Live blog: ++ NATO chief Stoltenberg plans trip to Turkey ++


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Status: 06/01/2023 11:19 a.m

NATO chief Stoltenberg will soon visit Turkish President Erdogan to promote Sweden’s accession. Foreign Minister Baerbock is “in the middle of a war” against Ukraine joining NATO. All developments in the live blog.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has said he will visit Ankara “in the near future” to advance Sweden’s bid for membership following the re-election of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Of course I’m confident that Sweden will become a member, and then we’ll work to ensure that that happens as soon as possible,” said Stoltenberg on the sidelines of an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Oslo.

Sweden, together with Finland, had decided to apply for NATO membership as a result of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. Finland was admitted as the 31st member on April 4th. Turkey and Hungary have not yet given their approval for Sweden’s accession.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against attempted nuclear intimidation, also emphasizing China’s role. “It’s the Russian president’s cynical game to keep threatening new horror scenarios,” said Barbock on the sidelines of the informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Oslo.

However, many states, including “China as a member of the Security Council”, had “made it clear to Russia that one should not play with these horror scenarios,” said the Foreign Minister. Not only the NATO members, but the entire world community had “made it clear in the last 450 days” since the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine that we would not get involved in such a cynical game,” said Baerbock. Instead, the community stands by the rules-based international order, “particularly with regard to the ban on the use of nuclear weapons.”

Poland has closed the EU’s eastern border with Belarus to trucks from the neighboring country and Russia. The ban announced by the government in Warsaw, effective June 1, came into force last night, according to the Polish news agency PAP. It applies to trucks, tractor units and combinations with trailers or semi-trailers registered in either country.

Russia – with support from Belarus – has been at war with Ukraine for more than 15 months. Poland is one of the main supporters of Ukraine. The Polish Ministry of the Interior announced the restrictions on freight traffic at the beginning of the week.

According to Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, NATO’s door is basically open to other members. This applies above all to Sweden and also to Ukraine, Baerbock said before the Alliance’s foreign ministers met in Oslo.

With regard to Ukraine, however, she emphasized: “At the same time, it is also clear that we cannot talk about new membership in the middle of a war.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy personally attends the summit of the new European Political Community (EPG) in Moldova. Zelenskyj was welcomed in Bulboaca by Moldova’s President Maia Sandu.

According to Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom, Sweden is on the home straight in the struggle to join NATO. “This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, and we’re seeing the end of it,” Billstrom said ahead of NATO foreign ministers’ deliberations in Oslo. His country meets all the requirements for admission to the transatlantic alliance. Turkey and Hungary must now ratify the accession, demands Billstrom.

Ukraine should be shown a “very clear path” to joining NATO, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said during a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Oslo.

Russia has no right of veto on the question of accepting new NATO members, explained the Secretary General of the western military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, before the Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Oslo.

All NATO members agree that Ukraine must be included in the alliance. When the war in Ukraine is over, steps must be taken to ensure that no more Russian aggression can occur.

According to the authorities, at least five people were injured by intense shelling in the western Russian region of Belgorod on the border with Ukraine. Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov reported that the small town of Shebekino was under “unending fire” from Ukrainian forces. Both the center and the outskirts had been fired at by Soviet-made “Grad” multiple rocket launchers since midnight.

There was initially no confirmation from the Ukrainian side. In many cases, the information from the war zone can hardly be verified by an independent party.

conflicting parties as a source

Information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties provided by official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian conflict parties cannot be directly checked by an independent body in the current situation.

The foreign ministers of the NATO member states continue their informal meeting in Oslo, Norway, in the morning. Joint statements by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are planned around 9 a.m. The foreign ministers of the alliance will then meet for talks in which NATO accession candidate Sweden is also to take part.

At the end, Stoltenberg gives a press conference at around 1 p.m. According to Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens), one of the topics is strengthening the alliance’s “defense and deterrence capabilities”.

The foreign ministers of the NATO countries continue their deliberations in Oslo today.

According to SPD foreign politician Nils Schmid, Russia is becoming increasingly isolated. “Russia is deliberately isolating itself more and more, which we are also experiencing with internet censorship,” Schmid told the Reuters news agency, referring to the new upper limit of 350 German representatives in Russia. The restrictions then ordered by the federal government are very painful, but appropriate.

The limit to 350 Russians and the closure of most consulates in Germany are reciprocal. “But it hits Russia particularly hard because the country has always sent a lot of personnel to Germany – many under the pretext of being able to engage in espionage.”

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) receives the Foreign Ministers of the Council of the Baltic Sea States in Wismar. In addition to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the central topics of the two-day meeting will be the expansion of offshore wind power and the recovery of ammunition from the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

“Moldova is not alone” – this is the motto of a summit meeting that the heads of state and government of almost 50 European countries and the heads of the EU institutions are expected to attend today. A sign is to be sent from Ukraine’s neighboring country to Russian President Vladimir Putin: Hands off Moldova! The former Soviet republic has not only been exposed to attacks from Moscow since the Ukraine war.

There will be no concrete resolutions at the European summit – but a clear front against the Kremlin.

The US suspends tariffs on Ukrainian steel for another year. This was announced by the Ministry of Commerce with reference to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A year ago, US President Joe Biden initially suspended the 25 percent punitive tariffs imposed by then US President Donald Trump in 2018 for one year because of the importance of the industry for the country’s economy and the contested Azovstal plant in Mariupol. Before the war, Ukraine was the 13th largest steel producer in the world and typically exports 80 percent of production.

According to the city administration, three people were killed and several injured in another night Russian attack on Kiev. According to the Kiev military administration, two children are among the dead. According to the information, the attack occurred in the eastern district of Desnjanskyj.

Shaded: territories occupied by Russia

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