Live blog | Gazprom can no longer supply gas to large European companies; Zelenski fires dozens of security staff

International19 Jul ’22 06:10Author: BNR Web Editor

It is day 145 of the war in Ukraine. Follow the latest updates on the war in Ukraine and its consequences in this liveblog.

Cottages for Ukrainians in a hurry

03:34 | Since Sunday, travelers have occupied a center for the reception of Ukrainian refugees in Alkmaar. The twelve cabins annexing caravans in which refugees are to be accommodated from August have been squashed and are now occupied by housing-seeking caravan occupants, including young children.

Alkmaar City Councilor Gijsbert van Iterson Scholten from Alkmaar Municipality spoke for hours in the scorching sun on Monday with ‘squatters’: “We did not agree, but we spoke with a lot of mutual respect in a good atmosphere.”

On behalf of the group of tank residents, Tomas Vermanen says that the caravan residents were completely wrong when they saw the twelve caravans standing next to the Flamingos Association’s football pitch early Sunday morning: “I thought unbelievably that the caravans had been placed there for our young people. We have already made the municipality aware of the possibility of realizing a new caravan center near these football pitches. The municipality has been negotiating with us for decades. And now that it is about refugees, caravans can suddenly be built in six weeks. “

Northern Macedonia and Albania’s negotiations on EU membership begin

03:32 | Neighboring countries Northern Macedonia and Albania are opening accession negotiations in Brussels for membership of the European Union. The two Balkan countries have long been candidates for membership and have been waiting for this moment with growing impatience. Both prime ministers, Dimitar Kovačevski from northern Macedonia and Edi Rama from Albania, will travel to Brussels for a kick-off. They will be welcomed at 9.00 by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

Northern Macedonia applied to join the EU club in early 2004 and became a candidate in late 2005. But then followed a long path full of obstacles for the republic of the former Yugoslavia. The EU neighboring countries Greece and Bulgaria were opposed, and the country had to change its name from Macedonia to northern Macedonia. In 2009, Albania applied for EU membership. The country became a candidate in 2014. The two countries were linked to the journey towards EU membership.

Now that all barriers have been removed, the real work can begin. The negotiations contain 35 chapters that the countries must complete, for example on transport and agriculture. They must implement the EU’s common laws and regulations and meet the conditions of democracy, human rights and the economy. It can all take years.

Zelenski is sending dozens of security staff away

01:47 | Ukrainian President Zelensky has fired dozens of SBU security personnel. The day before, he had already suspended the head of the SBU, Ivan Bakanov. In previous reports, there was dismissal. In addition, Ukrainian Chief Prosecutor Iryna Venediktova was suspended.

It is not clear who the 28 SBU employees who have been sent away are. According to Zelensky, these are officials at ‘different levels and different areas of interest’. The reason is the same for everyone, he said in a video speech: “Unsatisfactory work results.”

Cooperation with the Russian occupying forces was not specifically mentioned as a cause among the 28 officials. This is a major problem among SBU staff, Zelensky said yesterday. At least 60 SBU employees and public prosecutors are working with the Russians in occupied territory, the president said. That was one of the reasons for suspending Bakanov and Venice.

Bakanov has also been accused of several failed attempts to control Ukrainian territory. Kherson fell without much Ukrainian resistance, in part because SBU staff failed to blow up a bridge. This allowed the Russians to drive directly into the city.

Temporary replacements have since been appointed. The leadership of the SBU has been taken over by Vasil Malyuk, who was previously tasked with fighting corruption in the security services. Venediktova has been replaced by his assistant Oleksiy Symonenko.

Gazprom can no longer supply gas to major European customers due to “force majeure”

00:02 | The Russian state-owned company Gazprom has reported to several customers that gas supplies can no longer be guaranteed due to ‘force majeure’. Among these customers are the major German gas importer Uniper, which is already in serious trouble, and RWE, a German energy company operating internationally.

An anonymous source confirms to Reuters that the deliveries are made through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. It is currently down for maintenance. There were already fears that Russia would use this meeting to further limit or stop the gas supply to Europe.

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