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Ramstein meeting on Ukraine support – The night at a glance

Numerous defense ministers and high-ranking military officers will once again discuss further support for Ukraine in the war against Russia this Tuesday (from 11.00 a.m.) at Ramstein Air Base. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has invited the members of the so-called Ukraine Contact Group to the conference at the largest air base outside the United States. This group also includes Germany and Great Britain. As at previous meetings in Ramstein, Rhineland-Palatinate, representatives from countries that are not members of NATO are also expected to attend.

European foreign ministers approve military aid plan for Ukraine

The foreign ministers of the EU member states have taken the official decision to continue the joint financing of military equipment and training for Ukraine. The decision is intended to guarantee support services such as the supply of weapons and ammunition worth at least five billion euros. A political agreement in principle had already been reached last week.

Specifically, there are plans to create a special support fund for Ukraine within the European Peace Facility (EFF). This financial instrument can be used to reimburse EU member states for expenses incurred in providing military support to Ukraine, which has been attacked by Russia, and to pay for joint orders. In his evening video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his gratitude for the new aid, which will benefit defense efforts this year.

Putin celebrates election victory and annexation of Crimea on Red Square

Following the presidential election in Russia, which has been criticized as a farce, Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin has celebrated his victory and the tenth anniversary of the annexation of the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. "Congratulations on the holiday. Long live Russia!", Putin shouted on Red Square in Moscow in front of thousands of people cheering and waving Russian flags. The 71-year-old Kremlin leader, who has been in power for around a quarter of a century, also brought his three opposing candidates Nikolai Kharitonov, Vladislav Davankov and Leonid Slutsky onto the stage, who were considered to have no chance in the election from the outset and also clearly toed the Kremlin line.

In the presidential election, which ran from Friday to Sunday and was classified as undemocratic by observers, Putin was ultimately awarded a record result of more than 87%, thus securing himself a fifth term in office. Genuine members of the opposition were not allowed to stand as candidates. In addition, independent election observers complained that the ballot was characterized by propaganda, coercion and fraud.

Another death in Russian border region

According to the authorities, four people were killed by shelling from Ukraine in the Russian border region of Belgorod on Monday. Despite the deployment of Russian air defense, there were direct hits on the village of Nikolskoye about 20 kilometers from the border, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on his telegram channel.

Freezing the war? Pistorius distances himself from Mützenich

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) has distanced himself from the statements made by SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich on freezing the war in Ukraine. "In the end, it would only help Putin," said Pistorius after a meeting with Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz in Warsaw. This was a position that could be advocated in order to speak out in favor of peace. "But there must not be a dictated peace and no peace that leads to this, or a ceasefire or a freeze in which Putin comes out stronger in the end and continues the conflict whenever he pleases."

Last Thursday, during the Bundestag debate on the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles, Mützenich asked: "Isn't it time we not only talked about how to wage war, but also thought about how to freeze a war and end it later?" He had already been criticized for this by his coalition partners, the Greens and the FDP.

What will be important on Tuesday

In addition to the conference in Ramstein, attention will also turn to the Swiss city of Lausanne on Tuesday, where the head of the International Olympic Committee will be discussing the question of whether athletes from Russia should be allowed to take part in the opening ceremony of the Summer Games in Paris from 9.00 am.

©Keystone/SDA

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