Weekly News Update 

WASHINGTON, D.C. September 5, 2014

TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties

FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSEJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSEJ Executive Director


Dear Friend,


A ceasefire agreement was announced today at the meeting of the Ukrainian government, pro-Russian separatist leaders, and OSCE and Russian representatives in Minsk, Belarus. If it holds, the ceasefire could be a significant step toward halting the crisis in Ukraine. At the same time, Moscow continues to deny its role in fueling the crisis in Ukraine.

The ceasefire agreement doesn't alleviate the need to address the urgent humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. A significant part of Ukraine's population remains at risk. Some are internal refugees who have fled the violence, and are living without guarantees of food or shelter in western Ukraine. Others are still living in the battered cities in the east, where infrastructure is damaged, and militants roam the streets.

Speaking from the NATO Summit in Wales today, President Barack Obama said that NATO stands behind Ukraine, in strong support of its territorial integrity. Additional sanctions against Russia are being developed by the U.S. and the European Union to send a clear signal to Russia to stop its aggression in Ukraine.

On Tuesday, NCSEJ participated in a U.S. State Department briefing with Secretary John Kerry and a group of American and European Jewish community leaders, about the recent increase in global anti-Semitism. During the meeting, Sec. Kerry expressed his concern about the rise in anti-Semitic threats and attacks against Jewish individuals and institutions in Europe and worldwide during recent months.

I would like to congratulate John Tefft on being sworn in this week as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation. He is longtime friend of NCSEJ, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him, during what is a difficult period in U.S.-Russian relations.

I want to highlight a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty article on the Kazakh reaction to a recent speech by President Putin that downplayed Kazakhstan's independence and urged the country to remain a part of the greater Russian world. While Kazakhstan's general public and leadership have criticized President Putin's speech, it is unclear whether this will affect Kazakh foreign policy. If it does, will Kazakhstan be Russia's next target?



Mark B. Levin

Executive Director

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Founded in 1971, NCSEJ represents the organized American Jewish community in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the estimated 1.5 million Jews in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, including the 15 successor states of the former Soviet Union. 
Phone: 202-898-2500 
NCSEJ is a beneficiary of The Jewish Federations of North America and the National Federation/Agency Alliance through its network of Federations. 
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