Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:
– Ministers at crucial WTO meet –
More than 100 ministers are meeting at the World Trade Organization in Geneva to tackle pressing issues including global food security threatened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Top of the agenda as the four-day meeting kicks off is the toll Russia’s war in Ukraine – traditionally a breadbasket that feeds hundreds of millions of people – is having on food security.
– “Imperial appetites” –
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issues scathing criticism of Moscow and its goals in Ukraine. “Let’s be clear: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is what happens when oppressors trample the rules that protect us all,” he tells the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore.
“It’s what happens when big powers decide that their imperial appetites matter more than the rights of their peaceful neighbours.”
“And it’s a preview of a possible world of chaos and turmoil that none of us would want to live in.”
– Ukraine to get word on EU hopes –
Ukraine’s bid to become a candidate to join the EU will get a clear signal next week, the bloc’s chief Ursula von der Leyen announces in a surprise visit to Kyiv. Von der Leyen says talks she held with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “will enable us to finalise our assessment by the end of next week”. It is the first time the EU has publicly given timing on when the commission will deliver its opinion. The bloc’s 27 member countries need to decide whether to allow Ukraine to start accession negotiations.
– Zelensky warns of food crisis –
President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged the exertion of international pressure to end a Russian naval blockade of Black Sea ports that has choked off his country’s grain exports, threatening a global food crisis. “The world will face an acute and severe food crisis and famine, in many countries of Asia and Africa,” Zelensky says in a video addressed to the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore.
– Ukrainians in occupied Kherson get Russian passports –
Authorities in the Moscow-occupied city of Kherson in southern Ukraine have handed out Russian passports to local residents for the first time, news agencies reported. Russia’s TASS agency says 23 Kherson residents received a Russian passport at a ceremony through a “simplified procedure” facilitated by a decree signed by Vladimir Putin in May.
– “Very difficult battles” –
Volodymyr Zelensky says his country’s forces are involved in “very difficult battles”, including in the eastern Donbas region where Russia has focused its firepower.
“Ukrainian troops are doing everything to stop the offensive of the occupiers,” Zelensky says. He adds in his address that Ukraine must “not allow the world to divert its attention away from what is happening on the battlefield”.
– “Out of ammo” –
In Mykolaiv Region near the frontline in the south, the regional governor calls for urgent international military assistance. “Russia’s army is more powerful, they have a lot of artillery and ammo. For now, this is a war of artillery… and we are out of ammo,” Vitaliy Kim says. “The help of Europe and America is very, very important.”
– Russia renames McDonald’s former restaurants –
Former McDonald’s restaurants in Russia have been renamed “Vkusno i tochka” (“Delicious. Full Stop”), the new owner says.
Replete with a new logo to replace the Golden Arches, the restaurant on Moscow’s Pushkin Square, where the very first McDonald’s opened its doors to long queues and great fanfare in January 1990, is due to open its doors again on Sunday, June 12.
McDonald’s, the US fast-food giant announced on May 16 that it would exit Russia in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
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