• Visegrad Group says it's ready to facilitate visa-free regime between Ukraine and EU

    The Visegrad Group (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic) has declared its readiness to facilitate a visa-free regime between Ukraine and the European Union, as reported by RBC Ukraine.

    Representatives of the four members of the Group are currently in Lviv attending a meeting on energy efficiency.

    “The Visegrad partners position remains unchanged with respect to the support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and [the group] expressed its readiness to support …

  • European Council formally lifts sanctions against Belarus

    The European Council formally lifted sanctions against Belarus on February 25th, citing improvements in the country’s human rights situation.

    In particular, asset freezes and travel bans were lifted against 170 individuals, including President Alexander Lukashenko, as well as three Belarusian companies.

    EU Foreign Ministers made the decision earlier this month after Lukashenko released several political prisoners in August of 2015. The appropriate legislation was approved on February 25th. …

  • Novaya Gazeta article on Nemtsov murder raises new questions

    Russian independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, has published a lengthy article entitled "How Boris Nemtsov was killed”.  The authors of this article belong to the investigations departments of the newspaper, and wrote that the name of Nemtsov’s murderer was reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 2nd of last year.  The article also mentions that the report of the Director of the FSB, Alexander Bortnikov, stated that the perpetrators of the crime were members of the Chechen …

  • Lawyer says the exchange of Sentsov and Kolchenko will only be possible after Ukraine sentences 2 Russian soldiers

    Lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina said that the exchange of her clients who were detained in Russia, Crimean activist Alexander Kolchenko and Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, is only possible when two members of the Russian Special Forces, who were arrested in Ukraine, are sentenced.

    "As long as a final decision isn't made, I believe that the question of the exchange will not be considered. Although, I still hope that the issue of the exchange will be the subject of negotiations by the two countries, …

  • Five Ukrainian companies file lawsuit against Russia

    Five Ukrainian companies, DneprAzot, Ukrinterinvest, Lugzor, Lisbet and Aberon Ltd., filed a lawsuit against Russia with the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague, as published on the Court’s website on the 24th of February. According to Ukrainian media, all companies are part of the Privat group, owned by the oligarch, Ihor Kolomoyskyi.

    According to Interfax, a bilateral agreement between Ukraine and Russia regarding the protection of investments, signed in 1998, is the basis for …

  • Representatives of Ukraine and so-called LPR agree to exchange prisoners

    Representatives of Ukraine and the so-called Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) have agreed to exchange a total of 12 prisoners on the 26th of February.  This exchange will occur in Minsk and is a result of the Trilateral Contact Group's meeting on the conflict settlement in the Donbas region.  This was reported to Interfax by the OSCE representative, Martin Sajdik.

    “On the 26th of February, the release of another group of people is planned,” Sajdik said.  He also reported that on February 20th, …

  • The Lithuanian Foreign Minister believes that it is too early to lift sanctions against Russia

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, commented on statements given by French politicians regarding the possible dangers of ongoing sanctions, saying that they not only affect the country’s economy, but the European Union (EU) as a whole. 

    Linkevičius noted that "no one is proud of the sanctions, but they were introduced for a reason".

    In an interview with Radio French International (RFI), Linkevičius stated that Russia’s annexation of Crimea was the reason for the  …

  • The EU is not satisfied with Ukraine's progress in fulfilling obligations for visa-free regime

    The EU is dissatisfied with Ukraine’s fulfillment of all legal obligations concerning the adoption of visa-free regime in 2016, according to a Facebook post by Sergey Leshchenko, member of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, after a meeting with the diplomats of the EU agencies in Brussels.  

    “More precisely, Ukraine has fulfilled three of the five requirements for adoption. The EU considered the amendments to three acts made last week but the EU did not consider a declaration law, according to …

  • Bellingcat releases names of suspects in downing of MH17

    Bellingcat experts, in a new report on the crash of the plane of Malaysia Airlines, name those who assembled the crew that fired the Buk missile and gave the order to launch the rocket.

    On Wednesday, February 24, the Bellingcat expert group published a report entitled "MH17: alleged suspects and witnesses from the 53rd air defense missile brigade." Using publicly accessible information, a civil investigative journalist managed to restore the movement of the brigade in the summer months of 2014, …

  • Russia terminates all arms agreements with Turkey

    Russia terminated its military-technical cooperation with Turkey, as was reported to Interfax by Vladimir Kozhin, MTC (Military-Technical Cooperation) Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation.

    “We had contracts to supply small arms and artillery systems. Of course now, all supplies and contracts, including service contracts are halted,” he said. Kozhin added that all contracts and negotiations have been suspended “until the situation changes to the way the President of Russia wants. …