In a conversation with Christine Lambrecht, the Ukrainian foreign minister became “really angry”. Ramzan Kadyrov describes the federal government as “schizophrenic”. Turkey puts the brakes on Finland and Sweden’s NATO accession talks. All voices and developments on the Ukraine war here in the ticker.
6:32 a.m .: In a conversation with Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD), the Ukrainian Foreign Minister apparently became “really angry”. This is reported by the “world”. Accordingly, it was a “difficult conversation” in which Kuleba complained to Lambrecht “that it was not okay to announce something, knowing that there was no ammunition.”
The background is the announced delivery of Gepard tanks to Ukraine. This is currently delayed because there is a lack of ammunition for the tanks.
2:26 a.m .: Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has accused Russia of using the blockade of grain exports from Ukraine as a weapon of war. “By blockading Ukrainian ports, destroying silos, roads and railroads, and especially farmers’ fields, Russia has started a grain war that is fueling a global food crisis,” Baerbock said Wednesday during a foreign ministers’ meeting at the United Nations in New York.
According to information from the federal government, Russia is preventing the export of 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine, primarily to North Africa and Asia, most of it in the port of Odessa. Ukraine is one of the largest grain producers in the world. The US had put the deliberations on food insecurity on the UN agenda and invited more than 30 countries. Secretary of State Baerbock spoke as co-host.
“Russia is waging its brutal war not only with tanks, missiles and bombs,” continued the Green politician. “Russia is waging this war with another terrible but quieter weapon: hunger and deprivation.” This is happening at a time when Millions of people in the Middle East and Africa are already at risk of starvation – due to the climate crisis, the Covid pandemic and regional conflicts.
Because of the war, Finland and Sweden submitted their applications to join the Western Defense Alliance on Wednesday. Ideally, the two countries could already be members by the end of the year. However, there were initial delays due to reservations by Turkey.
Melnyk also believes that Ukraine’s EU membership within the next ten years is possible, he told the Funke newspapers. “The main thing for us now is to maintain candidate status. Then the negotiation process can begin. This is an important political decision.” He called on the federal government to “play a leading role in this historic process”.
9:49 p.m .: In the war between Russia and Ukraine, the Ukrainian ambassador Andriy Melnyk asked Germany and France to mediate peace in a new edition of the Normandy format. “The Normandy format has not been abolished – despite Putin having started this war. We assume that Germany and France are able to continue to play the role of mediator,” said Melnyk in a video interview with the editorial network Germany (RND). Melnyk pointed out that Scholz and French President Macron regularly telephoned Putin. “That means there is a certain level of trust. It would be wrong if you didn’t take this chance,” explained Melnyk. There is trust in Germany and in France in Ukraine – probably also in Russia. “These are the prerequisites for stopping this barbaric war that Russia has unleashed.”
7:51 p.m .: The US has reopened its diplomatic mission in Kyiv. The US State Department announced on Wednesday that additional measures had been taken to ensure the safety of colleagues returning to Kyiv. The US flag was hoisted on the building. Initially, only a small number of employees should start work on site, consular work will remain suspended.
The embassy was closed for almost three months. Most other Western countries had also closed their embassies or relocated staff to other cities.
5:03 p.m .: As part of a ring exchange, Germany wants to deliver 15 Leopard 2 A4 tanks to the Czech Republic – and thereby enable Czech weapons to be transferred to Ukraine. “Czech Republic is supplying heavy weapons, we are helping to close the gaps with Leopard tanks from German industrial stocks,” said Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) on Wednesday in Berlin. The exchange of rings is a “very good example of how we can quickly and easily support Ukraine in its courageous fight against Russian aggression”.
The Czech cabinet approved the exchange procedure on Wednesday. According to information from the Federal Ministry of Defense, the Leopard tanks come from the stocks of the German defense industry. In addition to the tanks, ammunition and spare parts are also to be delivered to the Czech Republic. In addition, the Bundeswehr will support the training of Czech soldiers. The federal government will bear the costs.
4:31 p.m .: The head of the Russian republic of Chechnya in the North Caucasus, Ramzan Kadyrov, criticizes the policy of the change in the era of Chancellor Olaf Scholz in view of the western arms deliveries, who “behaves like a schizophrenic” and not like a “state leader”. That’s what Kadyrov said at a political forum.
At the same event the day before, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Germany of being under US influence. “After the current government of Germany came to power, it has lost its last signs of independence,” he said.
2:48 p.m .: Turkey initially blocked the start of accession talks with Finland and Sweden in NATO. As the German Press Agency learned from alliance circles, it was not possible on Wednesday morning in the NATO Council, as originally planned, to make the decision necessary to start the admission process.
Surf tip: Politics – What is NATO? What does alliance mean? Easily explained
12:59 p.m .: In order to become independent of Russian energy, the European Union must invest up to 300 billion euros by 2030, according to the EU Commission. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented a plan on Wednesday to move away from fossil fuels in Russia and accelerate the energy transition.
“We have to reduce our dependence on Russia in the energy sector as quickly as possible,” said von der Leyen. This requires significant investments and reforms. “We are mobilizing up to 300 billion euros for this purpose.” The plan will help to save energy, Accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels and stimulate investment “This will turbo-charge our European ‘Green Deal’,” von der Leyen said. The goal is to stop buying energy from Russia within the decade.
Von der Leyen proposed increasing the EU’s energy saving target for 2030 from 9 to 13 percent. She also proposed increasing the target for the share of renewable energy in the EU from 40 percent to 45 percent by 2030.
To achieve this, the Commission wants, among other things, to shorten the approval process for renewable energy projects, introduce a solar roof requirement and import more climate-friendly hydrogen. In addition, investments are to be made in infrastructure – in electricity networks, but also in gas and oil pipelines. Countries like Hungary, which are particularly dependent on Russian oil, are to receive a total of up to two billion euros to get rid of it.
1 p.m.: Russia has ordered the expulsion of 34 French diplomats in retaliation. The French Ambassador Pierre Lévy was handed a note on Wednesday declaring 34 employees of the French mission abroad to be “undesirable persons”, according to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow. You now have two weeks to leave the country.
The French government condemned the expulsions “in the strongest terms”. According to the Foreign Ministry in Paris, the decision was presented by the Russian government as a “response” to the expulsion of “Russian agents” from France. The diplomats and staff at the French embassy in Russia, on the other hand, “completely” complied with the rules of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
In April, France expelled 41 Russian diplomats from the country in view of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. According to the Foreign Ministry in Paris, some of them had worked as secret agents in France “under diplomatic cover”.
Russia protested Wednesday against “the provocative and unfounded decision” to expel Russian diplomats, the Foreign Ministry said. With the expulsion of Russian diplomats, France is doing “serious damage to Franco-Russian relations and constructive bilateral cooperation.”
8:08 a.m .: Sweden and Finland have officially applied for NATO membership. Ambassadors from the two countries handed over the relevant documents to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday morning at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels.
The reason for Sweden and Finland’s desire to join the military alliance are security concerns that arose in the countries in the wake of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Until then, both states had resolutely pursued a policy of military non-alignment.
The NATO Council will now deal with the applications for membership. It is made up of representatives of the 30 alliance states, who have to make a consensus decision on how to proceed.
7:01 a.m.: According to Reuters news agency, the US is considering blocking Russian debt payments by allowing a key license to expire next week on May 25. As a result, Russia would no longer be able to pay off its US bondholders. This could bring Moscow to the brink of insolvency. “We are considering all options to increase pressure on Putin,” a US government official said.
So far, Moscow has managed to make its international bond payments despite Western sanctions. Just last month, Russia made overdue payments to avoid a default. The country is in debt with international bonds worth 40 billion dollars.
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