Russia's military invasion of Ukraine continues.
Russian and Ukrainian forces are fighting in various parts of Ukraine, and many civilians have fled the country. We will update the situation in Ukraine from time to time on the 21st (Japan time), including the status of the battle and the diplomacy of the countries concerned.
(There is a 7-hour time difference between Japan and Ukraine, and 6 hours from Moscow, Russia.)
Russia's war crimes pursuit: Countries confirm increased support to ICC
In order to pursue war crimes in Ukraine, where Russia continues to invade militarily, a meeting was held in the United Kingdom to discuss the ICC = International Criminal Court and ministers of more than 40 countries.
In light of the ICC's issuance of an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, countries stepped up their support for the ICC and confirmed their policy of never tolerating war crimes.
The meeting, held in London, England, was attended by Khan, the ICC's chief prosecutor who is investigating war crimes in Ukraine, where Russia continues its military invasion, and senior government officials from more than 40 countries, including Japan.
In his opening remarks, Chief Prosecutor Khan referred to the issuance of an arrest warrant for President Putin on suspicion of war crimes over the transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia, saying, "It is sad that we have to issue an arrest warrant for the first time for the leader of a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Instead of giving them a Russian passport, they should return to their homeland."
"Arrest warrants are a clear declaration that anyone who commits an international crime will be punished," a Ukrainian prosecutor said, calling for the ICC to support attacks on civilians and sexual violence.
Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, British Deputy Prime Minister Raab revealed that countries had announced to the ICC that they would provide additional support of more than 400 million yen in the form of £6 million, or Japan yen, as well as the dispatch of experts to improve investigative techniques. It is important that we were able to provide practical support for the ICC's mandate."
Russia "Scrambles in the sky over the Baltic"
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced on the 20th that Russian Sukhoi 52 fighters were scrambled = emergency launched against two American B2 strategic bombers over the Baltic Sea.
"After the removal of foreign aircraft from Russia's borders, Russian fighters returned to the airfield, which strictly followed international law and did not violate the airspace of other countries," the Ministry of Defense claims.
On March 35, the U.S. military announced that a reconnaissance drone crashed over the Black Sea facing southern Ukraine after being sabotaged by a Russian fighter jet, and the Russian side criticized the activities of the U.S. military drone.
EU Provision of Artillery Shells to Ukraine, Agreement on Support Measures of More Than 2800 Billion Yen
The EU = European Union held a meeting of the foreign ministers and defense ministers of the member states in Belgium on the 20th, and agreed on support measures of 20 billion euros, or more than 2800 billion yen in Japan yen, to provide shells and other items to Ukraine.
The company aims to provide 1 million shells and other shells in the next one year.
At the press conference after the meeting, EU Foreign Minister High Representative Borrell reiterated that the EU supports the 100 points proposed by Ukrainian President Zelensky last November, including the withdrawal of Russian troops, and emphasized that "it is not to pursue any peace, but to pursue a just peace."
U.S. provides new military assistance worth 460 billion yen to Ukraine
The U.S. Department of Defense announced on the 20th that it will provide new military assistance worth up to 3 million dollars, or about 5000 billion yen in Japan yen, to Ukraine, which continues to be invaded by Russia.
In this support, we will additionally provide shells used in the High Mobility Rocket Artillery System = Hymars.
As fierce fighting with Russian forces continues in eastern Ukraine and elsewhere, Ukraine is calling on Western countries to continue supplying ammunition.
In a statement, the Pentagon emphasized its continued military support, saying, "The United States will continue to work with allies and others to provide critical forces to meet Ukraine's changing demands on the battlefield."
President Putin agrees to extend the resumption of agricultural exports for 60 days
On the 20th, a meeting was held in Moscow, the capital of Russia, inviting parliamentary officials from African countries, and President Putin gave a speech stating that "Russia is contributing to the food and energy security of African countries" and expressed his intention to strengthen cooperation with countries called the "Global South."
Regarding the agreement between Russia and Ukraine on the resumption of exports of agricultural products from Ukraine, he said, "Russia has agreed to extend the agreement for 60 days in order to meet the requests of African countries," and emphasized Russia's intention to shorten the extension period from 120 days to 60 days.
"If the agreement is not extended after 60 days, we are ready to provide grain to African countries free of charge," he said.
Although the agreement was extended to March 3, Russia and Ukraine disagree on the length of the extension.
In a statement issued on May 18, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs set the extension period to 20 days until May 5, and demanded the lifting of restrictions imposed by Russian companies and others as a condition of the extension, shaking up the Western side.