Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Moscow only wants to guarantee the security of pro-Russian Ukrainians in the east and would not demand that Zelenskyy “give himself up.” “We are demanding that he issue an order to release civilians and stop resistance. Our aim does not include regime change in Ukraine,” Lavrov said.
• However, Israel on Monday denounced Lavrov for suggesting that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had Jewish roots, demanding an apology from Moscow. Speaking to Italy’s Rete 4 channel, Lavrov was asked how Russia could say it needed to “denazify” Ukraine when the country’s president was Jewish. He replied: “When they say ‘What sort of nazification is this if we are Jews’, well I think that Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it means nothing.” Israel’s foreign minister said it was “an unforgivable, scandalous statement, a terrible historical mistake, and we expect an apology.”
• Denmark and Sweden are summoning Russia’s ambassadors after a Russian plane allegedly violated the air space of both countries, their governments have said. Officials said the plane entered Danish airspace on Friday evening east of the Danish Baltic island of Bornholm before flying over Swedish territory.
• Finland will decide to apply for NATO membership on May 12, Finnish newspaper Iltalehti reported late on Sunday, citing anonymous government sources.
• Moscow has suggested it could seize the Russia-based assets from countries it considers hostile in retaliation for a U.S. proposal to sell off the assets of Russian oligarchs and give the proceeds to Ukraine.
• Denmark will reopen its embassy in Ukraine on Monday, the Danish foreign ministry said. “It’s a very strong symbol of the Danish support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people that today we are reopening the doors to the Danish embassy,” he told Danish broadcaster DR.
• A fire broke out at a Russian defense ministry site in Belgorod, close to the Ukrainian border, the region’s governor says. One person was injured. Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said he “wanted to dispel apprehensions among inhabitants of the region that someone or something flew in from the territory of Ukraine”.
• Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has hit out at Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from playing in the Championships, saying it was “unfair” as the conflict is not their fault.
• More than 5.5 million people have fled Ukraine since the conflict started on February 24, the UN Refugee Agency reported on Monday.