LONDON — Most Europeans see Russia as an adversary following its invasion of Ukraine, according to a survey of over 16,000 people across 11 European Union member states.
Europeans tend to have a more favorable opinion of China, with a plurality seeing Beijing as a necessary partner.
Two-thirds of Europeans now see Russia as an adversary since its invasion of Ukraine, according to the poll by the European Council on Foreign Relations, or ECFR, which was conducted in April. That’s double the figure from 2021, the last time the survey was taken.
“In particular, majorities in Denmark [74%] Poland [71%], Sweden [70%], the Netherlands [66%], Germany [62%] and Spain [55%], think of Russia as an “adversary” of Europe – while only 37% in Italy and 17% in Bulgaria do,” the ECFR report said.
The respondents also were asked about Europe’s future relationship with Moscow.
“Around half of those surveyed [48%] believe their country’s relationship with Russia, in the event of a negotiated peace settlement in Ukraine, should be ‘limited,’” the report said.
“The only country where a majority [51%] of citizens expressed the view that it should be ‘fully cooperative’ was Bulgaria. Many in Austria [36%] and Hungary [32%] also supported this view,” it added.
The survey looked at attitudes toward the security guarantees provided by the United States and whether Europe should invest more in its own defense. Some EU leaders – notably French President Emmanuel Macron – have called for Europe to develop strategic autonomy, the ability to defend itself independent of the U.S.
Almost three-quarters of the respondents said Europe cannot always rely on the U.S. for its security.
“You can interpret it, of course, as a sign that Europeans are not trusting Americans that much as they used to historically. And in this sense, perhaps the presidency of Donald Trump has left lasting damage to that relationship,” said Pawel Zerka, a co-author of the report with the European Council on Foreign Relations, in an interview with VOA.
“But you can also have a more benevolent interpretation, according to which – simply due to the war in Ukraine and Russia’s invasion on Ukraine – Europeans are more ready right now to take responsibility for their security,” he said.
The survey asked similar questions about European attitudes toward China.
“A plurality of respondents [43%] consider China a “necessary partner” of their country. This position puts them closer to the political positions of Germany’s Olaf Scholz and France’s Emmanuel Macron than China hawks, such as [European Union Commission President] Ursula von der Leyen,” the report said.
Co-author Pawel Zerka said that compared to Russia, there are marked differences in European attitudes toward China.
“People mostly say that the risks and benefits are balanced, so they do not recognize that economic relationship with China as particularly risky and therefore requiring some rebalancing,” he told VOA.
However, a majority of Europeans opposed the idea of Chinese ownership of key infrastructure, while 41% of respondents said that if Beijing gave weapons to Russia, the EU should impose sanctions on Beijing even if that would harm Western economies.
The U.N. expressed concern Friday that no new ships have been registered since June 26 under a deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of grain from Ukraine. “We call on the parties to commit to the continuation and effective implementation of the agreement without further delay,” U.N. spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters.
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. Moscow said Modi expressed support for what the Kremlin called the Russian leadership’s decisive actions in handling the mutiny by the Wagner mercenary group last Saturday. The call comes after the U.S. and India declared themselves “among the closest partners in the world” last week during a state visit to Washington by Modi. India has yet to condemn ally Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.
Russian forces hit a school in Serhiivka, Donetsk Oblast on Friday, killing two members of staff and injuring six others, the regional prosecutor’s office reported.
More weapons are needed for an effective counteroffensive, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, the top officer in Ukraine’s armed forces, said in an interview with The Washington Post.
Zaluzhny expressed frustration that although Ukraine is expected to rapidly take back Russian occupied territories, it will have to wait — in a best-case scenario — at least until the fall before it receives American-made F-16s.
The Ukrainian commander pointed to NATO’s own doctrine, which calls for air superiority before launching an offensive. Despite that, Western leaders are slow to supply the jets, Zaluzhny complained.
He also said his troops have limited ammunition, adding they have been outshot tenfold at times by the enemy.
So, it “pisses me off,” Zaluzhny said, when he hears that Ukraine’s long-awaited counteroffensive in the country’s east and south has started slower than expected — an opinion publicly expressed by Western officials and military analysts. Nevertheless, he remarked his troops have gained some ground — even if they are inching just 500 meters daily.
“This is not a show,” Zaluzhny said Wednesday in his office at Ukraine’s General Staff headquarters. “It’s not a show the whole world is watching and betting on or anything. Every day, every meter is given by blood.”
“Without being fully supplied, these plans are not feasible at all,” he said. “But they are being carried out. Yes, maybe not as fast as the participants in the show, the observers, would like, but that is their problem.”
Ukrainian forces have successfully liberated nine settlements in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, according to Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, though the main attack is yet to come.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked his senior military leadership to strengthen Ukraine’s northern military sector after the arrival in Belarus of Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin.
“The decision … is for Commander-in-Chief [General Valeriy] Zaluzhny and ‘North’ commander [General Serhiy] Naev to implement a set of measures to strengthen this direction,” Zelenskyy said on the Telegram messaging app.
Zelenskyy did not mention Wagner Group boss Prigozhin in the brief post on Telegram.
National Security Spokesman John Kirby told VOA the U.S. will “continue to monitor Wagner’s activities wherever they are around the world, and we’re going to continue to hold them properly accountable for the kinds of egregious violent, deadly and illegal conduct that they, that they are still capable of conducting.”
After pushing Russian forces out of northern regions last year, Ukraine took steps to tighten the defense of its border with Belarus, a close ally of Russia.
Prigozhin flew from Russia into exile in Belarus on Tuesday under a deal negotiated by President Alexander Lukashenko that ended his mercenaries’ mutiny in Russia on Saturday.
Zelenskyy met Thursday in Kyiv with Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg and prominent European figures who are forming a working group to assess ecological damage from the 16-month-old Russian invasion. Their talks focused on the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant.
“Combating ecocide is one of the points of the Ukrainian Peace Formula, and we must implement each of its points, all aspects of peace,” said Zelenskyy.
Zelenskyy also met Thursday with former U.S. vice president Mike Pence, who made a surprise visit in Kyiv. Zelenskyy thanked Pence for his support. “We appreciate that both major U.S. parties, the Republican and Democratic, remain united in their support for Ukraine,” he said and added “we feel the strong support of the people of the United States,” he said.
Zelenskyy also thanked the U.S. for the recent defense assistance packages worth $2.1 billion and $500 million, allocated on June 6 and June 27, respectively, and he emphasized the unprecedented total amount of support provided, which has reached $43.1 billion since February last year. [https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/volodimir-zelenskij-zustrivsya-iz-48-m-vice-prezidentom-ssha-83929]
Pence is the first Republican U.S. presidential candidate to meet with the Ukrainian president during the campaign.
VOA White House Bureau Chief Patsy Widakuswara contributed to this report. Some information for this story was provided by The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.
Йдеться про обмежувальні заходи щодо окремих секторів економіки РФ, вперше запроваджені у 2014 році у відповідь на дії Росії, що дестабілізують ситуацію в Україні
Ухвалений Верховною Радою 28 червня законопроєкт був скерований на підпис президенту 29 червня, і 30 червня повернувся до законодавчого органу з підписом Володимира Зеленського
Відомо про двох постраждалих унаслідок стрілянини
NATO is attempting to choose a new leader, as the term of the current secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, is due to end later this year. However, some member countries want Stoltenberg to stay on, to give the Western alliance stability amid Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, has led NATO for nine years. His tenure has already been extended twice, most recently last year, following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Hosting the secretary-general in Washington earlier this month, U.S. President Joe Biden praised Stoltenberg’s record.
“Your leadership in the alliance has been through a really significant period, in terms of dealing with NATO’s relationship with Ukraine and, you know, I think you’ve done an incredible job,” Biden said June 13.
Stoltenberg’s term is due to expire in September. Traditionally, the secretary-general is European, but NATO allies appear undecided over who should succeed the 64-year-old incumbent, said Joel Hickman, an analyst with the Center for European Policy Analysis, based in Washington.
“They’re going to have to be able to navigate lots of different competing national interests that you get in NATO, you get in an alliance of 30-plus countries.
“They’re also going to have to be able to garner support among populations within those allied nations, particularly with young people. Polling in recent years has found that young people in the West struggle to understand the purpose or the relevance of NATO,” Hickman told VOA.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is seen as a frontrunner. On a recent visit to Washington, she highlighted her country’s support for Kyiv.
“We will, of course, continue from our Danish perspective, our very strong, strong support to Ukraine,” she said.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace are also seen as contenders. However, Wallace said this week he does not believe he is a likely candidate for the top job.
Hickman said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will inevitably dominate NATO thinking on choosing Stoltenberg’s successor.
“Its important that the NATO secretary-general has both an established and clear voice on Ukraine and can continue to maintain alliance solidarity on Ukraine. But also that they have credibility when it comes to NATO’s 2% [of GDP] spending target,” he said.
NATO is due to hold its annual summit on July 11 and 12 in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Some allies want Stoltenberg to extend his term once again, although he hasn’t indicated whether he is prepared to do so.
“Right now I think there’s a lot of uncertainty in Ukraine. There’s also a lot of uncertainty in terms of U.S. politics and who we may have as a president next year – obviously we’ve heard different positions from some of the Republican candidates. And I think given all of that uncertainty, a large number of allies are looking for that stability,” Hickman said.
Analysts say that whoever leads NATO will face numerous challenges: large scale land warfare in Europe; the dangers of nuclear proliferation; an increasingly assertive China; and new theaters of competition in cyber and space technology.
“All across the West, I think advanced societies are on the cusp of profound transformational changes, in particular in emerging and disruptive technologies. And I think NATO really needs to lead that race, particularly with what’s going on in Russia, but also with China and elsewhere in the world,” Hickman said.
Iran will be formally approved as a member of the regional Shanghai Cooperation Organization with China, Russia and Central Asian countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.
“At the meeting of heads of state on July 4, the full membership of Iran will be approved,” Lavrov said at the opening of an SCO center in Moscow.
Iran has intensified its diplomacy with friends and foes alike in recent months, seeking to reduce its isolation, improve its economy and project strength.
SCO membership was already on the cards and Iran is also hoping to be quickly accepted into another grouping that excludes Western countries — the BRICS group with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The SCO, which has its headquarters in China, is a diplomatic organization with eight members, including India and Pakistan.
Kremlin ally Belarus is also applying to join, and Lavrov said Friday that next week’s virtual summit would “begin the procedure” for that membership to go ahead.
Ухвалена редакція проєкту закону №8401 передбачає продовження мораторію на податкові перевірки до кінця війни
Tinder зник із Play Market та AppStore для користувачів у РФ, а у вже завантаженому на пристроях застосунку функція перегляду анкет користувачів недоступна
До заколоту росіяни називали Пригожина «борцем за правду», «справжнім лідером» та «переможним генералом», а потім – «влаштував смуту», «пішов проти Росії», «рветься до влади»
Агентство внутрішньої безпеки Польщі заарештувало російського хокеїста, звинувативши його у шпигунстві на користь Росії.
«Російські шпигуни трапляються один за одним… Спіймали шпигуна, який діяв під виглядом спортсмена. Росіянин був гравцем клубу 1-ї ліги. Це 14-й член опрацьованої нами шпигунської мережі», – повідомив у твіттрі генпрокурор Польщі та міністр юстиції Збігнєв Зебро.
Підозрюваного у шпигунстві 28-річного чоловіка затримали у Сілезькому воєводстві, але він мав діяти по всій Польщі, зазначає газета Wyborcza.
За даними слідства, заарештований перебував у Польщі з жовтня 2021 року. Йому звинуватили в участі в організованій злочинній групі та роботі на іноземну розвідку. Суд заарештував його на три місяці. Чоловіку загрожує до 10 років позбавлення волі.
Пресслужба міністра-координатора спецслужб повідомила, що росіянин «виконував на польській території доручені завдання, серед іншого щодо виявлення критичної інфраструктури у кількох воєводствах».
За даними прокуратури, заарештований росіянин та інші підозрювані, «ідентифіковані як іноземці через східний кордон», входили до шпигунської мережі, яка вела розвідувальну діяльність та «пропаганду проти Польщі», а також готувала «акти саботажу на запит російської розвідки».
У середині березня 2023 року польські спецслужби заявили, що ліквідували російську шпигунську мережу, яка готувала диверсії на залізницях країни.
Агентство внутрішньої безпеки Польщі виявило на залізничних маршрутах та транспортних вузлах приховані камери, які фіксували рух поїздів та передавали зображення в інтернет. Йшлося в основному про ділянки залізничних маршрутів у Підкарпатському воєводстві, поблизу аеропорту на околицях Жешува. Це головний пункт переправки західного озброєння та боєприпасів для України.
VIENNA, AUSTRIA – Austrian authorities said Thursday they had seized hundreds of weapons, ammunition and Nazi memorabilia and arrested six people after raids on several premises of the right-wing extremist Bandidos motorcycle gang.
Police found a huge weapons stash including about “35 long firearms, 25 submachine guns, 100 pistols, over a thousand weapons components, 400 signal weapons,” the interior ministry said.
The haul was made following 13 house searches in the neighboring provinces of Upper and Lower Austria carried out Monday, the ministry added in a statement.
More than 10,000 rounds of ammunition as well as grenade launchers were also seized, it said.
Nazi memorabilia, including daggers, flags, uniform parts, busts and pictures were also found at the homes of the suspects, who were remanded in custody.
After plans by the Bandidos MC motorcycle group to expand to Austria were revealed in late 2022, authorities have been surveilling them.
Investigations aimed to avoid potential violent clashes between the Bandidos, which has a worldwide network of branches, and their rival Hells Angels MC, as has occurred in Switzerland.
“The investigations have shown the extent to which right-wing extremism is represented in outlaw motorcycle gangs,” domestic intelligence agency (DSN) chief Omar Haijawi-Pirchner said.
Possessing Nazi memorabilia is illegal in Austria, the birthplace of Adolf Hitler.
Austria long cast itself as a victim after being annexed by the German Third Reich in 1938 and has only in the past three decades begun to seriously examine its role in the Holocaust.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken brought the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan together for several days of peace talks in Washington, as residents of the ethnic Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan say they have been cut off from food, medicine and gas. VOA’s Senior Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports.
Протягом доби відбулось 31 бойове зіткнення
LA PAZ, BOLIVIA – Chinese and Russian companies will invest more than $1.4 billion in the extraction of lithium in Bolivia, one of the countries with the largest reserves of the mineral used in electric car batteries, the government in La Paz said Friday.
China’s Citic Guoan and Russia’s Uranium One Group — both with a major government stake — will partner with Bolivia’s state-owned YLB to build two lithium carbonate processing plants, Bolivian President Luis Arce said at a public event.
Lithium is often described as the “white gold” of the clean-energy revolution, a highly coveted component of mobile phones and electric car batteries.
“We are consolidating the country’s industrialization process,” Arce said.
Bolivia, which claims to have the world’s largest deposits, in January also signed an agreement with Chinese consortium CBC to build two lithium battery plants.
The country’s energy ministry said in a statement that each of the two new plants would have the capacity to produce up to 25,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate per year.
Construction will begin in about three months.
China and Russia are among Bolivia’s main lithium buyers.
Lithium is mostly mined in Australia and South America.
WASHINGTON – Former U.S. President Donald Trump, a longtime admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Thursday that Putin has been “somewhat weakened” by an aborted mutiny and that now is the time for the United States to try to broker a negotiated peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine.
Speaking expansively about foreign policy in a telephone interview with Reuters, the front-runner in opinion polls for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination also said China should be given a 48-hour deadline to get out of what sources familiar with the matter say is a Chinese spy capability on the island of Cuba 145 kilometers off the U.S. coast.
On Ukraine, Trump did not rule out that the Kyiv government might have to concede some territory to Russia to stop the war, which began with Russian forces invading Ukraine 16 months ago. He said everything would be “subject to negotiation,” if he were president, but that Ukrainians who have waged a vigorous fight to defend their land have “earned a lot of credit.”
“I think they would be entitled to keep much of what they’ve earned, and I think that Russia likewise would agree to that. You need the right mediator, or negotiator, and we don’t have that right now,” he said.
U.S. President Joe Biden and NATO allies want Russia out of territory it has seized in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine has launched a counteroffensive that has made small gains in driving out Russian forces.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy last year proposed a 10-point peace plan, which calls on Russia to withdraw all of its troops.
“I think the biggest thing that the U.S. should be doing right now is making peace — getting Russia and Ukraine together and making peace. You can do it,” Trump said. “This is the time to do it, to get the two parties together to force peace.”
As president, Trump developed friendly relations with Putin, who Biden said on Wednesday has “become a bit of pariah around the world” for invading Ukraine.
Trump said Putin had been damaged by an uprising by the Russian mercenary force, the Wagner Group, and its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, last weekend.
“You could say that he’s (Putin) still there, he’s still strong, but he certainly has been, I would say, somewhat weakened at least in the minds of a lot of people,” he said.
If Putin were no longer in power, however, “you don’t know what the alternative is. It could be better, but it could be far worse,” Trump said.
As for war crimes charges levied against Putin by the International Criminal Court last March, Trump said Putin’s fate should be discussed when the war is over “because right now if you bring that topic up, you’ll never make peace, you’ll never make a settlement.”
Trump was adamantly opposed to China’s spy base on Cuba and said if Beijing refused to accept his 48-hour demand for shutting it down, a Trump administration would impose new tariffs on Chinese goods.
As president, Trump adopted a tougher stance on China while claiming a good relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping that soured over the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’d give them 48 hours to get out. And if they didn’t get out, I’d charge them a 100% tariff on everything they sell to the United States, and they’d be gone within two days. They’d be gone within one hour,” Trump said.
Trump was mum on whether the United States would support Taiwan militarily if China invaded the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own.
“I don’t talk about that. And the reason I don’t is because it would hurt my negotiating position,” he said. “All I can tell you is for four years, there was no threat. And it wouldn’t happen if I were president.”
Russian authorities appear to have detained General Sergei Surovikin over his suspected connection to the Wagner Group’s mutiny last week, according to media reports.
The specific details surrounding Surovikin’s status remain blurry, but top Russian and U.S. officials have said the senior general has been detained, the Financial Times and The New York Times reported Thursday.
Questions about Surovikin’s whereabouts have been swirling for days because the general had not been seen in public since June 24, when the Wagner paramilitary group marched on Moscow. Surovikin was known to have a good relationship with Wagner’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
It is unclear whether Surovikin, the deputy commander of Russia’s invasion force in Ukraine, has been formally charged for playing a part in the rebellion or just detained for questioning.
But Moscow has not yet publicly confirmed what has happened to him.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters he could not clarify the situation about Surovikin and said reporters should contact the Defense Ministry.
Surovikin appeared in a video Saturday urging the Wagner Group to halt any moves against the army and return to their bases.
His daughter Veronika said that “everything is fine” with her father. “Honestly, no, nothing has happened to him. He’s at work,” she told the Russian news outlet Baza.
“When did he appear in the media every day? He never made any statements every day,” she said. “As I understand, everything is sort of flowing as things normally happen. Everyone is at their workplace. Everything is fine.”
Prigozhin arrived in Belarus earlier this week at the invitation of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko as part of a deal to halt the mutiny.
It still is not clear where Prigozhin is in Belarus, how many fighters accompanied him or how long he plans to stay there.
Peskov told reporters Thursday that he did not have information about Prigozhin’s location.
U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin has “absolutely” been weakened inside Russia by Prigozhin’s rebellion effort.
But Biden, speaking to reporters at the White House, said it was “hard to tell” the extent to which Putin is diminished.
Michael McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia, echoed Biden’s comments when speaking with VOA’s Russian Service on Wednesday.
“On balance, Putin is much weaker today than he was just four or five days ago. Elites in Russia, soldiers in Russia, are all watching this and wondering, ‘What’s happened to our leader?’
“And I think that’s good, because a weakened Russia might do less in terms of damage, principally in Ukraine,” McFaul said.
While pledging that Prigozhin would be safe in Belarus, Putin has expressed mixed views about the Wagner Group since the rebellion. He has characterized Wagner’s leaders as traitors but said the rank-and-file mercenaries “really showed courage and heroism” in their fight against Kyiv’s forces.
Prigozhin’s arrival in Belarus came as Putin said Tuesday that Moscow had paid $1 billion between May 2022 and May 2023 to fully fund the Wagner mercenary fighters, contrary to claims by Prigozhin that he had financed his mercenaries.
Russia once denied the existence of the Wagner Group, but it has advanced Russia’s interests in several African and Middle Eastern countries.
Many of the Wagner fighters in Ukraine were convicted criminals freed from Russian prisons on the promise that if they fought in neighboring Ukraine for six months, the remaining portions of their sentences would be rescinded.
Prigozhin said earlier this year that he had always financed Wagner but had looked for additional funding after Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine.
Prigozhin said Monday that his troops’ advance on Moscow had not been an attempt to overthrow the Russian government and that he remained a patriot.
VOA’s Russian Service contributed to this report. Some information came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.
Як повідомляє Білоруська служба Радіо Свобода, 29 червня прийом документів зупинили в Мінську, днем раніше – в інших містах Білорусі
Олексій Данілов зауважує, що Україна буде уважно спостерігати, для чого відбувається переміщення «вагнерівців» в Білорусь
«Президент не поїде… на саміт, якщо лідери будуть схильні до дефіциту мужності чи проявлять його в той час, як Україна з усією своєю мужністю, волею, силою і високим моральним духом бореться з російською агресією»