Europe

German Foreign Minister visits Bucha on a surprise trip to Ukraine

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock suddenly visited Ukraine’s martyred town of Bucha on Tuesday, the day after a Russian missile struck the strategic port city of Odesa. She said earlier that diplomats would hold a crisis meeting on Thursday with the UN Security Council to discuss the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine. Follow FRANCE24’s live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT + 2).

10:35 am: Germany’s Baerbock visits Bucha on a surprise trip to Ukraine

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is in the Ukrainian martyred town of Bucha, north of Kieu, as part of a sudden visit to Ukraine.

Russian troops have been blamed Massacre hundreds of civilians They withdrew from Bucha and other Kyiv suburbs in late March.

Images of the corpses lying on the street, some with their hands tied up, shocked the world and called on Russia to condemn war crimes.

>> France 24 in Bucha: People looking for their loved ones after the massacre of civilians

9:55 am: Assistant Mayor says 100 civilians are still trapped in the Mariupol factory

At least 100 civilians remain trapped at Mariupol’s Azovstal ironworks, according to the mayor’s aide.

Mariupol has endured the most devastating battles of the war in Ukraine. The Azovstali factory is the last part of the city still in the hands of Ukrainian fighters.

“In addition to the army, at least 100 civilians remain in the (Azovstal) shelter, but this does not reduce the density of attacks by the occupiers,” said Petro Andrewschenko, assistant mayor of Mariupol. Wrote in a telegram messaging app.

Ukraine has previously indicated that all civilians have left Azovstal, and Russia has stated that the evacuation of civilians from the factory has been completed.

8:45 am: One person killed in a missile attack on Odesa

Ukrainian Army Southern Command announced late Monday that one was killed and five were injured in a Russian missile launch targeting the Black Sea port city of Odesa.

The military claimed that one missile attacked shopping centers and warehouses, and ammunition dates back to the Soviet era, making it unreliable to target.

There is growing concern that Russia has run out of guided munitions, increasing the likelihood of launching guided munitions and increasing collateral damage.

The missile was attacked when European Council President Charles Michel visited Odesa and interrupted a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

8:20 am: NATO accession will strengthen Scandinavian defense, Swedish minister says

The addition of Sweden and Finland will strengthen the defenses of the Nordic region. NATOSweden’s Defense Minister Peter Furtokuvist told Sveriges Radio, enabling a joint defense program within the framework of the alliance.

“(If Sweden and Finland join NATO) it will have the effect of leveraging each other’s strengths and advantages, fully complementing each other and implementing operational plans,” said Furtokuvist, a member of the ruling Social Democratic Party. “.

“If so, it has the effect of making us stronger together, which can happen if we choose to join NATO,” he told public broadcasters.

On May 15, the Social Democratic Party will decide whether to withdraw decades of opposition by NATO member states. This will almost certainly lead Sweden to seek participation in an alliance of 30 countries.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered a rethinking of security policy in both Sweden and Finland. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö will announce support for his application this week.

7:20 am: In the Kherson region of Ukraine, civilians are escaping on foot from Russian-owned territories

With the exception of the eastern Donbas, a large strip of southern Ukraine, including most of the Kherson region, is now under Russian control. Russian troops are preventing civilians from leaving the area. Still, thousands of people are on a risky journey to escape.

Our correspondent, Gulliver Crag, sent this report from the Ukrainian territory just north of the occupied territories.

5:17 am: UN Security Council meets 16th meeting in Ukraine on Thursday

The united nations The Security Council will hold a new public meeting on Thursday Russian war UkraineThe diplomat said on Monday in the light of the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

The meeting, requested by France and Mexico, will be the 16th Security Council meeting since the invasion of Russia on February 24, as part of efforts by Western nations to maintain pressure on Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council. The blocking force takes steps to disapprove it.

France When Mexico According to diplomats, he requested a briefing from the United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Bureau (Ocha) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

4:23 am: Russia has no plans to close the European embassy

Russia There are no plans to aggressively close European embassies in response to Western disadvantages and increased sanctions against Moscow, RIA news agency quoted the Deputy Foreign Minister on Tuesday.

“This is not our tradition,” Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told RIA.

“Therefore, we believe that the work of the diplomatic representative office is important.”

11:00 pm: Macron warns that Ukraine’s EU bid can take “decades”

France’s President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that it would take “decades” for a candidate like Ukraine to join the EU, building a broader political club beyond the blocks that could include the United Kingdom. Proposed.

The idea was soon endorsed by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who described it as a “very interesting proposal” to be “very pleased” to discuss it with French leaders.

Ukraine, which is fighting Russia’s aggression, is calling for EU accession, and the European Commission said next month that it would respond to the request, which is an important step before the issue is taken up by member states.

However, Macron has filled the hope of rapid accession to Ukraine and suggested that it may be more efficient to consider building a wider club beyond the EU.

“I’m telling you all this honestly-the honesty we owe to Ukrainians,” Macron said.

“We can accelerate the process of accepting the status of Ukrainian candidates, but given our standards and standards, it will probably take decades for Ukraine to actually join the European Union. . “

(France24 with AP, AFP and Reuters)

First published on France24

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