Voices about the Ukraine war: Secretary of State for Culture Ruth in Odessa

Minister of State for Culture Ruth in Odessa

3.50 pm: Secretary of State for Culture Claudia Roth has arrived in Odessa for a two-day visit. The green politician is the first member of the federal government to be a guest of a strategically important port city on the Black Sea after the start of Russia’s aggressive war on Ukraine.

“Scandal” and “Hostile Acts”: Outrage in the Kremlin after Lavrov closed the airspace

1:39 pm: The Kremlin had criticized the closure of European airspace of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after his failed trip to Serbia, describing it as a “hostile act”. “Undoubtedly, such hostile actions towards our country towards senior representatives of our country can cause certain problems and lead to the postponement of the schedule of these contacts for some time,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. news agency.

Lavrov responded angrily on Monday and spoke of a “scandal”. Lavrov, like President Vladimir Putin, is under Western sanctions because of Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine. “The unthinkable happened,” Lavrov said at an online press conference. “A sovereign state has been deprived of the right to conduct foreign policy.”

Lavrov had to cancel his trip to Belgrade because Bulgaria, Montenegro and North Macedonia refused the minister’s right to overfly government planes. Lavrov is included in the EU sanctions list due to Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Moscow was satisfied with the course of the war itself. Peskov said the Kremlin was “optimistic” about the development of the “special military operation in Ukraine”. Moscow describes the war against the neighboring country only as a special military operation.

Federal government wants to allow permanent visas for 70 Russian dissidents

11:14 am: According to a media report, the federal government wants to enable about 70 Russian dissidents to remain in Germany permanently. On Monday, the newspaper “Spiegel”, citing government departments, reported that Russian journalists critical of the Kremlin, who fled to Germany on a Schengen visa for 90 days after the Russian attack on Ukraine, should be able to live and work in Germany permanently. Your short-term visas must be converted into long-term visas.

According to the report, the federal government is in talks with internal authorities in the states of Berlin and Saxony, among others. A report issued by the working group of Russian experts to the meeting of the Federal Cabinet next Wednesday stated that “the federal government is committed to ensuring that dissidents working in the cultural and media sphere from the Russian Federation, who entered the country on a Schengen visa and are now residing in Germany to continue their work here, can obtain on a residence permit for the purpose of working in the federal territory.

Living costs for opponents must be covered by grants for the time being. These should initially be valid for one year. However, it can be extended if defectors do not find a job by the end of the year or are not yet able to earn a living from self-employment. The scholarships must be funded from the budget of the Secretary of State for Culture Claudia Roth (the Greens), and is estimated at about three and a half million euros for this purpose. According to the report, three organizations will act as the scholarship host: Reporters Without Borders, Media in Cooperation and Transition (MICT) and the Schöpflin Foundation.

Media report: Moscow agrees to deliver grain shipments from Odessa

10:25 am: According to a media report, the Russian leadership has agreed with Kyiv and Ankara on a scheme to release grain shipments from the previously closed Black Sea port of Odessa. The Kremlin newspaper “Isvestia” described the planned operation on Monday, citing government departments, “in the sovereign waters of the neighboring country, the Turkish army will undertake mine clearance, and will also escort ships to neutral waters.” Subsequently, Russian warships will escort grain carriers to the Bosphorus.

Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine led to massive disruptions in world markets and led to food price hikes. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest grain exporters. So the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports led to fears of famine, especially in poor African countries.

Recently, the President of the Kremlin Vladimir Putin received the President of the African Union and Senegal Macky Sall. While Putin denied that Russia was responsible for the food crisis, he showed his willingness to facilitate the delivery of grain.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to hold talks in Ankara on Wednesday. The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, had previously confirmed in advance that the issue of grain shipments from Ukraine would be discussed. According to the newspaper’s report, the scheme there should be coordinated in detail and then formally approved. So far, this release has been agreed only for Odessa.

Britain pledges to hand over long-range missile systems to Ukraine

03.05: Despite the warnings of Russian Head of State Vladimir Putin, Great Britain also wants to support Ukraine in the delivery of long-range missile systems. The Ministry of Defense in London announced, on Monday, that the delivery of the US-made Multiple Rocket Launcher Artillery System (MLRS) to Ukraine was carried out in close coordination with the government in Washington.

The British Ministry of Defense confirmed that the scheduled delivery of the M270 multiple rocket launchers means “a significant enhancement of the capabilities of the Ukrainian army”. The weapon system can hit targets up to 80 kilometers with precision-guided missiles. Great Britain also wants to train Ukrainian soldiers to use the new weapons system.

The United States announced last week that it will deliver to Ukraine its Himar mobile artillery missile system, which can fire multiple precision-guided missiles at the same time and exceed previous Ukrainian weapons systems in terms of range and accuracy. According to military experts, its range of up to 80 kilometers is slightly larger than that of similar Russian systems, which allows Kyiv forces to strike enemy artillery without getting close to the range.

Moscow: Foreign Minister Lavrov cannot travel to Serbia

Monday, June 6, 12:00 a.m.: According to information from Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cannot travel to Serbia for a two-day visit scheduled this Monday because he did not have a flight permit. According to Russia’s Interfax agency, a high-ranking official in the ministry confirmed a similar Serbian media report on Sunday, which said that Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro had not allowed the Russian government plane to fly over them. Lavrov is under Western sanctions because of Russia’s aggressive war on Ukraine. In addition, European airspace is closed to Russian aircraft.

The minister wanted to meet with the Serbian leadership to talk about providing the country with Russian energy, for example. When asked if the visit has been cancelled, the ministry official replied: “Diplomacy has not yet gained the ability to dispatch.” The Serbian media had previously reported that Lavrov’s visit to Belgrade had been canceled due to the lack of permission to fly over it. On Sunday, Lavrov surprisingly invited foreign journalists to a press conference on Monday.

Spain wants to deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine

11:51 pm: According to a report in the newspaper “El País”, Spain wants to deliver German Leopard 2 A4 battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine. On Sunday, the newspaper wrote, citing information from the Ministry of Defense in Madrid, that these were decommissioned tanks that should first be ready for use. Ukrainian soldiers should be trained in tanks first in Latvia and later in Spain. The German news agency asked the ministry to issue a statement on the news, but no response has been received so far.

This will be the first time that Ukraine will receive modern Western tanks in combat against the Russian army. In Germany, politicians from the ruling SPD party have so far confirmed that there is an informal agreement between NATO countries not to supply such weapons. According to the newspaper’s report, about 40 of the 108 Leopard tanks purchased by Spain in Germany in 1995 could be restarted.

Three countries want to prevent Lavrov’s flights from reaching Serbia

8:44 pm: Montenegro, North Macedonia and Bulgaria want to prevent Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov from flying over Serbia. Lavrov was due to travel to Serbia earlier in the week. According to the Serbian newspaper “Novosti”, the three countries want to prevent the Minister of Foreign Affairs from flying over their borders. There is no official confirmation of this. However, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has publicly declared that things are complicated regarding the foreign minister’s planned arrival.

The Russian Embassy in Stockholm is running out of money due to EU sanctions

4:48 pm: It seems that the Russian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, does not have much financial leeway due to the European Union sanctions imposed on Russia. In a joint application with the Russian Consulate in Gothenburg, the embassy submitted an application through the Swedish “Kommerskollegium” (equivalent to the German Federal Office for Economics and Export Control) to be allowed to withdraw funds from a Russian account. This was reported by the Swedish newspaper Expressen. It is safe to assume that other Russian embassies in Europe face the same financial problems.

Usually, the embassy and consulate cover their expenses from accounts in the Russian VTB Bank, which is blocked due to sanctions. Embassies are allowed to forgo €100.00 – but it seems the embassy in Sweden needs more. According to the newspaper, the amount should reach hundreds of thousands of euros. In the application letter, mention, among other things, money for electricity, water, Internet, salaries and heating oil. At the same time, the embassy announced that it intends to withdraw funds in Swedish krona and US dollars. In addition, the embassy explicitly wrote that the request should be kept secret from the Swedish press.

Pope’s appeal for new peace negotiations: “Please do not drown humanity in distress”

1:06 pm: Pope Francis called for an end to violence in Ukraine on Pentecost. “As the rage of destruction and death rages and hostilities intensify and fuel an escalation even more dangerous for all, I reiterate my plea to heads of state: Please do not drown humanity in misery,” the 85-year-old said. The leader of the United Nations Catholic Church on Sunday after noon prayer Regina Coeli in front of several faithful in Rome.

The Pope called for the start of concrete negotiations for a ceasefire and a sustainable solution. “Hear the desperate cry of the suffering people,” the Argentine said, calling for a halt to the destruction of towns and villages.

The Holy Father did not address the war party of Russia, as he had not called them before. Since the outbreak of war on February 24, the Vatican has been trying to mediate. In his own words, Pope Francis is also ready to travel to Ukraine – if the moment is right.

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