Ukrainian media review on February 14-15, 2015

WAR. SETTLEMENT OF THE CRISIS IN UKRAINE.

Russia is trying to “push” their vision of Minsk Agreement in the UN Security Council, which would remove any responsibility on the part of the Russian Federation for complying with “Minsk Agreements–2”.  The “Russian” version envisages the requirement for Ukraine has be the first to withdraw its troops at a distance of 50 kilometers after the beginning of cease-fire, and furthermore the Russian Federation should be granted the right to supply its “humanitarian” convoys to Ukraine.

There is an active discourse in the Western press about the possible deterioration of split between the EU, which selected a diplomatic strategy to resolve the situation in the East of Ukraine, and the United States, that insist on the need to provide force\military support to Ukraine. So, the West says it is ready to increase pressure on Russia in case of “Minsk Agreements–2” failure.

The situation in the East of Ukraine is the following: after the beginning of ceasefire at 00:00 15.02, neither Ukrainian authorities nor the OSCE can claim that Russian mercenaries comply with the cease-fire. Thus, he headquarters of ATO HQ reports that despite the “Minsk Agreement” provisions invaders continue to fire at the forces of the anti-terrorist operation, using all types of weapons. Moreover, Ukrainian military reported that militants are planning to seize Debaltseve from the side of Horlivks and Uglegorsk villages. According to the statements of OSCE special monitoring mission, in the east of Ukraine as of February 15, 18:00 the cisesefire have been observed on the whole ATO zome territory with the exception of areas around Debaltseve, Raygorodka and Luhansk. At the same time, the mission indicates that it has been informed about “numerous unconfirmed cases of ceasefire violation.” Also, observers have noted that they could not get into Debaltseve, which is subjected to intense fire.

Commenting on the consequesces of the Minsk agreements, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk noted that “the hands of the central government won’t be used to legalize the terrorists,” and emphasized that it is necessary to restore full compliance with the current Ukrainian legislation, as well as disarmament of all illegal military groups, and restoration of the state authority throughout the country and control over entire state border.

REFORM.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that within 2015 the number of officials is planned to be further reduced for almost 50 thousand people, or by 20%.  In addition, the Prime Minister also reminded that the country has a moratorium on business inspections, and urged entrepreneurs to “kick out” the officials that come with checks.

“Naftogaz of Ukraine”, Chairmen of Ukraine Andriy Kobolev is confident that the new law “On the Natural Gas Market” will enhance competition and reduce gas prices for the end consumer.  Moreover, Ukraine’s plans of its gas transportation system and storages being used by European companies, as well as attracting large-scale investment into the industry are hardly possible without the adoption of this document. For the EU operator it will be much more comfortable to work in a familiar European legislative field.

The Prosecutor General’s office of Ukraine in cooperation with the Security Service of Ukraine processed the detention of the Party of Regions’ Parliament faction ex-had Oleksandr Yefremov, who is suspected in criminal offenses, namely abuse of office aggravated assault and official forgery. Earlier, on February 13, the Prosecutor General’s office of Ukraine sent an indictment in criminal proceedings against the former head of the Kyiv City State Administration Alexander Popov to the Kyiv Shevchenko District Court.  Active discussions in social media speculate on oligarch Akhmetov as a possible next target of a newly appointed Prosecutor General Shokin.

The government is planning to gradually equalize gas prices and utility rates during two years. Also, the system of subsidies will completely change. Prime Minister noted that the total amount of subsidies is currently 12.5 billion UAH.

DONBASS RECOVERY.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk does not exclude the possibility that the government will demand reparations from the Russian Federation for the destruction of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

UKRAINIAN STATE ECONOMY.

Wage areas in Ukraine have amounted to nearly 2.5 billion $  as of beginning of 2015th.

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