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'Russia launched war on Ukraine': NATO chief calls for summit of leaders

NATO's secretary-general says Russia has launched war on Ukraine and shattered peace on the European continent.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, is interviewed outside the United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, during the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. (AP Photo)

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General (AP Photo)

AP Brussels
NATO's secretary-general says Russia has launched war on Ukraine and shattered peace on the European continent.
Jens Stoltenberg called for a summit of NATO alliance leaders for Friday.
Stoltenberg said that this is a deliberate, cold-blooded and long-planned invasion. And he charged that Russia is using force to try to rewrite history.
Russia launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine earlier Thursday, hitting cities and bases with airstrikes or shelling. Ukraine's government said Russian tanks and troops rolled across the border.
Helsinki: NATO member Lithuania, which has borders with Russian ally Belarus and Russia's exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea, has declared a state of emergency effective early Thursday afternoon due to the situation in Ukraine.
The decree signed Thursday by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda steps up border protection. It gives authorities, among other things, the right to check and inspect vehicles, persons and luggage in the border area.
Lithuania also borders fellow NATO and European Union members Poland and Latvia.
Ankara: Turkey has called on Russia to halt what it describes as unfair and unlawful actions in Ukraine.
A Turkish Foreign Ministry statement on Thursday said the Russian attacks were unacceptable and that Turkey rejects them.
This attack, beyond destroying the Minsk agreements, is a grave violation of international law and poses a serious threat to the security of our region and of the world, the ministry statement said, referring to deals that aimed to restore peace in eastern Ukraine.
The statement added that Turkey opposes moves that change borders through the use of weapons.
Berlin: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has condemned Russia's attack on Ukraine, calling it a dark day for Europe and expressing his country's full solidarity with Kyiv.
Scholz said in a statement at the chancellery in Berlin on Thursday that new sanctions to be imposed on Russia by Germany and its allies would show that Putin has made a serious mistake with his war.
Addressing NATO allies in eastern Europe, Scholz said Germany understood their worries in light of the latest developments and stands by its commitments within the alliance.
Scholz said he and French President Emmanuel Macron proposed soon holding an in-person meeting of the heads of government of NATO member states.
Brussels: NATO has agreed to beef up its land, sea and air forces on its eastern flank near Ukraine and Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military offensive in Ukraine.
NATO ambassadors said in a statement after emergency talks Thursday that we have increased the readiness of our forces to respond to all contingencies.
While some of NATO's 30 member countries are supplying arms, ammunition and other equipment to Ukraine, NATO as an organization is not. It will not launch any military action in support of Ukraine.
Countries closest to the conflict Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland are among those to have triggered rare consultations under Article 4 of NATO's founding treaty, which can be launched when the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the (NATO) parties is threatened.
We have decided, in line with our defensive planning to protect all allies, to take additional steps to further strengthen deterrence and defense across the Alliance, the envoys said in a statement. Our measures are and remain preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory.
Kyiv: An adviser to Ukraine's president says that Russian forces forged 10-20 kilometers (6-12 miles) deep into the Chernihiv region of northern Ukraine and are regrouping to continue the offensive.
But Oleksiy Arestovich said Thursday that Kyiv is under reliable protection and they will face tough battles.
Arestovich said that fighting is going on 4-5 kilometers (2 -3 miles) north of Ukraine's second-largest city of Kharkiv, in the country's northeast. He said Ukrainian troops destroyed four Russian tanks there.
The adviser said that Russian troops that moved into Ukraine from Russian-annexed Crimea are trying to advance toward Melitopol and Kherson.
Jerusalem: Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has condemned Russia's attack on Ukraine as a grave violation of the international order.
Lapid told reporters on Thursday that Israel is prepared to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine and urged Israeli citizens to leave the country.
Israel is a country well-versed in war. War is not the way to resolve conflicts, he said, adding that there was still a chance for a negotiated solution.
Bucharest: Moldova's president says the country's Supreme Security Council has decided to ask parliament to introduce a state of emergency following Russia's attack on neighbouring Ukraine.
President Maia Sandu said Thursday that Russia's attack on Ukraine is a flagrant violation of international norms.
Sandu urged Moldovan citizens in Ukraine to return home. Moldova, a former Soviet republic and one of Europe's poorest nations, has a population of around 3.5 million and is not a NATO member.
There are now concerns in Moldova that the neighbouring conflict could trigger an influx of refugees. Sandu said that at the border crossing points with Ukraine there is an increase in traffic flow.
She added that we will help people who need our support. At this moment, we are ready to accommodate tens of thousands of people.
Kyiv: An adviser to Ukraine's president says about 40 people have been killed so far in the Russian attack on the country.
Oleksiy Arestovich, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday that several dozen people have been wounded.
He didn't specify whether the casualties included civilians.
Zelenskyy said the Ukrainian authorities will hand weapons to all those willing to defend the country.
The future of the Ukrainian people depends on every Ukrainian, he said, urging all those who can defend the country to come to the Interior Ministry's assembly facilities.
Ankara: Ukraine's ambassador to Turkey has called on the NATO member country to close its airspace and to shut down the straits at the entrance of the Black Sea to Russian ships.
We are calling for the airspace, Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to be closed, Ambassador Vasyl Bodnar told reporters on Thursday. We have conveyed our relevant demand to the Turkish side. At the same time, we want sanctions imposed on the Russian side.
A 1936 convention gives Turkey control over the straits connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, and allows it to limit the passage of warships during wartime or if Turkey is threatened.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened an emergency security meeting to discuss the Russian attack on Ukraine.
Turkey, which enjoys close relations with both Ukraine and Russia, had been pressing for a diplomatic solution to the tensions.
Kyiv: Ukraine's president says his country has cut diplomatic ties with Russia after it was attacked.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the decision to rupture ties with Moscow on Thursday after it launched a massive air and missile attack on its neighbor and Russian forces were seen rolling into Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials say the country's military is fighting back and asked for Western defense assistance.
Kyiv: A Ukrainian presidential adviser says that Russian forces have launched an attack on Ukraine from the north, east and south. The adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said the Ukrainian military is fighting hard.
Podolyak said Thursday that "our army is fighting back inflicting significant losses to the enemy. He said that there have been civilian casualties, but didn't give details.
He said that Ukraine now needs a greater and very specific support from the world military-technical, financial as well as tough sanctions against Russia, he said.
Another adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia has targeted air bases and various other military infrastructure.
Beijing: China's customs agency on Thursday approved imports of wheat from all regions of Russia, a move that could help to reduce the impact of possible Western sanctions imposed over Moscow's attack on Ukraine.
The two governments announced an agreement Feb. 8 for China to import Russian wheat and barley after Russian President Vladimir became the highest-profile foreign guest to attend the Beijing Winter Olympics.
China's populous market is a growth area for other farm goods suppliers, but Beijing had barred imports until now from Russia's main wheat-growing areas due to concern about possible fungus and other contamination.
Russia is one of the biggest wheat producers but its exports would be vulnerable if its foreign markets block shipments in response to its attack on Ukraine.
Thursday's announcement said Russia would take all measures to prevent contamination by wheat smut fungus and would suspend exports to China if it was found.
Berlin: Germany's foreign minister says that we woke up in a different world today.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a televised statement that after months of preparing lies and propaganda, President Putin decided today to let his threats be followed with terrible deeds.
Baerbock said that the Russian government is breaking the most elementary rules of the international order in front of the eyes of the world.
Baerbock said German diplomats remaining in Kyiv would leave the capital. A decision would be made whether the embassy could resume its work from Lviv.
Moscow: Security camera footage shows a line of Russian military vehicles crossing into Ukraine from Russian-annexed Crimea.
Russian troops launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine on Thursday. President Vladimir Putin cast aside international condemnation and sanctions and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to consequences you have never seen.
Kyiv: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is urging global leaders to provide defense assistance to Ukraine and help protect its airspace from the aggressor.
Zelenskyy said Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin "has unleased a war with Ukraine and the entire democratic world. He added that the Russian leader wants to destroy our state, everything that we have built.
He praised the nation's soldiers, hailing their courage and urged civilians not to panic.
We are starting the creation of an anti-Putin coalition, he said. I have already urged global leaders to slam Putin with all possible sanctions, offer large-scale defense support and close the airspace over Ukraine for the aggressor.
Together we must save Ukraine, save the democratic world, and we will do it, Zelenskyy said.
Beijing: World stock markets have plunged and oil prices surged by nearly $6 per barrel after President Vladimir Putin launched Russian military action in Ukraine.
Market benchmarks tumbled in Europe and Asia and US futures were sharply lower. Brent crude oil jumped to over $100 per barrel Thursday on unease about possible disruption of Russian supplies.
The ruble sank 7.5% to more than $87 to the US dollar. Earlier, Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index fell 1.8% to an eight-month low after the Kremlin said rebels in eastern Ukraine asked for military assistance.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 24 2022 | 5:42 PM IST

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