Washington has returned its diplomats to Kyiv

Incumbent US Ambassador to Ukraine Christina Quien and her team have returned to Kyiv as a step towards restoring Washington’s diplomatic presence in the Ukrainian capital.

“I am glad to be back on Victory Day in Europe. Glory to Ukraine!” Reads a post on the embassy’s official Twitter page.

The United States closed its embassy in Kyiv on February 14, 10 days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Mission staff was expected to return to Kyiv at the end of the month.

According to a State Department official quoted by AFP, earlier today US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkon briefed Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on a visit to Quinen and her team, noting that it was a sign of Ukraine’s success in Moscow and “an effective and lasting partnership with the government and people of a sovereign, democratic and free Ukraine”.

Hungary has “stumbled” on new sanctions against Russia

The permanent representatives of the EU member states failed to reach an agreement on the imposition of sanctions against Russia due to Hungary’s position.

According to Bloomberg, Hungary continues to block the EU’s proposal to ban the import of Russian oil, while postponing the entire package of sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Negotiations are expected to resume in the coming days.

As sanctions against the Russian Federation, the EU proposes the exclusion of several other Russian banks, including Sberbank, from the international payment system SWIFT, restricting the purchase of the real estate by Russian legal entities and individuals in EU member states, banning the provision of consulting services in Russian companies, imposing sanctions on former Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva and Patriarch Kiril and imposing sanctions on several dozen servicemen.

The first lady of the United States met with Zelensky’s wife

US First Lady Jill Biden paid a surprise visit to western Ukraine today, holding a Mother’s Day meeting with First Lady Olena Zelenska, Nova TV reported.

Biden traveled in secrecy, becoming another high-ranking American who entered Ukraine during its 10-week conflict with Russia.

“I wanted to come right on Mother’s Day,” Biden told Zelensky. “I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war must stop and that the people of the United States are with the people of Ukraine,” she explained.

The first lady travels to the city of Uzhgorod, about a 10-minute drive from a Slovak village bordering Ukraine. She spent about two hours in Ukraine.

The two gathered in a small room, sat at a table facing each other, and talked to reporters before meeting in private. Zelenski and her children were undiscovered for their safety.

Earlier, the American first lady spent Mother’s Day in Slovakia, meeting with Ukrainian mothers who became refugees after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and assured them that the “hearts of Americans” are with them, the Associated Press reported.

At the bus station in Kosice, now a 24-hour refugee reception center, the first lady of the United States had a long conversation with an emotional Ukrainian woman who told her she could not explain the war to her three children because she could not explain it to herself.

“I can’t explain it to them because I don’t know myself, but I’m a teacher,” Victoria Kutocha, who hugged her 7-year-old daughter Julia, told Jill Biden.

Kutocha asked, “Why?” He seemed to be looking for an explanation for Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine on February 24.

“It’s completely inexplicable,” the first lady replied.

The 24-Hour Center is one of six similar centers in Slovakia, providing shelter to an average of 300-350 people daily, offering food, bath, clothing, and other services, according to the White House.

Jill Biden also visited a Slovak public school that has accepted refugee children from Ukraine.

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