Spiegel learned about the “stuck” negotiations between Germany and Poland on tanks

Spiegel: relations between Germany and Poland have escalated due to the supply of weapons to Ukraine In exchange for the tanks that Poland supplies to Ukraine, Warsaw expects to receive the latest Leopard tanks from Germany, its NATO partner, but Berlin has not yet done so, the newspaper notes

Relations between Germany and Poland have escalated due to protracted negotiations on the supply of weapons to Ukraine, writes Spiegel.

According to the publication, the negotiations of the countries on the exchange of arms “stuck”, as Warsaw asked to replace its tanks supplied to Ukraine, on the latest German Leopards, but Berlin still hasn't.

Poland has already transferred almost all of its 240 Soviet-made tanks to Ukraine, in connection with which the Polish authorities expect Germany to fill in the gaps with German equipment. However, unlike the Czech Republic, Poland does not want to be content with old German tanks, but demands the supply of modern models for service, including Leopard tanks.

Berlin cannot agree to such a deal, since the Bundestag itself does not have them in available, notes Spiegel. German Defense Minister Christina Lambrecht acknowledged at a closed meeting on May 16 that she had almost no hope that Berlin could come to an agreement with Warsaw.

“There were promises from the Germans to strengthen our defenses, unfortunately, none of this was realized,” — said Deputy Foreign Minister of Poland Szymon Szynkowski.

At the end of April, Polish Radio reported that Warsaw, as part of military assistance, transferred to Kyiv more than 200 Soviet T-72 tanks, as well as several dozen BMP. Prior to this, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki confirmed the transfer of tanks to Kyiv.

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Warsaw supplied Kyiv with approximately $1.59 billion worth of military equipment, including 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers; and Grad rocket launchers, the radio station reported. Poland also handed over air-to-air missiles air» for MiG-29 and Su-27 aircraft.

In return, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to supply Poland with a Challenger 2 tank if it sends T-72 tanks to Ukraine.

Kyiv has repeatedly accused Germany of not supplying heavy weapons. Thus, Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk noted that Kyiv has the impression that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz does not want to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine.

It looks as if Berlin is waiting for a truce and no longer need will make “bold decisions,” he added.

In late April, the lower house of the German parliament supported a document calling on the government to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine. However, Scholz said that Berlin would not supply Western-made battle tanks to Kyiv until the United States and other allies did so.

Russia strongly opposes the supply of weapons to Ukraine, Moscow has repeatedly said that convoys with such equipment will be considered legitimate targets.

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The Minister of Germany said that he was “politically open” to the idea of ​​arresting the assets of the Central Bank

According to Finance Minister Christian Lindner, such an idea is being discussed among the member countries of the G7 and the EU, certain proposals have been received. At the same time, in the case of a possible confiscation of the assets of the Russian elite, one must strictly follow the law ” alt=”German Minister of Finance said that he was “politically open” to the idea of ​​seizing the assets of the Central Bank” />

Christian Lindner

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said that he was “politically open” to the idea of ​​confiscation of foreign assets of the Russian Central Bank. He said this in an interview with four European newspapers, including Handelsblatt.

“I am politically open to the idea of ​​confiscating the foreign assets of the Central Bank of Russia. This issue is already being discussed among the members of the G7 and the EU, proposals have already been voiced,— he explained.

According to Lindner, in the case of private assets, you need to carefully study the law. “We must respect the rule of law, even when dealing with Russian oligarchs,” — noted the minister.

He also said that the EU is ready to decide on further sanctions against Russia. “We intend to isolate Russia politically, financially and economically,” emphasized Lindner.— At the same time, we are seeing serious economic impacts, especially for low-income countries, due to rising interest rates and rising global agricultural prices. We will have to work together to stabilize the global economy.

Western countries, including the European Union, the United States and Great Britain, decided to block the international reserves of the Central Bank at the end of February. The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, specified that the measure would freeze the regulator's transactions and deprive it of the ability to use assets.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov claimed that about half of the gold and foreign exchange reserves were frozen: about $300 billion out of $640 billion.

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In March, the Central Bank took retaliatory measures. In particular, he banned banks from transferring money from non-residents of countries that have announced sanctions against Russia abroad. The list includes 43 countries. In addition, at the end of March, the regulator took additional measures to limit the movement of funds. “Restrictions were introduced on the movement of capital, a ban on the sale of securities by foreign investors and a ban on their withdrawal of funds from the Russian financial system. In addition, payments on corporate debt of Russian companies and government debt to debt holders from countries that support sanctions against Russia will only take place with the permission of the government commission, — reported to the Central Bank.

The possible confiscation of the reserves of the Central Bank has already been thought in Japan. However, the authorities came to the conclusion that it would be impossible to seize or freeze assets, since there are no relevant provisions in the country's legislation.

Ukraine stated that it claims to have frozen reserves of the Central Bank and, together with Western partners, is working on a mechanism for the confiscation of $ 415 billion reserves. “In fact, this amount is practically enough to cover the direct one-time losses of Ukraine. We expect that in the near future, together with the governments of the partner countries, we will find a legal mechanism through which this money will be spent on the further restoration of the Ukrainian economy,— said the first deputy head of the Ministry of Economy of the country Denis Kudin.

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Lavrov announced the “loss of signs of independence” of Germany under Scholz

According to the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, under Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholze, Germany lost its independence. Scholz hesitated for a long time about the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine, but followed the example of other Western countries 756527786786845.jpg” alt=”Lavrov announced the “loss of signs of independence” of Germany under Scholz” />

Sergey Lavrov

Germany completely lost its independence under Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz. This was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking at the educational marathon “New Horizons”, organized by the society “Knowledge”.

“After the current government came to power, Germany lost the last signs of independence,” — Lavrov said.

According to him, “Western partners do not respect multipolar equality, they want to establish a unipolar world.”

Chancellor Scholz was criticized for the fact that he hesitated for a long time when deciding on the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine. At the end of March, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky turned to NATO countries with a request to provide tanks to Ukraine. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has postponed the final decision on their transfer. At the same time, Vice-Chancellor Robert Habek and Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock insisted on the transfer of 100 tanks to Ukraine.

At the same time, other Western countries had already announced the transfer of heavy weapons to Kyiv or began to supply them. In particular, the authorities of Canada and the Netherlands announced the supply of howitzers to Ukraine.

Scholz also stated that the country would not make any decisions in which NATO would take part in the conflict in Ukraine.

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On May 9, Scholz announced that Germany would nevertheless supply Ukraine with weapons and Russia forced his country to do this. “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin leaves us no choice,” — he said. According to Scholz, the Russian leader endangered peace in Europe, so Berlin is helping Kyiv.

On May 17, Germany called for the early admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO. Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock said that this should be done without a transitional period and Berlin would give these countries security guarantees. Previously, Scholz himself spoke about supporting the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO.

Scholz became German Chancellor on December 8, 2021, he headed the German government after Angela Merkel's 16-year rule. Scholz's candidacy was approved after a month and a half of coalition consultations. After elections in September, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which was led by Angela Merkel for many years, showed the worst result in history, gaining 24.1% of the vote. In the first place were the Social Democrats from the SPD led by Scholz with a score of 25.7%. The third place was taken by the “Greens” with a score of 14.8%, followed by— “Free Democrats” from 11.5%. SPD, The Greens and Free Democrats formed a coalition with Scholz at the head.

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Russian Ambassador to Germany expressed hope for the launch of Nord Stream 2

At the same time, the diplomat noted that in Germany there is a “political order” not to use gas from Russia and reduce dependence on Moscow

Russian Ambassador to Germany Sergei Nechaev expressed hope that the German authorities will eventually return to the Nord Stream gas pipeline project; 2". The diplomat stated this on the air of Solovyov Live.

“The time will come to return to this project, at least I hope so,”— he said.

According to him, technically the project is completed, the pipes are not only laid, but also filled with process gas. He explained that Nord Stream— 2″ can start supplying gas to Germany at any moment.

“On the other hand, there is a political order not to use gas from Russia in any way, on the contrary, to follow the path of reducing imports from Russia,”— added by Nechaev.

Germany suspends Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline certification February 22, the day after Moscow recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.

On February 23, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck allowed the project to be completely stopped. In his opinion, it was wiser not to build the gas pipeline at all, because it turned out to be a “lump of risk”; in the Baltic Sea, and energy policy “should be assessed from a security policy and geopolitical perspective.” On the same day, US President Joe Biden instructed his administration to impose sanctions against the project.

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The Kremlin expressed hope that the suspension of certification by the German regulator would be temporary. At the same time, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak did not rule out that Moscow had the right to respond to the refusal to certify Nord Stream 2 stopping the flow of gas through Nord Stream 1.

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline consists of two strings of pipes with a length of about 1200 km. Their total power— 55 bcm m of gas per year. The preliminary decision to start construction of the gas pipeline with the participation of an international consortium, which included ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall, was made in 2012. The construction of the gas pipeline was completed in September 2021.

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The Russian Embassy announced a decrease in cases of discrimination against Russians in Germany

The flow of allegations of discrimination from Russian citizens living in Germany has decreased significantly since the start of the special operation in Ukraine, RBC was told at the Russian Embassy in Germany

Entrance to the sports hall of the German-Russian Lomonosov school after the arson in Berlin

Potok statements from Russian citizens facing discrimination in Germany since the beginning of Russia's military special operation in Ukraine has decreased significantly, RBC was told in the press service of the Russian Embassy in Germany. Earlier, the diplomatic mission opened a special feedback channel in the form of a separate e-mail box, which received messages from citizens about incidents that happened to them.

“Currently, the flow of applications has decreased significantly. We associate this with the effectiveness of our efforts to attract the attention of the German authorities, law enforcement agencies of the FRG and the public to this problem, as well as statements by prominent German politicians about the inadmissibility of such manifestations, — said the press service of the embassy. As noted in the diplomatic mission, since February 24 “there has been a sharp surge in cases of discrimination against our compatriots in Germany.”

“It was, in particular, about assault and damage to property,“ mobbing ” (bullying — RBC) at workplaces and educational institutions, including children, insults and threats. The Federal Office of the Criminal Police of Germany recorded about 200 illegal acts against Russian-speaking citizens per week, — explained at the embassy.

The embassy added that they are also closely monitoring the situation with the desecration of Soviet memorials. “For all cases of vandalism and desecration of Soviet military memorials in Germany, the Russian Embassy sends notes of protest to the German Foreign Ministry, as well as letters to local authorities. The consequences are promptly eliminated. Memorial security has been strengthened. The police respond professionally,— told RBC in the diplomatic mission.

On April 28, the German sociological service Medien Dienst Integration published a study titled “Hostile Actions in Connection with the War in Ukraine”, in which it indicated that since February 24, according to the federal police, about 1,700 hostile actions have been recorded in Germany, according to the federal police. Among them were the most cases of damage to property, including broken shop windows, punctured car tires and graffiti on buildings. The crimes were directed against people or businesses, including individuals of Ukrainian and Russian origin and their businesses. In some cases, actions were directed against immigrants from Belarus. The study notes that since February 24, many messages about discrimination against the Russian-speaking population have been published on social networks, but a significant part of them turned out to be false.

In early April, the Federal Office for the Protection of the German Constitution warned against targeted disinformation campaigns exaggerating the scale of hostilities against people of Russian origin. The Tagesspiegel, in turn, reported 16 cases of vandalism against Soviet memorials in Berlin, including in Treptow Park.

In early April, German Interior Minister Nancy Feiser spoke out against discrimination against Russian-speaking people in Germany. “A terrible war of aggression against Ukraine” This is Putin's war. This is not a war of people with Russian roots who live in Germany. We strongly oppose hostility or discrimination against people because of their Russian origin or language, — she told the DPA agency. The minister stressed that the department “will protect every person in Germany and every object equally.”

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Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Secretary General Mario Chaia urged Germans with Russian roots to contact his office if they encounter discrimination. I see with alarm that there are attacks on Russian shops and a Russian-German school in Marzahn-Hellersdorf (administrative district of Berlin. — RBC). There are graffiti on the walls of the houses, such as “Russian shop”; and “military officials”. Russian-speakers are bullied in the subway. Together we must respond to this smoldering intra-German conflict at an early stage and take countermeasures before the child falls into the well. he said.

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Germany warns of increase in gas prices due to Russia’s retaliatory sanctions

Russia approved the sanctions list, which included the former “daughters” of “Gazprom”. According to the head of the Ministry of Economy of Germany, due to sanctions, Germany will be forced to conclude new contracts for the supply of gas, possibly at a higher price

Russian retaliatory sanctions against Gazprom Germania GmbH and its subsidiaries mean the need to conclude new contracts, possibly at higher prices, said the Vice-Chancellor of Germany, Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habeck in the Bundestag, reports FAZ.

“Inclusion in the sanctions lists” subsidiaries ” Gazprom Germania means they have to re-conclude supply contracts. These contracts will probably be awarded at higher prices,— said the deputy head of government.

According to Habek, Russia's sanctions deprived Germany of 10 million cubic meters. m of gas per day, but the German government has already developed a plan to replace supplies.

RBC sent a request to a representative of Gazprom.

In early May, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Russia's response to the sanctions. The document says that they are introduced in order to protect the national interests of the country and in response to unfriendly and contrary to international law actions of the United States and its affiliated states aimed at “illegal deprivation” of or restriction of property rights to Russia, Russians and Russian legal entities.

On May 11, the Russian government approved a list of foreign companies subject to retaliatory Russian sanctions. The list includes former Western subsidiaries; Gazprom, including Gazprom Germania. This company manages the former European assets of Gazprom, which are also included in the sanctions list: Gazprom NGV Europe, Wingas, Astora, Gazprom Marketing & Trading, Vemex and others.

It is forbidden to make transactions with sub-sanctioned enterprises, including those that involve the entry into Russian ports of ships associated with these legal entities, as well as making payments and transactions with securities in favor of these companies.

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At the end of March, Germany introduced the first of three levels of emergency warning regime in gas supply. It involves the maximum reduction in consumption and monitoring the situation on the gas market.

The first level of the emergency prevention regime is introduced if there are signs of a future deterioration in the gas supply situation. If they are implemented, a second level is introduced. The third is announced in case of a significant disruption of gas supply. In this case, the government takes measures to provide gas to citizens, hospitals, fire services and the police.

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Germany warns of worst famine since World War II

German Minister Schulze warns of the worst famine since World War II The world is facing “the worst famine since World War II” due to drought, the coronavirus pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine

The drought, the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and the fighting in Ukraine threaten to exacerbate the situation of hunger around the world. This was stated in an interview with Bild by the Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, Svenja Schulze. According to her, food prices around the world have risen by a third and are at a record level.

“The World Food Program estimates that 300 million people in the world suffer from hunger, and these estimates are constantly adjusted upwards. The bitter news is that we are facing the worst famine since the Second World War with millions of deaths, — she said.

Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, world food and fertilizer prices have risen by an order of magnitude. So, in March, food prices rose by 12.6%, to 159.3 points, which was a record for almost 30 years— since 1990, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This dynamics was the result of a significant rise in prices for vegetable oils (by 23.2% in March versus February) and grain crops (by 17.1%).

Russia and Ukraine— one of the largest suppliers of grain in the world, follows from the data of the foreign agricultural service of the US Department of Agriculture. In the 2021/22 season, which began in July, Russia accounted for 16% of world wheat exports, Ukraine— 10%.

According to the FAO, almost 50 countries depend on food supplies from Russia and Ukraine, which provide at least 30% of their wheat import needs with their help.

Earlier, UN Secretary-General António Guterres also warned that the world could face a food crisis. He called for the return of fertilizers and products from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine to world markets.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned in late March of the risk of food shortages. He pointed out that the current situation hinders the sowing campaign. “The most terrible will be the famine that is approaching for different countries,” — he emphasized.

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The President of Germany spoke about a “nightmare” instead of a dream of a “European home”

Germans remember the horrors of World War II and the genocide, Steinmeier said. After 1945, there was hope in Europe that politicians would not allow a recurrence of hostilities, but now that dream has failed, the German president said media/img/9/24/756520064383249.jpg” alt=”The President of Germany announced a “nightmare” instead of a dream of a “European home”” />

Frank-Walter Steinmeier

The Russian military operation has become a turning point of the era that threatens the existence of Ukraine, European society is amazed by what is happening, said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in his speech at the congress of the Association of German Trade Unions (DGB). The words of the German President are transmitted by his press service.

Since the end of World War II, May 8 has been a day of gratitude to the allies from the West and East for the victory over Nazism, the date has also become a day of remembrance and edification, Steinmeier said, pointing out that the people of Germany remember the “merciless war of annihilation waged by the Germans in Eastern Europe". He assured that Germany honors the memory of the sufferings of the peoples of the Soviet Union and the victims of persecution, hatred and violence.

With regard to the post-war reconstruction of Europe, the German president continued, May 8 was also a day of hope, since the survivors of the war believed that no one would resort to hostilities to resolve political issues. He recalled the Helsinki Final Act of 1975, with the signing of which the USSR, the USA and all European countries confirmed the inviolability of borders on the continent.

“Generations of politicians worked to ensure that“ never again ” also meant “never again war in Europe”. Mikhail Gorbachev gave us a vision on the way to a common European home. But today, May 8, the dream of a common European home has failed: a nightmare has come in its place. It's May 8— day of the war»,— said Steinmeier.

About a month ago, in mid-April, Steinmeier called the normalization of relations with Russia under President Vladimir Putin an impossible scenario. “In my opinion, one thing is clear: under Putin there can be no return to normal life with Russia,” — said the German president. He added that “war crimes in Ukraine” seen by people around the world, they must be investigated, and those responsible must be punished.

May 8 is Anti-War Day in Germany. “On May 8, 1945, World War II in Europe ended with the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht and liberation from National Socialism. Surrender was a liberation that paved the way for a new beginning in Germany and Europe. cites the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Politische Bildung) a certificate from the Hessian State Center for Political Education.

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“Close ties” the German president with Russia became the reason for the refusal of the Ukrainian authorities to visit Kyiv, Bild sources said in mid-April. “He is not welcome in Kyiv now”, — an unnamed Ukrainian diplomat told the newspaper. Later, these data were confirmed by the President of Germany, indicating that he was ready for a trip to the Ukrainian capital. “But, apparently, and I must admit this, they didn’t want this in Kyiv,” — he concluded.

The refusal of the German president to visit Kyiv caused a sharp reaction in Berlin. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called the actions of the Ukrainian authorities “irritating”, calling for the president of the republic to be received. Scholz later stressed that the issue had become a problem and that he had no intention of visiting the Ukrainian capital until Steinmeier was there. Berlin provides Kyiv with military and financial support, and therefore “you can’t say: the president cannot come,” Scholz is sure.

In early May, Steinmeier spoke by phone with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, as a result of which the parties eliminated “annoying factors,” said the press service of the German politician. “The two presidents agreed to remain in close contact,” — It was said in the message.

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Ambassador criticized Germany’s “sluggish policy” towards Ukraine

Ukraine needs immediate support and modern weapons, but the German government is “still fighting with itself” and “justifying its inaction”, says Ambassador Andriy Melnyk

Andrey Melnyk

The German authorities are not doing enough to support for Ukraine, Andriy Melnyk, Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, said in an interview with Bild.

According to the diplomat, the fact that not a single representative of the federal government of Germany has visited the country since the beginning of hostilities points to « the sluggishness of German politics».

Melnik believes that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz prefers to act like his predecessor, Angela Merkel: “wait and see, and then decide” or not. “What is missing is imagination and courage. Many Germans would like to have an active chancellor, — he said.

The ambassador clarified that his criticism does not concern Scholz personally, but the entire German government. In the situation in which Ukraine finds itself, quick solutions are needed, but “Germany is still fighting with itself.” “The federal government is very good at finding excuses and making absurd excuses for its inaction,” — Melnik said.

In particular, according to Melnik, Germany made a decision too late to transfer Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns (ZSU) to Ukraine. Berlin is moving “in the right direction,” but that's not enough, the diplomat said. He pointed out that the installations are already 40 years old, and Kyiv needs more modern weapons. Ukraine needs supplies of 88 Leopard tanks, 100 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled howitzers and “much more”.

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On April 28, the Bundestag overwhelmingly adopted a document calling on the government to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine. unions (CDU/CSU). Only “Alternative for Germany” opposed (AfD) and the “Left”.

A few days before the vote, CDU chairman Friedrich Merz accused Scholz of “lost precious time.” on the issue of arms supplies to Ukraine, as a result of which he lost public confidence. According to the opposition leader, the chancellor “is no longer perceived as a person with a strong and strategic mind.”

Since the beginning of the military conflict, Scholz has been against the supply of heavy weapons to Kyiv, at the same time, the chancellor says that Russia is not should win in Ukraine. He calls on Moscow to conclude a truce, withdraw troops and start peace talks with Kyiv.

Russia has repeatedly warned Western countries about the consequences of transferring weapons to Ukraine. In particular, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that convoys with such cargo on the territory of Ukraine would become legitimate targets for the Russian military.

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Reuters learned about Germany’s intention to transfer self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine

Reuters: Germany, following the US and the Netherlands, will send self-propelled howitzers to Kyiv Earlier, the United States announced its intention to transfer heavy weapons to Ukraine, including howitzers. The authorities of France and the Netherlands also spoke about the supply of self-propelled howitzers to Kyiv. “Reuters learned about Germany's intention to transfer self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine” />

Self-propelled howitzer Panzerhaubitze 2000

German authorities may supply self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine. This was reported by Reuters, citing a source in the security services.

“Germany is considering sending self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine. Berlin discussed this issue with the Dutch government, — The agency reports.

Earlier, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, citing sources in the Ukrainian ruling circles, wrote that the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) was ready to send 100 Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzers to Kyiv for €1.7 billion .

The fact that the Dutch authorities are transferring their long-range armored self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine was reported on April 20 by Bloomberg. We are talking about German-made Panzerhaubitze 2000 howitzers.

Then the publication noted that the German authorities did not want to transfer heavy weapons to Ukraine, fearing to deplete the reserves of the national army and irritate Moscow. “However, Berlin supports the transfer [by Holland of howitzers] and intends to train the Ukrainian military to operate these large machines on Polish or German soil,” — wrote Bloomberg.

Also, according to the publication, Germany promised to supply Ukraine with 155-millimeter shells for these 61.5-ton tracked howitzers, which Bloomberg calls “the heaviest ground warfare systems.”

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Firing range Panzerhaubitze 2000— from 35km to 67km. The maximum range is achieved when firing missiles.

On April 21, the United States announced the delivery of additional military aid to Ukraine, including 72 howitzers and 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical drones. For American howitzers, 144 thousand shells and 72 tactical vehicles for towing will also be sent to Ukraine. In addition, Kyiv will receive field equipment and spare parts.

US President Joseph Biden announced a new aid package to Kyiv. According to him, the security assistance package is estimated at $800 million, Washington will allocate another $500 million as direct economic support.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on April 22 the transfer to Ukraine of 155-millimeter self-propelled artillery guns Caesar and Milan anti-tank missile systems. As the French publication Ouest-France learned, France will transfer 12 of these guns, which are currently used by the French armed forces. Caesar systems are capable of hitting targets at a distance of 40 km.

French howitzers will be handed over to Ukraine following the transfer of 155-mm howitzers and Panzerhaubitze 2000 from the Netherlands to the United States.

Russian authorities have repeatedly criticized the actions of Western states, accusing them of “pumping” Ukraine weapons. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Western weapons cannot “stop the offensive”; and will not prevent Russia from achieving the goals of the special operation.

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Poland announced exercises and movement of equipment near the borders with Ukraine and Germany

The exercises will be held according to the program for this year, residents of the voivodships bordering Russia, Germany and Ukraine were warned about the movement of equipment

Due to military exercises, there will be heavy traffic from May 1 until the end of the month military transport on the routes in the West Pomeranian, Lubusz, Wielkopolska, Kuyavian-Pomeranian, Lodz, Mazowiecki, Lubelskie and Warmian-Masurian voivodeships of Poland. This is stated on the website of the Ministry of Defense of the country.

“As part of the exercises, from May 1 until the end of the month, columns of military equipment will stand on the roads of the following voivodeships: West Pomeranian, Lubusz, Greater Poland, Kuyavian-Pomeranian, Lodz, Mazovian, Lublin and Warmia-Mazury. Military vehicles will be found on highways, expressways and national roads, — the message says.

The Warmińsko-Mazury Voivodeship borders on the Kaliningrad Region of Russia, the West Pomeranian and Lubuskie— with Germany, Lublin— with Ukraine.

The military stressed that the exercises will be held in accordance with the program of maneuvers planned for this year.

The Polish military noted that vehicles will most often move at night, but some movements are possible in the daytime. “The arrival and passage of convoys will also be used by the participants of the exercises to practice the reception and transfer of allied forces, the coordination of cross-border actions and cooperation with the host states,” — noted in the Armed Forces.

Citizens were asked not to publish photos with military installations and equipment, as this could lead to negative security consequences.

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Warsaw hasn't announced any major exercises lately. In early April, Fox News sources in the State Department said that Poland and the United States would conduct training sessions on April 8 near the city of Rzeszow in the southeast of the country. The exercises concerned tactical and firepower training.

On April 28, the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergei Naryshkin, announced that the United States and Poland were developing a plan to control Warsaw over its “historical possessions”; in Ukraine. Russian intelligence believes that the first stage in the implementation of Poland's plan will be the entry of Polish troops into the western part of Ukraine under the slogan of “protection against Russian aggression.”

Earlier, on April 25, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that his country donated tanks to Ukraine. In March, Poland offered to send NATO peacekeepers to Ukraine, but other countries, including the United States and Germany, did not support this.

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Media: Gazprombank did not accept payments for gas in rubles for Austria and Germany

Bloomberg announced the rejection of the ruble payment from Gazprom Germania.

Bloomberg agency, citing its sources, stated that “Gazprombank” rejected payment for the supply of gas fuel to Germany. It is noteworthy that the payment was made by the trading company Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd in rubles.

The publication reports that payment was transferred for a number of purchases for April and May this year under a contract between the German company and “Gazprombank”.

It is indicated that the advance payment concerns gas for Germany and Austria, but the bank rejected it, although, at the request of the Russian side, the payment was made in ruble currency.

The source of the publication said that now the German company insists that division “Gazprom” accepted the payment, and is now discussing it with representatives of the Russian company.

Recall, as Topnews wrote, at the end of March, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree according to which the states included in the list of unfriendly countries are obliged to pay for the supply of Russian fuel to rubles.

Bloomberg, referring to the data he received, speaks of 10 European countries that agreed to the conditions proposed by the Russian Federation.

Also, according to RIA Novosti, on March 31 &#8220 ;Gazprom” 31 withdrew from the capital of LLC “Gazprom Export Business Services”, and is not involved in the activities of Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd.

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Germany called the conditions for the imposition of an embargo on Russian oil


Bloomberg, citing sources in the EU, said that during the discussion of the ambassadors of the EU member states, Germany named the condition under which it would be ready to support the ban on Russian oil supplies.

According to the report, Berlin will approve this proposal if the refusal is gradual. A similar “transitional period” is provided for in the fifth package of European sanctions, which refers to the rejection of Russian coal.

The agency notes that until recently, German officials said that the refusal of energy supplies would cause more harm to Europe than to Russia. Apparently, now Berlin feels more prepared to cooperate with alternative oil suppliers.



WATCH: German Club Throws Socially Distanced Dance Party in Open-Air

The first show since lockdown took place in Germany last week (Thursday, May 21), as dance music artist Gerd Janson played to a socially distanced crowd. The TakaTuka-run event went down at Coconut Beach in Münster, also featuring Steve Stix, Kai Lorenzen and Thorsten Karger.

Just 100 tickets were sold (and sold out within 15 minutes) for the 2,000-capacity outdoor venue at €70 a pop. According to a report, that price included €21 worth of food and beverages. Organizers have made it clear, once the venue is able to raise capacity, ticket prices for events like these are expected to drop in price.

Janson explained the night in his own words:

Whatever your take on all of this is, part of it is how to deal with it, and how to make things possible again that were taken as a given. Taking all this into account, it went really well: a bittersweet mixture of nostalgia and hope. I had fun and I hope the dancers, too. It felt like a reinsurance that it can go on in some way, shape or form until things can get back to normal.

To be honest, it’s a little eerie playing back footage from the event, as music fans were forced to dance apart with masks on due to safety guidelines. However, this is the reality we are facing as live events begin to reemerge.

Read more here and see below.

In what might be the first dance party in Europe in months, Gerd Janson played to a small, socially-distanced crowd in Münster last night. We're speaking with the promoters on how they pulled this one off. More details forthcoming

— Resident Advisor (@residentadvisor) May 22, 2020


Source: Resident Advisor


STUDY: 82% of Festivalgoers Ready to Return to Live Events

Whether or not it’s safe for live events just yet, fans are ready to get back at it!

According to Festicket, 82% of festivalgoers are ready to return to live events and 82% of respondents would return to live events within the next six months if given the opportunity.

Furthermore, approximately 33% of the participants across the UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands say they’d “feel confident to attend a festival immediately after lockdown is lifted.”

After two to three months, 35% would feel comfortable attending events. After six months, an additional 16% would return to events, granted the lockdown is lifted.

Festicket marketing director Luis Sousa said: “Despite all the current uncertainty, it’s reassuring to see a high percentage of festivalgoers have a positive outlook for the live events industry, backed up by over 75% saying they’d feel comfortable booking events for 2021.”

Festicket surveyed 110,000 people for this study.

Read more findings here.


Sources: Festicket, IQ Mag



Oktoberfest 2020 Canceled: “The Risks Are Simply Too High”

Oktoberfest, the world’s largest folk/beer festival, will not be happening in 2020 due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The massive annual gathering, known for its lively parades and flowing beer taps, was set to go down over September 19th through October 4th in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.

The country’s ban on large-scale events is currently only effective until August 31st, but with Oktoberfest attracting 6 million revelers from all over the world, it just can’t happen. “The risks are simply too high,” Oktoberfest’s website states.

Markus Soeder, premier of the southern German state said, “This is not a normal year and it is unfortunately a year without the Oktoberfest.” He added, “It hurts. It is a huge shame.”

It’s a major blow to the local economy as well, because Oktoberfest brings in 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) each year. However, the event has been canceled in the past due to cholera epidemics and World War Two, so officials and organizers hope to overcome once again.

At the time of this report, Germany had 143,457 cases of coronavirus and 4,598 related deaths.

Here you can find further information and statements from public officials.


Source: Reuters | Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest / Sebastian Lehner


Gucci Mane – Members Only

Honorable C-Note

[Verse 1]
Fresher than a bitch
Hit the mall for the fit
And we fucking standing up
I’m standing tall in you bitch
I send them bullets at you nigga
I jump wall at you clique
When them shooters get them (pew pew)
Niggas calling the quits
Niggas running ducking falling and shit
Dont get involved with this shit
Because we all with this shit
Well I’m ballin’ I’m super lit
My net worth, I quadrupled it
This groupie chick so super thick
I might buy her new Louboutins
Ludacris, never sold dope I did it was lucrative
All these P’s, I’m cooking in
I never be broke again
I’ts a lot of yankees tryna live the life that Gucci live
They ain’t beat a murder charge or killed them folks that Gucci killed

This for killers only, yeah this for the homies
Drug dealers only, yeah this members only
Trap niggas only yeah rich niggas only
This for killers only, yeah this for the homies
Drug dealers only, yeah this members only
Trap niggas only yeah rich niggas only
Bad bitches only yeah this for the homies

[Verse 2]
Pulled up on Peter street the box, that’s where my heater be
My car was shipped from Germany
My clothes was shipped from Italy
Niggas envious they ridicule and belittle me
I was too generous, now I have no sympathy
I just built a mansion, solid gold on my amenities
Holmes he not no street nigga get him out the vicinity
I just bought a Phantom and put wood on the extremities
Man that bitch ain’t bad enough get her out this facility
Wake up every morning grinding like I’m hungry
Homeless and lonely coz I really want it
Hold up Gucci Mane run them bands up
But fuck that, this a stick up put your hands up

This for killers only, yeah this for the homies
Drug dealers only, yeah this members only
Trap niggas only, yeah rich niggas only
Bad bitches only, yeah this for the homies
This for killers only, yeah this for the homies
Drug dealers only, yeah this members only
Trap niggas only, yeah rich niggas only
Bad bitches only, yeah this for the homies


Mishlawi – Ignore lyrics

Lord, when they call my phone I just press ignore
Couple A&Rs live on my front porch
They say that I’m almost on I tell them I know
Know oh oh oh oh

Lord, when they call my phone I just press ignore
Couple A&Rs live on my front porch
They say that I’m almost on I tell them I know
Know oh oh oh oh

[Verse 1]
My circle full
They thought that I need them but I’m cool
Taking my space up they better move
‘Cause if it ain’t this shit what would I do
Probably give it to her like she wanna
Hands up on her make her jaw drop
And the only time she running to me now
When she run and come and give me nana
I’m into getting my funds up
I got a bitch out in London
They don’t know just how much shit be ringing on me

[Chorus 2x]
Lord, when they call my phone I just press ignore
Couple A&Rs live on my front porch
They say that I’m almost on I tell them I know
Know oh oh oh oh

[Verse 2]
My circle full
Thought that they was special they confused
The truth is I don’t think I’m much like you yeah yeah
I ain’t no fool yeah yeah
I paid my dues on dues now they can kiss my ass
Remember when they would talk down its like now they be lucky if talking to me
Just came from Germany fresh off the flight after signing the deal of your dreams
I just don’t think you’d know
Quite how much they would call

[Chorus 2x]
Lord, when they call my phone I just press ignore
Couple A&Rs live on my front porch
They say that I’m almost on I tell them I know
Know oh oh oh oh

[Middle 8 2x]
Change, how could I change I’m used to me
Way, there is no way to cut these strings