Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj also wants to visit Washington after his planned speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. A meeting with President Joe Biden and members of Congress is planned for Thursday in the US capital to reiterate US continued support for Ukraine, the White House confirmed. The third meeting between the two comes “at a critical time”.
Zelenskyj will seek further support for his country in the war against Russia. Biden is currently campaigning for additional aid worth more than $20 billion (around €18.6 billion) for military, economic and humanitarian purposes. Zelensky last visited Washington in December 2022. No country has supported Ukraine in the war with more money and military aid than the USA - according to one estimate, already more than 70 billion US dollars.
Close coordination between the USA and Germany
Shortly before UN Week in New York, the USA and Germany joined forces against Russia and invoked the strength of the transatlantic alliance. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin would be "missing the mark" if he thought the world would get used to Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine, said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock after a meeting with her US counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington on Friday.
It's not just about arms deliveries, it's above all about humanitarian issues, protecting infrastructure and bringing back abducted children, said the Green politician. She spoke to Blinken about how joint winter aid for Ukraine could be even more closely linked.
Blinken once again praised Germany's commitment to Ukraine. After the USA, Germany comes second in terms of the amount of aid provided to the country attacked by Russia, he said.
EU suspends trade restrictions
The EU Commission is ending controversial trade restrictions on Ukrainian grain products. The authority is thus opposing demands from EU states such as Poland and Hungary, which had previously restricted imports themselves, as the EU Commission said on Friday evening. Germany viewed the measures very critically.
Because of the Russian war of aggression, grain exports from Ukraine via the Black Sea could no longer reach the world market for a time. Such deliveries are still risky at the moment. In mid-July, Russia suspended an agreement on grain deliveries, which is important for global food supplies.
In view of the difficulties, the EU had expanded trade routes. However, farmers from eastern EU countries faced great competition from sharply increased imports from Ukraine. As a result, countries such as Poland and Hungary independently restricted the import of certain goods. The EU Commission had introduced a uniform regulation, which has now been repealed.
Berlin cautious about delivering Taurus cruise missiles
Despite increasing calls for the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, Berlin is refusing to make a quick decision. The guided missiles, which have a range of up to 500 kilometers, can hit targets far behind the front line. The federal government fears that Ukraine could use the weapons to carry out attacks on Russian territory.
Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) made it clear at the first “Westphalian Peace Conference” in Münster that, in his view, a few days more or less was not important. "The Federal Republic of Germany must show this level of prudence, even if it is difficult for our Ukrainian friends to understand." Germany must weigh the consequences at every step.
Ukraine has been demanding Taurus cruise missiles for a long time. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has always been cautious about this - probably because he wants to rule out attacks on Russian territory that could cause Russia to retaliate.
USA about to deliver tactical missiles?
According to US media, however, Washington could soon hand over short-range artillery rockets ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) to Kiev, which have a range of around 300 kilometers. The US government has so far refused to deliver. But there are signs of a turnaround in Washington, reported the Wall Street Journal, among others.
Pistorius: Ukraine decides itself about negotiations
According to Pistorius, Ukraine decides itself when the time has come for negotiations. But Putin must take the first step, emphasized the Defense Minister. "In the end, Putin is the one who can end this war by withdrawing his troops tomorrow," said Pistorius in Münster. However, the Kremlin boss does not show that he will let up.
Ukrainian President Zelenskyj is calling for peace with Russia, among other things, the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory - including the Crimean peninsula and reparations payments. Ukraine has been fending off the Russian invasion with Western help since February 2022.