Ukraine tells NATO Russia wants to dictate future world order

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KYIV, June 29 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told NATO leaders on Wednesday his country needed more advanced weapons and money to defend itself against Russia, warning that Moscow’s ambitions did not stop at Ukraine.

He put the monthly cost of defending Ukraine against Russia’s invasion at about $5 billion.

“This is not a war being waged by Russia against only Ukraine. This is a war for the right to dictate conditions in Europe – for what the future world order will be like,” he said in a virtual address to a summit of the Western defence alliance in Madrid. Russia, which will stop its ability to pay for the war.”

Zelenskiy said Ukraine needed modern missile and air defence systems to counter Russia’s artillery.

“By providing them to us, you can completely break Russia’s tactics to destroy cities and terrorise civilians,” he said.

Moscow calls its actions a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and rid it of what it calls anti-Russian nationalism fomented by the West. Ukraine and the West say Russia launched an unprovoked war of aggression.

Zelenskiy said Russia did not want to stop at taking areas of southern Ukraine or the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, where the heaviest battles of the war are being fought.

“It wants to absorb city after city in Europe, which the Russian leadership considers its property and not independent states. This is Russia’s real goal,” he said.

“The question is – who is next for Russia? Moldova? The Baltic States? Poland? The answer is all of them.”

He said NATO was adapting a new 10-year strategy that was “first and foremost a strategy for the security of your societies, your states” while Ukraine suffered “cruise missiles, torture, murder of children, rape of women.”

“Financial support for Ukraine is now no less important than aid with weapons,” he said. “We need about $ 5 billion a month – and that’s a fundamental thing. This is exactly what is needed for defence, for security.”

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, addresses the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Heads of State and Government – NATO Summit Madrid – Spain. PHOTO: NATO


Russia’s second richest man faces UK sanctions

Oligarch Vladimir Potanin – Russia’s second richest man and a member of Putin’s inner circle – is among the latest people to be sanctioned by the UK over his country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Since the war started, Potanin has continued to grow his wealth by acquiring Rosbank and shares in Tinkoff Bank, the UK government said. He’s estimated to be worth £13bn.

He’s now subject to a travel ban and had his assets in the UK frozen.

Vladimir Putin’s cousin Anna Tsivileva, who is president of a mining company, is also sanctioned.

The UK said today’s new sanctions will “weaken the Russian war machine”.

“Nothing and no one is off the table,” said a spokesperson.

Russia says it hit training base for “foreign mercenaries” near Ukraine’s Mykolaiv

Russia’s defence ministry said on Wednesday that its forces carried out strikes on a military training base for “foreign mercenaries” near the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the report.

Indonesian president visits Ukraine on ‘peace mission’

KYIV, June 29 (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo started a visit on Ukraine on Wednesday that is intended to help rekindle peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and explore ways to free up exports of grain to global markets.

President Widodo, better known as Jokowi, and his wife arrived in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv by train, the Indonesian presidential website said.

Jokowi is the chair of the Group of 20 (G20) nations and one of six world leaders the United Nations appointed as “champions” of a Global Crisis Response Group (GCRG), formed to address the threat of an hunger and destitution posed by the war in Ukraine. 

He has said he is committed to tackling rising food and energy prices, with the Ukraine conflict causing food and energy shortages that have stoked inflation in many countries.

Before the war, Ukraine had been one of Indonesia’s biggest wheat suppliers.

Jokowi will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy before travelling to Russia for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Indonesian leader said he will urge Putin to agree to a ceasefire.

Sweden’s Sandvik to wind down Russia business, book $98 mln charge

OSLO, June 29 (Reuters) – Swedish engineering group Sandvik SAND.ST will wind down its operation in Russia and book a non-recurring charge of 1 billion Swedish crowns ($98.3 million) in its second-quarter earnings report, the company said on Wednesday.

Sandvik put its Russian business on hold on Feb. 28 following the invasion of Ukraine, and has since assessed the situation. 

A large number of Western companies have decided to leave Russia in recent months, some by selling their local business and others by closing it down.

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