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Finland must apply for NATO membership 'without delay,' president and PM say

The Japan Times

Finland must apply to join the NATO military alliance "without delay," Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Thursday, a major policy shift triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Finland, which shares a 1,300 kilometer border and a difficult past with Russia, has gradually stepped up its cooperation with the bloc as a partner since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software. Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites. If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.


Half Russian separatist force dead or wounded - UK

BBC News

Russia's two proxy statelets are not recognised internationally. In fact Moscow only recognised the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics two days before it invaded Ukraine in February. Last week the president of Kazakhstan said in front of President Vladimir Putin that he had no intention of recognising them.


S Africa's Ramaphosa: NATO to blame for Russia's war in Ukraine

Al Jazeera

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has blamed NATO for the war in Ukraine and said he would resist calls to condemn Russia, in comments that cast doubt over whether he would be accepted by Ukraine or the West as a mediator. Ramaphosa, who was speaking on Thursday in parliament, said: "The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded the warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region." But he added that South Africa "cannot condone the use of force and violation of international law" – an apparent reference to Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin has characterised Russia's actions as a "special operation" to disarm and "denazify" Ukraine and counter what he calls NATO aggression. Kyiv and its Western allies believe Russia launched the unprovoked war to subjugate a neighbour Putin calls an artificial state.


Corporate 'self-sanctioning' of Russia has U.S. fearing economic blowback

The Japan Times

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has galvanized the U.S., U.K. and European Union to unleash a slew of sanctions meant to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin's government and pressure him to pull his forces back. But some officials from U.S. President Joe Biden's administration are now privately expressing concern that rather than dissuading the Kremlin as intended, the penalties are instead exacerbating inflation, worsening food insecurity and punishing ordinary Russians more than Putin or his allies. This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software. Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites. If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see this support page. We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.


Russia is 'bankrupt,' unable to win and facing a 'dead end' in the war: Zelenskyy

FOX News

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel praises the'fierce' resistance and competency of Ukrainian leaders and civilians. For over 80 days, Ukraine has successfully defended itself against a much larger Russian army, and now Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is convinced victory could soon be near, he said. Russia has become "bankrupt" and is now facing "a dead end" in the war, Zelenskyy said during a nightly address Sunday. During his speech, Zelenskyy said his country is starting to see a potential avenue to victory but that they would not let up in their struggle with Russia militarily or in seeking international support to cripple Russian economically. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, on Tuesday.