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Liveblog: ++ Church Asylum for Russian Conscientious Objectors? ++


The head of the council of the Evangelical Church in Kurschus believes that church asylum is possible for Russian conscientious objectors. EU foreign policy chief Borrell warns against becoming too dependent on China. The developments in the live blog.

8:15 a.m

Borrell warns against over-dependence on China

The European Union wants to avoid economic dependence on China as it did on Russia before, and expand trade with Latin America. “We noticed that dependencies, which were building blocks of peace, are also weapons that can be turned against us,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, referring to Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, in a speech at the Ibero-American Summit in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

This dependency “made Putin believe he could invade Ukraine with impunity” because Europe was “trapped in gas supplies, 40 percent of which came from Russia,” Borrell added. Such dependence on China must be avoided, he stressed.

8:15 a.m

Russia criticized for nuclear weapons announcement

The stationing of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus announced by the Kremlin has met with clear criticism from the German government. The Foreign Office in Berlin spoke of a “further attempt at nuclear intimidation”.

The Ukrainian government reacted demonstratively unimpressed to the announcement from Moscow. Shortly before, President Vladimir Putin had announced an armament program there that was said to be superior to western arms deliveries to Ukraine.

8:15 a.m

Strack-Zimmermann: A turning point also for procurement

The chair of the Defense Committee in the Bundestag, Strack-Zimmermann, wants to examine the separation of the Bundeswehr administration and the troops.

This separation is stipulated in the Basic Law. Strack-Zimmermann said that the turning point must also apply to procurement. She described the Bundeswehr’s procurement system as a “complicated conglomerate of institutions, processes and rules”. In a separation from the troops, she sees an opportunity to procure equipment and weapons for the Bundeswehr more quickly.

In response to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the Bundestag had decided on a special fund of 100 billion euros for equipping the long-neglected Bundeswehr. The fact that the options for action were not used last year has been clearly criticized by the Bundestag and the armaments industry. The sluggish start is also proof that money alone is not enough.

1:04 a.m

Church asylum for Russian conscientious objectors conceivable

The chairwoman of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Annette Kurschus, is not opposed to a possible church asylum for Russians who refuse to serve in Ukraine. “If a community decides to offer shelter to a Russian who doesn’t want to go to war, I could understand that,” Kurschus told the newspapers of the Funke media group.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “burns his own people. He creates misery in many Russian families,” said the Westphalian President. The decision to grant sanctuary rests with the individual parish, and it is always an individual and exceptional case in which the parish deals very carefully with the individual situation of this one concrete person.

12:30 a.m

The live blog from Saturday to read

According to Ukrainian forces, the situation in the heavily contested town of Bakhmut is stabilizing. US President Biden has so far had no indication that China is supplying weapons to Moscow.