298 people died on Thursday 17 July in the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH 17 passenger plane flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, in the unstable region of Donetsk in Ukraine. While uncertainties remain as for how the plane was effectively attacked, 272 bodies had already been found this morning and loaded on two refrigerated railroad cars. The tragedy has raised a lot of international reactions and anger as the area was controlled by pro-Russian separatists suspected of launching a missile that hit the plane and later taking evidence away from the crash scene. Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged the warring parties to ensure an international investigation that can take place in the Donetsk region, while the United Nations Security Council is issuing a resolution.
The United States and the European Union have increased the level of their sanctions against Russia on Wednesday 16 July. For the first time, they have targeted Russian enterprises specialised in gas and petrol, which maintain close relations to the central power in Moscow. US President Barack Obama underlined that Russia faces economic weakening and diplomatic isolation as a result of politic decisions in Ukraine. The European Union also decided to target the entities that materially and financially support breaches to the Ukrainian sovereignty.
Turkey’s relations with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) entered a new phase on 15 July when Turkish President Abdullah Gül approved a law aiming at accelerate the peace process with the organisation. The PKK is still labelled as a terrorist one by Ankara, the European Union and the United States. The decision may have large electoral benefits for the incumbent President less than a month before the presidential election.
Moldova has been increasing its political and economic ties with the European Union since the signature of the Association Agreement on June 27th, alongside Ukraine and Georgia. In comparison to the turmoil created in Ukraine by its rapprochement with the European Union, very little attention has been given to former Soviet nations such as Moldova and Georgia who are involved in a similar move westwards. Nevertheless, European agreements have large implications for these countries.
Between 19 and 22 of June Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Belgrade office, European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity and Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS) organised the first seminar of the 2014 Course for Promising Politicians. The event took place in Bečići, Montenegro, and focused on ideology and policies. FMS trainers Souad Haouli and Michiel Emmelkamp, Novo društvo (Croatia) trainer and SDP international secretary Karolina Leaković conducted the training.
On the night of July 1st the ceasefire between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian state was put to an end by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. In his address to the nation, he declared that Kiev "will attack and liberate [its] land. Not renewing the ceasefire is [its] response to terrorists, rebels, looters." This statement followed the multiplication of aggressive actions by pro-Russian separatists in the Eastern part of the country. The ceasefire had been effective for ten days, without a clear diminution in the conflict’s intensity and renewed breaches of the truce. Ukrainian Foreign Minister stated on Monday that the ceasefire had led to 27 Ukrainian servicemen being killed and 69 wounded during more than 100 violations of the ceasefire by rebels.
On 23 June pro-Russian separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine stated they have agreed “to observe a temporary cease-fire until 27 June”, three days after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the weeklong truce. This agreement will end ten weeks of fighting between separatists and Ukrainian forces.
In order to reclaim control over the country’s eastern regions, Ukrainian security forces have started a new offensive against pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas and Luhansk region. The offensive started on Sunday 1 June as government forces marched on the strategic town of Slavyansk, breaking through several roadside barricades. Separatist forces reacted by besieging a government-controlled border camp near the town of Luhansk on Monday 2 June. Thousands of civilians are on the run to escape the violence
Afgelopen weekend organiseerden we een campagne training voor jongeren in Oekraïne, met onze partner in Kiev, de Institute for Democracy and Social Progress (IDSP) voor het New Social Democratic Platform, die zij hebben opgericht met politiek actieve jongeren uit het hele land.
With a majority of the votes counted, presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko seems to be the new president of Ukraine. Early presidential elections were held in Ukraine on Sunday 25 May as former president Yanukovych was ousted by the EuroMaidan revolution on 22 February. Poroshenko is expected to become president of a country in chaos. Two eastern regions declared independence and are plagued by violence as the country faces bankruptcy. The new president of Ukraine will be tasked with restoring peace and order in the country.