Blackmail of Turkey against Sweden and Finland?
Turkish state agency Anadolu criticizes Turkey’s Sweden and Finland for failing to honor the extradition demands of people it accuses of being members of a “terrorist organization”. The timing is no accident: Ankara threatened on Friday to block the NATO enlargement process against these two Scandinavian countries, which requires agreement from Alliance members.
Citing Turkish Ministry of Justice sources, Anadolu confirmed that of the 33 extradition requests sent by Ankara, it had not received a positive response from Stockholm or Helsinki in the last five years.
The extradition requests concerned individuals wanted for membership in Ankara’s PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) or the Fethullah Gülen movement, according to the state agency.
Less strong growth than expected in the European Union
The war in Ukraine and the impact of the sanctions against Russia prompt the European Commission to drastically lower growth expectations for the European economy, especially due to higher-than-expected inflation.
According to the latest figures announced on February 10, Brussels lowered its 2022 Euro Zone Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast by 1.3 points to 2.7%, and increased its inflation forecast by 3.5 points to 6.1%. The beginning of the Russian offensive.
Ukrainian army uncovers audio recording of Moscow crew
How did Moscow sink? This Russian ship, one of the largest in the army, sank in the Black Sea in mid-April. When the Russian military justified the destruction of the ship as a result of the accident that caused the explosion of ammunition, the Ukrainian military said it hit it with two missiles.
The Ukrainian military released an audio recording of these events on Sunday. We hear one of the crew say (without knowing who it is) that the ship has been hit twice and it is tilted. He also says the crew must be rescued, The Kyiv Independent reports.
Russian strike hits ammonium nitrate warehouse
Regional authorities announced that a Russian attack hit a warehouse where ammonium nitrate was stored in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine. “The explosion in the Kharkov region does not pose a threat to the local population,” said the governor of the neighboring Donetsk region on his Telegram page. The explosion caused an impressive cloud of orange smoke to rise above the fields.
“A Russian bullet hit a warehouse on the territory of the Kharkiv region, where, according to preliminary information, ammonium nitrate was stored,” he said, adding that “a column of smoke may scare, but there is no reason to panic.” .
Macron “fully supports” Sweden’s decision to join NATO
“The President supports Sweden’s sovereign decision to swiftly join NATO,” underlining the French presidency. Emmanuel Macron had already provoked a similar announcement made by Finland on 12 May.
Sweden to apply for NATO membership
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, referring to a new “age” for the Scandinavian country, announced that Sweden would apply to join NATO. “The government has decided to notify NATO of Sweden’s desire to become a member of the alliance,” he said at a press conference. According to the Swedish leader, “We are coming out of an era to enter a new era”.
Ceasefire to evacuate injured Ukrainians in Azovstal
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that a ceasefire was established to evacuate injured Ukrainians at the Azovstal steelworks, the last stronghold of the Ukrainian resistance in the city of Mariupol.
“A regime of silence (weapons) is currently in place, and an open humanitarian corridor through which wounded Ukrainian soldiers are transported to medical facilities in Novoazovsk,” the ministry said, in the area controlled by Russian and pro-Russian forces.
Formalization of imminent NATO candidacy for Sweden
After Finland on Sunday, Sweden should formalize its NATO candidacy in the next few minutes. “After this discussion, I can see that there is a large and large majority in the Parliament for Sweden to be a candidate for NATO (…) and the government is ready to take that decision,” said Swedish First Minister Magdalena Andersson. After a debate in Parliament.
Such “NATO expansion does not pose an immediate threat (…) but the deployment of military infrastructures on the territory of these countries will certainly lead to a response,” said Vladimir Putin.
“We will do our best”
“We will do our best to unblock the situation. But I cannot guarantee that it will happen, because the positions are quite strong”, the head of European diplomacy, Spanish Josep Borrell, who presided over the meeting aimed at reaching an agreement on the next sanctions against Russia, warned on his behalf.
EU ‘held hostage’
The new set of sanctions the EU is planning against Russia is unanimous, especially on the oil embargo, and so on Monday Foreign Ministers are trying to find a deal. “The whole Union has unfortunately been taken hostage by a Member State which has failed to help us find compromise,” says Gabrielius Landsbergis, head of Lithuanian diplomacy. “In Europe, we are very good at showing that we are always in disagreement so as not to give an image of unity,” complains his Austrian counterpart, Alexander Schallenberg.
Vladimir Putin found allies
Vladimir Putin brings together members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which includes Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Belarus, in Moscow. Vladimir Putin says that this organization “plays a very important role in the post-Soviet space,” preparing for further expansion.
Russia closely monitors new applications for NATO membership
After the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov gives his views on Sweden and Finland’s application for NATO membership. He assures that Russia is following this issue very closely and that the participation of these two countries will “neither strengthen nor improve the security architecture of our continent.” Dmitry Peskov told the press about Moscow’s “concern”. He promised to monitor “the effects of this on our security” closely.
Wheat prices reached record levels
Wheat price, which is at its highest level since the war in Ukraine, set a new record with 435 euros per tonne at its opening on the European market on Monday. The previous record stretches back to May 13, with wheat price at 422 euros per tonne at the opening, following new American world forecasts that cut Ukrainian wheat production by a third for 2022-2023.
“Life in Kharkov is getting better and better every day”
“Life in Kharkov is getting better and better every day,” said Iegvenii Lutsenko, a city resident interviewed on BFMTV. How is this translated? “We’ve seen small cafes reopen. And more and more people are returning to Kharkiv,” he said. “Several means of transport now cover most of the city. And we got the promise that the metro will start again in two weeks,” he continues.
McDonald’s announces withdrawal from Russia
Following in the footsteps of many multinational companies that have decided to move away from Russia, the American fast-food chain McDonald’s announced that it has decided to close 850 restaurants in Russia and stop all its activities in the country. “We are committed to our global community and must be committed to our values,” Group CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a company statement.
Who pays for the maintenance of frozen assets in France?
The French state, like others, froze the assets of a large number of Russian oligarchs, including huge estates in need of maintenance. Who pays the bill? This is the question the Parisian asks himself, and the answer can be read in our article.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister in Brussels
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is currently in Brussels to “press for the 6th European package of sanctions against Russia”.
Russia claims to be successful
As Reuters reports, Russian troops are assuring that they shot down several Ukrainian planes, one near Snake Island, another in the Kharkiv region, and the last one near Mykolaiv (between Odessa and Kherson). The Russian Defense Minister also claims that his army hit two command posts in the Kharkov region.
4 deaths in the last 24 hours
According to Ukrainian authorities, four people have died in missile strikes in the past 24 hours, including a hospital bombardment in Severodonetsk, Lugansk region (east), and two in Mykolaiv (south).
Inflation up, growth down
Brussels lowered its growth forecast for the eurozone to 2.7% in 2022 due to the war in Ukraine. According to Brussels, another consequence of the conflict is that inflation for the same region should increase by 6.1% in 2022.
Rescues in the Kharkiv region
Ukrainian authorities announced that their troops had repelled Russian troops and regained control of part of the border with Russia in the Kharkiv region (northeast). As stated by the Regional Governor this morning on the ministry’s Facebook page, “The 227th Battalion of the 127th Regional Defense Brigade of the Kharkov Armed Forces drove out the Russians and settled on the border.”
The Russians would try to enter from the north.
According to Ukrainian public radio, Russian forces are trying to enter Ukraine via the Sumy region north of Kharkov. “The enemy opened fire on this area with mortars, grenade launchers, machine guns and machine guns. The border guards fought the Russians, who retreated beyond the border,” regional representative Dmytro Zhyvytskyi told local radio.
Sweden is trying to persuade Russia
According to The Guardian, Sweden will send a delegation to persuade Turkey to join NATO. Turkey accuses Sweden and Finland of showing too much tolerance towards the Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK. “We will send a delegation (…) to find out how it can be resolved and what the problem really is,” says Sweden.
Finnish and Swedish Parliaments make NATO decision
The Finnish and Swedish parliaments are considering the two Scandinavian countries’ NATO candidacy on Monday, with large majority in both houses. On the Finnish side, due to the large number of planned interventions – more than 150 – voting cannot take place this Monday. In Sweden, six out of eight parties in parliament favor membership, representing a theoretical majority of 304 out of a total of 349 deputies.