Liveblog: ++ France delivers missiles to Ukraine ++


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Status: 07/11/2023 12:32 p.m

According to President Macron, France will deliver long-range missiles to Ukraine. According to US experts, Kiev has gained considerable ground during the counteroffensive. All developments in the live blog.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasizes the importance of security guarantees for Ukraine after the end of the Russian war of aggression. To this end, the G7 countries prepared a joint declaration on the fringes of the NATO summit. As for the question of further bringing Ukraine closer to NATO, Scholz pointed out on his arrival at the meeting in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius that it was urgently important to provide Ukraine with military support. In addition, the military alliance must make a joint decision on this and further develop the decisions of the Bucharest summit in 2008. At that time, the alliance had basically granted Ukraine accession prospects, but the process subsequently stalled.

At the beginning of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Germany put together a new comprehensive package of military aid for Ukraine worth 700 million euros. “It serves Ukraine’s priorities: air defense, tanks, artillery,” explains Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, emphasizing: “We are thus making an important contribution to strengthening Ukraine’s sustainability.” Specifically, according to the Ministry of Defense, the two launch devices for the Patriot air defense system, 40 “Marder” armored personnel carriers, 25 “Leopard 1” type battle tanks and a Luna drone system are involved.

Russia sees France’s delivery of missiles to Ukraine as a mistake. This will have consequences for Ukraine, said Presidential Office spokesman Dmitry Peskov in Moscow. Russia will take countermeasures. In addition, it must be clarified what range the missiles will have. Sweden’s expected accession to NATO will clearly have negative effects on Russia’s security, Peskov said at the NATO summit in Vilnius. The Russian leadership will react with similar measures as after Finland’s accession to the western military alliance.

France will deliver long-range missiles to Ukraine. President Emmanuel Macron explains the decision so that the country can better defend itself against the Russian attack. “I have decided to increase shipments of arms and equipment to give Ukrainians the ability to carry out deep attacks while adhering to our doctrine, which allows Ukraine to defend its territory,” Macron said upon arrival at the NATO summit in Lithuania.

In May, Great Britain confirmed the delivery of “Storm Shadow” missiles. Its French version is known as SCALP.

Germany is supplying Ukraine with more weapons and ammunition worth almost 700 million euros. This became known at the start of the NATO summit in Vilnius. This should also include heavy weapons and systems to defend against drone attacks. At the NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, many states promised greater support for Ukraine.

The Kremlin has threatened Russia to take countermeasures if Ukraine joins NATO. The country’s accession will have “very negative consequences for the entire and already half-destroyed security architecture of Europe and pose an absolute danger and threat to our country,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Such a step would require a “quite tough and understandable reaction” from the Russian side.

The Kremlin knows that before the summit in Lithuania there is currently a lively debate among NATO members about Ukraine’s accession and “that there are different positions on this,” Peskov said. The “Kiev regime” is using various means to “put pressure on everyone involved so that as many countries as possible demonstrate their solidarity on this issue in the run-up to this summit”.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expects the summit in Lithuania to send a signal for stronger support for Ukraine. It is particularly important to secure the continued supply of ammunition to Ukraine, said Stoltenberg before the official start of the top-level meeting in Vilnius.

When asked whether the summit would give security guarantees to the country attacked by Russia for the post-war period, Stoltenberg said he expected clear decisions to be taken to continue and increase aid to Ukraine. “And I am also confident that on the issue of membership, allies will reaffirm that Ukraine will become a member.”

According to US experts, since the start of its counter-offensive five weeks ago, Ukraine has liberated almost as much territory as Russia had conquered in more than six months. Since June 4, the Ukrainian military has been able to recapture about 253 square kilometers of land, the US Institute for War Studies (ISW) said based on its own data. In comparison, Russia has captured 282 square kilometers in six months during its winter offensive that launched on January 1, according to the ISW.

The institute points out that it uses its own data to compare the land gains of both countries. The Ukraine counter-offensive, which has been linked with great expectations, has been underway since the beginning of June. According to estimates by Western military observers, progress is slow. However, the latest ISW figures suggest that it is still more successful than the Russian winter offensive.

Shaded: territories occupied by Russia

According to US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, NATO will respond to Ukraine’s intentions to join with a “positive signal”. Sullivan addresses journalists on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Lithuania. There, negotiators from the 31 member states are in the process of drafting a statement showing Ukraine’s path to membership in the military alliance.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sees a “year of decision” approaching and demands that Ukraine be officially invited to the NATO summit. But the alliance states are reluctant. Armament aid, security guarantees, partial membership, full membership, later or now – what is a realistic perspective for Ukraine?

According to the head of the military administration in Kiev, Serhiy Popko, the Ukrainian air defense repelled another Russian air attack on the capital overnight. This is the second airstrike on Kiev this month, the Kiev military administration said on the online service Telegram. The attack with Iranian-design drones caused minor damage, and all air targets discovered in the direction of Kiev were destroyed. Windows and extensions of houses were damaged.

The Ukrainian military did not initially say how many drones were involved. There was also no information about possible victims. According to the local administration, the port city of Odessa was also attacked during the night. The air defense had been activated, it said.

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.

Russia has expressed anger at the solidarity with Ukraine expected at the NATO summit. “Everything is being done to prepare local public opinion for approval of anti-Russian decisions that will be taken in Vilnius in the coming days,” Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov wrote on the Telegram channel of the mission in Washington . With the expected decisions, the USA drove NATO into the “worst case” confrontation with Moscow.

Against the background of deliveries to Ukraine, Great Britain is expanding the production capacity of artillery shells. The armaments company BAE Systems has received new orders worth around 222 million euros, the British government announced. The deal with BAE will create 100 new jobs at sites in England and Wales.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will also announce at the NATO summit in Lithuania that Britain’s production capacity for 155mm artillery ammunition will be increased eightfold. Most NATO armies used this ammunition as standard.

As part of the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will hold one-to-one talks on Wednesday, according to US sources.

Under the current circumstances, Polish President Andrzej Duda has ruled out negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and accused him of inhuman treatment of his own troops. Duda said in an interview for “Bild”, “Welt” and “Politico”: “For me, Vladimir Putin is someone who is being prosecuted and with whom there are no negotiations.”

Duda would not change his position “until Russia shows the determination to respect international law.” However, that is not the case at the moment, according to the Polish President. Russia must begin to “withdraw its army from the territory of Ukraine”.

The NATO countries have reportedly agreed on new defense plans against possible Russian attacks. Russia is said to have doubled production of the Su-34 and Su-35 fighter jets. Monday’s live blog to read.

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