Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ukraine Updates April 23 , 2014 -- Russia Warns West "Remove Forces"; Begins Military Exercise On Ukraine Border ....... After Vice President Biden arrived in Kiev and offered supportive words for the new government ( and blistered Moscow in the process ) , following boots on the ground in nearby Nato nation , Russia responds - - Sergey Lavrov: "If Russian Troops Or People Attacked, We'll Retaliate" ....... Meanwhile , Ukraine and the EU talk about modernizing the Ukrainian natural gas ( Ukraine says show us the money , Russia still demand to be paid ) ....

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-23/russia-warns-west-remove-forces-begins-military-exercise-ukraine-border



Russia Warns West "Remove Forces"; Begins Military Exercise On Ukraine Border

Tyler Durden's picture





 
UPDATE: Dutch fighter jets were scrambled after Russian bombers approached Dutch airspace; the Russian planes turned away
With both sides appearing to have entirely un-de-escalated and the truce deal now a thing of the past (besides a few hundred Dow points), the Russians are speaking up today - and are not happy:
  • RUSSIA IS EXTREMELY SURPRISED BY KIEV AND WASHINGTON'S "DISTORTED" INTERPRETATION OF AGREEMENT REACHED IN GENEVALAST WEEK ON DE-ESCALATION OF UKRAINE CRISIS - FOREIGN MINISTRY
  • RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYSKIEV AND WASHINGTON "CLOSING THEIR EYES" TO PROVOCATIVE ACTIONS BY NATIONALIST FORCESIN UKRAINE
And, on the heels of Turchynov's official restart of the so-called anti-terrorist operation, Russia is calling on Ukraine to pull back military from Ukraine's southeast... and rattles its sabre by undertaking a military exercise on the border.

Bloomberg reports,
Russia is surprised by distorted interpretation of Geneva accord from govts of Ukraine, U.S., RIA Novosti reports, citing Russia’s Foreign Ministry.

*RUSSIA CALLS ON UKRAINE TO REMOVE MILITARY FROM SOUTHEAST: RIA

Russia says Ukraine, U.S. closing eyes to provocations by right-wing extremists: RIA

Russia still believes partners are serious about resolving crisis in Ukraine: RIA
and in addition
  • RUSSIAN MILITARY CONDUCTS MILITARY EXERCISE IN ROSTOV REGION, BORDERING UKRAINE - DEFENCE MINISTRY OFFICIAL
All of this sets the scene for an important set of meetings next week...
Russia ready to host EU, Ukraine energy officials in Moscow or consider other cities for talks, Russian Energy Ministry spokeswoman Olga Golant says by phone.

Golant confirms EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger invited Russia to gas talks

Slovakia planning talks on use of gas pipeline in reverse to supply Ukraine on Apr. 28 in Bratislava, Eustream pipeline operator spokesman Vahram Chuguryan says by phone
So to sum it all up:
  1. The truce deal is dead
  2. Russia blames Ukraine/West for breaking deal and misunderstanding it
  3. Ukraine/West blame Russia for not unilaterally pulling back its forces
  4. Russia is warning Ukraine to pullback military from Russia-held southeast Ukraine ("or there will be retaliation")
  5. Russia is rattling its sabre by military exercises on the Ukraine border (after US sends another warship into the Black Sea)
  6. Against all this tension, gas pipeline talks are set to begin shortly.
Still buying the fucking dip on the back of Ukraine 'calming down'?












http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-23/putin-gets-paid-imf-agrees-17bn-loan-ukraine


Putin Gets Paid? IMF Agrees $17bn Loan To Ukraine

Tyler Durden's picture






It seems Russia won't have to wait too long for the billions that Ukraine owes it for energy supplies past, present, and future pre-billings. Bloomberg reports that:
  • *IMF STAFF SAID TO BACK $17B UKRAINE LOAN
  • *IMF STAFF SAID TO SEEK APRIL 30 BOARD MEETING ON UKRAINE LOAN
The always-accurate staff at the IMF project a mere 5% contraction in Ukraine's economy (so that means more like 15%).

As Bloomberg reports,
International Monetary Fund staff endorsed a $17 billion loan to Ukraine to help the government pay its bills amid a projected economic contraction of 5 percent this year, according to government officials who have seen the recommendations.

The staff’s report was delivered to members of the IMF’s 24-seat board late yesterday, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal documents.The staff proposed an April 30 board meeting to consider the loan package, they said.

Conny Lotze, a spokeswoman for the IMF, declined to comment.

After weeks of talks with the government in Kiev, IMF staff concluded that Ukraine needs financing from the fund that’s at the higher end of the $14 billion to $18 billion range initially announced. The IMF loan will clear the way for additional aid from the European Union and other donors.
We await the small-print to see just how much is "allowed" to be spent on paying bills to Russia vs paying off interest on bonds due to Western banks...




http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-23/russia-may-halt-oil-supplies-ukraine-theft



Russia May Halt Oil Supplies On Ukraine Theft

Tyler Durden's picture






First it was concerns over whether Ukraine would 'steal' gas supplies bound for Europe as it passed through pipelines in the country and now, as bills remain unpaid, a Transneft unit is threatening to halt Ukraine oil products supply due to pipeline theft.
  • *TRANSNEFT COMMENTS ON OIL PRODUCTS PIPELINE IN UKRAINE
  • *TRANSNEFT MAY STOP WORK OF PRIKARPATZAPADTRANS PIPELINE SYSTEM
  • *TRANSNEFT: $62.7M IN OIL STOLEN FROM UKRAINE PIPE OVER 5 YRS
As Bloomberg reports,
57.9k tons of oil products have been lost from theft in Ukraine and "Transneft expresses hope that theUkrainian authorities can evaluate the risks of the current situation and not allow a negative scenario to develop."
More boomerangs ?








and from earlier....







http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-23/sergey-lavrov-if-russian-troops-or-people-attacked-well-retaliate


Sergey Lavrov: "If Russian Troops Or People Attacked, We'll Retaliate"

Tyler Durden's picture





It took Joe Biden just a day after his arrival in Kiev to kill and bury the last remaining hope that last week's latest attempt at diplomatic de-escalation in Geneva would actually be anything more than a joke. A few hours ago, in a statement posted on the parliament website, Ukraine acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said that pro-Russian separatists have "crossed line" adding that East Ukraine is currently controlled by “terrorists” supported by Russia.
In other words, the same old song and dance.
Which is why this time Russia made it quite clear to issue a warning that the next time there is a provocation against its soldiers or, more importantly, against its people, those in East Ukraine to be specific, it would retaliate. Once again, Obama's "costs" message is lost on Putin...
RT reported moments ago that "Russia will retaliate if it is attacked and the interests of the Russian people are threatened" citing Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. He alleged the US has a hand in the current stand-off in Ukraine between the coup-appointed government and anti-Maidan activists.
In an interview with RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze, Sergey Lavrov said that Washington “is running the show” in the Ukrainian crisis.

“There is no reason not to believe that the Americans are running the show,” said Lavrov, referencing US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Kiev and its coincidence with the renewed counter-terror operation on activists in East Ukraine.

“It’s quite telling they chose the moment of the Vice President of the US’ visit to announce the resumption of this operation because the launching of this operation happened immediately after John Brennon’s [head of the CIA] visit to Kiev,” said Lavrov.
It remains to be seen if this latest re-escalation of the Ukraine crisis, which also has killed any hope of a diplomatic resolution, will be just as bullish or more bullish than last Thursday's response which send stocks ramping higher when the Geneva "de-escalation" agreement was announced.




Anti War .....



Ruling Party Politician Found Slain in East Ukraine

Rybak Was Captured Last Week, Signs of Torture on Body

by Jason Ditz, April 22, 2014
Ukraine’s interim government is up in arms again today after reports that the body of akidnapped politician from the new interim ruling party was found on the outskirts of the eastern protester city of Slovyansk.
The politician, identified by officials as Volodymyr Rybak (apparently no relation to top Party of Regions MP of the same name), went missing last week and was reportedly captured by protesters in the nearby town of Horlivka. Interim President Turchinov reported the body was “brutally tortured.”
Turchinov reported two bodies were recovered, though Ukrainian police only mentioned the one, believed to be Rybak, and there was no indication who the other person was, or where they were found.
Details were scant in the official police statement, and they wouldn’t even officially identify the person beyond saying they looked like Rybak, and said the process of formal identification would take some time.


and......



Biden Slams Russia, Says US Will Never Recognize Crimea Annexation

Unveils New Round of Ukraine Aid

by Jason Ditz, April 22, 2014
Vice President Joe Biden is in Kiev, Ukraine today, and as you might imagine the visit focused on condemnation of neighboring Russia. But Biden didn’t show up empty-handed, pledging $58 million more in US aid for the nation.
This round of US aid will mostly be centered on the upcoming Ukrainian national election, which aims to formalize the regime change imposed by violent protests last month.
Biden spent the rest of the time vowing the US would “never recognize”Russia’s annexation of the Crimea, and demanding Russia forcibly compel eastern Ukrainians, many of whom are ethnic Russians, to stop protesting for increased autonomy.
Biden went on to threaten “increasingly harsh” sanctions against Russia if the protests continue, something State Department officials were saying yesterday. Russia insists it can’t actually force protesters in another country not to protest, and insists the US is dramatically over-estimating its influence.



and......


US Sending 600 Ground Troops to Eastern Europe

Aims to 'Reassure' Allies With New Deployments

by Jason Ditz, April 22, 2014
The Pentagon has announced initial deployments of 600 US ground troops to Eastern Europe, a presence which officials say will be sustained “until further notice.”
The troops will be split evenly, roughly 150 per country, among Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, and is aimed at reassuring them over what the Pentagon dubbed “Russian aggression.”
The move was well short of the massive deployments the various nations were seeking, and Estonia was quick to say they expect many more NATO troops in tyhe days and weeks to come.
Poland, the largest of the effected nations, has demanded a minimum of 10,000 NATO troops in the country, and was expecting in the neighborhood of 5,000 of those troops to be American.







http://en.itar-tass.com/economy/729232



KIEV, April 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine has forwarded proposals to European gas companies to set up a natural gas transportation consortium to help modernize and maintain the Ukrainian gas system, Yuriy Prodan, the parliament-appointed Minister of Energy and Coal Industry, said on Wednesday.
“Ukraine is already in talks concerning the mooted consortium. We forwarded relevant proposals to European gas companies,” Prodan told journalists. Moscow was ruled out of the talks since Russia had never sent proposals concerning the network's future development, he said.
Parliament-appointed Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk told a news conference on Tuesday that Kiev was set “to discuss joint maintenance and modernization of Ukraine’s gas transportation system” with American and European investors.
Ukraine has been accustomed to heavy reliance on Russian supply. Earlier this month, Moscow announced that the price for its neighbor would rise to $485 for 1,000 cubic metres.
Russian supplier Gazprom's chief executive Alexei Miller told Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in early April that account taken for March delivery,Ukraine’s debt to Russia exceeded $2.2 billion. Gazprom was specifying a supply price returning to earlier contract agreements since Ukraine had failed to fulfil commitments under an agreement in December 2013. It obliged the country to pay on time for delivered volumes.
On April 2, President Vladimir Putin signed a law to renounce the Kharkiv Accords with Ukraine of 2010 that stipulated Russia’s lease of naval facilities in Crimea (then part of Ukraine) would be extended by 25 years beyond 2017, until 2042.
The deals envisioned a discount of $100 for 1,000 cubic metres of supply to Ukraine. Now they have been renounced over Crimea’s merger with the Russian Federation, the discount is no longer applied, raising the supply price to $485.
From the second quarter of this year, Gazprom pays 10% more for Russian gas transit to European consumers via Ukraine. Gazprom has pledged to fulfil its commitments.