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++ Attal and Scholz disagree about aid to Ukraine ++

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French Prime Minister Attal defends himself against criticism from Germany. Ukraine says it is producing more electricity than it needs and can export it. Monday's developments to read.

Feb 5, 2024 • 10:38 p.m

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Feb 5, 2024 • 9:08 p.m

French Prime Minister Attal and Chancellor Scholz disagree about aid to Ukraine

During his inaugural visit to Germany, French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal defended himself against the Chancellor's recent indirect criticism of the unevenly distributed burden of Ukraine aid in Europe. “Our commitment will expand, but it's not just about the amount of funding, but also about the quality of the military equipment,” said Attal. France is sending “material of the latest generation” to Ukraine, he emphasized.

For his part, Scholz reiterated that he would continue to advocate “that the USA and all member states in Europe make such a large contribution that the Russian President's calculations do not add up.” Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin wants to wait it out. “He hopes that at some point we’ll just stop going,” said Scholz. However, this will not happen.

Feb 5, 2024 • 8:29 p.m

Zelensky wants to further strengthen Ukraine's economy

Despite the war against the Russian invaders, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is committed to expanding his country's economy. During visits to the Dnipro, Cherkasy and Kropyvnytsky regions, he spoke with representatives of the regional authorities not only about strengthening the military components, but also about important economic issues, Zelensky reported in his evening video address. “The state must support the recovery of Ukrainian production,” he said.

One of the top priorities in Ukraine is to provide entrepreneurs with maximum opportunities to contribute to economic growth and job creation. The maritime corridor for exports is functioning again and the energy sector is now better protected against Russian attacks. In addition, Kiev has reached agreements with foreign partners on long-term support for Ukraine and financial programs.

Feb 5, 2024 • 7:24 p.m

Orban's party boycotts meeting on Sweden's NATO membership

Members of the Hungarian ruling party have further delayed the decision on Sweden's accession to NATO by boycotting a parliamentary session. Representatives of the Fidesz party stayed away from an emergency meeting where a vote was to be taken on putting planned NATO membership on the parliamentary agenda.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz has an absolute majority in parliament. It has been delaying Sweden's accession since July 2022, arguing that Swedish politicians have told lies about the state of Hungarian democracy. Orban told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in January that he would push his party to ratify Sweden's admission to the military alliance as soon as possible. After Turkey agreed to Sweden's accession, Hungary is the last of the 31 NATO member countries that has not yet done so.

Fidesz said in a statement that ratification could take place at a regular parliamentary session. But it is expected “that the Swedish Prime Minister will visit Hungary first.” If Sweden is interested in joining, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson will come to Budapest. Orban invited Kristersson to Budapest to talk about joining NATO. Kristersson said he would come – but only after Hungary agreed to join.

February 5, 2024 • 7:00 p.m

Ukraine suspects Russian saboteurs in Kyiv

Police and military have begun a large-scale search for possible Russian sabotage groups in the north of the Ukrainian capital Kiev. According to media reports, roadblocks were set up in several sections of the Obolonsky district. The operation was carried out “to identify enemy sabotage and reconnaissance groups,” Ukrainska Pravda quoted an official statement as saying.

Most recently, Russian sabotage groups were suspected in Kiev immediately after the attack by Russian troops on Ukraine in February 2022. According to the official reading, their goal was to eliminate Ukraine's political and military leadership. The results of the search operations at that time were never published.

February 5, 2024 • 6:50 p.m

Trump calls on Republicans to reject Ukraine package

Former US President Donald Trump has called on members of his Republican Party to vote in Congress against the latest draft for a Ukraine aid package combined with better US border security. “Don’t be stupid,” Trump appealed to his party colleagues on his online platform Truth Social. “We need a separate border and immigration law,” Trump wrote. This should under no circumstances be “linked in any way to foreign aid”.

Last night, the US Senate presented a bill for further aid to Ukraine negotiated by Democrats and Republicans.

Feb 5, 2024 • 6:13 p.m

Borrell visits Ukraine again

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says he has started a trip to Ukraine. “I'm on my way to Kiev,” Borrell told reporters during a stopover in Warsaw. He again called for more support for Ukraine. A new push to arm the country is necessary to repel the “invasion,” said Borrell, calling on EU member states to provide “everything necessary.”

Borrell's fourth visit to Ukraine comes against the backdrop of renewed international efforts to provide Ukraine with weapons to fight against Russian troops.

Feb 5, 2024 • 4:40 p.m

Fighter jets from the Netherlands

The Netherlands has promised Ukraine six more F-16 fighter jets. This brings the total number of promised fighter jets to 24, says Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren. “Ukraine’s air superiority is critical to countering Russian aggression,” she added.

Feb 5, 2024 • 3:24 p.m

Türkiye expects Putin for talks on grain deal

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has promised that Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Turkey soon. Putin's meeting with his Turkish colleague Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be about a new opportunity for Ukrainian grain exports across the Black Sea, Fidan told the private television channel A Haber. It would be Putin's first visit to a NATO member state since Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine began two years ago.

Feb 5, 2024 • 2:49 p.m

Klitschko stands up for Saluschnyj

Amid speculation about the planned dismissal of Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zalushnyj, Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko has stood up for him. “In many ways it is thanks to Salushnyj that Ukrainians really believed in our armed forces,” Klitschko wrote on Telegram.

The general survived difficult situations several times during the war. However, Klitschko fears that in this case political interests will be put above “common sense and the interests of the state.” The mayor wrote that he hopes that the state leadership understands the seriousness of the situation and the “entire responsibility.” The company has doubts about the advisability of the personnel changes. Klitschko called for an end to political intrigues and internal struggles.

Feb 5, 2024 • 1:51 p.m

Ukraine reports four deaths in Kherson

According to Ukrainian reports, at least four people were killed in a Russian attack on the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. Another was injured, said the head of Kherson's military administration, Roman Mrochko. The dead were three men between the ages of 45 and 50 who were in a car and a woman who was on the street at the time of the attack, Mrotschko wrote on the Telegram online service. He shared a video showing a completely burned out car. In addition, an impact appears to be visible a few meters away.

Conflict parties as a source

In the current situation, information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties provided by official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian parties to the conflict cannot be directly verified by an independent body.

Feb 5, 2024 • 1:31 p.m

Polish Defense Minister: “I expect every scenario”

Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz has not ruled out the possibility of war with Russia. Poland must prepare for such a war, he said in an interview with the daily newspaper “Super Express”. When asked whether he considered a military defeat for Ukraine and a direct attack on Poland by Russia to be possible, the conservative politician replied: “I expect every scenario and take the worst ones most seriously. That is the job of a defense minister in the situation that we find ourselves in today.”

The 42-year-old expressly emphasized that he “didn't just say these words,” but had carefully considered them. His ministry has already begun concrete preparatory steps. This way you can check what gaps there are in the armament. Poland will play a very important role in the common defense of the European Union, the EU Commission also knows this, said the minister.

Feb 5, 2024 • 12:48 p.m

Moscow: Minister also among victims in Lysychansk

According to media reports, a minister of the occupation authorities was killed when a bakery was shelled in the city of Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine, which was annexed by Russian forces. The body of the Minister of Civil Defense in the Luhansk Region, Alexei Poteleshchenko, was found under the rubble of the collapsed building, said the Moscow-appointed head of government of the Luhansk Region, Sergei Kozlov. According to Russian reports, a total of 28 people were killed in the attack on Saturday, including a child.

Feb 5, 2024 • 11:51 am

Russian presidential election: Supporters' signatures withdrawn

According to his statement, Russia's Central Election Commission has removed 15 percent of his supporters' signatures from the opposition politician Boris Nadezhdin as incorrect. “We plan to get these signatures back,” the liberal politician wrote on his Telegram channel. In order to be registered, Nadezhdin, who has criticized Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine as wrong, would have to have around 4,500 of the total 9,209 signatures in question recognized again, according to his own statements.

Frank Aischmann, ARD Studio Moscow, tagesschau, February 5th, 2024 1:00 p.m

Nadezhdin, who wants to run for the Citizens' Initiative party, is the only presidential candidate who has openly opposed the war of aggression that Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin has been waging against Ukraine for almost two years. The opposition politician received unexpectedly great support from many compatriots for his anti-war stance.

Feb 5, 2024 • 11:51 am

US Senate: Draft for Ukraine package is in danger of failing

In the USA there is also a threat of the latest draft for a Ukraine aid package in connection with better security…

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