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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Tuesday 08 December [Ukrainian sources]

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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Tuesday 08 December [Ukrainian sources]

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:21 am

TUESDAY

Please scroll down to view news items added during the course of the day

News -

Continued attacks by Russian terrorists on Ukraine. No word on numbers as of yet.
Update - four soldiers wounded by Putin's attacks yesterday.
Biden addresses the Rada today. 1100 I believe.
Update - excellent speech. Excellent. Photos and commentary below.

Weather -
Pleasant. Maybe +5. Sunny. Getting nearer the norm for December. Maybe +2 tomorrow.
Hopefully Ukraine can avoid snow on the roads for another week. We will see. It all helps the economy.

Footie -
Shaktar play away in Paris. Already out of the Champions League, but maybe could make the Europa league.
Not a bad write up on the group situations here
http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/34995276
Tomorrow - key game for Dynamo.


Last edited by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:58 am; edited 3 times in total

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Terrorists continue shelling. Near Zaitsev a fight - Staff

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:28 am

http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2015/12/8/7091736/
Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 7:58
Over the past day terrorists continued shelling positions of ATU forces in all directions, and in the Zaitsev militants tried to attack the stronghold and forced to retreat.
Thus, in the Donetsk direction with grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms fired Pisky, Avdeevka, Novgorod and Novoselivka. Many times the 82-mm mortar shells fired on Krasnohorivtsi.
In Artemovsk direction with the same weapons mercenaries fired on Mayorsku, Zaitsev, Kirov and Luhansk. At Leninsky and Luhansk with 82 mm mortars.
In Mariupol towards terrorists were firing from heavy machine guns and small arms on Stroganovka.
And in the Lugansk area - with grenades by Trohizbentsi.
"About 18 hours took place in an area Zaitsev combat collision. Militants of up to 10 people again tried to attack our stronghold, and receiving adequate response, traditionally run away from the battlefield," - said in a statement.

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Mogherini told about the appalling human rights situation in the Crimea (Columnist)

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:46 am

http://obozrevatel.com/abroad/96085-mogerini-rasskazala-ob-uzhasayuschej-situatsii-s-pravami-cheloveka-v-kryimu.htm
8:26
"We discussed the situation on the Crimean peninsula, especially the appalling situation of human rights. We have reaffirmed their policy of non-recognition of illegal annexation of the Crimea and Sevastopol, and recalled that all activities related to this non-recognition should take place within the law," - she said.

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Lysenko told about the new tactic of the Kremlin terrorists in Donbas (Columnist)

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:55 am

http://obozrevatel.com/crime/19057-lyisenko-rasskazal-o-novoj-ustanovke-kremlya-terroristam-na-donbasse.htm
8:28
".. they received from the Kremlin to constantly maintain a state of tension, and that this conflict did not cease to be considered as the conflict", - he stressed.
"... At first, the militants carried out attacks on our positions, Ukrainian military did not respond, and then the fighters begin shelling the settlements on the territories under their control. Then, the local people say that it fired the Ukrainian military "- said the speaker of the AP for ATO.
He added that in this way the terrorists create an atmosphere of hatred for everything Ukrainian.


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The number of injured in the explosion at Pokrovka increased to four [Moscow bus station]

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:08 am

http://m.interfax.ru/483706
December 8, 2015 00:10s
The number of victims of the explosion at Pokrovka increased to four
Moscow. December 8th. INTERFAX.RU - Four people were injured in an explosion at a bus stop in the center of Moscow, "Interfax" on Tuesday, the press service of the Moscow Department of Health

===
Ru media really playing this down. No details really. Nothing about terrorism.
N.B. Russian source. Hasn't made the western press.

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Why Russian nationalists are celebrating the far-right's win in France [Engl]

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:30 am

http://mashable.com/2015/12/07/marine-le-pen-france-elections-russia/?utm_campaign=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial#TTCSqyIKlmqL
As Russia's relationship with Europe soured over Ukraine and Syria in recent years, the relationship between the Le Pens and Moscow seems only to have gotten better.
Le Pen admitted in September 2014 that her party received an $11.7 million loan from the Russian-owned First Czech-Russian Bank. The move irked critics, who claimed the loan was a reward for her party's support of Russia's position in the Ukrainian crisis, something Le Pen called "outrageous and offensive."
It is "ridiculous to suggest that gaining a loan would determine our international position," Le Pen said at the time.
A few months later, her father, Jean-Marie, reportedly took a separate $2.5 million loan from a Cypriot holding company belonging to a former KGB agent, according to a French report....

====
French fascists - Putin's natural allies - along with the communist left - the Guardian's Seumas Milne, advisor to Labour's Corbyn.

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Biden due to address plenary session of the Rada at 11 am

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:42 am

December 8 at 11:00 Address by Vice President Joe Biden US during the plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
http://rada.gov.ua/
===
according to Rada website.
And followed by briefings of various parties at 1200.
Strangely info about Biden not translated into English. Some other info translated.

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President Poroshenko and Vice President Biden: Russia must fully implement the Minsk agreements [Engl]

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:53 am

http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/rosiya-maye-v-povnomu-obsyazi-vikonati-minski-domovlenosti-p-36451
...Speaking of the conflict in Donbas, the U.S. Vice President stated: “USA supports Ukraine in countering Russian aggression and pro-Russian separatists. We are convinced that a solution to the conflict will depend on diplomatic work based on strict compliance with the Minsk agreements by the two parties. Minsk will not succeed, unless Russia fulfills its obligations,” Joseph Biden said....



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Life's Not A (Foreign) Beach For Russians [engl]

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:19 am

http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-beach-vacations-safanov/27412407.html
"The need for the beach and the sea -- this stereotype, which we already accept as our own opinion, was in large part imposed [upon Russia] in recent years," the head of Russia's state agency for tourism told Rossiiskaya Gazeta this week. "Our ancestors, even the most affluent, did not travel en masse to the sea abroad."
...Rosturizm head Oleg Safonov ....
Safonov's comments,... prompted an outpouring of derision online. .
The torrent of angry commentary quickened after reports emerged alleging that Safonov himself owned two villas on the Seychelles Islands -- and drove a Mercedes-Benz and a Bentley....

====
One has to laugh at the Russians.

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In the area of ​Anthracit Airborne Division of Russia with self-propelled guns - IS (ZN.ua)

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:40 am

http://zn.ua/UKRAINE/v-rayone-antracita-zafiksirovano-podrazdelenie-vdv-rossii-s-samohodkami-is-197945_.html
For the past day has increased dramatically the intensity and scale of the attacks and armed provocations by Russian-terrorist troops in Donbass, said the coordinator of the "information resistance" Dmitry Tymchuk...

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Rada now in session. Live on Rada tv. 1045 am

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:44 am

Expecting Biden to talk about 11 am.
Rada currently live on rada tv, 112, Espresso tv.

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This Is What's at Stake for Putin, Ukraine as Bond Default Looms [engl]

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:59 am

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-07/this-is-what-s-at-stake-for-putin-ukraine-as-bond-default-looms
===
Having read the article, my answer would be "not a lot".

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Excellent speech by American VP Joe Biden to the Ukrainian Rada - UEN opinion (+ photos)

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:39 am

In my opinion, an excellent speech by Biden.
I had my doubts, but it was well structured. He talked at the start about American independence, the civil war, and establishing democracy in the USA.
He kept telling the Ukrainian deputies not to waste their chance. He said that the US will never recognise the annexation of Crimea. He also mentioned Nadia Savchenko. He also mentioned the fight against corruption. But overall, he asked the deputies to work together for the good of the people.
Excellent.
I should add that he also mentioned Russian aggression. And the fact that Russian soldiers now stand on Ukrainian soil.
I was very impressed by his speech. Before he started I had my doubts, but he really spoke very very well.

Started about 1200. Finished about 1235.
Photos via tv to follow.

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Biden - Rada - photos

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:49 am









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More photos

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:54 am










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Putin's foe Khodorkovsky summoned for questioning

Post by Admin on Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:57 am

In an unexpected renewal of a feud between the Kremlin and Russia's former richest man, exiled tycoon and ex-prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky was summoned for questioning in Moscow on Tuesday.

Khodorkovsky posted on social media a copy of the summons, which was delivered to the Moscow home of his 82-year-old father, who was himself questioned by investigators in August about the 1998 killing of a Siberian mayor.

is charged in absentia with murder.

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More photos

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:57 am

Biden received a standing ovation during the middle of his speech for what he said about Crimea.
Here - he speaks about Nadia Savchenko - and the camera appropriately zooms in to show the poster in front of the VP.



As I said - I had my doubts.
But he delivered an excellent speech. Basically saying that Ukraine's future independence rests upon the hands of the deputies in the room.
They can waste their opportunity again - as after the Orange Revolution - or they can seize it, and give Ukraine real independence.

But when Russian $$$$$ come knocking at the door of some deputies, how many will listen to the voice of reason, and how many will take the cash and give a thumbs up to more corruption?

You may be able to pick up some bits here, but this has Ukrainian over it.
I'll try and find the speech transcript. It may take some time.



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Biden Tells Ukraine's Parliament U.S. 'Will Never Recognize' Crimea Annexation [Engl]

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:09 am

http://www.rferl.org/content/ukraine-biden-says-us-will-never-recognize-crimea-annexation/27413810.html
...In a much anticipated speech on December 8, Biden said that "the world is watching" them and their "fight against the unrelenting aggression of the Kremlin."

He said that "the United States will never recognize" Russia's annexation of Crimea, and will continue to support Ukraine against Russian aggression.

Biden told Ukrainian lawmakers that they had "an obligation to their homeland to answer the call of history" and build a united democratic nation that "stands through time."

He said each lawmaker will be judged by future generations upon whether they put the greater good of all Ukrainian people over local interests that have divided the country....

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Yesterday four soldiers were wounded in the ATO zone - staff (UP)

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:12 am

http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2015/12/8/7091783/
At night in the area ATO wounding four soldiers - Staff
Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 12:44
For the past day in the zone of the antiterrorist operation wounds suffered four fighters.
This at a traditional briefing on Tuesday, spokesman for the Presidential Administration Andriy Lysenko ATO.
"For the past day as a result of active hostilities died Wednesday Ukrainian military there, but two were wounded, two through neobrezhnist injured as a result of undermining military devices", - he said.
Ukrainian Pravda

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[Svoboda] demanding Ukrainian govt dismissal [demo] being held near Verkhovna Rada where Biden awaited

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:27 am

http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/309713.html
Up to 400 representatives of the Svoboda party are calling for a dismissal of the Ukrainian Cabinet headed by Arseniy Yatseniuk near Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada, where U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden is expected to deliver a speech on Tuesday.
====
Somewhat ironic.
Biden calls for unity against Russia. And talks about the Kremlin trying to destabilize Ukraine.
And Svoboda - calling for the government to go.

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Dutch Golden Age paintings 'held for €50m ransom by Ukrainian far-Right militia group' [Engl]

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:49 am

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/12038072/Dutch-Golden-Age-paintings-held-for-50m-ransom-by-Ukrainian-far-Right-militia-group.html
It also claimed that Oleh Tyanybok, leader of the far-Right political party Svoboda, and Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the former head of the Ukrainian security services, were among "highly placed individuals operating behind the scenes of the volunteer battalion".
====
Svoboda again?!
Svoboda deny involvement
http://glavcom.ua/news/346054.html


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Biden stresses need to end "cancer of corruption" in Ukraine

Post by Admin on Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:54 am

Speaking at the meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Biden said that "the Ukrainian leadership should deliver promises of the sacrifices made by those who two years on Maidan made such sacrifices."

"And the central to this second chance toward democracy and making sure it doesn't slip away is the end of cancer of corruption, the culture of impunity that is hub of Ukraine for decades," he said.......

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Biden urged Ukrainians not to miss their chance (Segodnya.ua)

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:04 am

http://www.segodnya.ua/politics/pnews/bayden-prizval-ukraincev-ne-upustit-svoy-shans-673808.html
===
This is how one of the main papers in Ukraine has received Biden's speech.
I agree with their assessment. But I note that some papers in the west are already talking about corruption.
It is as if they didn't hear the speech, and had already written their article. They said much the same about Biden's speech half a year ago.

Photo from the Rada website - Biden with Speaker Groisman.




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Oil price stable

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:14 am

The oil price seems to have stabilized at about 38 / 41 dollars a barrel.
www.bloomberg.com/energy/ 2 minutes ago

Crude Oil & Natural Gas
INDEX UNITS PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE CONTRACT TIME ET 2 DAY
WTI Crude Oil (Nymex)
USD/bbl. 37.99 +0.34 +0.90% JAN 16 06:39:26
Brent Crude (ICE)
USD/bbl. 41.39 +0.66 +1.62% JAN 16 06:39:08

It all helps to keep Putin's war machine in check.
Meanwhile Russia is pumping out oil in record amounts at prices that are probably around break-even costs, considering extraction costs in Siberia and the northern areas.

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Ukraine 'in process' of resuming power supplies to Crimea: Ukrenergo [Engl]

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:59 am

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-crimea-power-idUSKBN0TQ2GI20151207

See also
Russia says Ukraine power supplies to Crimea partly restored
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-crimea-power-idUSKBN0TR19R20151208

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Biden's speech to the Rada - English - Biden Stands By Ukraine But Warns On Corruption

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:14 am

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-and-remarks



rferl.org

Currently has this
Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/12/07/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-and-ukrainian-president-petro
from yesterday

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Ruble Sinks to New Lows As Oil Prices Plummet

Post by Nelson on Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:36 am

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/ruble-sinks-to-new-lows-as-oil-prices-plummet/552212.html
The Russian ruble has continued its slide to dramatic lows, falling to 69 against the U.S. dollar on Monday for the first time since September, according to news reports. The euro, too, reached a two-month high, climbing to 75 rubles on Monday evening, with Russian analysts linking the ruble's downward spiral to struggling oil prices....
===
This helps Putin balance the books, but - it all adds to inflation in Russia.
Currently,

www.xe.com
rubles to one dollar - one euro and - one pound
Inverse: 69.8254 - 76.0134 - 104.653

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Ancient Ukrainian icon Doors of Mercy brought to Vatican to open Jubilee Year of Mercy

Post by Admin on Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:51 pm

This icon, which combines both Western and Eastern traditions, is particularly symbolic and encourages all Christians to unity and peace for the sake of charity. The Icon was met at the airport by the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Holy See, Tatyana Izhevska, and Ambassador of Poland to the Holy See, Piotr Konopka Novina, and representatives of the Vatican City. It was escorted to Rome by Greek-Catholic priests Bogdan Kruba (Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky Cathedral Parish, Warsaw) and Krzysztof Blazheyevsky (Parish of the Transfiguration, Jaroslaw) and officials of the Przemysl-Warsaw Archeparchy Arkadii Giza and Darius Borovichi.

The image of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ, which dates from the seventeenth century, comes from the cathedral of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the Polish city of Jaroslaw. The icon, which takes its name from the Byzantine Lenten liturgical text, Open the Doors of Mercy to me, O Mother of God, is considered miraculous and was given a crown by St. John Paul II in 1996. A copy of the icon is also found in the Argentinian church where Pope Francis' spiritual director, the late Salesian Bishop Stefan Chmil is buried. The icon miraculously survived a fire in the church...............

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Reuters: IMF rule change keeps Ukraine support; Russia complains

Post by Admin on Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:55 pm

The International Monetary Fund will change its lending rules to allow it to keep supporting countries if they fail to repay official creditors, a move that would help Ukraine if it misses payments on a $3 billion debt to Russia, according to Reuters.

"The IMF's Executive Board met today and agreed to change the current policy on non-toleration of arrears to official creditors," chief spokesman Gerry Rice said in a statement, Reuters reported.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the decision looked rushed and biased.

"It's taken exclusively to the detriment of Russia and in order to legalize Kyiv not repaying its debts," he told reporters in Moscow.

Ukraine is restructuring its debts to plug a $15 billion funding gap under an IMF-led $40 billion bailout. Defaulting on the eurobond, which matures on December 20, could have put the program at risk.........

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Pifer said, should be seen as a message of US Vice President

Post by Admin on Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:43 pm

US Vice President Joe Biden during his visit to Kiev voiced expectations of the civilized world from the Ukraine that it must meet. If not - the Ukrainian government risks losing the patronage of both the West and the support of their own electorate.

This assessment was expressed in exclusive comments Ukrinform US Ambassador to Ukraine (1998-2000 gg.), Now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Stephen Pifer.

"I think that Vice President Biden in Kyiv gave a very clear message: in a situation when Ukraine is opposed to Russian aggression, it should make more rapid progress in economic reforms and fight against corruption", - said the expert.

He explained that this "requires the government to introduce tough decisions, and political leaders - to avoid the temptation of populist policies."

Will the message of Vice-President of the desired effect will be seen soon, says former US Ambassador to Ukraine.

If the Ukrainian government does not succeed in reforms, especially in the fight against corruption, the level of trust the West to drop it, and inside the country discontent will grow.

"Domestic support will come to naught, and some countries in the West may start to ask questions, is there any sense to provide the same level of support for Kiev?" - Said Steven Pifer.

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In the Donetsk region detained militants instructor with the call sign "Psychologist"

Post by Admin on Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:20 pm

Staff of Artyomovsk Police Department identified the 44-year-old resident of the city, which in 2014 was engaged in psychological and historical combat training "of recruits DNI." Former instructor terrorists could face up to 8 years in prison.

It is established that the suspect entered the ranks of the militants so-called "DNR" in May last year. A former employee of the prison service had experience dealing with different categories of people, as well as the skills of handling weapons. The terrorists man received the call "psychology" and became an instructor in combat and special training. For the duty he was given automaton "Kalashnikov".

According to the detainee, the ranks of the insurgents are increasingly recorded ex-convicts, drug addicts, alcoholics and other antisocial elements. In mid-June 2014, disillusioned with the terms "duty" and disgruntled contingent of their wards, the instructor left the ranks of militants.

After the liberation of the city remained in Artemovsk man, he did not hide, as among his former "students" were not locals. But thanks to the efforts of law enforcement officers the identity of the former trainer of militants has been established, the suspect brought to justice.

At the moment in relation to artemovtsa opened criminal proceedings under Part. 2 tbsp. 260 "Creation is not provided for by law or paramilitary armed formations" of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Sanction article provides for punishment of imprisonment for a term of 3 to 8 years.

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The EU extended trade preferences for Transnistria

Post by Admin on Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:30 am

Companies exporting from the unrecognized Transnistria will continue to supply its products to the markets of the European Union on the basis introduced a few years ago preferential trade regime. This is reported by Moldovan media.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the unrecognized Transnistrian Moldovan republic Dmitri Palamarchuk, agreement was reached during talks in Tiraspol with representatives of the European Union, as well as in the framework of the Bavarian conference on confidence-building measures between the two banks of the Dniester.

Earlier it was reported that the European Union will suspend from 1 January 2016 preferential trade regime for Transnistrian enterprises, and its renewal will be possible only after the accession of the region to the agreement on free and comprehensive trade, signed by the official authorities of Moldova and the European Union.

In Chisinau, the decision to extend the preferential trade regime with the EU, Transnistria had no immediate comment.

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Re: Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Tuesday 08 December [Ukrainian sources]

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