sunny.png
Saturday May 21st, 2022 9:22AM

Live updates | Finland in favor of joining NATO

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HELSINKI — Finland’s president and prime minister say they’re in favor of applying for NATO membership, paving the way for the alliance to expand in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The announcement by President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin on Thursday means Finland is virtually certain to seek NATO membership though a few steps remain before the application process can begin.

Neighboring Sweden is expected to decide on joining NATO in coming days.

Niinisto and Marin said in a joint statement: “As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defense alliance.”

They said that Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay, adding: "We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.”

___

KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:

— Ukraine offers to swap prisoners for hurt Mariupol fighters

— Quick Senate OK ahead for House-passed $40B aid for Ukraine

— Wives of Mariupol defenders to pope: ‘You are our last hope’

— Wartime birth amid the air raid sirens in Ukraine hospital

— Follow all AP stories on Russia’s war on Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

___

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

President Vladimir Putin has reaffirmed Russia’s determination to wrest separatist-held territory from Ukraine in a congratulatory message to the head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine.

Russia backed the separatists for years and recognized them as independent on the eve of invading Ukraine.

In a statement released by the Kremlin on Thursday, Putin said: “I am sure that through our joint efforts we will defend the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the Luhansk republic.

Meanwhile, the head of the Luhansk self-proclaimed republic, Leonid Pasechnik, said Thursday that it would never return to Ukrainian control and that most of its residents want it to become part of Russia.

Russian migration authorities also reported that 15,000 people had crossed from Ukraine’s Donbas region to Russia’s Rostov region in 24 hours, according to Russian state news agency Tass. The number couldn’t be verified and the circumstances of the crossings were unclear.

___

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s military says Russian forces are continuing airstrikes on the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol and pressing their advance on towns in eastern Ukraine.

In its operational statement for Day 78 of the war, the Ukrainian military’s General Staff says Russian forces have also fired artillery and grenade launchers at Ukrainian troops in the direction of Zaporizhzhia, which has been a refuge for civilians fleeing Mariupol.

It did not elaborate on the latest action around Azovstal.

The military says Russian forces also fired artillery at Ukrainian units north of the city of Kharkiv in the northeast, and reported Russian strikes in the Chernihiv and Sumy regions to the north.

Across the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine, site of sustained fighting since the war began, the Ukrainian military noted “partial success” in Russia’s advance. It said Ukrainian forces repulsed nine Russian attacks and destroyed several drones and military vehicles. The information could not be independently verified.

___

KYIV, Ukraine — An adviser to the Mariupol mayor said Wednesday that Russian forces have blocked all evacuation routes out of the city.

The adviser, Petro Andriushchenko, said there were few apartment buildings fit to live in after the weeks of bombardment and very little food or drinking water.

Andriushchenko said some residents who have remained in the city are cooperating with the Russian occupying forces in exchange for food.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says Ukraine has offered to release Russian prisoners of war if Russia will allow the badly injured fighters to be evacuated from the Mariupol steel plant.

Russian forces have surrounded the plant, the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in the southern port city.

Vereshchuk said no agreement has been reached but negotiations were underway. The fighters trapped in the plant have refused to surrender to the Russians, saying they fear being tortured or killed.

___

WASHINGTON — U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said a ban on sales of semiconductors and other technology to Russia by the U.S. and its allies is having a serious impact on Russia’s ability to manufacture military equipment.

“We have reports from Ukrainians that when they find Russian equipment, military equipment, on the ground, it’s filled with semiconductors that they took out of dishwashers and refrigerators,” Raimondo said Wednesday during a Senate hearing, adding that she met a few weeks ago with Ukraine’s prime minister.

Raimondo said two of Russia’s tank manufacturing plants have shut and many of its auto makers have furloughed workers and closed down.

“And so the point is, we are having a very serious effect,” she said. “What we need to do in order to continue this is enforcement, enforcement, enforcement.”

Raimondo said U.S. exports of technology to Russia are down nearly 70% since late February when the Biden administration, in coordination with European and Asian allies, imposed sanctions and export controls on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

__

WASHINGTON — Final congressional approval of a $40 billion Ukraine aid bill seems certain within days, according to some lawmakers.

The Senate’s top Republicans said Wednesday they expect strong GOP backing for the House-passed measure. That will signal a bipartisan, heightened commitment to helping thwart the bloody Russian invasion.

In his nightly video address Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said funds from the aid bill will allow Ukraine to get more weapons and equipment plus help investigate war crimes by Russia.

The bill also would help regional allies, replenish weapons the Pentagon has shipped overseas and provide $5 billion to address global food shortages caused by the war’s crippling of Ukraine’s normally robust production of many crops.

The new measure includes $6 billion to arm and train Ukrainian forces, $8.7 billion to restore American stores of weapons shipped to Ukraine and $3.9 billion for U.S. forces deployed to the area.

There’s also $8.8 billion in economic support for Ukraine, $4 billion to help Ukraine and allies finance arms and equipment purchases and $900 million for housing, education and other help for Ukrainian refugees in the U.S.

__

BERLIN — The U.N. nuclear agency says it is again receiving remote data from the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine following an interruption caused by the Russian occupation of the site.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said late Wednesday that data transmission was re-established following a visit by its inspectors and technicians in April, after Russian forces withdrew.

The agency said it was the first time in two months that it has received remote data from all nuclear power plants and spent fuel storage facilities in Ukraine where monitoring systems are in place.

Its head, Rafael Mariano Grossi, said this was “a very important step for the IAEA to continue to implement safeguards in Ukraine.”

Grossi cautioned, though, that on-site verification at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant “continues to be challenging owing to the presence of Russian forces and Rosatom personnel at the site,” calling the situation “unsustainable.”

Grossi said he has proposed leading an expert visit to Zaporizhzhya “after the necessary consultations and at the earliest possible opportunity.”

___

MOSCOW — The governor of a Russian region near Ukraine says that at least one civilian has been killed and another six have been wounded in the Ukrainian shelling of a village close to the border.

Belgorod Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said that the village of Solokhi came under shelling from the Ukrainian side late Wednesday. He said that the village residents will be evacuated.

Gladkov’s account couldn’t be independently verified. Russian authorities in the regions near Ukraine have repeatedly reported incidents when border areas came under Ukrainian shelling.

___

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has accused Russia of stealing the country’s grain and trying to sell some of it at global markets.

The ministry said in Wednesday’s commentary that the stealing of Ukrainian grain amounts to looting.

It warned countries that purchase Russian grain that some of its shipments could contain the grain stolen from Ukraine, making its buyers possible accomplices.

The ministry cited official estimates indicating that Russia already may have stolen 400,000-500,000 metric tons of grain that cost over $100 million. It charged that “practically all ships leaving Sevastopol with a load of grain are carrying the grain stolen from Ukraine.”

It urged the global community to toughen the sanctions against Russia.

___

TURIN, Italy – A Ukrainian band that’s competing in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest turned out in a Turin park for a rally with a few dozen of their compatriots to express solidarity for their war-ravaged homeland.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s competition, the Kalush Orchestra posed for photos with some 50 Ukrainians who live in Italy.

Each of the rally’s participants put a hand to the heart in a sign of devotion to Ukraine.

Kalush Orchestra this week was one of the entrants advancing to the finals of the wildly popular European annual songfest, whose winner will be decided on Saturday.

The Ukrainians rallied behind a stage where free concerts by some of the musical groups from among the 35 nations sending entries are held nightly on the sidelines of the actual competition.

The upbeat entry by Kalush Orchestra for the competition is a song that was composed by the band’s front-man as a tribute to his mother.

But the song, “Stefania,” has been transformed to a kind of anthem to Ukraine, which was invaded by its powerful neighbor Russia on Feb. 24.

The song quickly became a sentimental favorite for many of Eurovision’s fans.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News, AP Entertainment, AP Online Recordings News, AP Business, AP World News - International incidents, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Protesters vent fury at French company for staying in Russia
In the weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, a protest movement was born in Poland urging people to boycott companies that have chosen to keep operating in Russia
3:58AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Arrested Hong Kong cardinal a fiery critic of Beijing
The 90-year-old retired Hong Kong archbishop who was arrested by Hong Kong police on national security charges has long been a fiery critic of Beijing and the Vatican's efforts to reach a working arrangement with the ruling communists
3:55AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Live updates | Finland in favor of joining NATO
Finland’s president and prime minister say they’re in favor of applying for NATO membership, paving the way for the alliance to expand in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine
3:53AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Crypto comes to Washington. Will the millions buy influence?
Cryptocurrency tycoons are emerging as the new power players in American politics
12:13AM ( 3 hours ago )
Army poised to revamp Alaska forces to prep for Arctic fight
U.S. Army leaders say they are poised to revamp forces in Alaska to better prepare for future cold-weather conflicts
12:10AM ( 3 hours ago )
Biden hosts ASEAN as he looks to show Pacific commitment
President Joe Biden is hosting leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as his administration continues an effort to demonstrate that the United States hasn’t lost focus on the Pacific
12:09AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Live updates | Russia-Ukraine War
An adviser to the Mariupol mayor says Russian forces have blocked all evacuation routes out of the city
8:38PM ( 7 hours ago )
Conservative groups go against Trump, Oz in Pa. Senate race
Several prominent conservative groups are lining up behind Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Kathy Barnette as an alternative to Mehmet Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon endorsed by former President Donald Trump
8:12PM ( 7 hours ago )
Senate confirms Black economist to Federal Reserve Board
The Senate has confirmed economist Phillip Jefferson to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors
7:35PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Slain Al Jazeera journalist was icon of Palestinian coverage
A veteran Al Jazeera correspondent who was shot dead while reporting on an Israeli raid in the West Bank was a highly respected and familiar face in the Middle East
1:32AM ( 2 hours ago )
Passengers injured as plane leaves runway in western China
Several people were injured when a Chinese passenger jet left the runway upon takeoff and caught fire in western China
1:03AM ( 3 hours ago )
China fights economic slump, sticks to costly 'zero COVID'
China’s leaders are struggling to reverse a deepening economic slump without giving up a “zero-COVID” strategy that shut down Shanghai and other cities
12:52AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
Surprise! Justin Timberlake is in 'Candy' with Jessica Biel
Viewers tuning in to Thursday’s episode of “Candy,” starring Jessica Biel, may recognize a familiar face: Biel’s husband Justin Timberlake
12:00AM ( 4 hours ago )
Mario Batali acquittal underscores perils of #MeToo cases
Legal experts and victims’ advocates say celebrity chef Mario Batali’s acquittal on sexual assault charges underscores the inherent difficulties of prosecuting such cases nearly five years into the #MeToo era
6:21PM ( 9 hours ago )
2 shootings leave 10 injured, 1 dead on Chicago's South Side
Police say one person was killed and 10 more were injured in two shootings on Chicago's South Side just six hours apart
5:36PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Tarasenko hat trick helps Blues take 3-2 series lead on Wild
Vladimir Tarasenko had three goals in the third period to break open a tied game and series, and the St. Louis Blues pushed the Minnesota Wild to the edge of elimination with a 5-2 victory in Game 5
12:26AM ( 1 day ago )
Atlanta rapper Young Thug arrested on RICO, gang charges
The rapper Young Thug is in Atlanta's Fulton County Jail, accused of co-founding a criminal street gang
10:52AM ( 1 day ago )
Bono memoir 'Surrender' to be released in November
The long-rumored memoir by Bono, U2′s frontman, is coming out this fall
10:41AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Recordings News
Amid drought, California desalination project at crossroads
For more than two decades, California’s Orange County has debated whether to build a seaside plant to convert ocean water into drinking water in the hopes of buffering against ever-drier weather and drought
1:11AM ( 2 hours ago )
Asian shares track technology-led sell-off on Wall Street
Shares are lower in Asia after declines in stocks in technology companies led heavy selling on Wall Street following the release of price data that was worse than expected
12:15AM ( 3 hours ago )
Giannis jokes (?) about taking time off for Greek freakout
The Milwaukee Bucks are still alive in the NBA playoffs, but star Giannis Antetokounmpo is already joking about his plans for next year
11:38PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business
Al Jazeera reporter killed during Israeli raid in West Bank
Veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has been shot and killed while covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank
4:38PM ( 11 hours ago )
Ukraine shuts off Russian pipeline amid talk of annexation
Ukraine stopped the flow of Russian natural gas through one hub that feeds European homes and industry
3:01PM ( 13 hours ago )
Live updates | Italy’s premier pushes for talks to end war
Italy’s premier said Wednesday that Ukraine’s leaders must start shaping their terms for an acceptable peace deal, especially in light of Russia’s surprising failure to win its war outright
1:51PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP World News - International incidents
Biden sees bigger role for US farms due to Ukraine war
President Joe Biden is vowing to help American farmers try to ease a global spike in food prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
6:06PM ( 10 hours ago )
Beyond Meat shares tumble on lower-than-expected Q1 sales
Plant-based meat company Beyond Meat reported lower-than-expected sales in the first quarter as it slashed prices and demand from restaurants fell
5:05PM ( 11 hours ago )
Tech sector leads stocks lower as inflation remains high
Stocks fell on Wall Street Wednesday, led by more drops in technology companies, after a report on inflation came in worse than feared
4:34PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Live updates | Official: Plans for Kherson annexation
A Russia-installed official in Ukraine’s Kherson region says the region’s administration will ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to annex the region
6:49AM ( 21 hours ago )
Ukrainians stop Russian gas at one hub, make gains in east
Ukraine stopped the flow of Russian natural gas through a hub that feeds European homes and stoves
6:06AM ( 22 hours ago )
European shares gain, Asia mixed ahead of US inflation data
Shares have climbed in Europe after a mixed day in Asia ahead of the release of U.S. inflation data
5:26AM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Protesters vent fury at French company for staying in Russia
In the weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, a protest movement was born in Poland urging people to boycott companies that have chosen to keep operating in Russia
3:58AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Arrested Hong Kong cardinal a fiery critic of Beijing
The 90-year-old retired Hong Kong archbishop who was arrested by Hong Kong police on national security charges has long been a fiery critic of Beijing and the Vatican's efforts to reach a working arrangement with the ruling communists
3:55AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Finland's leaders in favor of applying for NATO membership
Finland’s president and prime minister say they’re in favor of applying for NATO membership
3:34AM ( 33 minutes ago )
LEADING OFF: Francona, Guardians hit with virus outbreak
The Cleveland Guardians are dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that has sidelined manager Terry Francona and several of the team’s coaches, prompting the first coronavirus-related postponement in Major League Baseball this season
3:18AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Russia continues steel mill airstrikes as Ukraine seeks deal
Russian forces were continuing their airstrikes on the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol and pressing their advance on towns in eastern Ukraine, according to Ukraine's military
3:12AM ( 55 minutes ago )