In view of the massive destruction caused by combat drones used by Russia in Ukraine, the United States is calling for a UN investigation into allegations that the weapons are of Iranian origin.
"The UN must investigate any violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and we must not allow Russia or others to prevent or threaten the UN from carrying out its stated obligations," US Representative Jeffrey DeLaurentis said at a Security Council meeting in Washington on Friday New York.
Britain, France and Germany had previously sent similar requests by letter to the United Nations. In a video message distributed in Kyiv in the evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Iran of supporting Russian terror against the infrastructure and energy systems in his country by supplying weapons.
Moscow and Tehran deny that these are Iranian drones. However, Russian military experts in the state media also believe that these are Iranian-made drones that Russia is using in Ukraine under the name Geran - in English: geranium. Russia and Iran have long cooperated militarily.
Russia's UN ambassador Vasily Nebensya described the US demands at the Security Council meeting as an "outrageous situation". He again denied allegations of the use of Iranian drones in the war against Ukraine and reiterated a warning against a related UN investigation. If that were to happen, Russia would have to reconsider its cooperation with the UN. Russia has not yet officially explained where the drones, which have only recently been deployed, came from after the military had long demanded them for the war in Ukraine. Saturday is the 241st day of the war.
Selenskyj hopes for help with reconstruction
President Zelenskyy recently complained that Russia had destroyed 40 percent of Ukraine's energy infrastructure. In his video message, he expressed hope for further help from the West - also at the conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine planned in Germany next week. Above all, apartments, energy systems and social facilities would have to be restored. Zelenskyi reported that Russian drone and missile attacks against the country's civilian infrastructure continued.
At a German-Ukrainian business forum on Monday in Berlin, top representatives from both countries want to talk about the reconstruction of Ukraine. The conference will be opened by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal.
Zelenskyy: Russia is hindering grain exports from Ukraine
In July, Russia, mediated by the UN and Turkey, agreed to grain exports, but always threatened to scrap the four-month agreement. Moscow has long complained that part of the summer agreement is not being implemented. In the agreement, Russia agreed to end the blockade of Ukrainian seaports for grain exports, but in return demanded relief for its own exports of fertilizers and food. Russia and Ukraine are both major grain exporters, earning billions from exports.
According to Selenskyj, three million tons of food are currently not reaching their destination because of the delays. The amount is enough to feed ten million people for a year. According to Zelenskyj, Russia wants to ensure that hundreds of thousands of people flee from hunger and seek asylum in Turkey or the EU, for example.
As a result of the Russian war of aggression that began at the end of February, tons of grain were blocked in Ukraine's Black Sea ports for months. Since July, three Ukrainian seaports have been open again for the export of food. The ships are guided through a corridor in the Black Sea. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin criticized the agreement as a "rip-off" because promises to relax sanctions against Russia had not been kept.
US Minister: Diplomacy only if Russian aggression is stopped
The US, meanwhile, sees no way to negotiate with Russia as long as the country presses ahead with its war of aggression against Ukraine. "As far as diplomacy to end the war goes, that depends entirely on whether Russia will be interested in stopping the aggression it has started," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Washington on Friday. However, there are currently no indications of this, said Blinken, referring to the partial mobilization in Russia ordered by President Putin. At the same time, Blinken made it clear that the US continued to maintain diplomatic channels for communication with Russia. "Whenever we have something important to tell the Russians, we will do it."
Mützenich: G20 summit could be a forum for peace efforts
SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich hopes, however, that the G20 summit in Bali on 15./16. November could be a forum "to sound out diplomatic initiatives" that could one day lead to an end to the war in Ukraine. "There is certainly no ceasefire overnight. Sometimes they only develop in individual regions at first," said Mützenich the editorial network Germany. "But we must not ignore any opportunity that makes a local ceasefire, the exchange of prisoners of war and the care of the civilian population possible." Kremlin chief Putin has so far left open whether he will travel to the summit. His Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had said that if the United States made an offer of talks from US President Joe Biden, Moscow would look into it.
What is important today
Ukraine continues its offensive to liberate Russian-held territories despite missile and drone strikes. According to President Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian armed forces are making progress in the east and south of the country. The situation is particularly tense in the southern region of Cherson, where, from the Ukrainian point of view, there are more and more successes. Russia had admitted that the situation for its troops there was difficult.