Christian Lindner, Germany’s Finance Minister, has arrived in Kyiv for discussions, marking his initial visit to Ukraine since Russia’s extensive invasion approximately 18 months ago.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and several other ministers have previously visited Kyiv.
Lindner, who last traveled to the country in 2020, said on arrival that Ukraine’s decision to favor democracy and a market economy was the reason Russia attacked.
His trip comes amid Ukraine requests for the German government to supply it with Taurus cruise missiles.
At least three people were wounded in Russia’s overnight air attack on the port city of Odesa, the governor of the Ukrainian region on the Black Sea said early on Monday.
“As a result of the enemy attack in Odesa, several fires broke out from falling rocket fragments,” the governor, Oleh Kiper, said on the Telegram messaging app. “Windows in buildings were blown out by the blast wave.”
Odesa, Ukraine’s largest port and naval base, has been repeatedly attacked with missiles and drones after Moscow pulled out of an agreement allowing grain shipments from Ukraine’s ports in July.
Russian warship Vasily Bykov fired warning shots and boarded a Palau-flagged cargo ship Sukru Okan in the Black Sea, Russia’s Defense Ministry said..
The ministry said the dry cargo ship failed to respond to a request to stop for an inspection on Sunday.
“To forcibly stop the vessel, warning fire was opened from automatic weapons,” it said. Russian soldiers boarded the vessel with the help of a Ka-29 helicopter.
“After the inspection group completed its work on board, the Sukru Okan continued on its way to the port of Izmail.”
The ministry said cargo ship was heading towards the Ukrainian port of Izmail but Refinitiv shipping data showed shows the cargo vessel’s destination as the Romanian port of Sulina which is close to Izmail.
It is the first time Russia has fired on a merchant ship outside Ukraine since Moscow pulled out of a UN-brokered grain deal last month.
After a family of four was killed by Russian artillery shelling of the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed to seek revenge.
“Every occupier destroyed, every piece of Russian equipment burned, fire instead of their headquarters and warehouses, the very eloquent smoke on Kerch bridge and more — all this proves that we will not leave any of Russia’s crimes unanswered,” he said in his video address on Sunday.
In the Kherson region alone, authorities say seven people were killed and about 15 others injured. In the village of Shyroka Balka, Russian artillery killed five people — including a family of four with a 12-year-old son and a three-week old baby girl
The region was shelled 17 times by Russian army fire during the day, Zelenskyy said in his address. The local military administration announced a day of mourning in the region on Monday.