War in Ukraine: what to remember from Friday, February 3

Friday, February 3 was marked by the announcement of arms deliveries from the United States, which will send longer-range rockets to Ukraine, as well as from France and Italy. , which will provide a medium-range air defense system. In addition, Berlin has authorized its manufacturers to deliver Leopard 1 combat tanks which they have in reserve.

For his part, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, affirmed that “the future of Ukraine is with the EU”, following a summit held in kyiv. The meeting focused on the process of Ukraine’s accession to the group of 27.

Ukraine to get longer range western weapons

The United States has announced new military aid to Ukraine totaling $2.2 billion, including rockets that could nearly double the range of Ukraine’s strike force, the Pentagon said. In particular, these are devices fired from the ground that can reach a target located 150 kilometers away and therefore threaten Russian positions behind the front lines.

At the same time, Paris announced that France and Italy would provide a medium-range surface-to-air defense system Mamba in the spring to help Ukraine “defend against attacks by drones, missiles and Russian planes”.

Green light from Germany to its manufacturers for the delivery of Leopard 1 tanks

Berlin has authorized its manufacturers to deliver Leopard 1 combat tanks which they have in reserve to Ukraine, German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said. He gave no details on the number of tanks involved and the delivery schedule to Ukraine.

The Leopard 1 are the predecessors of the Leopard 2, armored vehicles long awaited by kyiv and of which Berlin agreed at the end of January to provide 14 copies from the equipment of the German army, the Bundeswehr. Since 2003, it no longer has a Leopard 1, replaced by the more modern and efficient Leopard 2s.

EU wants to try to fund reconstruction with frozen Russian assets

The European Union (EU) has said it wants to find a way to use Russian assets frozen in Western countries to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine, a measure demanded by kyiv but legally complicated to implement.

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“The EU will intensify (…) its efforts to use frozen assets of Russia to support the reconstruction of Ukraine and for reparations purposes, in accordance with European and international law”, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement after a summit in kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Volodymyr Zelensky decided to bring Ukraine into the EU

The President of Ukraine claimed that he was “possible” to initiate official discussions this year with a view to his country’s accession to the European Union.

“There is an agreement that it is possible to start negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union this year”, noted Volodymyr Zelensky in his traditional daily evening speech, following the EU-Ukraine summit. “Tonight we can say that Ukraine is making progress towards its goal”.

“The future of Ukraine is with the EU”for his part assured Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, at a press conference after the summit.

EU and Kyiv decide on Moscow ‘crimes of aggression’ investigation office

The European Union and Ukraine have agreed on the establishment in The Hague of an investigation office, a sort of interim prosecutor’s office, intended to “coordinate the investigation of the crime of aggression against Ukraine, preserve and store evidence for future trials”say the EU and Ukraine in a joint statement, following an EU-Ukraine summit in kyiv.

This center is envisaged as an intermediate stage before the establishment of a special tribunal to judge the highest Russian officials, a request from kyiv.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) only has jurisdiction over war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine, not Russia’s ‘crimes of aggression’, as Moscow and Kyiv are not signatories of the Treaty of Rome establishing this jurisdiction. The crime of aggression is attributable to the highest political and military leaders of a country.

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