G7 Pledges To Meet Ukraine’s ‘Urgent’ Air Defence Requirements
- EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters that the EU's foreign ministers also talked about a ninth package of sanctions against Russia because of the invasion, but they did not reach a deal on it.
- US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CBS's "60 Minutes" that the US would keep giving more than $50 billion to help Ukraine's military and economy "for as long as it takes."
Russian missiles, artillery, and drones have hit targets in the east and south of Ukraine, while world economic powers have promised to improve Kyiv’s military capabilities, especially its air defences.
Monday, the G7 promised to “meet Ukraine’s urgent needs” after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked the virtual G7 meeting for modern tanks, artillery firepower, and long-range weapons to fight Russia’s devastating invasion.
He also asked the G7 to help Kyiv get an extra 2 billion cubic metres of natural gas because Ukraine is in desperate need of energy and millions of people are suffering in subzero temperatures without power after more Russian air raids on key infrastructure.
Separately, the foreign ministers of the European Union agreed on Monday to put another 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) into a fund used to pay for military support for Ukraine. The fund had been mostly used up during the almost 10-month war. There could be more top-ups in the future.
Ben Wallace, the British defence minister, said on Monday that he would be “open-minded” about sending longer-range missiles to Ukraine to target the launch sites of Russian drones that have hit infrastructure if Russia kept going after civilian areas.
On Monday, the Ukrainian port of Odesa on the Black Sea got back to work after being shut down after Russia hit two energy facilities on Saturday with drones made in Iran. About 1.5 million people are slowly getting power back, but the situation is still bad, the national grid operator Ukrenergo said on Monday.
The Ukraine’s General Staff said in its daily report on the military situation that its forces had stopped Russian attacks on four settlements in the eastern Donetsk region and eight settlements in the nearby Luhansk region.
The regions are in the east and south of Ukraine. They are two of four that Moscow says it took over after “referendums” that Kyiv says were illegal.
Later in the evening, the General Staff gave an update saying that Russian artillery had hit nearly 20 front-line settlements near the eastern city of Bakhmut, which Moscow wants to take but which is now mostly in ruins from being bombarded so much.
On Monday, a top military official in the United States said that Russia was going through so much ammunition that it was using weapons that were decades old and had a high failure rate.
At least two people were killed and five were hurt in Kherson on Monday after what the city’s governor, Yaroslav Yanushevych, called “massive shelling” by Russian forces. Last month, Ukrainian forces took control of Kherson, which is in the south of the country.
On Monday, the Kremlin said that President Vladimir Putin would not hold his annual, marathon-like end-of-year news conference this month. Putin has used this televised event to show how well he knows the issues and how strong he is.
Zelenskyy said that the capital Kyiv and the Kyiv region, as well as four regions in western Ukraine and the Dnipropetrovsk region in the middle of the country, were also having “very difficult” power problems.
Martin Griffiths, who is in charge of UN aid, arrived in Ukraine on Monday. His office said he was there to see “the impact of the humanitarian response and new challenges that have come up as infrastructure damage increases and temperatures drop.”
Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, told the Reuters news agency that “unlivable conditions” are likely to send another wave of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees into Europe this winter.
Egeland said he was afraid that the crisis in Europe would get worse and put other crises in the background.
The UN says that about 18 million people, or 40% of Ukraine’s population, need help. Another 7.8 million people have moved to other countries in Europe.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters that the EU’s foreign ministers also talked about a ninth package of sanctions against Russia because of the invasion, but they did not reach a deal on it. He said that he hoped a deal would be reached later this week.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that the US would keep giving more than $50 billion to help Ukraine’s military and economy “for as long as it takes.”