China-Ukraine: China's Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said on Saturday that China backs International Monetary Fund (IMF) financial aid for Ukraine. However, China worries about the IMF's lending capacity given the failure of the US Congress to ratify a program of reforms for the institution.
Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao made the remarks on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank spring meetings in Washington.
Comment: The irony in the Vice Minister's statement is that the IMF's harsh requirements for economic structural and fiscal reforms contributed largely to former president Yanukovych's rejection of the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.
Ukraine has reneged on three prior IMF bailout plans becasue of the rigor of IMF reform requirements, prompting the IMF to suspend funds.
The Vice Minister's comments appear intended to highlight the irony by implication.
Ukraine-Russia: Russia requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on 13 April after Ukrainian security forces clashed with armed pro-Russian activists in the eastern town of Slovyansk.
Russia's UN ambassador Vitaliy Churkin called on Kiev to "start a genuine dialogue". He said that there are neo-Nazis and anti-Semites within the ranks of what he called "the self-proclaimed government in Kiev."
"The henchmen of Maydan (the pro-Western Ukrainian protest movement) must stop attacking their own people."
Ukraine: The security situation in eastern Ukraine deteriorated over the weekend.
Kharkiv. Individuals within a crowd of some 1,000 pro-Russia protesters broke into a municipal administration building in Kharkiv on 13 April. Later the regime claimed to have recovered the building.
Slovyansk. One Ukrainian security officer was killed on 13 April and nine were wounded when Ukrainian special forces exchanged gunfire with pro-Russia activists.
Comment: Ukrainian authorities launched a so-called "anti-terrorist operation" in Slovyansk, after about 70 pro-Russia activists seized police and security services building. The operation failed.
Pro-Russian Activists Seizing More Government Buildings
Kramatorsk. Pro-Russia activists occupied a police station in Kramatorsk over the weekend.
Luhansk. Pro-Russia activists still occupy government buildings. No change.