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Liveblog: ++ EU remains reluctant to deliver fighter jets ++


Ukrainian President Selenskyj is demanding the delivery of modern fighter jets – but there was no commitment at the EU summit. Another opposition leader was ordered to be arrested in Russia. All developments in the live blog.

3:12 a.m

Blinken does not exclude long-term negotiations on Ukraine’s borders

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken does not rule out long-term negotiations on Ukraine’s future borders. However, the decision to do so lies with the Ukrainians, he stressed to a parliamentary committee in Washington. Any peace agreement must be “just and lasting”.

Blinken emphasized that Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity must be preserved. “But how this is specifically defined in the territory, we’re waiting for the Ukrainians to tell us.” At the same time, the US Secretary of State added: “I believe there are areas in Ukraine where Ukrainians are determined to fight on the ground. And maybe there are areas where they decide they want to try to regained in other ways.”

According to observers, the head of US diplomacy let it be known that Washington does not believe that it is likely that Kiev’s troops will retake all of the Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia – especially Crimea.

3:01 a.m

Zelenskyj wants modern fighter jets – no commitments at the EU summit

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is urging the EU to supply Western fighter jets to defend against the Russian aggressor. “We need modern aircraft,” said Zelenskyj at an EU summit, to which he was connected via video. At the same time, he thanked Poland and Slovakia for the decision to provide Soviet MiG-29 fighter jets. “This will significantly strengthen the defense of our airspace.”

At the summit itself, however, possible fighter jet deliveries did not play a major role. The topic was not discussed in detail, said Austria’s Chancellor Karl Nehammer. EU Council President Charles Michel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen only emphasized that the decision on the delivery of such fighter jets must be made by the individual member states. Michel added that Ukraine needs “more support and more military equipment”.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz has already made his position clear several times: For him, the delivery of modern Western fighter jets is currently not an issue. “The debate makes no sense,” he said in February. Several other countries have been open to it.

3:01 a.m

Arrest of more opposition figures ordered in Russia

A Russian court has ordered the arrest of another opposition activist on charges of insulting the military. The arrest warrant issued is directed against the activist and blogger Maxim Katz, who has already left the country. He is accused of spreading alleged false information about the military – which can be punished with up to ten years in prison.

A few days after Russian troops began invading Ukraine, the Russian parliament passed a law criminalizing “false information” about the military. It starts with the fact that the military operation in Ukraine cannot be described as a war. The Russian leadership describes it as a military special operation.

Since then, courts across the country have handed down prison sentences on an increasing number of critics of the military crackdown, including well-known opposition politician Ilya Yashin. He was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison on charges of discrediting the military. Opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Mursa, who is awaiting trial, has been jailed on the same charge.