A Russian plane has been seized in Sri Lanka. The case is now causing a stir. Russia appointed the country’s ambassador, the airport itself denied the process. All voices and developments on the Ukraine war here in the ticker.
11:28 a.m .: The confiscation of a plane from the Russian airline Aeroflot in Sri Lanka caused a dispute between Russia and the South Asian island state. Sri Lanka’s largest airport, Bandaranaike, denied on Saturday that the government in Colombo had ordered the confiscation of the Airbus A330. The matter was “purely commercial” and there was no reason for state interference, the airport administration said.
The Russian plane was confiscated on Thursday by order of the Commercial Court in Colombo. Flight SU289 with 191 passengers and 13 crew members on board was stopped shortly before returning to Moscow. The background is a dispute with an Irish airline, for which there is to be a hearing on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka’s top envoy in Moscow was summoned by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday, where a “firm protest” was sent to him, according to the Russian state news agency Tass.
The plane was parked at the International Airport in northern Colombo, the passengers were accommodated in hotels.
9.55 a.m .: The SPD chairman Lars Klingbeil has shown himself open to the proposal for a so-called excess profit tax. “A tax on war and crisis profits is an instrument that is on the table and that I think is very worth considering,” he told the Funke media group newspapers (Saturday editions). Such a tax is already being used in Great Britain and Italy, and the European Commission is also in favor of it. “Of course we have to deal with that in Germany.”
In view of the billion-dollar relief packages, he was dealing intensively with the question of “how we deal with the winners of the crisis and the war, who are benefiting massively from the current situation,” explained Klingbeil. “We have to use them more to finance the common good.”
The Left Party has been calling for an excess profit tax for a long time. However, the Greens are also currently open to this.
3:41 a.m .: Switzerland has reiterated its blocking stance on the export of Swiss arms to Ukraine via third countries. The Federal Council announced on Friday that Bern could not agree to the delivery of ammunition and wheeled armored personnel carriers from Germany and Denmark to Kyiv due to “the principle of equal treatment under neutrality law”. According to the War Material Act, export requests could not be approved if the recipient country is in an international armed conflict.
Germany had therefore asked in Bern whether it could deliver 12,400 cartridges for the Gepard anti-aircraft tank to Kyiv. It was also about the transfer of 22 Piranha III wheeled infantry fighting vehicles, which Denmark had originally bought in Switzerland and which have been stored in Germany since they were decommissioned.
However, the Federal Council decided that “assemblies and parts” can be supplied to European defense contractors – even if they are used to manufacture weapons that could later end up in Ukraine. According to this, companies from Germany and Italy had asked for components for anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft systems.
Saturday, June 4th, 1:24 am: The Ukrainian ambassador in Ankara has accused Russia of “stealing” Ukrainian grain and exporting it in particular to Turkey. “Russia shamelessly steals grain from Ukraine and exports it from Crimea abroad, especially to Turkey,” Ambassador Vasyl Bodnar wrote on Twitter on Friday. “We asked Turkey for help to solve the problem.”
NATO member Turkey is trying to take a neutral position in the war. On the one hand, Ankara has supplied combat drones to Ukraine and is trying to mediate in the conflict. On the other hand, Turkey has refrained from imposing sanctions on Russia, on which the country depends for grain and energy supplies.
At the request of the UN, Turkey has also offered to help secure maritime trade routes through which Ukrainian grain could be exported. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is scheduled to visit Turkey on Wednesday to discuss the matter.
10:43 p.m .: An Aeroflot airliner has been arrested in Sri Lanka because of international sanctions against Russia. The Foreign Ministry therefore summoned the ambassador of the island state in the Indian Ocean to Moscow on Friday. The government of Sri Lanka should clarify the situation as soon as possible, the Russian side demanded.
The Airbus A330 plane was supposed to be taking Russian tourists home but was detained Thursday at Colombo airport until at least June 16. According to the information, the trigger was a court order at the request of an Irish leasing company that claims the aircraft. No information was given on the number of stranded passengers.
Because of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, not only have many Western countries closed their airspace to Russian planes; More than 700 machines leased abroad had their approval revoked. Moscow therefore transferred these aircraft to its own Russian register. However, this threatens to confiscate the machines at many airfields worldwide. To avoid this, Russian airlines have now bought some jets from the leasing companies. This is not considered a violation of the sanctions.
Aeroflot is trying to repatriate the passengers stuck in Sri Lanka, the company announced on Friday. However, the sale of new airline tickets to Colombo has been halted.
9:17 p.m .: 100 days after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko has shown himself confident of victory. Russia is waging a “barbaric war to annihilate Ukraine and Ukrainians,” he said in a selfie video posted to his Telegram channel on Friday. You can also hear air raid alarms, which are repeated in the Ukrainian capital. 100 days of war are full of bloody battles, casualties and deaths, said Klitschko.
“But it is also a time of courage and perseverance,” said the former world boxing champion. “We all stand and fight together. Everyone in their place. We admire our armed forces,” he said. Ukraine will free itself from the “Russian barbarians”. “Yes, it will be difficult. But I believe that each of us will come through these trials with dignity. For this is a war of evil and good. And goodness and justice still win.”
Ukraine has become stronger and more successful, said the 50-year-old. “That’s why we’re going to win!” Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the attack on Ukraine on February 24 and attacked the neighboring country from several directions. The fighting is now concentrated primarily in eastern Ukraine.
4:07 p.m .: On Friday, the Bundestag approved the amendment to the Basic Law for the Bundeswehr special fund with the necessary two-thirds majority. 683 deputies voted in favor of this in a roll-call vote, there were 96 votes against and 20 abstentions. With an additional 100 billion euros, equipment deficits in the Bundeswehr are to be eliminated.
Leading politicians from the coalition and Union faction had previously campaigned for it. “This is the moment when Germany says: We are there when Europe needs us,” said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens). “The money is well invested in peace and security in our country,” said Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD).
With a view to equipping the Bundeswehr, something that has not been addressed for years is now being made up for, Baerbock referred to non-functioning tanks and a lack of protective equipment. At the same time there will be a reform of the procurement system. The minister regretted that due to the resistance of the Union, cyber security was not also included in the special fund.
In view of the Russian war of aggression, Germany must face the fact “that security has its price and we must be prepared to defend our values militarily,” Lambrecht said.
3:19 p.m .: Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) has sharply criticized the years of neglect of the Bundeswehr. “The deficits in the Bundeswehr can no longer be sustained for a second,” said Baerbock on Friday in the Bundestag during the debate on the planned 100 billion package for equipping the armed forces. In the future, people will be buying much more off-the-shelf systems that others have already tested. Baerbock called for social justice and security not to be played off against each other. The special fund – it makes it possible to take on debt for the Bundeswehr – creates space for other things from the regular budget.
11.08 a.m .: The President of the Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk can imagine that Head of State Volodymyr Zelenskyj will visit Germany if the war develops positively for Ukraine. “When victory approaches, I think he (Zelenskyj) will make visits to different countries and come to Germany for an official visit,” Stefantschuk told the German Press Agency on Friday after a conversation with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). in Berlin according to the official translation.
Stefantschuk also invited Scholz to speak in the Ukrainian Parliament Rada. “He thanked me and now we can only hope that he will accept the invitation,” said the Speaker of Parliament. “I’m very optimistic. That’s why I’ll hope that after his thanks he will also accept the invitation.”
Scholz has already been invited to Kyiv by Selenskyj. Most recently, he had said that he would only travel to the Ukrainian capital if there were specific things to be settled. “I’m not going to join a group of people who do a quick in and out with a photo op. But when it does, it’s always about very specific things,” he said in an interview in mid-May.
10:21 a.m .: The 27 EU countries have decided on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. The EU states announced this on Friday. Among other things, this provides for an extensive oil embargo against Russia. In addition, among other things, the largest Russian bank, Sberbank, will be excluded from the financial communications network Swift and several Russian news channels will be banned in the EU. After the formal decision, the sanctions should be published in the Official Journal of the EU on Friday. Then they are in force.
9:05 a.m .: 100 days after the start of the Ukraine war, Chancellor Olaf Scholz received the President of the Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefantschuk in Berlin on Friday. Stefantschuk came to the Chancellery in military gear, Scholz greeted him there in a suit and tie.
On Thursday, at the start of his visit to Germany, the President of the Parliament called for the delivery of German Leopard and Marder tanks to Ukraine to fight against the Russian attackers. “Of course, what we need most of all is modern weapons. We can also fight and hold out with old weapons from old stocks, but the newer weapons are more efficient,” he said after a meeting with MPs, according to the official translation. “That’s why we’re expecting both the martens and the leopards.”
8.17 a.m .: In a guest contribution to “Bild”, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock spoke about the war in Ukraine and Germany’s behavior in this difficult situation. She also made a small point against former Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“We will never sit out our common security again, but will tackle it,” says Baerbock, implying that this has certainly happened in the recent past. “Together with our partners in the EU and NATO, we are reorganizing our defense. We have a responsibility to act as the largest country in the EU.”
Previously, she had drawn comparisons to the National Socialist era and stressed that Germany and its neighbors had to be there for Ukraine as they were for Germany at the time. “Some in our country still remember the war. Many still know what dictatorship means. We also have our allies and neighbors to thank for the fact that we can live in freedom and security today.”
7:48 a.m .: The Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, has again called for a speedy delivery of the weapons promised by Germany. He was satisfied with the recent announcement by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) that weapons such as the Iris-T air defense system would be sent to Ukraine, said Melynk on Friday in the ZDF morning magazine. “But if we’re honest, 100 days of war, up to now not a single piece of heavy equipment has been delivered to Ukraine from Germany.” The first weapons would probably not arrive until the end of June. “You see how precarious the situation is.”
On Wednesday in the Bundestag, the chancellor announced the delivery of the Iris-T and a locating radar to be used to detect artillery positions. Germany also wants to deliver four multiple rocket launchers from Bundeswehr stocks to Ukraine.
In the past few weeks, the federal government had already made two commitments for the delivery of heavy weapons: 50 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks and 7 Panzerhaubitzen 2000 – modern artillery pieces with a range of 40 kilometers – are to be delivered to the Ukraine. But they haven’t gotten there yet. The opposition has repeatedly accused Scholz of hesitation in recent weeks.
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