Monday, June 2, 2014

Ukraine Updates June 2 , 2014 -- Ukrainian Warplanes Miss Targets, Hit Civilians ........Russia ready for price concessions to Ukraine, but demands gas debt repaid before June 9 ( to get the concessions , Ukraine should pay the remaining part of $2.2 billion arrears before June 9 , May gas bill and should agree on gas debt payment schedule made after April 1, 2014, the Energy Ministry said. ) ....... Ukraine's Freedom party insists on introducing martial law in south-east ........... Militia storm east Ukraine’s Luhansk border unit — Ukraine Border Service

Mish....


Monday, June 02, 2014 6:45 PM


Ukrainian Warplanes Miss Targets, Hit Civilians


In response to Mish Reader Who Speaks Russian and Reads Ukrainian Updates the Situation in Ukraine, Reader Larry writes "Thank you for this vital news. Please encourage your friend Jacob to keep it coming."

Unfortunately, the news is not good. Jacob emailed today ...

At least one, possibly two Ukrainian warplanes attacked central Lugansk city this morning. The main target seemed to be the rebel-held regional government building (keep in mind, there are plenty of civilians working there, doing their regular jobs.) However, the rockets went flying all over the place. At least one hit a park near the government building (see below). At least one hit a road near the government building and a number of civilians were killed on a sidewalk just outside the building (photos of fatalities, further below.)

Jacob Dreizin











Questions of the Day 
  1. Is this really the solution?
  2. If the separatists killed innocent civilians, would it be all over the news?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Read more at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/#t9l1EPwYQvyiorDf.99

















Itar Tass....


Russia ready for price concessions to Ukraine, but demands gas debt repaid before June 9

 June 02, 14:54 UTC+4
Russian energy giant Gazprom will not sue Ukraine’s Naftogaz at the Stockholm international arbitration court before June 9
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Klimentyev
MOSCOW, June 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Ahead of Russia-Ukraine-EU tripartite gas talks that will open in Belgium’s capital, Brussels, on Monday, Russia is prepared to go into additional gas price concessions for Ukraine, particularly not to file a lawsuit to Stockholm international arbitration court, possibly reduce the gas price and delay a deadline of introducing advance payment for gas supplies.
However, Ukraine should pay the remaining part of $2.2 billion before June 9 and should agree on gas debt payment schedule made after April 1, 2014, the Energy Ministry said. So, Ukraine’s Naftogaz should pay $1.45 billion before the start of next week.
The first tranche opens up an opportunity for talks on the whole scope of issues. Russia, the European Commission and Ukraine will continue consultations on the issue soon,” the Energy Ministry said.
Russian energy giant Gazprom will not sue Ukraine’s Naftogaz at the Stockholm international arbitration court before June 9, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told reporters. “Along with the decision to delay introduction of advance payment to June 9, Gazprom decided not to sue Ukraine’s Naftogaz at Stockholm international arbitration court for this period of time,” he said.
“Ukraine has paid the first tranche for gas supplies. Today, $786 million were transferred to Gazprom. We welcome that Ukraine had started gas debt repayment and delay introduction of advance payment to June 9. Introduction of advance payment scheme will depend on whether the country repays full debt of $2.237 billion for gas supplied before April 1, some part of debt is reimbursed today, and on progress in payments for gas delivery in April and May. Payment for May gas supplies should be made before June 9,” he said.
In his words, if Ukrainian gas debt is settled, Russia is prepared to consider a scheme of resolving the price issue not only through a lower export customs duty, but also “in direct commercial talks on a corporative basis.”

Gas dispute between Ukraine and Russia
Russia has received $786.4 million from Ukraine as repayment of gas debt for February-March 2014, ITAR-TASS reported earlier in the day.
The Energy Ministry noted that two money transfers had been made as payment for gas supplies in February and March 2014.
Gazprom stated earlier that, if before the end of June 2 advance payment was not transferred to the monopoly’s accounts for June gas supplies, the Russian company would restrict gas supplies to Ukraine starting from June 3. Now introduction of advance payment is delayed for a week.
Energy Minister Alexander Novak said earlier that Russia was prepared to reduce the gas price for Ukraine within the export duty size, if the country repays its amassed debts. The gas export customs duty makes $100 for 1,000 cubic meters and was levied earlier (before Crimea’s accession to Russia) under the Kharkiv accords that offered the zero export customs duty as advance payments for basing of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Crimean federal city of Sevastopol after 2017.
Without the export duty, the gas price for Ukraine makes $385.5 per 1,000 cubic meters.
The start of commercial talks between Gazprom and Naftogaz means possible further gas price reduction for Ukraine. EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger stated earlier that a fair price for Ukraine was within a range of $350-380 per 1,000 cubic meters. Ukraine insists on the gas price of $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters.
In the first quarter of 2014, the Russian average gas price for Europe has made $390 per 1,000 cubic meters.


Ukraine's Freedom party insists on introducing martial law in south-east

 June 02, 15:09 UTC+4
Ukrainian lawmaker suggested to block the border with Russia
Militiamen in the south-east of Ukraine

Militiamen in the south-east of Ukraine

© EPA/VALENTINA SVISTUNOVA
KIEV, June 02. / ITAR-TASS/. Nationalist Freedom party requires the introduction of martial law in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the leader of party Oleh Tyahnybok said in the Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada.
"The Verkhovna Rada should impose martial law, as well as decide on partial voluntary evacuation of residents of these areas," Tyahnybok added.
He also calls to block the border with Russia. "The border closure should be introduced at the national level and visa free regime with Russia should be canceled,"  said Tyahnybok . According to him, the bill has beeb already registered in the Verkhovna Rada.


Militia storm east Ukraine’s Luhansk border unit — Ukraine Border Service

 June 02, 9:46 UTC+4
The border service said that the first attack with use of assault rifles and under-barrel grenade launchers started at around 4.00 am local time and lasted for about 40 minutes
© EPA/Roman Pilipey/Archive
LUHANSK, June 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Military formations of south-east Ukraine are storming a Luhansk border unit, Ukrainian State Border Service stated on Monday.
“Around 100 armed people went at around 12.30 am local time to a Luhansk border unit and have taken positions along the parameter of the border unit territory. The first attack with use of assault rifles and under-barrel grenade launchers started at around 4.00 am local time and lasted for about 40 minutes. After making a maneuvre, assailants launched another again. Several border guards were wounded. The total number of attackers makes more than 200 people. A fighter jet was dispatched to help border guards,” the border service said.
South-east Ukraine’s army was clashing with Right Sector radicals and the National Guard at the main base of Luhansk border unit located in the southern part of the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk in the residential area Mirny, the chief press officer of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic told ITAR-TASS earlier in the day.
“The battle is raging in Mirny. South-east Ukraine’s army is fighting with Right Sector radicals and National Guard who had entrenched there. There are no reports about casualties,” he said.
The chief press officer denied earlier media reports that the southern part of the city was being shelled. “No one is shelling the city. The stand-off is going on at the main base of the border unit,” he noted.
Luhansk border unit protects the state border section with Russia, stretching at 746 kilometres within 10 controlled border districts. Twelve branches of Ukrainian State Border Service are included in the Luhansk border unit.


RIA Novosti....


Russia’s Gazprom Postpones Switch to Advance Payment for Ukraine to June 9

Russia’s Gazprom Postpones Switch to Advance Payment for Ukraine to June 9
12:14 02/06/2014
Tags: gasGazpromUkraineRussia
MOSCOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti) – Russian energy giant Gazprom had postponed the introduction of advance payment scheme for Ukraine until June 9 to give Kiev an opportunity to pay for the May gas deliveries, the company’s chief Alexei Miller said Monday.
“Ukraine has made the first tranche of the gas supplies [payment]. Today Gazprom got 786 million on its account. We welcome Ukraine’s beginning of gas debt payments and reschedule the [start of] the advance payment scheme to June 9. The introduction of the prepayment scheme will depend on whether the debt for gas delivered before April 1, totaling 2.237 billion, is paid in full,” he said.
The May payment is also due before June 9, the Gazprom CEO added.
Earlier in the day the Russian Energy Ministry confirmed it had received $786.4 million from Ukraine as payment for gas deliveries in February and March.
Kiev announced that it made this payment to Russia on Friday evening after the gas talks between the EU, Russia and Ukraine in Berlin. The payment is 2.5 times smaller than the one the parties agreed on during previous talks.
Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said that $786 million is the only undisputed part of the Kiev’s gas debt. It’s a payment for gas supplied to Ukraine at the price of 268.5 dollars per thousand cubic meters from January to March 2014, he explained.
The European Union, Russia and Ukraine will have another round of gas talks later on Monday.
In May Gazprom announced a switch to a prepayment scheme, in full accordance with the 2009 energy contract between Russian and Ukraine. Following the decision, an advance bill was sent to Naftogaz for June deliveries, with supplies to be suspended starting June 3 if the debt is not at least partly paid off.
The gas price for Ukraine surged from $268.5 to $485.50 per 1,000 cubic meters in April after Russia annulled two discounts granted previously to the country. Kiev keeps rejecting the new price saying it was ready to clear its debt if Moscow agreed to sell gas at the old price.
During the last trilateral energy meeting, Russia said it would only consider lowering the price of gas to Kiev if it begins paying off its gas debts. Naftogaz could transfer $2 billion by May 30 and another $500 million by June 7, which will cover unpaid gas bills from November to April, it was agreed on. Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said that Moscow will only move forward with talks as long as Kiev pays the first part of its debt by Friday.
Earlier this week EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said that Ukraine’s gas debt to Russia had reached $4 billion upgrading the previous figure of $3.5.
Simultaneously the Gazpom CEO announced that Ukraine would owe Russia about $5.2 billion for natural gas as of June 7 if it makes no payments by that date.
According to Gazprom, Ukraine’s Naftogaz halted all payments in November.


Special Op in Eastern Ukraine May Last as Long as One Year – Pro-Kiev Militia

Ukrainian checkpoint near the town of Slaviansk (Archive)
11:36 02/06/2014
Tags: military operationDonetskLuhanskUkraine
KIEV, June 2 (RIA Novosti) – A special operation of Ukrainian forces against independence supporters in the country’s southeast could last as long as one year, said Semen Semenchenko, commander of the Donbass battalion, a pro-Kiev militia set up by the Right Sector nationalist movement.
"Unlike many people who believe that the ATO [anti-terrorist operation] will end in just a few weeks, I think that it will take not a month, but, possibly, a year," Semenchenko said quoted by Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper on Sunday.
It’s possible to complete the special operation in a month, but it would require considerable efforts, he said, adding that president-elect Petro Poroshenko "should direct his efforts to reform law enforcement agencies and logistics behind the army."
Billionaire Petro Poroshenko, who has claimed victory in recent snap presidential vote in Ukraine, demanded that Ukrainian forces complete the special operation in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhasnk until his inauguration on June 7.
Moscow has repeatedly condemned the new Kiev authorities for what it called "a punitive operation" and stressed the need for de-escalation of the Ukrainian crisis.


At Least 5 People Killed, 13 Injured in Luhansk Shootout

Militias during a battle with Ukraine's National Guard on the streets of Lugansk
13:57 02/06/2014
Tags: shootoutUkraineLuhansk
KIEV, June 2 (RIA Novosti) – At least five people died, 13 sustained injures on Monday in armed clashes between the self-defense forces and pro-Kiev military in the outskirts of the eastern city of Luhansk, Ukrainian State Border Service said.
Five self-defense supporters were killed and eight injured, the service said, adding that seven Ukrainian soldiers also sustained injuries.
Independence supporters have been struggling to gain control of the Ukrainian border service military base since early morning. The last storm started at 7:00 a.m. local time (4:00 a.m. GMT).
Small arms and grenade launchers have been used during the skirmish. A fighter jet of the Ukrainian Army has also been seen flying over the city early morning.
The Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics declared themselves independent states following the May 11 referendum and soon started to form governments and law enforcement agencies.
The interim Kiev government, backed by the Western allies, refused to recognize the legitimacy of any of these decisions and continued the military operation launched mid-April against the federalization protesters in the regions.
Moscow has repeatedly condemned the new Kiev authorities for what it called "a punitive operation" and stressed the need for de-escalation of the Ukrainian crisis.