Status: 05/30/2022 02:52 AM
Former Federal President Gauk speaks in favor of supporting Ukraine with arms. The Russian foreign minister rejects speculation that Putin is ill. Live blog developments.
Gauck to support Ukraine with arms
According to former German President Joachim Gauck, arms shipments to Ukraine are important in its struggle for freedom against Russian attackers. “If not for the weapons of the Allies in World War II, Europe would have been under Nazi rule,” Gauck said in an interview with Bild. Ukraine should be allowed to say what it needs to oppose Russia. The former president said, “If people say to us, ‘We want to fight for our freedom, we will even risk our lives,’ we don’t have to explain to them from a safe place what is the right thing.” . “That would be very cruel and arrogant.” However, Gauck said, politicians should continue to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Responsible politics must talk to tyrants. We must not dispense with diplomacy.” However, it is important to negotiate from a position of strength. That, too, “was true during the Cold War”.
Lavrov rejects speculation that Putin is ill
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied rumors that Kremlin President Vladimir Putin had contracted the disease. “I don’t think reasonable people can see signs of any kind of illness or weakness in this person,” Lavrov said in response to a question from TF1 television on Sunday. Putin, who will turn 70 in October, appears publicly “every day”. “You can see him on screens, read and listen to his speeches,” Lavrov said in a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry. Putin’s health and personal life are taboo topics in Russia and have never been discussed in public. Putin, who has controlled Russia’s fortunes for more than two decades, ordered a military operation in Ukraine on February 24. Thousands of people have since been killed and millions of Ukrainians forced to flee. The West imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia.
Federal government agrees to better protect Putin’s opponents
According to a press report, the German Foreign Ministry, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Government’s Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM) have agreed on admission criteria for particularly vulnerable Kremlin critics from Russia. The “Funke Mediengruppe” newspapers reported that the endangered groups would be helped faster and less bureaucratic with a residence permit to flee Russia. After studying the case, they get permission for a longer stay in Germany and not, as in the past, a Schengen visa limited to a maximum of 90 days. According to the report, groups of people at risk include human rights defenders threatened with political persecution, members of the opposition, staff of human rights organizations and scholars, as well as journalists who are specifically at risk.
About 143 million euros of the assets of the oligarchs have been frozen
According to a press report, approximately 143 million euros of assets belonging to the Russian oligarchs have been frozen in German accounts since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As of May 23, a total of 1,429,90409.35 euros have been confiscated from Russian companies and institutions under EU law, Bild newspaper reported, citing information from the Federal Ministry of Finance. Accordingly, the value of the assets confiscated at the end of February, shortly after the start of the war, amounted to 342 thousand euros. By March 21, German financial institutions reported to the Bundesbank that about 95 million oligarchs had been frozen.