New Sanctions

  • In the proposal for the 11th package of sanctions since the start of the war, the European Commission focuses on combating circumvention of pre-existing trade sanctions instead of proposing new bans such as on Russian diamonds, natural gas, and more (European Policy Center).
  • These anti-circumvention efforts by the European Union especially target high-tech goods that could be used by the Russian army by letting Brussels hit third countries if they do not comply with the sanctions.  While some countries like Poland and the Baltics want the sanctions package to be tougher, others, like Germany, are warning against moving too fast (Politico). 
Sanction - Putin

G7 Summit in Hiroshima

  • Zelenskyy asks for military and economic support for Ukraine in Hiroshima as a guest at the G7 summit (Politico).
    • Politico reports that the G7 seem more united around Ukraine, although questions linger around whether the countries are “ready to go help defend the country against Russian invasion” (Politico).
    • His presence, according to AP News, “underscored the centrality of the war for the G7 bloc of rich democracies” (AP). 
  • Zelenskyy said that Ukraine still controls a small part of Bakhmut, countering Putin’s claim of the “liberation” of the city (Reuters and AP and Brussels Times and Le Soir).
  • At the G7 summit, Zelenskyy connected the destruction in Bakhmut with that of Hiroshima (Reuters).
  • The G7 nations have stiffened sanctions against Russia to restrict industrial machinery, tools, and technology that Russia could use.  US Treasury Department Secretary Janet Yellen said that the actions will “tighten the vice on Putin’s ability to wage his barbaric invasion and will advance our global efforts to cut off Russian attempts to evade sanctions” (Euractiv). 
G7 Summit in Hiroshima
G7 Summit in Hiroshima

F-16s and International Military Aid

  • Some European countries like Belgium have announced that they will begin to train Ukrainian pilots on Western planes, while British and Dutch leaders have pledged an “international coalition” on jets (Politico). 
  • In Hiroshima, President Biden announced a plan to support training Ukrainian pilots on aircraft, including F-16s, marking a reversal in Washington’s policy (AP and Politico and Reuters)
  • Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko warned that the West sending fighter jets to Ukraine signals that the West will “continue to stick to an escalation scenario, which carries enormous risks for them” (Politico). 

Air Attacks After Grain Deal

  • Ukraine criticized Russia for “unprecedented” air attacks on its capital and other areas on 18 May after an agreement with Russia to extend the grain deal allowing grain to cross the Black Sea (Euractiv). 
missile attack

Meeting of European Defense Ministers

  • On Tuesday, 23 May, European defense ministers will discuss European military support for Ukraine.  They may look at the Act in Support of Ammunition Production, which was presented by the European Commission at the beginning of May (Agence Europe). 

Sophie Adams-Smith

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