Day 350 since the beginning of the war: The Russian embassy warns London against deliveries of fighter jets. President Selenskyj meets Chancellor Scholz. All information in the news blog.
The most important things at a glance
Russian embassy warns London against fighter jet deliveries
7.20 p.m.: The Russian embassy in the UK warns the government in London against supplying fighter jets to Ukraine. A statement quoted by Russian state news agencies said the British government bears responsibility for “bloodshed, the next round of escalation and the resulting military and political consequences for the European continent and the world” caused by the deployment of modern fighter jets would be triggered to Ukraine. Russia will find a way to respond to any unfriendly moves by the British side.
Russian Ambassador: Baerbock admitted “proxy war”.
7:13 p.m.: Russia’s UN Ambassador Wassili Nebensja interpreted a statement by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock as a commitment to German participation in the war in Ukraine. Before the UN Security Council in New York on Wednesday, the diplomat referred to a sentence by the Green politician before the Council of Europe at the end of January. At that time, Baerbock had called for the cohesion of the western allies with the following words: “We are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other.”
Nebensja now said: “It’s not even about the admissions of politicians like the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who says that NATO is waging a proxy war against Russia.” Ukraine cannot defeat Russia on the battlefield on its own.
The Foreign Office later made it clear that Baerbock did not mean that Germany or its allies would take part in the war. The federal government emphasized: “We support Ukraine, but we are not a party to the war.” SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich later said that such a sentence was “actually only useful for propaganda in Moscow”.
Russia has imposed entry bans on dozens more Americans
6:22 p.m.: In the conflict with the West, Russia has imposed entry bans on 77 other Americans. Among other governors, several US states are affected, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday. Moscow said it was a reaction to similar punitive measures taken by Washington against Russian nationals. There are now more than 1,300 US citizens on Russia’s stop list.
Like many other countries, the US has imposed sanctions in response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. In addition to entry bans, this also includes far-reaching economic restrictions. Moscow repeatedly portrays these punitive measures as an expression of an allegedly anti-Russian attitude on the part of Western states.
Portugal will deliver 3 Leopard 2 tanks in March
6 p.m.: Portugal will repair some of its Leopard 2 tanks and deliver three of them to Ukraine in March, according to Prime Minister Antonio Costa. On Saturday he said Portugal was in talks with Germany to source parts needed to repair unserviceable Leopard tanks.
The armed forces said in January that Portugal had 37 Leopard 2 tanks. According to media reports, most of them are not operational.
London checks availability of fighter jets
4:48 p.m.: On the occasion of the visit of the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has checked whether fighter jets are available for Ukraine. Sunak has asked Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to examine what machines the UK could theoretically deliver to Ukraine, Downing Street said on Wednesday. But it is a “long-term” solution. The first Ukrainian pilots could be trained on NATO jets in Great Britain as early as spring, it was said.
So far, Sunak has been reluctant to respond to demands for the delivery of fighter jets, such as those raised by ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson. During his visit to London, Zelenskyy emphasized that fighter jets are particularly important for Ukraine.