Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership doesn’t make ‘much difference’ for Lavrov
If Finland and Sweden joined NATO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes that it would not change much. In Mariupol, the siege of the steelworks seems to be coming to an end. An overview.
DRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov doesn’t see much difference if Sweden and Finland join NATO. The two countries, like other neutral states, have participated in NATO maneuvers for years, Lavrov said. “NATO takes its territory into account when planning military advances eastward. So in that sense, there’s probably not much difference. Let’s see how their territory is used in practice in the North Atlantic Alliance. Sweden and Finland have expressed support for joining the US-led military alliance in the face of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
In Mariupol Meanwhile, after weeks of siege, Ukrainian soldiers were evacuated from the Azov steel plant, which was surrounded by Russian units. According to the Reuters news agency, an eyewitness saw a dozen buses leave the huge factory premises on Monday. At first it was not possible to determine how many Ukrainian soldiers were on the buses. According to mostly consistent Russian and Ukrainian reports, there are around 250 fighters.
In the afternoon, Moscow had spoken of an agreement for the soldiers injured in the steelworks. The Ministry of Defense said there was a ceasefire and a humanitarian corridor would be opened. The Ukrainian fighters were due to receive medical treatment in the pro-Russian separatist-controlled city of Novoazovsk in eastern Ukraine.
However, the Russian parliament is now apparently considering exempting fighters from the Ukrainian Azov regiment from a prisoner exchange. This emerges from a Telegram service broadcasting from the Duma.
Simultaneously with the evacuation of the steel plant, a new Russian air raid took place on the western Ukrainian city Lwiw. The attack targeted a military installation in the Yavoriv district on the border with Poland, local military leader Maxim Kositsky wrote on his Telegram chat service news channel. Mayor Andriy Sadoviy stressed that there was no confirmed information about rocket fire in the city and thanked the air defense.
In mid-March, a Russian airstrike hit the Jaworiv military training area, killing 35 people according to Ukrainian sources. In Yavoriv, Ukrainian soldiers had been training with Western instructors in recent years.
As recently as Friday, the Lviv city administration had already become the target of a cyberattack by suspected Russian hackers. Following the attack, some city services were no longer available, Deputy Mayor Andriy Moskalenko wrote on Facebook. A part had been restored on Sunday.
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