Ukraine-Russia invasion live: Zelensky proposes law to extend martial law

Senate GOP delegation meets with Zelensky in Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky has introduced a bill to the Ukrainian parliament to extend martial law and military service by three months.

The text of the bill, submitted by the Ukrainian president, has yet to be published.

Martial law was first imposed on February 24 – the same day Ukraine was invaded by Russia. It has since been extended twice for 30 days, with the last extension expiring on May 25.

The bill is expected to gain the support of parliament. If MPs approve the bill, martial law and conscription will be extended until August 23, the day before Ukraine’s Independence Day.

Last week, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said he hoped to arm a million fighters as the country prepared for a “new, long phase of war”.

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Volodymyr Zelensky proposes martial law extension bill

Volodymyr Zelensky has introduced a bill to the Ukrainian parliament to extend martial law and military service by three months.

The text of the bill, submitted by the Ukrainian president, has yet to be published.

Martial law was first imposed on February 24 – the same day Ukraine was invaded by Russia. It has since been extended twice for 30 days, with the last extension expiring on May 25.

The bill is expected to gain the support of parliament. If MPs approve the bill, martial law and conscription will be extended until August 23, the day before Ukraine’s Independence Day.

Last week, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said he hoped to arm a million fighters as the country prepared for a “new, long phase of war”.

Lamiat SabinMay 18, 2022 20:30

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Nordic NATO bids will be ‘OK’, Biden says after Turkey disagreed

Sweden and Finland’s attempts to join NATO — in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — will be successful, according to Joe Biden.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

(REUTERS)

The US president’s comments came after NATO member Turkey raised objections to the two Scandinavian countries’ applications to join the military alliance.

Responding to a reporter’s question about how he would convince Turkey to drop its opposition, Mr Biden said: “I think we’ll be fine.”

Lamiat SabinMay 18, 2022 20:00

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US embassy reopens in Ukraine after three months

The US embassy in Kiev reopened today after being closed for three months.

The embassy was closed shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

“We are officially reopening operations,” spokesman Daniel Langenkamp told Reuters shortly before the US flag was hoisted over the embassy.

He said a small number of diplomats would initially return to man the mission.

Lamiat SabinMay 18, 2022 19:30

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Biden says US will support Finland and Sweden against Russia

Joe Biden said the US will support Finland and Sweden to remain vigilant about Russian threats to their shared security while considering the two countries’ NATO membership.

The US president said in a statement that he strongly supports Finland and Sweden’s applications to join the military alliance.

(AP)

Biden said their membership would “further strengthen our defense cooperation and benefit the entire Transatlantic Alliance.”

Lamiat SabinMay 18, 2022 19:00

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Russia says it will rebuild ‘liberated’ areas in Ukraine

Russia said it will fund the rebuilding of the areas it devastated during the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said the Kremlin will pay for the repair of damaged roads leading to Russia.

A crater created by a Russian missile attack in Dobropillya, in the Donetsk . region

(AP)

He claimed, according to the Russian state news agency RIA, that Russia had “liberated” the areas.

Khusnullin also said the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe by capacity occupied by Russian forces, will supply energy to Russia and Ukraine if the latter pays for it, RIA reported.

Lamiat SabinMay 18, 2022 18:30

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Russia expels 85 French, Spanish and Italian diplomats

Russia is expelling 85 embassy staff from France, Spain and Italy in response to similar actions by those countries, it said today.

The foreign ministry said it ordered 34 diplomatic staff from France, 27 from Spain and 24 from Italy.

The three countries are among the European countries that have collectively expelled more than 300 Russians since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24.

In many of the cases, the countries accused Russian diplomats of espionage, which Moscow denies.

Russia’s response included sending 45 Polish employees and 40 Germans home last month. It has also announced retaliatory measures against Finland, Romania, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Japan, among others.

Lamiat SabinMay 18, 2022 6:00 PM

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Biden’s national security adviser meets with Chinese diplomat

National Security Adviser to US President Joe Biden, Jake Sullivan, spoke on the phone with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi today.

Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

(EPA)

The pair spoke about regional security issues, nuclear non-proliferation, the war in Ukraine and specific issues related to US-China relations, the White House said in a statement.

Lamiat SabinMay 18, 2022 17:30

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Finland and Sweden to jointly buy weapons

Finland and Sweden will jointly buy portable firearms and anti-tank weapons, the Finnish Defense Ministry said.

It comes as the two Scandinavian countries have submitted their application to join NATO’s Western military alliance, a move prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a ceremony to mark the applications of Sweden and Finland

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The two countries will intensify their cooperation on defense procurement by Finland and join an agreement to acquire anti-tank weapons from Swedish arms maker Saab Dynamics, a subsidiary of Saab, the ministry said.

Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen has also authorized preparations for the joint purchase of small arms fire, including assault rifles, shotguns and weapons for personal protection, the ministry said.

Lamiat SabinMay 18, 2022 17:00

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Commission spends £254 billion to cut EU off from Russian energy

The European Commission has proposed a package worth almost €300 billion (£254 billion) to allow the EU to get rid of Russian energy during the war in Ukraine.

The investment initiative, called REPowerEU, aims to help the 27 EU countries deprive Russia – the EU’s main supplier of oil, natural gas and coal – tens of billions in revenue, and to strengthen EU climate policy.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen

(AFP via Getty Images)

“We are taking our ambition to an even higher level to ensure that we become independent from Russian fossil fuels as soon as possible,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels announcing the package.

Lamiat SabinMay 18, 2022 16:31

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Germany gives Czechs 15 tanks to help arm Ukraine

Germany will give the Czech Republic 15 Leopard 2 tanks, Germany’s defense ministry said as part of a “ring exchange program” through which Berlin aims to help countries transfer their stockpiles of Soviet weapons to Ukraine to help it fight Russia.

The ministry said it would pay for the transaction and train the Czechs to use the Leopard 2 A4 tanks. The Czechs have existing stocks of old Soviet tanks that Ukrainian soldiers are already familiar with.

“The exchange is another great example of how we are helping Ukraine in its brave fight against Russian aggression,” Defense Minister Christine Lambert said. “The Czechs are supplying heavy weapons and we are filling the gaps with Leopard tanks.”

(Getty images)

Thomas KingsleyMay 18, 2022 4:00 PM

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