Ukraine set to sail with financial stability through 2019 with new IMF loan

KYIV – Ukraine has tapped new funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that could shore up its finances through 2019 while avoiding a liquidity crunch amid simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections taking place next year. 

A new lending program was brokered on October 22 with the Washington-based lender worth $3.9 billion. It replaces a previously existing agreement (that would’ve expired in March 2019) worth more than four times as much that stalled in April 2017 because Kyiv wasn’t meeting reform benchmarks. 

Ukrainian political prisoner Sentsov awarded Sakharov prize

KYIV – Oleg Sentsov, a Crimean filmmaker and political prisoner in Russia, became the laureate of the yearly Sakharov Prize on October 25 that the European Parliament bestowed for his human rights stance against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“Through his courage and determination, by putting his life in danger, the filmmaker…has become a symbol of the struggle for the release of political prisoners held in Russia and around the world,” said European Union Parliament President Antonio Tajani in a news release.

UCCA hosts Poroshenko at Ukrainian Institute of America

NEW YORK – On Tuesday, September 25, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the largest representation of Americans of Ukrainian descent, welcomed the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, and Maryna Poroshenko, the First Lady of Ukraine, following the arrival of the presidential delegation to New York City on the occasion of the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations. 

Demise of INF could threaten another, bigger missile treaty

At the time, the treaty was landmark, deemed a new cornerstone of strategic stability.

The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement for the first time eliminated an entire class of missiles and set up an unprecedented system of arms control inspections – all hailed as stabilizing the rivalry between the keepers of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals.

Putin aide promises Donbas militants higher pay and help with election

So much for Moscow’s claim that the events in Donbas are a “civil war” in Ukraine to which Russia is not a party. On October 10 the Russian state news agency TASS reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aide Vladislav Surkov had met, in Moscow, with the current leader of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk people’s republic” (DPR) and “promised an increase in salaries in the DPR.” 

European Parliament urges tough stand on Russia over Azov Sea ‘blockade’

BRUSSELS – The European Parliament has urged EU states to make clear to Russia that it will face tougher measures if it intensifies its “de facto blockade” of international shipping in the Sea of Azov.

A nonbinding resolution passed on October 25 called on EU member states to warn Moscow “that the targeted sanctions against Russia will be reinforced” if it further escalates actions it labeled as a “violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

European Union court denies Firtash escape from justice

KYIV – A European Union court in Luxembourg denied Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash the right to escape legal jurisdiction in Austria where he faces extradition to the U.S. on corruption charges.

The EU Court of Justice ruled on October 24 that his legal dispute, based on human rights and freedoms charters, doesn’t have cause. Mr. Firtash, 53, had attached his name to an existing case whereby three businessman were challenging whether they could be tried in the EU if the charges against them had originated in Switzerland, a non-EU state.

Yet another loss for Russia

On October 9 at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Russia suffered yet another loss, albeit one that did not get major headlines in this country. A Euromaidan Press headline read: “Russia loses battle for PACE: resolution allowing sanctions to be lifted fails vote.” Furthermore, an analysis by Yevropeiska Pravda (an information resource devoted to Ukraine’s international security and euro-integration) underscored that – for the first time ever – PACE delegates had begun to discuss whether Russia even has a place in that European body.

November 1, 1968

Fifty years ago, on November 1, 1968, Ukrainian communities around the world commemorated the 50th anniversary of the proclamation establishing the Western Ukrainian National Republic. Three months later, the western republic would join the Ukrainian National Republic in a move that reunited all Ukrainian lands in one sovereign state (known today as the Day of Unity of Ukraine or Sovereignty Day). This year marks the 100th anniversary. In New York, observances were held on November 2-3, that included an informal meeting of Ukrainian veterans (many of whom had served in the Ukrainian military at the time), as well as a divine liturgy at St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church, followed by a golden jubilee program at the Fashion Institute of Technology.