Daily: 14/04/2022

Brit Convicted as ‘Beatle’ in Islamic State Beheadings Trial

A jury convicted a British national Thursday for his role in an Islamic State group hostage-taking scheme that took roughly two dozen Westerners captive a decade ago, resulting in the deaths of four Americans, three of whom were beheaded. 

The jury deliberated for four hours before finding El Shafee Elsheikh guilty on all counts. Elsheikh stood motionless and gave no visible reaction as the verdict was read. He now faces up to a life sentence in prison. 

In convicting Elsheikh, the jury concluded that he was one of the notorious “Beatles,” Islamic State captors nicknamed for their British accents and known for their cruelty — torturing and beating prisoners, forcing them to fight each other until they collapsed and even making them sing cruel song parodies.  

Surviving hostages testified that the Beatles delighted themselves rewriting “Hotel California” as “Hotel Osama” and making them sing the refrain “You will never leave.” 

The guilty finding came even though none of the surviving hostages could identify Elsheikh as one of their captors. Although the Beatles had distinctive accents, they always took great care to hide their faces behind masks and ordered hostages to avoid eye contact or risk a beating. 

Prosecutors suggested in opening statements that Elsheikh was the Beatle nicknamed “Ringo” but only had to prove that Elshiekh was one of the Beatles because testimony showed that all three were major players in the scheme. 

Elsheikh, who was captured by the Kurdish-led Syrian defense Forces in 2018, eventually confessed his role in the scheme to interrogators as well as media interviewers, acknowledging that he helped collect email addresses and provided proof of life to the hostages’ families as part of ransom negotiations. 

But testimony showed that he and the other Beatles were far more than paper pushers. The surviving hostages, all of whom were European — the American and British hostages were all killed — testified that they dreaded the Beatles’ appearance at the various prisons to which they constantly shuttled and relocated. 

Surviving witness Federico Motka recounted a time in the summer of 2013 when he and cellmate David Haines were put in a room with American hostage James Foley and British hostage John Cantlie for what they called a “Royal Rumble.” The losers were told they’d be waterboarded. Weak from hunger, two of the four passed out during the hourlong battle. 

The convictions on all eight counts in U.S. District Court in Alexandria revolved around the deaths of four American hostages: Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller.  

All but Mueller were executed in videotaped beheadings circulated online. Mueller was forced into slavery and raped multiple times by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before she was killed. 

They were among 26 hostages taken captive between 2012 and 2015, when the Islamic State group controlled large swaths of Iraq and Syria. 

Defense lawyers acknowledged that Elsheikh joined the Islamic State group but said prosecutors failed to prove he was a Beatle. They cited a lack of clarity about which Beatle was which, and during the trial’s opening statement, they cited the confusion about whether there were three or four Beatles. 

Prosecutors said there were three — Elsheikh and his friends Alexenda Kotey and Mohammed Emwazi, who all knew each other in England before joining the Islamic State. 

Emwazi, who as known as “Jihadi John” and carried out the executions, was later killed in a drone strike. Kotey and Elsheikh were captured together in 2018 and brought to Virginia in 2020 to face trial after the U.S. promised not to seek the death penalty.  

Kotey pleaded guilty last year in a plea bargain that calls for a life sentence but leaves open the possibility that he could serve out his sentence in Britain after 15 years in the U.S. 

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У Молдові заборонили символи військового вторгнення Росії Z та V

Використання георгіївської стрічки? символів Z та V передбачає покарання – штраф чи громадські роботи за виготовлення

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США готують нові заходи для боротьби з ухиленням Росії від санкцій – Салліван

Ці заходи будуть озвучені протягом наступного тижня чи двох

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Абрамович «боїться за майбутнє» Росії – Джемілєв

Наприкінці березня радник голови Офісу президента Михайло Подоляк заявляв, що російський олігарх Роман Абрамович виступає «посередником» між делегаціями Росії та України на переговорах

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Elon Musk Offers to Buy Twitter 

Businessman Elon Musk has offered to buy Twitter, saying the social media giant “needs to be transformed as a private company.”

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk said in the filing. “However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”

The founder of Tesla and SpaceX is already Twitter’s largest shareholder, owning more than 9% of the company. A regulatory filing showed he offered $54.20 per share to buy the rest.

That price would value the company at about $43 billion and represents a 38% premium above the stock’s closing price on April 1, the last trading day before Musk bought his 9%.

 

“My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” Musk said.

Twitter acknowledged the offer and will analyze if Musk’s proposal is in the best interest of shareholders.

After Musk’s large share ownership was revealed, Twitter offered him a seat on the company’s board, but that had a stipulation limiting the amount of stock Musk could own.

After appearing to accept the board seat, Musk then declined.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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EU Closes Loophole Allowing Multimillion-Euro Arms Sales to Russia

The European Union has closed a loophole that allowed EU governments to export weapons worth tens of millions of euros to Russia last year alone despite an embargo which took effect in 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region.

EU countries last year sold to Russia weapons and ammunition worth 39 million euros ($42.3 million), according to the latest data made available by the EU Commission — up more than 50% from 2020, when sales were worth 25 million euros, a volume in line with previous years.

The EU had banned the export of arms to Moscow in July 2014 in reaction to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, but a clause in the sanctions permitted sales under contracts signed before August 2014.

Countries with large defense industries, such as France and Germany, were among the largest exporters.

The loophole has come under fire from some EU governments since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, which the Kremlin calls “a special military operation.”

In a bid to weaken the Kremlin’s war efforts in Ukraine, the EU has imposed five rounds of sweeping sanctions banning exports to Russia of a large variety of technology that could be used by the defense industry.

But EU governments failed to immediately agree to scrap the exemption on arms sales until last week, when the loophole was closed as part of the fifth package of EU sanctions, EU diplomats and officials told Reuters.

A legal text published on April 8 in the EU official journal deletes that exemption.

The EU Commission did not mention the closure of the loophole in its public communication about the fifth package of sanctions.

A spokesperson for the Lithuanian diplomatic mission to the EU said the exemption had been eliminated, but EU countries will be able to continue moving Russia-made weapons to Russia for repairs before they are returned to the EU.

The EU Commission, which is responsible for preparing sanctions, did not propose the amendment on closing the loophole as it was not clear whether it had the unanimous political backing of the 27 EU states, diplomats said.

But at a meeting last week, envoys agreed to amend the text after fresh criticism from some governments, including Poland and Lithuania, diplomats who attended the meeting said.

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У Раді призупинили діяльність фракції «Опозиційна платформа – За життя»

Замість неї буде депутатська група

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Special Shelter for Ukrainian Women, Children Set Up in Lviv

After Russia invaded Ukraine, a Ukrainian NGO organized a shelter for displaced mothers in the western city of Lviv where a local businessman offered for his office space to be used for that purpose. Women with children stay there for a few days before continuing their journey to Spain. Anna Kosstutschenko has the story. VOA footage by Yuriy Dankevych. Video editor – Mary Cieslak.

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Єврокомісія вважає указ Путіна про оплату газу рублями порушенням санкцій – Bloomberg

Лідери країн ЄС неодноразово заявляли, що виступають проти оплати російського газу рублями

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Воєнні злочини в Бучі вплинули на рішучість у наданні зброї Україні – Рахманін

За словами члена комітету Верховної Ради з питань національної безпеки, оборони та розвідки, те, що Україні нарешті починають давати важке озброєння і не приховують цього факту – це величезний крок уперед

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ДБР затримало лідера фракції ОПЗЖ в Маріупольській міськраді за підозрою в сприянні Росії

За оперативними даними, затриманий – колишній чоловік ексгенеральної прокурорки Криму Поклонської, медіа називають ім’я Володимира Клименка

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US Set to Include Ukraine in G-20 Agenda

The Biden administration appears set to include discussions of international economic repercussions of the Russian invasion and potentially Ukraine’s reconstruction as part of the November G-20 summit agenda, an idea that is likely to create further rift in the economic forum.

“It is not uncommon for events that are impacting the global community as Ukraine is, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, to play a central role at international forums,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told VOA during a briefing Wednesday. “And their economic recovery and rebuilding and reconstruction is going to be something that the global community is going to be involved in and address.”

In March, President Joe Biden said he wanted Russia removed from the Group of 20 largest economies or to have Ukraine be invited as an observer in the upcoming G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

“The inclusion of Ukraine does not mean it’s only about the battle on the ground. We’re going to need to rebuild Ukraine,” Psaki added, noting that Ukraine has applied for membership in the European Union, which is part of G-20.

Responding to criticism that Western demands to exclude Moscow disrupt the summit’s agenda and create division in the group, Psaki said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown himself to be a “pariah in the world” and has “no place at international forums.”

Following its 2014 annexation of Crimea, Moscow was kicked out from the Group of Eight (G-8), now known as the Group of Seven (G-7). However, the G-20 is a much wider grouping with many more competing interests.

G-20 boycott

Biden has not said he would boycott the G-20 summit should Putin attend but insists the forum cannot be “business as usual.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison have also raised concerns about Putin’s participation.

This puts Indonesian President Joko Widodo, as this year’s G-20 chair, in a tough position. He must prepare to host leaders of the 20 largest economies at a time when the world is technically still under a pandemic and attempt consensus on the world’s most pressing economic problems while navigating new geopolitical rivalries triggered by Putin’s war.

Middle-power members, including India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and others, have their own agenda centered around post-pandemic recovery that do not align with the West’s focus of isolating Putin and helping Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“That’s all going to have to be renegotiated,” William Pomeranz, acting director of the Wilson Center Kennan Institute, told VOA. “Most of their members do not feel obliged to rebuild Ukraine.”

Gregory Poling, who researches U.S. foreign policy in the Asia Pacific at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told VOA’s Indonesian Service that while it is understandable that non-Western G-20 members are reluctant to have condemnation of Russia override the agenda, there is simply no possibility for Biden and other Western leaders to sit across Putin at the summit’s table.

Ultimately for Jakarta, it may boil down to whether they are willing to trade Putin’s attendance for several Western leaders’ absence, Poling said. And while Indonesian diplomats would have preferred quiet negotiations rather than public announcements from Western leaders, the tension was going to surface at some point.

“Indonesia was never going to disinvite Vladimir Putin without significant pressure and that pressure would have had to have been delivered publicly, sooner or later,” Poling said.

Jakarta’s dilemma

As a middle power struggling to recover from the pandemic, Indonesia is focused on using its G-20 presidency to create a conducive environment for emerging economies to excel and safeguard the forum from geopolitical rivalries that could further market uncertainties, Dinna Prapto Raharja, founder of the Jakarta-based think tank Synergy Policies, told VOA.

“His [Widodo’s] desire is mainly to make sure that (the) G-20 will be the forum that can sustain its mandate, which is the economic mandate,” Prapto Raharja said. “The scarcity of goods, the consequences of untenable rise of energy prices, the inability of emerging economies to get out from the COVID-19 crisis – this needs to be the agenda.”

Including Ukraine as an observer, as Biden has suggested, will complicate matters as Kyiv’s main interest is to secure assistance against Russian aggression and has nothing to do with G-20 goals, she said. However, Jakarta must prepare a contingent mechanism to allow views on Ukraine to be aired without disrupting the summit’s focus.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian public views Russia’s invasion of Ukraine partly through the lens of anti-West attitudes and skepticism of U.S. foreign policies. These sentiments have been magnified by pro-Putin propaganda pushed on social media.

“Our research shows 95% of TikTok users and 73% of Instagram users in Indonesia supports Russia after Zelenskyy said Ukraine needs assistance from NATO and the West,” Dudy Rudianto, founder of Jakarta-based data analysis firm Evello, told VOA’s Indonesian Service. This suggests Widodo may pay a political price should his government be seen as caving into Western demands to kick Putin out of the summit.

So far, Jakarta has neither revoked Putin’s invitation nor agreed to include Ukraine in the G-20 agenda. Earlier this month, a spokesman said the government is still considering different members’ points of views and will continue to focus on the three pillars of its G-20 presidency: global health architecture, sustainable energy transition and digital transformation.

As an informal grouping established in 1999 following a global economic crisis, the G-20 has no mechanism to expel a member, said Matthew Goodman, who holds the Simon Chair in Political Economy at CSIS.

“It doesn’t have a formal set of rules or even a really clear rationale for who’s in the group and who isn’t,” Goodman told VOA. “In practice, it would require all the other 19 countries to say, we don’t want that 20th country in the group.”

This is unlikely considering China’s position that Moscow is an important member of the forum, as well as other members’ reluctance to condemn Russia, including India, Brazil, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

A National Security Council spokesperson told VOA that the U.S. will continue discussions with G-20 partners, including Indonesia.

“We will continue to explore participation as Putin’s war continues and we get closer to the G-20 Leaders’ Summit that is still over seven months away,” the spokesperson said.

Fractured support

While there has been solid backing from Europe and the G-7 for Biden’s efforts to hold Russia accountable, support beyond that has been more fractured.

Most notable is G-20 and Quad member, India. New Delhi, reliant on Moscow for military hardware, has abstained from various U.N. votes relating to the conflict.

India’s ambivalence on the Ukraine war is emblematic of Russia’s considerable influence around the world. Washington needs to be mindful of these geopolitical realities, analysts said.

“It’s not going to be as simple as showing the videos of the terrible actions in Ukraine and then the rest of the world will say – yes, Russia is committing war crimes and so forth and that we need to isolate it,” Pomeranz, of the Wilson Center, said.

The Biden administration must also take into account how the war in Ukraine could trigger nonaligned instincts.

“There is a danger if you have a zero-sum competition between these two blocs,” Stewart Patrick, director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, told VOA. He noted that many countries loathe their Cold War experience of being treated as pawns in global rivalries.

Perceptions about selectivity of U.S. foreign policy is also a factor, Patrick said. It is problematic for Washington to rally global support against Moscow in light of its own invasion on Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Trump administration’s recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.

“I don’t have any updates on that front,” Psaki told VOA last month when asked if the Biden administration has plans to revoke the recognition.

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Медведєв погрожує мілітаризацією Фінської затоки у відповідь на вступ Швеції та Фінляндії до НАТО

За словами експрезидента Росії, Москва не має зі Швецією та Фінляндією територіальних суперечок – на відміну від України

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Russia Says Black Sea Flagship Seriously Damaged

Russia said Thursday the flagship of its Black Sea fleet had been seriously damaged and that all the crew evacuated following what Russia said was an explosion and what Ukrainian officials said was a missile strike.

Russian state media quoted the country’s defense ministry blaming a fire that detonated ammunition on board the guided-missile cruiser Moskva.

The governor of Odesa said two cruise missiles struck the ship.

The White House on Wednesday reinforced U.S. President Joe Biden’s surprise statement Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be committing genocide in Ukraine. 

Biden also announced that Washington is sending another $800 million in weapons, ammunition and other assistance to Ukraine.  

“The president was speaking to what we all see, what he feels is clear as day in terms of the atrocities happening on the ground,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said of the genocide remark. 

“As he also noted yesterday, of course there will be a legal process that plays out in the courtroom, but he was speaking to what he sees, has seen on the ground, what we’ve all seen in terms of the atrocities on the ground.” 

She added, “Regardless of what you call it, what our objective now is — as evidenced by the enormous package of military assistance we put out today — is to continue to help and assist the Ukrainians in this war, one where we see atrocities happening every single day.” 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected Biden’s description, saying, “We consider this kind of effort to distort the situation unacceptable. This is hardly acceptable from a president of the United States, a country that has committed well-known crimes in recent times.” 

Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of the new shipment in an hourlong phone conversation on Wednesday. He later said in a statement, “The Ukrainian military has used the weapons we are providing to devastating effect. The United States will continue to provide Ukraine with the capabilities to defend itself.”  

New weapons, renewed Russian push 

The Pentagon said the new tranche of weaponry includes 500 Javelin missiles, 300 Switchblade drones, 300 armored vehicles, 11 helicopters, chemical, biological and nuclear protective gear and 30,000 sets of body armor and helmets.  

The U.S. is also providing an unknown quantity of anti-personnel mines, which are configured to be only manually detonated.  

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said U.S. defense officials want to deliver this equipment while Russia is regrouping its forces, including helicopters and artillery systems, in Belarus. 

“They’re not fully up to readiness for this renewed push for they want to put in the Donbas,” he said. “We recognize that, and we’re taking advantage of every day, every hour to get this stuff there as fast as we can. … We have a good sense of Russian efforts to resupply and reinforce.” 

Biden’s agreement to send more weapons to Ukraine, along with additional helicopters, came after a video appeal from Zelenskyy. 

“Freedom must be armed better than tyranny,” the Ukrainian leader said. “Without additional weapons, this will turn into an endless bloodbath that will spread misery, suffering and destruction.”  

Biden said the Western supply of arms to Ukraine “has been critical in sustaining its fight against the Russian invasion. It has helped ensure that Putin failed in his initial war aims to conquer and control Ukraine. We cannot rest now.”  

Also Wednesday, the presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — all NATO countries bordering Russia — visited Kyiv to show support for Ukraine a day after Putin vowed to continue Moscow’s offensive against Ukraine until its “full completion.”   

The leaders of the four countries, all worried that Russia could attack them if Ukraine were to fall, traveled by train to the Ukrainian capital to meet with Zelenskyy.   

While failing to capture Kyiv and much of Ukraine, Russian forces have bombarded numerous cities, killed thousands of Ukrainian civilians and destroyed housing and hospitals.    

United Nations humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths recently went to Moscow and Kyiv to seek a cease-fire. But U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters Wednesday it does not look like that is possible right now.  

However, Guterres said there are “a number of proposals that were made, and we are waiting for an answer from the Russian Federation in relation to those proposals — including different mechanisms for local cease-fires, for corridors, for humanitarian assistance, evacuations and different other aspects that can minimize the dramatic impact on civilians that we are witnessing.”  

Guterres said the U.N. also proposed the creation of a mechanism involving Russia, Ukraine, the U.N. and potentially other humanitarian entities, to help guarantee the evacuation of civilians from areas where fighting is going on and to guarantee humanitarian access.   

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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Мер Києва висловився за перейменування станцій метро з «недружніми» назвами

Столична влада каже, що хоче завершити процес дерусифікації у Києві

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Зеленський планує обговорити з Макроном заяву про те, що українці й росіяни – «братні народи»

«Ми не втрачаємо жодної деталі, такі речі для нас дуже болючі»

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Despite Challenges, Holland’s Floral Festival Carries On

As Ukraine braces for a massive Russian assault on its eastern Donbas region, Dutch officials are preparing for a much friendlier invasion by thousands of visitors to its once-a-decade floriculture exhibition known as Floriade.

Held this year in Almere, about 30 kilometers from Amsterdam, the 62-year-old event seeks to show horticulturalists from around the world not only the best way to grow tomatoes, but state-of-the-art solar roof tiles and vertical façade gardens, Andre Haspels, Netherlands’ ambassador to the United States, told VOA.

The theme of the expo this year is literally what goes into the construction of sustainable cities, Haspels said, adding that Floriade will provide the chance to study the special construction material known as cementless concrete the Dutch have developed and now use for roads and bridges.

MH17 memories

And while the tulip also blooms in times of war, the conflict unfolding in Ukraine rings a special bell for the Dutch men and women who experienced the sudden and tragic loss of loved ones in 2014 when Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by what investigators say was a Russian-made missile as the jet flew over eastern Ukraine, which was controlled by pro-Russian forces.

The flight was on its way from Amsterdam to Malaysia. All 298 people onboard were killed.

“The death of 298 civilians, including 196 Dutch, cannot and should not remain without consequences,” Deputy Prime Minister Wopke Hoekstra said in a recent statement. “The current events in Ukraine underscore the vital importance of this.”

Russia has categorically denied any involvement in the incident known as MH17.

‘Go, no-go’

Outside the Dutch ambassador’s residence in Washington, the Ukrainian flag is posted in the front near the Dutch national flag. Inside, Haspels recently hosted “Tulip Days,” an annual spring event that was used this year to promote Dutch-American friendship, Floriade and to express support for Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine is not the only concern that has given pause to organizers of the flower show, which opens Thursday and runs for six months. They have had to deal with the two-plus-year-old COVID-19 pandemic, which is only now easing its grip in Europe.

“They had moments when they had to decide, ‘Go or no-go,’ Haspels told VOA during the Tulip Days event, which had been on hold since 2019 because of the pandemic. “In the end, they decided to carry on with the festival, partly because the event would mostly be outdoors.”

 

The Netherlands, like the United States and most European countries, has lifted many of the stringent COVID-19 measures, including mandatory masks, “except on public transportation and airports,” said Haspels, who has tested positive twice, despite having been vaccinated and boosted.

Impact, lessons of war

As the COVID-19 threat weakens, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced Western European nations to face new challenges to their security and economies.

“First of all, we have taken sanctions against Russia. That means that our oil prices and our gas prices go up. Our food prices go up. So, there’s inflation,” he said.

“Secondly, there’s a large number of refugees coming from Ukraine to Europe. First to the neighboring countries, mainly Poland, but also to other countries, including my country. I think we have about 12,000 refugees from Ukraine now in the Netherlands.”

While Ukraine’s bids for membership in the European Union and NATO are being pondered, what is known as an Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU is proving to be critical when it comes to helping fleeing Ukrainians to resettle, Haspels said.

Among the privileges granted under the agreement, Ukrainian people can enter the EU to live, work and find housing.

“The children can go to school in the Netherlands or any other European country” without applying for asylum. “That’s what we’re focusing on at the moment,” Haspels explained.

“This is going to be a decisive moment for Europe for a long, long time for a number of reasons,” the Dutch ambassador told VOA. “You’ve seen as a consequence that many European countries increased their defense expenditure — the Netherlands did, under the new government. But also our neighbor, Germany, has increased their defense expenditure to 100 billion euros, which is huge if you look at German’s history, as well. So, they will become a stronger player within NATO and in European defense.”

The war is also forcing European countries, including the Netherlands, to rethink their reliance on Russian energy sources, seeking out alternate fossil fuel sources and speeding up the shift to renewables.

“Norway is a producer of oil and gas. Even in my own country, in the Netherlands, we still have gas availability, but we decided not to use it because of environmental risks. But now, we understand that in this emergency situation, we might need to explore this gas reserve in the Netherlands, as well,” he said. “So, our energy relationship will change. I think we will have a much faster transition to a green economy. So, also solar, wind, hydrogen will get a huge incentive.”

Haspels noted that the war in Ukraine has taught allies and their adversaries another valuable lesson.

“What we have learned is that alliances are very important. The alliance within Europe and the unanimity that we have, which I think is a great achievement, but also the alliance between Europe and the U.S.,” he said.

Asked how the Washington diplomatic scene has changed because of the war and reduced fears about COVID-19, Haspels said most of the EU missions in the U.S. capital have started to organize bigger in-person events.

“Diplomacy is a contact sport,” he joked.

But the Dutch ambassador has not been in contact with his Russian counterpart.

“At this stage, I do not see what added value that would have,” he said, explaining that relations between his country and Russia were already tense due to MH17.

Although Ukraine is not an EU member, Kyiv’s top diplomatic representative was invited in February to attend a formal EU meeting of ambassadors, where “she briefed us on the situation in Ukraine” and expressed appreciation for the measures the EU had taken, Haspels said.

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International Prosecutors: ‘Ukraine Is a Crime Scene’

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, visited mass graves in Bucha, Ukraine, Wednesday, telling reporters afterward, “Ukraine is a crime scene.” The United States says it will help document those crimes, as VOA’s Senior Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports.

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Росія заявляє про запровадження санкцій щодо 398 конгресменів США

Росія заявляє про запровадження «дзеркальних» санкцій щодо 398 членів Палати представників Конгресу США.

«Вказані особи, у тому числі керівництво та голови комітетів нижньої палати американського Конгресу, вносяться до російського «стоп-листу» на постійній основі», – йдеться в заяві російського МЗС.

24 березня Сполучені Штати спільно з Європейським союзом та країнами «Групи семи» запровадили санкції проти депутатів Державної думи та оборонних підприємств Росії.

Під санкціями опинилися понад 600 фізичних та юридичних осіб. Серед них — голова «Сбербанку» Герман Греф, олігарх Геннадій Тимченко та його компанії, 17 членів правління «Совкомбанку» та 48 оборонних підприємств, які виробляють військову техніку, що використовується під час бойових дій в Україні.

Ці санкції США та союзники запровадили у відповідь на дії Росії в Україні. 

В ООН станом на 12 квітня підтвердити загибель 1842 і поранення 2493 цивільних людей через війну Росії проти України. Про в організації зауважують, що реальні цифри є «значно вищими».

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МВС: Україна веде переговори про обмін 169 нацгвардійців, які потрапили в полон на ЧАЕС

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