War in neighborhood: IPN update

40 states unite to help Ukraine

On the initiative of the United States, the U.S. Air Base in Germany’s Ramstein hosted a strategic Ukraine Defense Consultative Group meeting that brought together 40 states - NATO members and non-members.

U.S. Minister of Defense Lloid Austin said Ukraine’s “resistance has brought inspiration to the free world and even greater resolve to NATO” — and that Russian President Vladimir Putin “never imagined that the world would rally behind Ukraine so swiftly and surely.”

As a result of negotiations, Berlin and other capitals for the first time decided to help Kyiv and provide it with heavy weapons.

In response, Russia said that it could attack decisional points in Kyiv. “If someone intends to intervene in the ongoing events from the outside, and create strategic threats for Russia that are unacceptable to us, they should know that our retaliatory strikes will be lightning-fast,” Vladimir Putin said.

The Brits consider transfer of military actions to Russia’s territory is perfectly legal

British Deputy Defense Minister James Hippie called Ukrainian shelling of Russian territory legal. According to him, this is part of any war. “The decision to fire is made by Ukrainians, not by people who produce or export weapons. Secondly, it is perfectly legal to attack military targets in the territory of the enemy in order to disrupt its logistics and supply chains,” Hippie said, commenting on reports of Ukrainian strikes on Russian oil depots.

For his part, Premier Boris Johnson said the UK will not object to Ukraine using the weapons supplied to it against targets in Russia.

Ukraine war felt in Russia

Since the start of the large-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia has witnessed a series of installation fires that are one way or another related to the war against Ukraine.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhailo Podolyak considers the intensity of Russia’s “demilitarization” will grow and states of panic, conflict situations will appear in Russia and depots will explode there.

Russia cuts gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria

Russia fully suspended gas supplies to Pound and Bulgaria after these refused to pay for the deliveries in roubles. European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen labeled Gazprom’s decision as “yet another attempt by Russia to use gas as an instrument of blackmail”. She added that it is “unjustified and unacceptable” but sought to strike a reassuring note, stressing that the 27-country bloc is “prepared for this scenario” and has “put in place contingency plans for just such a scenario and we worked with them in coordination and solidarity.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “Russia was and remains a reliable supplier of energy resources to its consumers and remains committed to its contractual obligations.” He declined to say how many countries had agreed to switch to paying for gas in rubles after a decree was issued last month by President Vladimir Putin.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov slammed Russia for its “gas blackmail” but made it clear his country would not stop the deliveries of Russian gas across its territory to neighboring Serbia.

U.S. changes mindset about Russia’s war against Ukraine

America is now thinking of “winning” the war in Ukraine. A furtive visit to Kyiv by Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin, America’s secretaries of state and defense, brought hope of eventual salvation. “We don’t know how the rest of this war will unfold, but we do know that a sovereign, independent Ukraine will be around for a lot longer than Vladimir Putin is on the scene,” declared Mr Blinken.

IMF opens special account for Ukraine

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund approved the establishment of an Administered Account for Ukraine, providing donors with a secure vehicle to direct financial assistance to Ukraine.  The IMF explained that the account will help quickly channel donor resources in the form of grants and loans aimed at assisting Ukraine “to meet its balance of payments and budgetary needs and help stabilize its economy.”

Animosities are aimed at destabilizing Moldova

Ukraine accused Russia of staging the blasts in the breakaway republic of Transnistria, with presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak tweeting that Moscow “wants to destabilize the Transnistrian region and hints Moldova should wait for ‘guests’”.

The Kremlin expressed “concern” over the explosions. Russian state news agency RIA Novosti quoted a source in the Transnistria government as saying that attackers had entered from Ukraine.

“European pravda” said there are reasons to believe that the goal of the recent hostilities is first of all to destabilize Moldova that is distancing itself further from Russia.

Green light for Ukrainian goods in EU

The European Commission proposed on Wednesday a one-year suspension of import duties on all Ukrainian goods not covered by an existing free trade deal to help the country’s economy during the war with Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had discussed the proposal with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday and expressed his gratitude.

“Right now this will allow us to maintain economic activity in Ukraine, our national production, as much as possible. But this decision needs to be considered not only in the Ukrainian context,” he said in a late-night video address.

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