Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has again called on the West to react to the forthcoming cut in Russian gas supplies with sanctions against Moscow. “Because it is clear to everyone that this is deliberate price terror by Russia against Europe,” Zelenskyy said in his daily video speech on Tuesday evening.
With the help of Gazprom, Moscow is doing everything to make this winter the hardest in history for European countries, said Zelenskyy. With its announcement that deliveries via Nord Stream 1 would be further reduced, Moscow deliberately provoked the rise in gas prices to the equivalent of a good 2,000 euros for 1,000 cubic meters on the stock exchange. “It is necessary to react to terror – to react with sanctions,” Zelenskyy said.
In addition to the sanctions, Zelenskyy also wants to hit Russia with information. Almost 40,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the war, but the Russian leadership no longer publishes figures on its own casualties. It is therefore important to pass these figures on to society in Russia, according to Zelenskyj.
According to the US, Russia has not yet acquired any Iranian combat drones for the war against Ukraine. “We have seen no sign of any delivery or purchase of Iranian drones by the Russian Defense Ministry,” National Security Council communications director John Kirby said on Tuesday. But the fact that Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin turned to Tehran for this type of technology says a lot, Kirby said. “It shows that he feels constrained by the sanctions and export controls in his own ability to use advanced capabilities.”
The United States had recently stated that they assumed that Russia wanted to acquire Iranian combat drones. A Russian government delegation has apparently already visited an Iranian airport for a demonstration of attackable drones, it said. Putin recently traveled to the Iranian capital, Tehran, for a summit meeting with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts. (dpa)
After the EU eased transit restrictions, the first train with previously sanctioned goods has arrived in the Russian Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad. “The train that arrived consists of 60 wagons with cement,” said Dmitry Lyskov, press secretary of the governor of Kaliningrad, Anton Alikhanov. Kaliningrad lies between the EU countries Poland and Lithuania around 500 kilometers from Berlin, but more than 1000 kilometers from Moscow. In June, Lithuania stopped the transit of goods that are on the EU sanctions list between core Russia and Kaliningrad – triggering serious tensions.
Moscow threatened “practical countermeasures” if Lithuania did not allow transit again. Even the Russian-Lithuanian border treaty has been publicly questioned. The EU then specified its sanction rules more precisely. According to this, Russia is allowed to transport civilian goods that are on the sanctions list through the EU country Lithuania by rail without major restrictions. However, according to the document published in mid-July, road transport by Russian freight forwarders through EU territory is still prohibited. In addition, no goods that can also be used for military purposes may be transported by rail. (dpa)
Ukraine hopes for support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the amount of 15-20 billion dollars. Corresponding consultations were ongoing with the fund, Ukraine’s central bank governor Kyrylo Shevchenko told Reuters news agency during a stay in London. “The IMF was always a partner of Ukraine during the war,” he said. “I hope the program can start this year.” (Reuters)
The Ukrainian energy group Naftogaz is the country’s first state institution to be unable to service its debts. A statement said the cabinet had not given authorization to make the necessary payments for international borrowing. The debtors have also not agreed to a proposal to suspend payments on certain bonds for two years. (Reuters)
Churchill would have applauded and probably wept too.
Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) has promised Slovakia a long-term stationing of German soldiers and anti-aircraft missiles to protect against a Russian threat. “The Patriots will stay as long as you need them here,” she said on Tuesday after a meeting with her counterpart Ivan Korcok in the Slovakian capital Bratislav. “It’s not a flash in the pan, it’s solidarity in action. We are also on this security issue together.”
Patriot air defense systems and around 300 Bundeswehr soldiers were stationed in Slovakia from mid-March after the start of the Ukraine war. In addition, in April the Bundeswehr sent around 300 more soldiers into a multinational battle group in the country bordering Ukraine. Baerbock said 640 soldiers are currently stationed there.
The eastern NATO allies feel particularly threatened by Russia. Although Slovakia has no border with Russia, it does have a border with Ukraine that is more than 100 kilometers long. (dpa)