Ukraine belongs in the European Union, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Monday during her visit to Kyiv. But she added that the country needed to do more to fight graft.
"Reform results in the areas of judicial reform, and media legislation are already impressive. But there is still a long way to go in the implementation of the anti-oligarch law and the fight against corruption," Baerbock said.
Baerbock also said that Germany will provide an additional $21.44 million in humanitarian aid, bringing Berlin’s additional aid to a total of $408 million this year.
The German foreign minister warned that Russia would again target Ukraine’s energy infrastructure this autumn and winter.
"Russia's perfidious goal is to starve the people again this winter and to let them freeze to death," she said.
Ukrainian officials have also warned that Russia will likely wage new airstrikes on Ukraine’s energy facilities and have called for long-range missiles from Western allies.
After his meeting with Baerbock, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he requested Taurus cruise missiles from Germany as soon as possible.
"You will do it anyway — it’s just a matter of time — and I don't understand why we are wasting time," Kuleba said in response to a question at a press conference.
Kuleba noted that Ukraine, a major grain producer and exporter, needed more protection for its ports after Russia stepped up airstrikes on grain export infrastructure.
He has recently requested ATACMS long-range missiles from Kyiv's allies.
Andriy Yermak, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's chief of staff, said on the Telegram messaging app that discussions on long-range missiles had been "good," and the question of ATACMS was moving forward. But he gave no details.
Zelenskyy thanked Baerbock for Germany's support. In an interview with CNN, he said he planned to speak again to U.S. President Joe Biden about providing ATACMS to Ukraine, and that he hoped to receive them in the fall.
Oleksandr Polishchuk, Ukraine’s ambassador to India, expressed skepticism during the G20 summit in New Delhi over the weekend about the tenor of the declaration reached by the group of the 20 richest countries over the war in Ukraine.
The G20 declaration highlighted the human suffering the war has caused and called on all states to respect nations’ sovereignty. It condemned the use of force to grab territory but stopped short of condemning Russia for the war.
During a press conference in New Delhi on Monday, Polishchuk pointed out that Zelenskyy was not invited to the summit, despite it being largely dominated by the Ukrainian crisis.
“We will definitely see how the results of the summit will be implemented in the future. We definitely want to have voices of all of participants of this summit in a support of Ukraine in the next General Assembly, and we will see how they will prove the willingness to stop the war in Ukraine, which has not been initiated and is unprovoked on the Ukrainian side but conducted by Russia,” Polishchuk said.
U.N. human rights chief Volker Türk said Monday that Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative and Russian attacks on Ukrainian grain facilities have pushed food prices “sky high” in many developing countries.
Speaking to a session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Türk said the spike in prices has taken “the right to food far out of reach for many people.”
He specifically highlighted the situation in Somalia, saying the country has long depended on wheat from Ukraine and Russia and that the breakdown of the grain deal “was particularly damaging.”
The Black Sea Grain Initiative allowed Ukrainian grain to be exported via the Black Sea. Russia exited the deal in July, complaining that a parallel deal for removing obstacles to Russian food and fertilizer exports had not been honored.
Ukraine’s military intelligence said Monday that Ukrainian forces had retaken control of several offshore gas and oil drilling platforms near Crimea.
It said on Telegram that the operation included Ukrainian special forces on boats who damaged a Russian Su-30 fighter jet and captured helicopter ammunition and radar equipment.
The military said Russia had occupied the platforms since 2015 and had used them for military purposes.
Ukraine also said on Monday that its troops had regained more territory on the eastern and southern fronts in the past week of its counteroffensive against Russian forces.
Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said Ukraine had retaken nearly 2-square-kilometers of land around the eastern city of Bakhmut and that the Ukrainian army had in the past week also recaptured 4.8-square-kilometers in the southern Tavria sector.
In her televised comments, Maliar said Ukrainian forces had captured part of the village of Opytne, south of the eastern city of Avdiivka, and had "partial success" near the village of Novomaiors’ke in the eastern region of Donetsk.
Kyiv has retaken a series of villages and settlements during its counteroffensive, but its soldiers have been hampered by vast Russian minefields and trenches.
Reuters was not able to verify the reports.
Tatiana Vorozhko Koprowicz of VOA's Ukrainian Service contributed to this report from New Delhi. Some information came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.