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Zelensky to continue Europe tour with Sunak meeting in UK

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President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to travel to Britain for a meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday, following visits by the Ukrainian President in recent days to meet leaders in Italy, Germany and France. Zelensky visited Paris on Sunday for three-hour meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron resulting in a pledge from France for additional military aid for Ukraine, including light tanks, armored vehicles and training for soldiers. Follow our live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

8:53am: UK to give Ukraine ‘hundreds’ of air-defence missiles and drones

Britain said Monday that it would deliver “hundreds” of both air-defence missiles and long-range attack drones to Ukraine, as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak prepared to host President Volodymyr Zelensky for talks.

“This is a crucial moment in Ukraine’s resistance to a terrible war of aggression they did not choose or provoke,” Sunak said in a statement ahead of their talks at his country retreat of Chequers.

8:13am: Zelensky to meet British PM Sunak

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday he would travel to Britain for a meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

“Today – London. The UK is a leader when it comes to expanding our capabilities on the ground and in the air. This cooperation will continue today,” Zelenskiy said on Twitter.

“I will meet my friend Rishi. We will conduct substantive negotiations face-to-face and in delegations.”

7:51am: Ukraine hails ‘first success’ in Bakhmut offensive

The defence of Bakhmut continues and recent days have shown that Ukraine can move forward and counter the Russian forces there, the commander of Ukrainian ground forces Colonel general Oleksandr Syrskyi said on Monday.

“The advance of our troops along the Bakhmut direction – that is the first successful offensive operation in the city’s defence,” Syrskyi, was quoted as saying on Ukraine’s Media Military Centre Telegram messaging platform.

“The last few days have shown that we can move forward and destroy the enemy even in such extremely difficult conditions … The operation to defend Bakhmut continues. All necessary decisions for the defence have been made.”

5:00am: Top Chinese envoy to visit Ukraine, Russia on ‘peace’ mission

A top Chinese envoy will begin a tour of Ukraine, Russia and other European cities on Monday in a trip Beijing says is aimed at discussing a “political settlement” to the Ukraine crisis.

Li Hui, China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs and former ambassador to Russia, will also visit Poland, France,Germany on the multi-day trip, the foreign ministry announced Friday without providing a detailed schedule.

“The visit … is a testament to China’s efforts towards promoting peace talks, and fully demonstrates China’s firm commitment to peace,” foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily briefing.

3:34am: Ukraine says captured over ‘ten enemy positions’ in Bakhmut

Kyiv said Sunday that Ukrainian forces had captured more than ten Russian positions on the outskirts of the frontline city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.

“Today our units have captured more than ten enemy positions in the northern and southern outskirts of Bakhmut,” Deputy Defence Minister Ganna Malyar said on social media.

“Enemy soldiers of various units have been captured,” she said.

“Anyone who knows the real situation and is there now understands the gravity of what is happening,” Malyar added.

3:00am: Wagner head offered to reveal Russian troop locations to Ukraine 

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner mercenary force, offered to reveal the position of Russian troops to the Ukranian government, the Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing leaked US intelligence documents.

Wagner’s soldiers have been at the forefront of a bloody Russian offensive to take the city of Bakhmut. In exchange for Ukraine withdrawing its soldiers from the area, Prigozhin in January offered to tell its intelligence service the positions of Russian forces, the Post reported.

The paper said Ukraine rejected the offer.

12:57am: France promises Ukraine more light tanks, armoured cars

France on Monday announced dozens more light tanks and armoured vehicles for several battalions of Ukraine’s army, together with training for the soldiers using them.

In their joint statement, French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also called for fresh sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

12:02am: G7 leaders to target Russian energy, trade in new sanctions steps 

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations plan to tighten sanctions on Russia at their summit in Japan this week, with steps aimed at energy and exports aiding Moscow’s war effort, said officials with direct knowledge of the discussions.

New measures announced by the leaders during the May 19-21 meetings will target sanctions evasion involving third countries, and seek to undermine Russia’s future energy production and curb trade that supports Russia’s military, the people said.

Separately, US officials also expect G7 members will agree to adjust their approach to sanctions so that, at least for certain categories of goods, all exports are automatically banned unless they are on a list of approved items.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said last month a G7 move to ban exports to the country would cause Moscow to terminate a Black Sea grain deal that enables vital exports of grain from Ukraine.

Key developments from Sunday, May 14:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday Kyiv and its Western supporters could make a Russian defeat in the war in Ukraine “irreversible” as early as this year and thanked Germany for being a “true friend” during a visit to Berlin.

France said it will send dozens of armoured vehicles and light tanks, including the AMX-10RCs fighting vehicles, to Ukraine in the coming weeks. It made the announcement after a working dinner between French President Emmanuel Macron and Zelensky in Paris.

On Saturday, Zelensky met Italian leaders, and Pope Francis, in Rome.

Read yesterday’s live blog to see how the day’s events unfolded


© France Médias Monde graphic studio


(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP & Reuters)

This story originally appeared on France24

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