Updated 21.06.2022, 22:00
- The marks are good for Ukraine to move closer to the European Union.
- The Ukrainian army, meanwhile, is experiencing difficult times in the strategically important city of Sievjerodonetsk.
- Moscow, on the other hand, faces consequences for NATO member states.
Prior to the EU summit, there are signs of broad support for the plan to give Ukraine and Moldova candidate status. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has made it clear once again that his country, which has been attacked by Russia, belongs to Europe. From a Russian perspective, relations with the West are permanently damaged, as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
In support of Ukraine, Germany has now supplied the country with the first self-propelled howitzers. At the same time, Moscow threatened the EU and NATO states with Lithuania by countermeasures to limit transit for the Baltic Sea Exclave Kaliningrad, which belongs to Russia.
Confidence ahead of EU summit – “Consensus is forming”
The European Commission on Friday recommended that Ukraine and Moldova be officially nominated as candidates for EU membership. The decision on this lies with the governments of the 27 EU countries. From Thursday, they will advise at the summit in Brussels. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on Tuesday on “Industry Day” said: “Ukraine belongs to us. It belongs to the European family.” At the EU summit, it will strive for a united stand.
There is currently no country in trouble, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said in Luxembourg on Tuesday. You will show unanimity. French Foreign Minister Clement Beaune said: “I think there is a consensus.” He is optimistic but also cautious, because unanimity is needed at EU summits. For example, it is still unclear whether EU countries such as Austria, Slovenia and Croatia will associate EU candidate status with Ukraine and Moldova with progress in the EU’s enlargement to the Western Balkans.
Zelensky confirmed that his country is proving every day that it is already part of a single European value space. Ukraine’s efforts to join the EU have made Russia very nervous, Zelensky said in a video speech on Tuesday night.
Moscow does not trust the West and threatens Lithuania
Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24. Moscow has repeatedly accused Western states – for example, of Ukraine’s military support. “Yes, it will be a long crisis,” Kremlin spokesman Peskov told MSNBC about relations with the West. “We will never trust the West again,” he added.
Moscow has responded with threats to Lithuania’s move to ban rail transit of goods on Western sanctions lists across its territory to Kaliningrad. Moscow will respond with similar “hostilities” by countermeasures, Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev said on Tuesday during a visit to Kaliningrad, according to Interfax. “Its consequences will have a serious negative impact on the Lithuanian population.”
Lithuania has rejected Moscow’s complaints. “There is no blockade of Kaliningrad,” said Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, according to the BNS in Vilnius. She pointed out that only goods on sanction lists – especially steel and ferrous metals – were affected. However, all other goods and passengers are being transported. Kaliningrad lies on the Baltic Sea and borders Lithuania and Poland. From Russia, you can get to the area only by transit through one of the two EU countries.
Difficult situation for the Ukrainian army at Sievjerodonetsk
The Sievyerodonetsk-Lysychansk region is also the epicenter of the armed conflicts in Ukraine. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Ukrainian troops there had been cut off from supplies. The governor of the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, Serhiy Hajday, wrote on his evening on his Telegram channel that Russian troops had advanced into the city’s industrial area. Thus, Ukrainian soldiers control only the territory of the Azot chemical plant. In the Luhansk region, Ukrainian troops around the towns of Zolote and Hirske are threatened with siege by Russian troops, a report from the Ukrainian General Staff on Facebook said on Tuesday.
Russian attacks have killed 15 people in the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine. 16 others were injured, as regional governor Oleh Synyehubov reported on Tuesday in the Telegram news service.
According to the British intelligence services, the Ukrainian resistance has so far successfully prevented Russia from taking control of the sea area bordering Ukraine. This undermined the original concept of the Russian invasion, the British Ministry of Defense said in an update on Tuesday. Moscow originally planned to attack the area around the important Ukrainian port of Odessa from the Black Sea.
Berlin supplies tank howitzers
Almost four months after the start of the war, the first heavy weapons in the form of the Panzerhaubitz arrived in 2000 from Germany. Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk told the German news agency that all seven promised weapons had arrived in Ukraine. Melnyk thanked them for this and called on the federal government to organize more supplies. On Tuesday evening, Chancellor Scholz defended German arms supplies to Ukraine. “It’s necessary now,” Scholz said on a traditional asparagus tour in the Seeheimer Kreis of the SPD parliamentary group.
Polish President Andrzej Duda announced on Tuesday that his country has so far supplied Ukraine with more than 240 tanks and 100 armored vehicles. (br / dpa)
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