Steinmeier prepares Germany for tougher days – BZ Berlin

Fierce fighting on the ground, rocket attacks from the air: Ukraine continues to be under Russian fire. The Federal President warns that the consequences of this war will also affect Germany for a long time.

While the war continues to rage in Ukraine, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is preparing Germany for difficult times. “Many hardships are still ahead of us,” Steinmeier said on Sunday, referring to the consequences of the sanctions against Moscow.

In a video message for a concert at Bellevue Palace, he said: “These are terrible days and weeks. We are all shocked, we are appalled by what is happening in Ukraine”. Because of the sanctions against Russia, harder times would inevitably also come to Germany – and for a longer period of time. “We will have to be prepared to wear them if our solidarity is not just to be lip service, if it is to be taken seriously,” said the Federal President.

Outrage after Biden speech

At the weekend, Russia not only attacked cities like Mariupol on the ground, but also used rockets on targets far in western Ukraine. Germany is now considering protecting itself with a missile shield. US President Joe Biden caused a stir with a verbal attack on Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin.

At the end of a speech in Warsaw on Saturday evening, Biden said: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” The White House quickly tried to qualify the statement and emphasized that this was not a call for subversion. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also asserted in Jerusalem on Sunday: “We are not pursuing a strategy of regime change in Russia or anywhere else.” But Moscow reacted with outrage. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Biden does not decide who is president of Russia. Prominent Russian MPs accused Biden of weakness.

Fighting and rocket fire

In the Ukraine fierce fighting continues after the Russian attack on February 24. Russia has control of parts of the country in the north, east and south, but is encountering Ukrainian resistance there. The information provided by the warring parties cannot be independently verified.

The Ukrainian General Staff reported fighting around the city of Chernihiv in the north and around the cities of Rubishne, Sievarodonetsk and Mariupol in the south-east. “The enemy continues full-scale armed aggression against Ukraine,” it said. The mayor of the port city of Mariupol, Wadym Boychenko, accused the Russian forces of being ruthless. Escape from Mariupol remains difficult. However, a second escape corridor was designated for the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk.

Meetings of negotiators from Ukraine and Russia planned

After around two weeks of peace negotiations in online format, the delegations from Ukraine and Russia now want to meet again in person. A meeting is planned for Tuesday and Wednesday, the head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinski, wrote on Telegram on Sunday. The Ukrainian negotiator David Arachamija confirmed a planned face-to-face meeting on Facebook – but said it would start on Monday. The meeting will take place in Istanbul, the Turkish President’s Office announced on Sunday evening. A time was not mentioned.

Luhansk plant Referendum

The pro-Russian separatists in Luhansk announced on Sunday that they would hold a vote on the region’s accession to Russia. A referendum will be held in the near future, said Luhansk separatist leader Leonid Passechnik, according to the TASS state agency. The move puts pressure on Kyiv.

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Selenskyj calls for fighter jets again, nuclear reactor under fire

The Russian Defense Ministry also confirmed a missile attack on Lviv in western Ukraine, which is only about 80 kilometers from the Polish border. A fuel store was hit there on Saturday. According to Russian sources, rockets were also fired at the area around the capital Kyiv. A total of 67 military objects were destroyed within 24 hours.

Selenskyj demands heavy weapons

Over the weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy again demanded the delivery of heavy weapons such as tanks and fighter jets. The leadership of the Ukrainian Air Force also stated: “In order to fight at eye level with the enemy’s forces in the airspace, you need to upgrade both quantitatively and technologically.”

The Ukrainian government bought 5,100 anti-tank weapons from a German arms manufacturer on its own account.

Will Germany get a missile defense shield?

Because of the Russian attack on Ukraine, Germany is now also considering building a missile defense shield. “We have to protect ourselves better against the threat from Russia,” said SPD politician Andreas Schwarzer in BILD am Sonntag. “The Israeli system “Arrow 3″ is a good solution.”

It is currently being examined how the planned special fund for the Bundeswehr of 100 billion euros will be spent.

EU interior ministers will discuss how to deal with refugee movements on Monday

This Monday (2.30 p.m.) the EU interior ministers are discussing how to deal with the huge flow of refugees from Ukraine. The main focus should be on the distribution of the almost four million refugees to date among the EU countries.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD), together with her Polish colleague, appealed to the EU Commission for help. In a letter, they brought up a lump sum of 1,000 euros from EU funds for each refugee admitted and called for more coordination in the distribution. According to official figures, around 2.3 million people have now arrived in Poland, and around 267,000 refugees are officially registered in Germany.

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