The Ukrainian ambassador Andriy Melnyk has to vacate his post in Germany. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recalled the 46-year-old diplomat on Saturday, as did the Ukrainian ambassadors in Norway, the Czech Republic, Hungary and India. In a video message, Selenskyj spoke of a normal process in the evening. “This issue of rotation is a common part of diplomatic practice,” he said, without naming any of the five ambassadors. It was initially unclear whether Melnyk would be scheduled for another high-ranking position in Kyiv or elsewhere after his dismissal.
A spokeswoman for the Federal Foreign Office said on request: “The Federal Foreign Office has not yet been notified of the ambassador’s dismissal.” Most recently, however, he himself came under massive criticism for statements about the Ukrainian nationalist and anti-Semite Stepan Bandera. Zelenskyj also changed the head of the regional government in the embattled southern Ukrainian Cherson. Sunday is the 137th day of the war for Ukraine since the start of the Russian attack at the end of February.
The Canadian government wants to enable the delivery of the serviced Russian Nord Stream 1 turbine to Germany. Canada will give Siemens Canada “a temporary and revocable permit,” Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in a statement on Saturday. Without the necessary gas supply, the German economy would suffer greatly and Germans might not be able to heat their homes in winter.
In mid-June, the Russian energy company Gazprom reduced its gas deliveries to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and pointed to delays in the repair of gas compressors. The energy technology group Siemens Energy then announced that a gas turbine overhauled in Canada could not currently be returned from Montréal due to the Russian sanctions. As a solution, Canada wants to have the turbine sent to Germany first, instead of directly to Russia.
The last most important connection for Russian natural gas to Germany will be shut down on Monday morning. The reason for this is annual maintenance work on the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline, which the operator announced a long time ago. Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), among others, has expressed acute concerns that Russia will no longer be able to turn on the gas tap even after the maintenance has been completed. As the operating company Nord Stream AG announced, the work should last until July 21. During this time, no gas will be transported to Germany.
According to a media report, the federal government has secured a long-term supply of ammunition for the Gepard tanks promised to Ukraine. The Chancellery, together with the Ministry of Defense in Norway, found a manufacturer who could produce more ammunition for the anti-aircraft system, reported the “Spiegel”, citing government circles. There was initially no confirmation from the government.
According to information from Kyiv, after the withdrawal of Russian soldiers from the Ukrainian island of Snakes in the Black Sea, goods can again be transported through a side canal to the Danube. Shipping southwest of Odessa will continue, the Ukrainian port authority said. In view of the liberation of Snake Island and a large number of ships waiting for passage, the passage is free, it said. In addition to three Ukrainian Danube ports, a port in the Republic of Moldova and two Romanian ports operate directly on the Danube estuary. The Russian soldiers on Snake Island had been repeatedly fired upon by the Ukrainian army from the Danube islands bordering the side channel.
The US government pledged further humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Saturday after the G20 foreign ministers meeting in Bali that “the United States will provide nearly $368 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help those affected by Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine “. Since the start of the Russian invasion in February, the United States, the top donor country, has pledged more than $1.28 billion in humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Blinken called on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to “end hostilities immediately.”
At least three people were killed and eight injured in Russian shelling in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk on Saturday, according to Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. In the town of Avdiivka alone, there were more than ten attacks on residential areas and civilian infrastructure, he said. For their part, the pro-Russian separatists accused the Ukrainian army of attacks. Reports from the combat zones can hardly be checked independently.
According to Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukraine needs a different anti-missile system than the Israeli “Iron Dome” system. “Even Iron Dome does not protect 100 percent. Iron Dome was made against slow and low-flying rockets, which by nature are made in garages. Iron Dome does not protect against cruise missiles and ballistic missiles,” Reznikov said. Ukraine must develop an air defense system or get it from its partners.