Ukraine, Briefly

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  • Russian and Turkish officials ended discussions on Wednesday without making any significant progress toward establishing a sea route to transport grain from Ukraine across the Black Sea as part of a United Nations-backed plan to ease the global food crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported. Ukraine, which was not involved in the discussions, has refused to agree to any prospective arrangement between Turkey and Russia, saying that it requires guarantees that Moscow will not use a potential safe corridor to launch new strikes.
  • Fiji’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a $300 million yacht owned by a pro-Kremlin oligarch may be taken by American authorities, giving the US a victory in its efforts to punish Russian oligarchs for the Ukraine war, the Washington Post noted. According to US authorities, the ship “Amadea” belongs to Suleyman Kerimov, a Russian billionaire. The seizure comes about a month after the Justice Department requested permission from Fijian officials to take the yacht after US officials designated Kerimov as part of a group of oligarchs who profited from the Russian government through corruption and suspect activity, including the occupation of Crimea.
  • In her first significant public statement since leaving office last year, Angela Merkel said she will not apologize for her actions during her 16 years as Germany’s chancellor, rejecting claims that they were somehow responsible for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the New York Times. Merkel has been chastised for promoting German-Russian commercial interests during her term, particularly by supporting the contentious Nord Stream 2 gas project. Both Ukraine and its eastern European neighbors opposed the Kremlin-backed initiative, which Berlin halted following the invasion.
  • Authorities in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine have released a propaganda video showing three foreigners being tried as mercenaries fighting for Ukraine, CNN wrote. The three individuals have been charged with “mercenarism, crimes aimed at forcible seizure and retention of power, as well as training in order to carry out terrorist activities on the territory of the DPR.”

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