Ukraine crisis: G7 Members plan to impose more sanctions on Russia

Irobiko Chimezie

SUMMARY

 Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the military parade in Moscow’s Red Square that the operation in Ukraine was necessary and “timely,” and had been provoked by the West. He said NATO and Ukraine were creating threats on the Russia borders that are “unacceptable to us.” 

– Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy met virtually with EU chief Ursula von der Leyen. Von der Leyen said the EU will respond to Ukraine’s EU membership bid in June.  

– Zelenskyy during his virtual meeting with European Commission President Charles Michel said there must be “immediate measures” to unblock Ukrainian ports to enable wheat exports. Michel also visited Odesa on Monday.  

– Russia’s defense ministry on Monday morning said Odesa has been hit by high-precision missiles. 

EU sanctions talks still ongoing amid Hungarian opposition

Discussions on the proposed sixth round of European Union (EU) sanctions are ongoing, with Hungary threatening that it won’t vote for the package “until there is a solution to Hungary’s energy security,” EU spokesperson Daniel Ferrie said Monday.

Macron urges ‘European political community’ beyond EU

French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday it would take “decades” for a candidate like Ukraine to join the EU and suggested building a broader political community of democratic states around the bloc.

Russia’s finance ministry expects GDP to shrink by 12% in 2022

Russia’s finance ministry has stated it expects the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to shrink by 12 percent in 2022, local media reported on Monday.

European Council President Charles Michel visits Odesa

European Council President Charles Michel paid a surprise visit to the south Ukrainian city of Odesa on Monday where he met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. 

Michel also held a virtual meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who told him that “immediate measures must be taken to unblock Ukrainian ports for wheat exports.” 

Michel’s Odesa visit came after he already visited Kyiv in April.

Zelenskyy holds video meeting with von der Leyen

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Monday he has held talks with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen via video link.

Zelenskyy said he has “demonstrated the second part of the completed questionnaire to obtain Ukraine’s EU membership candidate status,”and expressed gratitude for the EU’s support on this “important path.”

The European Commission will respond to Ukraine’s EU membership bid next month, a key step before the issue is taken up by member states, von der Leyen said Monday. 

Russia will protest paint attack on Poland envoy in Warsaw

The Russian Embassy in Poland will file a formal protest over an attack on diplomats at the memorial cemetery of Soviet soldiers in Warsaw on Monday.

The Russian ambassador to Poland, Sergei Andreev, and other diplomats were attacked with red paint on Monday while trying to lay flowers at the graves of Soviet soldiers in Warsaw, TASS reported.

Andreev said that they were not seriously injured during the incident.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova on Monday condemned the attack, saying Russia will not be intimidated.

Russian military claims it hit Odesa with ‘high-precision missiles’

The Russian defense ministry claimed on Monday that it “destroyed Ukrainian helicopters in the Odesa region with Onyx high-precision missiles.”

The ministry said its air defense systems “shot down three Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles, including two Bayraktar TB2 in the area of Snake Island.”

Sweden’s ruling party to announce NATO stance May 15

Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic party said Monday it will announce on May 15 its position on whether the country should apply for NATO membership.

A decision in favor of joining would in all likelihood pave the way for Sweden to submit a membership bid. 

Russia developing new-generation hypersonic missiles: Interfax

Russia is developing new-generation hypersonic missiles to carry out strikes from air, land and sea, the Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov as saying on Monday.