Tuesday Jul 5, 2022
Tuesday Jul 5, 2022

New German rail link delivers aid to Ukraine

2022 Mar 24, 17:39, German

Germany says it has sent about 10,000 metric tons of essential aid to Ukraine using a recently created “rail bridge” of trains shuttling back and forth between the two countries.

Transport minister Volker Wissing told the Funke media group in an interview published Thursday that the rail link was established two weeks ago to bring much-needed food, drink and hygiene products from Germany to Ukraine.

Speaking at a Berlin cargo terminal Thursday, Wissing said many of the goods being sent to Ukraine by train had been donated.

“We hope this war is over soon and will do everything to ease the suffering,” he said.

German rail company Deutsche Bahn has separately organized additional trains to bring refugees from the Polish-Ukrainian border to Germany.

 The Czech Republic’s Parliament has approved a plan to deploy up to 650 Czech service members to Slovakia as part of a multinational NATO force set up in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Parliament’s lower house approved the deployment Thursday after the upper house gave the green light last week.

The United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia will also contribute troops to the unit, expected to include up to 2,100 soldiers.

The plan is part of the NATO initiative to reassure member countries on the alliance’s eastern flank.

The alliance stationed troops in the Baltic countries — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — and Poland after the 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula by Russia. After Russia attacked Ukraine, NATO decided to boost its presence along the entire eastern flank by deploying forces in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has invited Sweden to help rebuild his country as he marked one month of the Russian invasion during an address to the Swedish parliament.

“This is a month now,” Zelenskyy said during a speech by video link Thursday. “We have not seen a destruction of this scale since World War II.”

“Just look at what the Russian army has done to our country ... A month of bombings similar to what we have seen in Syria,” Zelenskyy said, adding 10 million people have been displaced.

He called on “Swedish companies and state to come rebuild” the country.

Zelenskyy, speaking through an interpreter, also raised an alarm about the possibility of Russia using nuclear and chemical weapons.

His speech was broadcast live before members of the 349-seat Riksdagen which gave him a standing ovation.

China is rejecting accusations of helping Russia spread disinformation over Washington’s involvement in Ukraine, while repeating Moscow’s baseless claims about secret American biological warfare labs in Ukraine.

“Accusing China of spreading disinformation on Ukraine is disinformation in itself,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily Briefing Thursday. He said China has acted in “an objective and just manner.”

Wang claimed the international community continues to have “grave concerns” about U.S. biolabs in Ukraine, despite rebuttals from independent scientists.

“The U.S. cannot muddle through with silence or claiming that as disinformation. The U.S. should make serious clarifications on whether that is disinformation or not,” Wang said.

The lab claims have also taken root in the U.S., uniting COVID-19 conspiracy theorists, QAnon adherents and some supporters of ex-President Donald Trump.

China claims it is neutral in the conflict, although it maintains what it calls a limitless friendship with Russia, which it calls its “most important strategic partner.” China has refused to criticize Russia over its invasion — or even to refer to it as such — and Chinese state media repeatedly regurgitate Moscow’s false claims over the conflict.


German Ukraine Deutsche Bahn Riksdagen Bombing Sweden Bulgaria Romania Hungary Slovakia Estonia Latvia Lithuania rail bridge Rail Berlin cargo
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