1. Statement of Ukraine's Foreign Ministry on Today’s Order Concerning Russia’s Detention of Three Ukrainian Naval Vessels and the Twenty-Four Servicemen On Board (May 25, 2019).
Today, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) issued an order, that prescribed provisional measures ordering The Russian Federation to immediately release the Ukrainian naval vessels Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yani Kapu, and return them to the custody of Ukraine and immediately release the 24 detained Ukrainian servicemen and allow them to return to Ukraine.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased that the Tribunal has ordered the provisional measures requested by Ukraine.
Today’s order sends a strong message to Russia that it cannot violate international law with impunity. The detention of the three naval vessels and the 24 servicemen on board is a blatant violation of the sovereign immunity enjoyed by warships under UNCLOS and general international law.
As the Tribunal stated, the actions taken by the Russian Federation create a real and ongoing risk of irreparable prejudice to the rights claimed by Ukraine to the immunity of its naval vessels and the servicemen on board.
We now expect Russia to comply promptly and in full with the Tribunal’s order.
Background on the Proceedings
Today’s order relates to an arbitration, and a related request for provisional measures before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), instituted by Ukraine in April 2019.
The arbitration, filed on 1 April 2019, is based on Russia’s violation of the absolute immunity of the three Ukrainian naval ships and the twenty-four servicemen on board those ships. The Russian Federation unlawfully seized Ukraine’s naval ships and servicemen on 25 November 2018 and continues to detain them even today in violation of international law. Specifically, Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s warships and servicemen violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and customary international law, which guarantee naval vessels and the personnel on board complete immunity, including against seizure, detention, and all forms of domestic legal process.
Ukraine’s request for provisional measures, on which ITLOS ruled today, seeks to protect against further irreparable prejudice to Ukraine’s rights while the arbitration tribunal hears Ukraine’s case.
2. Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in relation to new unlawful decision by the Russian Federation on expedited Russian citizenship for certain categories of citizens of Ukraine (May 01, 2019).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its resolute protest over a new step of the Kremlin regime that expands the list of categories of citizens of Ukraine, eligible to be granted a Russian citizenship under a fast-track procedure. This is yet another fact of flagrant violation by the Russian Federation of international law and the sovereignty of Ukraine.
The executive order by the president of the Russian Federation No 187 “On certain categories of foreign citizens and stateless persons entitled to a fast-track procedure when applying for Russian citizenship”, signed on 29 April and made public today, as well as all previous and potential future Russian legislation on illegal “passportization” of the Ukrainian citizens, have been and will be null and void, have no legal consequences and will not be recognized by the Ukrainian side.
We deem it to be extremely cynical that the Russian side attempts to explain the goal of the above decisions as “protection of rights and freedoms of individuals and citizens”. The truth is that the rights and freedoms of citizens of Ukraine have been flagrantly violated since the beginning of the Russian military aggression and Russia’s occupation of the part of the sovereign territory of Ukraine – the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol and the territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.
The MFA of Ukraine resolutely demands from the Russian side to revoke immediately all unlawful decisions on “passportization” of the Ukrainian citizens and to remove their negative consequences.
Ukraine reserves its right to take all measures it shall deem efficient to protect the national security, legitimate rights and interests of citizens of Ukraine according to international law and its national legislation.
The Ukrainian side will further cooperate with the international partners towards strengthening consolidated sanction pressure on the Kremlin regime. Ukrainian missions abroad have been instructed to inform the foreign capitals on “passport aggression” of the Russian Federation.
We expect our international partners to further strengthen sanctions against the Kremlin regime.
A respective note of protest will be immediately delivered to the Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
3. Reforms in Ukraine (First quarter 2019)
Macro-financial stability and economic growth
- economy has been growing 12 quarters in a row;
- international reserves of NBU increased to USD 20.8 bln;
- inflation rate decreased to 9.8%;
- state debt reduced from 79% to 60.9% of GDP;
In three years, the real GDP grew cumulatively by 8.4%, the minimum wage tripled (from USD 55 to USD 150), the level of shadow economy decreased from 40% of GDP in 2015 to 32% in the 2Q2018.
In 2018 the export to the EU reached 42.6%, while export to Russia further decreased to 7.7%.
- establishment of the High Anti-Corruption Court has been successfully finalized;
- NABU detectives completed the pre-trial investigations in 176 cases.
- 888 amalgamated communities (ACs) were formed. The local budgets in ACs have increased from USD 2.55 bln to USD 8.85 bln;
- general fund of local budgets of Ukraine increased by USD 330 mln compared to the same period in 2018 and made up USD 2.25 bln;
- increased local budgets allowed to implement over 11.000 new projects;
Energy and energy efficiency reform
- over 200 local administrations introduced energy management and save up to 15% on energy consumption;
- natural gas production in Ukraine has reached 20.9 mln m3;
- gas import has dropped by 75.2%.
- oil and gas condensate production in Ukraine has grown by 4% (to 2150.2 thousand tons), electricity – by 2.5% (to 159.35 bln kWh).
- over 860 MW of new renewable electricity capacities were installed, over EUR 2 bln were invested;
- 7.5 thousand households generate electricity thanks to solar panels;
- Ukraine and Germany signed Memorandum on strategic partnership in energy sphere.
- privatization has brought over USD 32.7 mln to the state budget since its launch;
- 748 objects were sold through the ProZorro online platform with an average increase of the start price by 69%;
- Government approved a list of large enterprises for privatization with total price exceeds USD 9.5 mln.
State administrative reform
- strategy of state administration reform was renewed and extended;
58 directorates formed in 10 ministries and other central administrations, where over 500 specialists on reforms issues were employed;
- 54 new Administrative service centers on were launched;
Deregulation of business
- almost 900 data sets most necessary to civil society and business became obligatory for disclosure;
- indicators of evaluation of open data development are being introduced in state central organs and local administrations.
- healthcare system becomes more patient-oriented;
- 27 million Ukrainians have already chosen their family doctor;
- National Health Service of Ukraine started operation;
- salary of doctors and nurses increased 2-3 times;
- governmental program “Affordable medicines” was further improved.
- in January-February 2019 agricultural export grew by over 24%, amounting to USD 3.5 bln;
- volume of Ukrainian agri-food export to the EU amounted to EUR 5.9 bln, placing Ukraine to the top three of largest agri-food importers to the EU;
- territorial organs of the State Geocadaster have leased 594 land agricultural plots that are in the state property.
Reform of education
- Government has directed about USD 37.6 mln to improve access to Internet and computerization of the Ukrainian schools.