Luxembourgh Times
News Roundup

Top stories you may have missed

In case you missed anything the Luxembourg Times has rounded-up the biggest stories of the week for you

A man gestures to a young girl in front of an evacuation train at Kyiv central train station

A man gestures to a young girl in front of an evacuation train at Kyiv central train station © Photo credit: AFP

Source: LT Staff

All eyes have been on Ukraine this week as the Russian invasion intensified. Here is a look back at some of our main coverage.


Luxembourg urged to hunt down oligarch jets, cash

Luxembourg came under pressure to show how it was blocking Russia's oligarchs from using their private jets and money after other countries said they had begun seizing houses, yachts and luxury vehicles from the billionaires associated with President Vladimir Putin's regime. Mikhail Fridman, Gennady Timchenko and Pyotr Aven are among the oligarchs that have meaningful business ties in the Grand Duchy and are mentioned in sanctions lists the EU and the US have drawn up since the war started.

Asselborn backtracks after comments on Putin killing

Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn performed a public climbdown on Wednesday after saying that the war in Ukraine could only end if Russians killed President Vladimir Putin, calling his comments an emotional slip of the tongue. Russians would overthrow their government if they really knew what was happening in Ukraine, Asselborn had said on public radio earlier on Wednesday, raising the option of Putin being "physically eliminated" by his people.

Bettel will not say if Putin killing comment was crime

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel refused to say whether Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Asselborn may have committed a crime when he said that the war in Ukraine could only end if Russians killed their president, Vladimir Putin. Lawmaker Fernand Kartheiser from Luxembourg's right-wing ADR party within hours asked Bettel whether Asselborn's comment was “criminally relevant” and whether he deemed it a call to murder or hate speech when Asselborn called for deadly violence against an elected foreign head of state.

Luxembourg sets up centre for Ukrainian refugees

The government has set up a centre for refugees from Ukraine, offering shelter and meals for a first few days for people wishing to seek protection from the war in the country or further afield.

Luxembourg families build nest for Ukrainian refugees

Hundreds of families have open their home's doors to the millions of displaced people who have fled the war. The news of war breaking out in Europe shocked Corina Darii and Benjamin Cler and forced them to wonder how they could help from their home in Luxembourg.

Cut ties with Russia clients, watchdog tells banks

Luxembourg's financial watchdog urged the country's banks to stop doing business with Russian oligarchs - several of whom do business in the Grand Duchy - as the West is aggressively cutting ties with Russia. The EU has launched three packages of sanctions so far in reaction to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the latest and harshest on Monday, targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and oligarchs such as Gennady Timchencko, whose Volga Group investment vehicle is based in Luxembourg.

Bettel opens doors for Ukrainians, wallet for citizens

Luxembourg will open its doors to refugees from Ukraine as hundreds of thousands have fled their homes since Russia's invasion, triggering unprecedented unity in the EU over sanctions and other foreign policy matters. Luxembourg will be among countries receiving an estimated 4 million refugees making their way across Europe, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said during a press conference on Monday. Ukrainians will not need a visa and can live in the country without official papers for three months, he said.

In other news

Luxembourg to drop masks, most other Covid measures

Luxembourg is set to drop most restrictions put in place during the pandemic, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said on Friday, including an obligation to wear face masks and show one's health pass in bars and restaurants. Wearing a face mask and a mandatory scan of the CovidCheck status will still be needed when entering hospitals, care homes and homes for the elderly. Wearing a face mask will remain compulsory in public transport.

WWII bomb disrupts traffic near Luxembourg Gare

A Second World War bomb found near Luxembourg's central train station widely disrupted road and rail traffic on Monday, police said, with officers blocking the main roads in the area, a busy thoroughfare for traffic. The device was later defused safely, Luxembourg police said in a tweet on Monday evening.

New Kirchberg development to house 7,000 people

Luxembourg’s EU and financial hub in Kirchberg is set to undergo further expansion with a new development which will house 7,000 people, the government's urbanisation fund, Fond Kirchberg, said on Wednesday. The development, called Kuebebierg, will be built on a 330,000 square metre plot with more than 3,100 flats and will include shops, restaurants, cafés and an area for sports.

IMF begins annual exam of Luxembourg's financial health

The International Monetary Fund has begun its annual examination of Luxembourg's financial health, a year after urging the country to step up the fight against money laundering and tackle the housing crisis. The IMF team arrived for an in-person visit for the first time since the pandemic, Finance Minister Yuricko Backes said on Monday.

Last year better for beer, brewer says

Luxembourg's biggest brewery saw a financial rebound in 2021, but drinkers still spent less than they did before the pandemic, Brasserie Nationale said. The company behind the Bofferding, Battin and Funck-Bricher beers, Lodyss bottled water and alcoholic drinks distributor Munhowen said it collected €65.5 million in revenues last year, up almost 6% from 2020.