News from Ukraine: Scholz and Macron stress the sovereignty of the attacked country | Current Europe | DW

The essentials in a nutshell:

  • Scholz receives French President Macron, who has been confirmed in office
  • Rocket attack on Odessa during the visit of Charles Michel
  • Moscow reports many new attacks after Putin’s speech
  • Visit of UN Secretary General António Guterres to Moldova
  • SPD leader admits mistakes in dealing with Moscow
  • Roscosmos boss outraged by Elon Musk

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz received newly re-elected French President Emmanuel Macron with military honors at the Chancellery in Berlin. Their conversation focused on the war in Ukraine and Franco-German cooperation in Europe.

Macron then told reporters that it was essential to prevent the war of Russian aggression from spreading to Europe. It is important to protect democracy. “What we want to achieve is a ceasefire, as soon as possible.”

Scholz explained that we must act quickly to end the war. Russia must withdraw its troops from Ukraine. It is inconceivable that Ukraine would accept a dictated peace. Both politicians emphasized the sovereignty of the attacked country.

Franco-German friendship

At the same time, the Chancellor emphasized the Franco-German friendship and underlined that it was more important than ever as a driving force. This is a “new impetus” for Europe. Russia’s “terrible war of aggression” is forging its European partners. It is also important to act together. The Chancellor underlined: “Ukraine is part of the European family”.

Rocket attacks during the visit of the President of the EU Council to Odessa

During his visit to the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, EU Council President Charles Michel had to take cover from rocket attacks. Michel interrupted a conversation with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal “to ask for protection when rockets hit the Odessa region again”, an EU official said.

EU Council President Charles Michel (left) and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal (middle) in Odessa

Michel explained on Twitter that the reason for his visit to the southern Ukrainian city was Europe Day, which the EU celebrates on May 9. “You are not alone. The EU stands by your side”, assured the President of the Council, condemning “Russian aggression” against Ukraine.

In Odessa, Michel also lamented the impact of the Russian war on global supply chains, especially with regard to grain shipments blocked at the port due to the “Russian blockade of the Black Sea”. This blockade not only harms the Ukrainian economy, but also endangers “world food security”.

More than 200 attacks against targets in Ukraine

Shortly after Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin’s speech in Moscow’s Red Square, the Russian Defense Ministry reported more than 200 attacks. Command posts and warehouses containing military equipment, among other items, were targeted by rocket and artillery fire, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said. A total of 350 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the attacks, he claimed. This information could not be independently verified.

Konashenkov also spoke about the destruction of an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system in the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine.

Reports of the storming of the Mariupol steel plant

According to Ukrainian sources, Russian forces are trying to storm the besieged steelworks in the port city of Mariupol, where the city’s last defenders have dug in. Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motusyanyk said there were operations to storm the sprawling industrial complex with tanks and artillery. He did not give details.

Ukraine |  Mariupol - besieged steelworks

The besieged steel mills of Mariupol

António Guterres asks for financial aid for Moldova

UN Secretary General António Guterres has called for more international financial assistance for the Republic of Moldova to care for hundreds of thousands of war refugees from Ukraine. With nearly half a million refugees, the low-income country has taken in more Ukrainians per capita than any other country in the region, António Guterres said in the capital Chisinau.

The former Soviet republic has 2.6 million inhabitants. Recently, concerns have been growing there about the possibility of the war in Ukraine spreading to the neighboring country. The pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria in the east of the country is seen as a potential hot spot. Russia has about 1,500 troops stationed there.

The UN secretary-general previously expressed his “horror” at the Russian airstrike on a school in the village of Bilohorivka, in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk. Guterres said civilians and civilian infrastructure should not be attacked in times of war. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, around 60 people were killed at the school. They would have sought refuge there.

Russian missile attack on a school in Bilohorivka

The ruins of the Bilohorivka village school

Peace talks “from afar”

According to Russia, peace talks with Ukraine are continuing. They were not over, but would continue remotely, Russia’s chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky told the Interfax news agency. The Russian government has accused Ukraine of blocking the talks and undermining the talks with reports of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers. Russia denies attacking civilians in Ukraine.

Can the Schwedt refinery be saved?

Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck sees a future for the PCK refinery in Schwedt in eastern Germany, despite sanctions against Russian oil. With oil from other countries and full state access to the refinery, Schwedt could be saved and even turned into a “flagship project” for hydrogen in the medium term, the Greens politician told the TV channel. German television “Welt”. But you won’t go any further as long as the Russian oil company Rosneft stands in the way.

The refinery supplies the greater Berlin-Brandenburg region and parts of Poland and is majority owned by Rosneft. Russian oil is transported there via a pipeline. Habeck wants to go personally to Schwedt on Monday.

Schwedt PCK Refinery

PCK refinery in Schwedt (Brandenburg)

“Unfortunately not much new” in Scholz’s speech

Ukraine’s Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk said he was disappointed with Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s televised speech on the anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. In the speech, one would have liked “much more concrete information” on how the Bundestag’s decision on the delivery of heavy weapons should be implemented, Melnyk said in the ARD talk show “Anne Will “. “Unfortunately, we haven’t heard much new.”

Melnyk called the German government’s commitment to deliver seven self-propelled howitzers – modern artillery systems – to Ukraine a “good decision”. At the same time, he made it clear that he expected much more. When the Chancellor says that Russia must not win, it means “everything, absolutely everything must be done (…) to help us in this difficult situation, in this war – the worst war since the Second World War”, has demanded the diplomat.

Read also : Opinion: The Chancellor does not want to hesitate any longer

“Russia should have been treated differently”

The leader of the German Social Democrats, Lars Klingbeil, has admitted mistakes in his relations with Russia. “We have always had a political and social consensus in this country that we want to be close to Russia, that we are looking for closeness to Russia,” the SPD leader told Phoenix TV.

From today’s point of view, it must be said that it was a mistake. “We should have taken a turn earlier – the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Navalny, the killing of Tiergarten – these are all signs that we should have treated Russia differently politically.”

Germany |  Lars Klingbeil

SPD leader Lars Klingbeil (archive)

Conclusions for the future should be drawn from these mistakes, demanded Klingbeil. “If it’s about dealing with China, for example, then we have to act differently today and be more critical.”

Sweden’s Social Democrats clarify their position on NATO on Sunday

Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats will decide on May 15 whether to back down from their decades-long opposition to NATO membership. If the party approves NATO membership, Sweden will almost certainly ask to join the military alliance. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to rethinking security policy in Sweden and Finland.

Mine detection dog receives medal from Zelenskyj

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded a medal to a mine detection dog. The little Jack Russell Terrier “Patron” was awarded the Order “For selfless service”.

Ukraine kyiv visit of PM Trudeau with President Zelenskyy

President Selenskyj with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau (left) and the dog “Patron”

The two-and-a-half-year-old dog reportedly taught himself to look for mines. In the Chernihiv region in northern Ukraine, he has already drawn attention to more than 100 deadly objects, it is said. Since the outbreak of the conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014 and the Russian raid on February 24 this year, Ukraine has been considered one of the most heavily mined countries in the world.

Roscosmos boss threatens Elon Musk

The head of Russia’s space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, has threatened tech billionaire Elon Musk with consequences for his support for Ukraine. Musk’s space company, SpaceX, has made the Starlink satellite network available to the country attacked by Russia. This means that Ukrainian authorities and troops can access high-speed Internet from space in the event of mobile communications and local Internet failures.

Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin is the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos

Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin has headed the Russian space agency Roscosmos since 2018

Roscosmos boss Rogozin wrote on the Telegram chat service that Musk provides “fascist forces in Ukraine with means of military communication” and will have to answer for it “like an adult.” Rogozin represents right-wing national and xenophobic positions. The former Deputy Prime Minister is a strong supporter of the Russian attack on Ukraine.

se/uh/nob/rb/wa/fw (phoenix, afp, ap, dpa, rtr, epd)

This article will be continuously updated on the day of publication. Reports from combat zones cannot be independently verified.

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