“Normandy four” foreign ministers meeting to discuss situation in Avdiyivka
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has announced a meeting in the ‘Normandy format’ (France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine) at the level of foreign ministers next week, Joinfo.com reports with reference to Interfax-Ukraine.
“A ministerial meeting in the ‘Normandy format’ will most likely take place next week,” he said on TV.
He also said the development of the situation in Avdiyivka “will definitely be the main issue.”
The minister said he does not expect considerable progress to be achieved as a result of the meeting.
“What do I expect from this meeting? Taking into account Russia’s current position I don’t expect much. I expect the pressure of [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov from our three parties in connection with the security situation. I very much count that we three will be able to continue the pressure in the matter of the release of hostages and will raise the issue of our political prisoners. Can we achieve progress regarding the Minsk ‘roadmap’? I currently have very big doubts,” Klimkin said.
Ukraine defense spokesman: “Army ready to fight back”
The situation in the town of Avdiyivka in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, is tense, but the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) and the local authorities control it, according to a Ukrainian defense ministry spokesman, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.
“The situation in Avdiyivka is uneasy. However, it is completely controlled by the AFU and the local authorities. The soldiers are in their positions and ready to repel the enemy in case of any offensive,” Defense Ministry speaker for Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) issues Oleksandr Motuzianyk said at a briefing in Kyiv on Friday, February 10.
“I would also note a threat of an offensive exists not only in Avdiyivka. It can happen along the entire contact line in the Anti-Terrorist Operation zone. Our task is to beef up our defense, observation posts, and be ready to repel the enemy,” he said.
Russia’s hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 61 times in the past 24 hours, according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters.
Ukraine gathers record harvest in 2016, export almost half
In 2016, Ukraine harvested 66 million tons of grain and exported 27.5 million tons.
This was announced by Agrarian Policy and Food Minister of Ukraine Taras Kutovyi.
“In 2016, Ukraine harvested 66 million tons of grain. We exported 27.5 million tons of this amount. The agricultural products totaled 41.4% of the overall export structure as compared to 37.5% last year,” Kutovyi said.