CDU leader Merz has consistently demanded more money for the Bundeswehr in the daily topics. US President Biden has called Russian President Putin a “war criminal” for invading Ukraine. The developments in the live blog.
CDU leader Merz wants permanently higher military spending
Ukraine: Air raid on theater with hundreds of people seeking protection in Mariupol
NATO wants to permanently station more troops in Eastern Europe
Almost two million Ukrainians fled to Poland
Highest UN court condemns Russia
Kyiv: No neutrality like in Sweden, but firm guarantees
Kremlin believes “compromise” on Ukraine’s neutrality is possible
Rating agency: Russian state bankruptcy could be imminent
US Senate to investigate Putin
3/17/2022 • 00:52 End of live blogs We are closing the live blog for today. Thank you for your interest!March 16, 2022 • 10:19 p.m.Merz: “We need higher military spending on a permanent basis”CDU leader Friedrich Merz is calling on the federal government to increase defense spending above the planned EUR 100 billion for the Bundeswehr. “We should meet the requirements within NATO that we have already committed ourselves to: namely, to make two percent of the gross domestic product available by 2024,” he said in the daily topics. That would be “about 70 billion euros a year,” says Merz. It is currently only 50 billion euros per year. The financing gap must be closed. A common European defense is desirable, according to Merz. But for the time being, we remain dependent on NATO and, above all, the USA.
UN Security Council vote on Russia’s Ukraine resolution on Friday
The UN Security Council is now expected to vote on a resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine tabled by Russia on Friday. The draft resolution from Moscow includes, among other things, the demand that the Security Council should condemn attacks on civilians and calls for a “negotiated ceasefire”. The meeting was initially scheduled for Thursday. A Security Council source also said Moscow could delay the vote further. British Ambassador to the UN, Barbara Woodward, called the Russian initiative a “cynical move” and an “insult” given Moscow’s war of aggression inUkraine. It seems certain that Russia will not get the nine votes it needs from the 15-member council to pass it. Otherwise, permanent members such as the USA, France or Great Britain could make use of their right of veto.
Scholz demands an immediate ceasefire and troop withdrawal from Putin
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. The resistance of the Ukrainian population is impressive, he said before a meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin in Berlin. This shows how badly Putin miscalculated: “No one in Ukraine is waiting for the invaders,” said Scholz. This is not even the case with the Russian-speaking part of the Ukrainian population, who also defend the sovereignty of their own country. Marin and Scholz expressed their outrage at continued Russian attacks. The Finnish Prime Minister also called for an end to energy imports from Russia. It is used to finance Putin’s war. Scholz assured that they are working to reduce dependence on Russia as quickly as possible.
Biden calls Putin a ‘war criminal’
US President Joe Biden has called Russian leader Vladimir Putin a war criminal for invading Ukraine. Russian troops bombed hospitals and captured doctors, Biden said in Washington. “He is a war criminal,” declared the US President. Several heads of state and government have called Putin that. The White House has so far avoided doing so, citing that it is a legal term and its use needs to be reviewed. Biden’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Biden spoke “from his heart” after seeing images from Ukraine on television seen documenting the “barbaric actions of a brutal dictator”. Psaki emphasized that the US State Department has not yet completed the legal review to classify Russian attacks in Ukraine as war crimes. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called Biden’s statement “unacceptable and unforgivable”.
Ukrainian President Selenskyj speaks via video link in front of the Bundestag
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks via video link in front of the Bundestag on Thursday. He will comment on the situation in his country since the Russian war of aggression began three weeks ago. Selenskyj is also likely to make demands, for example for further arms deliveries from Germany. The Ukrainian President had already addressed several parliaments in different countries in the past few days. He also spoke before the US Congress. Among other things, he called for the creation of a no-fly zone over his country. Zelenskyj also showed a video of the massive destruction caused by the Russian attacks in Ukraine.