Poland’s President has criticized Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron for their talks with Putin. Anger in Greece at Chancellor Scholz and his planned exchange of armored rings is growing. Meanwhile, a secret NATO paper shows possible Russian plans for the Balkans. All voices and developments on the Ukraine war here in the ticker.
5.30 p.m .: Polish President Andrzej Duda has an interview with the “Bild” newspaper about the current threat from Russia and the undelivered tanks from Germany.
In view of the current threat from Russia to Poland, Duda finds clear words: “We know very well what a potential Russian invasion means. That’s why we can’t let it get that far,” said the Polish President.
With regard to Germany, Duda criticizes that parts of the nation still do not understand the seriousness of the situation. Accordingly, part of the German economy in particular does not care what consequences Russia could have for Ukraine and Poland.
“Excuse me, maybe some people in Germany will feel offended: this part of the German economy doesn’t give a damn about what’s happening with Ukraine, what’s happening with Poland,” explains Duda. The part of the economy is only interested in doing business , make money and buy cheap gas and oil.
Poland’s President also added: “Perhaps the German economy does not believe that the Russian army could once again celebrate a major victory in Berlin and occupy part of Germany. We in Poland know that this is possible. And that’s why there is no business as usual for us. And that is why we are calling on the world and Europe that there is no more business as usual with Russia.”
But that’s not all. The Polish President also criticized the failure to deliver the tanks that Germany had promised in view of the tank ring swap for Ukraine. Poland has passed on its tanks to Ukraine and has not yet received a replacement from Germany.
“We gave away our tanks and now we have nothing in their place. If we could have any number of older production German tanks today to bolster our security in the future, we would be very grateful,” Duda said.
4.45 p.m .: The Ukrainian ambassador Andriy Melnyk described the reasons given by former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) for blocking Ukraine’s NATO accession as “absurd” and her behavior as a historical mistake. “The excuses of the former Chancellor for her categorical rejection of NATO membership for Ukraine in 2008 are absurd,” Melnyk told the Tagesspiegel (Thursday). This blockade of NATO accession is “one of the most serious cardinal errors of the ex-Chancellor, which would have to be dealt with,” emphasized Melnyk.
3:05 p.m .: The EU is providing Ukraine with a further 205 million euros due to a worsening humanitarian emergency. “With these funds, our humanitarian partners are providing food, water, medical care, shelter, protection and cash assistance,” EU Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarcic said during a visit to Ukraine on Thursday. They are working closely with the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that the aid from the EU member states meets the constantly changing needs, it said.
So far, more than 700 million euros in EU aid have been made available in the course of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine – 13 million of which, according to the EU Commission, are earmarked for projects in neighboring Moldova. In addition to financial aid, the 700 million euros also include material aid from EU countries – including first aid kits, food, protective clothing, fire engines and mobile hospitals.
2.45 p.m .: The EU Commission is expected to make its recommendation on Friday (June 17) next week on whether Ukraine should be granted EU candidate status. A spokesman for the Brussels authority said on Thursday that the college of commissioners would hold an orientation debate on Monday. It will also deal with the membership applications from Moldova and Georgia. The spokesman emphasized that the plan is not yet final.
According to the recommendation of the EU Commission, the EU summit on June 23rd and 24th will discuss Ukraine’s application. A decision on whether to grant candidate status must be taken unanimously by EU states. The country had applied to join the EU shortly after the start of the Russian war against Ukraine.
2:24 p.m .: Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) fears that Russia’s war against Ukraine will take a long time. Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet understood that his plans will not work, said Scholz in an interview with the radio station Antenne Bayern.
“Having failed to conquer all of Ukraine and having withdrawn his troops around Kyiv, he is now bombing the regions of eastern Ukraine, especially Donbass, and apparently has the idea that if he puts everything down there bombed, which can then become part of the Russian empire,” said Scholz. “But that won’t work.”
The economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the West significantly hampered the country’s development opportunities, the Chancellor said. “And he won’t get rid of them without doing what we’re asking him to do all the time, namely withdrawing his troops and agreeing a fair peace with Ukraine,” added Scholz.
1:56 p.m .: Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark no longer receive gas from Russia – according to the Kremlin, however, no other countries should be added. When asked whether new gas supply stops were planned, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, according to the Interfax agency: “No. The system works, the system has been adjusted and those who receive gas are already working under the new system.”
At the end of March, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin ordered a new payment system in response to Western sanctions in the wake of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The procedure stipulates that customers open a so-called K-account with the state-owned Russian Gazprombank. There they can still pay their bills in euros or dollars, the bank converts the money into rubles and transfers it to Gazprom.
The EU Commission does not consider the sanctions to have been violated as long as the companies transfer the amounts in euros or dollars – as stipulated in the contracts – to an account with Gazprom, and the transaction is then deemed to be completed. But Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark refused to switch to the new scheme – and are now no longer getting Russian gas. In Germany, Shell Energy Europe is affected by the delivery stop. However, the 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas that the group previously purchased from Russia are not relevant to Germany’s security of supply.
1:41 p.m.: “However, there are many people in this chain of command who are suspected or suspected of being responsible for war crimes. And when we get hold of these people, we will bring them to justice.”
That’s what Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann said in an interview with Deutsche Welle. “From a German perspective, we cannot prosecute Vladimir Putin, at least as long as he is an active head of state.”
Buschmann: “Germany has opened a so-called structural investigation procedure. This structural investigation process ensures that we collect evidence systematically (…) so that it can later be used in criminal proceedings if we get hold of the perpetrator.”
“Of course, we also make our findings available to other law enforcement agencies, such as the International Criminal Court, which has also initiated investigations,” added Buschmann.
Buschmann said of the new team of investigators in The Hague, which is coordinated by Eurojust, that it is “a good sign that investigations are being carried out together” and “a good contribution to ensuring that no war criminals go unpunished”.
On the prosecution of oligarchs close to Putin, Buschmann said: “Because someone comes from Russia and is rich, we cannot simply take away their property. If we can prove that (…) someone contributed to war crimes occurring, (…) then we know, for example, in German criminal law, the instrument of asset confiscation. And if we have proven something like this to someone in legal proceedings, then of course we can also access their assets.”
Buschmann emphasized: “It is very important to me that we retain our identity as constitutional states in this conflict. Criminals and people who do bad things also need to be treated in a legal manner, otherwise we would lose a piece of ourselves. And with that, Vladimir Putin would probably have won a bit.”
10:59 a.m .: In a video switch, Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to have massively attacked his foreign minister. This is reported by the Telegram channel “General SVR”, which according to its own description is run by a Kremlin insider and regularly posts well-informed reports.
Accordingly, Putin is said to have met with Lavrov on Tuesday in a video link and discussed relations with China. The Kremlin ruler was frustrated that China refused to support Russia financially and materially in the face of Western sanctions.
In the course of the circuit, Putin made “several derogatory and obscene remarks” about Chinese President Xi Jinping, the report said. After that, Putin turned directly to Lavrov and blamed him for the failure of the talks with China.
When Lavrov interrupted Putin to defend himself, Putin called him an “asshole” and a “faggot.” It is not unusual for Putin to insult his subordinates. The fact that such statements find their way to the public, on the other hand, does. Possibly a sign that nerves in the Kremlin are on edge.
You can read more news on the following pages.