Ukraine’s Western allies may finally have run out of patience with Kiev’s unwillingness to fight the country’s endemic corruption. The United States, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund have all criticized the recent undermining of an independent corruption investigation by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office – an organization of rampant fraud. “Recent events – including the disruption of a high-level corruption investigation, the arrest of officials from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU),…"Commentary: How Trump can get tough on Ukraine corruption"
KIEV – Two Crimean Tatar activists released from Russian custody this week said on Friday they would travel back to the annexed peninsula and campaign for the freedom of other political prisoners and the return of Crimea to Ukraine. The Tatars, a mainly Muslim Turkic minority in Crimea, have largely opposed Russian rule since the 2014 annexation. Moscow has been accused of violating the rights of the community, 50 of whose members are still imprisoned…"Out of Russian custody, Tatar leaders vow to return to Crimea"
KIEV – Ukrainian lawmakers voted through a long-delayed overhaul of the health system on Thursday that the state’s Western backers say will raise standards and tackle a culture of bribe-taking in surgeries and hospitals. The European Union and the International Monetary Fund have been pressing for faster reform is a country where lives are more than five years shorter than the European average, according to the World Health Organization. But opponents of the changes, including…"Ukraine passes long-delayed health reforms praised by West"
KIEV/GENEVA – Ukraine has filed a World Trade Organization complaint challenging Russian trade restrictions on beer, vodka, juice, wallpaper and a product close to President Petro Poroshenko’s heart: confectionery. The Economy Ministry said it was launching its third trade dispute against Russia in as many years, accusing Moscow of illegal trading practices under WTO rules. “As a result, the export of these products to Russia has practically stopped,” it said in a statement published on…"Ukraine goes to WTO over Russian ban on booze, presidential sweets"
– Software produced by Microsoft Corp has been acquired by entities in Russia and Crimea that are subject to sanctions barring companies based in the United States from doing business with them. The products in each case were sold via third parties and has found no evidence that Microsoft sold products directly to firms or organizations hit by the U.S. sanctions. Below is a selection of some of the transactions involving Microsoft products and sanctioned…"Factbox: Entities subject to sanctions that bought Microsoft products"
UNITED NATIONS – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko dismissed a Russian proposal to deploy U.N. peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine as an effort to legalize its proxies and freeze the conflict. Relations between Kiev and Moscow have never been worse since Russia annexed Crimea more than three years ago and Russian-backed separatist fighters subsequently took up arms against Ukrainian government forces in the east of the country. Russian President Vladimir Putin this month suggested armed U.N. peacekeepers…"Ukraine’s Poroshenko rejects Russia’s ‘hybrid’ peackeeping offer"
BERLIN – Ukraine on Thursday welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declared openness to deployment of United Nations peacekeepers in separatist-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine, but said Russian troops must not join such an operation. Putin told German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday that UN peacekeepers might be deployed not only on the Donbass contact line separating the sides of the conflict but in other parts where inspectors of the international OSCE monitoring group operate. Kostiantyn…"Ukraine gives cautious welcome to Putin’s peacekeepers offer"
BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday called for Russia and Ukraine to increase their efforts to implement a fragile ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine. The conflict between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists has claimed more than 10,000 lives since it erupted in 2014. Germany and France have tried to convince both sides to implement a peace deal agreed in Minsk in 2015 but with little success so far.…"Merkel, Macron urge Russia, Ukraine to step up peace efforts"
KIEV – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on a visit to Ukraine on Thursday said Washington would keep up pressure on Russia over what he called its aggressive behavior and signaled his personal support for providing weapons to Kiev. Mattis said Russia had not abided by the Minsk ceasefire agreement meant to end the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine and that the United States would maintain sanctions on Moscow. “Despite Russia’s denials, we know they…"Defense Secretary Mattis promises support to Ukraine, says reviewing lethal aid"