WASHINGTON, D.C. February 27, 2015
TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties
FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSEJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSEJ Executive Director
Fewer instances of fighting between pro-Russian rebels and government forces were reported this week, boosting hopes that the new ceasefire might hold. Yesterday, Ukraine's government began a pullout of heavy artillery from the front line. Rebels also said they have been withdrawing tanks and other equipment under the provisions of the truce agreement. Nevertheless, the new ceasefire is shaky at best, and it is unclear whether it will last.
The gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine has flared up again. Russia threatened to cut off energy supplies to Ukraine, if Ukraine fails to prepay for gas deliveries. Russia and Ukraine's energy ministers are scheduled to hold negotiations on Monday.
In the meantime, Ukraine's currency plunged even farther this week. Ukraine's economic crisis is worsening, and a recently announced tranche of IMF funding has not
This week, NCSEJ and B'nai B'rith International co-hosted a meeting with Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius of Lithuania. We had a productive discussion on a range of topics, including the Ukraine crisis, property restitution, and a recent neo-Nazi march in Kaunas.
For those planning to attend AIPAC's annual Policy Conference, I will be speaking on Sunday, on the panel discussing Russia's paradoxical approach to the Middle East.
I would like to highlight a RFE/RL article in this week's update, analyzing Moldova's new and fragile government, the tensions between pro-Russian and pro-Western influences, and the implications of the outcome of Moldova's domestic situation for the region.
Mark B. Levin
Please visit http://ncsej.org/NCSEJ-Wkly.pdf
for NCSEJ's Weekly News Update.