News blog about the Ukraine war
Russia group wants to block important declaration
From t-online, dpa, afp, Reuters
Updated on September 18, 2023 – 2:36 a.m. Reading time: 51 min.
Day 572: German politicians expect Taurus decision soon. Russia reports further attacks on Sevastopol. All information in the news blog.
The most important things at a glance
Stoltenberg intervenes in the debate about Taurus delivery
1:00 a.m.: In the debate about the delivery of German Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized the importance of such weapon systems for warfare. He welcomes the fact that “some allies – Great Britain, France, the United States – have already delivered long-range missile systems,” Stoltenberg told the newspapers of the Funke media group according to the preliminary report. Germany is a leading nation in providing military support to Ukraine. “Germany’s strong support for Ukraine – including tanks and air defense systems – is making a crucial difference.”
Ukraine has the right to self-defense enshrined in the UN Charter. “And if we take the UN Charter seriously, we must help Ukraine defend itself.” He does not see an immediate danger of nuclear escalation. “We are watching very closely what the Russian army is doing. So far we have not noticed any changes in the Russian nuclear forces that would prompt us to respond.” At the same time, Stoltenberg emphasized that NATO was prepared for the use of nuclear weapons. “The purpose of NATO is to prevent war – especially nuclear war. We have a credible deterrent.”
Group around Russia wants to block UN declarations
12:15 a.m.: A group of states around Russia wants to block several statements that should be adopted by the global community during the upcoming UN general debate. This includes, among other things, a text that was intended to reaffirm the United Nations’ sustainability goals this Monday. UN Secretary-General António Guterres described the paper as a “quantum leap” to revitalize the development goals, which have fallen behind schedule. In addition to Russia, a corresponding letter from Sunday was signed by Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Nicaragua, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
In the letter to the President of the UN General Assembly, Dennis Francis, available to the German Press Agency, the eleven signatories complain about sanctions to which states are subject and which harm their development. During the negotiations on the declarations, “the legitimate concerns of a large number of developing countries were ignored.” Russia was hit with a series of punitive measures for its invasion of Ukraine.
The blockade could jeopardize the success of a high-level summit on Monday that the United Nations classifies as central. The declaration was actually supposed to be adopted unanimously and, among other things, support a reform of the international financial structure. With this, poor countries should be able to get cheaper loans and access to more money from the World Bank, among others.
Kiesewetter expects Taurus to make a decision soon
0.12 a.m.: The CDU defense expert Roderich Kiesewetter expects a decision on the delivery of German Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine soon. “There is a Ramstein meeting on Tuesday, and we will experience certain innovations that Omid Nouripour announced last week,” said Kiesewetter on Sunday evening on the ARD program “Anne Will.” “I am firmly convinced that in the coming week we will get a date by when Taurus, by when F-16, but also by when ATACMS will be delivered.”
The Green Party’s federal chairman Omid Nouripour said on ZDF on Thursday evening that he assumed that “the announcement will actually come very quickly that the Taurus are going over because they are needed.” There are still some details to be clarified and discussions to be held with partners, but that will happen quickly
Ukraine has been demanding Taurus cruise missiles for a long time. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has always expressed reservations about this. US media recently reported that Washington could soon hand over short-range ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) missiles to Ukraine.
With the two higher-range weapon systems, Kiev could, for example, attack the supply of the Russian army deep in the occupied territory.
Explosions in Sevastopol – Moscow’s military reports drone shoot-downs
12:07 a.m.: According to media reports, there were several explosions in the port city of Sevastopol on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. The Russian Ministry of Defense, however, simply announced on Sunday: “Two Ukrainian drones were destroyed by air defense over the southwestern part of the Crimean peninsula.” Meanwhile, several Telegram channels published photos showing a fire glow over the city. Residents reported a strong smell of burning. Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014 in violation of international law.