Russia blocks grain exports. Meanwhile, the Kremlin spokesman commented on the situation in the Ukraine war. The news ticker.
- famine threatens: Russia Blockades Ports Amid Ukraine Conflict Grain cannot be exported.
- Ukraine and EU: Chancellor Olaf Scholz calls for EU reform amid war in Ukraine. NATO pledges further support.
- help from the west: In the war with Russia, Germany is supplying more weapon systems to Ukraine.
Update from Tuesday, June 21, 7:00 a.m.: Four months after the attack on Ukraine, Russia has described relations with the West as long-term damaged. “Yes, it will be a long crisis,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in an interview with US television channel MSNBC that was broadcast on Tuesday night. “We will never trust the West again.”
Ukraine War: Russia comments on American prisoners
Peskov also commented on the case of the two US soldiers who fought in the Ukrainian army and were recently captured by troops loyal to Moscow. These are mercenaries and therefore do not fall under the protection of the Geneva Convention, said Peskow. The Kremlin spokesman left open whether the two men were captured by Russian soldiers or by pro-Russian separatists. This is also relevant in that the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk have introduced the death penalty, while Russia has suspended it.
Asked if he could guarantee that the two US citizens would not face the same fate as three foreigners recently sentenced to death in Donetsk, Peskov said: “I can’t guarantee anything. That depends on the investigation.”
Ukraine war: EU members call for tougher sanctions against Russia
+++ 10 p.m.: A third of the 27 EU member states have called for further sanctions against Russia and Belarus and more military aid to Ukraine. On the fringes of the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg, the Nordic and Eastern European countries in particular were pushing for a seventh package of sanctions to be drawn up, the Reuters news agency reported. Instead, Germany and other countries initially want to fully implement the existing sanctions and close any loopholes.
+++ 8.40 p.m.: Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin is apparently afraid that the “spark of democracy could fly to Russia,” wrote Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on the short message service Twitter. That is why Putin has been pursuing a policy for years “that aims to dissolve NATO and the EU. He wants to go back to a policy of zones of influence.” But the Russian President will not succeed, the Chancellor stressed.
Greens hope for Ukraine’s EU accession – “Clear sign of solidarity”
+++ 7.15 p.m.: From the Greens’ point of view, the EU should absolutely accept Ukraine as a candidate for accession – also in order to send a message to Moscow. “It’s not just symbolic, it’s also a clear stop sign towards Russia that we won’t let Russian artillery destroy Ukraine’s non-aligned status,” said co-chairman Omid Nouripour on Monday after deliberations by the party executive in Berlin. Nouripour is therefore hoping for a “clear sign of solidarity” from the heads of government of the member states. On Friday, the EU Commission recommended officially nominating Ukraine and Moldova as candidates for accession to the European Union. The 27 EU countries must now make the decision on this.
War in Ukraine: Global food crisis looms
+++ 6.30 p.m.: The Kremlin is still blocking Ukrainian ports and with them millions of tons of grain. The negotiations to lift the blockade are difficult, admitted the Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “We are conducting complex, multi-level negotiations to unblock our Ukrainian ports. But there is no progress yet,” the president said in a video address at an African Union meeting. Zelenskyy accused Russia of taking Africa “hostage”. “The global food crisis will last as long as this colonial war lasts,” it said.
The main task now is to “eliminate the danger of famine”. According to Zelenskyj, Ukraine is trying to set up new supply logistics. Hungary had previously agreed to support its neighboring country with export deliveries. The United Nations meanwhile assumes that the Ukraine war could plunge up to 49 million people into starvation or starvation-like conditions, especially in African countries.
Ukraine News: Grain export possible via Hungary
+++ 5.40 p.m.: About 20 million tons of grain are currently stuck in Ukraine as the Kremlin blocks export shipments. This is already leading to food shortages in several countries. However, these could now be delivered via Hungary, suggested Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto during a meeting of EU foreign ministers. Attempts to lift the Russian blockade of the Black Sea ports have so far failed.
War in Ukraine: Russia blocks ports – new famine looms
+++ 3 p.m.: Due to the war in Ukraine, there is a risk of global food shortages. For example, Ukrainian grain exports are currently being blocked by the Russian government. To this end, the West is planning a conference on food security with Germany as the host. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will also attend the meeting next Friday (June 24).
“During its G7 presidency, the government is particularly committed to finding common answers to the emerging global hunger crisis that was triggered by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” a spokesman from Berlin was quoted as saying by the Arab news agency Aljazeera.
Ukraine war: US hesitates to deliver combat drones
Update from Monday, June 20, 09:04: The US is reluctant to supply Ukraine with combat drones it desperately needs in its war against Russia. Specifically, we are talking about four models of the MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone, which can be equipped with Hellfire missiles. But the Pentagon stopped the delivery at the last moment for fear the drones might fall into enemy hands.
Should that happen, Russia would receive sensitive information about US Army radar technology and reconnaissance systems. So that the combat drones can still be delivered to Ukraine, the radar systems are now to be exchanged.
Ukraine war: Moscow condemns “blockade” by Lithuania – Scholz calls for EU reforms
++ 10.15 a.m.: Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to accelerate the expansion of the EU with reforms. In order to be able to accept states like Ukraine, the EU must “modernize its structures and decision-making processes. It will not always be possible to decide everything unanimously that has to be decided unanimously today. ”The Chancellor said in an interview with the dpa news agency.
Scholz wants to talk about a possible departure from the unanimity principle at the next EU summit. This will take place next Thursday and Friday.
War in Ukraine: New weapons from Germany – prominent visit to Lviv
First report: Kyiv – More weapons, more money, but no direct intervention in the war. That sums up what NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said about the future role of Western allies in the Ukraine war. According to Stoltenberg, one has to be prepared for the fact that the war between Ukraine and Russia could “last for years”.
“We must not let up in supporting Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag. Rising energy and food prices as a result of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine are “no comparison to the price that Ukrainians have to pay every day with many lives”. If Russian President Vladimir Putin learns from the war “that he can simply carry on as he did after the 2008 war in Georgia and the occupation of Crimea in 2014”, then the NATO states would pay “a much higher price”.
Help for Ukraine: More weapons, more money, no NATO soldiers
It sounded very similar from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who visited Ukraine again at the weekend. In an op-ed piece published in the Sunday Times late Saturday night, Johnson wrote that in the Ukraine war, time is “now of the essence”. Everything depends on “whether Ukraine strengthens its defense capability faster than Russia renews its attack capability.” For this, the country urgently and quickly needs new weapon systems from the West.
However, Stoltenberg also emphasized that the western defense alliance would not intervene in the fighting. “We are helping the country, but we will not send NATO soldiers to Ukraine,” he said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has been demanding more weapons from Germany for weeks – with success, according to Ukrainian media reports. Accordingly, the German ambassador in Ukraine confirmed the delivery of further self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine. Feldhusen is said to have also promised to supply multiple rocket launcher artillery systems (HIMARS). These weapon systems are currently being assembled and loaded on behalf of Germany, the USA and Great Britain.
Help for Ukraine: Ben Stiller visits Lviv
Hollywood celebrities have even traveled from the USA to Ukraine for support. In his capacity as UNHCR Ambassador, actor Ben Stiller visited the city of Lviv, to which many Ukrainians from the east of the country had fled.
But whether all this technical and moral support for Ukraine will be enough to survive the attack from Russia is far from certain. The governor of the Ukrainian Donbass sub-region of Luhansk, Serhiy Hajdaj, does not seem to be sure either. He warned of a further escalation of the fighting with Russia. “It’s good that the West is helping us, but it’s too late,” Hajdaj told the afp news agency. In the face of the Russian attacks, there have long been “no longer any safe places” in the Luhansk region. (dil/kas/dpa/afp)