NATO says Ukraine needs more weapons due to Russia′s ′brutal invasion′ — live updates | News | DW

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg calls for more heavy weapons 
  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the outcome of fighting in the Donbas will indicate the course of the war
  • The EU’s top aviation safety regulator has said it is worried about “unsafe” planes flying in Russia

This story was last updated at 03:56 UTC/GMT

Russia tells Ukrainian forces to ‘lay down arms’ in Sievierodonetsk

Russia told Ukrainian forces deployed at a chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk to “stop their senseless resistance and lay down arms” from 8 a.m. Moscow time (0500 GMT),” on Wednesday, Mikhail Mizintsev, head of Russia’s National Defense Management Center told the Interfax news agency.

Civilians would be allowed to leave through a humanitarian corridor, he added.

Ukraine says more than 500 civilians are currently trapped alongside soldiers inside the Azot chemical factory where its forces have defied weeks of Russian bombardment and assaults that have reduced much of the embattled city of Sievierodonetsk to ruins.

EASA ‘worried’ about Russia flying ‘unsafe’ Western-made airplanes

The European Union’s top aviation safety regulator has said it is “very worried” about the safety of Western-made aircraft which are continuing to fly in Russia without access to spare parts and proper maintenance.

The European Union and the United States have moved to curb Russia’s access to flying equipment following its invasion of Ukraine, meaning its aircraft have become “very unsafe,” according to Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

US extends energy payments to Russia until December

The US Department of Treasury has announced it will allow some energy-related transactions with Sberbank, VTB Bank, Alfa-Bank and several other Russian entities to continue until December 5, extending a previous exemption deadline set for June 24.

The payments to Russia for energy products will give European countries time to prepare for a near-total oil embargo.

Washington has banned imports of Russian fossil fuels and imposed punitive sanctions due to its invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24.

NATO chief urges ‘more heavy weapons’ for Ukraine

The West needs to send Ukraine “more heavy weapons” as it battles Russia’s “brutal invasion,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. 

NATO was already “stepping up” deliveries and officials would be meeting in Brussels on Wednesday to coordinate further support, Stoltenberg said at a news conference.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said the country had only received a fraction of the arms it had requested and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the West was “not doing enough” to support Kyiv.

Meanwhile, seven NATO nations pledged their support for Sweden and Finland’s bids to join the military alliance.

The support was voiced after a gathering at Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s official residence in The Hague, co-hosted by his Danish counterpart, Mette Frederiksen. The other leaders in attendance were Romania’s president and the prime ministers of Belgium, Poland, Portugal and Latvia.

Zelenskyy: Outcome of Donbas fighting will be significant

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said defending the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine was “vital” as the outcome would indicate “who will dominate in the coming weeks” of the war.

“Hanging in there in Donbas is crucial,” Zelenskyy said on Telegram in his daily address to the Ukrainian people.

Russian forces have made recent advances in the Donbas and control most of the Luhansk region, with fighting especially intense in the city of Severodonetsk. 

EU ‘wants to boost energy cooperation with Israel’ as it reduces Russia dependence

The European Union is looking toward Israel as it seeks to reduce its reliance on Russia for energy, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

“We want to boost our energy cooperation with Israel,” Von der Leyen said in a press briefing in Jerusalem alongside Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

The EU was Russia’s “biggest, most important client” in energy supplies, she said, but the war had spurred the bloc to move away from Russian fossil fuels.

Nicaragua gives green light for joint military exercises with Russia

Nicaragua’s parliament has granted approval for Russian troops to be allowed into the country for joint military exercises.

The chamber, dominated by allies of President Daniel Ortega, voted to allow troops and military hardware from Russia, the United States, and seven Latin American countries into Nicaragua.

What happened in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Tuesday

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said the country had only received 10% of the arms it had requested from Western allies to fend off Russian troops.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry blacklisted a total of 49 British citizens, including 29 journalists and members of British news organizations.

Pope Francis said the war was “perhaps in some way provoked,” adding that there were no “good guys and bad guys” in the conflict.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she would work on assuring the release of two British nationals who have been sentenced to death by pro-Moscow separatists in the Donbas region.

The British Defense Ministry said in its regular intelligence report that Russian forces probably made “small advances” in the northeastern Kharkiv for the first time in weeks. 

Ukrainian Deputy Agriculture Minister Taras Vysotsky said that the number of fields tilled in Ukraine has dropped by a quarter since Russia invaded on February 24.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that Germany will continue to supply state-of-the art weapons to Ukraine.

Yuri Sak, an advisor for Ukraine’s defense minister, told DW that “Donbas is not lost. The fighting continues” but Russian forces have “superiority when it comes to heavy artillery.”

You can revisit our updates from Tuesday, June 14, here.

jsi/aw (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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