Israel bans the supply of anti-tank missiles. Chancellor Scholz speaks about the war in Davos and is convinced that Putin will not win it. All voices and developments on the Ukraine war here in the ticker.
4:18 p.m .: French head of state Emmanuel Macron, in conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the blockade of the NATO admission process for Sweden and Finland, aimed for a quick solution to the conflict. After the approximately one-hour phone call on Thursday, the Paris Elysée Palace announced that Macron had expressed his wish that the talks should continue in order to find a speedy solution. Accordingly, Macron emphasized how important it was to respect the sovereign decision of the two northerners.
Erdogan made it clear to Macron that Finland and Sweden support terrorist organizations from Turkey’s point of view and that this is not compatible with NATO’s spirit of alliance, the President’s Office in Ankara said.
Finland and Sweden want to join the western military alliance as a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Turkey is currently the only NATO member to publicly block the start of the admission process for the two Nordic countries. Ankara justifies its position with the alleged support of Finland and Sweden for “terrorist organizations”, referring to the banned Kurdish PKK, the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG and the Gülen movement. On Wednesday, Finnish and Swedish delegations negotiated with Turkish representatives in Turkey.
4:08 p.m .: In view of the grain exports blocked in Ukraine, Russia has again called on the West to lift sanctions. Then exports from Ukraine could start again, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in Moscow on Thursday, according to the Interfax agency. “They should repeal those illegal decisions that impede the cargo ships, the export of grain and so on and so forth,” Peskov said. He didn’t give any details of what he meant exactly.
However, the West has imposed a variety of trade sanctions on Russia that are hurting the economy. Russia and Ukraine are major grain exporters with an important role in world nutrition.
Ukraine had previously accused Russia of blackmail and urged the West not to lift sanctions imposed over Moscow’s war of aggression under any circumstances. Kyiv accuses Russia of blockading the Black Sea ports with warships and thus preventing wheat exports, which are important for world nutrition. Russia, in turn, had asked Ukraine to clear mines along its coastline so that a corridor for grain exports could be set up. But that would also be a possible gateway for the Russian armed forces.
After more than three months of aggressive war against Ukraine, Peskov accused the government in Kyiv of a lack of realism in assessing the situation in their country. “Moscow expects Kyiv to accept Moscow’s demands and to see the situation as it is, the real situation as it exists,” Peskov said. Russia had asked Ukraine to give up areas in the east of the country and also to recognize the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently stressed that he would not give up any territories and would continue to fight until Russia surrendered.
2:50 p.m .: In view of the Russian troops advancing on the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has called for full support from the West, especially with heavy weapons. Russia’s armed forces are “clearly superior” in numbers and in terms of weapons technology in the area, but their own troops were still able to withstand the “extremely violent offensive,” Zelensky said on Thursday night. He sharply rejected suggestions that Kyiv should make territorial concessions.
Ukraine’s president reacted bitterly to a suggestion by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who in Davos had suggested a return to the “status quo” before the Russian invasion on February 24, to end the war – with Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014 and the pro-Russian separatist-controlled areas in Donetsk and Luhansk.
“It seems that Kissinger doesn’t have 2022 on his calendar but 1938,” he said, referring to the then Munich Agreement, which ceded part of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany to ensure peace in Europe .
2:45 p.m .: According to Mayor Vitali Klitschko, Russia still plans to take all of Ukraine and the capital Kyiv remains the main target. It is clear that Russia is not conducting a “special operation” but a “genocide” in Ukraine, Klitschko said on Thursday at a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Among other things, CNN reports.
He warned that Ukraine is not only defending its own sovereignty, but that of all like-minded nations. “We’re not just defending our families, we’re defending all of you,” Klitschko said. “We defend you because we have the same values.”
The war is a danger for Europe and the whole world, Klitschko continued. He appealed to other leaders to take “swift decisions” to send more defensive weapons to Ukraine.
11:33 a.m .: In Davos, Olaf Scholz (SPD) was again convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not win the war in Ukraine and described the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine as a failure. “He has already missed all of his strategic goals,” said Scholz in his speech at the World Economic Forum on Thursday. “A capture of all of Ukraine by Russia seems further away today than it was at the beginning of the war. More than ever, Ukraine is emphasizing its European future.”
In addition, the “brutality of the Russian war” has welded the Ukrainian nation closer together than ever before and prompted two states to move closer to NATO: “With Sweden and Finland, two close friends and partners want to join the North Atlantic alliance. You are very welcome!” said the Chancellor. Putin also underestimated the unity and strength with which the Group of Seven Industrial Nations (G7), NATO and the EU reacted to his aggression.
Putin wants to go back to a world order in which the stronger dictate what is right, said Scholz. “This is an attempt to bomb us back to a time when war was a common policy tool.”
Scholz’s statement that Russia was a “highly armed nuclear power” caused irritation. The former CDU member of the Bundestag Elisabeth Motschmann (lost her seat in 2021) said to “Bild”: “That’s a sentence that scares. Above all, however, there is one sentence that is not true: Russia is not a great power.”
In 2014, then US President Barack Obama referred to Russia as a “regional power”. Whether Scholz’s sentence was intentional remained unclear on Thursday.
11.25 a.m .: At the end of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for new forms of international cooperation. One should no longer look for political partners in the same countries, said the SPD politician on Thursday at the conference in the Swiss Alps. “In this multipolar world, very different countries and regions are demanding a greater political say in line with their growing economic and demographic weight,” said Scholz. He added, “To be clear, there is no threat in that.”
International cooperation provides answers, said the Chancellor. It’s about progress in future issues. In Asia, Africa and Latin America there are new, aspiring powers that are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by globalization. “For too long we have practically equated ‘democracy’ with the ‘West’ in the classical sense.”
That’s why he invited South Africa, Senegal, India, Indonesia and Argentina to this year’s summit of seven major industrial nations (G7) in Elmau in Bavaria at the end of June. “They represent countries and regions whose cooperation the world needs in order to make progress on global challenges in the future.” A new partnership also means showing solidarity in the face of impending starvation of raw materials and inflation crises. “In a multipolar world, such an international order will not be possible without international solidarity.”
7:31 am: Israel has refused a US request to allow Germany to supply Ukraine with anti-tank missiles manufactured here with Israeli technology under Israeli license. This is reported by the news site “Axios”, citing American and Israeli officials. This is the second ban on exports to Ukraine, following Estonia’s ban on supplying Israeli Blue Spear anti-ship missiles.
9:58 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj advocates a visa requirement for Russians entering Ukraine. He supported a corresponding online petition on Wednesday, which has had almost 27,000 signatures since February. “Against the backdrop of full-scale Russian aggression, the issue raised is important and urgent,” he wrote. He sees the need to tighten control over entry of Russian citizens into the territory of Ukraine. The government under Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal was commissioned with a regulation.
In principle, there is no visa requirement between Ukraine and Russia. However, there have been restrictions on Russians entering Ukraine in recent years, and many individuals have been banned from entering the country. On February 28, shortly after the Russian invasion, Ukraine banned the entry of Russian citizens in general.
9:16 p.m .: The Turkish government has renewed its demands on Sweden and Finland and called for “concrete measures” before agreeing to the two countries joining NATO. “We have made it clear to our interlocutors that the process of NATO membership cannot proceed unless Turkey’s security concerns are addressed with concrete measures and within a set timeframe,” said Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for the Turkish presidency and close confidante, on Wednesday by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Kalin received delegations of diplomats from Sweden and Finland, who sought to allay Ankara’s concerns. The meeting lasted five hours.
The demands of the Turkish side have been noted and will now be forwarded to the governments of Sweden and Finland, Kalin said. “We will continue the talks once we receive their responses to our demands.”
7:55 p.m .: According to information from the SPD, there is an informal agreement in NATO not to deliver any heavy Western-style battle tanks or armored personnel carriers to Ukraine without prior agreement. “The Defense Committee was fully informed of this in mid-May,” said the defense policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Wolfgang Hellmich, of the German Press Agency.
Hellmich explained that there are no formal NATO resolutions because the alliance itself does not supply weapons, but rather the individual member states. So far, however, all partners have kept to the informal agreement. “Anyone who claims otherwise has either not listened properly or knowingly tells the untruth,” said Hellmich.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz answered questions from the Defense Committee on May 11. Even then, after the meeting, Hellmich spoke of a NATO decision “not to supply heavy battle tanks, no Leclerc and no Leopard”. That was “decided and decided among themselves” in NATO.
7.40 p.m .: The USA, the European Union and Great Britain want to support Ukraine in solving war crimes. A joint initiative is intended to help with coordination and communication and to provide support for the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office responsible for prosecuting war crimes, a joint statement said on Wednesday. The so-called Advisory Group on Atrocities will also promote the rapid deployment of funds and qualified personnel.
“There must be no impunity for war crimes,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. secure and analyze, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
7.05 p.m .: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier asked Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Catholic Day in Stuttgart to withdraw immediately from Ukraine. “Respect the sovereignty of Ukraine, stop fighting,” Steinmeier appealed on Wednesday evening at the opening ceremony of the church festival. “Mr. Putin, end the suffering and destruction in Ukraine! Withdraw your troops! And don’t refuse direct and serious talks with President Zelenskyy!”
Putin’s war of aggression is not only affecting the people of Ukraine. Because millions of tons of grain are being blocked in the Ukrainian seaports, world grain prices have risen dramatically. “Many areas of the world are threatened by starvation and death in the coming months, especially in East and South Africa,” Steinmeier warned. “Because the consequences of Putin’s war are affecting states that have still not recovered from Corona, and they are affecting regions in which the soil is drying out and becoming infertile because of the climate crisis.”
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