News from Ukraine +++ Baerbock for an oil embargo against Russia +++

DAccording to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Germany is pushing for an oil embargo against Russia to be imposed in the EU’s sixth sanctions package. A few weeks ago, we still knew that immediate sanctions on energy could not have lasted a month, explains the politician of the Greens on ARD.

But now the preparations have been made because, in case of doubt, the sanctions against Russia must be able to last for years. “We are also campaigning within the EU for the EU to phase out oil as part of the sixth EU sanctions package,” she adds. Sanctions can only be lifted when Russia has completely withdrawn its troops from Ukraine.

A European ban on the import of Russian oil is apparently getting closer: as diplomatic circles reported on Sunday, the European Commission is currently preparing another set of sanctions against Russia, which should also include a ban on the import of Russian oil. The halt in imports is made possible by a policy shift in Germany, which was previously skeptical of an oil embargo.

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The new text of the sanctions could be presented to member states as early as Wednesday, according to diplomatic circles. In order to convince the still skeptical Member States, a gradual implementation of the import ban is planned. EU member states must have six to eight months to diversify their sources of oil.

After Berlin gave in, Hungary, heavily dependent on Russian oil, is seen as a potential blocker of a much-needed unanimous decision on sanctions. Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is said to be very close to the Kremlin, announced a veto against any form of energy embargo after his re-election in early April.

All developments in the live ticker:

1:58 a.m. – Ukraine is reportedly digging up a Russian spy ring

According to their own account, the Ukrainian security authorities unearthed a circle of Russian agents. One of the spies even worked in the Ukrainian general staff, said Monday evening the adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyj, Oleksiy Arestovych, according to the Ukrinform agency. He did not provide any information on the exact number of members of the spy ring.

However, Arestovych named one of their alleged targets. “These comrades should shoot down an airliner over Russia or Belarus and then blame Ukraine,” he said. Anti-aircraft missiles from Ukrainian stocks should therefore be used for this action.

00:32 – Lavrov: Victory anniversary on May 9 does not affect war plans

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the upcoming victory anniversary at the end of World War II will not affect military operations in Ukraine. “Our soldiers will not base their actions on a specific date,” Lavrov told Italian television when asked if May 9 would mark a turning point in the conflict.

“We will celebrate our victory, but the timing and pace of events in Ukraine depends on the need to minimize risks to Russian civilians and soldiers.”

00:11 – Opinion: The training of Ukrainian soldiers may constitute participation in the war

According to an expert report, training Ukrainian soldiers in Western weapons may constitute participation in war under international law. According to international law, arms deliveries themselves are not considered as going to war, “only if, in addition to the arms delivery, the instruction of the party to the conflict or the training in these weapons were also in question, we would leave the safe non-war zone”, reports the editorial network Germany from a report by the scientific service of the Bundestag.

00:00 – Özdemir: Activating Ukrainian wheat export routes

Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir urges Ukraine to help export wheat. “We continue to receive reports of targeted Russian attacks on grain silos, fertilizer storages, farmland and infrastructure,” the green politician told Editorial Network Germany. Behind this apparently lies Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to “eliminate Ukraine as a long-term competitor.”

Özdemir added: “With the growing hunger in the world, Russia is trying to exert pressure. At the same time, the massive increase in market prices suits Russia because it brings fresh money into the country.” Until April At the start of the war, Ukraine was one of the world’s largest producers of wheat and a major producer of maize.

Özdemir also said that at the summit of G7 agriculture ministers in mid-May, he would therefore discuss with his colleagues how access to world markets could still be guaranteed for Ukraine. “We need to allow alternative transport routes. The railway can be a solution for the export of cereals – but with a lot of effort and with limited capacities. As a federal government, we will do everything possible.

11:28 p.m. – Selenskyj calls Pelosi’s visit to Kyiv a strong signal

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described his hours-long meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a strong signal of support in difficult times. Arms supplies to Ukraine, financial aid and sanctions against Russia were discussed at the meeting, Zelensky said in a speech broadcast on television Sunday evening.

Pelosi and several US lawmakers met with Zelenskyy and his top advisers for about three hours on Saturday evening. Pelosi is the number three state in the United States.

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She is the top US official to visit Ukraine since the Russian attack began. Zelenskyi said Ukrainians are grateful to all partners “who are sending such important and strong signals of support by visiting our capital in these difficult times.”

11:25 p.m. – Zelenskyi hopes to continue the evacuation of Mariupol

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed joy over the successful evacuation of civilians from the hard-fought Azovstal plant in the port city of Mariupol. “I hope that tomorrow (Monday) all the necessary conditions will be met to continue to evacuate people from Mariupol,” he said in his daily video message on Sunday evening.

“We will continue to do everything to evacuate our people from Azovstal and Mariupol as a whole,” Zelenskyy said. The organization of such humanitarian corridors is one of the elements of the ongoing negotiation process.

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A bus convoy brought in several dozen civilians from the Asovstal steelworks, besieged by Russian soldiers, over the weekend. The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have also been involved. Selenskyj spoke of around 100 people who could be brought through the siege ring.

According to Ukrainian sources, around 1,000 civilians are trapped in the steelworks bunkers alone. Russia speaks of about 2,500 people, mostly military personnel and foreign mercenaries.

11:12 p.m. – Baerbock: Without heavy weapons, the suffering of Ukrainians would be greater

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has defended the German government’s decision to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine. “We also bear the responsibility for inaction,” the environmentalist politician said on Sunday evening on the ARD program “Anne Will”.

“If we had taken the decision now not to deliver any more weapons, not heavy weapons, then we would be putting more places in Ukraine in the hands of the Russian president. (…) If we did nothing, the suffering Ukrainians would be much worse.” That’s why the federal government has taken this next step.

11:12 p.m. – Wadephul doubts value of Cheetah deliveries

CDU foreign policy expert Johann Wadephul doubted whether the promised delivery of former Gepard anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine was the right step. They are “the most complex weapon system available to the army”. It takes at least six months of training to be able to use it responsibly. “Otherwise it is irresponsible.

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The Cheetah will be useful to the Armed Forces of Ukraine only in the fall or early winter. “It doesn’t look to me like it was thought through.” He prefers “attributing the fact that this system was chosen to the ignorance of the Minister of Defense”.

10:45 p.m. – Lavrov: NATO and the EU have accepted Washington’s supremacy

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, NATO and the EU have accepted that Washington is in charge. Lavrov said so on Sunday evening in an interview with Italian television company Mediaset, also distributed by Russian state agency Tass. He was convinced that all countries were of the opinion that only the United States should be listened to.

“And NATO and the European Union have accepted the fact that their ‘owner’ is based in Washington,” Lavrov said. “And in Washington they decided the world should be monopolar now, they talk about it all the time.”

10:20 p.m. – Baerbock suspends kyiv travel plans

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said she intended to visit Kyiv, but she suspended them after Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was not invited. “Yes, I will drive too,” the green politician told ARD.

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But she agreed with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier that he should come first. Unfortunately, the Federal President was then disinvited by the Ukrainian side. “That doesn’t mean I won’t be racing in the future,” adds Baerbock.

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