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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The EU promises more financial aid: that happened overnight

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EU countries established a solidarity fund to provide financial support to Ukraine. This was decided by the heads of state and government on Friday night at a summit meeting in Brussels.

As a result of the Russian war of aggression, Ukraine is suffering huge destruction and losses, it said in a statement. The country should be helped with current expenses, but also “after the end of the Russian attack on the reconstruction of a democratic Ukraine.” Like the United States before it, the EU has officially accused Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine.

Fighting continued throughout the night in Ukraine. According to Ukrainian sources, Russian troops fired rockets at military targets near the city of Dnipro. Following the marathon summit of NATO, the EU and the group of seven major democratic economic powers (G7) in Brussels, US President Joe Biden will visit Poland on Friday.

EU aid to Ukraine

A donor conference is going to be organized to fill the Solidarity Fund for Ukraine with money. International partners are also invited to participate. EU Council President Charles Michel mentioned the Solidarity Fund after a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last week. Ukraine needs access to international liquidity to finance imports of basic necessities and military equipment, he said.

Rocket attacks near Dnipro

According to Ukrainian sources, Russian forces fired rockets twice at a military unit near the city of Dnipro on Friday night. Buildings of the Ukrainian unit sustained significant damage and two fires broke out, the regional military administration said on Facebook. Dnipro is in central Ukraine and has so far been largely spared from attacks.

[Alle aktuellen Nachrichten zum russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine bekommen Sie mit der Tagesspiegel-App live auf ihr Handy. Hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen.]

According to the Ukrainian general staff, some Russian troops have withdrawn in the northeast of the country after suffering heavy losses. Note the withdrawal of certain Russian units behind the Russian border after losing more than half of the personnel. The information is not independently verifiable.

According to British intelligence, Ukrainian forces have begun attacking high-value targets in Russian-controlled territory. The destruction of a Russian landing ship in the port city of Berdyansk on Thursday was cited as an example.

President of Ukraine: Millions deserve a medal

In a late-night video message, Zelenskyy thanked the citizens of Ukraine for their resistance to the Russian invasion that began a month ago. Since February 24, Ukrainian defenders have stopped the enemy everywhere, he said. Millions of Ukrainians who would do anything for the victory and peace of Ukraine deserve medals.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of UkrainePhoto: dpa/AP/Uncredited/Ukrainian Presidential Press Office

NATO wants to continue supplying Ukraine with surface-to-air missiles and anti-tank weapons. Despite Zelenskyy’s urgent appeals, the 30 NATO countries will not hand over tanks or planes. “There is a limit, which is not to become part of the war,” French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday after the special NATO summit in Brussels.

Russian energy boycott debate continues

The President of the European Committee of the Bundestag, Anton Hofreiter (Greens), calls for an immediate energy embargo against Russia. “We transfer hundreds of millions of euros to Moscow every day. This keeps the Russian state and its military apparatus going,” he told “The Pioneer” news portal (Friday).

[Aktuelle Entwicklungen im Ukraine-Krieg können Sie hier in unserem Newsblog verfolgen.]

A cancellation of Russian energy supplies would lead to “a moderate recession”. However, he does not share the assessment of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Deputy Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) that the economic and social damage to Germany would be too great, Hofreiter said.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Alexander Rodnyansky also sees a freeze on European imports of Russian oil and gas as inevitable. The West must prevent Moscow from circumventing sanctions against Russia, Rodnyansky said Thursday on ZDF’s “Maybrit Illner” program. FDP party deputy chairman Wolfgang Kubicki told the German editorial network (RND) that Germany should return to relying more on lignite and nuclear power to gain independence from Russian gas.

That’s going to be important today.

US President Biden will meet with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to say goodbye to Brussels. He then flies to Poland, an eastern NATO country, which borders directly on Ukraine. Around 2.2 million refugees from Ukraine have entered Poland so far and most of them have stayed there.

Biden just wants to know more about the humanitarian operation to care for refugees in the city of Rzeszow, near the border. He will also meet with US soldiers stationed in Poland and come to the capital, Warsaw, for talks with Polish leaders. (dpa)


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