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Russia-Ukraine war live: anyone supporting Moscow in conflict is an ‘accomplice’, Macron says during China visit | Ukraine

Anyone supporting Russia in Ukraine conflict is an ‘accomplice’, warns Macron

Here’s more from President Emmanuel Macron, who has arrived in Beijing for a three-day state visit. Speaking to journalists, the French leader said anyone helping “aggressor” Russia in the Ukraine conflict would become an “accomplice”.

Macron said:

We have decided since the beginning of the conflict to help the victim, and we have also made it very clear that anyone helping the aggressor would be an accomplice in breach of international law.

He added that it was not in China’s interest to provide weapons to Russia in its war against Ukraine:

China’s interest isn’t to have a lasting war.

Key events

Fire at Russian defence ministry building in Moscow – state media

A fire has broken out at a building belonging to Russia’s defence ministry in the centre of Moscow, the Russian state-run Tass new agency is reporting, citing emergency services.

More details to follow.

Here are some of the latest images we have received from the news wires of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s official visit to Poland.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy lays flowers at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Warsaw, Poland. Photograph: Brunner/Newspix Pl/Newspix/ZUMA Press/Shutterstock
Zelenskiy meets with Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw, Poland.
Zelenskiy meets with Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw, Poland. Photograph: JAAP ARRIENS 2023/Shutterstock
Morawiecki and Zelenskiy inspect Polish made Rosomak armoured vehicles and greet Polish soldiers.
Morawiecki and Zelenskiy inspect Polish made Rosomak armoured vehicles and greet Polish soldiers. Photograph: Omar Marques/Getty Images
Zelenskiy and Polish president Andrzej Duda attend a Polish-Ukrainian economic forum in Warsaw, Poland.
Zelenskiy and Polish president Andrzej Duda attend a Polish-Ukrainian economic forum in Warsaw, Poland. Photograph: Wojtek Radwański/AFP/Getty Images

Lukashenko arrives in Moscow for talks with Putin

The president of Belarus and close ally of Vladimir Putin, Alexander Lukashenko, has arrived in Moscow for a meeting with the Russian leader, Belarusian state-run Belta news agency has reported.

Lukashenko and Putin will hold a meeting this evening, where the pair will “discuss a broad range of matters concerning Belarusian-Russian relations”, it said.

The pair will also discuss “the international situation and the measures being taken to ensure security”, Belta said.

The Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has said Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Russia will station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus demonstrated that a Russia-China joint statement amounted to just “empty promises”.

Moscow and Beijing issued the joint statement following talks between Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in the Russian capital last month. In the statement, both countries said it was necessary to halt actions that further fuelled the conflict in Ukraine.

Just days later, Putin said Moscow had reached an agreement with Minsk to station tactical nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory.

Stoltenberg, speaking to reporters at Nato’s headquarters in Brussels today, said the Russian leader’s announcement followed Moscow and Beijing jointly declaring countries should not deploy nuclear weapons outside their borders.

He said this showed such statements are “empty promises and what we need to watch closely is what Russia is doing”.

The Nato chief noted that Russia was becoming more and more dependent on China, partly as a result of international sanctions imposed on Moscow over its war in Ukraine.

Summary of the day so far

It’s 6pm in Kyiv. Here’s where we stand:

  • Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has arrived in Poland for an official visit to a close ally that has led the way in mobilising western military and political support for Kyiv since the start of Russia’s full-fledged invasion 13 months ago. Zelenskiy and his wife, Olena Zelenska, were welcomed by President Andrzej Duda, who awarded Zelenskiy with Poland’s oldest and highest civilian distinction, The Order of the White Eagle.

  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said Ukrainian troops face a difficult situation in the eastern city of Bakhmut, but that Kyiv will take the “corresponding” decisions to protect them if they risk being encircled by Russian forces. The Ukrainian president, at a news conference in Poland on Wednesday, said Kyiv’s troops in Bakhmut sometimes advanced a little only to be pushed back by Russian forces, but that they remained inside the city.

  • The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, has met Russian officials in Kaliningrad for talks on the Moscow-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. Grossi visited the plant last week, where he said the situation had grown worse and military activity around the site had intensified in recent months.

  • France’s president Emmanuel Macron has warned that anyone helping “aggressor” Russia in the Ukraine conflict would become an “accomplice”. The French leader arrived in Beijing for a three-day state visit during which he hopes to dissuade Xi Jinping from supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine while also developing European trade ties with Beijing.

  • Poland’s agriculture minister Henryk Kowalczyk has formally resigned from his post, saying he decided to quit the position due to the European Commission’s decision to extend duty free imports for Ukrainian grain until June 2024. Export bottlenecks caused by Russia’s invasion mean large quantities of Ukrainian grains, which are cheaper than those produced in the EU have ended up in central European states, hitting prices and sales of local farmers.

  • A Ukrainian drone has crashed near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Russia’s state-run RIA news agency cited a Russian officer as saying on Wednesday, as the chief of the global nuclear watchdog was expected in Russia for talks on the plant’s security.

  • The six Leopard 2A4 tanks Spain has promised to send to Ukraine will leave the country in the second half of April, defence minister Margarita Robles told state broadcaster TVE on Wednesday, pushing back the estimated shipment date. The German-made battle tanks have not been used since the 1990s and had been mothballed in reserve, requiring refitting and battle readiness tests after initial doubts as to whether they could go into combat again.

Blinken has ‘no doubt’ journalist Gershkovich is being ‘wrongfully detained’

The United States is working through the process to determine if Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich’s detention by Russia is “wrongful”, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said on Wednesday, adding that it would soon be completed.

“It’s something that we’re working through very deliberately, but expeditiously as well. And I’ll let that process play out. In my own mind, there’s no doubt that he’s being wrongfully detained by Russia,” Reuters reports Blinken said at a press conference in Brussels.

Suspilne, Ukraine’s state broadcaster, is reporting that explosions have been heard in Kherson.

US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Wednesday she had spoken with her Russian counterpart Vassily Nebenzia to demand the immediate release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.

Gershkovich was arrested and charged with espionage in Russia last week. Reuters reports Thomas-Greenfield said she spoke with Nebenzia on Tuesday.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said Ukrainian troops face a difficult situation in the eastern city of Bakhmut, but that Kyiv will take the “corresponding” decisions to protect them if they risk being encircled by Russian forces.

The Ukrainian president, at a news conference in Poland, said Kyiv’s troops in Bakhmut sometimes advanced a little only to be pushed back by Russian forces, but that they remained inside the city. He said:

We are in Bakhmut and the enemy does not control it.

He added:

For me, the most important is not to lose our soldiers and of course if there is a moment of even hotter events and the danger we could lose our personnel because of encirclement – of course the corresponding correct decisions will be taken by generals there.

The more ammunition Kyiv receives from western partners, the faster it would be able fight back in Bakhmut and elsewhere, he added:

There is success in some districts of Bakhmut – we’re going forward. Or there’s no (success) and we’re again leaving for positions.

Vladimir Putin has attended a ceremony at the Kremlin where he met the new ambassadors to Moscow and accepted their diplomatic credentials.

Among the 17 new ambassadors attending the ceremony on Wednesday was Lynne Tracy, the US’s new ambassador to Russia. Putin told Tracy in an address that US support for a revolution in Ukraine in 2014 had led to the current situation where Russia and Ukraine were in conflict.

Relations with Washington were in a deep crisis that was “based on fundamentally different approaches to the formation of the modern world order”, the Russian leader said.

Putin accepts the credentials of the new US ambassador Lynne Tracy (and other ambassadors) and then proceeds to lecture her on “color revolutions,” “support for the 2014 state coup in Kyiv” (and other things). (source: https://t.co/Hf2WCcI2AM) pic.twitter.com/vFgBm0TafU

— Mike Eckel (@Mike_Eckel) April 5, 2023

Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, kisses the hand of Ukraine's first lady, Olena Zelenska, as her husband President Volodymyr Zelenskiy looks on, at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland.
Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, kisses the hand of Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, as her husband President Volodymyr Zelenskiy looks on, at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland. Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

IAEA chief holds talks with Russian officials

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, has met Russian officials in Kaliningrad for talks on the Moscow-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.

I met high level officials from several ??agencies today in Kaliningrad. I continue my efforts to protect the #Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. My recent visit to #ZNPP confirmed the urgent need to achieve this vital objective, which is in everyone’s interest. pic.twitter.com/iaudoqRZjC

— Rafael MarianoGrossi (@rafaelmgrossi) April 5, 2023

An IAEA spokesperson said earlier this week that Grossi would visit the Russian Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad on Wednesday to discuss the safety of the nuclear plant, which is near the frontline of fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces.

Grossi visited the plant last week, where he said the situation had grown worse and military activity around the site had intensified in recent months.

Here’s more from Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who said he would discuss developments in the Ukraine war with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, during his visit to Turkey this week.

Ankara is working with the UN to solve issues regarding grain and fertiliser exports via the Black Sea, Çavuşoğlu added.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has arrived in Poland for an official visit to a close ally that has led the way in mobilising western military and political support for Kyiv since the start of Russia’s full-fledged invasion 13 months ago.

Zelenskiy and Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, were welcomed in Warsaw with military honours, tributes and praise from President Andrzej Duda, who awarded Zelenskiy with Poland’s oldest and highest civilian distinction, The Order of the White Eagle.

Маємо важливий візит із @ZelenskyyUa до Польщі. Рада знову зустрітися зі справжніми однодумцями України – паном Президентом @AndrzejDuda та першою леді Агатою Корнгаузер-Дудою. Попереду спільні зустрічі щодо наших ???? проєктів та ініціатив. pic.twitter.com/ZeujSZpavo

— Олена Зеленська (@ZelenskaUA) April 5, 2023

Duda told Zelenskiy that he was a“unique man” and that he had “no doubt that your attitude, together with the bravery of the nation, has saved Ukraine”.

Poland will send 14 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, Duda said at a joint news appearance with Zelenskiy:

Four MiG-29s that remained in storage have been handed over to the Ukrainian armed forces in recent months. Four MiGs are now being given, so eight in total.. We are ready… to give six more that are currently being prepared. We assume they could be transferred soon.

Zelenskiy thanked the Polish leader, government and people for standing “shoulder to shoulder” with Ukraine and giving fleeing Ukrainians shelter. He said:

You have not abandoned Ukraine, you stood with us shoulder to shoulder, and we are grateful to you. We believe this is a historic relationship.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Poland's President Andrzej Duda hold a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Poland’s President Andrzej Duda hold a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland. Photograph: Aleksandra Szmigiel/Reuters

The visit – Zelenskiy’s first official visit to Poland since Russia’s invasion in February 2022 – stood out from his previous visits to the US, Britain, France and Belgium because it was announced in advance, without the secrecy of past trips. It is also unusual because the Ukrainian president is joined by his wife.

Poland has taken in more than a million Ukrainian refugees since Russia invaded, and has played an instrumental role in persuading other western powers to supply battle tanks and other weaponry to Ukraine. It was also the first country to deliver fighter jets to Ukraine.

During his visit, Zelenskiy is expected to meet with Duda and Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, and sign bilateral agreements. Polish officials had previously said talks would focus on developments on the Ukrainian front lines, international support and economic cooperation.

Zelenskiy will also speak to Ukrainian refugees and Polish members of the public as well as business leaders who could be involved in rebuilding Ukraine.

Anyone supporting Russia in Ukraine conflict is an ‘accomplice’, warns Macron

Here’s more from President Emmanuel Macron, who has arrived in Beijing for a three-day state visit. Speaking to journalists, the French leader said anyone helping “aggressor” Russia in the Ukraine conflict would become an “accomplice”.

Macron said:

We have decided since the beginning of the conflict to help the victim, and we have also made it very clear that anyone helping the aggressor would be an accomplice in breach of international law.

He added that it was not in China’s interest to provide weapons to Russia in its war against Ukraine:

China’s interest isn’t to have a lasting war.

Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, has awarded his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy with the Order of the White Eagle during a ceremony at the presidential palace in Warsaw.

The order is “the oldest and highest Polish award” and is presented to “outstanding individuals,” Duda said at the ceremony.

Polish president Andrzej Duda awards Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy with Order of the White Eagle.
The Polish president, Andrzej Duda, awards the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, with Order of the White Eagle. Photograph: Radek Pietruszka/EPA
Duda awards Zelenskiy with the Polish highest order at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland.
Duda awards Zelenskiy with the Polish highest order at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland. Photograph: Paweł Wodzyński/East News/REX/Shutterstock

Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, has said Sweden needs to take further steps for Ankara to ratify its Nato membership bid.

Çavuşoğlu also told reporters that he had discussed Sweden’s Nato bid and developments regarding Ankara’s purchase of F-16 fighter jets with the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken.

Çavuşoğlu and Blinken met on the sidelines of a Nato meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, on the day that Finland formally joined the military alliance.

China can play ‘major role’ in Ukraine war because of close relationship with Russia, says Macron

France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, has said China can play a “major role” in the war in Ukraine because of its close relationship with Russia.

Macron, speaking shortly after he landed in Beijing for a state visit, said maintaining dialogue with China was essential and that Moscow could not be allowed to have an exclusive dialogue with Beijing.

He told reporters at the French embassy in Beijing:

We hear increasingly loud voices expressing a strong concern about the future of relations between the west and China that in some form lead to the conclusion that there is an inescapable spiral of mounting tensions.

French President Emmanuel Macron in Beijing.
French President Emmanuel Macron in Beijing. Photograph: Jacques Witt/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

The French leader, who touched down ahead of the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, is on his first trip to China since 2019 and hopes to refute any sense of an “inescapable spiral” of tension between Beijing and the west.

Both Macron and Von der Leyen have said they want to persuade China to use its influence over Russia to bring peace in Ukraine, or at least prevent Beijing from directly supporting Moscow.

Hello everyone. It’s Léonie Chao-Fong here taking over the live blog from Martin Belam. If you’d like to flag something you think we’ve missed, or have any questions about our coverage, or would simply like to point out a typo, click the “send us a message” option under our bylines on the top of the page.



https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2023/apr/05/russia-ukraine-war-live-zelenskiy-heads-to-poland-as-macron-and-von-der-leyen-arrive-in-china Russia-Ukraine war live: anyone supporting Moscow in conflict is an ‘accomplice’, Macron says during China visit | Ukraine

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