The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is ready to participate in the international program of financial support for Ukraine, the bank said in a statement. The bank is prepared to invest at least 5 billion euro in Ukraine by 2020 and could invest more if economic conditions permit. The EBRD considers that in order to regain the confidence of investors, Ukraine must agree on a macroeconomic stabilization program with the International Monetary Fund and deal with corruption. The EBRD said that it would work closely with the authorities in Ukraine. Click here to read the article on interfax.com.ua.
The North Atlantic Alliance and the European Union have again expressed support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine at the level of security consultations against the backdrop of Russian military aggression. This was discussed during an informal meeting of the North Atlantic Council and the European Union’s Political and Security Committee in Brussels on Wednesday, the alliance’s press service reported. “The discussions showed the convergence of views in both organisations in upholding Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, the need for a dialogue between Ukraine and Russia as well as de-escalating steps in view of a peaceful solution to the crisis in full respect of international law as laid down in bi- and multilateral commitments,” NATO said. Ambassadors also had an exchange of views on the various dimensions of the crisis in Ukraine and the options for the response of the international community. Click here to read in full on Ukrinform.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said that Kyiv can count on Brussels in the issue of gas supplies. He said at a press conference after a European Commission meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that there were a number of measures through which the European Commission would support Ukraine. Barroso said that in the energy sector, the EU was considering that in the short term reverse gas supplies would work through the transport network in full. Click here to read the article on interfax.com.ua.
A verification mission of the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe will visit Ukraine on March 5 to 12, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported. “The visit’s program includes visits to military sites of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,” the ministry said on Facebook. The mission includes representatives of Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden, Latvia, Poland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Slovakia, Finland, Germany, France, Hungary and other OSCE members. U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said on Twitter that two U.S. military observers would also be among the OSCE observation mission members in Crimea. Click here to read more on Kyivpost.
This document sets out the main concrete measures that the Commission is proposing for the short and medium term to help stabilise the economic and financial situation in Ukraine, assist with the transition, encourage political and economic reforms and support inclusive development for the benefit of all Ukrainians. These measures combined could bring overall support of at least €11 billion over the coming years from the EU budget and EU based international financial institutions (IFIs) in addition to the significant funding being provided by the IMF and World Bank. All these measures should be seen as the Commission’s contribution to a European and international effort at providing a sustainable way out of Ukraine’s difficult economic situation and to support its economic and political transition. The action of Member States in complementing and reinforcing what the Commission can mobilise on its own is crucial. Click here to read memo in full on europa.eu.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton has said that the EU Foreign Affairs Council, at an emergency meeting on Monday, will consider the political aspects of the situation in Ukraine and express support for its people. She said before the meeting that she had convened the meeting because of deep concern about the situation in Ukraine. She said that it was desperately necessary to see a de-escalation of the situation. She said that the purpose of the meeting was to consider political issues and, of course, continue to provide the support of the EU to the people of Ukraine. This will be an important meeting, Ashton said. Click here to read more on interfax.com.ua.
Russia took a financial hit over its military intervention in neighboring Ukraine, with its markets and currency plunging on Monday as President Vladimir Putin’s forces tightened their grip on the Russian-speaking Crimea region. The Moscow stock market fell by 10 percent and the central bank spent $10 billion of its reserves to prop up the rouble as investors took fright at escalating tensions with the West over Ukraine. Ukraine said Russia was building up armoured vehicles on its side of a narrow stretch of water closest to Crimea after Putin declared at the weekend he had the right to invade his neighbor to protect Russian interests and citizens. On the ground in Perevalnoye, half way between the Crimean capital of Simferopol and the Black Sea, hundreds of Russian troops in trucks and armoured vehicles – without national insignia on their uniforms – surrounded two military compounds, confining Ukrainian soldiers as virtual prisoners. Click here to read the full article on Reuters.
G-7 leaders Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States and the President of the European Council and President of the European Commission say they condemn Russia’s clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and suspend participation in preparations for the Sochi G-8 Summit scheduled for June 2014. “We note that Russia’s actions in Ukraine also contravene the principles and values on which the G-7 and the G-8 operate. As such, we have decided for the time being to suspend our participation in activities associated with the preparation of the scheduled G-8 Summit in Sochi in June, until the environment comes back where the G-8 is able to have meaningful discussion. We call on Russia to address any ongoing security or human rights concerns that it has with Ukraine through direct negotiations, and/or via international observation or mediation under the auspices of the UN or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We stand ready to assist with these efforts,” the G-7 leaders said in a statement posted on the White House’s official Web site.
Ukrainian navy officers have rejected pleas for them to defect to the self-declared Crimean government at an extraordinary meeting at their headquarters in Sevastopol. On Sunday the recently appointed navy commander-in-chief, Rear Admiral Denis Berezovsky, appeared on television to announce he was defecting to the Russian-supported Crimean authorities. But despite his appeals to officers on Monday, they said they would remain loyal to their oaths to serve Ukraine. Berezovsky has been accused of state treason by the new authorities in Kiev. Click here to read more on theguardian.com.
The European Union plans to hold a summit of the heads of state and government due to the situation in Ukraine, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said. “We have already expressed our very serious concern about the situation. The situation has not improved. We are working with all our member states to get a general response to these events. The Foreign Affairs Council will meet today, and very soon the heads of state and government of the European Union also meet to work out a common response,” Barroso said on Monday. He said that there had recently been a significant amount of contacts with both Ukrainian and Russian authorities. We believe that it is important to demonstrate our commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, he said. Barroso said that the EU was currently working on preparing a package of support for Ukraine. The European Commission and I are preparing several options for supporting Ukraine. As we have said, we reaffirm our commitment to offer Ukraine political association and economic integration as part of the Association Agreement, he said. Barroso also said he was confident that it was necessary to avoid escalation and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty. Click here to read more on Kyivpost.