Western allies pledge to bolster NATO defenses and support Ukraine to the bitter end as Moscow demands Kyiv’s surrender and the fierce fighting enters its 126th day.
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Zelenskyy pushes for fuller NATO membership, more weapons
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has told NATO leaders that Ukraine needs modern weapons and increased financial aid in its fight against the Russian offensive.
“We need to break the Russian artillery advantage… We need much more modern systems, modern artillery,” Zelenskyy told a NATO summit in Madrid via video link.
He added that the financial support was “no less important than the aid in arms”. “Russia still receives billions every day and spends them on war. We have a multi-billion dollar deficit, we don’t have oil and gas to cover it,” Zelenskyy said, adding that Ukraine needed about $5 billion a month for his defense.
U.S. Strengthens Force Position in Europe Against Russian Threat – Biden
President Joe Biden has said the United States is bolstering its long-term military presence in Europe to bolster regional security after Russia’s offensive in Ukraine.
When meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Madrid at the opening of the alliance’s annual leaders’ summit, Biden said “NATO stands strong and united” and that steps to take during the gathering “will further increase our collective strength”.
Biden opened his participation in the summit by announcing that the United States would establish a permanent headquarters in Poland, send two additional F-35 fighter squadrons to the United Kingdom and send more air defense and other capabilities to Germany and the United Kingdom. Italy.
US says not to communicate with Russia on military changes in Europe
The United States has not communicated with Russia on a series of major changes to its military posture in Europe, and has no obligation to do so, a senior US official said.
The official said NATO’s first new strategic concept since 2010 would for the first time mention “systemic challenges” posed by China and its budding relationship with Russia, the official told reporters.
The G7 summit ended with the conflict in Ukraine and its economic fallout dominating the talks.
Leaders pledged to make Russia pay and announced measures to support Ukraine and tackle a global food crisis pic.twitter.com/HrT6LfqHIZ
— TRT World (@trtworld) June 29, 2022
NATO summit-proof alliance seeks to contain Russia – Moscow
Moscow said the NATO summit in Madrid served as evidence that the alliance is seeking to contain Russia and that it sees Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO bids as a “destabilizing” factor.
“The Madrid summit confirms and consolidates the policy of this bloc of aggressive containment of Russia,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, Russian news agencies reported.
“We regard the enlargement of the North Atlantic alliance as a purely destabilizing factor in international affairs.”
Norway to send rocket launchers to Ukraine
Norway has announced it will donate three multiple-launch rocket systems to Ukraine, following similar decisions by Britain, Germany and the United States.
kyiv, whose forces are struggling to defend the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, has repeatedly called on its allies to provide more heavy weapons.
“We must continue to support Ukraine so that it can continue its fight for freedom and independence,” Norwegian Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram said in a statement.
$330 billion in Russian assets frozen
More than $330 billion in financial resources held by Russia’s elite and its central bank have been frozen by the West since Moscow’s offensive began, according to an international sanctions task force.
The Russian Working Group on Elites, Proxies and Oligarchs (REPO) says its members, which include the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, major EU members, Japan and other allies, blocked $30 billion in assets belonging to Russian oligarchs and officials and tied up $300 billion held by the Russian central bank.
Buses, trains to connect Crimea, southern Ukraine
Crimean authorities have announced the launch of bus and train services between the peninsula annexed to Moscow and parts of southern Ukraine occupied by Russia.
“From July 1, regular bus and train services between Crimea and the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions will be launched for the first time in eight years,” said Sergei Aksyonov, the pro-Moscow leader of Crimea. annexed.
The Russian offensive was partly aimed at ending Crimea’s isolation by taking control of large parts of southeastern Ukraine to create a land bridge between Russia and the peninsula, which has been seized by Moscow. in 2014.
Stoltenberg says Moscow poses a ‘direct threat’ to NATO
NATO leaders meeting in Madrid are set to brand Russia a threat to their security as they overhaul alliance defenses in response to Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, NATO chief says NATO, Jens Stoltenberg.
“We will make it clear that Russia poses a direct threat to our security,” Stoltenberg said ahead of the unveiling of NATO’s new strategic plan.
Stoltenberg said the alliance was meeting in Madrid “in the midst of the most serious security crisis we have faced since World War II”.
Jwo killed in strike on residential building in Mykolaiv, Ukraine
Two people were killed and three injured in a Russian strike on a residential building in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, regional governor Vitaly Kim said.
He did not specify whether it was a bomb or missile strike, artillery or mortar fire.
Moscow-administered Kherson prepares to join Russia – TASS
The Moscow-controlled civil-military administration in Ukraine’s Kherson region said it had started preparations for a referendum on joining Russia, Russian news agency TASS reported.
The NATO summit in Madrid is overshadowed by the conflict in Ukraine and is being touted as one of the biggest ever.
Leaders expected to agree on strategy to counter Russian threat and new challenges posed by China pic.twitter.com/TcgG0foPn4
— TRT World (@trtworld) June 29, 2022
Gazprom’s gas exports to Europe via Ukraine are stable
Russian gas producer Gazprom said its gas supply to Europe via Ukraine through the Sudzha entry point was estimated at 42.1 million cubic meters (mcm) on Wednesday from 42.2 million mcm tuesday.
A request for gas supplies through another major entry point, Sokhranovka, was again rejected by Ukraine, Gazprom said.
Zelensky says Putin has become ‘a terrorist’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of becoming ‘a terrorist’ at the head of a ‘terrorist state’, calling for Russia’s expulsion from the United Nations and calling on the UN team to visit the site of a missile strike on a shopping center in the city of Kremenchuk.
In a virtual address to the UN Security Council, Zelenskyy urged the UN to establish an international tribunal to investigate “the actions of Russian occupiers on Ukrainian soil” and hold the country accountable.
“We must act urgently to do everything to make Russia stop the killing,” Zelenskyy said, warning that otherwise Russia’s “terrorist activity” would spread to other European countries and Asia, targeting the Baltic States, Poland, Moldova and Kazakhstan. “Putin has become a terrorist,” he said. “Daily terrorist acts, without weekends. Every day they work like terrorists.”
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Source: TRTWorld and agencies