Facts about Russia-Ukraine conflict: Putin says Russia would respond to expansion of NATO military infrastructure into Finland, Sweden-Xinhua

Facts about Russia-Ukraine conflict: Putin says Russia would respond to expansion of NATO military infrastructure into Finland, Sweden

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-05-17 15:30:54

Staff members work at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

-Putin says Russia would respond to expansion of NATO military infrastructure into Finland, Sweden

-Wounded Ukrainian soldiers to be evacuated from Azovstal

-Ukrainian, EU officials discuss Ukraine's European integration aspirations

-No deal reached for EU on oil embargo against Russia

BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The following are the latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Moscow would respond if NATO would deploy military infrastructure on the territories of Finland or Sweden.

"The expansion of military infrastructure into these territories would certainly trigger our response, which would depend on the kind of threats this would pose for us," the Kremlin cited the president as saying at a summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Moscow.

Putin added that the issue of NATO enlargement is largely artificial, and is being used by the United States as a foreign policy tool.

Photo taken on May 8, 2022 shows a view of the Azovstal plant in the port city of Mariupol. (Photo by Victor/Xinhua)

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Russia and Ukraine have reached an agreement on the evacuation of wounded Ukrainian soldiers from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.

"An agreement was reached on the evacuation of the wounded, after negotiations with Ukrainian military representatives that are currently blocked on the territory

of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol," the ministry said.

A "silence regime" has been introduced, and a humanitarian corridor has been opened, it added.

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The Kremlin said Monday it is concerned about the decision of Finland and Sweden to join NATO, and will closely study all implications.

"We have already said that...this is an issue that we are monitoring very closely," local media reported, citing Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Peskov said that Moscow would analyze all possible consequences of such a decision, and take into account all national security concerns.

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and European Union (EU) Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi on Monday discussed Ukraine's European integration aspirations, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

At their talks in Brussels, Kuleba and Varhelyi discussed the prospect of granting Ukraine the EU candidate status, the ministry said in a statement.

"It is time to legally fix Ukraine on its path to the EU and make Europe stronger, safer and more prosperous," Kuleba said in the statement.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell attends a press conference after the meeting of foreign ministers of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, on Nov. 15, 2021. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

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European Union (EU) foreign ministers failed to reach an agreement on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia on Monday, including a controversial oil embargo.

Following the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, the bloc's High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell told a press conference that unanimity had not been reached on the issue. However, the EU will continue to impose sanctions on Russia, Borrell said.

The sixth package of sanctions was proposed by the European Commission on May 4. However, Hungary, which is highly dependent on Russian oil, is blocking the agreement. 


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