1. Military action in Donbas
2. New President: inauguration, speech in parliament
3. Zelensky's first steps: dismissal of parliament
4. Zelensky's first steps: appointments at the Presidential Administration and in the Armed Forces
5. IMF concerns
6. Gas prices: up or down?
Eight servicemen of the Ukrainian military ended up in captivity in Donbas. The incident took place in Donetsk region, near Novotroitske. The Ukrainian government works hard to return the captives.
Ertugrul Apakan, the Head of the Special Monitoring Mission of OSCE in Ukraine leaves his office. His compatriot Halit Çevik will replace him and assume the job on June 1.
On May 20, President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky took an oath of the President of Ukraine in the session hall of the Verkhovna Rada, therefore he officially took office.
“And our first task is to stop the fire in Donbas. I am ready to lose my popularity, my ratings, and if necessary, I am ready to lose my position without hesitation, so that peace would come. Without having to lose our territory ever again”.
Zelensky appealed to Ukrainians and assured that he “will do everything so that the Ukrainians don’t cry”
Later on that day, Zelesky met with the international delegation who came to the official inauguration.
On May 21, Volodymyr Zelensky has assumed the functions of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
On May 20, President Zelensky dismissed the Verkhovna Rada during his inauguration. Later it was reported the decree on the dismissal of Verkhovna Rada was signed and snap parliamentary elections were appointed on July 21, 2019. Election process of the snap elections has started on May 23. The next day Ukrainians were provided the possibility to change the voting place.
The first top-level appointments took place in Ukraine soon after the inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelensky. Andriy Bohdan became the head of presidential administration. Leader of the state also chose several people to serve Bohdan’s deputies; most of these characters appeared to be his business partners – a clear sign of cronyism, in the very first days of his cadence.
President Zelensky also assigned the new Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces. Viktor Muzhenko who served in this office since 2014 was fired; his successor is Lieutenant General Ruslan Khomchak. Stepan Poltorak, the Defense Minister filed a resignation letter, too. His successor’s name will become known after the new line-up of the Parliament approves the candidacies of members of the government; that is not likely to happen at least until the end of July when the snap parliamentary election is to take place.
IMF mission began its work in Ukraine on May 21. All further agreements with the fund will be reconsidered and will be possible only after snap parliamentary elections. Besides, President Zelensky will meet IMF representatives the next week.
This week it was reported that Ukraine’s Government would consider various ways to reduce price for gas.
Besides, Andriy Gerus, the presidential envoy in the Cabinet of Ministers said there were no grounds for the gas prices to grow over the next several months.
On May 21, President Zelensky discussed the question of Russian gas transit through Ukraine with Vice-President of the European Commission for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič.