Meloni chairs the first G7 meeting on Ukraine


Meloni chairs the first G7 meeting on Ukraine

Ukraine “remains an open wound in the heart of Europe”: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said this today as he opened a Security Council convened at ministerial level on the eve of the second anniversary of the Russian invasion. “The time has come for peace, for a just peace based on the United Nations Charter, international law and the resolutions of the General Assembly”, added the UN chief.

Reaffirm support for Kiev “for as long as necessary”. And sweep away a certain idea of “tiredness” of the West. Giorgia Meloni is preparing to chair the first Italian-led G7 meeting on the day of the second anniversary of Russian aggression against Ukraine. It is focused on showing that the closeness to Volodymyr Zelensky – who will speak at the summit – has not disappeared, that Italy remains firm on the Atlantic line despite the Northern League differences having re-emerged in its majority, after the death of Alexei Navalny. The president of the EU commission, Ursula von der Leyen, arrives in Kiev, having in the meantime stopped in Warsaw with the Belgian prime minister, and rotating president of the EU Council, Alexander De Croo, before boarding the train that will take her to the Ukrainian capital from where the two will connect, together with Zelensky, with the big 7. The meeting is scheduled for 4pm (Italian time), with an introduction by Meloni, who did not rule out, on TV by Bruno Vespa, the possibility of also connecting from Kiev. And that in the message to the FI congress she apologized for her absence with a sibyl “it would have been impossible to be there, Antonio (Tajani) knows well, because he too is faced with a very busy international agenda, how difficult it is to reconcile everything” . Then Zelensky will speak and after the intervention of the Ukrainian president the 7 will discuss the situation. And they will push, in the final declaration, for a further tightening of sanctions against Moscow. Above all to try to close the incoming financing channels to Russia and outgoing energy supply flows to third countries. The aim is to sanction the financial and banking entities of the countries that contribute to this trade. While reflection on the possibility of using already confiscated sovereign funds of the Russian Central Bank deposited in some countries is still in the preliminary phase. A dynamic that encounters legal and financial obstacles. Of course, the summit will also talk about the other crisis, the one in the Middle East, a topic that Meloni will address again next week in a meeting with Joe Biden at the White House. A bilateral meeting, on March 1st, which is part of the tour of the G7 capitals precisely on the occasion of the Italian presidency, which has already seen her in Tokyo for the passing of the baton with Fumio Kishida and which will see her on March 2nd for talks in Toronto with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The summit has been in preparation for weeks. The video conference replicates the Japanese choice, on the first anniversary of the war. To all be next to Zelensky again at a moment that is considered crucial. Russian pressure in Donbass increases, the Ukrainian army is in difficulty. Support for Kiev as long as necessary is the line of Palazzo Chigi and the Farnesina. From this perspective, the bilateral security agreement between Italy and Ukraine is being refined, which only needs to be signed by Meloni and Zelensky. Other countries have already done so, such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom, based on the commitment made at the NATO summit in July. These agreements are not legally binding, but represent another stage in Kiev's rapprochement with the Atlantic Alliance. In the protocol, Italy will confirm its support for Ukraine's entry into the EU. Defense, training of soldiers, collaboration in the energy sector and commitment to the post-war period, including the conference on reconstruction in 2025. The political and symbolic value lies in the commitment not to reduce one's support for Ukraine, as he also explained the Foreign Minister in Parliament.

Zelensky, we will launch a new counteroffensive

“The defense of Ukraine is the number one task. We will continue with successes in the Black Sea. I will not go into details, but we are preparing some surprises for Russia. The south is important. The defense of the east, where the Russians have more of 200 thousand soldiers, it is very important. Of course we will prepare a new counter-offensive, new operations. We will not stand still. It depends on many things.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said this in an interview with Fox News.

Biden: 'If Putin doesn't pay for what he does he will continue'

“If Putin doesn't pay the price for the death and destruction he is causing, he will move on.” The American president underlines this on the day the United States announces a new series of sanctions on over 500 Russian targets in response to Navalny's death.

EU and USA launch new sanctions

“The EU Council adopted today – ahead of the second year since the start of Russia's large-scale invasion of Ukraine – a thirteenth package of restrictive measures against the Putin regime, those responsible for perpetuating its war of unlawful, unprovoked and unjustified aggression and those who significantly support it.” The Council communicated this in a note.

And 500 new sanctions were also announced by US President Joe Biden. “Today I am announcing more than 500 new sanctions against Russia for its war of conquest against Ukraine and for the death of Navalny, a courageous anti-corruption activist and Putin's fiercest opposition leader,” Biden said in a note from the White House.

“These sanctions will target individuals linked to Navalny's detention, Russia's financial sector, defense industrial base, supply networks, and sanctions evaders on multiple continents. They will cause Putin to pay an even higher price for his aggression abroad and repression at home”.

Surviving children from Mariupol speak to the UN today

A small group of Ukrainian children who survived the war will speak at a private session of the United Nations Security Council today. The Guardian reports it. Among those who address the UN body, part of a broader visit to the United States, there are Kira, 14 years old, and Ilya, 11, from the city of Mariupol, conquered by the Russians: the hope is that their personal stories can have an impact on US Republicans at a time when a military aid package for Ukraine is stalled in the House. Ukraine's Prosecutor General estimates that 528 children have been killed since the invasion began and 2,134 are missing. Another 19,500 are believed to have been kidnapped and taken to Russia, and some were forcibly re-educated with a “pro-Russian patriotic and military education,” according to a US report.

Putin pays homage to Russian heroes on the anniversary of the war in Ukraine

In a video message released by the Russian presidency, Vladimir Putin congratulated the “authentic heroes of the people” fighting in Ukraine on the eve of the second anniversary of the conflict. “In recent years, the military and industrial complexes have multiplied both the production of weapons and supplies to the troops,” the Kremlin head said.

Unicef, Ukrainian children spend up to 5,000 hours in shelters, equal to 7 months

Over the past two years, children in cities on the front lines of fighting in Ukraine have been forced to spend 3,000 to 5,000 hours – or 4 to 7 months – sheltered in basements and underground subway stations while the air raid warnings. Unicef says this, explaining that since the escalation of the war in February 2022, the non-stop attacks – with around 3,500 air raid warnings in the Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv regions and almost 6,200 in the Donetsk region – have had “a devastating impact on mental health of children and their ability to learn effectively”. Based on data provided by Unicef, in the last two years 579 Ukrainian children have been killed, another 1,284 have been injured and 3.3 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance. The psychological consequences of war among children are widespread. According to survey data, half of young people aged 13 to 15 have difficulty sleeping and 1 in 5 have intrusive thoughts and flashbacks – typical manifestations of post-traumatic stress disorder. Three-quarters of children and young people aged 14 to 34 recently said they needed emotional or psychosocial support, but less than a third had sought help. 40% of Ukraine's children cannot access continuing education due to a lack of facilities. In the areas closest to the fighting line, half of school-age children cannot access education. The latest data shows that the scale of learning gaps found in 2022 compared to 2018 equates to a loss of two years in reading and one year in maths.

Kiev: Russian attack during the night in Odessa and Dnipro, 3 dead

Russian drones and missiles struck the western city of Odessa and Dnipro in eastern Ukraine overnight, causing three deaths and several injuries. This was reported by the Kiev Defense Forces on Telegram, as reported by Ukrinform.

To know more ANSA Agency Tajani: 'We are not at war with Moscow, but it must not win' – News – ANSA Forum with the deputy prime minister and foreign minister. 'Direct or indirect Navalny's death is always a murder,' he said. Then again: 'The violence of the settlers in the West Bank cannot be tolerated'. 'Israel's response to Gaza must be proportionate'

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