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Archive for Ukraine

Newsline: Australia to open embassy in Kiev

Australia will open an embassy in Kiev and is considering providing military assistance to Ukraine as it battles Russian-backed rebels, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told Parliament. Mr Abbott said the “interim” embassy would support nine Australian Federal Police investigators who are in Ukraine investigating the Malaysia Airlines MH17 tragedy. He said the Government was also considering short-term humanitarian and non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine. “I am pleased that our flag will shortly fly alongside Ukraine’s as a sign of our support in these troubled times.”



Newsline: Ukraine Frees Two Russian Embassy Guards

Moscow says two guards at Russia’s embassy in Kyiv, who were detained by Ukrainian authorities on weapons charges, have been released and returned to Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry announced the release on August 30, saying it followed negotiations with Ukrainian authorities. The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier that the embassy workers were detained on August 28 on suspicion of carrying grenades as they were leaving a cafe in Kyiv. It said the employees, including the personal bodyguard of the Russian ambassador to Ukraine, were held despite the fact they carry diplomatic passports. Moscow had called the incident a “provocation” and demanded the release of the employees. There has been no official statement regarding the reported incident by Ukrainian officials.


Newsline: Russian Foreign Ministry Accuses Ukraine of Detaining Embassy Employees

In a sign of escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Friday accused Kiev of targeting its diplomats by detaining embassy employees. Calling on Ukrainian authorities to “stop provocations against Russian diplomatic institutions in Ukraine and against Russian diplomats,” the ministry said in an online statement that an unspecified number of embassy personnel had been detained on Thursday. “Kiev has committed the latest outrageous act against security personnel of the Russian Embassy, including the ambassador’s personal security guard. Despite presenting their diplomatic passports, they were detained upon exiting a cafe under a false pretext: they supposedly were in possession of grenades,” the statement read. The ministry called on authorities in Kiev to immediately release the embassy’s employees and to cease such “violations of international conventions on diplomatic immunity.” Kiev has not commented on the incident.


Newsline: Lithuanian diplomat ‘murdered in eastern Ukraine’

Lithiuania’s honorary consul in eastern Ukraine has been murdered by rebels, according to the country’s foreign minister. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said that Mykola Zelenec, the country’s honorary consul in eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk, has been kidnapped and killed by the pro-Russian rebels there. Linkevicius, who was on a visit to Kyiv, posted the news on his Twitter account.


Newsline: UK summons Russian ambassador over Ukraine ‘incursion’

Russia’s ambassador to the UK has been called to the Foreign Office (FCO) to clarify reports of a military incursion into Ukraine by Russian forces. Alexander Yakovenko was also asked to explain a build-up of Russian military equipment on the border, the FCO said. Earlier, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters he was “very alarmed” by the incursion.


Newsline: Criminal case opened against Ukraine’s ambassador to Belarus

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine brought suspicions against the country’s former defence minister. Journalists learnt it from Prosecutor General Vitaly Yarema. “We brought suspicions against former defence minister Yezhel some days ago,” Yarema said. The suspicions were presented in a criminal case over undermining the army’s defence capability, according to him. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine launched an investigation in May 2014 into activities of the country’s former defence ministers in recent years. In particular, investigators assess the legality of decision of ministers and their actions during the processes of reorganisation or reduction of the Armed Forces. Mykhailo Yezhel was appointed ambassador of Ukraine to Belarus in April 2013 by former president Viktor Yanukovych. He was a minister of defence in 2010-2012.


Newsline: No one comes out of Ukrainian embassy in Moscow to meet with refugees

Hundreds of refugees gathered near the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow, but no one came out to meet with them. Women and children stood at the fence for more than an hour, asking for help to process documents and demanding to open humanitarian corridors. “When I left, on July 11, all the borders were closed. We failed to go to Rostov. It was luck that we managed to get to Moscow,” Elena, a woman from Donetsk, told ITAR-TASS. “But we all are grateful to Russia for a place where we can escape, where our lives is out of danger,” said a woman from Luhansk, who came with her small daughter.