Status: 02/04/2023 08:46 a.m
For the first time, the US has transferred millions from the confiscated assets of a Russian oligarch to Ukraine. The Ukrainian Ambassador Makeiev believes in rapid EU accession. All developments in the live blog.
Russia reports attack on border factory in Belgorod
A factory in the Russian border region of Belgorod is said to have been the target of a Ukrainian attack. As a result, a major fire broke out in the building. But there were no fatalities or injuries.
The governor of Belgorod, Vyacheslav Gladkov, announced on Telegram that because of the shelling, the alert level due to the increased threat of terrorism in the region had been extended indefinitely. Previously, governors could only issue terror alerts for a maximum of 15 days. Earlier this week, however, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree allowing them to issue a terror alert without a time limit.
First money confiscated in US goes to Ukraine
In a first transfer, the US sent money to Ukraine from the confiscated assets of a Russian oligarch. This was announced by US Attorney General Merrick Garland to CNN. Accordingly, the sum of 5.4 million dollars – the equivalent of around 4.7 million euros – went to Ukraine. It came from the assets of Russian billionaire Konstantin Malofeev.
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin announced that the money should flow into the reconstruction of Ukraine. It is a “duty to ensure that the Ukrainian people receive compensation for the entire, enormous damage”.
Ambassador Makeiev convinced of rapid EU accession
In an interview with the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”, the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Oleksii Makeiev, was optimistic that Ukraine could quickly be admitted to the EU. “The message of this day is clear: Ukraine will become a member of the EU,” he said, referring to yesterday’s EU summit in Kyiv. Ukraine will “do everything to complete the accession process as quickly as possible”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also emphasized in a video message after the summit that the EU Commission had announced that negotiations on EU membership could begin this year. However, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen had previously emphasized that there was still a lot to be done before Ukraine could be admitted to the EU. She left open a timetable for the accession process.
Buschmann sees no differences with Baerbock at Ukraine tribunal
Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann has rejected information about differences with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on the establishment of a special Ukraine tribunal to try Russian war criminals. Buschmann told the Tagesspiegel that he spoke out in favor of a so-called hybrid tribunal “early on”. This is an international court that applies Ukrainian criminal law. “That is the option that the Foreign Minister also favors,” said Buschmann. All war criminals should be prosecuted for their crimes. “The International Criminal Court cannot prosecute nationals of non-party states for the crime of aggression. That is why an alternative is needed,” Buschmann continued.
Baerbock had proposed the new tribunal in mid-January during a visit to The Hague in the Netherlands. However, at a meeting of EU justice ministers at the end of January, the proposal was largely rejected.