July 22, 2024

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The United Nations estimates that there are now 368,000 Ukrainian refugees

The United Nations estimates that there are now 368,000 Ukrainian refugees

German Chancellor Olaf Schulz speaks during a special session of the Bundestag on the war in Ukraine, on February 27 (Kay Nietfeld / picture alliance / Getty Images)

German Chancellor Olaf Schulz vowed Sunday that “the Russian leadership will soon feel the heavy price it will pay” for the invasion of Ukraine, as he announced he would increase German military funding in a private session with lawmakers.

Schultz acknowledged that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will not change course overnight.”

Yesterday we decided that Germany would deliver weapons to Ukraine to defend itself. Putin’s aggression means that we cannot give any other response.”

Schulz also revealed that he would raise the proportion of German economic output spent on defense to 2%, and allocate 100 billion euros ($112 billion) to its armed forces, in order to modernize and better equip the country’s army – a major expansion in Germany. defense spending.

Schulz also referred to the package of sanctions against Russia, which he said were unprecedented.

Schultz said the Russian attack on Ukraine was “despicable – it violates international law, and it cannot be justified.”

“February 24, 2022 represents a turning point in the history of our continent,” he added in the special session of Parliament. “The horrific images we see from Kiev, in Mariupol, show how unscrupulous it is [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. This is unfair, the pain of the Ukrainians, it really comes close to our hearts.”

Referring to the EU’s decision to remove Russian banks from the international SWIFT system of payments, Schulz said: “Funding will be cut off for Russian banks and companies. We will focus on the oligarchy in the EU. We have punitive measures against Putin and those around him.”

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“We need to support Ukraine in this desperate situation and we have done so over the past weeks and months, and the attack on Ukraine means we are in a new time. As Democrats and Europeans, we are on your side, the right side of history,” Schulz said.

Germany blocks Russia from its airspace Germany will also close its airspace to Russian aircraft starting at 3 p.m. local time (9:00 a.m.) on Sunday, according to newspaper A. statment From the Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport.

The ministry added that humanitarian aid flights are excluded from the ban, which will start operating initially for a period of three months.

Germany is seen joining a growing group of countries in Europe closing their airspace to Russian aircraft.