Ukraine: Liz Truss on the importance of intelligence
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Ukraine’s top government economic adviser Oleg Ustenko said on Thursday that invading Russian forces have so far destroyed at least $100 billion worth of infrastructure, buildings, and other physical assets. Ustenko, chief economic adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, told an online event hosted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics that the war has caused 50 percent of Ukrainian businesses to shut down completely, while the other half are operating at well below their capacity. But a Ukrainian MP has warned if other countries do not help close the skies, the war will extend further than its borders.
Mr Gurin told Times Radio: “Stop being delusional. World War 3 has already started and now the only question is when you join on the right side.
“The situation is now when you can join and you can have a war on Ukrainian territory and a little bit later, you will have this war on your territory because people who bomb with barrel bombs, maternity hospitals trust me, people do it or don’t and if people do it, that’s not the point for them.”
He added: “You will have this war on your territory so close to the sky.
“If you cannot do it all over Ukraine to help us to do it or a humanitarian corridor to get people out of this mouse traps because it’s not the question of the war anymore.
“It’s a question of humanity, of the hunger in the centre of Europe, of just killing people because we have evidence from occupied territories there is no mobile network, Russian soldiers started killing people for fun.”
It comes as European Union leaders will wrestle on Thursday with how to reduce their reliance on Russian energy and bolster political and moral support for Ukraine in the face of Moscow’s invasion, but will rebuff Kyiv’s appeal for rapid accession to the bloc.
As Russia’s war in Ukraine enters a third week, the EU will say “Ukraine belongs to our European family”, a draft declaration showed, while the leaders are also expected to sign off on a new sanctions package that spares Russian fossil fuels.
“We will further strengthen our bonds and deepen our partnership (with Ukraine), the draft declaration states.
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But such wording will disappoint President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has appealed to the EU to grant his country rapid membership of the bloc and to NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine’s territory, a plea the Atlantic alliance has rejected.
The prospect of accelerated enlargement on the EU’s eastern flank has divided member states ahead of the EU summit in the opulent Palace of Versailles, near Paris.
Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins, whose country shares a border with Russia said Ukraine should be granted EU candidacy, though he acknowledged this only marked the “beginning of a long and difficult road”.
“It is important to show a clear, open door for EU membership for Ukraine, that the path is open for them to take,” he told reporters.
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Ex-communist countries like the Baltic states and Poland back Ukraine’s bid but France, the Netherlands and others are more reluctant to suspend the regular lengthy accession process.
It took Croatia, the EU’s newest member, 10 years to join.
Ukraine already has agreements on free trade and on closer political and economic ties with the EU.
A senior EU diplomat said the bloc could consider integrating Ukraine into its student exchange programme and inviting it more regularly to ministerial meetings once the crisis is over.
Russia’s invasion, launched on February 24, has shattered the European security order that emerged from the ashes of World War Two and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
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