Habeck sharply criticizes Orban for his blockade attitude to the oil embargo. Poland’s president wants Vladimir Putin removed from office. During the night, Biden announced that the US will deliver advanced missile systems to Ukraine. All voices and developments on the Ukraine war here in the ticker.
8.49 a.m .: In an interview with the TV channel “Newsmax”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj commented on the personnel losses in his army. “We lose 60 to 100 soldiers a day in combat, about 500 people are injured in action,” he said. The situation remains most tense in eastern Ukraine and southern Donetsk and Luhansk. So far the country holds its defensive fronts. This is also of great importance for the rest of the world: After all, Ukraine and its people are their “ring of defense”.
8:19 a.m .: According to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, almost all major EU countries reject Ukraine’s possible EU candidate status. “I would say almost everyone except Italy,” he said, according to “Sky TG24” after an EU summit in Brussels. So far he has not seen any solution as to how the resistance of these countries can be overcome. It is therefore difficult to estimate what the final decision will be.
Nevertheless, Draghi stressed that there is a possibility for Ukraine to achieve EU candidate status. The EU heads of government would wait for the decision of the European Commission. It will assess the extent to which Ukraine meets the criteria for candidate status.
Wednesday, June 1, 4:54 a.m.: The US government will deliver modern missile systems to Ukraine, according to President Joe Biden. Biden wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times published on Tuesday evening (local time) that the attacked country should be able to hit “important targets on the battlefield in Ukraine” more precisely. At the same time, Biden assured: “We do not want a war between NATO and Russia.” The USA also did not try to overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The White House said on Tuesday evening (local time) that Ukraine had pledged not to attack targets on Russian territory with the US-made HIMARS artillery system. The system is part of a $700 million package that also includes missiles, radar systems, Javelin anti-tank weapons, helicopters, vehicles and spare parts. A senior US official said the US would supply missiles with the HIMARS system that would only have a range of around 80 kilometers.
Biden underscored that there is currently no evidence that Russia intends to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Russia’s “occasional nuclear saber-rattling rhetoric” is in itself dangerous and irresponsible.
6.35 p.m .: EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has promised Ukraine extensive aid for reconstruction. “We not only have a moral responsibility, but also a strategic interest in taking a leading role in the reconstruction of Ukraine,” said von der Leyen in a video recording of the “Business Day” of the CDU Economic Council on Tuesday in Berlin. “We want a democratic and stable neighbor on our eastern flank who shares our values - and not a failed state at the mercy of Putin’s tyranny.”
The European Commission has therefore proposed a platform for reconstruction together with Ukraine. The aim is to bring countries, institutions and the private sector together.
“Our place is on the side of Ukraine,” said von der Leyen. “We want Ukraine to win this war.”
She went on to say the EU will not allow political violence to re-emerge on the continent and that one individual will destroy an order that has brought decades of stability and prosperity to the continent. Russian President Vladimir Putin is not only trying to destroy Ukraine with his war, he is also destroying his own country. It speaks for itself that the young Russian generation is leaving Russia in their tens of thousands.
5:53 p.m .: The Russian state-owned company Gazprom will no longer supply gas to the Danish supplier Ørsted and Shell Energy Europe from this Wednesday. Germany is also affected by this. Ørsted and Shell have informed Gazprom Export that they will not pay the bills in rubles – as requested by Moscow – the Russian company announced on Tuesday. Because no money had flowed for the month of April, deliveries would now be stopped. As reported by Ørsted, Gazprom has informed the Danish group that gas deliveries will be stopped at 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
In response to sanctions over Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, Moscow has ordered European countries to pay for energy in Russian currency. Otherwise the delivery stop was threatened. The Dutch gas company GasTerra announced on Monday that Gazprom would not deliver two billion cubic meters of gas to the Netherlands. Energy supplies had previously been stopped for Poland, Bulgaria and Finland.
4:55 p.m .: The Ukrainian parliament is pushing for sanctions against Moscow Patriarch Cyril I and seven other Orthodox clergymen from Russia. According to Ukrainian media, MPs on Tuesday called on the National Security and Defense Council to freeze the eight clergymen’s assets and ban them from trading in Ukraine because the clergymen supported Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. They should also not be allowed to enter the country.
In addition to Cyril I, the sanctions are to be imposed on the foreign office chief of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeev), and the metropolitan of the city of Pskov, Tikhon, among others. The latter is said to be the personal confessor of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. The Security and Defense Council, headed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has had many powers since the beginning of the war.
In its sixth package of sanctions, the EU Commission is also proposing an entry ban for Cyril I and freezing his assets.
3:57 p.m .: Germany and Greece have decided to swap tanks. This was announced by Chancellor Olaf Scholz after deliberations at the EU special summit. According to this, Greece is supplying Ukraine with old tanks from Soviet times and is getting modern equipment from Germany as a replacement. Such a ring exchange is also planned with Poland, according to Scholz.
2:54 p.m .: The Czech Republic has summoned the Russian ambassador in Prague. The Foreign Ministry justified this on Tuesday with a dispute over the use of diplomatic properties. Russia has around 50 properties in the EU and NATO member state. Many date back to when what was then Czechoslovakia was part of the Eastern Bloc. Prague doubts that all of these buildings actually serve consular or diplomatic functions. According to media reports, several apartments are rented to Russian private individuals.
Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky criticized Moscow for not adhering to either the Vienna Basic Agreement on Diplomatic Relations or the rules of the host country. “It doesn’t respect the rule of law.” Relations between the two countries were strained even before the war in Ukraine. Prague last year accused Russian intelligence agents of being responsible for explosions at a munitions dump in 2014 that killed two. The Kremlin denied this. Both countries have already expelled numerous diplomats from each other.
2:16 p.m .: According to Turkish information, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to visit Turkey on Wednesday next week. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced on Tuesday that a secure corridor in the Black Sea for the export of agricultural products from Ukraine should also be involved. There was initially no confirmation from Moscow.
The Russian war of aggression against the major grain exporter Ukraine, which has been going on for more than three months, has made food more expensive in many countries. Moscow has indicated its willingness to discuss various options for unhindered grain exports, including the transportation of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea. As a condition, however, Lavrov called for Ukraine to solve the problem with the high mine load in Ukrainian ports, as reported by the “nexta” agency. Fearing Russian occupation, mines were planted in some ports to prevent rapid capture.
1.45 p.m .: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier receives the Ukrainian Parliament President Ruslan Stefantschuk at Bellevue Palace at the end of the week. According to information from the German Press Agency, the meeting on Friday afternoon is the first personal meeting between the Federal President and a Ukrainian politician after political irritations between Berlin and Kyiv were cleared up. Steinmeier is looking forward to the exchange, according to the Office of the Federal President. Germany will continue to show solidarity with Ukraine with all its strength.
The President of the Ukrainian Parliament Stefantschuk also wants to meet the President of the Bundestag Bärbel Bas in Berlin on Thursday and speak to members of the Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Committees.
1:32 p.m .: Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) criticized Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban after the compromise in the EU on an oil embargo against Russia. Habeck said he was not happy with the compromise on Tuesday at the “Business Day” of the CDU Economic Council. Orban “nefariously” gambled for his own interests. European strength and determination suffered as a result of the “stranglehold” surrounding the sixth sanctions package.
“Perhaps we live in a time when too many compromises not only cloud clarity but destroy it,” said Habeck. Russian President Vladimir Putin will not stop his attack on Ukraine if he is not defeated in Ukraine However, Orban had opened a “deal” and no longer shaped politics in a higher interest.
Habeck also called for the unanimity principle for sanctions to be abolished at EU level. The problem, however, is that in order to overcome unanimity towards a qualified majority, this must be decided unanimously.
The EU compromise on the oil embargo envisages stopping imports by ship. Hungary also rejected a complete ban on imports of Russian gas from pipelines, since it could not be supplied by ship from other countries. A spokeswoman for Germany’s Economics Ministry said Germany and Poland had already said they would not halt Russian imports via pipelines by the end of the year, as an exemption would have allowed.
12:37: Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki would like to see Russian President Vladimir Putin removed from the Kremlin. If Europe and the free world lose the Ukraine war, Putin will always threaten and blackmail, Morawiecki told British broadcaster Sky News on Tuesday on the fringes of the EU summit in Brussels. “Obviously we want him to be completely removed from power. But he represents a brute force, and Russia is a superpower.”
At their summit last night, the EU heads of state and government agreed to largely dispense with oil from Russia. However, under pressure from Hungary in particular, there should be exceptions.
11.10 a.m .: CDU leader Friedrich Merz has accused Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) of lacking commitment to the further development of the European Union. With a view to the Ukraine war and its consequences, Merz said on Tuesday in Berlin at the “Business Day” of the CDU Economic Council that Germany, together with France, must be ready to assume a leading role in Europe. Scholz, however, is in the process of missing a “historic opportunity” and a “historic responsibility” and falling back into old patterns. Merz spoke of a “cloak” of prudence and restraint. But this is actually hesitancy and fear of responsibility.
When Scholz made his government statement after the start of the Ukraine war at the end of February and spoke of a “turning point in time”, many had the feeling of being “witnesses to a historic moment” – in which the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany was leading this country out of the reticence of the last few years and decades and lead into a leadership role that many rightly expected. “It was a brief historic moment,” said Merz.
Germany must be prepared to take on leadership responsibilities in Europe and in the world. “We need strategic answers to the great challenges of our time and those we may still face.”
There is not a single visible initiative by Scholz to further develop the EU, criticized Merz. For example, he named a proposal together with France to break the principle of unanimity in foreign and security policy.
08:22: Valentin Yumashev, son-in-law of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, has given up his role as a Kremlin adviser. The Reuters news agency reports, citing two sources familiar with the process.
Yumashev left his post in April, the sources said. While Yumashev had only limited influence on Putin’s decisions, his resignation marks the severing of one of the last ties within the Putin regime to the Yeltsin era. It was only in March that Anatoli Chubais, another high-ranking politician from the Yeltsin era, gave up his post as the Kremlin’s special envoy.
Yumashev’s departure is surprising, since Putin is considered a friend of the Yeltsin family. According to the Kremlin website, around January 2020, the Russian head of state visited Yeltsin’s daughter Tatyana at home to wish her a happy birthday.
The official departure reasons for the two are not known. Not even whether it is associated with war criticism.
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