“A better example of international blackmail cannot be found,” Kuleba told Russia’s deputy foreign minister at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. On the contrary, Kuleba called for further tightening of economic sanctions against Russia and also for a complete blockade of Russian exports.
After blocking neighboring Ukraine militarily at the end of February, Russia blocked Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, making it impossible for the country to export its wheat. In this context, the UN warns of famine in some poor countries, as Ukraine was one of the largest exporters of grain, corn and sunflower oil in the world until the war. The Russian invasion stopped these supplies and, for example, hundreds of thousands of tons of wheat accumulated in port warehouses in Odessa.
Russia denies the allegations. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, on the other hand, blames Western countries for “taking a number of illegal steps that have resulted in the blockade.” whether the West should lift the anti-Russian sanctions it adopted at several stages after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, five foreign ships left the port of Mariupol. “Russian engineers demined the Mariupol port on Tuesday, and experts from the Russian Black Sea Fleet removed a Ukrainian border patrol boat from the fairway, which was sunk by members of the Azov Regiment. Thanks to this, five foreign ships were able to set sail, “says Maria Diplomacy, a spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy. Her words cannot be independently verified.
We are re-exporting wheat, Putin boasted
In addition, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday evening that it would open sea corridors for ships to pass through. They operate daily from eight to nineteen Moscow time (07:00 to 18:00 CET) on the route from Mariupol and the ports of Kherson, Mykolaiv, Chernomorsk, Ochakiv, Odessa and South, the ministry said according to the Interfax agency.
Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin said in a speech to post-Soviet allies of the Eurasian Economic Union on Thursday that Western sanctions had only strengthened Russia. As an example, he said that Russia, which had imported grain in the past, had become a prime exporter of wheat. Kyiv accuses Moscow of stealing Ukrainian wheat satellite images documentthat in Sevastopol the Russians load grain into their ships.
The head of the Kremlin also mentioned that the departure of some Western companies from Russia after the outbreak of war against Ukraine was perhaps the best thing that the country could have encountered. He stressed that the program of replacing imports with Russian production continues.
Scholz: Kyiv and we will not accept the dictated peace from Russia
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Russian leader Vladimir Putin would not win the war in Ukraine because he had failed to achieve all of his strategic goals. “The capture of the whole of Ukraine by Russia today seems to be more distant than at the beginning of the war. Ukraine is emphasizing its European future more than ever, “said the Chancellor.
“Putin will only seriously negotiate peace if he realizes that he cannot break through Ukraine’s defenses,” Scholz said. He added that it was inadmissible for the Russian ruler to set the terms of the armistice. “There will be no dictated peace. Ukraine will not accept it and neither will we, “the chancellor emphasized.
Moreover, according to Scholz, the “brutality of the Russian war” united the Ukrainian nation more than ever before and forced two states to move closer to NATO. “With Sweden and Finland, two close friends and partners want to join the North Atlantic Alliance. They are welcome, “the chancellor advised. According to him, Putin underestimated the unity and strength with which the group of economically developed countries G7, NATO and the European Union reacted to his aggression.
Putin wants to return to a world order in which the strongest dictate what is right, Scholz said. “It is an attempt to return to a time when war was a common political means,” he added.
Return to the Czech Embassy in Kiev
Ambassador Radek Matula returned to the Czech Embassy in Kiev on Wednesday with another diplomat from the political-economic department. A total of five diplomats currently work at the embassy, the Foreign Ministry said. The first returned to Kiev in mid-April.
“Our goal is to renew the embassy’s activities on all major agendas before the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU, so that our diplomats in Kiev can fully participate in meeting the Czech Presidency’s priorities in relation to Ukraine,” said Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky ( Pirates).
The embassy in the Ukrainian capital has been closed since the beginning of the Russian invasion, as has the consulate general in Lviv, which was reopened in limited mode in early May. Due to the return of diplomats to Ukraine on April 15, the ministry closed embassies in Uzhhorod, Košice and Przemyśl, Poland.
A special group will help with the crime investigation
The group, consisting of the EU, the US and Britain, will assist the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office in recording suspicions of war crimes by Russian soldiers in Ukraine and in storing and analyzing evidence of such acts. The website of the US State Department informed about it. For security reasons, most of the group’s criminal experts will work mainly from Poland.
“It is very important to ensure that all those responsible for the terrible atrocities committed during the unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine are brought to justice,” EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said of the initiative.
Twenty-one-year-old Russian sergeant Vadim Shishimarin, who was sentenced to life in court in Kiev court on Monday, was the first to be tried for a war crime in Ukraine. Shishimarin was found guilty of shooting a 62-year-old Ukrainian in the village of Chupachivka in northeastern Ukraine on 28 February at the behest of another Russian soldier.
Russia’s central bank has cut the key interest rate
Russia’s central bank cut its key interest rate by three percentage points to 11 percent at an extraordinary meeting of its monetary committee on Thursday. According to her, inflationary pressures are easing due to the strengthening of the ruble and inflation expectations of households and companies are falling similarly. In addition, the economy is facing a downturn, which will be largely the result of a military campaign by Russian troops to Ukraine.
The bank also acknowledged the possibility of further interest rate cuts at forthcoming meetings. At the end of February, just days after the invasion began, the central bank more than doubled its key interest rate to 20 percent. In April, however, it cut interest rates twice, always by three percentage points.
External conditions for the Russian economy remain difficult, but risks to financial stability have diminished slightly. According to the bank, this opens up space for easing some measures to restrict capital movements.
High inflation lowers living standards and has been a major concern for people in Russia for several years. According to the Ministry of Economy, inflation slowed to 17.51 percent on May 20 from 17.69 percent a week earlier. However, it still remains close to its highest level since the beginning of 2002.
World Bank President: War could trigger a global recession
According to World Bank (WB) President David Malpasse, the invasion of Ukraine and its effects on food and energy prices could trigger a global recession. “When we look at global gross domestic product (GDP), it’s hard to imagine now how we will avoid a recession,” he said at a meeting with entrepreneurs hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce. However, he did not provide a specific forecast and did not indicate when the recession could begin.
The economies of Ukraine and Russia are expected to fall sharply this year, while growth in Europe, China and the United States will slow, Malpass added. Developing countries should be hit much harder due to a lack of fertilizer and food supplies, as well as weaker energy supplies.
Malpass pointed out that many European countries are still too dependent on Russia for oil and gas supplies. This is despite the fact that Western countries are pushing for plans to reduce their dependence on Russian energy.
Last month, due to the effects of the Russian invasion on Ukraine, the World Bank cut its estimate for world economic growth for this year by almost a full percentage point to 3.2 percent, Reuters reported.