Vladimir Putin announced the victory of Ukrainian troops in Luhansk in a televised speech. According to a report, the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, is to leave the Federal Republic and move to his country’s foreign ministry. All voices and developments on the Ukraine war in the ticker.

10:42 p.m .: Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) met on Monday evening for consultations with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. The most important topic of the working lunch was the Franco-German vote on how to proceed in the Ukraine war and continued support for the country, as the Élysée Palace announced in the evening. In this context, it was also about steps towards European independence in the areas of energy, defense and strategic raw materials. The situation in the Sahel region, where Germany and France are involved in the fight against Islamist terrorism, was also discussed.

Scholz and Macron also discussed bilateral relations between the two countries with a view to the next Franco-German Council of Ministers. For the Chancellor, it was the second official meeting with Macron in Paris after his inaugural visit in December. “Whether at the G7 meeting in Elmau, the NATO summit or here in Paris – it’s good that we are in close contact on the many pressing issues of these days,” Scholz wrote on Twitter on the occasion of the meeting.

5:01 p.m .: The Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk is to leave Germany and go back to Kyiv. There he could switch to the foreign ministry and become deputy foreign minister. This is reported by “Bild” and refers to several sources in the Ukrainian capital.

A change from Melnyk would therefore explicitly not be understood as a dismissal, according to Ukrainian government circles. “This proposal was made by the Ministry to the President of Ukraine. Andriy Melnyk is highly valued in Kyiv for his work,” Bild quoted a Ukrainian government official as saying.

A move from Berlin to Kyiv could therefore take place in the fall, it said. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry did not comment on “Bild” request. Melnyk has also not been available for comment so far.

4:44 p.m .: According to a report by “Spiegel”, the federal government is creating a legal basis for state entry into financially threatened gas supply companies. The heads of the responsible ministries for economics, finance and the Federal Chancellery agreed on a draft on Sunday evening, the “Spiegel” reported on Monday, citing this paper. This regulates financial aid through to the acquisition of company shares in order to be able to avert the bankruptcy of a gas supplier.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Economic Affairs initially did not want to comment on the report when asked by AFP.

The energy company Uniper had asked the state for help last week because of the high gas prices as a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Company boss Klaus-Dieter Maubach said that Uniper is “again talking to the federal government about stabilization measures for which a number of instruments are possible, such as guarantees and security payments, an increase in the current credit facility and equity investments”.

The government wants to “ideally” approve the protective shield for energy companies by Tuesday in a circular procedure, the “Spiegel” reported further. Then the Bundestag could decide on the work this week. According to the magazine, the departmental coordination is currently taking place, the final details are still being clarified.

The paragraph “facilitation of the implementation of stabilization measures” should therefore be included in the law on the availability of replacement power plants, which is to be voted on this week. According to “Spiegel”, the state protective shield for the energy companies should be limited to the end of 2027.

4:15 p.m .: Russian President Vladimir Putin officially declared victory over Ukrainian troops in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk via TV broadcast. At the same time he ordered the continuation of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine. “The military units, including the Eastern and Western Groups, must perform their tasks in accordance with the approved plans,” Putin’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu instructed on Monday.

The defense minister informed the head of state over the weekend that Russian troops now had complete control of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk. Together with the neighboring province of Donetsk, this forms the Donbass.

After the withdrawal of the Ukrainian military from the city of Lysychansk, the operation was completed on Sunday, Shoigu said. Russian troops overran Lysychansk.

For the Kremlin, this is a major military victory, more than four months after it sent troops to Ukraine. Soldiers involved in the Luhansk campaign should “rest and rebuild their operational capabilities,” Putin said.

4:09 p.m .: Pope Francis is considering a trip to Moscow and Russia-attacked Ukraine. Going to Ukraine is now possible as soon as he returns from his trip to Canada at the end of July, the head of the Catholic Church said in an interview with Reuters news agency (Monday). “The first thing is to go to Russia and help there somehow,” the 85-year-old continued. But he would like to visit both capitals, ie Kyiv and Moscow. The Vatican has long been trying to mediate in the conflict.

According to Francis, talks between the Holy See and Moscow have already been going on in the past. However, according to him, the Russian side felt at the time that it was not the right time for a visit from the Holy Father. Francis said he thought Russia’s President Vladimir Putin would give him a “small window to serve peace.”

Popes have been trying to travel to Moscow for decades, but so far have never succeeded. Francis repeatedly condemned the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine in his public speeches, but did not name Russia in them for diplomatic reasons.

3:24 p.m .: The Greens responded with incomprehension to the recent letter from German prominent figures about the war in Ukraine. He admits to the authors of the letter “that they want the best,” said party leader Omid Nouripour on Monday after a meeting of the federal executive board in Berlin. At the same time, however, he lacks a bit of understanding for people who think they have to tell the people in Ukraine “whether their fight is right now or not”. The co-chair stressed: “Whoever wants to protect human life must now stand by Ukraine.”

In the appeal entitled “Armistice Now!”, published in the weekly newspaper “Die Zeit” on Wednesday, personalities such as the philosopher Richard David Precht, writer Juli Zeh, science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar and General Erich Vad had a “concerted advance” for negotiations.

Nouripour said the call came from people “comfortably sitting on the couch” who seemed to have lost patience with the disturbing images from Ukraine and therefore decided “that this is enough and that it has to stop now” with the War. However, since no one can say whether the next war might not be imminent if the Ukrainians should lay down their arms, it is also unfair in terms of peace policy to simply say “we are ducking”.

The letter published by “Zeit” said that Europe was faced with the task of restoring peace on the continent and securing it in the long term. This requires the development of a strategy to end the war as quickly as possible.

2:20 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the international community to help rebuild his war-torn country. It is the “common task of the entire democratic world” to rebuild his country, which was destroyed by the Russian war of aggression, said Zelenskyj on Monday in a video speech at the start of an international conference in Lugano. Supporting his country is the “most important contribution to world peace”.

In Lugano, Switzerland, delegations from almost 40 countries will discuss the reconstruction of Ukraine until Tuesday. A kind of Marshall plan is to be drawn up. Among other things, the meeting is intended to give the government in Kyiv the opportunity to present its recovery plan and to discuss it with the allies. Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal will be taking part on behalf of Ukraine. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba reportedly had to cancel his participation at short notice due to illness.

11.16 a.m .: The SPD party leader Lars Klingbeil is concerned about the gas shortage in Germany. “We are facing dramatic months,” said Klingbeil on RTL/ntv Frühstart and appealed to citizens to help: “We also have to save in the private sector.”

Klingbeil points out that one must ensure that gas is not rationalized in industry. “That would have dramatic consequences for the labor market. We have to avoid that, and everyone can contribute to that.”

With regard to the upcoming maintenance work on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, Klingbeil says: “There is a likelihood that Putin will no longer turn on the gas tap after the maintenance work.” This would have dramatic consequences for Germany and Europe and therefore one would have to deal with this scenario, says Klingbeil and emphasizes: “You have to expect the worst with Putin.”

11.02 a.m .: The Russian national ice hockey player Ivan Fedotov, arrested for alleged conscientious objection, will probably be transferred to a military base on the Arctic island of Novaya Zemlya. This was reported by the Tass news agency on Sunday evening, citing an informant in the Russian security organs. Fedotow wanted to leave his previous club CSKA Moscow to play in the North American ice hockey league NHL.

Fedotov was arrested by strangers in St. Petersburg on Friday after training and taken to a pickup truck. Later it became known that he was taken to a district military replacement office and held there. After staying there for several hours, the athlete became ill and had to be taken to a clinic by ambulance.

Fedotov was then taken to the Severomorsk naval base north of Murmansk on Sunday. “He will probably serve in one of the military units based on the island of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Ocean,” said an anonymous spokesman for the Russian security organs. Novaya Zemlya is also known as the former Soviet nuclear test site.

Fedotow wanted to play for the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL from the coming season. Last season, the Russian international won the Gagarin Cup as a goalkeeper with CSKA Moscow. His contract expired at the end of June. Columnist Anton Orech suspects that Fedotov’s call-up has something to do with the CSKA leadership’s anger at the change. As a CSKA player, Fedotov, 25, was an official member of the Russian Armed Forces.

10.16 a.m .: The Russian Ministry of Finance has proposed reducing the country’s spending by 1.6 trillion rubles, the equivalent of around 27.9 billion euros, within the next three years. This is reported by the Kyiv Independent. Accordingly, Moscow wants to cut the financial resources for transport systems, science and numerous other areas.

Monday, July 4, 8:15 a.m.: Turkish customs authorities have arrested a Russian freighter. This is said to have transported stolen wheat from Ukraine. That’s what Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey, Vasyl Bodnar, said on Sunday, according to Reuters news agency.

Ukraine had previously asked Turkey to detain the Russian-flagged ship Zhibek Zholy. A Reuters reporter eventually spotted the freighter about a kilometer off the coast of the Turkish city of Karasu. It has been there for 39 hours now.

Ambassador Bodnar confirmed: “We have full cooperation. The ship is currently anchored at the entrance to Karasu Port. It was confiscated by the customs authorities. Investigators would now decide on the future of the ship on Monday. Ukrainians hope they can confiscate the wheat.

Ukraine has long accused Russia of stealing hundreds of tons of grain and shipping it out of the country. Russia has always denied this.

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