Ukraine-Russia news live: US to send $450 million more in military aid | Russian-Ukrainian War News

  • The United States is sending another $450 million in military aid to Ukraine, including four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
  • The 27-nation European Union unanimously approved Ukraine and Moldova’s applications to become candidate countries for membership in the bloc.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the EU decision is one of the most important for Ukraine since it gained independence.
  • Ukraine says it will move quickly and take the necessary steps to get accession talks started.
  • Germany says it could go through an average winter without Russian gas for two and a half months if its storage tanks were full.
(Al Jazeera)

Here are the latest updates:

Boris Johnson signals UK’s readiness to help export grain from Ukraine: Reuters

The UK is willing to help with demining operations off Ukraine’s southern coast and is considering offering insurance to ships to move millions of tonnes of grain trapped in the country, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

Turkey is trying to broker talks between the United Nations, Ukraine and Russia to create a possible safe maritime corridor in the Black Sea, but Moscow wants some Western sanctions lifted first to facilitate its grain and fertilizer exports.

“There is a job of work to be done. We are working with the Turks and other European friends and allies to see what we can do,” Johnson told Reuters in an interview on Thursday during a visit to Rwanda for a Commonwealth summit.

The UK has also pledged 372 million pounds ($456 million) in aid to countries hardest hit by rising global food costs and fertilizer shortages, including 130 million pounds for the World Food Programme. he said in a statement.

EBRD lends €300 million to Moldova to overcome power outages

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said it would lend Moldova 300 million euros ($316 million) to help it weather power supply disruptions exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Moldova, sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, gets almost all of its gas for industry and heating from Russian giant Gazprom under a contract that runs until 2026. Supplies have been subject to difficult and periodic price negotiations, which have been they fired even before the invasion of Ukraine. and Moldova’s ability to pay its debts.

The loan to the pro-Western government of President Maia Sandu will be given in two tranches: €200 million to avoid disruptions and another €100 million to create a strategic reserve in Ukraine or Romania.

Head of Germany’s grid agency says full gas storage is enough for 2.5 months

Germany could hold out for an average two-and-a-half winter months if its natural gas storage facilities were 100 percent full, the head of Germany’s grid agency said, adding that Europe’s largest economy needs additional suppliers and You should save gas.

“If the storage facilities in Germany were mathematically 100 percent full… we could do without Russian gas completely… for just two and a half months and then the storage tanks would be empty,” Klaus Mueller told the Maybrit show. Illner of ZDF.

Mueller said the gas supply situation was tense but still stable.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck earlier said in a statement that Russia’s gas supply cutoff was an economic attack by President Vladimir Putin.

Canada passes budget that includes power to seize assets seized in response to Russian invasion

Canada’s Senate has approved Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s budget, adopting a long list of measures including the power to seize and sell assets seized in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

US welcomes Turkey’s help in Ukrainian grain exports

The United States welcomes Turkey’s participation in negotiating a deal to get grain out of Ukraine, said John Kirby, the national security spokesman.

The United States is working with allies and partners to get some grain out of Ukraine, exports that have been thwarted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kirby said.

“We certainly welcome Turkey’s involvement in trying to negotiate some kind of arrangement to allow the shipment of grain,” he said, noting that there was a blockade in the Black Sea.

The United States sends advanced rocket systems and other aid to Ukraine

The United States will send another $450 million in military aid to Ukraine, including some additional medium-range rocket systems, to help roll back Russia’s progress in the war, officials announced.

The latest package includes four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, which will double the number they have now. All four were previously stationed in Europe, and training on those systems has already begun with Ukrainian troops who will use them, said Marine Corps Lt. Col. Anton Semelroth, a Pentagon spokesman.

The first four HIMARS the US has previously sent have already gone to the battlefield in Ukraine and are in the hands of troops there.

According to the Pentagon, the aid also includes 18 tactical vehicles used to tow howitzers so the weapons can move around the battlefield, as well as 18 coastal and river patrol boats, thousands of machine guns, grenade launchers and ammunition. , and some other equipment and spare parts.

Zelenskyy says he will not rest until he secures his entry into the EU

Zelenskyy has vowed not to rest until Russia’s defeat and Ukraine’s full membership in the European Union have been secured.

“This is a victory,” a smiling Zelenskyy said in a short video posted on his Instagram channel, noting that Ukraine had waited 30 years for this moment.

“We can defeat the enemy, rebuild Ukraine, join the EU, and then we can rest,” he said quietly.

“Or maybe we don’t get any rest, our kids would be offended. But without a doubt, we will win.”

Andriy Yermak, Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, said Kyiv would quickly implement the necessary plan for accession talks to begin.

Ukraine and Moldova will tackle reforms quickly: EU’s von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was convinced that Ukraine and Moldova would act as quickly as possible to implement the necessary reforms.

“There can be no better sign of hope for the citizens of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in these difficult times,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels after both countries gained EU candidate status. , adding that they still had to do their homework.

“I am deeply convinced that the decision we have made today strengthens us all. It strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia against Russian aggression,” he said.

“And it strengthens the European Union because it shows once again to the world that the European Union is united and strong against external threats.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, center, and French President Emmanuel Macron, right, speak with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during a panel discussion at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday. June 2022.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, center, and French President Emmanuel Macron, right, speak with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during a panel discussion at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday. June 2022. [Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP]

Moldovan president says EU decision on bid status is historic day

Moldova’s President Maia Sandu has said the European Union’s decision to grant candidacy status to her nation was a historic day, adding: “We have a difficult road ahead of us, which will require a lot of work and effort.”

In a Facebook post, he said that EU membership would bring more well-being, more opportunities and more order in the small country, which is sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania.

Zelenskyy thanks the EU for approval of candidacy

A triumphant Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the European Union for granting Ukraine candidate status, saying this was the beginning of Europe’s new history.

Listing and thanking each bloc country individually in a video address, Zelenskyy said they had made “one of the most important decisions for Ukraine in our state’s 30 years of independence.”

“I have always said that we Ukrainians believe in the European Union. Although we formally remained outside the European Union, our country probably had the largest number of flags in a united Europe,” he said.

“They were in the hands of our people during the revolutions. They have been in the hands of our people in the trenches since 2014. I believe that the flag of the European Union will be in every Ukrainian city that we have yet to liberate from the occupation of the Russian Federation,” Zelenskyy added.

Read all the updates from June 23 here.

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