Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ukraine situation ( September 6 , 2014 ) - Ukraine Ceasefire Signed, Calm Returns to East NATO bringing about the ceasefire ..... Continues to Express 'Skepticism' About Peace , EU sanctions Russia despite its role in bringing about this ceasefire....... NATO approves spearhead force for Eastern Europe ...... MH 17 not forgotten by Malaysia Government - they demand independent and open investigation ........ With the ceasefire in place , natural gas War about to become center focus..... Sanction regime will see Russia response if Europe implements threatened sanctions against Russia ..... Tweets of the morning !

Evening tweets.....







Militia to release all captives this Saturday, Kiev on September 8



Putin, Poroshenko laud ceasefire in eastern Ukraine


EU parliament to ratify EU-Ukraine association agreement from September 15-18


Ukrainian authorities assure ceasefire observed


Donetsk source: Ukrainian troops continue attacks





http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/




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PROTOCOL

on the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group
with respect to the joint steps aimed at
the implementation of the Peace Plan
of the President of Ukraine, P. Poroshenko,
and the initiatives of the President of Russia, V. Putin

Upon consideration and discussion of the proposals put forward by the participants of the consultations in Minsk on September 1, 2014, the Trilateral Contact Group, consisting of the representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe [OSCE], reached an understanding with respect to the need to implement the following steps:

  1. Ensure the immediate bilateral cessation of the use of weapons.
  2. Ensure monitoring and verification by the OSCE of the regime of non-use of weapons.
  3. Implement decentralization of power, including by means of enacting the Law of Ukraine “With respect to the temporary status of local self-government in certain areas of the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions” (Law on Special Status).
  4. Ensure permanent monitoring on the Ukrainian-Russian state border and verification by the OSCE, together with the creation of a security area in the border regions of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
  5. Immediately release all hostages and unlawfully detained persons.
  6. Enact a law prohibiting the prosecution and punishment of persons in connection with the events that took place in certain areas of the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions of Ukraine.
  7. Conduct an inclusive national dialogue.
  8. Adopt measures aimed at improving the humanitarian situation in Donbass.
  9. Ensure the holding of early local elections in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “With respect to the temporary status of local self-government in certain areas of the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions” (Law on Special Status).
  10. Remove unlawful military formations, military hardware, as well as militants and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine.
  11. Adopt a program for the economic revival of Donbass and the recovery of economic activity in the region.
  12. Provide personal security guarantees for the participants of the consultations.
Participants of the Trilateral Contact Group:

Ambassador Heidi Talyavini (signed)
Second President of Ukraine, L.D. Kuchma (signed)
Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, M.Y. Zurabov (signed)
A.V. Zakharchenko (signed)
I.V. Plotnitskiy (signed)




http://en.ria.ru/world/20140906/192694545/Slovak-Prime-Minister-Calls-on-EU-to-Postpone-New-Sanctions.html



Slovak Prime Minister Calls on EU to Postpone New Sanctions Against Russia

Topic: Sanctions Against Russia

Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico called on the European Union to put off imposing new sanctions against Russia.
16:40 06/09/2014
Tags: sanctionsRobert FicoRussiaSlovakia
PRAGUE, September 6 (RIA Novosti) - Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico called on the European Union on Saturday to postpone imposing new sanctions against Russia, expected to be announced Monday.
"Until new anti-Russian sanctions are agreed on, I will be one of those prime-ministers, who say, 'Postpone them for the sake of peace!'" Fico said at a press-conference in Bratislava.
The third EU sanctions package against Russia is ready and can be confirmed Monday, Fico said, adding that he found sanctions 'absolutely counterproductive and pointless' from the start.
Slovak newspaper SME wrote citing diplomatic sources that the new sanctions were to be agreed on Friday. Such countries as Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Cyprus, however, prevented the EU from finalizing the agreement. The final decision has been postponed until Monday also due to the establishment of a ceasefire in Ukraine, which went into force Friday evening.
Fico said Slovakia had all of its requests fulfilled, one of which was to remove the Slovak branch of Russian largest lender Sberbank from under the sanctions.
Fico also commanded his Czech counterpart for often criticizing and correcting the Brussels' black list.
On Thursday, a White House spokesperson said that the United States was preparing a new set of sanctions against Russia, but on Friday, US President Barack Obama told reporters on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales that the restrictions may be lifted if a long-term sustainable ceasefire is reached in Ukraine.
Similar statements were made by UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, France’s President Francois Hollande.
Kiev authorities and militia forces agreed on a truce that started at 6:00 p.m. Kiev time (15:00 GMT) on Friday, although shelling continued later in the night.
The United States and the European Union introduced the first a package of targeted sanctions against Russia in March, in response to Crimea’s reunification with Russia. As the Ukrainian crisis escalated, several rounds of sanctions from the United States and its allies followed, including those targeting Russia’s defense, energy and banking sectors.
Moscow has repeatedly called the language of sanctions "counterproductive," saying the measures «threaten international peace and stability» and run counter to the principles of international law.









http://en.ria.ru/politics/20140907/192704255/Kiev-Must-Proceed-With-Early-Elections-in-Donetsk-Luhansk.html


Kiev Must Proceed With Early Elections in Donetsk, Luhansk Regions: Minsk Protocol

According to the Trilateral Contact Group protocol Kiev must proceed with early elections in Donetsk and Luhansk regions
04:47 07/09/2014
Tags: electionsOSCEDonetskUkraineLuhansk
Updated on 05:06 a.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti) – Protocol on the results of Minsk consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group, published on OSCE website in the early hours of Sunday, entails adoption by Ukraine of a law on special status of eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk and provides for early elections.
“To decentralize power, including through the adoption by Ukraine of law 'On provisional procedure for local government in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions' (law on special status),” says one of the provisions of the document.
“To provide for early local elections in accordance with Ukrainian law 'On provisional procedure for local government in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions' (law on special status),” reads another point of the protocol.
During the meeting of Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk on Friday, the representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) agreed to a ceasefire between Kiev and independence supporters that started at 15:00 GMT the same day. The sides also agreed to the international monitoring of the truce’s implementation, the exchange of all prisoners and the opening of humanitarian corridors.
http://en.ria.ru/politics/20140907/192701468/Frances-Marine-Le-Pen-Accuses-EU-of-Crisis-in-Ukraine-Reports.html

France’s Marine Le Pen Accuses EU of Crisis in Ukraine: Reports

France’s Marine Le Pen said the Ukrainian crisis is all the fault of the European Union: reports
00:46 07/09/2014
Tags: EU Association AgreementEUMarine Le PenUkraineFrance
MOSCOW, September 6 (RIA Novosti) – The Ukrainian crisis is all the fault of the European Union, the leader of France’s National Front party Marine Le Pen told Le Monde newspaper.
Le Pen told the paper, that EU leaders’ negotiation of a trade deal with Ukraine forced the country to choose between Europe and Russia.
National Front’s leader also said she has admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, as he suggests a patriotic economic model, unlike what the United States imposes on Europe.
The Ukraine–EU Association Agreement is the treaty between the two countries, that presupposes political and economic association between the parties.
Russia has repeatedly expressed deep concern over Ukraine’s signing of the agreement with the EU, saying it would be forced to protect its market once it faces an uncontrolled flow of duty-free goods from the EU.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in August he would submit the draft Association Agreement to parliament to be ratified in mid-September, ahead of the parliamentary elections in the country scheduled for October 26.


http://en.ria.ru/world/20140907/192703787/Residents-of-Ukraines-Mariupol-Report-Artillery-Attack.html

Residents of Ukraine’s Mariupol Report Artillery Attack

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

A unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, reported about the renewed fire at its official Facebook page
04:25 07/09/2014
Tags: shootingUkraine
DONETSK, September 7 (RIA Novosti) – Residents of the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol on Saturday reported artillery fire in the eastern part of the city.
For example, shooting was heard in Vostochnyi district of the city. The Azov Battalion, a unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, reported about the renewed fire at its official Facebook page.
Both local self-defense forces and Ukrainian military troops at the scene accused each other of breaching the truce.
The National Guard is controlling Mariupol, while self-defense forces are controlling nearby settlements of Novoazovsk, Talakovka and Sartana.
On Friday, the members of the Contact Group on Ukrainian reconciliation met in Belarus’ capital Minsk to find ways to resolve the Ukrainian crisis. Kiev authorities and self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics agreed to “all to all” prisoners of war exchange, military hardware withdrawal and humanitarian aid access to the combat zone. The ceasefire agreement came into force at 15:00 GMT the same day.











Anti War......

Ukraine Ceasefire Signed, Calm Returns to East

NATO Continues to Express 'Skepticism' About Peace

by Jason Ditz, September 05, 2014
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and a representative from the eastern rebels both signed a ceasefire deal earlier today, with fighting scheduled to stop at 11 AM eastern time.
It didn’t really take that long, as news of the ceasefire saw combat steadily tapering down in the hours leading to the official end of hostilities. Some Ukrainian troops claimed not to have received orders even by 11 AM, but fighting seems to have more or less stopped.
The ceasefire is set to give way to a prisoner exchange between the two sides over the weekend, and future talks on increased autonomy for the eastern region. The deal will also allow Russian to be used as an official language in the east once again. The primary language of many easterners, its banning after the regime change earlier this year was a big part of the revolt.
NATO officials issued statements on the ceasefire, insisting they remain “skeptical” of the pact, which comes only a day after they’d pledged $19 million in aid to Ukraine to continue the war.


US, EU Push a New Round of Russia Sanctions

Despite Ukraine Ceasefire, War Still an Excuse for New Sanctions

by Jason Ditz, September 05, 2014
With a big push from the Obama Administration, the European Union has finalized a new round of sanctions against Russia, aimed at punishing the nation for its involvement in the east Ukrainian war.
The sanctions were scheduled to cap off the latest NATO summit, but a ceasefire signed earlier today has effectively ended the war which was the pretext for the conflict.
NATO officials made it clear they weren’t supportive of the ceasefire, believing it to be a Russian trick, but Ukraine’s military’s recent losses to rebel forces seem to have tipped the scale in favor of the ceasefire, at least for now.
EU officials suggested some of the sanctions could have to be suspended if the Ukraine ceasefire holds, though the US continues to talk up imposing more and more sanctions on Russia, irrespective of what happens in Ukraine or anywhere else.


NATO Approves 4,000-Man ‘Spearhead’ Force for Eastern Europe

'Rapid Reaction Force' a Permanent Deployment Aimed at Russia

by Jason Ditz, September 05, 2014
On the final day of its summit in Wales, NATO has approved the creation of a “rapid reaction force” for Eastern Europe, which officials described as the “spearhead” for any future fighting with Russia in the region.
The approval sets up the permanent force of 4,000 troops for Eastern Europe, in keeping with previous reports about what the proposal as expected to include.
The “spearhead” force is just a fraction of the size of what Poland wanted for a permanent deployment, which was a minimum of 10,000 troops, but may not be the end of the ongoing NATO buildup in the region.
The move is nominally a counter to a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine, though after months, the invasion never happened, and the ongoing civil war in east Ukraine seems to be winding down with a new ceasefire.



Itar Tass.....



Malaysia demands independent, open investigation into MH17 crash

 September 06, 11:44 UTC+4
It will take weeks for international experts to have access again to the plane crash site in Ukraine
© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze
SINGAPORE, September 6 (Itar-Tass) - Malaysia demands an independent and open investigation into the July 17 airliner crash, which killed 298 people, Malaysian Prime Minister Hajib Tun Razak said on Saturday during talks in Kuala Lumpur with his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott.
Malaysia insists on a full, independent and transparent investigation to bring those guilty to court, the premier said.
At the same time, he said it was very difficult to establish who was responsible for the tragedy.
It will take weeks for international experts to have access again to the plane crash site in Ukraine. Malaysian specialists were ready to fly out for the site as soon as possible, he added.
The Security Council of the Netherlands said earlier that preliminary results of the investigation into the MH17 crash would be published on September 9.
The preliminary report will be based on information from available sources. It will take months to continue the investigation and make a final report, the security council said in a statement, adding it planned to publish a final report within a year after the crash.
The Australian premier arrived in Malaysia on a one-day visit to discuss cooperation in the search for the missing Malaysian airliner in the Indian Ocean and coordination of efforts to investigate the Flight MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region.


EU welcomes Minsk contact group’s ceasefire agreement for Ukraine

 September 06, 3:55 UTC+4
Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov said that a special infrastructure for the monitoring and control of the ceasefire would be created
© ИТАР-ТАСС/EPA/VITALY ZALESSKY
BRUSSELS, September 06, /ITAR-TASS/. The European Union welcomes the ceasefire agreement the contact group for Ukraine achieved in Minsk on Friday, the European External Action Service said in a statement on Friday.
"We welcome the agreement on a ceasefire reached in Minsk today at the meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group. The ceasefire agreement must now be respected and fully implemented by all sides,” the document runs.
“We hope that this will be a first step towards a sustainable political solution, based on respect for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“Permanent monitoring of the Russian-Ukrainian border and withdrawal of illegal armed groups and forces illegally operating on Ukrainian territory should be integral parts of such a solution,” the statement points out.
“The EU stands ready to support any efforts related to the implementation of the ceasefire, including through the OSCE. We will continue to follow closely the developments on the ground.”
The contact group for Ukraine produced accord on three fundamental issues - the cessation of hostilities and troop withdrawal, exchange of prisoners of war and the delivery of humanitarian aide, OSCE’s Heidi Tagliavini told the media in Minsk.
Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov said that a special infrastructure for the monitoring and control of the ceasefire would be created.
“All provisions of the agreement are reflected in the memorandum, which was discussed with our negotiating partners. There are no insurmountable obstacles,” Zurabov said.
A group of experts will be formed within a three-day deadline to scrutinize the memorandum and produce a common decision.
“As soon as the document is finalized, it will be presented to Kiev and the other negotiating partners for approval,” he said.
In the meantime, the Ukrainian authorities and the heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics have announced their intention to hold a video conference via the Internet on Monday, September 8 to discuss an exchange of prisoners of war, a source close to the Minsk contact group’s meeting told ITAR-TASS.
“I believe that the negotiations will make specific decisions concerning the prisoners of war,” he said.
Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov said after the contact group’s meeting that the exchange of “all for all” was high on the agenda of the contact group.
Also, the distance conference due on Monday will raise the issue of creating humanitarian corridors and humanitarian aid hubs.
Ukraine’s former president, Leonid Kuchma, has said the first humanitarian cargoes should be dispatched as early as Saturday. However, Zurabov explained that Russia’s second truck convoy with humanitarian supplies might head for the southeast of Ukraine when only the areas on the way have been cleared of mines and unexploded ammunition.
In Moscow, Russia’s human rights commissioner Ella Pamfilova said Friday’s agreements achieved in Minsk, if honoured, would save many lives.
“Compliance with that agreement is the best one can hope for in the current situation. It is excellent that such an agreement has been signed. If it is observed, very many lives will be saved,” Pamfilova said on her official website.

Gazprom still owns 50% in Ukraine’s gas system consortium

 September 05, 16:02 UTC+4
MOSCOW, September 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian gas giant Gazprom is still holding a 50% stake in an international consortium for control over Ukraine’s gas transportation system, as seen by PRIME in the company’s materials Friday.
Gazprom also owns 100% in Gazprom Sbyt Ukraine, 40.22% in Gaztransit and 40% in Yuznhiigiprogaz.
The company’s board of directors will consider the issue of Gazprom’s cooperation with Ukrainian entrepreneurs on September 16.
In August, Ukraine’s government said it is ready to impose sanctions on Russia, suspending licenses of the country’s companies and companies with Russian capital for operation in Ukraine. The sanctions also envisage freezing assets and banning operations.


RIA Novosti......


Moscow Promises Response to EU Sanctions Announced After Minsk Meeting on Ukraine

Topic: Sanctions Against Russia

European Union's officials in the building of the EC in Brussels.
13:18 06/09/2014
Tags: sanctionsRussian Foreign MinistryEURussia
Updated on 02:14 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will 'certainly' react to new European Union's sanctions, if they are implemented, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Saturday.
"Concerning the new list of sanctions on behalf of the EU, if they are implemented, the reaction will certainly follow on our side," the ministry said in a statement.

The EU is expected to impose a new round of sectoral sanctions against Russia on Monday, a number of European politicians told RIA Novosti late Friday. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso also said a week ago that the EU was ready to expand the list of limitations imposed on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.
The EU’s announcement of additional sanctions signals its direct support of Kiev’s 'War Party," which is dissatisfied with the result of Friday’s Minsk meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine, the Russian ministry said.
"Basically, the announcement of the upcoming expansion of the anti-Russian sanctions became the EU’s first reaction to the meeting of the Contact Group on the resolution of the situation Ukraine that took place in Minsk the previous day and all the agreement that had been reached there, which allow to set the lives of all Ukrainians on a peaceful path," the ministry said in a statement.
"The European Union has demonstrated that its authorities are still lost in a political fantasy, and is practically sending the signal of direct support of the 'War Party' in Kiev, which is not satisfied with the outcomes of the Minsk meeting," the ministry said.
The representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) met Friday to discuss ways of resolving the Ukrainian crisis and agreed to a ceasefire, the international monitoring of its implementation, the exchange of all prisoners and the opening of humanitarian corridors. The first round of peace talks in Minsk took place on August 26.
On Thursday, a White House spokesperson said that the United States was preparing a new set of sanctions against Russia, but on Friday, US President Barack Obama told reporters on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales that the restrictions may be lifted if a long-term sustainable ceasefire is reached in Ukraine.
Similar statements were made by UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, France’s President Francois Hollande.
Kiev authorities and militia forces agreed on a truce that started at 6:00 p.m. Kiev time (15:00 GMT) on Friday, although shelling continued later in the night.
The United States and the European Union introduced the first a package of targeted sanctions against Russia in March, in response to Crimea’s reunification with Russia. As the Ukrainian crisis escalated, several rounds of sanctions from the United States and its allies followed, including those targeting Russia’s defense, energy and banking sectors.
Moscow has repeatedly called the language of sanctions "counterproductive," saying the measures "threaten international peace and stability" and run counter to the principles of international law.


Donetsk-Kiev Prisoner Swap Begins Despite Ceasefire Defiance

Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" Alexander Zakharchenko attends a news conference in Donetsk August 11, 2014.
13:33 06/09/2014
Tags: ceasefireprisoner swapAlexander ZakharchenkoDonetskUkraine
Updated on 01:57 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 6 (RIA Novosti) - Thetransfer of captives from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) to Kiev will begin on Saturday, despite ceasefire defiance in Amvrosiivka, DPR’s Prime Minister Aleksander Zakharchenko told reporters Saturday.
"At the moment, the ceasefire agreement is not fully complied with. It is too early to talk about a complete ceasefire," Zakharchenko said.
"The transfer of prisoners of war will be held today on our part. We hope that on Monday, the Ukrainian side will hold their transfer," he said.
Zakharchenko made the statement in lieu of two shelling attacks in Amvrosiivka, within the Donetsk Region, early Saturday.
On the eve of the second meeting of a trilateral contact group on Ukraine in Minsk, Kiev authorities and militia forces agreed on a truce that started at 6:00 p.m. Kiev time (15:00 GMT) on Friday.
The representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) met Friday to discuss ways of resolving the Ukrainian crisis and agreed to a ceasefire, the international monitoring of its implementation, the exchange of all prisoners and the opening of humanitarian corridors.
The first round of peace talks in Minsk took place on August 26.
The Ukrainian government has been conducting a military operation against independence supporters in eastern Ukraine Since mid-April. Independence supporters refused to acknowledge the new government that came to power after a coup in February and proclaimed independence in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in May.
Violent conflicts in the regions have so far killed 2,500 people and injured 6,000 according to United Nation (UN) estimates.


Tweets of the morning.....




POW Exchange to Begin Despite Complaints of Ceasefire Violations




Sincerely hope that recent ceasefire in easternmost Ukraine will hold. Russian forces must be withdrawn from Ukraine territory.




IMO,US & UK to provide Ukraine with "air-to-ground Precision Guided Munitions".Reportedly,Kyiv'll have'em within days





Thanks to $469 billion in reserves, can hold out longer than against potential new sanctions.