Day 569: Ukrainian authorities order the evacuation of settlements in Kherson. Zelenskyj wants to travel to the United Nations. All information in the news blog.
The most important things at a glance
White House confirms Zelensky visit next week
7:51 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj also wants to visit the US capital Washington after his planned speech at the UN General Assembly in New York. A meeting with President Joe Biden and members of Congress is planned for next Thursday to reaffirm continued U.S. support for Ukraine, the White House confirmed Friday.
Poland and Hungary are sticking to a grain import ban
7:50 p.m.: Poland and Hungary will not allow imports even after the EU-wide import ban on Ukrainian grain expires at midnight. “We will extend this ban even though the European Commission does not agree with it,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at a rally in Elk. “We will do it because it is in the interests of Polish farmers.”
The Hungarian government also published a regulation according to which the ban on imports of 24 agricultural products from Ukraine remains in place. Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia had already announced similar measures.
EU Commission ends restrictions on Ukrainian grain
6:56 p.m.: 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 corresponding imports themselves, according to information from the EU Commission. Germany had viewed the measures very critically in the past.
A day earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba spoke out against the restrictions. Because of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, grain exports from Ukraine via the Black Sea could no longer reach the world market for a time. In mid-July, Russia suspended an agreement on grain deliveries, even though the United Nations believes it is important for the world’s secure food supply.
In view of the difficulties, the EU had expanded trade routes, for example by road and rail, between Ukraine and the states of the European Union. As a result, farmers from eastern EU countries faced great competition from the sharp increase in imports, which led to countries such as Poland and Hungary independently restricting the import of certain goods.
Finland closes border to Russian cars
Russia criticizes possible arms deliveries to Ukraine
3:46 p.m.: Russia criticizes the possible delivery of ATACMS short-range artillery missiles from the USA to Ukraine. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov spoke in Moscow on Friday of a “non-stop escalation, an ignorance of the obvious risks” of such a decision. At the same time, however, he also claimed that these weapons would not change anything on the battlefield. According to the Tass agency, Ryabkov said it was dangerous that the NATO countries and other supporters of Ukraine were following the behavior of the USA.
Ukraine, which is being attacked by Russia, has long been asking the US for the ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System), which has a range of up to 300 kilometers. The short-range missiles are fired from Himars multiple rocket launchers, which Kiev was equipped with last year. Ukraine could use the missiles to hit Russian army supply lines deep in occupied territory. The US government under President Joe Biden has so far rejected a delivery. But there are signs of a turnaround in Washington, as the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Ukraine receives another 51 dead soldiers back
3:35 p.m.: Ukraine has received another 51 soldiers’ bodies back from the Russian side. A total of 1,832 bodies were brought back, the coordination staff for prisoners of war issues announced on Telegram on Friday. The repatriation was organized together with the General Staff and the Ministry of the Interior. It was not announced whether the dead were also handed over to the other side.
Russia invaded Ukraine almost 19 months ago. Both sides keep their losses secret. US estimates recently put around 70,000 dead Ukrainian and around 120,000 Russian soldiers dead.
Russia’s central bank unexpectedly raises key interest rates
1:58 p.m.: The Russian central bank has again responded to the devaluation of the ruble by raising interest rates. The central bank announced on Friday that the key interest rate would be raised by one point to 13 percent. Experts had expected the monetary authorities to leave interest rates unchanged. At the previous meeting in August, they increased the key interest rate by 3.5 points. It is now higher than it has been since spring 2022.