Full ceasefire in Donbas comes into force today, April 1
According to the agreements of the Trilateral Contact Group for Donbas settlement, a ceasefire is being established in eastern Ukraine April 1, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gave a corresponding order to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ministry of Defense on March 30. “On my instructions, our delegation in Minsk proposed to announce a cease-fire ahead of Easter. Unfortunately, we do not have much optimism that another party will honor the agreements reached, but the life and health of every Ukrainian soldier are of the greatest value,” the head of state said.
Poroshenko stressed that it was the Ukrainian side which proposed full ceasefire from April 1. The president noted that it was necessary to act decisively to ensure a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy equipment and artillery. This is the key point of the Minsk agreements and the decision of the National Security and Defense Council. “We will see how these agreements will be implemented from April 1,” Poroshenko said.
On March 30, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak stated that Ukraine was ready to start a ceasefire in Donbas; however, it would defend its positions in the event of a threat to the life of the Ukrainian troops.
Ukraine, Canada to sign defence cooperation agreement next week
The agreement on cooperation between the ministries of defense of Ukraine and Canada will be signed in Ottawa early next week, Joinfo.com reports with reference to Ukrinform.
This information was confirmed to an Ukrinform correspondent in the defense ministries of both countries.
According to the sources, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak will personally attend the signing ceremony while making an official visit to Canada.
As noted, the agreement is still being finalized.
As reported, the Ukraine-Canada defense cooperation agreement is the interagency treaty, which Ukraine needs to get to access to the Canadian arms market.
Russia can participate in 2017 Eurovision with contestant who hadn’t breached Ukrainian law
Russia can participate in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, if it introduces a contestant that had not breached the Ukrainian law, and it is inadmissible to demand Ukraine to violate its own legislation, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Viacheslav Kyrylenko said, Joinfo.com reports with reference to Interfax-Ukraine.
“I can reiterate that Russia can participate in the 2017 Eurovision in Kyiv, if there is a contestant who hadn’t violated the Ukrainian legislation. And I believe, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland or any other member of the European Broadcasting Company, would adopt the very same decision. And it’s unprecedented and inadmissible to demand Ukraine to adopt an unprecedented decision to please Russia and in violation of its own laws and, besides, the norms of international law,” Kyrylenko’s press service cited him as saying on the Ukrainian Radio.
Ukraine is observing not only its laws, but also international ones, while Russian contestant Yulia Samoilova breached the Ukrainian legislation, he said.
“Unfortunately, Russian contestant Yulia Samoilova breached the Ukrainian law by performing in the annexed Crimea. When the issue is about Crimea, Ukraine is guided by all decisions of all international organizations, and no international organization recognized the annexation of Crimea. This is why we’re not only protecting our Ukrainian legislation, we are also following the norms of international law and defending the status of this international law in Ukraine,” the deputy prime minister said.
If Russia nominates another contestant, then their security, normal reception and stay will be ensured, as all other delegations, he said. Otherwise, Ukraine will host the Eurovision for 42 countries, the deputy prime minister said.
As reported, Russia selected Samoilova with the song called ‘Flame is Burning’ to participate in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. She has been using a wheelchair since childhood and has the group one of disability.
On March 22, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) adopted a decision impose a three-year entry ban on Samoilova as a person who had illegally visited Crimea on the grounds of the obtained information about her breaching the Ukrainian law.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) expressed a deep regret with this decision and said it intends to contact with Kyiv to ensure participation of all contestants.
On March 23, the EBU offered Samoilova to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest via videolink. But Channel One declined the EBU’s offer, saying that the organizers should ensure the singer’s participation in accordance with the contest regulations.
The Oikotimes media reported later about a letter of EBU Director General Ingrid Delterne. In her letter, she said that if the situation with participation of Russian contestant Samoilova is not resolved, it will jeopardize Ukraine’s further involvement in the contest. In her letter to Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, Deltenre calls on him to interfere with the situation surrounding Samoilova’s entry ban and make it possible for her to come to Kyiv in May.