The alliance is a source of fear among Westerners. But Russia and China “are not creating a military bloc”, assured Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday, November 8, while receiving Chinese officials in Moscow.
“Unlike certain aggressive Western countries, we are not creating a military bloc,” he declared, according to a press release from his ministry, assuring that this cooperation was not “directed against third countries”. The minister received a delegation in Moscow including General Zhang Youxia, vice-president of the Central Military Commission.
Russian official killed
Ukrainian MP Mikhail Filiponenko, a former military official in the Russian-occupied Luhansk region, died when his car exploded in what appeared to be a car bomb. The information published on Wednesday, November 8 comes from the local site Lug-info, which cites the victim’s son.
Another local deputy in this occupied region, Yuri Yurov, affirmed on Telegram that Mikhail Filiponenko had already been targeted by a bomb attack in Lugansk against his vehicle, on February 21, 2022. He had emerged alive “by a miracle” from this explosion, according to this source, and only its driver was injured. According to Yuri Yurov, Mikhail Filiponenko was one of the founders of the Lugansk separatist army in 2014, at the start of the war between kyiv and these pro-Russian troops supported by Moscow.
Brussels will give its opinion on Ukraine’s accession
The European Commission will deliver its opinion today, Wednesday, November 8, on whether or not to open negotiations for Ukraine’s accession to the EU. kyiv has been desperately pushing for membership for months. In June 2022, the EU granted it candidate status, in a highly symbolic gesture a few months after the start of the war.
To move on to negotiations, Ukraine must meet seven reference conditions, particularly in terms of the fight against corruption and judicial reforms. “I am confident that you can achieve your ambitious goal, that is to say, the historic decision to open the process of accession negotiations this year,” declared this weekend in Kiev the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, for whom “more than 90%” of the work has been done. Even if the Commission is positive, the 27 will still have to approve or not this decision at a summit in December. If validated, the membership negotiation phase can then last for years. For his part, the Ukrainian president promised his people on Tuesday that “Ukraine will be part of the EU.”
200 new French millions for the kyiv army
The government will resubscribe 200 million euros to France’s support fund in Kiev, to allow the Ukrainian army to continue its purchases of French military equipment, announced Tuesday the Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, before the ‘National Assembly. This extension was voted by amendment to integrate the “end of management” finance bill for the year 2023, which will be completed this Wednesday, November 8 in the hemicycle. “This will also allow us to pivot into a new strategy of acquiring new equipment for the Ukrainian army,” added the minister, judging that the war in Ukraine is “a conflict from which we must not turn away.” .
G7 support ‘will never waver’
Southern G7 members promised Wednesday from Tokyo that the group would remain “united” in its “firm support” for Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion, and that this support will “never waver.” And this “even in the current international situation”, an implicit reference to the Israel-Hamas conflict. They also affirmed that they would continue to impose “severe sanctions” on Moscow, to accelerate Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts in the “medium and long term” and to “work towards a peace process” with d other international partners, according to a press release from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The heads of diplomacy of the G7 nations also “strongly condemned” North Korean arms transfers to Russia, recalling that they were “in direct violation” of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Russia targets ICC judge
Russia on Wednesday added a judge from the International Criminal Court (ICC), Costa Rican Sergio Gerarde Ugaldo Godinez, to its list of people wanted “in the context of a criminal investigation”, without specifying the reason. He is the second, after ICC prosecutor Karim Khan, already placed on the list last May.
The International Criminal Court itself issued an arrest warrant last spring for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The threat of arrest if he travels has the effect of hindering the leader in his international travel. He was therefore unable to go to the Brics or G20 summits this year.