War in neighborhood: IPN updates

Zdob și Zdup near Kalush Orchestra

It is hard to say if “Stefania” performed by Kalush Orchestra would have won if there hadn’t been the solidarity of the Ukrainians who defend their homeland. The national jury gave the Ukrainian rap group the fourth place “only”, but the spectators were much more generous.

Namely the tele-votes catapulted to the Eurovision 2022 Top Ten Serbia’s Konstrakta (5th spot), Moldova’s Zdob și Zdub & Advahov Brothers (7th) and Subwoolfer of Norway (10th). They offered the spectators what these actually expected of Eurovision.

The jury of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and Moldova and the spectators from 28 countries each gave 12 points to Ukraine.

Zelensky promulgates law banning pro-Russian parties in Ukraine  

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed the law on the introduction of amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine regarding a ban on the activity of pro-Russian political parties. The law entered into force the next day after its publication, which is on May 15.

Ukrainian forces win battle for Kharkov

Ukraine’s military said the Russians were pulling back from the northeastern city of Kharkiv and focusing on guarding supply routes, while launching mortar, artillery and airstrikes in the eastern Donetsk region in order to deplete Ukrainian forces and destroy fortifications. Ukraine appears to have won the battle of Kharkiv as the Ukrainian forces prevented Russian troops from encircling, let alone seizing Kharkiv, and then expelled them from around the city.

G7 foreign ministers promise to offer more weapons to Ukraine

Foreign ministers from the G7 group of rich nations backed giving more aid and weapons to Ukraine. The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced a further 500 million euros worth of military support that should be approved next week by EU members, and expressed confidence that the bloc will agree an embargo on Russian oil.

For his part, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said NATO is going to release its new Strategic Concept laying out how the Alliance will sustain and strengthen transatlantic security in the face of President Putin’s aggression as well as other emerging threats.

Delegation of U.S. Senate on visit to Ukraine

The US Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, has joined the growing list of US politicians making visits to Kyiv. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy welcomed McConnell’s visit as a powerful signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine. McConnell led a delegation to the Ukrainian capital where he was hosted by Zelenskiy at the House of Chimaeras inside the presidential administration compound.

Occupants allow evacuation from Mariupol

Ukrainian authorities on Sunday said that a large convoy of vehicles carrying evacuees was allowed to leave the port city of Mariupol which has been besieged by the Russian forces. The local administration of Mariupol said the Russian forces allowed a large convoy of up to a thousand vehicles to cross into Zaporizhzhia after three days of waiting.

President of Finland talks to Putin about his country’s NATO accession plan

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto has informed Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a phone call that his Nordic nation plans to apply for NATO membership, a move Putin warned his counterpart would be a mistake that could endanger the two nations’ neighborly relations.

In Sweden, the ruling Social Democratic Party decided on Sunday that the country should apply for NATO membership. “According to the decision of the party meeting on May 15, we support the application for NATO membership,” the party said in a statement.

Italy strongly backs Finland’s and Sweden’s bid to join NATO after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, said Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio. NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, has repeatedly said both countries would be “welcomed with open arms” and that the accession process would “go quickly.”

The Office of the President of Ukraine on this occasion said that NATO’s borders would reach the suburbs of Saint Petersburg with Finland’s accession to the Alliance amid Russia’s aggressive actions.

Ukraine hopes for speedy consideration of its application for NATO membership

Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olga Stefanishina expressed hope that Ukraine’s application for NATO membership would be considered as quickly as Sweden’s and Finland’s applications. “…NATO made mistakes with its political mistakes, which were made in 2008, when there were expectations of membership and further cooperation, but without any practical solutions in this direction. In the end, this led to three wars, two of which are currently ongoing in Ukraine,“ she said.

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