- Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has held talks with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, offering to facilitate the reopening of Ukrainian ports.
- The Kremlin says Putin told Erdogan that Russia is ready to facilitate the unhindered export of grain from Ukrainian ports in coordination with Turkey.
- France announces the opening of a war crimes probe into the killing of journalist Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff, French media outlets have reported.
- European Union countries meeting in Brussels to discuss more sanctions on Moscow fail to agree to a ban of Russian oil imports.
Here are all the latest updates:
Russia ‘clearly’ seeking global food crisis, Zelenskyy says
Zelenskyy has said the Russian blockade of Ukrainian seaports prevents Kyiv from exporting 22 million tonnes of grain.
In his nightly address, Zelenskyy said the result is the threat of famine in countries dependent on the grain and could create a new migration crisis. “This is something the Russian leadership clearly seeks,” he said.
Zelenskyy accused Moscow of “deliberately creating this problem so that the whole of Europe struggles and so that Ukraine doesn’t earn billions of dollars from its exports.”
Moscow has blamed Western sanctions for the crisis – a claim Zelenskyy dismissed as “cynical”.
WNBA star calls for bringing Brittney Griner ‘home’
Basketball star Breanna Stewart has called from bringing home her fellow Women’s NBA player Brittney Griner who has been detained in Russia since February.
“We are paying attention and we are counting on you,” Stewart said in a tweet addressing the White House.
It has been 102 days since our friend, Brittney Griner, has been wrongfully detained in Russia. It is time for her to come home. @WhiteHouse, we are paying attention and we are counting on you. #WeAreBG pic.twitter.com/JrmxiPD4Kw
— Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) May 30, 2022
France opens war crimes probe into killing of journalist: Reports
France has announced the opening of a war crimes probe into the killing of journalist Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff and the wounding of his colleague Maxime Brandstaetter during Russian shelling in eastern Ukraine, French media outlets have reported.
The French journalist was working for the BFM television news channel, which said he was 32 years old and on his second Ukraine reporting trip since the war began on February 24.
France’s national anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said it was also investigating five other incidents involving French citizens, AFP reported.
Zelenskyy warns against succumbing to Russian ‘blackmail’ on food supplies
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked France not to succumb to Russian “blackmail” over food supplies at a meeting with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, his office has said.
In its summary of the talks, the Ukrainian presidency accused Russia of using food security issues in an attempt to have international sanctions eased. Kyiv has said Moscow is looting grain and farm equipment from regions its troops hold in Ukraine and of obstructing Ukraine’s exports of grain.
Zelenskyy’s office said he and Colonna discussed sanctions, weapons supplies and Ukrainian aspirations to join the European Union.
The war in Ukraine has contributed to a global hike in food prices, raising fear of worsening the hunger crises in many places around the world.
German politicians agree to $107bn deal to boost military
Germany’s government and conservative opposition have agreed a deal that will release 100bn euros ($107bn) to modernise the country’s army in response to Russia.
An agreement was reached to create a special fund for military procurement that will also allow Berlin to achieve NATO’s target of spending two percent of GDP on defence.
The deal, which involves amending budgetary rules in the national constitution, was struck after weeks of difficult negotiations between the parties in the governing coalition and the conservatives of former chancellor Angela Merkel, representatives of these groups told the AFP news agency.
Erdogan holds separate talks with Putin, Zelenskyy
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has held talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, offering to facilitate the reopening of Ukrainian ports.
“During the discussion of the situation in Ukraine, emphasis was placed on ensuring safe navigation in the Black and Azov seas and eliminating the mine threat in their waters,” the Kremlin said of Putin’s call with Erdogan.
For its part, Ankara said Erdogan told Putin that peace needed to be established as soon as possible and that Turkey was ready to take on a role in an “observation mechanism” between Moscow, Kyiv and the United Nations, if an agreement is reached.
Erdogan later said that he “especially valued the project to create a secure sea route for exporting Ukrainian agricultural products”, according to his office, adding the Turkish leader welcomed, in principle, the idea of making Istanbul a headquarters for the “observation mechanism”.
No EU agreement on Russian oil embargo
European Union countries meeting in Brussels to discuss more sanctions on Moscow have failed to agree on a ban of Russian oil imports, despite last-minute haggling before the two-day summit.
The EU has rolled out five packages of sanctions against Russia since its troops invaded Ukraine, but an agreement on an oil embargo has proved elusive because so many countries depend on Russian crude.
“There is no compromise for this moment at all,” said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose country has been the main holdout for a deal.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Read all the updates from Monday, May 30 here.