Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ukraine situation ( September 13 -15 ) Humanitarian effort in South East Ukraine completed as Russian Trucks return to Russia after dropping off supplies ...... Updates on Ceasefire Status and Ceasefire Protocol implementation..... Tweets of the morning .......

Monday Tweets...

EU External Action Service: Russia’s second aid convoy violates Ukraine’s sovereignty

OSCE monitors come under artillery fire at MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine

EU delays decision on Russia’s access to OPAL gas pipe

'Rapid Trident': hosts military drills with US and NATO

UKRAINE GOVT AGAINST DELAYING PARTS OF EU FREE-TRADE DEAL: IFX. President got his marching orders already?

Gazprom Says Kiev Should Blame Warsaw For Gas Supply Cut

Ukraine President's Days Numbered After Broad Accusations Of "Betraying National Interests"

Ukrainian Economy Is Shrinking More Quickly in 2H, Shlapak Says. Nobody could have foreseen this


Ruble tumbles to record low against dollar, euro following new sanctions

 Retweeted by 
the idiot: 1) controlled areas will hold elections Nov. 9th= massive fraud, bringing 's buddies into power there.


Russia Today ....

‘Inmates fully in charge of asylum’: Kiev threatens to restart nuclear weapons program

Published time: September 15, 2014 03:32

Ukraine's Defence Minister Colonel General Valery Heletey (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)
Download video (27.83 MB)
Kiev’s promise to restart its nuclear weapons program if it doesn't get enough support from the West is completely insane, be it real or just an empty threat, political commentator Daniel Patrick Welch told RT.
“If we cannot protect Ukraine today, if the world doesn’t help us, we will have to go back to the development of nuclear weapons, which will protect us from Russia,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Valery Geletey said in an interview with Ukrainian TV, also claiming that NATO members have already started supplying Kiev with conventional weapons
RT: Is the prospect of a nuclear Ukraine something to be concerned about?
Daniel Patrick Welch: You know, your guess is as good as mine. I think what it shows first and foremost is that the inmates are fully in charge of the asylum here. This is a completely insane threat. If it is real then it is suicidal. And if it is a threat then it is petulant.
In the same briefing Geletey mentioned that arms were starting to come in from their new friends in the NATO alliance. So it really is just a matter of watching, and speaks of the fragility of this truce. There is nothing there. These people in Kiev are desperate to keep the war on Russia going at all possible costs.
RT: And Ukraine's neighboring countries, what do they have to say about that?
DPW: Well, I think slowly, I mean these people, some of them – Slovakia, to some extent the Czechs, Hungary, are creeping out of under the jackboot of American control. The Americans obviously put them up to everything they say. They know in advance. They know exactly what he is going to say.
Ukrainian paratroopers ride on armoured vehicles near Debaltseve September 13, 2014. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)
Now the Eastern European bordering states have to be realizing that they have backed a really bad horse in this race. And I can’t imagine that this isn't seen as something incredibly destabilizing and dangerous.
RT:Ukraine's Defense Minister went on to say that nuclear arms development is not on the cards right now... However, it’s a big statement to make, isn’t it? So, you are saying that the US knew he was going to say this? Or is he going alone as a wild card?
DPW: That is always an open question, and the problem is that America employs so many wild cards on purpose, that it is hard to know whether someone is off their reservation of parroting State Department fluff.
The American political establishment wants to use Kiev as a spearhead against Russia. Make no mistake, this is exactly what is going on. Whether or not this particular statement was designed to increase tension and call Russia’s bluff or something remains to be seen. But it would not surprise me in the least.
RT: What kind of international reaction will there be to Ukraine's threat do you think?
DPW: I think there will be condemnation of the idea and I think there will be a slow increase in the movement from the Atlanticist alliance. But I don’t think, just like there weren't from international community about Gaza, just like many are on the wrong side on Syria, I think that people still are in the pocket of US imperial hegemony and they will not say all that much.

Sunday 9/14 Tweets....

Party of Regions to boycott Ukraine early parliamentary elections

NATO starts handing over weapons to Ukraine, defense minister says

Another prisoners swap will take place today - Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council

Russia will not leave new Western without response - Council of Federation

Kiev said countries start supplying arms to

By John Helmer, Moscow
In the picture, the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, an American, is applauding as the Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), Valeriya Gontareva, beats a dead horse. For the metaphorically minded, the dead horse is the Ukrainian banking system. For the literally minded, Gontareva claims the horse is alive and running healthily. Kim, Gontareva, and the horse appear to have their eyes wide open on the scene. Either that — or at least one of them is blinking at the truth.
On August 8, the World Bank paid $500 million to NBU. The term is for 16 years, with the first seven a grace period, and a variable interest rate once repayments start.

The new money was for the NBU to do what Gontareva has said publicly she has already done; and what the Ukraine mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on August 29 the NBU cannot begin to do properly. The $500 million comes on top of $1.48 billion the World Bank had already granted in May for purposes the Bank board claims to “to promote good governance, transparency, and accountability in the public sector.”


In point of fact, the preconditions for releasing the first $500 million have not been met. Gontareva and Chandra were jumping the gun on the second payout.
On July 18, the Bank issued a 48-page paper setting out the preconditions for the first loan, and the risks the money would disappear. The ranking individuals who put their names to the paper are Laura Tuck (below first left), Bank Vice President; Qimiao Fan (2nd left), Ukraine country director; and Alexander Pankov (3rd left), lead specialist on Ukraine’s financial sector. Tuck is American; Fan is Chinese; Pankov is Russian.
The paper acknowledged on its summary page that the risk of loan default is “high”. In a back-annex, the paper also conceded that “the risk of lack of follow-through action after FSDPL1 is significant considering that Ukraine’s previous financial sector DPL series in 2009-2010 was not satisfactorily completed after the first operation.”
In their report Tuck, Fan and Pankov weren’t exactly clear themselves on whether the $500 million had been paid to the NBU after Gontareva had met the World Bank’spreconditions; or whether the cash was paid in anticipation of her meeting her promise to meet the loan requirements. “The operation is anchored in nine prior actions, structured around three pillars”, the World Bank paper claims, as the tense of the verbs obscures whether the sinking metaphor has been followed by the erection metaphor, or vice versa. “The first pillar focuses on urgent actions that are necessary to minimize the risk of a loss of depositor confidence, through ensuring that the DGF can adequately perform its critical bank resolution and insured deposit payout functions. The second pillar focuses on ensuring that adequate solvency of banking system is maintained through implementation of bank specific recapitalization/restructuring plans. Finally, the third pillar supports legal and institutional reforms necessary to improve the resiliency and efficiency of the banking system.”
The “result indicators” from the combination of anchors and piles, er pillars, implies that three things have already been achieved by Gontareva, the NBU, and the leading Ukrainian banks. The “results” include “adequate financial capacity” on the part of the state’s deposit guarantee fund (DGF), “banking system adequately capitalized”, and “adoption of recovery plans by domestic systemically important banks”.
On August 15, Gontareva announced at the NBU (right) that “the fifteen biggest Ukrainian banks have already gone through a review and have not revealed any substantial problems…Now it’s the turn of the second group of 20 big banks. These 35 banks represent 80 percent of the country’s banking system. The World Bank’s $500 million loan will be used to deal with insolvent banks, with a substantial part of the money allocated to a Deposit Guarantee Fund.”
On August 29, the Ukraine staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported to the IMF board that nothing like the World Bank’s anchors and pillars have been achieved yet. Instead, the IMF found the NBU was running out of cash to meet the drawdowns required by the state budget and the system banks. According to the IMF, ““[The NBU’s] balance sheet is under strain because of the increasing holdings of government securities and liquidity support to commercial banks. The proportion of government securities and loans to banks increased from 28 percent of NBU total assets at end-2010 to 56 percent at end-April 2014. Second, the NBU’s financial autonomy has been undermined by advance profit distributions to the state budget, which were based on the annual state budget laws rather than permitted amounts under the NBU Law and have significantly eroded the NBU’s financial position…Finally, from a governance perspective, the assessment found that the NBU Council’s mandate is limited and substantial revisions to the NBU’s legal framework are needed to establish sound oversight arrangements of its daily management.” (Page 9.)
Instead of supporting Gontareva’s claim that she has already completed the required system bank audits, the IMF suggested this process has yet to begin. “Staff and the [Ukrainian] authorities agreed that proper procedures to monitor the quality of pledged loans, detect collateral quality deterioration, and seek its replacement by performing assets should be established in order to reduce the central bank’s risk exposure.”


Anti War ....

Ukraine PM Claims ‘State of War’ With Russia as Aid Trucks Enter Luhansk

Unconfirmed Reports of Blasts in Donetsk Test Ceasefire

by Jason Ditz, September 13, 2014
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk today declared that in spite of the ceasefire with rebels in the east, the country remains “in a state of war” with neighboring Russia.
Yatsenyuk pushed NATO to immediately admit Ukraine as a member and join the war on Russia, claiming the nation is a “threat to the global order and to the security of the whole of Europe.”
Russia brokered the current ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, and today sent another convoy of 215 trucks full of humanitarian aid into the rebel-held city of Luhansk. The Luhansk rebels promised not to use any of the food aid for themselves, but to distribute it to civilians.
The question of how long the ceasefire will hold remains an open one, though President Petro Poroshenko has offered increased autonomy as part of the negotiated settlement. Reuters reported explosions were heard in the rebel city of Donetsk, but what, if anything, actually happened remains unclear.

Friday, September 12, 2014

What impact could this round of Russian retaliatory sanctions have on Europe?

In our continuing effort to bring increased transparency to the murky issue of sanctions we’ve compiled some initial thoughts on the likely Russian retaliatory response to the EU’s latest sanctions – published in full here and which we already analysed in detail here.

There are a few key measures which Russia is said to be considering:
  1. Banning or limiting the import of cars (and possibly all automobiles) from Europe.
  2. Banning or limiting the import of certain manufactured goods.
  3. Banning or limiting the import of certain types of clothing manufactured in Europe.
  4. Restricting the access of European flights to Russia airspace, probably over Siberia.
With the previous round of Russian retaliation we saw uproar from the industries involved and some questionable claims for compensation – a process which now looks to have been halted. The response also seemed to weigh on the minds of certain countries, such as Finland and Czech Republic, which in turn played a role in delaying the latest round of sanctions.

With that in mind its worth delving into what impact these mooted measures could have.


First Trucks Return to Russia After Delivering Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine

Topic: Russian Humanitarian Aid Convoy for East Ukraine

The first 70 trucks have returned to Russia after delivering humanitarian aid to Ukraine’s eastern city of Luhansk
15:35 13/09/2014
Tags: humanitarian aidtruck convoyUkraineRussiaLuhansk
Updated 3:52 p.m. Moscow Time
DONETSK, September 13 (RIA Novosti) – The first 70 trucks returned to Russia Saturday after delivering humanitarian aid to Ukraine’s eastern city of Luhansk, according to RIA Novosti reporter.
This is a part of the second Russian shipment of humanitarian relief for Ukraine, which arrived in the city earlier in the day.
The convoy, consisting of 200 trucks, delivered some 1,800 tons of foods, medicine, water purification equipment, and power generators and other consignments to Luhansk, which had been living for several weeks on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.
The distribution of Russian humanitarian aid will start as early as Monday, according to First Deputy Premier Minister of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic Valery Potapov.
“We will start giving out [humanitarian aid to population] on Monday,” the official told RIA Novosti.
He also noted that the Luhansk authorities have designed a system of humanitarian aid distribution following the previous Russian humanitarian aid convoy.
Potapov explained that on Sunday the authorities will record the humanitarian aid items and prepare it for distribution to the people of Luhansk, adding that around 300 volunteers currently help unloading Russian trucks.
The official added that power supply could be restored in Luhansk on Sunday.
The eastern regions of Ukraine remain blocked by government troops limiting food supplies, while the infrastructure destroyed in shelling left the residents of Luhansk without electricity and drinking water.
The first convoy of 280 trucks carrying Russian humanitarian aid was sent to eastern Ukraine in late August and entered the country through a checkpoint controlled by independence forces after spending more than a week waiting at the border.
On September 5, a ceasefire agreement was reached during talks in Minsk between Ukrainian government representatives and eastern Ukraine self-proclaimed states leaders. The participants of the Minsk talks agreed to organize more humanitarian convoys from Russia to eastern Ukraine.

Donetsk Official: Kiev, Donetsk Militia Likely To Swap Prisoners Sunday

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

Kiev and independence supporters in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic have agreed to exchange war prisoners Sunday
17:12 13/09/2014
Tags: prisoner swapprisonersDonetsk People’s RepublicPetro PoroshenkoVladimir PutinDonetsk RegionMinskBelarusUkraine
Updated 5:23 p.m. Moscow Time
DONETSK, September 13 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev and independence supporters in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) on Saturday agreed to exchange war prisoners by the end of the week, according to an official in the Donetsk administration.
"The swap will most likely take place tomorrow," Daria Morozova, the head of the War Prisoners' Exchange Committee, said without specifying the number of captives the sides were going to swap.
"We are still working on the lists," she added.
Daria Morozova said earlier that DPR self-defense forces on Friday handed over 36 Ukrainian personnel that had been held on the republic's territory during Kiev's military operation in eastern Ukraine. In its turn, the Ukrainian government freed 31 prisoners.
The swaps follow the groundbreaking ceasefire agreement in Belarus's capital Minsk on September 5 when the sides agreed to exchange all prisoners and open humanitarian corridors. Negotiators were building on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's peace plan for resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine, as well as on Russian President Vladimir Putin's proposals.
The ceasefire came into force at 15:00 GMT the same day, although both the Ukrainian military and independence supporters accused each other of violating the accord in the immediate aftermath. The truce is said to be "largely holding."

Saturday, September 13

15:16 GMT:
Ukrainian Defense Minister Valery Geletey has posted on Facebook his initiative to test military officers of the General Staff and commanders with a lie detector. After that, he said, some dismissals may follow.
15:16 GMT:
Ukraine’s National Security Council spokesman Andrey Lysenko has praised the “positive results” of the ceasefire between Kiev and militia forces in the southeast of the country. 
“Now in a relaxed situation we can free our hostages, regroup our forces, strengthen them,” Lysenko said.
13:19 GMT:
The Ukrainian army and the Donetsk militia will carry out another exchange of prisoners on Sunday, RIA Novosti reports. On September 11, both sides each returned 36 prisoners.
11:46 GMT:
Heavy artillery fire has been reported around Donetsk and a large plume of black smoke is hanging over the city’s airport, Reuters reports. Earlier, the Ukrainian military said that rebels fired on their forces overnight in the vicinity of the airport, the news agency reported, citing its reporter there.
Screenshot from Ruptly video
10:39 GMT:
The first group of trucks with humanitarian aid for Lugansk, eastern Ukraine has left the besieged city and is heading back to Russia, RIA Novosti news agency reported.
The trucks have delivered food, medicine, water purification equipment, power generators and other supplies.
05:54 GMT:
The first trucks of Russia’s second convoy carrying humanitarian aid for devastated areas of eastern Ukraine have started arriving in the Lugansk Region, Itar-Tass reported. The entire convoy is currently in Ukraine after completing its border crossing.
02:39 GMT:
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – which accompanied the first Russian shipment of humanitarian aid to Ukraine – is not attending the second, ICRC spokeswoman Anastasia Isyuk told Itar-Tass.
“The ICRC has never been officially notified of the agreement between Russia and Ukraine on the achievement of the technical arrangements for this convoy,” she said. “Consequently, the ICRC is not involved in assisting in the delivery of goods.”
Previously, the Red Cross said that it is ready to facilitate the delivery of the second shipment of Russian humanitarian aid but stressed that it is first necessary for Moscow and Kiev to agree on all the"technical aspects."

Friday, September 12

21:36 GMT:
Heavy fighting is being heard in the center of Donetsk, RIA Novosti reports from the ground. Rounds fired from automatic weapons are being heard in the vicinity of the city’s Lenin Square. Earlier it was reported that powerful artillery fire can be heard from the Donetsk airport near the western outskirts of the city.
20:46 GMT:
Ukraine needs to store another 5 billion cubic meters of gas to have enough heat for the winter, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseny Yatsenyuk, said in an interview with Ukrainian TV "Channel 5."
"17 billion cubic meters – this is the maximum that we have accumulated. We need an additional 5 billion cubic meters of gas to get through the winter," said the prime minister.
19:40 GMT:
The first 33 trucks carrying Russia’s humanitarian aid for Ukraine have passed through Russia’s ‘Donetsk’ checkpoint, local customs spokesman Rayan Farukshin told RIA Novosti. Two technical convoy cars also went with the first group bringing the total number of vehicles to 35. While the convoy is now effectively on Ukraine's territory, it has to pass the Ukrainian customs to get cleared for further movement.


Lavrov: No haste in tragedy probe, despite media hype

Mistral of discord: Russian sailors test-sail warship that Paris may withhold

Last truck from Russian aid convoy to Lugansk returns to Russia

Russia has action plan for all levels of sanctions - presidential aide

Lavrov: process of establishing durable truce in East Ukraine still afoot

Speaker of the Russian State Duma to head Russian delegation to meeting of Contact Group on Ukraine in Geneva

Russia may restrict import of petrochemical, engineering products from US, EU - minister