The Minister of Economy promotes German investments. After the arrest of alleged spies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summons the Russian ambassador.

Robert Habeck and Julija Swyrydenko hold flowers in their hands and walk along a wall in kyiv

Economy Minister Habeck promotes German companies to his counterpart Julija Swyrydenko Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa

Habeck visits the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv

Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) arrived in Ukraine on a visit on Thursday. Habeck arrived in the capital, kyiv, by train in the morning, a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Economy confirmed. There he wants to meet, among others, with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko and Minister of Energy Herman Halushchenko, as announced by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Habeck will be accompanied on his trip by a business delegation. This shows “that the German economy also has its sights set on Ukraine's future in Europe,” Habeck explained. “Comprehensive support to Ukraine also includes support for resilient energy supplies and reconstruction.” For this to be successful, “private sector investments are essential,” the minister emphasized. As a future EU member with a “very well-educated population,” Ukraine offers opportunities for German and international companies.

The talks will focus, among other things, on Russia's recent attacks on the country's energy infrastructure, targeted emergency aid, and bilateral economic, energy and climate relations. According to the Ministry of Economy, the trip also serves to prepare for the Ukraine Reconstruction Conference, which the federal government will organize together with the Ukrainian government in Berlin on June 11 and 12, 2024. Last week, the Federal Cabinet approved a 15-point plan for the economic reconstruction of Ukraine. (afp/taz)

After the arrests: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summons the ambassador

The arrest of two suspects of alleged espionage for Russia has diplomatic consequences: Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) summoned the Russian ambassador in Berlin to the Foreign Ministry, a spokesperson reported on Thursday. The federal prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe had earlier announced that two men had been detained in Bayreuth for allegedly spying for Russia and planning acts of sabotage.

According to the Federal Prosecutor's Office, the detained Russian Germans would have explored possible attack targets, including US military installations in Germany. The objective was “to undermine the military support provided by Germany to Ukraine against the Russian war of aggression.” Specifically, these were “explosives and arson attacks, especially against military infrastructure and industrial sites in Germany.”

Police on Wednesday arrested two men in Bavaria who were allegedly spying for Russia. The two German-Russian citizens are strongly suspected of having worked for a foreign secret service in a particularly serious case, as the federal prosecutor general announced before the Federal Court of Justice on Thursday. One of the two, Dieter S., is also charged with conspiracy to cause an explosion and arson, in addition to acting as an agent for sabotage and representing military installations that endanger security.

He Mirror reported first. Specifically, Dieter S. would have been talking to a person linked to a Russian secret service since at least October last year about possible sabotage operations in Germany. The actions were aimed, in particular, at undermining the military support that Germany provides to Ukraine against the Russian war of aggression. In this context, Dieter S. would have declared to his interlocutor that he was willing to carry out attacks with explosives and arson attacks, especially on infrastructure used by military and industrial facilities in Germany.

Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) said: “We know that the Russian power apparatus also targets our country. Germany must respond to this threat defensively and decisively.” With the arrest of the two men, the federal attorney general achieved “another important investigative success” in the fight against Russian President Vladimir Putin's sabotage and espionage network. (dpa/afp)

Drone attack in western Ukraine

Russia has attacked the western Ukrainian region of Ivano-Frankivsk with drones, according to local authorities. The target was critical infrastructure, regional governor Svitlana Onyschtschuk said on the short message service Telegram. Ukrainian air defense shot down all drones.

However, the debris started fires. There were no injuries. Initially there was no information available regarding damage to critical infrastructure facilities. Russia has increased its airstrikes against Ukraine's energy system and other infrastructure in recent weeks. (rtr)

China promotes peace conference

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the representative of the Chinese Government for Eurasian Affairs, Li Hui, consulted with the Ukrainian ambassador to that country, Pavlo Riabikin, in Beijing. The two exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis in a meeting on Wednesday. Another topic was bilateral relations between China and Ukraine. The ministry does not provide any details.

Li Hui is his government's special envoy to Ukraine and was previously ambassador to Moscow. In March he said China wanted an international peace conference in which Russia and Ukraine would participate on equal terms. The Chinese government has supported the international peace conference planned in Switzerland. Switzerland will host this meeting in mid-June at the request of Ukraine. Russia has said it will not participate. (rtr)

Ukraine attacks Belgorod again

According to local authorities, Russian air defense intercepted 14 Ukrainian missiles over the Belgorod border region on Wednesday afternoon. Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov explains on the Telegram text messaging service that the target was the city of the same name, Belgorod. No one was injured. However, several houses were damaged in the Ukrainian airstrike.

A single drone was also intercepted and destroyed over Voronezh province, local governor Alexander Gusev said. A woman was injured and several buildings were damaged. Voronezh and Belgorod are located in southern Russia and both border Ukraine. They have repeatedly been the target of Ukrainian attacks. (rtr)

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