Poroshenko's opponent, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, is considered a promising candidate. The sanctions, which were set to expire in January, will now be in place until the end of July 2020. Legal notice | A minor skirmish broke out when the Russian coast guard forcibly prevented two Ukrainian naval vessels and a tugboat from passing through the waterway, detaining the crews in the process. Russia, meanwhile, is shaking up its foreign policy, particularly with the United States, after withdrawing from the INF treaty. The current treaty already has an expiration date, but negotiations on a new deal are not yet underway. With the far-right Alternative for Germany gaining ground in the east, that position has more to do with politics than anything else. a new independent national Orthodox Church. — with AFP. And civilians live every day as the last. In this no-man’s-land, where internal fragmentation and international isolation have caused this wearying conflict to be forgotten, people continue to die. Despite the Minsk ceasefire agreement, conflict continues to affect everyday life; the hiss of bullets flying overhead and the crack of far-off sniper fire are familiar sounds. While Putin can still be confident that roughly two-thirds of Russians are behind him, the president's towering popularity appears to be a thing of the past. Fresh conflicts with Ukraine: Orthodox Church and gas pipeline. You can find more information in our data protection declaration. The political tension brought about by street protests, and the instrument of pressure that they create, should not be underestimated. "Prolongation of Russia sanctions is adopted by EU leaders," Barend Leyts, spokesman for European Council President Charles Michel, wrote on Twitter. Proclaimed in December 2018 as the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the organization could in all likelihood be ordained with a kind of deed of incorporation from the spiritual leader of the global Orthodox Church, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, on January 6. Donbass, Ukraine – The tension between the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russian separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, which declared independence in 2014 with military support from Moscow, shows no sign of abating. Political observers predict that both sides will withdraw from the treaty, long viewed as a milestone in nuclear disarmament. 3  On November 25, 2018, Russian ships attacked and boarded three Ukrainian vessels in the Crimean port of Azov near the Black Sea. In Pictures: Thai police fire tear gas at pro-democracy rally, In Pictures: Schools shut and pregnancies rise in COVID-hit Kenya, Blast off: SpaceX heads to the International Space Station, In Pictures: Ethiopians fleeing war cross river into Sudan, Donald Trump fires cyber-chief who said US election was clean, US judge sceptical of Trump campaign’s Pennsylvania challenge, Mouthwash can kill COVID-19 in 30 seconds: Study, Ethiopia’s PM Abiy promises ‘final’ offensive in Tigray, Al Jazeera Centre for Public Liberties & Human Rights. The fence, more than 60km (37 miles) long, is … Incumbent Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is seeking re-election, but at the moment his poor standing in opinion polls gives him little reason for hope. Send Facebook Twitter google+ Whatsapp Tumblr linkedin stumble Digg reddit Newsvine. Russia has finished building a high-tech security fence along annexed Crimea's border with mainland Ukraine. With two elections next year, Ukraine is facing upheaval on the domestic front. Sign up here. Putin's popularity waned somewhat in 2018. We use cookies to improve our service for you. Moreover, 2019 is expected to be a decisive year for the future transportation of Russian gas through Ukraine. Relations between Europe and Russia have been strained since the EU and US imposed sanctions over Moscow's annexation of Crimea. (11.06.2019), The French foreign minister has called during a Moscow visit for better ties with Russia. The EU has said the measures will only be eased if the Minsk cease-fire deal signed by Moscow and Kyiv in 2015 is fully implemented. (10.12.2019), State premiers in eastern Germany want to end crippling sanctions against Russia. The regular Ukrainian army patrols the trenches and fights on the front line because pro-Russian snipers are positioned nearby. Among other things, the government hopes that this will at least partially compensate for cuts made to the health and education systems. Ukraine wants to break free from the dominance of the Russian Orthodox Church and overcome the domestic division within its own Orthodox Church. With two elections on the 2019 calendar — the presidential contest at the end of March and the parliamentary vote in autumn— Ukraine could face significant political turbulence on the domestic front. Legal notice | Tensions flared after a confrontation between Russian and Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait in November. | Mobile version. Privacy Policy | Authorities deemed these cuts necessary due to the fall of oil and gas prices in recent years — Russia's most important export commodities. The restrictive sanctions target Russia's energy, financial and arms sectors. Nevertheless, mass protests are not expected. (09.09.2019), © 2020 Deutsche Welle | Brokered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, it was the first top-level summit on the Ukraine conflict in three years. Selon lui, le nombre de chars dans des bases militaires russes le long de la frontière «a triplé» et le nombre d’unités militaires «a … Although the two leaders agreed to implement a full cease-fire and exchange all remaining prisoners from the conflict by the end of the year, they did not address other key issues. ... “The best Ukraine can hope for in 2019 is no further deterioration in its terrible relationship with Russia,” Mr Åslund wrote. Russia would like to completely stop gas supplies to the European Union via Ukraine and replace them with new pipelines such as Nord Stream 2. Russia's relations with neighboring Ukraine are likely to remain strained into the new year. Read more: Do sanctions against Russia work? But both the EU and Germany want to ensure that Ukraine remains a transit country; however, negotiations on this are likely to be extremely difficult. Why Ukraine and Russia are still at war. In June next year, another key foreign policy date for Russia is scheduled. Russia denies the accusation of having secretly developed a prohibited medium-range missile. Between 2014–2018, a military conflict between Ukrainian soldiers and Russian-backed separatists continued in eastern Ukraine. Along the 400 kilometres of the Donbass “contact line” the fighting continues, while thousands of civilians are trapped in the villages nearby. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, met in person for the first time during a summit in Paris earlier this week as part of an effort to revive the Minsk agreement. The measures were first implemented in 2014 after Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and backed a separatist insurgency in the country's east. Read more:  What does Germany do for Ukraine? European Union leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday agreed to extend economic sanctions against Russia for another six months, officials said. In Ukraine's recent history, it has often been the case that the president and the government appointed by parliament have been at loggerheads. With two elections next year, Ukraine is facing upheaval on the domestic front. Although the United States recently restrained from enforcing new, stricter measures, Washington made it clear that there would be no turning back from its sanctions policy. They still live in what remains of their homes. But Russia has not recognized the creation of an independent Ukrainian church, raising the prospect of a religious tug of war. EU sanctions targeting Moscow's finance, energy and defense industries will stay in place until mid-2020. Privacy Policy | Read more: Vladimir Putin: Sanctions hurt Europe more than Russia. The Ukrainian president may consider the Paris summit to be a draw with Russia, but he couldn't be more wrong, says DW's Bernd Riegert. Although a large scale war is considered unlikely, the conflict between the two countries, which has already been simmering for five years now, is likely to flare up again. The accord calls for both sides to pull back heavy artillery from the front line, Ukraine's control over its borders, and wider autonomy and local elections for the eastern Donbass region. The decision comes after the leaders of Russia and Ukraine met in Paris to seek a solution to Ukraine conflict. Nevertheless, her potential presidency poses a great unknown for the country, even if it means remaining on a pro-Western course. The country's constitution stipulates that the government itself is more powerful than the presidency. Some 13,000 people have died since fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian soldiers began in 2014, according to the UN. The decision to raise the retirement age in 2018 — which was also highly controversial — kicked off a significant decline  Putin's approval ratings. UKRAINE-RUSSIA CRISIS DEEPENS. Even more important, however, are the parliamentary elections. | Mobile version, Vladimir Putin: Sanctions hurt Europe more than Russia, met in person for the first time during a summit in Paris. You can find more information in our data protection declaration. In Russia, the new year will kick off with price increases  — the value-added tax (VAT) will jump from 18 to 20 percent. Russia-backed separatist rebels move to take their position at the new line of contact Saturday outside Petrivske, ... November 13, 2019 at 2:07 PM EST. Russia and Ukraine in 2019: More conflict ahead? Contact Could the latest Russia-Ukraine spat herald another Crimea? A fresh rupture in relations between Russia and the US is on the cards for 2019. More than 10,000 people were killed. Another outbreak of unrest would be a severe setback for the country, which for a long time has been trying to find a way out of crisis mode. In addition to the annexation of Crimea and the ongoing unrest in the Donbass region, Ukraine's founding of a new independent national Orthodox Church is likely going to be another sore point in the new year. Should the country not resume its payments to the Council of Europe by then, it could be excluded from the body. Russia's economic development in 2019 is also likely to be hindered by Western sanctions. DW sends out a daily selection of hard news and quality feature journalism. The price increase is likely to have a significant impact on the already declining popularity of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government. No promise of a compromise solution is as yet on the horizon. Contact L’Ukraine fait face à la menace d’une guerre totale avec la Fédération russe», a lancé le président Porochenko sur trois chaînes de télévision ukrainiennes. There is a concern that incidents such as the dispute on the Kerch Strait in November 2018 could happen again. EU sanctions targeting Moscow's finance, energy and defense industries will stay in place until mid-2020. © 2020 Deutsche Welle | In February next year, the ultimatum put forth by Washington on Moscow for an alleged violation of the INF treaty will expire. Read more: Could the latest Russia-Ukraine spat herald another Crimea? Ukraine: The forgotten war Despite the Minsk ceasefire agreement, conflict continues to affect everyday life in eastern Ukraine. We use cookies to improve our service for you. In June 2017, Russia ceased its payments after the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly withdrew the Russian delegation's voting rights due to the annexation of Crimea in 2014.