Ukrainian war in a living ticker: movement in negotiations on the Russian grain blockade

Updated 6/23/2022 7:07 PM

  • 06:31: ➤ Movement in negotiations on the Russian grain blockade
  • 06:22: Estonia is demanding more assistance to Ukraine from larger EU countries
  • 06:11: Moscow accuses the US of blocking a flight with diplomats
  • 06:03: Czech Prime Minister Fiala accuses Russia of economic war against the West

Update your live ticker about the war in Ukraine here

Movement in negotiations on the Russian grain blockade

Negotiations to break the Russian grain blockade in Ukraine seem to be moving forward. UN Security Council circles have confirmed to the German news agency (dpa) that the parties to the conflict could meet with UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Turkey – perhaps as early as next week. The talks are at a point where the UN chief would negotiate directly with the Russians and Ukrainians to secure an agreement.

But diplomats in New York have warned against over-optimism: No agreement has yet been reached on grain exports from Ukraine across the Black Sea. Distrust between Moscow and Kiev is still very high and there are still a number of obstacles to negotiations. Another open question is whether Russia is sincerely involved in the talks, said a Western diplomat. The United Nations has only officially announced that negotiations are under way.

The international community has been demanding that Russia allow the export of Ukrainian grain for weeks. Ukraine complains that its ports in the Black Sea are being blocked by the Russian navy. Both countries are among the largest exporters of wheat and play an important role in global food security. The United Nations recently warned of the worst famine in decades. (dpa)

Situation in brief:

Since February 24, Russia has been waging an offensive war against Ukraine from both the air and the country. Shortly before, President Vladimir Putin questioned Ukraine’s right to an independent state and recognized the so-called People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.

Since then, the Ukrainian army has been fighting the invaders as best it can. Thousands of deaths have been reported on both sides, but the exact numbers of soldiers and civilians have not been independently verified. The fact is that the humanitarian situation in Ukraine is deteriorating every day. According to the UN, more than 7.7 million people, mostly women and children, fled Ukraine (as of June 16) because men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave the country.

The EU and the US have responded with sanctions. They also supply weapons to Ukraine, and Germany also supports the country by supplying weapons. Ukraine is also to receive Cheetah-class tanks from Germany. So far, it has been ruled out that NATO would actively intervene in the war.

On the first weekend in April, images of the corpses of many civilians in the small town of Bucha near Kiev provoked international outrage. Ukraine talks about serious war crimes and genocide and blames Russian soldiers for it. Despite numerous indications, Moscow denies that it was involved in the deaths of civilians. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed that negotiations with Russia should continue. Russia’s long-term offensive in eastern Ukraine has been underway since April 18.

Russian attack on Ukraine: Current combat operations and troop movements. (Warning: This infographic will be updated regularly)

© dpa infographic GmbH

Other news from June 22:

Estonia is demanding more assistance to Ukraine from larger EU countries

Estonia has demanded more military assistance to Ukraine in the war against Russia from the larger EU states. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said on Wednesday that her country “has already done a lot for the people of Ukraine and, in fact, cannot do much more.” “But I believe there are still opportunities to help them from the larger Member States.”

According to government information from Tallinn, the Baltic member of the EU and NATO has so far provided military assistance worth more than 230 million euros. Further support for Ukraine, which has been defending an attack from Russia since the end of February, is also the topic of an EU summit that begins in Brussels on Thursday. (dpa)

Moscow accuses the US of blocking a flight with diplomats

Russia accuses the United States of blocking a flight with expelled Russian diplomats. The Russian plane was to depart from diplomats who were instructed by the US government to leave the United States by the end of the month, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said. However, Washington did not allow that. Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zacharovova therefore threatened unspecified countermeasures on Wednesday. The US State Department did not comment in detail. However, she complained that Russia did not present the situation correctly.

There has long been a dispute between the United States and Russia over diplomatic personnel. The two countries expelled diplomats from each other four months before the start of the Russian offensive war in Ukraine. After the start of the war, US airspace was closed to aircraft from Russia. However, in March, the Russian government machine was allowed to pick up expelled diplomats in Washington. (dpa)

Czech Prime Minister Fiala accuses Russia of economic war against the West

The Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala accused Russia of waging an economic war against the West in addition to the war against Ukraine. The goal is to weaken and destabilize democratic states, he said on Wednesday night in a televised speech by a liberal-conservative politician. There is a real danger that Russia could stop gas supplies in the coming weeks or months.

Fiala has announced a five-year plan to significantly reduce her country’s dependence on Russian gas and oil. He also announced state relief measures against the increase in energy costs by the equivalent of 2.6 billion euros. The surcharge for renewable energy is to be paid, among other things, directly from the state treasury.

Part of the new strategy is that the state will completely control the network of key Czech power plants in the “near future”. The state currently holds almost 70 percent of the shares in the energy company and nuclear power plant operator CEZ. The rest belongs to minority shareholders. (dpa)

With material from dpa and AFP

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