Analyst: “With a pro-EU coalition government highly likely in the Dutch parliament, the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement will be approved by the Dutch Senate. Afterwards, it’s certain to be approved by the EU Council.”

 

Kyiv will get five flights a week from London Stansted, Ryanair’s biggest base, together with three each from Stockholm, Manchester in northern England and Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Lviv will have three weekly services from the Polish cities of Krakow and Wroclaw and two apiece from Stansted, Eindhoven, Berlin, Budapest and Memmingen, 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of Munich. 

 

Commenting on the upcoming presidential elections in Russia, the leader of the illegal occupation of Ukrainian Crimea says he sees no alternative and wants to make Putin monarch for life.

 

Analyst: “The big question is not who will win the election, but whether the anti-EU party led by Wilders will gain enough votes to form a coalition government. If he does, that could influence the Senate in its upcoming vote on the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.”

 

<Geert Wilders, head of the far-right anti-immigration Party for Freedom

 

Ash: “Not sure that Moscow actually wants to add the cost of maintaining DPR and LPR, alongside the now long list of annexed and disputed territories including Crimea, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Trans-Dniestr. Formal annexation of DPR/LPR would also further diminish Russian leverage in the rest of Ukraine which I tend to think was the primary reason for Russian intervention in the first place.”

 

UBO: Perhaps the time has come for Viktor Pinchuk to change the name for his annual gabfest, the YES conference. Based on recent public statements and actions, we suggest a retitle as: “YES, Mr. Putin, Whatever You Want”. President Poroshenko reacted to Pinchuk’s statements and actions by saying he would not attend the next YES event. Others should follow Poroshenko’s lead.

 

<Photo: Monica Crowley*


 

Analyst: “This allows us to expect that Ukraine will receive over USD 1.6 bln from the IMF and EU in the coming two-to-three weeks.”

 

<EU Ambassador to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli

 

The article below qualifies as today’s MUST READ for anyone with an interest in international affairs – and most especially Russian citizens, whose national budget is being squandered to support the evil regime of Bashar al-Assad. It might be logical if in return Russia was gaining firm control of Syria but Russian rubles and Russian blood is buying nothing except temporary control of limited parts of a country that are no longer under control of Assad. Instead, Assad – and by extension Russia – must deal with the fact that real power in Syria today is controlled by criminal gangs with loyalty only to themselves. If you read nothing else today, I urge you to read the article and to consider its long-term implications.

 

<Photo: Mohamed Jaber is the leader of the Desert Hawks militia, which is based in Latakia, a stronghold of dictator Bashar Assad's Alawites

 

Groysman also thanked the Turkish people and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for supporting Ukraine's territorial integrity. "This is really important for us in these difficult times," he added. 

 

Analyst: “Western institutions will continue to extend sanctions for as long as they can amid the looming populist threat sweeping Europe.”

 

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