvnias. Tetyana, Maryna, Serhiy and Volodymyr Deicha are majority shareholders of LLC “Podshypniksbyt”, two latter being sons of a people’s deputy from the Party of Regions Borys Deicha who in September participated in self-styled “elections” in temporarily occupied Crimea.
Deputies of Lutsk city council recognized Russia as aggressor and the DPR and LPR as terrorist organizations on Wednesday, February 04, the web-site of the Mayor’s Office informs.
County administrative court in Kyiv adjudicated representatives of the Communist party who were requesting to close the case on prohibition of the party and find the suit of the Ministry of Justice illegitimate. The court during its session on Wednesday ordered to resume hearing of the case on February 11.
The court imposed imprisonment as pre-trial restraint on Yevheniy Tkachuk, a battery commander who took 55 soldiers of “Kyivska Rus” battalion out of Debaltseve.
A criminal case for incitement of ethnic hatred has been opened against the former governor of Mykolayivska region Hennadiy Nikolayenko, current assistant for a Block of Petro Poroshenko deputy and former head of regional council Ihor Dyatlov.
82% of Crimean people fully support Russian annexation of the peninsula, the GfK Ukraine company’s survey (pdf) reports. 11% of the respondents said that they partially supported the annexation and 4% spoke against.