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The EU will study ways to restore Ukraine with the assets of Russian oligarchs

The blocked assets of Russian oligarchs can be used to restore Ukraine, von der Leyen said, lawyers are working on this. In early April, the amount of Russian assets frozen by the European Union amounted to €29.5 billion ” alt=”The EU will explore ways to restore Ukraine with the assets of Russian oligarchs” />

Ursula von der Leyen

The European Union is looking for ways to use the frozen assets of Russian oligarchs to use them in the reconstruction of Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on ZDF.

“I think Russia should also do its part,” — explained the head of the EC (quoted by Reuters).

Von der Leyen also suggested linking the long-term recovery of Ukraine with the reforms that the country needs to carry out to join the European Union. She explained that in order to approve the Ukrainian application, European standards in the rule of law, economic and political spheres should be observed.

European countries by the beginning of April froze Russian assets in the amount of €29.5 billion, this amount takes into account not only accounts, but also various property: ships, helicopters, real estate and works of art, reported to the European Commission. EC Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis later explained that the issue of further confiscation of the assets of sanctioned Russians would be decided at the level of the criminal legislation of each European country.

The restoration of Ukraine may require “not millions, but trillions” euro, estimated in mid-May, the head of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Werner Hoyer. He expressed confidence that Kyiv should not be left face to face with such costs and significant assistance should be provided.

At the same time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky considered that $600 billion is needed to restore the country. He said that Kyiv is preparing a large-scale plan for this process, but the country needs international assistance, which will become an analogue of the Marshall Plan.

Read on RBC Pro Pro Alibaba is trading at a record low price. Should I Buy Pro Articles Musk vs. Bots: Who Benefits from the Twitter Purchase Scandal In which stocks to sit out the fall Forecasts Pro Lockdowns in China threaten a new logistical crisis. What to expect Articles Pro 40% per year is already the norm: how Argentina lives in conditions of record inflation Articles Pro How Ukraine masters cryptocurrencies against the backdrop of a Russian special operation p>In the Kremlin, the seizure of the assets of Russian businessmen was criticized, calling it a “robbery”. “These are absolutely honest legal entrepreneurs. They were robbed. They were robbed the same way travelers were robbed in the Wild West with the help of Smith and Wesson, — Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian president, is sure.

He also assured that entrepreneurs in Russia understand the separation of politics and business, and the oligarchs are those who “got to power.” According to Peskov, the last of their number in recent years was only former US President Donald Trump. “In our country, probably, the last oligarch who aspired to power was Khodorkovsky,” — he summed up.

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WSJ learned about US plans to lift sanctions from Minsk in exchange for grain transit

Washington may temporarily lift sanctions on Belarusian potash fertilizers if the country allows Ukrainian grain to be exported to Latvia, WSJ sources say. Earlier, the newspaper reported that the UN Secretary General offered Moscow a similar deal “WSJ learned about the US plans to lift sanctions from Minsk in exchange for the transit of grain” />

The US authorities are considering the possibility of lifting restrictive measures imposed against potash fertilizers produced in Belarus if the official Minsk agrees to the transit of Ukrainian grain through the territory Belarus, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing informed sources.

The interlocutors of the publication clarified that these sanctions could be lifted for six months, if the Belarusian authorities agree, grain crops will be delivered by rail to the port of the Lithuanian city of Klaipeda .

Earlier, WSJ diplomatic sources reported a similar proposal by UN Secretary General António Guterres. According to sources, he urged Moscow to ease export restrictions on fertilizers from Russia and Belarus in exchange for the passage of ships with grain from Ukraine.

Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya then called the publication “a free interpretation.” The diplomat said that during his visit to Russia at the end of April, Guterres did discuss the lifting of sanctions against potash fertilizers, but without reference to the situation with grain. “This issue was indeed raised by Guterres, but not in terms of exchanging one for the other,” — claimed Nebenzya.

The American authorities believe that about 20 million tons of grain have accumulated in Ukraine, which are difficult to take out of the country. The UN World Food Program estimates the volume of grain at 25 million tons, indicating that this situation has developed due to the “blocked ports of the Black Sea”; and infrastructure problems. “We are studying ways to bring this grain back to the world market and thereby achieve lower prices,” — US President Joe Biden announced in mid-May.

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Truss rejected the British desire for a change of power in Russia

British Foreign Minister Truss: London and Washington are not seeking a change of power in Russia London and Washington are not making efforts to change power in Russia, Truss said. Earlier, Biden said that Putin could no longer remain in power, the White House explained that he meant influence on neighboring countries

Great Britain and the United States do not set the goal of their policy to change power in Russia, said British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in an interview with Corriere della Sera.

“We are not seeking regime change, but we must ensure that Russia can no longer commit these acts of aggression,”— she said.

The office of the British Prime Minister previously stressed that London only wants to “stop Russia seeking to subdue a democratic country.” “That's been our message all along,” — said in the message.

At the end of March, American President Joe Biden said during a speech in Warsaw: “For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power.” Later, the White House assured that he did not call for a change in Russian power, but meant “power over neighbors.” Russia. Biden also rejected the suggestion that he meant a change of power in Russia.

The United States is not interested in a change of power in Russia, US Vice President Kamalla Harris assured in early April. “This is not our policy. Dot»,— she said.

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The Kremlin then noted that they did not know the meaning of the words of the US President, but called him “a victim of many delusions.” The representative of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, added that the issue of people in power in Russia is decided by the Russians during the elections, and not by the governments of other countries. “In general, of course, this speech and those passages of the speech that relate to Russia are amazing, if not worse,” — stressed Peskov.

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Latvian Foreign Minister announced plans to refuse Russian gas supplies

The Latvian authorities are planning to refuse Russian gas supplies, said the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the republic, Edgar Rinkevich, in an interview with Al Jazeera TV channel.

“We plan to build gas supply stations and do without Russian gas,”— the minister said (quote from RIA Novosti).

The head of the Foreign Ministry also believes that the Latvian authorities are confident that NATO will support the Baltic countries in repelling “any threats.”

< p>

On March 31, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on gas payments with “unfriendly” countries in rubles. Starting April 1, companies from Western countries must open two accounts with Gazprombank: one in foreign currency and one in rubles. The payment for deliveries will first go to the currency account, after which the bank will sell the currency on the stock exchange, and the received rubles will be credited to the second account. Payment will be considered completed only from the moment the funds are credited to the ruble account.

At the same time, the Kremlin did not rule out that they could cancel the new payment scheme, “if other conditions come.” WEIGHT refused to make calculations according to this scheme.

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After the decree of the Russian president, natural gas from Russia ceased to flow to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, Uldis Bariss, head of the operator of the Latvian gas transmission system Conexus Baltic Grid (Conexus), said.

Then he spoke that gas is supplied to Latvia by the Klaipeda liquefied natural gas terminal and the Incukalns underground th gas storage, and the last of them “has an unusual amount of gas for this period,” Bariss noted. Therefore, the country has no reason to worry about its energy security in the next few months, he believes.

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G7 countries agree to create alliance against food crisis

The alliance will reduce the threat of a food crisis, which risks becoming the largest since World War II, G7 ministers expect. 1.2 billion people have already suffered from the rise in food prices, according to the UN ” alt=”G7 countries agree to create alliance against food crisis” />

Minister Svenja Schulze

G7 countries (G7: UK, Germany, Canada, Italy, France, Japan and the US) have agreed to create a global food security alliance to counter the threat of a crisis, German Economic Development Minister Svenja Schulze said after a meeting with colleagues, Frankfurter Rundschau reports.

“The worst food crisis since World War II is imminent,” — Schulze explained.— “That's why we must act decisively and together now and make sure that the grain quickly reaches the hungry.”

Within the framework of the alliance, it is planned to improve the coordination of existing programs in the field of reducing the threat of a food crisis, all countries can join it and are ready to work on this problem. The minister added that the association would not allow “the use of hunger as a means of exerting pressure.” In addition to providing short-term emergency assistance to countries in need, the alliance will create sustainable structures that “make countries more resilient to price shocks in world markets in the long term,” Aktuelle Nachrichten is quoted as saying.

< p>If the trend towards higher prices for agricultural products is consolidated, the head of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Achim Steiner, warned at a ministerial meeting, “hundreds of millions of people will no longer be able to buy basic products.” He noted that by this day, 193 million people in 53 states cannot be sure that tomorrow they will have enough food for themselves or their families, this figure has doubled in six years— since 2016.

The rise in food prices led to “price shocks” in 69 countries around the world, 1.2 billion people were affected, Steiner emphasized, pointing out that this is about “a sixth of humanity.”

Read on RBC Pro Pro Development “without interference”: what analysts said about the 2008 crisis Articles Pro The Russian economy has entered a period of change. How this affects banks Pro How badly stagflation can hit the economy in 2022 Articles Pro The employer must return the “excess” personal income tax to the employee: how to do thisRussian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya accused Western countries of creating a threat of a food crisis, urging them to lift sanctions restrictions on Russia. “Why should the poorest countries and regions suffer from your irresponsible geopolitical games?”, — he asked. According to the diplomat, Moscow is still a responsible supplier of grain crops and energy resources, moreover, the country is ready to export 25 million tons of grain through the port in Novorossiysk from August to the end of 2022. For the whole of 2021, Russia exported 30 million tons of grain.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also spoke about the risk of a policy of “sanctions insanity”, expressing confidence that due to restrictive measures against Russia, many residents of European countries will face “intractable consequences”. “The Kremlin did not impose restrictions. We do not need to remove anything here, the restrictions imposed by the United States, European countries and others must be lifted here, — his press secretary Dmitry Peskov claimed.

The US authorities are confident that Russia is preventing the supply of 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine. According to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Ukrainian farmers are putting on helmets and body armor while continuing to harvest. “Ukrainians go to great lengths to feed their people and feed the world,” — he summarized.

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Podolyak urged to ensure that Donbass forgets the word “Russians”

Advisor to the head of Zelensky's office: in Donetsk and Luhansk the word “Russians” should be forgotten “aligncenter” src=”https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/media/img/8/76/756530188758768.jpg” alt=”Podolyak called for Donbass to forget the word “Russians”” />

Mikhail Podolyak

In Donetsk, Lugansk and southern Ukraine, the word “Russians” should be was forgotten, this can be achieved after the counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said adviser to the head of the presidential office Mykhailo Podolyak on the air of the TSN TV channel.

Podolyak said that the establishment of control over the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions is a matter of principle, and this should pass “as much as possible hard". Kyiv, he continued, also needs to gain access to the Sea of ​​Azov.

“I am in favor of forgetting the word “Russians” in the Kharkiv region. I am in favor of forgetting the word “Russians” in Lugansk and Donetsk; and that all criminal elements who call themselves the authorities should not exist. Physically, it was not, — added by Podolyak.

The day before, on May 18, the authorities of Zhytomyr announced their intention to abandon the teaching of the Russian language in schools from the new academic year. The specific subjects that will replace these lessons will be considered by the pedagogical councils of schools, and parents of schoolchildren will be able to choose them. The chief specialist of the Zhytomyr Department of Education, Olga Ermakova, specified that about a thousand schoolchildren are now studying Russian in 40 classes of ten educational institutions.

“Teachers can teach subjects that have an artistic component, so they will be loaded with” art ” , optional courses related to the theater, painting, music,»,— Ermakova added.

In April, Taras Kremin, Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language of Ukraine, called for “sending to idle time” before the end of the academic year. Russian language teachers who did not teach other subjects. In his opinion, these lessons should be replaced by the study of the Ukrainian language, English, mathematics or the history of Ukraine. Kremin also pointed out that a lot of attention is paid to Russian writers in literature lessons, and therefore it is necessary to revise the educational program.

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On February 22, Russia recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk republics within the administrative borders of the regions of Ukraine, and since February 24, it has been conducting a special military operation on its territory. President Vladimir Putin made this decision. He justified his actions by the desire to achieve “demilitarization and denazification”; neighboring state. According to the head of the Russian state, the Ukrainian authorities have been pursuing a policy of “genocide” for eight years. civilians of Donbass.

In mid-May, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it had reached the LPR border. Russian forces also occupied the Kherson region of Ukraine and the south of the Zaporozhye region, where military-civilian administrations appeared. Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the administration of the Kherson region, announced his intention to turn to Putin with a request to include the region into Russia. At the same time, he noted that “no referenda” is not planned.

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CNN learns details of Pentagon Representative Kirby’s move to the White House

At the White House, John Kirby will take over the Foreign Policy Public Relations position at the National Security Council,

John Kirby

US Department of Defense Press Secretary John Kirby will move to the White House. This is reported by CNN, citing a source.

Despite the fact that the details of his transition to a new position are still being finalized, Kirby is expected to take the post of a senior foreign policy public relations specialist in the National Security Council (NSC ).

According to the channel, he will not regularly hold briefings, but will speak with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre when necessary.

On the eve of The Washington Post, citing two sources, said that Kirby will move to the White House in a leadership position. The interlocutors of the publication then did not specify what position they were talking about, but suggested that he would actively participate in White House communications, including close cooperation with the NSS.

Earlier, CNN reported that John Kirby was also considered to replace Jen Psaki as White House Press Secretary.

Jen Psaki has been the White House Press Secretary since November 30, 2020. Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden announced that she would leave office on May 13. She was replaced by First Deputy Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States Karine Jean-Pierre.

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Axios with a link wrote to sources that Psaki plans to go to work on the American television channel MSNBC and replace the presenter Rachel Maddow.

Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov wished success to Jen Psaki after information appeared about her departure from the post of press secretary of Bely home.

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The EC urged European companies to pay Russia for gas in euros

According to the vice-president of the European Commission, the agreements concluded with Gazprom clearly spell out the gas payment scheme in euros, and the Russian president violates the agreements with his demands

European companies must pay for Russian natural gas exclusively in euros . Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission, stated this on ERR.

Commenting on reports that a number of large European gas companies have opened accounts with Gazprombank through which payments made in euros are converted into Russian rubles, Timmermans said that “this is not normal.”

“The agreements are very clear, the agreements speak about euros and dollars. It's not rubles. With this trick that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is trying to use, he is trying to keep his Central Bank afloat with foreign currency, which is not allowed by the sanctions, — said the Vice-President of the EC.

Timmermans said that the Russian Central Bank is under sanctions, and European companies, in accordance with existing agreements, must pay for gas exclusively in euros. “It's written in the contracts. Putin Demands Violation of Treaties»,— he emphasized.

According to the decree of the President of Russia of March 31, in order to pay for gas under the new scheme, foreign buyers must open two accounts with Gazprombank— currency and ruble. The company transfers the payment to the first one, after which the bank sells the currency on the stock exchange, and credits the rubles to the second one. Russia recognizes the payment as completed only after the funds are credited to the ruble account.

In April, the European Commission issued a document in which it considered the gas payment scheme proposed by Russia to be contrary to European sanctions. At that time, Brussels explained that the conversion of currencies into rubles at Gazprombank could be considered a foreign currency loan, which was prohibited by the 2014 restrictions. They also pointed to the involvement of the Central Bank in transactions.

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At the same time, on May 12, Bloomberg reported that the total number of European companies that opened ruble accounts with Gazprombank had reached 20. Another 14 buyers said they needed to prepare documents. At that time, four companies had already paid for gas in rubles, the agency noted.

On May 19, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that about half of the 54 companies that had contracts with « Gazprom».

At the end of April, due to non-payment for gas in rubles, Gazprom suspended deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria. At the same time, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi previously claimed that Germany had already paid for the supplies in rubles.

Last year, the EU imported 155 billion cubic meters from Russia. m of natural gas (pipeline and LNG) in the amount of €17.8 billion, followed from the data of the European Commission.

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Blinken said that Russia itself refused NATO membership in the 1990s

According to Blinken, the idea of ​​Russia joining NATO was indeed discussed in the 1990s. The Kremlin said that the doors of the alliance were closed for the country at that time ” alt=”Blinken said that Russia itself refused NATO membership in the 1990s” />

Anthony Blinken

Russia itself abandoned the idea of ​​joining NATO in the 1990s, said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in an interview with The Late Show TV presenter Stephen Colbert. The transcript of the conversation is published on the website of the State Department.

Discussing with Blinken the political situation in the world, including the events in Ukraine and Russia's fears about the possible expansion of NATO to the East, the host proposed a “crazy idea” & mdash; “invite Russia to join the alliance.” According to him, then the Russian authorities would have nothing more to worry about.

The Secretary of State replied that the issue had already been discussed in the past, but Russia abandoned this idea.

“You know what? Back in the 1990s, this question (Russia's proposal to become part of NATO.— RBC) has indeed been discussed. The Russians decided that this was not what they wanted to do, — he said.

The fact that the United States offered Russia to join NATO was also announced in early April by former US President Bill Clinton. According to him, in the 1990s, relations between the North Atlantic Alliance and Moscow developed: it participated in the Partnership for Peace program, the founding act of Russia was concluded; NATO on mutual relations, cooperation and security, and the United States provided financial assistance to Russia for the withdrawal of its military from the Baltics. “All this time we have kept the doors of NATO open for Russian entry, as I clearly stated to Yeltsin, and then to his successor Vladimir Putin,” Clinton said.

The Kremlin, commenting on his words, said that the doors of NATO in the 1990s were closed for Russia. According to the press secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov, the United States has repeatedly spoken about the impossibility of the country's entry into the alliance.

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UN reported 3.8 thousand dead civilians in Ukraine

Among them are more than 250 children and more than 900 women. At the same time, the UN believes that the real data on civilian deaths in Ukraine is much higher *

3,811 civilians have died since the beginning of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, reports the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

These are 1429 men, 937 women and more than 250 children. The gender of 70 dead children and 1,190 adults has not been determined. 4,278 people were injured, including 528 women and more than 350 children. Most of the victims and wounded were recorded in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions —4422 (2099 killed and 2323 wounded).

The Office of the UN High Commissioner believes that the real figures are significantly higher, since the transfer of information from places where active hostilities were fought is difficult. This, for example, concerns Mariupol, Izyum in the Kharkiv region and Popasnaya in the LPR.

On May 11, the UN reported 3.5 thousand dead civilians in Ukraine, including more than 200 children and 821 women.

p>

Russia has been conducting a military special operation in Ukraine since February 24. President Vladimir Putin called its goals the protection of the population of Donbass from “genocide”, as well as the need for “demilitarization and denazification” neighboring state. Ukraine, in response, imposed martial law and declared mobilization.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has repeatedly stated that the Russian military strikes exclusively at military targets. At the end of March, a spokesman for the department, Major General Igor Konashenkov, stated that “the unconditional priority of the armed forces during the operation is to exclude unnecessary victims among the civilian population.” According to him, special attention is paid to “preserving civilian infrastructure and civilians in Ukraine”.

In addition, the Ministry of Defense has repeatedly accused the Ukrainian military of organizing staged filming of “civilians allegedly killed by the violent actions of the Russian army.” .

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

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Which border points came under fire from Ukraine. Map

On May 19, the authorities of the Kursk region reported another shelling from the side of Ukraine of the villages of Alekseevka and Dronovka. Since April, a high level of terrorist threat has been introduced in several border regions of Russia. png” alt=”Which border points came under fire from Ukraine. Map” />

On May 19, as a result of the shelling of the village of Tetkino, a man was killed, the governor of Kursk said region Roman Starovoit. This is not the first time this settlement has come under fire: it is located on the border with the Sumy region of Ukraine. In addition, shelling of the village of Alekseevka was repeatedly reported. On May 11, a man was killed during the shelling of the village of Solokhi, Belgorod Region. This is also not the only affected settlement in the region.

In the Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk regions bordering Ukraine, in two border regions of the Voronezh region, in the north of Crimea and in the territory of several regions of the Krasnodar Territory, since April 11, yellow level of terrorist threat.

The special regime involves the increased work of all law enforcement agencies, and residents of the regions are advised to avoid mass gatherings, always take an identity card with them and be vigilant. Initially, the regime was introduced until April 25. The authorities of the Krasnodar Territory then decided not to extend the level of danger in the Shcherbinovsky and Yeysk districts. In the remaining five regions, the regime was extended until May 25.

There are three levels of terrorist threat: blue (increased) , yellow (high) and red (critical). Yellow is entered if there is confirmed information about the real possibility of a terrorist act, follows from the classification of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee.

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The authorities created a headquarters for the restoration of the “liberated territories of Ukraine”

The Russian government has created a special headquarters that will deal with the restoration of the “liberated territories of Ukraine”, said Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin.

The material is being supplemented.

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Milliyet learned about Biden’s attempts to mediate between Turkey and NATO

According to the publication, the President of Finland and the Prime Minister of Sweden consulted with Biden before submitting applications to NATO, and the US President himself attempted to mediate between them and the Turkish leadership

Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden tried to mediate negotiations with Turkey on the membership of Finland and Sweden in NATO, the Turkish newspaper Milliyet reported, citing sources in the North Atlantic alliance.

According to the interlocutors of the publication, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson actively consulted with Biden, who also attempted to mediate between them and Turkey, before applying for NATO membership.

In mid-May, Sweden and Finland applied to join the alliance, now they must be considered by the NATO Council. In response, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara would not support these applications, since Helsinki and Stockholm refused to extradite the terrorists and imposed sanctions against Ankara.

On May 18, the Financial Times reported that Turkey had blocked discussions on Finland's and Sweden's NATO bids. The Turkish edition of Sabah wrote that Ankara offered Sweden and Finland a ten-point manifesto, its acceptance became a condition for approving the application for NATO membership. In particular, Turkey calls on them to avoid contact with the leaders of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), to refuse to admit PKK members to the parliaments of both countries, to expedite the procedure for their extradition to Turkey, to refrain from “contrary to the spirit of the alliance” directed against Turkey. actions and recognize the PKK and its offshoots as terrorist.

On May 19, US leader's national security adviser Jake Sullivan expressed confidence that Turkey's doubts would be resolved and NATO countries would unanimously decide on granting membership to Sweden and Finland. At the same time, he noted that Biden does not yet plan to discuss NATO expansion issues with his Turkish counterpart.

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Shoigu announced the proximity to the completion of the liberation of the LPR

Defense Minister Shoigu: the operation to liberate the LPR is nearing completion “Shoigu announced the proximity to the completion of the liberation of the LPR” />

Groups of the Armed Forces of Russia, the LPR and the DPR continue to expand control over the territories of Donbass, the operation to liberate the LPR is nearing completion. This was stated by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at the board of the Ministry of Defense.

“Groups of the Russian Armed Forces, together with units of the people’s militia of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, continue to expand control over the territories of Donbass. The liberation of the Luhansk People's Republic is nearing completion, — he said.

He also pointed out that almost 1.4 million people have been evacuated to Russia from the DPR, LPR and Ukraine since the beginning of the special operation.

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Shoigu reported more than 1,900 surrendered soldiers from Azovstal

According to Shoigu, the blocking of the plant continues, in addition to the surrendered military, 177 civilians left Azovstal. /756530386073392.jpg” alt=”Shoigu reported more than 1,900 surrendered soldiers from Azovstal” />

From the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, 1908 soldiers from among the forces controlled by Kyiv came out and surrendered, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting of the board of the department, TASS reports.

“The blockade of the Azovstal plant continues. Civilians were evacuated from the territory of the plant, who were held there by Ukrainian nationalists. 177 people were rescued, including 85 women and 47 children. All received qualified medical and psychological assistance. The nationalists blocked at the plant began to surrender. At the moment, 1908 people have laid down their arms,— Shoigu said, noting that 1,387 Ukrainian marines had previously laid down their arms.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to block the territory of “Azovstal” after Shoigu's report on the capture of Mariupol under the control of Russian troops. After that, negotiations were intensified on the evacuation of civilians and the withdrawal of the military from the territory of the plant, including with the participation of the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The evacuation of civilians took place from 5 to 7 May.

A week and a half later, a group of military negotiators with white flags left the plant. They discussed routes for the evacuation of the wounded, which began on 16 May. According to the Ministry of Defense, by May 18, Azovstal 959 soldiers blocked there left. At the same time, the commander of the battalion “Vostok” Alexander Khodakovsky of the Donetsk People’s Republic said that more than 700 people passed through just one area controlled by the DPR forces in a day. “Total through our site for today— 785 people. I look at this case … yesterday 600, today almost 800 only on our site <…> There are really more of them than we were, and still are,»,— he wrote in Telegram.

Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk reported that as of May 10, Azovstal there were more than a thousand Ukrainian soldiers. “There are those who have received serious injuries and need urgent evacuation,” — she emphasized in an interview with AFP. A similar assessment was given by the head of the DPR Denis Pushilin— about 1.2 thousand military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. On May 19, he said that more than half of the Ukrainian military had left the plant.

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