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Ukraine Update

Recently we have seen “new” developments in the East of Ukraine, which have been getting a lot of coverage in the press, first the extra Russian soldiers and then the “ceasefire”. We will see this followed by further actions and sanctions. There have not been any recent developments that affect "business as usual", however the fighting has now been going on for several months and it has been mostly confined to only a small part of Ukraine. There is not much that is news worthy about the Russian presence in Ukraine, although this has intensified, it is thought this was reactive and mostly intended to stabilize the situation to avoid the “separatists” defeat.The situation is pretty stable and extension of the disputed territory seems very unlikely.The cities of Dnipro, Kharkiv, and Odessa seem not at risk of getting involved. The rest of Ukraine is pretty stable and generally, although heavily covered in the media, we do not feel recent events will pose difficulties to business continuity. In recent months there have been a number of headlines in the news about general mobilization but each time it has shown to be just a headline, the army doesn't need more people. Many are contributing to the volunteering efforts to provide those fighting in the ATO zone with defensive equipment and medicines they require in the hope of preventing further casualties. Eventually the fighting will stop, if that will leave us with a Ukraine split in half or not is hard to say at this stage however we need to remain open to the possibility that further Ukrainian territory becomes “peacefully” occupied by foreign soldiers – the same situation currently stands in in Georgia where a part of the country has been occupied by Russian soldiers for many years now.