- Biden says the invasion of Ukraine is a global crisis
- Biden calls for territorial integrity and sovereignty
- EU ban on Russian oil imports “within days” – Germany
- Russia sees economic relations with China growing
- Ukraine urges prisoner exchange with Moscow
Lviv (Ukraine/Berlin) May 24 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that the crisis in Ukraine is a global issue that increases the importance of maintaining international order, territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Biden’s remarks at the opening of the “quartet” meeting of Indo-Pacific leaders in Tokyo came a day after he broke the agreement and volunteered for US military support for Taiwan, the self-governing island claimed by China. Read more
“This is more than just a European issue. It’s a global issue,” Biden said of the situation in Ukraine at the Quartet meeting in the United States, Japan, India and Australia. Read more
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Biden stressed that Washington will stand by its allies and push for a free and open Indo-Pacific.
He said: “International law and human rights must always be defended, no matter where they are violated in the world.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told global business leaders in Davos on Monday that the world should increase sanctions against Russia to deter other countries from using “brute force” to achieve their goals.
Germany, the EU’s largest, said the EU was likely to agree to a ban on Russian oil imports “within days”, as Moscow said its economic ties with China would grow amid the West’s isolation over the conflict in Ukraine.
Many of the European Union’s 27 member states rely heavily on Russian energy, prompting criticism from Kyiv that the bloc has not moved fast enough to halt supplies.
Hungary is demanding energy investment before it agrees to a ban, and is in conflict with EU countries seeking quick approval. The European Union has offered up to 2 billion euros ($2.14 billion) to central and eastern countries lacking non-Russian supplies.
“We will reach a breakthrough within days,” German Economy Minister Robert Habeck told ZDF television.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Kremlin would focus on developing ties with China while cutting economic ties with the United States and Europe.
“If they (the West) want to offer something in terms of the resumption of relations, we will seriously consider whether or not we will need it,” he said in a speech, according to a text on the State Department’s website.
“Now that the West has taken (the position of a dictator), our economic relations with China will grow even faster.”
Russia’s three-month-old invasion, the largest attack on a European country since 1945, has sent more than 6.5 million people fleeing abroad, reduced entire cities to rubble, and prompted unprecedented Western sanctions against Russia.
On Monday, Zelensky called on Ukraine’s allies to pressure Moscow to exchange prisoners. Read more
“We don’t need Russian soldiers, we just need our own,” Zelensky said. “We are ready to exchange until tomorrow.”
Russia sent thousands of soldiers to Ukraine on February 24 in what it called a “special military operation” to demilitarize its neighbor and root out dangerous nationalists – allegations that Kyiv and Western countries have denied as false pretexts for a land grab.
Having captured the port city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine after a months-long siege, Russian forces now control a largely unbroken area to the east and south.
They are trying to surround the Ukrainian forces and completely capture the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces that make up the eastern Donbass region, where Moscow supports the separatist forces.
A total of 12,500 Russians were trying to take Luhansk, Serhii Gaidai, the district’s governor, said in Telegram.
Gidai added that four people were killed in the bombing of an apartment building in the city of Severodonetsk.
“The intensity of the fire on Severodonetsk has increased several times, it is simply destroying the city,” he said on television, adding that there are about 15,000 people in the city and it is still controlled by the Ukrainian army.
Sievierodonetsk is located in the eastern part of the Ukrainian-controlled enclave of Donbas and one of the last areas of the Luhansk region still outside the grip of Russia.
Donetsk region governor Pavlo Kirilenko told local television that the bombing was taking place along the front line, with the town of Avdiivka being exposed to coal mining around the clock.
The military command of Ukraine’s Joint Task Force said that Russian forces fired on 38 towns in Donetsk and Luhansk on Monday, killing seven and wounding six.
Reuters could not immediately verify the information.
Zelensky revealed Ukraine’s worst military casualties in a single attack of the war, saying 87 people were killed last week when Russian forces bombed a barracks at a training base in the north.
Denmark’s pledge to send Harpoon anti-ship missiles and a launcher to Ukraine, announced by the United States on Monday, is the first sign since the Russian invasion that Kyiv will receive US-made weapons that significantly expand its strike range. Read more
Fighters made by Boeing (ban)to push the Russian navy away from Ukraine’s ports on the Black Sea, allowing the resumption of exports of grain and other agricultural products.
In what could be the first of many war crimes trials stemming from the invasion, a Kyiv court has sentenced a young Russian tank commander to life imprisonment for the murder of an unarmed civilian. Read more
The website of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine shows that Ukraine is investigating more than 13,000 alleged Russian war crimes.
Russia has denied targeting civilians or being involved in war crimes.
In a cemetery outside Mariupol, walking through long rows of fresh graves and makeshift wooden crosses, Natalia Volochina, who lost her 28-year-old son fighting for the city, said that many of Mariupol’s dead had no one left to honor their memory.
“Who will bury them? Who will put a plaque?” She asked.
“They don’t have a family.”
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Reporting by Oleksandr Kozhukhar in Lviv, Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets in Kyiv, and Reuters journalists in Mariupol; Written by Kostas Pettas and Himani Sarkar; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Michael Perry
Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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