The Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, wants to apologize to Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) for his controversial “liver sausage” statement. “That is a statement that I later regret, of course,” said Melnyk in the “Spiegel” format “Top Talk”. “I will personally apologize to him,” he announced.

The statement was “diplomatically inappropriate” and “offended many people, not only in Germany,” Melnyk said. The statement was also a nuisance in the Ukrainian government. “My president was not amused,” said Melnyk about Zelenskyj’s reaction. He also had to explain his statement to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

The background was Scholz’s decision at the beginning of May not to travel to Ukraine for the time being. Scholz justified this by saying that Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was not welcome there at the time.

Melnyk had criticized this with the words: “Playing an offended liver sausage doesn’t sound very statesmanlike.” After much hesitation, Scholz finally visited Ukraine in mid-June. Steinmeier had previously had a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Steinmeier had previously been accused of pro-Russian policies in Ukraine during his time as foreign minister.

Estonia has demanded more military aid to Ukraine in the war against Russia from the larger EU states. Prime Minister Katja Kallas said her country had already “done a lot and can’t really do much more” for the people of Ukraine. “But I believe there are still opportunities to help them, and from the larger member states.”

According to government information from Tallinn, the Baltic EU and NATO member has so far provided military aid worth more than 230 million euros.

According to an agency report, the Petrovsky TV station in the pro-Russian separatist region of Donetsk was damaged by shelling. The Russian news agency Tass reports that broadcasting has been interrupted, citing a local Donetsk news agency. The transmission tower is still standing, but is no longer fully functional.

Ukraine awaits its official acceptance of candidate status for membership of the Community at the EU summit. Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna, responsible for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, said she was “100 percent certain” that all EU leaders would agree to Ukraine’s request – perhaps as early as tomorrow, Thursday. President Zelenskyj was also optimistic and spoke of a “decisive moment” for Ukraine.

More than eight million people have fled the country since the Russian attack on Ukraine. This is reported by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Russia wants to temporarily allow the repayment of some foreign debts in rubles in view of the sanctions pressure on its own financial system. According to a decree signed by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, obligations to holders of Russian eurobonds will in future be deemed to have been made even if they were settled in rubles.

He instructed the Russian government to clarify technical details within the next ten days and to determine banks through which the payments can be processed in the future. Foreign creditors would then have to open an account with these banks, which can later convert rubles into foreign currencies.

Union faction leader Friedrich Merz (CDU) welcomes the recent activities of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to support Ukraine, but calls for further efforts. On Wednesday in the Bundestag, Merz spoke positively about the Chancellor’s trip to Kyiv and the publication of arms deliveries to the country attacked by Russia. Apparently there was a change of opinion here in the federal government, said Merz.

The Union could have imagined this earlier, added the CDU leader. The visit by Scholz and other heads of state and government has nothing to do with the fact that, according to experts, the Russian war of annihilation bears “central characteristics of an intended genocide”. Merz also referred to the recent tensions surrounding Lithuania. “This shows that we are correct in our assessment that Putin must be stopped.”

Union faction leader Friedrich Merz (CDU) welcomes the recent activities of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to support Ukraine, but calls for further efforts. On Wednesday in the Bundestag, Merz spoke positively about the Chancellor’s trip to Kyiv and the publication of arms deliveries to the country attacked by Russia. Apparently there was a change of opinion here in the federal government, said Merz.

The Union could have imagined this earlier, added the CDU leader. The visit by Scholz and other heads of state and government has nothing to do with the fact that, according to experts, the Russian war of annihilation bears “central characteristics of an intended genocide”. Merz also referred to the recent tensions surrounding Lithuania. “This shows that we are correct in our assessment that Putin must be stopped.”

In the dispute over a transit ban to Kaliningrad, Lithuania is prepared for Russian retaliation, according to President Gitanas Nauseda. Such “unfriendly measures by Russia” include excluding Lithuania from the common power grid, Nauseda said. “I don’t think Russia will challenge us in a military sense since we are a NATO member.” The government in Moscow had announced retaliation for Lithuania’s failure to transport EU-sanctioned goods across its territory to the Russian exclave tolerates. Moscow said the measures would seriously affect the Lithuanian population.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called for a “Marshall Plan” for the reconstruction of war-torn Ukraine. In his government statement in the Bundestag on Wednesday, he said that during his visit to Ukraine last week some things reminded him of the images of German cities after the Second World War. “And like war-torn Europe then, Ukraine needs a Marshall Plan for reconstruction today.”

Between 1948 and 1952, the United States supported reconstruction in Germany and other European countries with billions of dollars with the Marshall Plan. Scholz got an idea of ​​the situation in Ukraine last week and visited the partially destroyed Kiev suburb of Irpin, among other things. “The extent of the destruction is enormous,” he said in the Bundestag.

Despite the war in Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz is against a termination of the NATO-Russia Founding Act. This would be unwise and would only play into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda, says Scholz in a government statement in the Bundestag. Because the document stipulates the renunciation of violence, respect for borders and the sovereignty of independent states.

“We should always remind Putin of that,” says the Chancellor. The relationship with Russia must continue to play an important role for NATO. But a partnership with Russia under Putin is “inconceivable in the foreseeable future”.

In the dispute over a transit ban to Kaliningrad, Lithuania is prepared for Russian retaliatory measures, according to President Gitanas Nauseda. This includes excluding Lithuania from the joint power grid with Russia, says Nauseda in an interview with the Reuters news agency. He doesn’t expect a military confrontation with Russia because Lithuania is part of NATO.

The government in Moscow has announced retaliation for Lithuania’s refusal to allow goods subject to EU sanctions to be transported through its territory to Russia’s Baltic Sea exclave. Moscow said the measures would seriously affect the Lithuanian population. Nauseda says Russia is threatening Lithuania in a “presumptuous manner”. He will address the conflict over Kaliningrad at the NATO summit next week.

The Russian government has accused the federal government of inciting anti-Russian hostility. Berlin is endangering “decades of efforts by Russia and Germany to overcome post-war enmity,” the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said on Wednesday on the occasion of the commemoration of Nazi Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union. German members of the government would stir up anti-Russian hysteria with almost daily attacks on our country.

An “anti-Russian propaganda campaign” is currently being carried out in Germany, the ministry explained. This led to an “unreasonable aggression bordering on mass psychosis” against Russians and Russian-speaking people in Germany.

The Foreign Ministry also accused NATO member Germany of expanding its military presence on Russia’s western border. This “evokes memories of the most bitter times in Russian-German relations for our people, including the events preceding May 1945.”

According to President Vladimir Putin, Russia is making a fundamental change in its trade policy. Business is currently geared towards the other so-called BRICS countries, says Putin, referring to Brazil, India, China and South Africa. Russia itself belongs to the group of five large emerging countries. A greater presence of Chinese car manufacturers on the Russian market is currently being discussed, as is opening branches of Indian supermarket chains, says Putin. Western countries have imposed sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine.

According to Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, Ukrainian soldiers will begin training on the Mars multiple rocket launcher in Germany next week. At the hearing of the federal government in the Bundestag, the SPD politician said that Germany would provide Ukraine with three such systems, Great Britain also and the USA four. Ukraine must be supplied with what the armed forces need “for their courageous struggle”. However, with the commitments made so far, the Bundeswehr has reached its limit in order to still guarantee its ability to form an alliance.

A Turkish freighter left the Ukrainian port of Mariupol on Wednesday after Turkish-Russian talks in Moscow about grain stocks blocked in Ukraine. “Only a few hours after the long meeting, the Turkish freighter (Azov Concord), which had been waiting for days, left the Ukrainian port,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said. It is “the first foreign ship to leave the Ukrainian port of Mariupol” since it was taken by Russian troops in May.

The oil refinery operator in Russia’s Rostov region on the border with Ukraine blames a drone strike for the fire at its plant. Two unmanned aerial vehicles attacked the refinery, the company from the city of Novoshakhtinsk said. This is eight kilometers from the border with Ukraine. Civil protection had previously announced that no one was injured in the attack. The Russian agency Tass, citing authorities, reported that a Ukrainian drone had crashed into the heat exchanger block of the refinery in the city before the fire. A second drone flew away. The fire has been extinguished.

Russia is apparently changing its war tactics and has once again targeted the city of Kharkiv in northern Ukraine. Russian troops fired numerous rockets at the city and its surroundings on Wednesday. According to Ukrainian sources, at least 15 people were killed and 16 injured. The government in Kyiv expressed suspicions that the Russians wanted to tie up Ukrainian forces there in order to distract them from the main battle raging in the Donbass for the city of Sieverodonetsk in the east.

Russia threatens retaliation against the West over the partial transit blockade of the Kaliningrad exclave. Moscow’s response to Lithuania’s actions will not be exclusively diplomatic, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Rather, Russia’s reaction will be “practical,” she added, without going into detail.

The Federal Government has confirmed that the delivery of the seven Panzerhaubitz 2000 from Bundeswehr stocks to the Ukraine has been completed. In her list of military support for the country published on the Internet on Wednesday, she now listed the artillery weapons under the heading “Lethal and non-lethal military support provided”. It is the first delivery of heavy weapons by Germany to Kyiv in the war with Russia.

According to Russian sources, a fire broke out in an oil refinery in the Rostov region of Russia on the border with Ukraine. The local civil protection authorities said no one was injured. The Russian news agency TASS reports, citing official circles, that a Ukrainian drone crashed into the heat exchanger block of the refinery in the city of Novoshakhtinsk before the fire. A total of two Ukrainian drones were sighted over the facility, the second flew away. According to the Interfax news agency, the fire has already been extinguished.

Russia renames the square in front of the American embassy in Moscow after the separatist “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR), provoking new tensions with the USA. A corresponding decree for renaming was published on Wednesday by the city administration. The move will force the US embassy to refer to the DPR, which Washington does not recognize as an independent state, when providing its address.

Indonesian President and G20 Chairman Joko Widodo plans to travel to Kyiv and Moscow next week to advocate for a peaceful solution to the Ukraine conflict. According to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Widodo wants to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The food crisis caused by the war and its impact on developing countries in particular should also be discussed.

Previously, Widodo was also a guest at the summit of the seven leading industrialized countries (G7) in Elmau, Bavaria. Indonesia has opposed calls to exclude Russia from November’s summit of the top 20 developed and emerging economies (G20) in Bali. At the same time, Widodo also invited Selenskyj to the summit in Indonesia.

According to the organization Reporters Without Borders, a Ukrainian photographer and a soldier were murdered in cold blood in the first weeks of the war in Ukraine. The photojournalist and his companion were looking for the photographer’s drone in a forest controlled by Russian troops, Reporters Without Borders said on Wednesday after completing an investigation.

The organization said it had returned to the spot where the bodies of Maks Levin and soldier Oleksiy Chernyshev were found on April 1 in the woods north of the capital Kyiv. 14 bullet holes were counted in the burned-out wreck of the two men’s car, which was still in the forest. Disused Russian positions were discovered nearby, one of which was still booby-trapped. Waste was also discovered that was apparently left behind by Russian soldiers.

The armed forces of the pro-Russian separatist region of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine have suffered heavy casualties, according to British sources. They have lost about 55 percent of their original strength, according to the daily situation report from the British Ministry of Defense on Twitter. Figures released by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) showed that as of June 16, 2,128 service members had been killed in combat and 8,897 militants wounded since the beginning of 2022. Russia has not published the number of casualties in Ukraine since March 25.

According to the Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych, the Russian armed forces could cut off the cities of Lysychansk and Sievarodonetsk from the Ukrainian-controlled areas after taking the village of Metyolkine. “The threat of a tactical Russian victory is there, but they haven’t done it yet,” he says in a video posted online.

Thuringia’s Left Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow warned his party at the federal party conference in Erfurt against a lukewarm compromise in its position on the war in Ukraine. The left must clearly clarify its position. “I would like the party congress to take a clear position on this question. There shouldn’t be a formula compromise,” said Ramelow of the German Press Agency. The three-day party congress, including the election of the new party leadership, begins this Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has militarized foreign policy, waging wars in Georgia, Syria and now Ukraine. “It is therefore incorrect in terms of content and politically adventurous to blame other countries or NATO for this war of aggression against Ukraine, which violates international law,” said Ramelow.

The only head of government represented by Die Linke indirectly reacted to a controversial amendment by a group led by Bundestag member Sahra Wagenknecht on the war in Ukraine. He is said to contradict the position of the party executive on this issue on essential points.

The federal government rules out accession to the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. Such a step would not be compatible with the obligations arising from Germany’s NATO membership, according to a response to a minor question from left-wing MP Sevim Dagdelen. “Disarmament must take into account the security policy environment,” the government said.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine shows the dangers emanating from Moscow. At the same time, the federal government emphasized that it shares the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. The Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, in force since 2021, outlaws the development, possession and threat of nuclear weapons. The 65 contracting states to date will meet for a first conference in Vienna by Thursday.

Although Germany has no nuclear weapons, some US nuclear warheads are stationed in the Federal Republic as part of nuclear sharing. “As long as nuclear weapons pose a threat to Germany and its allies, there will continue to be a need for credible deterrence within the framework of NATO and nuclear sharing,” the federal government said.

The consumer advice centers are also calling for a connection offer for the 9-euro tickets in nationwide local transport to relieve rising prices. The head of the Federal Association (vzbv), Jutta Gurkmann, told the German Press Agency that an easily bookable ticket for all buses and trains in local transport should be offered for a monthly price of 29 euros, i.e. around one euro per day. “That would relieve everyone in the price crisis, but especially households with little money, and also give the necessary traffic turnaround more impetus.”

The 9-euro tickets are valid in June, July and August and allow unlimited travel on local and regional buses and trains throughout Germany for one month – much cheaper than normal monthly tickets, which are also only valid in the network area. Federal Minister of Transport Volker Wissing (FDP) and Bahn boss Richard Lutz want to comment on the future of rail and better organization of construction sites for fewer train delays on Wednesday.

The consumer centers are demanding that the federal government take up further development of the successful 9-euro ticket for a further relief package that is needed. In view of the further increase in energy prices, a rethinking of the gas supply is necessary.

According to an insider, US President Joe Biden wants to relieve American consumers of the high fuel prices. Biden plans to temporarily suspend the federal tax on gasoline of 18.4 cents per gallon (around 3.8 liters), a person familiar with the process told Reuters on Tuesday (local time). The US President said on Monday that he was considering such a rule because the United States was struggling with rising gas prices and high inflation.

The move has met with resistance in Congress, including many Democrats. The Washington-based news portal “Punchbowl News” was the first to report on the plan.

A Google manager sees the cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns against Ukraine as a harbinger of future information wars in other regions of the world. Since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, Ukraine has been the target of such attacks disproportionately, Jared Cohen said at a meeting of the UN Security Council on dealing with hate speech, hate speech and atrocities in Ukraine on Tuesday. That makes the country “virtually our crystal ball for what’s likely to come,” he added.

Cohen called on the international community to take countermeasures and “some kind of deterrence doctrine for the cyber domain”. While tech companies have the expertise, “there’s no magic algorithm or one-size-fits-all solution,” he said. Finding a solution will require “a lot of experimentation”. Cohen heads Jigsaw, a division of Google that aims to develop technology to combat disinformation, internet extremism and censorship.

As a result of the Ukraine war, tech companies are under increased pressure to take tougher action against hate speech, disinformation and other harmful content on the Internet. The EU, for example, is working on new rules that will oblige Google, Facebook’s parent company Meta and other actors to monitor their platforms more closely.

Before the coalition committee on Wednesday, the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) is demanding further financial relief for the population from the traffic light government. “In view of the further rising prices and the uncertainties in the gas supply, another relief package for the citizens is absolutely necessary,” said DGB chairwoman Yasmin Fahimi to the newspapers of the “Funke Mediengruppe”.

“In such a time of crisis, wage policy alone cannot be burdened with preventing losses in purchasing power and cushioning social hardship.” At the same time, “an ongoing monthly supplement to the Hartz IV standard rates is necessary”. This is a fast-acting immediate measure for low earners and is urgently needed from a socio-political point of view so that poverty situations are not exacerbated.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj is calling for further EU sanctions against Russia because of the war against his country. A seventh package of sanctions is needed as soon as possible, said Selenskyj in his video message on Wednesday night. He emphasized this in talks with various European heads of government on Tuesday. “Russia must feel the growing pressure for war and its aggressive anti-European policies,” said Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyj again emphasized the urgency of further arms deliveries. “The lives of thousands of people depend directly on the speed of our partners,” he said. On the front in the east of the country, the Ukrainian army was able to strengthen the defense in the heavily contested Luhansk region. In the Kharkiv region there is still heavy shelling by Russian troops. The area around the city of Cherson occupied by Russian troops is gradually being recaptured, Zelenskyj said.

A planned phone call between basketball Olympic champion Brittney Griner, who was imprisoned in Moscow, and her wife apparently did not take place due to an error by the US embassy and is now to be made up for. As Cherelle Griner reported to the US news agency AP on Monday (local time), a call had been arranged for the couple’s fourth wedding anniversary last Saturday, but it never came. The US State Department regretted a “logistical error”. On Tuesday, a spokesman for the US State Department then announced a new attempt “relatively soon”. A date was not mentioned.

Brittney Griner has been in a Russian prison for four months. The star player of the WNBA team Phoenix Mercury was arrested on February 17 at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on charges of drug possession. The two-time Olympic champion must remain in Russian custody until at least July 2 after the 31-year-old American’s pre-trial detention was extended again. The basketball player, who is also active in the Russian league, faces five to ten years in prison.

EU Council President Charles Michel proposes making Ukraine and Moldova EU candidates. The latest draft of the final declaration of the forthcoming EU summit reads: “The European Council has decided to grant Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidate countries.” This would mean that the 27 heads of state and government who met on Thursday and Friday in Meet in Brussels, follow the recommendation of the EU Commission.

In addition, the draft from Tuesday, which is available to the German Press Agency, states that they are prepared to grant candidate status to Georgia. To do this, however, the priorities specified by the EU Commission would have to be met.

All three countries applied for membership of the European Union shortly after the start of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Last week, the EU Commission recommended granting candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova. The decision for this must be taken unanimously by the 27 EU countries.

A Russian warplane has crashed near the border with Ukraine, killing its pilot, according to Russian military sources. The Sukhoi Su-25 crashed on Tuesday during a training flight in the Rostov region. According to initial information, the cause could have been a “technical malfunction”, the Russian news agencies quoted a press release from the Southern Military District as saying.

The statement did not mention a possible connection with the Russian military operation in Ukraine, which borders Rostov. On June 17, a Su-25 crashed during a training flight in the Belgorod region, which also borders Ukraine. At that time, too, the Russian military had spoken of a possible technical defect. Russia has repeatedly accused Kyiv of airstrikes on Russian soil in the border regions in recent months.