Russia asks pro-federalisation supporters in Ukraine to postpone referendum; US says there is no evidence of Russia’s involvement in Odessa massacre; President Putin arrives in Crimea for Victory Day celebrations; Germany suggests holding another Geneva c
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  • (MAY 5-11)

    According to reports, President Putin has asked the supporters of federalization in Ukraine to postpone a referendum on the status of their regions from May 11 until to a later date in order to create proper conditions for the plebiscite. 1

    U.S. Ambassador in Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt has said that there is no evidence of Russia's involvement in the May 4 massacre in Odessa which resulted in the death of 46 people. 2

    President Putin has participated in the Victor Day parade held in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. This was his first visit to the region after Russia’s takeover of the Crimean peninsula. 3

    Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has suggested organizing another conference in Geneva in a bid to find a solution to the Ukrainian crisis. 4
    Reports noted that the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has denied reports that it is consulting with experts of the US Central Intelligence Agency in order to formulate a strategy for dealing with rising tensions in eastern Ukraine. 5

    Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov has said that Ukraine has delayed the delivery of gas turbines for Russian ship building enterprises. 6

    Deputy head of the Just Russia faction in the State Duma Mikhail Yemelyanov has said that Russia is grateful to Serbia for opposing anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and other countries. 7

    According to reports, Ukraine and Russia have said that a second round of talks in Geneva in order to resolve the Ukrainian standoff is possible. However, Ukraine has called for Russia’s commitment to support the May 25 Presidential elections while Russia has called for inclusion of representatives of east and south east Ukraine in Geneva talks as a pre-requisite for their participation in the Geneva talks. 8

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called on all members of the European Council to take resolute measures to stop ultra-nationalists and abandon double standards. 9

    Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is now running for the post of President, has said that she remains the only politician capable of conducting political reforms and the country faces a third revolution if she loses the May 25 elections. 10

    Ukraine has received the first instalment of more than US$ 3 billion of credit from the International Monetary Fund. It will receive a total of US$ 17 billion over the next 2 years. 11

    According to reports, Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Hua Chunying has said that Beijing is opposed to any American sanctions against Russia. 12

    Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said that Moscow will supply natural gas to Ukraine on a prepaid basis from June 1, 2014. 13

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurtz have discussed the situation in Ukraine as well as the role of the Council of Europe in resolving the current standoff. The meeting was held in Vienna on May 6. 14

    The White House has called upon several American industry CEO’s and representatives not to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum scheduled to be held during May 22-24, 2014. This is an annual event which President Putin regularly participates. 15

    According to reports, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has said that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet will receive more than US$ 2.4 billion till 2020 in order to modernise existing infrastructure. 16

    The European Union has hardened its stance on the construction of South Stream natural gas pipeline amid the Ukrainian crisis. 17

    The US Government and United Launch Alliance (ULA) have requested the Court of Federal Claims to lift its temporary ban on purchasing Russian-designed rocket engines RD-180 for the US Atlas V launch systems. 18

    Deputy Secretary of Ukraine’s Council for National Security and Defense Viktoria Syumar has said that the Kiev government is ready to hold a peaceful dialogue with federalization supporters in Ukraine’s south-east regions. 19

    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka has called on his Russian counterpart President Putin to coordinate actions over the situation in Ukraine. 20

    According to reports, Russia will lend US$ 2 billion to Belarus in May 2014 in order to help it replenish its gold and currency reserves. 21

    Ukraine is continuing to daily import upto 14 million cubic metres of natural gas from Poland and Hungary under a reverse-flow supply scheme. 22

    Russia and Japan have discussed the Ukrainian crisis and bilateral ties during Japanese National Security Advisor Shotaro Yachi’s visit to Moscow on May 5. 23

    Germany and France have urged the Kiev authorities to begin a national dialogue with all regions before the presidential elections scheduled on May 25. 24

    Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev during his meeting with President Putin in Moscow on May 7, discussed bilateral ties along with prospects of Kyrgyzstan’s membership of the Customs Union. 25

    Russian Presidential special envoy in the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Chairman of Hamas political bureau Khaled Meshaal have discussed ways to ensure Palestinian national unity in the backdrop of reconciliation between Palestinian groups of Fatah and Hamas. The meeting was held during Bogdanov’s working trip to Qatar at the Russian Embassy in Doha on May 5. 26

    In other developments, according to reports, Iran has filed an application to join the Council for Rail Transport of the Commonwealth of Independent States as an associate member. Council members meet annually in different locations to co-ordinate railway systems of the former Soviet Union. 27

    US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey has said that there is no alternative to the use of Russian made Mi-17 helicopters in Afghanistan. He expressed concern over the impact of US sanctions on supply of these helicopters. 28

    Qatar seeks to increase economic and political cooperation with Russia. This statement was released during Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov’s visit to Qatar on May 6. 29

    Russia plans to send the initial batch of the Yakovlev Yak-130 jet trainers to Syria by the end of 2014, with further plans to fully complete the contract of 36 aircraft by 2016. 30

    Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Shafiq Muhsin has said that his country is interested in expanding cooperation with Russia in the sphere of oil production and refining. 31