Ukraine war: Finland's president defends possible NATO membership

Ukraine war: Finland’s president defends possible NATO membership

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö has defended Finland’s prospect of joining NATO without Sweden.Bild: / imago images


19.03.2023, 08:4019.03.2023, 13:15

After more than a year, the fighting in the Ukraine further on. While Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has announced more continuous deliveries of weapons, Slovakia has now also agreed to supply Ukraine with fighter jets after Poland. Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin in what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called a “historic decision”.

In our news blog you can read all the important news about developments in the Ukraine war.

19th March

12:13 p.m .: Finland’s President defends possible NATO membership without Sweden

The Finnish President Sauli Niinistö has the looming NATO accession of Finland without Sweden defended. “Should we have refused Turkey’s ratification? That sounds a bit crazy”, said Niinistö after Turkey announced on Friday that it initially only wanted to ratify Finland’s accession, but not Sweden’s. “It would have been a very difficult situation if we had said no to Ankara,” said Niinistö.

Against the background of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden jointly applied for membership in the western defense alliance last spring. All NATO members must agree to join. However, Turkey has so far blocked Sweden’s accession. Ankara is demanding the extradition of 120 people who Turkey considers “terrorists” to be extradited. Hungary’s approval of Sweden’s application is still pending. The Hungarian parliament, on the other hand, intends to ratify Finland’s accession on March 27th.

06:26: Putin visits Mariupol for the first time since the beginning of the war

For the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has Russia visited the conquered port city of Mariupol. According to information from the Kremlin on Sunday, Putin flew in a helicopter to the city, which had been largely destroyed by Russian bombardments, and undertook on the spot with the Auto a city tour. The Kremlin boss spoke to residents of Mariupol and was informed about the reconstruction work. On Saturday, Putin visited the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary of its annexation.

Russia Putin Prosecutor Day 8353072 12.01.2023 Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates prosecutors on Prosecutors Day via a video link at Novo-Ogarevo residence, outside Moscow, Russia. Mikhail ...

After Vladimir Putin visited Crimea on Saturday, he traveled to the port city of Mariupol, which was captured by Russia.Bild: / imago images

Mariupol on the Sea of ​​Azov had been bombarded and besieged by Russia since the beginning of the war in late February 2022. On April 21, Moscow announced the capture of the port city. Some 2,000 Ukrainian fighters then holed up at the sprawling Azovstal Steelworks in Mariupol for almost a month before the government ordered them to surrender to the Russians in May to save them Life to rescue. According to Kiev, 90 percent of the city was destroyed and at least 20,000 People killed.

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You can find older news about the war in Ukraine here.

(With material from dpa/AFP)

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