The US rating agency Moody’s has determined that Russia has defaulted. The former US Secretary of State has denied allegations by Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. All voices and developments on the Ukraine war here in the ticker.
8.30 p.m .: Turkey has given up its opposition to the admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO. Turkey will support the invitation to Finland and Sweden to join the alliance during the NATO summit in Madrid, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö announced on Tuesday. A corresponding memorandum was signed after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
7.45 p.m .: Germany and the Netherlands will deliver six more models of the Panzerhaubitze 2000 to Ukraine. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) and her Dutch counterpart Kasja Ollongren said on Tuesday on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid.
4:62 p.m .: The French tire manufacturer Michelin is giving up its activities in Russia. The company announced on Wednesday that the business would be handed over to the local management by the end of the year. After production in Russia was suspended in mid-March, it was “technically impossible” to resume it. The main reason for this is delivery problems. Michelin also referred to the “general uncertainty” of the situation.
After the handover to local management, the business would be run in a new entity independent of Michelin, the company said. The group currently employs around a thousand people in Russia. Most work in a factory near Moscow that can produce two million tires a year.
Overall, however, Russia is of little importance for Michelin: According to the company, the production facilities there account for one percent of global production capacities. The Russian market accounts for two percent of Michelin’s total sales.
Since the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine at the end of February and the entry into force of Western sanctions against Moscow, hundreds of international companies have already given up their business in Russia. These include Ikea, McDonald’s and Nike.
09:34: Patrick Sanders, the new chief of the British army, will warn of the West’s “1937 moment” at a conference in London today. This is reported by “Sky News” with reference to a previously published script of Sanders’ speech.
In 1937 the world was heading towards World War II. The world tried to appease Hitler with concessions, but failed.
“We are not at war – but we must act quickly so that we are not drawn into a war because we have failed to prevent territorial expansion,” Sanders said, referring to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger reacted to allegations by Ukrainian President Zelensky in an interview with Stern. The latter accused him of appeasement after Kissinger recently said at the World Economic Forum in Davos that a negotiated solution had to be found in Ukraine. Kissinger told Stern shortly before the start of the NATO summit in Madrid: “The Ukrainians have behaved heroically so far and are playing a great role in defending their own freedom. But other states have their own historical and current interests, and they don’t have to be identical to Ukrainian ones. That is the essence of politics.”
The American, who was born in Fürth, continued: “I am for the freedom of Ukraine. And I believe in what I said at the World Economic Forum in Davos: the status quo ante must be restored. Russia must not derive any territorial gains and benefits from the invasion. How this is achieved, however, is an open question. Ukraine will have clear ideas about this, but other leaders will inevitably assess the situation from their own point of view. I hope that all these assessments are compatible with each other.”
In response to direct criticism from Zelensky, who compared his speech to Western attempts to appease Adolf Hitler in 1938, Kissinger said: “Look at what he said afterwards. In an interview in the “Financial Times” he essentially said what I said in Davos. The misunderstanding arose from my statement that the border should be based on the status quo ante. Some have interpreted this to mean that Ukraine should accept relatively small losses of territory since 2014. But I didn’t say that. I was referring to the border of the status quo ante….Before 2014, Ukraine in what are now internationally recognized state borders. Nor did I say that Ukraine should give up Crimea.”
Tuesday, June 28, 3:36 a.m.: The rating agency Moody’s has determined that Russia has defaulted on payments due to international investors not paying their debts on time. Specifically, it is about interest payments on two government bonds that have not reached creditors even after a default period of 30 days, the US company announced on Monday (local time) in New York.
It has been more than a hundred years since Russia last defaulted on its foreign debt. The last time the country failed to settle its accounts with international creditors was in 1918 after the Bolshevik revolution. Russia’s last state bankruptcy was in 1998 due to money shortages in the wake of falling oil prices and the Asian crisis, but at the time it only affected internal debt in rubles.
This time it is not a question of bankruptcy in the true sense. Russia’s treasury is well stocked, but the Kremlin is struggling to pay foreign debts because of Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine. According to the Interfax agency, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Moscow’s payments would be blocked because of sanctions “is not our problem”.
In view of the well-known problems caused by the sanctions, the default comes as no surprise. On the financial markets, the risk had been considered firmly calculated and manageable for months. As early as March, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, described the involvement of international banks in Russia as “definitely not systemically important”.
11:49 p.m.: The G7 summit condemned the rocket attack on the shopping center in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk and threatened Russia with the consequences. “Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians are a war crime. Russian President Putin and those responsible will be held accountable,” the summit participants said in a statement on Monday evening.
10:39 p.m .: The rocket attack on a shopping center in Ukraine should concern the UN Security Council. The most powerful UN body wants to advise on the topic on Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. CEST, as diplomats in New York announced on Monday. The meeting was scheduled at the request of Ukraine.
According to official information, at least 13 people died in the attack in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk – around 40 were injured, some seriously. Ukraine blamed Russia for the attack.
8:24 p.m .: Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has expressed understanding for Germany’s difficulties in finding its role in Europe in the wake of the Ukraine war. “Given history, it is not an easy task for Germany to assume a leadership role in Europe based on being the strongest military power,” Kissinger told journalists in London on Monday, whom he was connected to via video conference.
“I feel for the German government given the task they have set themselves and that they have not been able to rush into something that is so different from previous tasks with a ready plan,” said the now 99-year-old US statesman.
Germany will play a very important role in creating the new Europe that is now emerging, Kissinger said. This applies both to the security of Europe against the threat of further Russian aggression and to the reconstruction of Ukraine. “That will require Marshall Plan-style support,” he added.
Kissinger shaped US foreign policy from the late 1960s for nearly a decade, first as National Security Advisor, then as Secretary of State. He comes from a German-Jewish family and had to flee Germany from the Nazis in 1938.
4:23 p.m .: Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to attend the G20 summit in Indonesia in the fall. “Yes, we have confirmed that our participation is planned,” Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov said on Monday, according to the state news agency TASS. It remained unclear whether the Kremlin chief wanted to travel personally or be connected via video. “I dont know. You have invited to attend in person, but there is still plenty of time. I hope that the pandemic will allow this important forum to be held in person,” Ushakov said.
With reference to the corona pandemic, Putin has only taken part in many events in online format in recent months. This Tuesday he will be making his first publicly known trip abroad since the start of the war in Ukraine around four months ago, to Tajikistan in Central Asia.
1:56 p.m.: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has compared support for Ukraine in the war against Russia to fighting Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. The price for freedom is worth paying, Johnson told the BBC on Monday on the sidelines of the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau.
It took democracies a long time to find an answer to tyranny and aggression in the mid-20th century, and it was very expensive. “But with the defeat of the dictators, most notably Nazi Germany, it brought many decades of stability, a world order based on a rules-based international system,” Johnson said. “It’s worth protecting, it’s worth defending, it brings long-term prosperity.”
Britain must be prepared to stand by Ukraine in the fight against Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin’s aggression, regardless of the cost, the prime minister said. “Imagine if we were to allow Putin to get away with taking over by force large parts of another country, a sovereign, independent territory,” Johnson said. “The lessons from this would be absolutely terrifying in any country of the former Soviet Union.”
The UK has provided Ukraine with around £1.5 billion in financial and humanitarian aid and around £1.3 billion in arms supplies since the war began on February 24.
1:08 p.m .: NATO wants to increase the number of its rapid response forces to more than 300,000. This was announced by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday before the summit of the 30 member states in Madrid. So far, the NATO intervention force NRF has comprised around 40,000 soldiers.
10.49 a.m .: Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) has warned of forced gas restrictions in the event of a shortage in the coming winter. Over the winter, there is a “medium-term” scenario “that reductions will actually have to be prescribed by law,” said Habeck before a meeting with the energy ministers of the EU countries on Monday in Luxembourg. In his estimation, such a reduction would lead to “a severe economic crisis” in Europe and Germany.
The minister did not say who exactly could be affected by the reductions. This is “entirely” dependent on the respective situation and on how cold the winter will be, where there are “regional supply bottlenecks” and on “which industries are dependent on which supply chains”. At the same time, Habeck emphasized that “solidarity” and “very quick action” were necessary to avoid such a scenario.
To prevent this from happening, the rapid expansion of renewable energies and the increase in energy efficiency “could be key components,” added Habeck. At the meeting in Luxembourg, the EU energy ministers will discuss these two issues as part of the EU’s planned “Fit for 55” climate package.
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