Updated: May 17
Sweden’s government has decided to apply for NATO membership. Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson said the application will be handed in this week, but that Sweden does not want permanent NATO military bases or nuclear weapons on its territory.
Yesterday, the United States Congress said it will aim to approve Finland’s application to join NATO by August. United States Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the aim is to approve the application as rapidly as possible.
“Finland brings a lot to the alliance, frankly their participation strengthens the alliance significantly and it’s a great honour to happen to be here on the day when your request for admission is official and let me say that the goal of the US will be to approve that as rapidly as possible. I think certainly we hope to achieve it before the August recess when congress typically goes out of session, obviously that would be well before the fall election.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that there is no threat to Russia if Sweden and Finland join NATO, but he said that Russia will respond if NATO increases its military infrastructure in the countries.
In Ukraine, at least ten civilians have been killed by Russian shelling in the city of Sievierodonetsk according to regional authorities. Authorities also say Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian incursion in the Sumy region.
Russia says that it has agreed to evacuate wounded Ukrainian soldiers from bunkers in a steelworks in Mariupol. A humanitarian corridor has been opened to a medical facility in a Russian-controlled area.
Ukraine and Japan have signed an agreement for a USD 100 million loan to help support vulnerable people in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.
French president Emmanuel Macron has nominated labour minister Elisabeth Borne as the new prime minister. This is the second time in 30 years that a woman has been appointed as prime minister.
Somalia will receive several hundred American troops. United States president Joe Biden has authorised the redeployment of American troops in Somalia, after former president Donald Trump withdrew them. The American troops aimed to help local forces fight al Qaeda-linked groups.
Guinea-Bissau’s president Umaro Sissoco Embalo has dissolved the parliament due to corruption and other issues. Embalo says the National People’s Assembly has defended and protected deputies accused of corruption, harmful administration and embezzlement.
The United Arab Emirates has entered a period of mourning after president Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan died on Friday. The mourning period will last for 40 days, and all public and private sector organisations have stopped work for three days.
Sri Lanka only has enough petrol left for one day, according to the new prime minister. The prime minister said the country needs USD 75 million in foreign exchange to help it cope with the crisis.
South Korea has said it will spare no effort to help North Korea as it fights a Covid-19 outbreak.
Mexico’s government plans to triple its fertiliser production to help boost local agriculture. The government will invest in fertiliser factories. Mexico will also waive import duties on many foods for one year with the aim to reduce inflation. The products include rice, tuna, chicken, carrots, wheat, bread and potatoes.
And Uber has launched robot food deliveries in California in the United States. One of the pilot services uses autonomous cars and one uses so-called “sidewalk robots”.
That’s your world news in 7 minutes. You can find us on social media, we’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @send7podcast. I’m Juliet Martin, have a lovely day and I will speak to you tomorrow.