Saturday, December 03, 2022

Live Updates | Turkey keeps pressure on Sweden, Finland

Istanbul: Turkey’s foreign minister says Sweden and Finland must now take “concrete steps” to address their country’s security concerns in order to address Ankara’s objections to NATO membership.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Kavusoglu said on Friday that delegations from the two Nordic countries have returned home with Turkey’s demands after a visit this week and Ankara is awaiting their response.

The countries’ membership bids require the support of all NATO countries, but Turkey is opposing them. It cited alleged support for Kurdish militants that Turkey considers to be a ban on terrorists and arms sales to Turkey.

Cavusoglu said that the approach of “we will convince Turkey anyway, we are friends and allies” would not be correct. He stressed that “these countries need to take concrete steps.”

He added that “we understand the security concerns of Finland and Sweden but … everyone also needs to understand Turkey’s legitimate security concerns.”

Major Developments in the Russo-Ukraine War:

— ‘Relentless’: Russia squeezes Ukrainian strongholds in the east

– West Mules with Russian oligarchs buys a way out of sanctions

– US wins latest legal battle to seize Russian yacht in Physique

— American general: no need to add ground forces in Sweden, Finland

Follow Associated Press’s coverage of the war in Ukraine

Other Developments:

Rome: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi discussed the emerging food crisis in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Draghi’s office said Thursday the call “focused on efforts to find a shared solution to the situation in Ukraine and the ongoing food crisis and its dire repercussions on the world’s poorest countries.”

Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but war and the Russian blockade of its ports have halted that flow, threatening the world food supply. Many of those ports are still heavily mined.

Russia is also an important grain exporter. Moscow on Thursday pressured the West to lift sanctions against Russia, seeking to shift the blame for the food crisis.

BERLIN – Germany’s development minister has traveled to Ukraine to discuss further civic support and rebuilding the country.

Svenja Schultz is the second German minister to visit Ukraine since the start of the Russian offensive. Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock visited on 10 May and reopened the country’s embassy in Kyiv.

Schultz’s ministry said it planned to meet with Prime Minister Denis Shyamal and other senior officials in Kyiv on Friday.

It said the talks would address Ukraine’s problems and urgent assistance to address “strategic questions” related to the country’s reconstruction.

Schultz said in a statement that “we must lay the foundation for internationally coordinated support for the reconstruction of an already free and democratic Ukraine” and that Germany would contribute.

MOSCOW: Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine claim to have captured Lyman, a town in the Donetsk region. There has been no confirmation from the Ukrainian authorities yet.

The army of the self-declared Donetsk republic said on Telegram that rebel forces backed by Russian troops had “liberated and taken full control of 220 settlements, including Lyman”, as of Friday.

Lyman, with a pre-war population of over 20,000, is a major railway center in the Donetsk region, north of Slovensk and Kramatorsk, cities that remain under Ukrainian control.

MOSCOW – Russia’s foreign ministry has announced that it is expelling five Croatian diplomats in response to “unfriendly steps” taken by Zagreb to reduce the size of Russia’s diplomatic mission.

The ministry said in a statement that it summoned Croatia’s ambassador Tomislav Kar on Friday. It said it “expressed a strong protest with respect to the baseless efforts of the Croatian authorities to blame Russia for war crimes in Ukraine and the provision of military aid by the Croatian side to the neo-Nazi Kyiv regime.”

Last month, Croatia expelled 18 Russian diplomats.

KYIV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s foreign minister is urging the West to provide Kyiv with heavy weapons to push back Russian forces.

Dimitro Kuleba tweeted a video of himself answering questions submitted on Twitter on Thursday night and said: “We need heavy weapons. The only situation where Russia is better than us is the amount of heavy weapons. Without artillery, without multiple launch rocket systems we wouldn’t be able to push them back. ,

Kuleba said the situation in the east of the country, where Russian forces are on the offensive, “is more dire than people say.”

He added: “I would even go so far as to say it is worse than what the people say. We need weapons. If you really care about Ukraine, arms, arms and weapons again,” the minister insisted. .

KYIV, Ukraine — A Ukrainian regional governor says Russian shelling has killed four people in the eastern city of Svyarodonetsk in the past 24 hours. Another person died in Russian shelling in the village of Komushuvakha.

Serhi Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, wrote in a Telegram post on Friday that “the residents of Svierodonetsk have forgotten when the city was last in silence for at least half an hour.” He added that “the Russians are continuously attacking the residential areas.”

Svyerodonetsk Mayor Oleksandr Streik said on Thursday that 60% of the city’s residential buildings were destroyed, and about 85-90% damaged and in need of major repairs.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – The United States has won the latest round of legal battles to seize $325 million worth of Russian-owned superyachts in Fiji, a case now being presented in the Pacific nation’s top court.

The case has exposed the thorny legal base on which the US finds itself as it tries to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs around the world. Those intentions are welcomed by many governments and citizens who oppose the war in Ukraine, but some actions are raising questions about how far US jurisdiction extends.

Fiji’s Court of Appeals on Friday dismissed an appeal by Feizal Hanif, who represents the company that legally owns the superyacht Amadia. Hanif had argued that the US had no jurisdiction under Fiji’s mutual aid laws to confiscate the ship, at least until a court decided who actually owned Amadia.

Hanif said he now plans to take the matter to the Supreme Court of Fiji and will apply for a court order barring US agents from traveling from Fiji to Amedia before hearing the appeal.

WASHINGTON – A US general named to take over European command has told senators that no country would need to add more US ground forces to Sweden and Finland to join NATO. But Army General Christopher Cavoli said Thursday that military exercises and occasional increases in US troops are likely.

Cavoli, who currently serves as the head of US forces Europe and Africa, said the increased military focus will likely remain on Eastern Europe – where the nation is more aware of a possible Russian invasion and any spillover of the war on Ukraine. are worried.

Cavoli told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his nomination hearing that “the center of gravity of NATO forces has shifted to the east.” He added that “depending on the outcome of the conflict, we may have to continue this for some time.”

Cavoli was asked about the US military presence in Europe, which has grown from less than 80,000 to about 102,000 since the Russian invasion. He said the escalation had nothing to do with Finland and Sweden’s recent move to seek NATO membership.

KYIV, Ukraine — The city of Svyarodonetsk in Ukraine is the center of fierce fighting in the east. Mayor Oleksandr Striuk says that even though a Russian reconnaissance and sabotage group has gone to a hotel in the city, it has stayed.

Streak said at least 1,500 people have died in Svyarodonetsk and about 12,000 to 13,000 live in the city, where he said 60% of residential buildings have been destroyed.

Svyarodonetsk is the only part of the Luhansk region in the Donbass under Ukrainian government control, and Russian forces are trying to cut it off from the rest of Ukrainian-controlled territory.

Striuk said the main road between the neighboring city of Lisichansk and Bakhmut in the southwest remains open, but travel is dangerous. He said only 12 people could be evacuated on Thursday.


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