Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) wants to travel to Ukraine soon. In the ARD summer interview on Sunday, when asked when he was going to Kyiv, he said: “Now in late summer or autumn. I am in discussion with my Ukrainian colleague about this.”
In May, Lindner had already offered his counterpart in Ukraine a visit to the capital Kyiv. At the time, he said he had suggested to Finance Minister Sergei Marchenko that he should come if a visit would be helpful. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) was the first German government member to visit Kyiv in May since the start of the Russian war of aggression, and several other ministers have followed since. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) traveled to Ukraine in June. (dpa)
In Albania, two Russians and a Ukrainian citizen have been arrested near a military installation. As the Albanian Ministry of Defense announced on Sunday, one of the men tried to take photos of the Gramsh factory, where disused weapons are being dismantled. Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama said the three men were suspected of espionage.
One of the two Russians, a 24-year-old man, used a tranquilizer spray against two guards to resist an inspection, the ministry said. Two other suspects, a 33-year-old Russian and a 25-year-old Ukrainian citizen, were arrested near the factory. The two Albanian soldiers were taken to a hospital in Tirana with eye injuries. However, according to Defense Minister Niko Peleshi, they should soon be released from the hospital.
The incident must be “dealt with in a broader regional and political context,” said Peleshi. However, he warned against drawing “hasty conclusions”. Military police, secret services and anti-terrorist experts began investigations on site. Albania has been a NATO member since 2009. (AFP)
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has defended German arms deliveries to support Ukraine in the fight against Russia’s war of aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin refuses to negotiate the simplest of issues, such as international humanitarian law, and there is no response to attempts at mediation, criticized the Green politician on Sunday at the Federal Foreign Office at the federal government’s open day in Berlin. A citizen had previously asked what was being done to end the war diplomatically beyond the supply of arms.
Baerbock was received with great applause and cheers for the hour-long discussion with citizens in the completely overcrowded Weltsaal of the Federal Foreign Office. Even with their answers, there was always loud applause from the scene. If an end to the war cannot be reached through negotiations at the moment, “then we have the choice of either doing nothing,” said Baerbock. “Or we say we will provide military support so that further Russian advances can be prevented.” In the current situation, she considers this path, “however terrible it is, to be the only one we can take. Because the alternative would be to simply abandon millions of people to their fate.” One “simply cannot be held responsible for this”.
When asked by a citizen whether Germany was providing sufficient support to the Ukrainian government, Baerbock said the federal government was doing “what other countries are doing”. Many weapons have already been delivered, for example from the Bundeswehr stocks. But it’s not about a competition as to who delivers the most and who is worse and better.
Together, the democratic countries must do their best to support Ukraine. “It’s about protecting human life in Ukraine,” said the minister. The federal government is trying to do this to the best of its conscience with what it has and without becoming a party to the war itself. (dpa)
Former heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko has warned of a nuclear catastrophe from fighting at Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. “The world needs to be aware that if it blows up, there will be a Fukushima or Chernobyl on a multiple scale. This must not happen,” the younger brother of Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko told Times Radio on Sunday.
The exchange of fire around the power plant, which was occupied by Russian invading troops, continued, Klitschko said. In addition, it is not clear how the Ukrainian experts are doing, who are still in the nuclear power plant and in the hands of the Russians. “It threatens the world,” said Klitschko. On the possibility of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, Klitschko said that there had to be a complete withdrawal of Russian troops first. “We have been fighting for our territorial integrity and for being a part of the free world and the European Union since 2014,” said the 46-year-old. (dpa)
Even after almost six months of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to ensure “that the war does not escalate”. He said that on Sunday during a public dialogue in the Chancellery on the day of the federal government’s open house. Russian President Vladimir Putin planned this war long before the invasion began, he added.
“This is a war that Putin, Russia, started, and clearly with the intention of conquering its neighboring country – I think that was the original goal,” Scholz replied to a citizen. She had asked about a strategy for ending the war that Russia started on February 24th.
Russia is currently concerned with gaining territory in eastern Ukraine, said Scholz. But it’s not even certain that it will stay that way. Giving in is not a sensible strategy. “Putin actually had the idea of swiping a felt-tip pen across the European landscape and then saying, ‘That’s mine and that’s yours,'” said the Chancellor. He added: “It doesn’t work that way”.
Scholz announced that he would not end the dialogue with Putin. The rule here is that “one must be clear and not be intimidated either.” Weapons of other types and emphasized: “Germany supplies very, very many weapons”. (dpa)
According to Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck, opening the German-Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 would mean giving in to Russian President Vladimir Putin. That would indirectly say that Putin is right, the Greens politician and vice chancellor warned on Sunday at the open house in his ministry in Berlin. “But he didn’t!”
During a discussion with visitors, Habeck was asked what difference it makes whether Germany gets Russian gas via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline as it is currently doing or via Nord Stream 2. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been completed but has not been put into operation. The federal government put the approval process for this in February shortly before the Russian attack on Ukraine.
Habeck said Russia is curbing supplies through Nord Stream 1, even though the line is “fully operable.” “That means the assumption that more gas could not be pushed through there is Russian propaganda.” Habeck warned that Russia could prove to be unreliable when Nord Stream 2 is commissioned, just as it is now with Nord Stream 1. “And if he wins the game with us there, who gives us the guarantee that he won’t do exactly the same thing with Nord Stream 2?”
Germany made a mistake as an economy with the large dependence on Russian gas. Anyone who wants to recognize it recognizes “that the Russian government under Putin regards democracy as an enemy, tramples on freedom of the press, uses murder as a political means and disregards international law,” the minister said. If you now increase dependence on Russian gas, you would have forgotten all the lessons of the past few months. Instead, Germany must develop new energy sources. (dpa)
Let us continue to pray for the suffering Ukrainian people who are enduring inhuman cruelty.
Aside from the severe economic damage being suffered by citizens and businesses, there is a risk that the deepening energy crisis will weaken the impressive and largely unbroken commitment on the part of the Ukrainian people against Vladimir Putin’s aggression. We should be clear that the blame clearly lies with Russia and that any slacking in our resolve would cost us dearer in the long run. Faced with these concerns, President Macron on Friday called on the French people to present the prize for defending freedom and independence to accept what will probably be a harsh winter. That will be easier here and in other countries as well if action is taken to mitigate the worst of the energy problems this winter.