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Zelensky rejects recognition of Crimea as Russian

Zelensky noted that Ukraine is ready to talk with Russia that the issue of the peninsula is “not in time” and to postpone it, but “not forever.” The Russian authorities consider the recognition of Crimea to be one of the most important positions in the agreement with Ukraine alt=”Zelensky rejected recognition of Crimea as Russian” />

Ukraine will never recognize Crimea as Russian, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with Rai 1. The entry was published by the president's office.

“We are ready to talk with Russia that not by the time of the decision on Crimea, <…>, by the time of human lives, let's put this question aside if it complicates the negotiation process. If the issue of Crimea complicates the process of the meeting between the presidents of Ukraine and Russia, let's put this issue aside,— said Zelensky.

According to him, the Ukrainian delegation in Turkey proposed to leave this issue, “but not forever.” “They suggested that our states should resolve the issue of Crimea within 10 years. We have not heard the answer to this question,»,— Zelensky said.

He also said that Ukraine does not recognize the autonomy of the DNR and LNR.

At the talks in Istanbul at the end of March, the Ukrainian side handed over to the Russian side its written proposals on the treaty, which included the non-proliferation of security guarantees for Kyiv on the territory of Crimea and Donbass. The document also stated that for 15 years the parties will negotiate on the peninsula and during this time they will not use military force to resolve the issue. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov then saw in the position of the Ukrainian negotiators an understanding that “the issues of Crimea and Donbass have been finally resolved.”

However, in early April, the minister announced that Ukraine had submitted a new draft agreement and moved away from its wording on Crimea and Donbas. “Instead of it, vague formulations are proposed about some kind of effective control, moreover, as of February 23,” — explained Lavrov.

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The head of the Russian delegation at the talks, Vladimir Medinsky, noted that the agreement with Ukraine should contain important positions for Russia, including “the definition and recognition of Crimea and Donbass". Russian President Vladimir Putin, before the start of the Russian special operation, called the recognition of the choice of the Crimeans one of the conditions for the rehabilitation of relations with Ukraine. “They came voluntarily and made their decision” reunite with Russia»,— said Putin.

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Vladimir Zelensky

politician, President of Ukraine

January 25, 1978

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The embassy reported about the desecration of the monument to the liberators in Slovakia

The symbol of the Ukrainian battalion “Azov” recognized in Russia as extremist and banned was depicted on the monument in the city of Piestany, diplomats said. p>

“We are deeply indignant at the blasphemous act of vandalism against the monument to the liberators in the city of Piešťany”,— the message says.

The diplomatic mission said that the monument depicted a “modified wolfsangel”; wolf hook. This symbol “is the emblem of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi regiment” Azov “; [recognized as extremist in Russia and banned], convicted of numerous crimes against the civilian population of Donbass,” the diplomats wrote on the social network.

The embassy demanded that this sign be removed and the vandals punished.

< /p>

In early March, in Bratislava, the central memorial to Soviet soldiers “Slavin” was poured with blue and yellow paint, where 6845 soldiers who died in battles with the Nazis in Slovakia are buried, the Investigative Committee of Russia reported. “The actions of the perpetrators who have committed an unlawful act are directed against Russia's interests in the field of preserving the historical memory of the activities of the USSR during the Second World War and its decisive role in the victory over fascism,” — declared in the department. Chairman of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin instructed to open a criminal case.

The Slovak Foreign Ministry said that in this way the citizens of the country urged the Russians to cease fire in Ukraine.

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Senator who froze aid to Ukraine spoke out against its success to the detriment of the United States

Republican Rand Paul said that it is irresponsible to allocate $40 billion to Kyiv against the backdrop of the economic situation in the United States. This is how the senator commented on his decision to send the aid package approved by the House of Representatives

Senator Rand Paul

The United States now cannot afford to provide Ukraine with $40 billion in aid, Republican Senator Rand said on WMAL DC Paul, who blocked the corresponding bill in the upper house of Congress. He stressed that he was “very sympathetic” Ukrainians and wants their success, but “not through the bankruptcy of the United States.”

“I think sending $40 billion to another country without checking and making sure no one steals the money,” a recipe for disaster,— he thinks. This does not mean that Kyiv should not be sympathized with, the senator stressed, but “we should not forget that Ukraine has been in the top ten [countries] in terms of corruption for the past ten years.”

Rand Paul said that he represents primarily the interests of the United States. The senator called it irresponsible to provide assistance to another country when the United States itself “does not have enough baby food.”

On May 10, the House of Representatives of Congress approved a bill to help Kyiv in the amount of $40 billion. The package of measures includes the supply of weapons and humanitarian aid. The initiative was supported by 368 congressmen, 57 opposed, after which it got into the Senate.

Paul demanded amendments to the text of the document, as a result of which the final vote in the upper house was postponed. The Republican explained that if the bill is passed, the total US assistance to Ukraine since last year will reach $60 billion, which is more than the State Department's budget for 2022. This amount of funds could accelerate inflation, the senator warned: “This is due to deficit spending.”

The Pentagon then warned that a delay in approving the aid package could lead to interruptions in the supply of weapons to Kyiv.

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Biden expressed support for the desire of Finland and Sweden to become part of NATO

The US President spoke by telephone with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. The latter told his American colleague about further steps taken by Helsinki to join the

US President Joe Biden supports NATO's open door policy and the right of Finland and Sweden to make their own security decisions, the White House said in a statement following a telephone conversation between the head of state and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.

< p>The leaders also discussed cooperation between the countries in the field of defense and security, as well as efforts aimed at strengthening transatlantic security.

Niinistö, after talking with Biden, tweeted that he had told him about Helsinki's next steps to join the alliance.

Earlier, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Washington would support the applications of Finland and Sweden.< /p>

On May 12, Finnish President and Prime Minister Sanna Marin issued a statement that Helsinki should immediately apply to join NATO. According to the Finnish leader, his decision was influenced by Russia's demand from NATO to abandon the advance to the east and the start of a military operation in Ukraine.

On the same day, the Swedish newspaper Expressen reported on Stockholm's plans to apply for NATO membership on Monday, May 16. The next day, the President of Finland is scheduled to visit Sweden, during which he will hold talks with Andersson.

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Helsingin Sanomat wrote that countries plan to apply to NATO at the same time.

The day before, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council, during which “an exchange of views took place on the decision of Finland and Sweden to join NATO and the potential threats to Russia's security arising from this,” the Kremlin said.

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As stated by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, Finland and Sweden, having joined NATO, “will become a space of confrontation between the North Atlantic bloc and Russia, with all the ensuing consequences.” According to her, the alliance has been “processing” Helsinki and Stockholm to influence their policies, “carefully molding Russia into the image of an enemy.” “Russia's special operation in Ukraine should be perceived as a consequence of the aggressive expansionist policy of NATO, led by the United States, and not vice versa,” she said.

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The United States presented a national security strategy with measures against circumventing sanctions

The Finance Ministry said that the sanctioned Russians tried to hide their names and assets and thus circumvent the restrictions using shell companies and real estate deals. The authorities intend to eliminate loopholes

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The EC did not rule out the restriction of gas prices from Russia in the event of a cessation of supplies

The European Commission wants to allow governments to limit gas prices for consumers if supplies of Russian fuel are cut off, Welt am Sonntag found out to the EC document on “short-term interventions in the energy market”, according to Reuters.

According to the document, EU member states will be able to regulate fuel prices during the transition period to protect them from a surge even before there will be a shortage.

At the end of March, Russia transferred payments for gas with unfriendly countries into rubles. From April 1, companies from these countries are required to open two accounts with Gazprombank— currency and ruble. First, the payment will go to the currency account, after which the bank will sell the currency on the stock exchange and credit the rubles to the second account. The Kremlin said that Moscow would not supply gas to Europe for free. “No payment” no gas, — Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. In the list of “unfriendly” states included all EU countries, the USA and some others. The European Commission acknowledged that Moscow's demand to pay in rubles is contrary to EU sanctions.

At the end of April, Gazprom stopped pumping gas to Poland and Bulgaria because of their refusal to pay for fuel in Russian currency. The head of the EC, Ursula von der Leyen, called it blackmail, the Kremlin did not agree with her.

According to the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, the EU will be able to refuse Russian gas within two years. At the same time, he noted that European countries are striving to diversify supplies and “reduce dependence on Russian energy raw materials, but not ban it.”

As Bloomberg reported, the EU is considering replacing gas from Russia with LNG supplies from African countries , in particular from Nigeria, Senegal and Angola.

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The US Treasury warned foreign banks against helping Russia to circumvent sanctions

Deputy Treasury Secretary Adewale (Wally) Adeyemo has threatened foreign banks with loss of access to both the US and EU financial systems if they help Moscow evade

The Joe Biden administration has urged foreign banks not to help Russia evade sanctions, otherwise they risk losing access to the financial systems of the US and Europe. According to The New York Times, U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Adewale (Wally) Adeyemo warned in private meetings with representatives of international banks in New York, including those from China, Brazil, Ireland, Japan and Canada, that even if the financial institution located in a country that has not imposed restrictions on Russia, it may still face consequences for violating US or EU sanctions.

“If you provide financial support to sanctioned individuals or organizations, we may place you under the sanctions regime and use our tools to put pressure on you,” — he declared. To get around the sanctions, Russians and companies tried to create trusts and act through proxies. The Deputy Finance Minister also pointed to companies that can provide assistance to sanctioned businessmen who are trying to hide their yachts. Most jurisdictions comply with restrictive measures, but some, such as the UAE, continue to hide Russian assets. Several Russian yachts are moored in Dubai, the building points out.

On May 13, the US Treasury released the 2022 National Strategy to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. It provides for measures against Russia's circumvention of sanctions. The authorities intend to make efforts to eliminate loopholes that allowed sanctioned Russians to hide their names, as well as bank accounts and other assets through shell companies and real estate deals for cash.

The European Union and the United States decided to freeze the assets Bank of Russia by freezing its transactions in order to limit “the use of its own international reserves to weaken the impact of Western sanctions.” The head of the Ministry of Finance, Anton Siluanov, reported that as a result, Russia lost access to almost half of its gold and foreign exchange reserves— $300 billion

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia, together with Iran and China, intends to look for ways to bypass the restrictions. US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, in turn, threatened to deprive Chinese companies that ignore US restrictions on exports to Russia of American equipment and software they need to manufacture their own products.

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NYT pointed to the risks for the United States in the boycott by countries of the summit of the Americas

The possible refusal of the President of Mexico to come to the summit of the Americas will interfere with the intention of the Biden administration to conclude an agreement on illegal migration. The United States is also concerned about the likely non-participation of the President of Brazil in the meeting. pointed out the risks for the United States in a boycott of the Summit of the Americas by countries” />

Joe Biden

A growing number of Latin American and Caribbean heads of state are considering withdrawing from the Summit of the Americas due in Los Angeles in June, writes The New York Times.

Including — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the newspaper reported, citing Brazilian officials. According to the newspaper, the Brazilian leader has a cool relationship with Washington, and the summit was supposed to be Bolsonaro's first meeting with US President Joe Biden.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador may also miss the summit: he said he would not come to the meeting unless representatives of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua were invited to it. Juan González, senior director of Western Hemisphere affairs at the US National Security Council, had earlier suggested this possibility.

The Mexican president was supported by the leaders of Bolivia and Honduras. Countries— members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) also threatened to boycott the summit if Venezuela was represented at it not by President Nicolas Maduro, but by opposition leader Juan Guaido (the United States recognizes the latter as interim head of state).

As the newspaper notes, the boycott threats highlight the problems that the Biden administration is facing. Ahead of the mid-term elections to be held in the fall of 2022, the US administration is seeking an effective regional agreement on illegal migration, according to a New York Times source. The absence of the Mexican president from the summit will make his conclusion more difficult.

Bolsonaro's failure to attend the meeting jeopardizes the achievement of two other significant foreign policy goals of the Biden administration, which are related to the issue of climate change and the defense of democracy, the newspaper writes. The NYT notes that during the Biden presidency, Brazil moved closer to Russia, Bolsonaro expanded the deforestation of the Amazon and “questioned the integrity of elections in his own country.”

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At the meeting, the US and other countries could try to pressure Bolsonaro to “respect the democratic process”; and publicly supported his country's electoral system. However, according to the NYT source, the summit of the Americas is not on Bolsonaro's schedule. The fact that the Brazilian leader does not plan to participate in the meeting was also reported by Reuters.

Bolsonaro's administration told the newspaper that they had not received any information about the timing of the summit. Brazilian Vice President Amilton Mourán said Bolsonaro has not yet decided whether to attend the meeting.

The US authorities have not yet issued official invitations to the summit; The White House previously said they had not yet made a final decision on the guest list. A spokesman for the US National Security Council, who is helping organize the event, told the NYT that the upcoming summit— “the most important event for the Biden administration in our hemisphere,” and added that formal invitations would be sent out shortly. Both the NSC and the State Department declined to comment on boycott threats.

Summit of the Americas— organized under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS) meeting of the heads of state and government of America. Its goal is to form a common strategy in solving the problems facing the countries of the region. It was first held in 1994 in Miami. This year, the meeting is scheduled for June 6 & 10 in Los Angeles.

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The Foreign Ministry revealed what will determine the response to Finland’s accession to NATO

Deputy Foreign Minister Grushko: the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO will not go unanswered According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grushko, Russia's response will depend on what infrastructure NATO deploys in Finland and Sweden

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian

If Finland and Sweden join NATO, Russia will not decide on its response actions on emotions, it will depend on the infrastructure of the alliance in these countries, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko.

“It is clear that this change cannot remain without a political reaction, and also without a very precise analysis of the consequences of the composition of the forces that may be formed as a result of the next entry into the alliance. It is clear that the decision will not be made on emotions, it will be a thorough and verified analysis of all the factors that are characteristic of the security situation in this industry, — said Grushko (quote from RIA Novosti).

The Deputy Foreign Minister believes that it is too early to talk about the possibility of deploying Russian early nuclear forces in the Baltic region. However, if NATO decides to bring its nuclear forces and infrastructure closer to the borders, Moscow will need to take adequate precautions, Grushko added.

Finland and Sweden are still partner states of the North Atlantic Alliance, however, after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, they again started talking about the possibility of joining the alliance

The Swedish newspaper Expressen, citing its government sources, wrote that Stockholm could apply on Monday, May 16. On May 13, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekko Haavisto said that the country would apply to NATO in the middle of next week, if parliament approves it.

The Kremlin regards Finland's desire to become a NATO member as an unconditional threat. Dmitry Polyansky, Russia's first deputy representative to the UN, said that Helsinki and Stockholm could become a “target” if alliance troops appear on their territory. In addition, if Finland and Sweden join the alliance, Russia will have to seriously strengthen the grouping of ground forces on its borders with NATO countries and deploy naval forces in the Gulf of Finland, said Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev.

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Chinese ships entered the zone to the Senkaku Islands disputed with Japan

NHK: Four PRC ships entered Japanese territorial waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands ” alt=”Chinese ships entered the zone to the disputed Senkaku Islands with Japan” />

The Senkaku Archipelago

Four ships of the Chinese Coast Guard entered the territorial waters of Japan to the shores of the disputed Senkaku Islands, the Japanese TV channel NHK reports.

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According to the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, Chinese ships one by one began to enter the territorial waters of Japan from about 10:30 to 10:45 on May 14 (from 4:30 to 4:45 Moscow time). As a result, the vessels are in Japanese territorial waters off the coast of Minamikojima (one of the islands of the Senkaku archipelago. — RBC).

The Japanese Coast Guard sent a warning to Chinese ships to immediately leave the territorial waters.< /p>

The uninhabited archipelago (the Japanese call it Senkaku, and the Chinese – Diaoyu) came under Japanese control in 1895, along with Taiwan, captured by Japanese troops after winning the war with China. After the Second World War, the archipelago was under the control of the United States, but was later transferred to Japan. After the war, Tokyo renounced the rights to Taiwan, in connection with which Beijing believes that Japan should also return the islands. A new aggravation of the territorial dispute between China and Japan occurred after Tokyo bought three of the five islands of the archipelago from a private Japanese owner in 2012, thus emphasizing their state status.

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HRC member Andrei Babushkin dies

Human rights activist Andrei Babushkin died at the age of 58 A few days ago, Babushkin became ill and was hospitalized. He died on the night of May 14 in intensive care

Andrei Babushkin

Member of the Presidential Council for Human Rights and the Federal Bureau of Yabloko; Andrei Babushkin died at the age of 58, according to the press service of the party.

As HRC member Kirill Kabanov said in his Telegram, Babushkin died on the night of May 14 in intensive care.

The day before, human rights activist Eva Merkacheva told Kommersant that Babushkin was hospitalized in the 20th hospital in Moscow “due to the exacerbation of a long-standing illness”, a few days ago he became ill— then they, together with Merkacheva, went to the subway for a working meeting with representatives of one of the ministries. “I had to call an ambulance. They pumped him out, but the doctors said that it was vital to lead a healthy lifestyle, and he just exhausted himself, — she said.

Babushkin was born on January 28, 1964. in the village of Zvyagino near Moscow. In 1989 he graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy of Moscow State University, worked as a history teacher. Since 1993, he headed a number of human rights organizations.

In 1997, he created and headed the Committee for Civil Rights. The organization provides legal assistance to prisoners, monitors the observance of human rights by law enforcement agencies, legal education of citizens, social assistance to the homeless and other tasks. In October 2021, the organization reported that employees were deprived of their premises, and their property was seized due to debts that arose due to funding problems.

In 2012, Babushkin was included in the HRC. He was a member of the expert council under the Commissioner for Human Rights, was a member of the presidium of the National Civil Committee for Cooperation with Law Enforcement Bodies.

Babushkin developed more than 30 amendments included in the current legislation, wrote 20 books and brochures on the protection of rights man, was one of the developers of the amnesty project in 2000.

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Biden misspoke and named Kamala Harris President of the United States

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American President Joe Biden during his speech at the US summit— ASEAN made a reservation and named its Vice President Kamala Harris head of state.

During his speech, he called the Indo-Pacific region free, open, stable and prosperous. “That's why I asked President Harris to go there last August,” said Biden.

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Scholz called the only option to lift sanctions against Russia

German Chancellor Scholz: sanctions against Russia can be lifted only in case of an agreement between Moscow and Kyiv /s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/media/img/3/39/756525141887393.jpg” alt=”Scholz named the only way to lift sanctions against Russia” />

Olaf Scholz

Sanctions against Russia can only be lifted if it concludes an agreement with Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told t-online. According to the politician, this is “the only plausible possibility”, and we cannot talk about a “dictated peace”.

The chancellor also said that Germany insists on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. “Otherwise, a clear principle applies: Ukraine resolves these issues [about the lifting of restrictions]. We can't negotiate on their behalf anyway,” — he pointed out.

“We want to help Ukraine defend itself. And together with our allies, we want to ensure that Russia <…> withdrew its troops from the territory of Ukraine»,— Scholz said. Therefore, Western countries have imposed sanctions against Moscow, he added.

The Chancellor called the opinion that restrictive measures do not have a serious impact erroneous. “Sanctions have a very significant impact. As a result, the Russian economy is seriously suffering, and the possibilities for its development are severely limited,— considers the politician.

Scholz has previously said that sanctions against Russia can only be lifted after agreement with Ukraine. German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock, in turn, called the ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine the conditions for lifting restrictions.

At the end of April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow and Kyiv, among other issues, were discussing the lifting of sanctions at the talks. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denied this. He insists lifting restrictions is out of the question as long as hostilities continue, Russian troops are in the country, “until we get our territories back.” “None of this is over. I am surprised in principle that the issue of lifting sanctions is being raised.

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Deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Vershinin said in March that Russia was not going to ask the West to lift sanctions. The authorities admit that there are difficulties due to restrictions, but at the same time they believe that they cannot be compared with the “terrible trials of the country in the 20th century.” President Vladimir Putin warned the EU countries about the “intractable consequences” with continued sanctions pressure. In early May, he signed a decree on Russia's new response to sanctions.

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The Ministry of Defense reported on the destruction of Ukrainian drones and Smerch shells

Ministry of Defense: 13 drones were destroyed in Ukraine and three Smerch shells were intercepted aligncenter” src=”https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/resized/925x520_crop/media/img/4/37/756525170013374.jpg” alt=”The Ministry of Defense reported on the destruction of Ukrainian drones and Smerch shells” />

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Russian air defense systems destroyed 13 Ukrainian drones overnight, including one Bayraktar TB2, in areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, as well as the Kharkiv region, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Koshanenkov said.

In addition, the Russian military intercepted near Kharkov— in the area of ​​u200bu200bthe settlements of Izyum, Semenovka and Snezhkovka— three Smerch multiple rocket launchers, he said.

At the request of Roskomnadzor, RBC provides data on the details of the military operation in Ukraine based on information from Russian official sources.

According to Konashenkov, the Russian Aerospace Forces hit five command posts and two ammunition depots of the armed forces of Ukraine in the areas of the settlements of Disputed and Berestovoye in the DPR. As a result, he claims, “up to 100 nationalists were destroyed,” 23 units of military equipment were put out of action.

The Defense Ministry also said that during the night rocket troops and artillery attacked 18 command posts and 543 areas where manpower and military equipment were concentrated. These strikes eliminated 23 artillery units of the Ukrainian army at firing positions in the areas of the village of Verkhnekamenskoye, the city of Krasny Liman and other settlements of the Donetsk region.

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< p> The day before, the department announced the destruction of the country's largest oil refinery on the northern outskirts of Kremenchug in Poltava th area. In April, he was already under attack. After that, local authorities reported that production could not be restored before the end of the year.

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Putin called Finland’s refusal of neutrality and joining NATO a mistake

According to the Russian leader, Finland's accession to NATO could have a negative impact on Russian-Finnish relations, which for many years were built on good neighborliness and partner cooperation

Vladimir Putin countries in NATO would be a mistake, since there are no threats to the security of Helsinki, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a telephone conversation with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö. This was reported on the Kremlin website.

“Such a change in the country's foreign policy may have a negative impact on Russian-Finnish relations, which have been built in the spirit of good neighborliness for many years,” — The report says.

Ninisto told Putin that Finland would soon decide whether to apply to join NATO. The Office of the Finnish President explained this decision by the desire to strengthen the country's security.

During the telephone conversation, Putin and Niinistö also discussed the situation in Ukraine. The Russian President assessed the negotiations between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations, “virtually suspended by Kyiv”.

Ninistö and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin on May 12 announced the need to immediately apply to NATO . The country's Foreign Ministry explained this by saying that “the hostilities launched by Russia created a danger to the stability of all of Europe.” Sweden can also apply as early as May 16, Expressen wrote.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the United States would support Finland and Sweden joining NATO. Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance, promised to promptly receive both countries in case of a request from them.

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However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he did not consider the possibility of countries joining the alliance as positive. According to him, the Scandinavian countries are “a guest house for terrorist organizations.” He recalled that members of the PKK, banned in the country, live in Sweden and are even represented in parliament.

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic also considered the applications of Sweden and Finland to join NATO a “dangerous adventure”. In his opinion, these countries cannot join the bloc until the law on elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina is changed in the interests of the Bosnian Croats.

The Kremlin sees Helsinki's desire to become a NATO member as a threat. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow's actions would depend on how the “expansion process” would be expressed; and how the military infrastructure of the alliance will move.

The day before, Putin discussed at a meeting with the country's Security Council the possible threats from the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO.

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