Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ukraine Updates ( August 17 , 2014 ) -- A positive development , Ukraine officially recognizes Humanitarian aid from Russia ..... Additional news of note from the battlefield and sanctions regimes watch ....

http://rt.com/news/180844-ukraine-recognizes-russia-humanitarian-aid/


Ukraine Minister of Social Policy Lyudmila Denisova has signed an order officially recognizing the Russian convoy stuck at the border as humanitarian aid cargo of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
"In accordance with Articles 4 and 5 of the Law of Ukraine 'On Humanitarian Aid' considering the initiative of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on receiving humanitarian aid within the framework of international humanitarian missions under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to recognize the cargo as humanitarian aid,” the document reads.
Russian and Ukrainian officials have agreed on Sunday to proceed with the inspection of the first group of 16 Russian trucks of the humanitarian convoy, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.
The ICRC will be supervising the delivery of the aid and will go ahead after it receives security guarantees from the warring sides in Ukraine.
A driver walks past Russian convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian aid for Ukraine at a camp near Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, Rostov Region, August 15, 2014. (Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)
A driver walks past Russian convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian aid for Ukraine at a camp near Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, Rostov Region, August 15, 2014. (Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)

The Russian aid shipment consists of 12 types of goods weighting 1856.3 tons according to an official letter from the Red Cross received by the Ukrainian ministry on Saturday, which complies with the cargo declared by Russia.
“The recipient of humanitarian aid is the mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ukraine. The cargo will be moved into Ukraine by the ICRC through the 'Donetsk' checkpoint,”Kiev cited the ICRC letter.
Kiev granted Russian cargo humanitarian aid status after the Red Cross sent a petition to Kiev to allow the Russian humanitarian aid to enter eastern Ukraine, after the Russian cargo was held at the Ukrainian border since August 14.
“There remains one, of course, major challenge: we absolutely need security guarantees from all parties concerned before we can start moving,” Red Cross official Pascal Cuttat told the media on Saturday.
It is still unknown when the convoy will be allowed to enter Ukrainian territory as the procedures of the cargo clearing customs have reportedly not yet been completed. There has also been no word from Kiev about the security of the humanitarian mission following Friday's statement from Russia's Foreign Ministry that Kiev forces might attempt to block the agreed route and disrupt the aid delivery to Lugansk.
A convoy of Kamaz trucks carrying humanitarian aid for people in southeastern Ukraine in a rest area not far from Kamensk-Shakhtinsky in the Rostov Region. (RIA Novosti/Maksim Blinov)
A convoy of Kamaz trucks carrying humanitarian aid for people in southeastern Ukraine in a rest area not far from Kamensk-Shakhtinsky in the Rostov Region. (RIA Novosti/Maksim Blinov)

Russia sent 280 trucks with medical supplies, food, including baby food, sleeping bags and other basic necessities to southeastern Ukraine on Tuesday. But the cargo still has not reached the residents of the regions badly hit by the conflict as the Kiev government has procrastinated in designating Russian aid as humanitarian cargo.

Itar Tass.....

First trucks with Russian aid for Ukraine come to border between countries

 August 17, 15:52 UTC+4
The convoy unites about 270 KAMAZ trucks, which carry food, including children’s nutrition, water, medicines and electric generators
© ИТАР-ТАСС
DONETSK, August 17 /ITAR-TASS/. First 16 KAMAZ trucks of the Russian humanitarian aid convoy for Ukraine’s southeast arrived to the Donetsk border check point, ITAR-TASS correspondent reported from the scene.
As yet the convoy remains in the Russian territory, and there is no information when it may cross the border into Ukraine.
The convoy unites about 270 KAMAZ trucks, which carry food, including children’s nutrition, water, medicines and electric generators. The total weight is 1,856.3 tonnes. Before the trucks left for the border, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) inspected randomly the trucks.


Ten civilians killed in Ukrainian army’s Donetsk shelling

 August 17, 12:30 UTC+4
“The night was tense and the sounds of salvoes and explosions were heard all across the city,” the city council said
DONETSK, August 17 /ITAR-TASS/. At least ten civilians have been killed and another eight wounded in the Ukrainian army’s shelling of Donetsk in east Ukraine in the past twenty-four hours, the city council said on Sunday.
“The night was tense and the sounds of salvoes and explosions were heard all across the city,” the city council said.
Artillery fire has cut off electricity supply at 50 transformer substations in the city. Repair works are under way, the city council said.
Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.
During the military operation, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.


RIA Novosti......

Turkey Plans to Boost Food Exports to Russia - Reports

Topic: Russia Responds to Western Sanctions

Turkey plans to increase exports of fruits, vegetables to Russia
16:02 17/08/2014
Tags: tradeagriculturefoodembargoEURussiaTurkey

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MOSCOW, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - Turkish authorities intend to increase the volume of agricultural products exported to Russia in connection with Moscow’s ban on Western produce, the Wall Street Journal newspaper reported.
The increase of exports of Turkish fruits, vegetables and dairy products to Russia will allow Ankara to reduce the trade deficit and will help to recover from the demand reduction in the European Union, Turkey’s largest market.
"This is 100 percent positive, we need to seize this opportunity, Russia can devour everything we produce... We don't have energy like Russia, but we have agriculture, water and farmlands; we must work them and sell our produce," Vice President of the General Assembly at the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce Ahmet Ozer said.
In 2013, Turkey sold $7 billion worth of products to Russia, the newspaper said. This figure could increase by 25 percent if Moscow appeals to Ankara for the export of goods that were previously imported from Australia, Canada, Norway, the United States, and the EU countries.
At the same time, the Wall Street Journal noted that the increase in exports to Russia could adversely affect the development of Turkey’s domestic market and the relations between Ankara and Brussels, especially since the EU had already expressed concerns about the increase in exports to Russia from countries such as Brazil and Egypt. Brussels says it can reduce the impact of the EU and the US sanctions against Russia.
On August 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill on economic measures to protect the country’s security. The decree went into effect on August 7 and banned for one year imports of agricultural and food products from the countries that had imposed sanctions on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis. The list includes meat, poultry and milk products as well as fruits and vegetables from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway. The embargo does not include infant foods and goods.


Ukraine's Foreign Minister Asks EU, NATO for Military Aid

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin speaks during an interview about the situation in the country's southeast
13:35 17/08/2014
Tags: military operationviolencemilitary aidNATOEUAngela MerkelPavlo KlimkinEurope,GermanyUkraine

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BERLIN, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin asked the European Union and NATO for military aid in an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio on Sunday.
"We need military aid. Because if such aid comes, it will make it easier for our subdivisions to work on the ground," he said, adding that he called on the EU and NATO to help Ukraine.
Klimkin said the problem lays in the militia in southeastern Ukraine who refused to enter a dialogue with Ukrainian servicemen.
"There is a territorial contact group between Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. But it is difficult to contact the representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk even within its framework," the minister said, adding he hoped the September NATO summit would bring about a decision on the political support to Ukraine, which needs "more aid to reforms and armed forces."
Klimkin specifically named Germany and its Chancellor Angela Merkel as the forces that could contribute to defuse the conflict.
"The Chancellor is doing an unbelievable great deal. She is one of the most important leaders of this process. She has done a lot for the European Union to become univocal. And for that, we are incredibly grateful. But it goes without saying that more needs to be done for peace to come to Donetsk and Luhansk," Klimkin said.
Since mid-April, Kiev has been conducting a military operation against the southeastern regions of Ukraine that had refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government after the February coup.
Since the start of the operation, nearly 1,400 people have been killed and more than 4,000 wounded in the region, including about 2,600 civilians and 29 children, according to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). At least 117,000 people have been forcibly displaced.
Russia has repeatedly condemned Kiev’s actions and urged for peaceful dialogue with representatives of Ukraine’s southeastern regions.