Live updates: Ukraine tensions
Last updated: 07:52 AM May 17, 2022
Total: 200 Posts
9h ago 07:52 AM May 17, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Moscow would respond if the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would deploy military infrastructure on the territories of Finland or Sweden.

"The expansion of military infrastructure into these territories would certainly trigger our response, which would depend on the kind of threats this would pose for us," the Kremlin cited the president as saying at a summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Moscow.

Putin added that the issue of NATO enlargement is largely artificial, and is being used by the United States as a foreign policy tool.

"NATO is being used as a foreign policy instrument by one country, and this is being done quite persistently, skillfully and very aggressively," Putin said, further pointing out that the situation has a deteriorating effect on international security.

Both Finland and Sweden have announced decisions to apply for the NATO membership.

9h ago 07:52 AM May 17, 2022
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and European Union (EU) Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi on Monday discussed Ukraine's European integration aspirations, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

At their talks in Brussels, Kuleba and Varhelyi discussed the prospect of granting Ukraine the EU candidate status, the ministry said in a statement.

"It is time to legally fix Ukraine on its path to the EU and make Europe stronger, safer and more prosperous," Kuleba said in the statement.

On Feb. 28, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed an official appeal to the EU asking for the accession of Ukraine via a new special procedure.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave the EU membership questionnaire to Zelensky during her visit to Kiev in April. The first part of the document was submitted to the EU on April 18, while the second was on May 9.

9h ago 07:51 AM May 17, 2022
The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen met with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and other officials on Monday to discuss Poland's opposition to a global 15 percent corporate minimum tax and the Ukraine crisis.

The visit to Warsaw is the first in a series of meetings for Yellen in Europe. She will also travel to Brussels in Belgium and Bonn in Germany this week.

Poland is the only country in the European Union (EU) that has so far resisted plans to put a minimum on corporate taxes, aimed at halting a "race to the bottom" of countries trying to attract foreign enterprises.

Poland's main argument against the tax is that it would put a larger burden on European companies, unless it is linked to changes in tax treaties that would allow countries to levy more taxes on large U.S. technology giants. This so-called Pillar 1 plan has however not been fully developed yet.

The U.S. Treasury urged Poland to move on with the tax deal, saying it would "raise crucial revenues to benefit the citizens of both Poland and the United States."

9h ago 10:35 PM May 14, 2022
On October 25, 2021 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (left) and Finland's President Sauli Niinisto address a joint press conference after their meeting during the visit of The North Atlantic Council in Helsinki. Photo: VCG

On October 25, 2021 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (left) and Finland's President Sauli Niinisto address a joint press conference after their meeting during the visit of The North Atlantic Council in Helsinki. Photo: VCG


The Party Council of the leading Finnish Social Democratic Party on Saturday endorsed the plan for making Finland a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The Party Council is the party's highest decision-making body between party conventions, which are held every two years.

Joining NATO was backed by 53 members, while five voted against and two blank, the Council chair Sirpa Paatero told the media.

Party chair, Prime Minister Sanna Marin had on Thursday announced her support for Finland going to NATO in a joint statement with President Sauli Niinisto.

Also, the parliamentary group of the Social Democrats on Saturday expressed support for the would-be Finnish membership in NATO.

9h ago 09:01 PM May 14, 2022
Photo taken on April 19, 2022 shows a view of the Azovstal plant in the port city of Mariupol. Photo:xinhua

Photo taken on April 19, 2022 shows a view of the Azovstal plant in the port city of Mariupol. Photo:xinhua


Ukraine and Russia are negotiating the evacuation of 60 people from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, the state-run Ukrinform news agency reported Saturday.

At the current stage, the evacuation concerns severely injured soldiers and medical workers, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk was quoted as saying, who added that there are several hundred injured at the Azovstal plant in total.

On Thursday, Vereshchuk said that Ukraine seeks to exchange 38 severely injured soldiers from Azovstal for the captured Russian military servicemen.

Ukraine says all women, children and the elderly at the Azovstal plant were evacuated earlier this month.

Mariupol, a key Azov Sea port city in eastern Ukraine, has seen one of the worst bouts of bloody violence in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

9h ago 07:45 AM May 14, 2022
More than 6.4 million people have been reached with vital humanitarian assistance in Ukraine since the country's military conflict with Russia started on Feb. 24, said UN humanitarians on Friday.

This includes more than 5.7 million people who have been able to put food on their table. Cash assistance has been provided to over 655,000 people, allowing them to cover some of their most basic needs, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

More than 1.5 million people have received health care support, and around 352,000 people have been provided with clean water and hygiene products. Nearly 430,000 people have received protection services, psychosocial support and critical legal services, including support to internally displaced persons, it said.

Despite this remarkable scale-up, many more people urgently need support, including those living in areas experiencing heavy fighting. The United Nations urges parties to the conflict to remove any barriers to the movement of humanitarian staff to ensure the continued delivery of life-saving assistance across Ukraine, said OCHA.
9h ago 07:45 AM May 14, 2022
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu spoke over the phone on Friday, marking the first call between the two since Russia launched the special military operation in Ukraine.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a brief statement following the call that Austin "urged an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication."

Kirby said the last time Austin and Shoigu spoke to each other was on Feb. 18.

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley is expected to reach out to his Russian counterpart, Valery Gerasimov, to request a phone call, according to a CNN report citing a US defense official. The two last spoke on Feb. 11.

In a brief statement issued on Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said Shoigu and Austin discussed topical issues of international security, including the situation in Ukraine.
9h ago 10:01 PM May 13, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Moscow on Feb 15, 2022. Photo:Xinhua

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Moscow on Feb 15, 2022. Photo:Xinhua


Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held a phone conversation on Friday to discuss the situation in Ukraine with an emphasis on the humanitarian aspect.

Putin outlined in detail the logic and main objectives of Russia's special military operation and spoke about measures being taken by the Russian side to ensure the safety of civilians, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin noted that civilians were evacuated from Mariupol's Azovstal plant with the participation of representatives of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Putin also told Scholz his assessment of the Russian-Ukrainian peace negotiations, which are "essentially blocked by Kiev."

The two leaders agreed that the discussion on the aforementioned issues would continue through various channels.
9h ago 08:22 PM May 13, 2022
NATO Photo: VCG

NATO Photo: VCG


The Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Finland's possible accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would force Moscow to take "military-technical" retaliatory measures.

Russia has repeatedly noted that while it is up to Finland to decide which measures it will take to ensure its national security, it must also be aware of the consequences of its actions, the ministry said.

"Finland's accession to NATO will seriously damage Russian-Finnish relations as well as stability and security in Northern Europe," it added.
9h ago 08:52 AM May 13, 2022
Russian forces carried out a rocket attack on a major oil refinery in Kremenchuk town in Ukraine's central Poltava region on Thursday, said the head of Poltava regional military-civilian administration Dmytro Lunin.

"Today's shelling of the Poltava region is perhaps the largest during the full-scale war," Lunin wrote on Telegram.

Twelve rockets hit the infrastructure facilities in Kremenchuk, with most of them striking the oil refinery, Lunin said.

The attack caused fire at the oil refinery, Lunin said, adding there were no casualties in the shelling.

According to local media, the Kremenchuk refinery with a design capacity of 18.6 million tons is the largest oil refinery in Ukraine.

9h ago 08:52 AM May 13, 2022
Ukraine is holding negotiations with Russia over the evacuation of seriously injured soldiers from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Thursday.

Ukraine seeks to exchange 38 severely injured soldiers from Azovstal for the captured Russian military, Vereshchuk wrote on Telegram.

Currently, there are no talks on the exchange of 500 or 600 people, which has been reported by some media outlets, Vereshchuk said.

She emphasized that the ongoing negotiations between Ukraine and Russia on the Azovstal evacuation are very difficult.

On May 7, Vereshchuk said that Ukraine has evacuated all women, children and the elderly from the Azovstal plant.

9h ago 08:39 AM May 12, 2022
The gas transmission system operator of Ukraine (GSTOU) has accused Russia of interrupting Russian gas transit through Ukraine to the consumers in Ukraine and Europe.

Sergiy Makogon, head of the GSTOU, said on Wednesday that Gazprom has stopped transportation of gas from Russia to the gas measuring station Sokhranivka, thus suspending supplies to Ukraine's eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

On Tuesday, the GSTOU said that it was forced to suspend the Russian gas transit to Europe via the territories in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian forces due to "force majeure".

The gas transit via the Sokhranivka and the border compressor station Novopskov were halted over unauthorized interference in technical processes and withdrawals of gas, the GSTOU said.

"The actions of the occupiers led to the interruption of gas transit," it said.

9h ago 07:49 AM May 11, 2022
The Ukrainian government has approved the seizure of Russian assets in Ukraine, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Tuesday.

"Today, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a document according to which Russian assets in Ukraine are transferred to the state, or rather to the state enterprise 'National Investment Fund'," Shmyhal wrote on Telegram.

The Russian assets will be placed under the management of the National Investment Fund of Ukraine and will be used for strengthening the Ukrainian army, supporting the people and rebuilding infrastructure, Shmyhal said.

The Ukrainian government is working with other countries to seize Russian assets abroad and use the funds for Ukraine's post-conflict recovery, he added.

In April, Shmyhal said Kiev sought to seize Russian assets to finance Ukraine's post-conflict recovery. "The funds of the Russian government and oligarchs will be one of the main sources for filling the Fund for the Reconstruction of our country," Shmyhal said on Telegram.
9h ago 07:48 AM May 11, 2022
Visiting German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Tuesday said the government of Germany is working to provide modern weapons to Ukraine, the Ukrainian government-run Ukrinform news agency reported.

"We are working with German enterprises to ensure that Ukraine receives the most modern weapons," Baerbock told reporters during a press conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

In the coming days, Germany will begin training Ukrainian soldiers on using mobile howitzers, Baerbock added.

Besides, she said Germany will assist Ukraine in demining efforts and support Ukraine's aspirations to join the European Union (EU).

"We insist on Ukraine's full membership in the EU," said Baerbock.

9h ago 08:26 AM May 10, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday he had discussed defense support for his country amid the conflict with Russia with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.

According to Zelensky, other topics of the conversation were energy cooperation between Ukraine and Sweden and the strengthening of sanctions on Russia.

For her part, Andersson tweeted that she expressed steadfast support for Ukraine during the phone call with Zelensky.
9h ago 08:26 AM May 10, 2022
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and visiting European Council President Charles Michel on Monday discussed steps to solve the issues concerning Ukraine's agricultural exports, the government press service reported.

During the talks in Ukraine's southern port city of Odessa, Shmyhal said that the shipping of goods through the Ukrainian ports via the Black Sea was suspended since February 24 due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Currently, about 70 vessels are blocked in the seaports of Ukraine, including 10 in the port of Odessa, Shmyhal said.

"The vast majority of ships are bulk carriers and mixed cargo vessels. Some 90 million tons of agricultural products that Ukraine planned to supply to countries in Africa, Asia and Europe have been blocked," he said.

Shmyhal warned that a global food crisis may start due to the blockade of Ukraine's ports, and urged Michel to intensify joint efforts to prevent it.

9h ago 08:25 AM May 10, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday submitted the second part of the questionnaire for Ukraine's candidate status of a European Union (EU) membership to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, said Zelensky's press service.

The document was handed over during an online meeting between the leaders of Ukraine and the EU, the press service said on Telegram.

During the meeting, Zelensky thanked von der Leyen for the "clear signals of support" for Ukraine on its path towards the EU membership.

On Feb. 28, Zelensky signed an official appeal to the EU asking for the accession of Ukraine via a new special procedure.

The European Commission president gave a questionnaire to Zelensky during her visit to Kiev in April. The first part of the document was submitted to the EU on April 18.

9h ago 07:36 AM May 07, 2022
Ukraine evacuated 50 civilians from the Azovstal plant in the besieged city of Mariupol, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Friday.

"The evacuation was extremely slow. However, today we managed to free 50 women, children and the elderly from Azovstal," Vereshchuk wrote on Facebook.

The evacuation will continue on Saturday morning, Vereshchuk said.

Earlier in the day, Ukraine's Presidential Office head Andriy Yermak said that Ukraine had evacuated about 500 civilians from Mariupol.

Mariupol, a key Azov Sea port city in eastern Ukraine, saw one of the worst bouts of violence in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
9h ago 07:36 AM May 07, 2022
Ukraine and Russia on Friday conducted another prisoner exchange since the start of the conflict, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

As a result of the swap, 41 Ukrainian prisoners of war, including 13 civilians, returned home following their release by Russian forces, Vereshchuk wrote on Telegram.

Ukraine and Russia conducted their first prisoner exchange on March 24. Since then, more than 300 Ukrainians have been released.
9h ago 07:35 AM May 07, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country stands ready to resume talks on settling the conflict with Russia after Russian forces return to the positions they held before Feb. 24, the Ukrinform news agency reported Friday.

"They need to withdraw to those temporary contact lines or dividing lines - they must withdraw troops there. Then we can start the full-scale talks," Zelensky was quoted as saying.

He emphasized that "not all the bridges" for peace talks with Russia have been destroyed.

The Ukrainian and Russian delegations held their latest round of in-person peace negotiations in Istanbul, Turkey in late March.
9h ago 09:55 PM May 06, 2022
Ukrainian civilians withdraw along humanitarian corridors from Ukraine's Mariupol on March 20, 2022. More than 3.48 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries, according to the UN refugee agency. Photo: AFP

Ukrainian civilians withdraw along humanitarian corridors from Ukraine's Mariupol on March 20, 2022. More than 3.48 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries, according to the UN refugee agency. Photo: AFP


Ukraine has evacuated about 500 civilians from the city of Mariupol, head of the President's Office, Andriy Yermak said on Friday.
9h ago 08:26 PM May 06, 2022
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko (left) speaks during an interview with media at the Independence Palace in Minsk, Belarus on May 5, 2022. Lukashenko said he was doing “everything” to stop the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Photo: VCG

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko (left) speaks during an interview with media at the Independence Palace in Minsk, Belarus on May 5, 2022. Lukashenko said he was doing “everything” to stop the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Photo: VCG


Belarus will not participate in Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press (AP).
9h ago 08:19 AM May 06, 2022
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Thursday to end the "cycle of death and destruction" in Ukraine.

As he briefed the UN Security Council on his shuttle diplomacy last week in Russia and Ukraine, Guterres said that he "did not mince words" when he spoke with the presidents of Russia and Ukraine about ending the conflict.

The conflict must "end for the sake of the people of Ukraine, Russia, and the entire world...the cycle of death, destruction, dislocation and disruption must stop," the secretary-general said at a Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine.

"In my meeting with (Russian) President Putin, I therefore stressed the imperative of enabling humanitarian access and evacuations from besieged areas, including first and foremost, Mariupol," said Guterres, appealing strongly for a safe and effective humanitarian corridor for civilians to reach safety from the Azovstal plant, where hundreds have been living underground for weeks.

"We must continue to do all we can to get people out of these hellscapes," said the UN chief.

9h ago 08:18 AM May 06, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday that he had separate conversations with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Zelensky tweeted that he discussed future joint international legal events and the issues of defensive support for Ukraine at the talks with Johnson.

The Ukrainian leader said he thanked Johnson for addressing the Ukrainian parliament earlier this week.

Commenting on the conversation with Steinmeier, Zelensky said it was "good, constructive, and important".

The Ukrainian president said he informed his German counterpart about the situation on the frontline, in particular in Mariupol, and voiced the hope that Germany's support for Ukraine would be intensified.
9h ago 08:17 AM May 06, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday to discuss the Ukrainian situation.

The leaders paid special attention to humanitarian issues, including the evacuation of civilians held by militants of nationalist battalions from the Azovstal steel plant, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The Russian military is ready to ensure the safe exit of civilians, Putin said, adding that the Kiev authorities should order the remaining militants at the Azovstal plant to lay down arms.

"On the eve of Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War, which Russia and Israel celebrate on May 9, Putin and Bennett emphasised the special importance of this date for the people of both countries," the statement added.
9h ago 08:16 AM May 06, 2022
The ongoing Ukraine crisis is negatively affecting East Africa's food security through reduced food supplies, accessibility and high prices of food, fuel and fertilizer, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) warned Thursday.

Export restrictions on grains, vegetable oil and fertilizers have surged since the start of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the scale having reached the levels of the 2008 global food crisis in terms of share of global trade, the WFP said in its latest situation update on the food security conditions in Eastern Africa.

Noting the Eastern Africa region's high dependence on food and fertilizer imports, the WFP said the Ukraine crisis could further exacerbate the already dire food security situation across countries in the Eastern Africa region.

WFP estimated that the ensuing inflation from the Ukraine crisis could push additional 7 to 10 million people into acute hunger in Eastern Africa in 2022.

"Already, the region witnessed significant short-term jumps in prices of wheat, bread, fuel and fertilizer and widespread shortages of fuel, the most affected being Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Burundi," it said.

9h ago 08:16 AM May 06, 2022
French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday that France will offer a 2-billion-U.S.- dollar aid for Ukraine during the international donors conference held in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, French presidential palace the Elysee announced.

In 2022, France has released a total of 1.7 billion U.S. dollars towards Ukraine, Macron said, adding that the country's support will be at 2 billion U.S. dollars, or an additional of 300 million U.S. dollars.

"France released 100 million euros for humanitarian aid, which is used in particular to finance international organizations and NGOs present in the field. Already, 800 tons of humanitarian and medical goods have been sent to Ukraine and to the countries of the region", Macron said.

"France will continue to act in a concerted manner within the framework of the European Union, with our European partners, also within the framework of the G7 and international financial institutions", he noted.

The international donors conference for the support towards Ukraine was held on Thursday hosted by Poland and Sweden, gathering heads of state and government, the European Union and international organizations amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

9h ago 12:42 AM May 06, 2022
Graphic: GT

Western sanctions maelstrom. Graphic: Tang Tengfei/GT


 
 
 
 
9h ago 07:54 AM May 04, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Tuesday on retaliatory sanctions against individuals and entities in response to their "unfriendly actions" over the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The measures will be taken in retaliation to "the unfriendly actions of the United States, foreign states and international organizations ... which aimed at illegally depriving Russia, Russian citizens and Russian legal entities of property rights or restricting their property rights," and with the aim of "protecting the national interests of Russia," according to the decree.

The document prohibits fulfilling obligations with foreign individuals and entities under sanctions, concluding deals or carrying out transactions with them. Moreover, Russia will ban the export of raw materials and products from Russia to those it has sanctioned.

The decree does not provide any details of which individuals or entities may be affected by the measures. The Russian government was ordered to compile a list of individuals under sanctions within 10 days.
9h ago 11:40 AM May 01, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday that he had discussed defensive support for Ukraine with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The two sides talked about the situation on the battlefield and the blocked city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine, Zelensky said on Twitter, adding necessary diplomatic efforts to achieve peace was another topic of the conversation.

Earlier in the day, the Ukrainian leader said he had discussed defense cooperation in a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron.
9h ago 07:43 PM Apr 30, 2022
Xinhua file photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Xinhua file photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky


Indonesia has invited both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the Group of 20 (G20) summit in November, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Friday.

"Indonesia is ready to contribute to the peace effort," Widodo said in a virtual press conference. "Indonesia wants to unite the G20. Do not let there be a split. Peace and stability are the keys to the world economic development."

The G20, he said, plays a catalyst role in the recovery of the world economy, adding that he had telephone conversations with both leaders of Russia and Ukraine this week.

On Thursday, Widodo and Putin discussed issues of Russian-Indonesian cooperation and various aspects of the activities of G20 in a phone conversation.

In a conversation with Zelensky on Wednesday, Widodo turned down a request for arms from the Ukrainian president, saying that Indonesia is ready to provide humanitarian assistance.
9h ago 10:13 PM Apr 29, 2022
People walk past a screen of a currency exchange office displaying the exchange rates of U.S. Dollar and Euro to Russian Rubles in Moscow, Russia, March 1, 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree introducing temporary economic measures to ensure the country's financial stability, the Kremlin announced Tuesday.Photo:Xinhua

People walk past a screen of a currency exchange office displaying the exchange rates of US Dollar and Euro to Russian Rubles in Moscow, Russia, March 1, 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree introducing temporary economic measures to ensure the country's financial stability, the Kremlin announced Tuesday.Photo:Xinhua


Kiev is willing to seize Russian assets to finance Ukraine's post-conflict recovery, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Thursday.

"The funds of the Russian government and oligarchs will be one of the main sources for filling the Fund for the Reconstruction of our country," Shmyhal wrote on Telegram.

Ukraine is in talks with the countries of the Group of Seven over the seizure of Russia's assets, Shmyhal said, adding that Canada has already prepared legislation for such actions.

Earlier, Shmyhal said that his cabinet has set up a recovery fund for Ukraine's long-term reconstruction and estimated that the country's full-scale recovery will cost around 600 billion U.S. dollars.

Russia has over 600 billion U.S. dollars worth of foreign currency reserves held in dollars, gold and other currencies, with about half of them believed to be frozen by the restrictions imposed by Western governments on its central bank.

9h ago 10:11 PM Apr 29, 2022
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (C) visits the town of Borodyanka outside Kiev, Ukraine, April 28, 2022.Photo:Xinhua

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (C) visits the town of Borodyanka outside Kiev, Ukraine, April 28, 2022.Photo:Xinhua


United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday visited the town of Borodyanka outside Kiev, which was affected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Twitter.

Guterres arrived in Ukraine on Wednesday for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, after visiting Moscow on Tuesday.

Osnat Lubrani, the UN resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine, said Thursday that she was heading to the Zaporizhzhia city in southern Ukraine to prepare for an evacuation from Mariupol at the request of Guterres.
9h ago 10:05 PM Apr 29, 2022
Delegations from Russia and Ukraine attend the second round of peace talks in Brest, Belarus on March 3, 2022. Photo: AFP

Delegations from Russia and Ukraine attend the second round of peace talks in Brest, Belarus on March 3, 2022. Photo: AFP


China has always supported Russia and Ukraine to overcome difficulties and continue negotiations, and welcomes all efforts by the international community to promote peace, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a regular news briefing in response to a query on United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' recent visit to Russia and Ukraine.

"We welcome Guterres' mediation efforts to ease the tension between Russia and Ukraine. China has always supported Russia and Ukraine to overcome difficulties and continue negotiations, and welcomes all efforts by the international community conducive to promoting peace talks," Zhao said.

"It has been more than two months since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out, and the spillover effects of the conflict are becoming increasingly obvious and worrying," Zhao said, adding that China has noticed that the European people are calling for an early end to the conflict through dialogue and peace talks.

Noting that the prolonged war and sanctions against Russia have caused energy prices in the Eurozone to rise by 44.7 percent year on year, the spokesperson said inflation is rising and ordinary people have been increasingly affected. "In contrast, U.S. arms dealers, grain merchants and traders have made a fortune."

9h ago 08:12 AM Apr 29, 2022
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said the Canadian government plans to reopen its embassy in Ukraine soon, local media reported Thursday.

According to the CTV report, Joly said before the Senate foreign affairs and international trade committee on Thursday that her objective is to do so in the coming days, coming weeks.

"We just need to make sure that there is a secure environment for staff and also we're looking at what our other Five Eyes colleagues and allies are doing," Joly was quoted as saying.

Canada closed its embassy in Kiev on Feb. 12 and relocated diplomatic staff to the western city of Lviv. All staff members were later moved to Poland.

Last Friday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain planned to revive its on-the-ground diplomacy in Ukraine this week. The United States, France and Italy have announced similar plans, CTV reported.
9h ago 08:11 AM Apr 29, 2022
Oil prices climbed on Thursday as traders weighed the prospect of a European Union (EU) ban on imports of Russian oil.

The West Texas Intermediate for June delivery added 3.34 U.S. dollars, or 3.3 percent, to settle at 105.36 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for June delivery increased 2.27 dollars, or 2.2 percent, to close at 107.59 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The rise came after reports that Germany was prepared to stop buying Russian crude, clearing the way for an EU embargo.

German representatives to EU institutions lifted objections to a full embargo of Russian supplies provided Berlin was given enough time to find alternative supplies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing government officials.

The news rekindled concerns over tight supplies.

9h ago 08:09 AM Apr 29, 2022
Ukraine and Russia on Thursday conducted their seventh prisoner exchange since the start of the conflict, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

Forty-five people, including twelve civilians held by the Russian forces, were released as the result of the swap, Vereshchuk said on Telegram.

Out of the thirty-three Ukrainian troops released under the swap, there were 13 officers and 20 soldiers, she said.

Five among the released troops were wounded, Vereshchuk added.

Ukraine and Russia conducted their first prisoner exchange on March 24.
9h ago 08:08 AM Apr 29, 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the swap of a Russian pilot and a former U.S. marine in Turkey in a phone call on Thursday, said the Turkish presidential office.

According to the office's statement, the exchange of Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko and American citizen and former marine Trevor Reed took place on Wednesday under the coordination and supervision of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization.

Erdogan said in the statement that coordination and close dialogue between intelligence units should be continued to prevent humanitarian tragedies and ensure the establishment of an environment of stability.

According to a brief statement issued by the Kremlin, Putin in the phone call thanked Erdogan for prisoners swap at the Ankara airport.

According to previous reports, Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in 2010 on drug smuggling charges and extradited to the United States to serve a 20-year prison term.

9h ago 01:57 AM Apr 29, 2022
NATO Photo: VCG

NATO Photo: VCG


The applications by Finland and Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will be processed quickly should the Scandinavian countries choose to do so, the military alliance's Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Thursday.

"If they decide to apply, Finland and Sweden will be welcomed with open arms to NATO. Finland and Sweden are our closest partners," Stoltenberg told reporters at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Both Finland and Sweden have long pursued a policy of military non-alignment. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, NATO has failed to win over the two countries several times.

But the two countries have made some changes in their positions in face of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, delivering weapons and ammunition to Ukraine.

"We know that their armed forces meet NATO standards, are interoperable with NATO forces. We train together, we exercise together and we have also worked together with Finland and Sweden in many different missions and operations," Stoltenberg said.

9h ago 11:30 PM Apr 28, 2022
People gather during the distribution of humanitarian aid in Mariupol, April 5, 2022.(Photo: Xinhua)

People gather during the distribution of humanitarian aid in Mariupol, April 5, 2022.(Photo: Xinhua)


Osnat Lubrani, UN resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine, said Thursday that she is heading to Zaporizhzhia city in southern Ukraine to prepare for evacuation from Mariupol.

"The (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has arrived in Ukraine to meet (Ukrainian) President (Volodymyr) Zelensky. At his request, I am going to Zaporizhzhia to prepare for hopeful evacuation from Mariupol," tweeted Lubrani.

The UN is fully mobilized to help save Ukrainian lives and to assist those in need, Lubrani said.

Guterres arrived in Ukraine on Wednesday to talk with Zelensky, after visiting Moscow on Tuesday.

Mariupol, a key Azov Sea port city in eastern Ukraine, saw one of the worst violence in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
9h ago 07:51 AM Apr 28, 2022
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday he has arrived in Ukraine.

"I have arrived in Ukraine after visiting Moscow," Guterres tweeted.

He said the UN will continue the work to expand humanitarian support and secure the evacuation of civilians from conflict zones, and he urged the end of hostilities.

"The sooner this war ends, the better -- for the sake of Ukraine, Russia, and the world," the UN chief said.

On April 26, Guterres visited Moscow and held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
9h ago 07:50 AM Apr 28, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday he had discussed further support for Kiev, including macro-financial assistance, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The parties talked about the 6th sanctions package on Russia, which would include oil embargo, Zelensky tweeted.

The Ukrainian leader also said that he thanked the European Commission for deciding to abolish tariffs and quotas on Ukrainian industrial goods and foods.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that the EU stands ready to lift import duties on Ukrainian goods for a year.
9h ago 07:48 AM Apr 28, 2022
The European Union (EU) is ready to face the suspension of Russian gas deliveries to its member states, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday.

The Russian gas supplier Gazprom announced earlier Wednesday that it was fully stopping its gas deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria, due to the two EU member states' "failure to pay in rubles."

In a statement reacting to Gazprom's announcement, von der Leyen called the move "another attempt by Russia to use gas as an instrument of blackmail" in the context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded on March 23 that Russia's current gas contracts with "unfriendly countries" should be paid in rubles.

"We have been working to ensure alternative deliveries and the best possible storage levels across the EU," and the gas coordination group is meeting in order to map out a coordinated EU response, said von der Leyen.

9h ago 08:28 AM Apr 27, 2022
Russia is to halt natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria from Wednesday, according to energy companies and authorities.

Poland's state oil and gas company PGNiG said on Tuesday that Russia's energy corporation Gazprom will suspend its gas supplies to Poland from Wednesday evening.

"PGNiG has received a letter from Gazprom announcing the complete suspension of supplies under the Yamal contract," PGNiG said in a statement.

PGNiG also ensured the customers that gas supplies to Poland are secured as it has pipeline connections with neighboring countries and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the northwest of the country, according to the statement.

The reason given by Gazprom is PGNiG's rejection of the payment in rubles, according to the Polish Press Agency.

9h ago 08:27 AM Apr 27, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with visiting United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the Kremlin on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

Putin told Guterres that the Ukrainian issue arose after the 2014 "unconstitutional coup" in Kiev and people in Donbass remained under blockade and military pressure even after the Minsk agreements on a peaceful settlement were reached.

According to Putin, the Donbass "republics" have the right to declare their sovereignty and Russia has the right to recognize their independence and provide them with military assistance in full accordance with the UN Charter.

"Despite the ongoing military operation, we still hope that we will be able to reach agreements on the diplomatic track. We are negotiating and we do not refuse them," he said.

Guterres proposed creating a contact group where the UN, Russia and Ukraine can discuss the situation together so that the humanitarian corridors are truly effective.

9h ago 08:26 AM Apr 27, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday met with Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca to discuss Bucharest's support for Kiev, the presidential press service said.

During the talks, Zelensky thanked Romania's government for the assistance, including the defense aid it has provided for Ukraine.

"Your visit is an important, clear signal of Ukraine's support in the war against the Russian Federation," Zelensky said.

The Ukrainian leader praised Romania's position on sanctions policy against Russia over the conflict with Ukraine and the assistance in organizing the critical transit of international humanitarian aid to Ukraine, including energy resources.

During their talks, Zelensky and Ciuca also discussed the prospects for Ukraine's European integration, as well as the issues of regional and bilateral cooperation.
9h ago 08:25 AM Apr 27, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed in principle to the involvement of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol of Ukraine, said a UN spokesman on Tuesday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held a tete-a-tete in Moscow with Putin, said Stephane Dujarric, Guterres' spokesman, in a readout of the meeting.

Guterres reiterated the position of the United Nations on Ukraine, and they discussed the proposals for humanitarian assistance and evacuation of civilians in relation to the situation in Mariupol, said the readout.

"The president agreed, in principle, to the involvement of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross in the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol," it said.

Follow-on discussions will be held with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Russian Defense Ministry, it added.

9h ago 08:21 AM Apr 27, 2022
The U.S. Department of State said in a statement Tuesday that it has determined an "emergency" exists in Ukraine that becomes a "national security" concern of the United States, therefore the department bypassed Congress to approve the sale of ammunition to Kiev.

The decision to sell the approximately 165 million U.S. dollars' worth of "non-standard" Soviet-era ammunition was made after Secretary of State Antony Blinken "has determined and provided detailed justification that an emergency exists that requires the immediate sale to Ukraine" of ammunition including grenade launchers, mortars and D-20 cannons, the statement said.

The sale, according to the statement, is "in the national security interests of the United States, thereby waiving the Congressional review requirements" under federal law.

"The proposed sale will improve Ukraine's capability to meet current and future threats by maintaining the operational readiness of its forces," said the statement. "Ukraine already has these items, or variants thereof, in its inventory and will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces."

The announcement came just after Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited Kiev and held talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom Blinken notified of the arms sale.
9h ago 08:15 AM Apr 27, 2022
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and visiting United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday agreed on the need to continue the negotiation process and seek a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis.

"We stand in favor of a negotiated solution," Lavrov said during a joint press conference with Guterres after their talks in Moscow, noting that Russia agreed to begin negotiations in early March immediately after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had proposed.

Lavrov expressed "disappointment" with the Ukrainian side's attitude towards the peace talks, saying that "apparently, they are not particularly interested in these negotiations."

He urged Kiev to quickly respond to Russia's proposals, and warned that the negotiations will yield no results if the West continues to provide weapons to Ukraine.

"I came to Moscow as a messenger of peace. My objective and my agenda are strictly linked to saving lives and reducing suffering," Guterres said, calling his discussions with Lavrov "very frank."

9h ago 08:41 AM Apr 26, 2022
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday reaffirmed their commitment to ending the conflict in Ukraine and to creating conditions to end the suffering of civilians, said a UN spokesman.

Guterres met Erdogan in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday. The UN chief expressed his support for Turkey's ongoing diplomatic efforts in relation to the conflict in Ukraine, Farhan Haq, Guterres' deputy spokesman, told reporters in New York.

"He and President Erdogan reaffirmed that their common objective is to end the war as soon as possible and to create conditions to end the suffering of civilians. They stressed the urgent need for effective access through humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians and deliver much-needed assistance to impacted communities," said Haq.

They agreed to stay in contact to follow up on ongoing initiatives, he added.

Guterres and Erdogan also discussed the impact of the Ukraine conflict on regional and global issues, including energy, food and finance, said Haq.

9h ago 08:41 AM Apr 26, 2022
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres continues to push for a halt in hostilities in Ukraine even though a Russian UN envoy said a cease-fire is not a good option at the moment, said a UN spokesman.

"We continue to call for a cease-fire or some sort of pause. The secretary-general did that, as you know, just last week. Clearly, that didn't happen in time for (Orthodox) Easter," said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for Guterres.

"I don't want to give too many details at this stage of the sort of proposals he will have. I think we're coming at a fairly delicate moment. It's important that he is able to talk clearly with the leadership on both sides and see what progress we can make," he told a daily press briefing.

"Ultimately, the end goal is to have a halt to fighting and to have ways to improve the situation of the people in Ukraine, lessen the threat that they're under, and provide humanitarian aid (to) them. So, those are the goals we're trying, and there are certain ways that we'll try to move those forward," he said.

Guterres was on his way to Moscow from Turkey. He will have a working meeting and lunch with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday, and will be received by President Vladimir Putin. Guterres then will travel to Ukraine and have a working meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, and will be received by President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday.

9h ago 08:39 AM Apr 26, 2022
Russian forces seized the building of Kherson city council in southern Ukraine, Ukrinform news agency reported Monday, citing Kherson mayor Ihor Kolykhaiev.

"Tonight, armed men entered the building of the Kherson City Council, took away the keys, and replaced our guards with their own," Kolykhaiev said.

Last week, Ukrainian Defense Ministry's spokesman Olexandr Motuzyanyk said Russia is preparing to hold a "referendum" in the Kherson region on joining Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kiev would withdraw from peace negotiations with Moscow if Russian forces hold pseudo-referendums in the areas they captured in Ukraine.
9h ago 08:39 AM Apr 26, 2022
At least five people were killed and 18 others injured on Monday as a result of Russia's airstrike on transport infrastructure in Ukraine's central Vinnytsia region, the Vinnytsia Regional Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.

According to the statement, rockets hit transport infrastructure facilities near the towns of Zhmerynka and Kozyatyn.

Separately, Oleksandr Kamyshin, chairman of Ukraine's State Railways, said on Telegram that five railway stations in central and western Ukraine came under the attack on Monday.

Zhmerynka and Kozyatyn are the key regional junction stations of Ukraine's State Railways.
9h ago 08:38 AM Apr 26, 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that all parties should support the Istanbul process for a solution to the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, Turkey's presidency said.

Guterres met with Erdogan in the Turkish capital Ankara, before heading to Moscow and Kiev for talks on resolving the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Erdogan emphasized that the Istanbul process, which "preserves its character as the most credible way to reach peace," should be supported by everyone, said his office after the meeting.

Along with efforts to cease the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Turkey will continue to work closely with the United Nations to end the humanitarian crisis by contributing to the evacuation of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian aid to the region, Erdogan told Guterres.

The secretary-general, for his part, expressed support for Turkey's ongoing diplomatic efforts concerning the Ukrainian crisis, the UN said in a statement.

9h ago 08:28 AM Apr 26, 2022
Russia has declared 40 German diplomats "personae non gratae" in a tit-for-tat move, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The ministry summoned German Ambassador to Russia Geza Andreas von Geyr on Monday in protest over Germany's decision to declare 40 Russian diplomats working in Germany "personae non gratae" earlier in April, the ministry said.

The ministry called Germany's motives behind the expulsion of the Russian diplomats "unacceptable," and informed the ambassador that 40 German diplomats would be declared "personae non grata" in a symmetrical response.
9h ago 08:27 AM Apr 26, 2022
Russia has sent a diplomatic note to the United States calling on Washington to stop supplying Kiev with weapons, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said Monday.

Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that the United States will provide Ukraine with additional security assistance worth 800 million U.S. dollars to bolster its defense against Russia's military operation.

Antonov noted that Washington's decision did not contribute to finding a diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis.

Russia "emphasized the unacceptability of the situation where the United States is pumping weapons into Ukraine and demanded an end to this practice," local media reported citing Antonov.

The ambassador said the United States was "aggravating the situation" and "adding fuel to the fire" with its actions, ultimately causing more deaths due to their supply of weapons.

9h ago 08:18 AM Apr 25, 2022
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will pay a visit to Turkey on Monday before having talks in Moscow and Kiev as part of efforts to resolve the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The secretary-general will have a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the capital Ankara, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

Guterres will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 26 and 28 respectively, a UN spokesman said Friday.

Guterres will visit Moscow on April 26 and have "a working meeting and lunch" with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres.

During his trip to Ukraine, Guterres will also have a working meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and meet with staff of UN agencies to discuss the scaling up of humanitarian assistance to Ukrainian people, Dujarric said.

9h ago 01:50 PM Apr 24, 2022
Russia's forces have destroyed a logistics terminal at a military airfield near Ukraine's Odessa, where foreign weapons were stored, said the Russian Defense Ministry.

"This afternoon, high-precision, long-range air-based missiles fired by the Russian Aerospace Forces disabled a logistics terminal at a military airfield near Odessa, where a large batch of foreign weapons received from the US and European countries were stored," said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Russia is continuing its special military operation in Ukraine.

The Russian military has destroyed 141 aircraft and 110 helicopters, 264 anti-aircraft missile systems, 541 unmanned aerial vehicles, 2,479 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 278 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,081 field artillery and mortars, and 2,321 special military vehicles.
9h ago 12:46 AM Apr 24, 2022
Ukrainian civilians withdraw along humanitarian corridors from Ukraine's Mariupol on March 20, 2022. More than 3.48 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries, according to the UN refugee agency. Photo: AFP

Ukrainian civilians withdraw along humanitarian corridors from Ukraine's Mariupol on March 20, 2022. More than 3.48 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries, according to the UN refugee agency. Photo: AFP


Ukraine will continue the evacuation of civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol on Saturday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

Women, children and the elderly will be evacuated from Mariupol to the city of Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine, Vereshchuk wrote on Telegram.

Ukraine and Russia have reached a preliminary agreement on establishing a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from Mariupol earlier this week.

People are evacuated from Mariupol via buses and private transport.
9h ago 12:37 AM Apr 24, 2022
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Photo: Xinhua

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Photo: Xinhua


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 26 and 28 respectively, a UN spokesman said Friday.

Guterres will visit Moscow on April 26 and have "a working meeting and lunch" with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres.

During his trip to Ukraine, Guterres will also have a working meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and meet with staff of UN agencies to discuss the scaling up of humanitarian assistance to Ukrainian people, Dujarric said.

The UN chief sent separate letters Tuesday afternoon to the permanent missions of Russia and Ukraine to the United Nations, asking Putin to receive him in Moscow and Zelensky to receive him in Kiev, Dujarric said on Wednesday.
9h ago 12:35 AM Apr 24, 2022
Photo taken on Nov. 29, 2016 shows the new protective cover over the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear reactor No.4 at Chernobyl nuclear power plant, 110 kilometers north of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.Photo:Xinhua

File photo taken on Nov. 29, 2016 shows the new protective cover over the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear reactor No.4 at Chernobyl nuclear power plant, 110 kilometers north of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.Photo:Xinhua


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Friday its expert mission would travel to Ukraine's Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26 to help ensure the facility's safety.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi will head the mission to "deliver vital equipment and conduct radiological and other assessments" at the Chernobyl plant, according to the agency's statement.

The IAEA experts will also repair remote safeguards monitoring systems at the plant, which have not been transmitting data to the agency's headquarters in Vienna since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

"The IAEA's presence at Chernobyl will be of paramount importance for our activities to support Ukraine as it seeks to restore regulatory control of the plant and ensure its safe and secure operation," Grossi said, adding that the agency will send more missions to Chernobyl and other nuclear facilities in Ukraine in the coming weeks.

Russian forces had been in control of the Chernobyl plant for five weeks before withdrawing on March 31, according to the IAEA statement.

9h ago 07:33 AM Apr 23, 2022
Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said on Friday that Kiev will complete the talks on security guarantees with partner countries within a week, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

"Weapons supplies, closure of the sky, military consultations and means for the rapid purchase of additional weapons are important for us. I think that these issues can be completed within a week," Podolyak said.

On April 16, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy and Turkey showed their willingness to join the creation of a system of security guarantees for Ukraine.

The advisors to the leaders of Poland, Germany, France and Israel reportedly have expressed readiness to discuss a list of security guarantees for Ukraine, the report said.

At the peace talks with Russia in Istanbul, Turkey last month, Kiev proposed to sign a new international treaty on security guarantees, which enshrines obligations for the guarantor countries to provide Ukraine with military assistance in the event of an attack.
9h ago 07:31 AM Apr 23, 2022
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will travel to Moscow on April 25 and meet Russian President Vladimir Putin during the visit, a UN spokesman said Friday. 
9h ago 10:16 PM Apr 22, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Photo:VCG
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Photo:VCG


Addressing the Portuguese parliament via video link, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday called on Portugal to send "heavy weapons" and strengthen the sanctions on Russia.

"I am grateful for the opportunity in this difficult time because you know how we are feeling, fighting for our independence, but also our survival," said Zelensky, referring to what Portugal experienced in history.

Zelensky's 15-minute speech received a standing ovation in the parliament attended by Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

Portuguese president said that the speech of his Ukrainian counterpart "showed gratitude" to Portugal and "a very strong desire to integrate the European family."
9h ago 10:13 PM Apr 22, 2022
One of the tasks of the Russian Armed Forces during the ongoing second stage of the special military operation is to "establish full control over Donbass and southern Ukraine," Deputy Commander of Russia's Central Military District Rustam Minnekaev said Friday.

The control of Donbass will make it possible for Russia to create a land corridor to Crimea and influence Ukraine's vital facilities, including Black Sea ports where agricultural and metallurgical products are delivered to other countries, Minnekaev said at a defense industries meeting.

The control of Ukraine's south will open another way out to Transnistria, the major general added.
9h ago 07:57 AM Apr 21, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday met with European Council President Charles Michel, appreciating the European Union (EU) for the support of Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia, Zelensky's press service reported.

"European partners have made a significant contribution to our military capabilities," Zelensky said.

In particular, he thanked the EU for allocating 1.5 billion euros (some 1.63 billion U.S. dollars) within the European Peace Fund to finance the military needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Besides, Zelensky appreciated the EU for imposing sanctions on Russia and called for strengthening the restrictive measures by imposing a full energy embargo on Russia, including oil and gas imports.

For his part, Michel said the EU adopted a decision to provide military support to Ukraine, including equipment and weapons, in the first days of the conflict.

9h ago 07:56 AM Apr 21, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday his country stands ready for any format of prisoner exchange with Russia to free people from the besieged city of Mariupol, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

"We are ready for any format of exchange for the sake of our people, both military and civilian," Zelensky said during a joint briefing with European Council President Charles Michel in Kiev.

Currently, some 120,000 civilians remain in Mariupol, Zelensky said, noting that the humanitarian situation in the city is deteriorating.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that Ukraine and Russia have reached a preliminary agreement on establishing a humanitarian corridor to evacuate women, children and the elderly from the embattled city.

Mariupol, a key Azov Sea port city in eastern Ukraine, saw one of the worst violence in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
9h ago 07:53 AM Apr 21, 2022
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked both the Russian and Ukrainian leaders to receive him to discuss steps to bring about peace following Russia's special military operation in its neighbor.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the secretary-general, said on Wednesday in a statement that separate letters were sent Tuesday afternoon to the permanent missions of Russia and Ukraine to the UN, asking Vladimir Putin to receive Guterres in Moscow and Volodymyr Zelensky to receive him in Kiev.

"The secretary-general said, at this time of great peril and consequence, he would like to discuss urgent steps to bring about peace in Ukraine and the future of multilateralism based on the Charter of the United Nations and international law," Dujarric said.

"He noted that both Ukraine and the Russian Federation are founding members of the United Nations and have always been strong supporters of this organization," the spokesman added.

The top UN official on Tuesday called for a four-day humanitarian pause in fighting in Ukraine to allow for the opening of humanitarian aid corridors during the Orthodox Christian Holy Week.

9h ago 07:51 AM Apr 21, 2022
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries are doing everything to prolong the armed conflict in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Wednesday.

NATO countries are increasing the supplies of military equipment, weapons and ammunition to Ukraine and pushing Kiev to continue "aggression" against Donbass, Zakharova said at her weekly briefing.

These deeds go against NATO countries' words that hostilities in Ukraine should end as soon as possible, she said.

Since the beginning of Russia's special military operation, Ukraine has attracted about 7,000 foreign mercenaries from 63 countries, with the United States as one of the major sources, Zakharova said. 
9h ago 09:44 AM Apr 20, 2022
The second phase of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine has begun, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.

The operation in eastern Ukraine is aimed at "completely liberating" the populations of Donetsk and Lugansk, Lavrov said during an interview with India Today.

"This operation will continue, the next phase of this operation has now begun. There will now be an important moment during this special operation," he added.

Also on Tuesday, the Ukrinform news agency reported that up to 30 percent of Ukraine's infrastructure was damaged as the result of the conflict with Russia, which started on Feb. 24.

The hostilities have either destroyed or damaged 300 bridges and more than 8,000 km of roads, said Ukrinform, quoting Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov.

9h ago 08:06 AM Apr 20, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday he had discussed the increase of aid for Kiev with the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The parties talked about the increase of security assistance to Ukraine amid the conflict with Russia and the post-war reconstruction, Zelensky tweeted.

The Ukrainian leader also said he informed von der Leyen about the provision of the completed European Union (EU) questionnaire, which is a step toward Ukraine's EU integration.

For her part, von der Leyen tweeted that in their talks, the sides touched upon financial and security assistance for Kiev, and Ukraine's replies to the questionnaire on EU membership.

On Monday, Zelensky handed over the questionnaire aimed at achieving his country's candidate status for the EU membership to the EU Ambassador to Ukraine Matti Maasikas.

9h ago 08:05 AM Apr 20, 2022
Russia has declared 15 diplomats from the Netherlands, an unspecified number of diplomats from Belgium, and four diplomats from Austria "personae non gratae" in a tit-for-tat response, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

The ambassadors of the three countries were summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry in protest over their decisions to declare dozens of Russian diplomats working in these countries "personae non gratae," the ministry said in separate statements.

The Dutch diplomats will need to leave Russia within two weeks, the Belgian diplomats were ordered to leave before the end of the day on May 3, while the Austrian diplomats must leave Russia before the end of the day on April 24.

The ministry also summoned the ambassador of Luxembourg, saying Moscow "reserves the right to retaliate" for Luxembourg's expulsion of an employee at the Russian Embassy.

Media reports cited the Belgian Foreign Ministry as saying that 12 Belgian diplomats were ordered to leave Russia.
9h ago 07:53 AM Apr 20, 2022
Ukraine and Russia on Tuesday conducted their fifth prisoner exchange since the start of the conflict, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

As a result of the swap, 76 Ukrainian prisoners-of-war, including 16 civilians, returned home following their release by Russian forces, Vereshchuk wrote on Telegram.

Of the 60 Ukrainian military personnel released, 10 were officers, she said.

Vereshchuk gave no details on how many Russian captives were exchanged during the swap.

Ukraine and Russia conducted their first prisoner exchange on March 24.
9h ago 07:51 AM Apr 20, 2022
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for a four-day humanitarian pause in fighting in Ukraine to allow for the opening of humanitarian aid corridors during the Orthodox Christian Holy Week.

"Today, I am calling for a four-day Holy Week humanitarian pause beginning on Holy Thursday and running through Easter Sunday, April 24th to allow for the opening of a series of humanitarian corridors," Guterres told reporters standing in front of the "Knotted Gun," or "Non Violence," an iconic sculpture of a large gun, the barrel of which is tied in a knot. The sculpture is the first thing that many visitors to UN headquarters in New York see as they enter the compound and symbolizes the world body's commitment to world peace.

Due to the intensifying Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine as Easter approaches, the UN chief said a humanitarian pause is all the more important.

During the proposed pause, Guterres stated, civilians would be evacuated from "current or expected areas of confrontation" and humanitarian aid would be delivered to desperately in needy places such as Mariupol, Donetsk, Lugansk and Kherson.

The top UN official said that more than 4 million people in those areas need assistance.

9h ago 07:50 AM Apr 20, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday submitted to the parliament a bill to further extend martial law in the country, the parliament press service said in a statement.

If lawmakers pass the bill, according to a report released by The Kyiv Independent, the martial law will be extended for two months, until June 24.

Kiev imposed martial law after Russia launched a special military operation against Ukraine on Feb. 24.

On March 15, the Ukrainian parliament voted to extend the martial law till April 25.
9h ago 08:11 AM Apr 19, 2022
Russian forces have begun the battle for the Donbas region, but Ukraine will defend itself, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on Monday.

"Now we can say that Russian troops have started the battle for Donbas, for which they have been preparing for a long time. A very large part of the entire Russian army is now focused on this offensive," Zelensky was quoted as saying by the state-run Ukrinform news agency.

"No matter how many Russian troops are driven there, we will fight," he added.

In the east and south of Ukraine, Russian forces have recently been trying to attack a little more deliberately than before and looking for a weak spot in the country's defense to go there with the main forces, Zelensky said.
9h ago 08:10 AM Apr 19, 2022
Oleksiy Danilov, the Secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said Monday that Russian forces tried to start an active phase of the offensive in eastern Ukraine, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

On Monday morning, along almost the entire front line in Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkiv regions, Russian forces attempted to break through Ukrainian defenses, according to Danilov.

Russian forces managed to make advances only in two small towns, Danilov said, stressing that the Ukrainian military is holding their grounds elsewhere in eastern Ukraine.
9h ago 08:09 AM Apr 19, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday handed over a questionnaire aimed at achieving his country's candidate status for the European Union (EU) membership to the EU Ambassador to Ukraine Matti Maasikas, the presidential press service said.

"Today is one of the stages for our country in joining the EU, the aspiration that our people are striving for and fighting for," Zelensky said at the handover ceremony in Kiev.

The people of Ukraine are united by the goal to become a part of the EU, Zelensky stressed, noting that the prompt work on providing a questionnaire to Ukraine is an important signal for Kiev.

"We believe that we will gain support and become a candidate for accession," Zelensky said.

For his part, Maasikas said that Ukraine's answers to the questionnaire will be analyzed "very quickly".

9h ago 08:07 AM Apr 19, 2022
Russian troops destroyed a depot of weapons supplied by Western countries near west Ukraine's Lviv on Monday morning, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

The Russian Aerospace Forces used high-precision airborne missiles to hit a logistics center of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near Lviv, destroying large consignments of weapons arrived from the United States and European countries over the past six days, Konashenkov told a briefing.

At least seven people were killed and 11 others wounded on Monday morning in missile strikes on the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, said Maksym Kozytsky, head of the Lviv regional military-civilian administration.
9h ago 08:06 AM Apr 19, 2022
Ukraine on Monday sent to the European Commission (EC) the first part of a questionnaire aimed at achieving candidate status for European Union (EU) membership, the Ukrinform news agency reported.

The 1,156-page document contains the answers to 374 questions regarding Ukraine's compliance with the criteria for EU membership in the political and economic spheres, it reported, citing the country's Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna.

Stefanishyna said the Ukrainian government's team has worked on the first part of the EU questionnaire for seven days.

The other part of the questionnaire, which covers questions on the compliance of Ukrainian legislation with EU laws, will be sent to the EC soon, Stefanishyna added.

On Feb. 28, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed an official appeal to the EU, asking for Ukraine's accession via a new special procedure.

9h ago 07:47 AM Apr 18, 2022
Russia's forces have destroyed an ammunition plant in Ukraine's Kiev region, the Russian Defense Ministry said Sunday.

"During the night, high-precision air-based missiles destroyed an ammunition factory near Brovary (city) in the Kiev region," ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a daily briefing.

He added that 29 militants, including foreign mercenaries, were eliminated during the rescue of Russian hostages from a mosque in Mariupol city in eastern Ukraine.

The ministry said Russian forces have destroyed 134 aircraft, 249 anti-aircraft missile systems, 470 unmanned aerial vehicles, 2,290 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 254 multiple rocket launchers, 992 field artillery and mortars, and 2,166 units of special military vehicles belonging to the Ukrainian forces.
9h ago 12:28 PM Apr 17, 2022
The entire urban area of Mariupol city in eastern Ukraine has been fully cleared of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and foreign mercenaries, the Russian military said Saturday.

The remnants of the resistant forces have been blocked inside the Azovstal iron and steel works plants, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a briefing. He said 1,464 Ukrainian servicemen have surrendered during the fighting in the city.

As a key port city on the Azov Sea, Mariupol is witnessing one of the worst violence in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Friday that its forces were still fighting against Russians in Mariupol after almost seven weeks since the city was besieged.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that the elimination of Ukrainian troops in Mariupol would put an end to any negotiations with Russia.
9h ago 08:30 PM Apr 16, 2022
Servicemen of the Ukrainian National Guard take positions in Kiev, on February 25, 2022. Photo: The Paper

Servicemen of the Ukrainian National Guard take positions in Kiev, on February 25, 2022. Photo: The Paper


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared that about 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in the conflict with Russia.

In an interview with CNN on Friday, Zelensky said that some 10,000 Ukrainian servicemen have been injured in the hostilities, with many of them receiving critical wounds.

On March 12, Zelensky said that at least 1,300 Ukrainian servicemen were killed in the conflict with Russia.
9h ago 08:17 PM Apr 16, 2022
Photo:Xinhua

Photo:Xinhua


The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday that 13 top officials of Britain, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have been barred from entering Russia.

"This step was taken as a response to London's unbridled information and political campaign aimed at isolating Russia internationally, creating conditions for containing our country and strangling the domestic economy," the ministry said in a statement.

British Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace are also blacklisted among others.

The ministry said the entry ban will be expanded in the near future to more British politicians and parliamentarians who pursue an anti-Russian policy.

9h ago 07:58 AM Apr 16, 2022
Ukrainian Defense Ministry's spokesman Olexandr Motuzyanyk said Friday that Ukrainian forces continued fighting with the Russian military for the Azov Sea key port city of Mariupol, the Ukrinform news agency reported.

"The Russian army is constantly recruiting additional units to storm the city, and as of now there are active battles near the Ilyich plant and in the port zone of Mariupol," Motuzyanyk said.

He emphasized that the Russian forces have not gained full control of the city after almost seven weeks since the siege began.

The Ukrainian military recently carried out a tactical operation on joining the forces of two military units in Mariupol and now they are trying to unblock the city, Motuzyanyk said.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych said that the 36th Marine Brigade had broken fighting lines and joined the Azov Battalion in Mariupol, strengthening the defense of the city.

9h ago 07:56 AM Apr 16, 2022
Russia expelled 18 European Union (EU) diplomats on Friday in a retaliatory move, the country's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The ministry had summoned head of the EU Delegation to Russia Markus Ederer in a protest over the EU's decision to declare 19 Russian diplomats "personae non gratae" earlier this month, the statement said.

"In response to the hostile actions of the European Union, 18 employees working at the EU Delegation to Russia have been declared 'personae non gratae' and will have to leave the territory of the Russian Federation in the near future," the ministry said.
9h ago 11:22 PM Apr 15, 2022
Photo taken on Feb 27, 2022 shows smoke rising in the sky in Kiev, Ukraine.Photo:Xinhua

Photo taken on Feb 27, 2022 shows smoke rising in the sky in Kiev, Ukraine.Photo:Xinhua


Russia will expand the scale of its missile strikes on Kiev in response to any Ukrainian forces' attacks or sabotage on Russian territory, the country's defense ministry said Friday.

"Russian troops and forces of the Donetsk People's Republic have taken control of the Ilyich Iron and Steel Works in the city of Mariupol as a result of a successful offensive," Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a daily briefing.

The Russian forces used high-precision sea-based Kalibr missiles to strike a military facility on the outskirts of Kiev, he added.

According to the ministry, Russian forces have destroyed 132 aircraft, 105 helicopters, 245 anti-aircraft missile systems, 456 unmanned aerial vehicles, 2,213 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 249 multiple rocket launchers, 966 field artillery and mortars, as well as 2,110 units of special military vehicles of the Ukrainian forces.
9h ago 11:14 PM Apr 15, 2022
Ukrainian civilians withdraw along humanitarian corridors from Ukraine's Mariupol on March 20, 2022. More than 3.48 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries, according to the UN refugee agency. Photo: AFP

Ukrainian civilians withdraw along humanitarian corridors from Ukraine's Mariupol on March 20, 2022. More than 3.48 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries, according to the UN refugee agency. Photo: AFP


Ukraine on Friday created nine humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to leave conflict-affected areas, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Telegram.

The safe routes were established to allow civilians to flee Mariupol city in the eastern Donetsk region and Berdyansk, Tokmak and Energodar towns in the southern Zaporizhzhia region via private transport.

Besides, the Ukrainian authorities will evacuate civilians from five towns and villages in the eastern Luhansk region.

On Thursday, 2,557 people were evacuated from conflict-affected areas in Ukraine.
9h ago 08:01 AM Apr 15, 2022
Oil prices climbed on Thursday as traders weighed the prospect of a European Union (EU) ban on imports of Russian oil.

The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery added 2.70 U.S. dollars, or 2.6 percent, to settle at 106.95 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for June delivery increased 2.92 dollars, or 2.7 percent, to close at 111.70 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The New York Times reported Thursday that EU officials were drafting a phased import ban on Russian oil products.

The EU has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia, but so far, Russian oil has been excluded from the sanctions given the high level of dependency that some EU member states have on the country's energy supplies.

Market participants also assessed the risks on the demand side.

9h ago 08:00 AM Apr 15, 2022
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief said Thursday that the organization will revise down its global growth forecast amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the impact of which will contribute to downgrades for 143 economies this year.

"To put it simply: we are facing a crisis on top of a crisis," IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a curtain raiser speech ahead of the 2022 spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank scheduled next week.

"In the past seven weeks, the world has experienced a second major crisis - a war on top of a pandemic. This risks eroding much of the progress we have made over the past two years, climbing back from COVID," said Georgieva.

In an update to its World Economic Outlook (WEO) report released in January, the IMF already cut 2022 global growth forecast by 0.5 percentage point to 4.4 percent amid Omicron surge, as economies grapple with supply disruptions, higher inflation, record debt and persistent uncertainty.

"Since then, the outlook has deteriorated substantially," largely because of the war and its repercussions," Georgieva noted.

9h ago 08:00 AM Apr 15, 2022
The United Nations on Thursday released 100 million U.S. dollars for hunger hot spots in six African countries and in Yemen to mitigate the spillover effects of the Ukraine conflict.

The funds from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will enable UN agencies and partners to provide critical food, cash and nutritional help as well as other provisions in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Nigeria as well as Yemen, said the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Projects will also be tailored to help women and girls through a crisis that exposes them to additional risks, it said.

Armed conflict, drought and economic turmoil are the main drivers of food insecurity in the seven recipient countries. But the Ukraine conflict is making a dire situation even worse, disrupting food and energy markets and driving up the cost of imports beyond the reach of consumers, said OCHA.

In March 2022, the Food and Agriculture Organization's global food price index hit its highest level since 1990.

9h ago 07:59 AM Apr 15, 2022
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Thursday he had discussed new military aid for Ukraine with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone conversation.

"In our new call, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and I discussed the next military aid package for Ukraine," Kuleba tweeted.

During the talks, the Ukrainian and the U.S. parties also coordinated their positions on further sanctions which will be imposed on Russia over its conflict with Ukraine, Kuleba said.

He also thanked the United States for its "unwavering support" for Ukraine.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden said his administration would provide Ukraine with an additional 800 million U.S. dollars worth of military aid due to what Washington anticipated to be a "wider assault" by Russia in eastern Ukraine.
9h ago 04:52 PM Apr 14, 2022
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva via video message on February 28, 2022. Photo: AFP

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva via video message on February 28, 2022. Photo: AFP

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called for action to mitigate the global impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on food, energy and finance systems.

The conflict is supercharging a three-dimensional crisis of food, energy and finance that is pummeling some of the world's most vulnerable people, countries and economies, he said at the launch of a report by the Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance over the Ukraine crisis.

"And all this comes at a time when developing countries are already struggling with a slate of challenges not of their making: the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and a lack of access to adequate resources to finance the recovery in the context of persistent and growing inequalities," he said. 

"We are now facing a perfect storm that threatens to devastate the economies of many developing countries."

The report shows that the impact of the Ukraine crisis is global and systemic, said Guterres.

9h ago 07:36 AM Apr 14, 2022
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday it has imposed personal sanctions against 398 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 87 Canadian senators in a retaliatory move.

The decisions were made in response to a "wave of anti-Russian sanctions" imposed by the U.S. administration on March 24 this year against 328 deputies of Russia's State Duma, the lower house of parliament, and Canadian sanctions against all members of the Russian Federation Council, the upper house of parliament.

The ministry said it would impose new counter-measures in the near future, and would expand its stop list and take other retaliatory steps.
9h ago 07:36 AM Apr 14, 2022
Russia has declared a senior Czech diplomat "persona non grata" and ordered the official to leave the country before the end of the day on April 16, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Czech Ambassador to Russia Vitezslav Pivonka was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday and was handed a note informing him of the decision, the statement said.

The move was made in response to the expulsion of a diplomat working at the Russian Embassy in Prague, the statement added.

The Czech Republic expelled a Russian diplomat from the country in late March, news reports said.
9h ago 07:35 AM Apr 14, 2022
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that a nationwide humanitarian cease-fire in Ukraine seems to be out of reach at the moment.

"I don't think we had a chance to have a humanitarian cease-fire as we wanted globally (in Ukraine)," he said. "But there is a number of proposals that were made, and we are waiting for an answer from the Russian Federation in relation to those proposals, including different mechanisms for local cease-fires, for corridors, for humanitarian assistance, evacuations, and different other aspects that can minimize the dramatic impact on civilians that we are witnessing."

Guterres on March 28 launched an initiative for a humanitarian cease-fire in Ukraine and sent Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths to Moscow and Kiev to explore the possibilities of a humanitarian cease-fire.

"That was our appeal for humanitarian reasons. But it doesn't seem possible," he said.

"Well, a global ceasefire, at the present moment, doesn't seem to be possible. But there are lots of things that can be done in order to guarantee evacuation of civilians from areas of fighting, in order of guaranteeing humanitarian access in a reliable situation," Guterres told reporters.

9h ago 07:34 AM Apr 14, 2022
U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday his administration will provide Ukraine with an additional 800 million U.S. dollars' worth of military aid due to what Washington anticipated to be a "wider assault" by Russia in eastern Ukraine.

"As Russia prepares to intensify its attack in the Donbas region, the United States will continue to provide Ukraine with the capabilities to defend itself," Biden said in a statement after a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The new package, Biden said, "will contain many of the highly effective weapons systems we have already provided and new capabilities tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine."

"These new capabilities include artillery systems, artillery rounds and armored personnel carriers. I have also approved the transfer of additional helicopters," he said, adding that the United States will continue to facilitate the transfer of significant capabilities from its allies and partners around the world.

The United States has committed 1.7 billion dollars in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia began its "special military operation" on Feb 24.
9h ago 07:33 AM Apr 14, 2022
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Wednesday that his government has relocated more than 250 enterprises from the conflict-affected areas to safer places inside the country, the cabinet's press service reported.

Out of these companies, 121 are already fully operational in the new location, Shmyhal said.

Another 430 manufacturing companies will move their facilities to safer regions with the government assistance soon, he added.

Besides, the government has allocated some 200 million hryvnias (about 6.8 million U.S. dollars) to employers who hire internally displaced persons, Shmyhal said.

Ukraine started a major program to relocate its enterprises amid the conflict with Russia in mid-March.

9h ago 07:32 AM Apr 14, 2022
The Ukraine crisis has put the brakes on growth in the Finnish economy, according to an economic survey published by the country's Ministry of Finance on Wednesday.

Growth is predicted at 1.5 percent this year, less than previously anticipated, the ministry said in a press release.

Before the conflict began in Ukraine, the Finnish economy was recovering well from the COVID-19 pandemic, said the ministry. However, Western countries' sanctions against Russia have further accelerated inflation, which has decreased household purchasing power.

"The sanctions will practically stop Finland's foreign trade with Russia, which will cut Finland's economic growth this year," the ministry said.

The ministry forecast in September 2021 that Finland's economic growth would be 2.9 percent in 2022 and 1.4 percent in 2023.

9h ago 07:31 AM Apr 14, 2022
BRICS countries have expressed their support for continued dialogue and negotiations between Russia and Ukraine to seek a comprehensive solution to the Ukraine issue.

During the second BRICS sherpas' meeting in 2022 held from Tuesday to Wednesday via videolink, BRICS countries reiterated their respective national positions on the Ukraine issue, pledging to support multilateralism, abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries.

The meeting was chaired by Ma Zhaoxu, sherpa for BRICS affairs and vice foreign minister of China.

BRICS countries, consisting of China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa, expressed their concern over the humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine, as well as support for all humanitarian aid to Ukraine, including the contributions of the ICRC and UN agencies.

Noting their particular concern about the serious impact of unilateral sanctions on the recovery of the world economy, the stability of industrial and supply chains, energy and food security, as well as the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the sherpas called for attention to and effective addressing of the concerns of the vast number of developing countries to ensure that the economy and people's livelihood of all countries are not affected.
9h ago 07:52 AM Apr 13, 2022
Ukraine's negotiating position at the peace talks with Russia remains unchanged, the head of the Ukrainian delegation David Arakhamia said Tuesday.

"The Ukrainian side adheres to the Istanbul Communique and hasn't changed its position," Arakhamia wrote on Telegram.

The only difference is that the Ukrainian side does not take into account all the additional issues that were not included in the Istanbul Communique. This may have led to a misinterpretation of the current state of the negotiation process, he said.

The negotiations regarding the security guarantees for Ukraine continue in an online regime, Arakhamia said.

Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine had changed its stance from last month's peace talks in Turkey's Istanbul.
9h ago 07:51 AM Apr 13, 2022
Ukraine has tightened security measures on the borders with Belarus and Moldova's breakaway region of Transnistria, the Ukrinform news agency reported Tuesday.

"The security measures have been strengthened to prevent escalation in these areas," Andriy Demchenko, the spokesman of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, was quoted as saying.

There is a possibility of a military invasion from Belarus to Ukraine, Demchenko said.

The Ukrainian forces stand ready to repel all possible attacks, he added.
9h ago 07:51 AM Apr 13, 2022
Visiting World Bank Group President David Malpass said here on Tuesday that his institution is preparing a financial assistance package worth 1.5 billion U.S. dollars for Ukraine.

The donor and recipient countries of the International Development Association (IDA), a World Bank fund that helps the poorest countries, approved on Monday the provision of one billion U.S. dollars to Ukraine, which enabled this 1.5 billion-U.S.-dollar aid package that supports the "continuation of essential government services," Malpass said.

"We will be ready to help Ukraine with reconstruction when the time comes. In the meantime, we are working to help Ukrainian refugees as they plan their return home; help communities as they absorb Ukrainians; and help the many millions of internally displaced persons in Ukraine who have lost their homes and livelihoods," he said.

The World Bank Group, he said, analyses the global impact of the conflict in Ukraine, "including the spike in food and energy prices, and preparing a surge crisis response that will provide focused support for developing countries."

According to the World Bank, Ukraine's economy is expected to shrink by as much as 45.1 percent this year.
9h ago 07:50 AM Apr 13, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday at a joint press conference that it was important to deepen integration between Russia and Belarus in the face of all-out Western sanctions.

Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko hosted the joint press conference at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's Far East, Sputnik News reported.

"We will continue to jointly oppose any attempts to slow down the development of our countries or artificially isolate them from the global economy," Putin said.

Belarus is Russia's leading trade partner. Bilateral trade reached 380 million U.S. dollars by the end of 2021, an increase of more than 33 percent year-on-year.

Putin added that the Belarusian platform was suitable for negotiations between Moscow and Kiev, saying that starting a direct dialogue with Ukraine has become possible largely thanks to the personal efforts of Lukashenko.

9h ago 12:14 AM Apr 13, 2022
(Left to right, front) Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Roscosmos general director Dmitry Rogozin arrive by helicopter at the Vostochny Cosmodrome. Photo: The Paper

(Left to right, front) Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Roscosmos general director Dmitry Rogozin arrive by helicopter at the Vostochny Cosmodrome. Photo: The Paper

 Russian President Vladimir Putin called the situation in Ukraine "a tragedy" and peace talks had reached a "dead end" in his meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, asserting that economic sanctions imposed on Russia by nations around the world have "failed" and he had no intention of pulling back from a military campaign. 

Western media reported that Russia is planning a new operation to end or make significant progress in its military operation in Ukraine by May 9, Victory Day, to celebrate the former Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany, with a decisive battle in east Ukraine's Donbas region. 

Chinese analysts said on Tuesday that the positive trend achieved by previous peace talks in Turkey was ruined, and the West and Ukraine are likely to miscalculate Russia, making negotiations hard to restart.  

The redeployment of Russian troops in east Ukraine after Russia announced it would reduce military activities around Kiev could be a signal that Russia is preparing for a new massive operation, because the newly emerging incidents, like the alleged "massacre" in Bucha widely hyped by Western media but still with no conclusions from an international independent investigation, have increased hostility between the two sides, and they almost have no more room to compromise to reach a ceasefire, said experts.

After the latest round of Russia-Ukraine talks in Turkey last month, Ukraine's leaders said they're willing to accept a formal neutral status for the country, ruling out NATO membership and accepting some constraints on its military, in exchange for an end to the war. 

9h ago 08:18 AM Apr 12, 2022
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly announced Monday that Canada is imposing new sanctions on Russian defence sector.

According to a news release issued by Foreign Affairs Ministry, these new measures will impose restrictions on 33 entities in the Russian defence sector.

These entities have provided indirect or direct support to the Russian military, the news release said.

Since Feb. 24 when the Russia-Ukraine conflict began, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 700 individuals and entities from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Canada's latest sanctions will impose asset freezes and prohibitions on listed entities, the release said.
9h ago 08:16 AM Apr 12, 2022
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has dealt a severe blow to the global economy, reducing forecasted global trade growth for 2022 from the 4.7 percent predicted last October to between 2.4 percent and 3 percent.

The projection, based on a global economic simulation model, was made by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat in a note issued on Monday.

According to the same model, the crisis could lower global GDP growth by 0.7-1.3 percentage points, bringing it to somewhere between 3.1 percent and 3.7 percent for 2022.

The conflict has pushed up food and energy prices, and reduced the availability of goods exported by Russia and Ukraine, said the Secretariat note.

Russia and Ukraine are both important suppliers of essential products, notably food and energy, according to the note. The two countries supplied around 25 percent of wheat, 15 percent of barley and 45 percent of sunflower product exports globally in 2019. Russia alone accounted for 9.4 percent of world trade in fuels, including a 20 percent share in natural gas exports.

9h ago 08:16 AM Apr 12, 2022
The delegation of the European Union (EU) to Ukraine said on Monday it has resumed its work in Kiev.

"The EU is back in town," the diplomatic mission tweeted.

The EU evacuated its delegation from Kiev to the Polish city of Rzeszow shortly after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine started on Feb. 24.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell visited Ukraine last week, promising a speedier process for the country to join the EU.
9h ago 08:14 AM Apr 12, 2022
A Chinese envoy on Monday called for an early end to the conflict in Ukraine in order to fundamentally solve the humanitarian crisis and spare women and children from violence.

Women and children are the most vulnerable to violence, and should be given priority protection in armed conflicts, said Dai Bing, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

"We call on parties involved in the situation in Ukraine to strictly abide by international humanitarian law, effectively protect women and children, respect and guarantee the civilian nature and safety of facilities such as schools and hospitals, and provide special care to women and children in evacuation, rescue, and medical assistance," he told a Security Council meeting on Ukraine.

China deplores that dozens of civilians, including women and children, were killed or injured in the attack on Kramatorsk train station. The relevant circumstances and specific cause of the incident must be established and verified, and any claim should be based on facts, he said.

A large number of Ukrainian women and children have taken refuge in neighboring countries. China appreciates these neighboring countries and other countries for opening their borders and providing shelter and humanitarian assistance. All refugees, regardless of skin color, race, or religion, should receive equal protection under international refugee law, said Dai.

9h ago 08:12 AM Apr 09, 2022
A woman shops at a supermarket in Sydney, Australia, on April 7, 2022.(Photo: Xinhua)

A woman shops at a supermarket in Sydney, Australia, on April 7, 2022.(Photo: Xinhua)


 
A Palestinian baker uses a traditional wood-fired oven to prepare food during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in the West Bank city of Nablus, on April 7, 2022.(Photo: Xinhua)

A Palestinian baker uses a traditional wood-fired oven to prepare food during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in the West Bank city of Nablus, on April 7, 2022.(Photo: Xinhua)


 
A customer chooses cooking oil at Colruyt supermarket in Brussels, Belgium, March 29, 2022. Due to rise of high energy prices, Belgium markets witnessed the rise of prices of petrol, diesel, cooking oil, flour, etc, in recent times.(Photo: Xinhua)

A customer chooses cooking oil at Colruyt supermarket in Brussels, Belgium, March 29, 2022. Due to rise of high energy prices, Belgium markets witnessed the rise of prices of petrol, diesel, cooking oil, flour, etc, in recent times.(Photo: Xinhua)


 
World food commodity prices made a significant leap in March to reach their highest levels, as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to push up energy costs and cause supply chain slowdowns.

The monthly food prices index, released Friday by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), rose 12.6 percent to reach 159.3 points in March, compared to a baseline of 100 points for the average in 2014-2016 (adjusted for inflation.)

This is by far the highest total in the history of the index, which was launched in its current form in 1990.

All of the five sub-categories in the index rose, with prices for grains and cereals -- the largest component in the index -- climbing a stunning 17.1 percent. The FAO said the main factor behind this rise is that Russia and Ukraine are both major producers of wheat and coarse grains, and prices for these have soared due to the conflict. Concerns over crop conditions in the United States were also a factor, FAO said. Rice prices, meanwhile, were mostly unchanged compared to February.

Meanwhile, prices for vegetable oils climbed 23.2 percent due to rising transportation costs and reduced exports, again due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

9h ago 08:11 AM Apr 09, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday hailed the visit of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the European Union's (EU) foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to Kiev as a signal of support for Ukraine, the state-run Ukrinform news agency reported.

"This is a very strong signal that Ukraine and the European Union are together," Zelensky said at the joint press briefing with von der Leyen and Borrell in Kiev on Friday.

Zelensky thanked the European officials for coming to Ukraine in difficult times and for visiting Bucha outside Kiev, where hundreds of murdered civilians were allegedly found after Russian forces withdrew.

Von der Leyen said that Ukraine is welcomed in the European family and handed over a questionnaire to Zelensky, the completion of which is a necessary step for granting the status of an EU candidate.

"We are with you in your dreams of Europe. I want to say very clearly: Ukraine has a place in the European family," von der Leyen said.

9h ago 08:10 AM Apr 09, 2022
The defense ministers of Turkey, Italy and Britain on Friday held a meeting over the Ukraine crisis in Turkey's largest city Istanbul.

The ministers would exchange views on relations between their countries in the fields of defense and security and regional issues, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Before the meeting, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar had bilateral talks with his Italian counterpart Lorenzo Guerini and British Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace separately, according to the ministry.

Ankara has accelerated its efforts to bring a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine, pushing for a summit between Russian and Ukrainian presidents in Turkey.

The latest round of face-to-face peace talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations was held in Istanbul at the end of March.
9h ago 12:48 AM Apr 09, 2022
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) and Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (back) attending Russia-Turkiye-Ukraine tripartite Foreign Ministers meeting in Antalya, Turkey on March 10. Photo: AFP

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) and Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (back) attending Russia-Turkiye-Ukraine tripartite Foreign Ministers meeting in Antalya, Turkey on March 10. Photo: AFP


Russia hopes that its special military operation in Ukraine will end "in the foreseeable future," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

The operation is continuing and Russia's goals are being achieved, while substantive work is being carried out both in the military sphere and at the negotiation table, Peskov said at a daily briefing.

In an interview with the Sky News on Thursday, Peskov said that "our military are doing their best to bring an end to that operation."

"And we do hope that in coming days, in the foreseeable future, this operation will reach its goals or will finish ... by the negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian delegations," he said.

Moscow and Kiev have conducted several rounds of peace talks to seek a political settlement to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, which has intensified over the past month.

9h ago 09:46 PM Apr 08, 2022
The Russian Defense Ministry on Friday said it did not launch any "rocket attack" on a railway station in the city of Kramatorsk, which local authorities said had killed at least 39 people.

Allegations by the Ukrainian side that Russia carried out the attack are " provocation and absolutely untrue," the ministry said in a statement.

"On April 8, the Russian armed forces did not have any firing missions in the city of Kramatorsk," it said.

The Russian Defense Ministry's statement noted that the Tochka-U tactical missile system is not operational in "the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics" or in Russia but is actively used by the Ukrainian military.

At least 39 people, including four children, were killed Friday in the attack, which targeted a railway station in Kramatorsk town in Donetsk, spokesman for Ukraine's Security Service Artem Dekhtyarenko said earlier Friday.

9h ago 07:56 PM Apr 08, 2022
Photo taken on April 7, 2022 shows the voting result of the draft resolution, Suspension of the rights of membership of the Russian Federation in the Human Rights Council, during the UN General Assembly Special Emergency Session on Ukraine at the UN headquarters in New York. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Thursday that allows the assembly to suspend the Russian Federation's membership in the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.Photo:VCG

An electronic board shows the results of the vote of the UN General Assembly to expel Russia from the UN Human Rights Council during a continuation of the Eleventh Emergency Special Session on Ukraine on Thursday in New York City. Photo: VCG.



After the vote pushed by the US at the UN General Assembly decided to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, some member states expressed opposition to the hasty move which forced countries to take sides before knowing the full story, and analysts said such a dangerous precedent may split the UN and undermine the rules-based international order as the US and the West are promoting a new Cold War mentality at the UN. 

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Thursday calling for Russia to be suspended from the Human Rights Council. In the 193-member Assembly, 93 countries voted in favor, 24 against, and 58 abstained. 

Russia, China, Iran and Vietnam were among those who voted against. Those who abstained include India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Pakistan and Singapore.

The vote sets a dangerous precedent on that a resolution without solid investigation can be brought to the UN where member states are then abducted by political ideology and forced to choose sides, Zhu Ying, a professor of the National Human Rights Education and Training Base of Southwest University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times.

9h ago 08:03 AM Apr 08, 2022
Russia has made a decision on the early termination of its membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

"The Russian side considers the resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on April 7 in New York to suspend the membership of the Russian Federation in the UN Human Rights Council as an unlawful and politically motivated step in order to defiantly punish a sovereign UN member state that pursues an independent domestic and foreign policy," the ministry said in a statement.

The council is now monopolized by a group of states that use it for their own opportunistic purposes, it added.

"Having proclaimed themselves a standard in the field of human rights, these states are directly involved in gross and mass violations of human rights," it said.

Russia will continue to contribute to the protection of human rights though it made such a decision, according to the ministry.
9h ago 08:02 AM Apr 08, 2022
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Moscow would retaliate against Washington's latest package of sanctions, adding that the response would not necessarily be symmetrical.

"We will announce retaliatory measures in the near future... the blame for the destruction of Russian-U.S. relations lies entirely with Washington," it said in a statement, citing Alexander Darchiev, who heads the ministry's North American affairs department.

Darchiev added that Washington's actions have become a routine practice, and the recent decision to impose a fresh package of sanctions against Russian officials and the country's financial sector show that the United States had clearly ran out of restrictive measures.

"Not a single aggressive attack against Russia will go unanswered," he said, adding that this would only unite the Russian people, and end in "a humiliating defeat" for the enemy.
9h ago 08:01 AM Apr 08, 2022
Ukraine wants to get part of the funds from the seized Russian assets in the West within the next six months, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Thursday.

"A working group has been set up. It is already actively working in several areas. The first is the seizure of Russian assets in the West and the transfer of these funds to Ukraine," Shmyhal was quoted as saying by the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

Ukraine is working separately with several countries on the issue, Shmyhal said.
9h ago 08:00 AM Apr 08, 2022
The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Thursday that allows the assembly to suspend the Russian Federation's membership in the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.

The draft resolution, "Suspension of the rights of membership of the Russian Federation in the Human Rights Council," obtained 93 "yes" votes and 24 "no" votes from the 193-member General Assembly. A total of 58 countries abstained. Eighteen countries did not participate in the voting.

China voted against the move pushed by the United States.

A two-thirds majority of voting members - abstentions do not count - can suspend a country from the 47-member council. Libya was suspended in 2011 because of violence against protesters by forces loyal to then-leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The resolution expresses "grave concern at the ongoing human rights and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine," particularly at reports of rights abuses by Russia.

9h ago 01:55 AM Apr 08, 2022
United Nations Photo:CFP

File Photo: VCG

The resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council was not drafted in an open and transparent manner and the hasty move has forced countries to take sides, which will aggravate the division among member states and intensify conflicts between the parties concerned, China's permanent representative to the UN, Zhang Jun, said in explanation of China's vote against the resolution on Thursday.

The draft resolution on the suspension of Russia's rights of membership in the Human Rights Council was approved on Thursday with two thirds of the eligible members voting in favor in the US-led push that garnered 93 votes in favor, 24 against and 58 abstentions, Reuters reported. 

On the Ukraine issue, Zhang said that China always believes that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine, should be respected, that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be upheld, and that all efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis should be supported.

Putting an early end to the fight is the urgent expectation of the international community and it is also what China is striving for. China calls on all parties concerned to take concrete actions to ensure the safety of civilians and protect the basic rights and humanitarian needs of women, children and other vulnerable groups.

Zhang said the reports and images of civilian deaths in Bucha are disturbing. The relevant circumstances and specific causes of the incident must be verified and established. Any accusations should be based on facts. Before the full picture is clear, all sides should exercise restraint and avoid unfounded accusations.

9h ago 11:00 PM Apr 07, 2022
A senior official of the World Health Organization (WHO) called on Thursday for a "humanitarian ceasefire" in Ukraine and expressed solidarity with health workers in the country.

Hans Kluge, WHO's regional director for Europe, made the appeal on the World Health Day.

According to WHO Europe, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has significantly harmed Ukraine's ability to provide health care to its citizens.

"The WHO is committed to be in Ukraine in the short and long term...Health requires peace, well-being requires hope, and healing requires time," Kluge said.

He said that the WHO's activities were based around three priorities: to keep Ukraine's health services operational; to collaborate with Ukraine's neighbors in the European region and beyond to ensure that the health needs of those fleeing the conflicts are met; and to assist Ukraine's health authorities in rebuilding the country's health system better.
9h ago 07:51 AM Apr 07, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky instructed the government to formalize the cessation of Ukraine's trade with Russia, the presidential press service said in a statement Wednesday.

In fact, import and export operations between Ukraine and Russia have been completely terminated since the start of the conflict, the statement said.

According to Ukraine's Fiscal Service, Ukraine saw a 38.7 percent year-on-year growth in trade with Russia in 2021 with a value of 10.09 billion U.S. dollars. Exports grew by 26.5 percent to 3.44 billion dollars, while imports increased by 45.9 percent to 6.65 billion dollars.
9h ago 07:47 AM Apr 07, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that talks between Ukraine and Russia will continue despite the evidence of "atrocities carried out by the Russian military", the Ukrinform news agency reported on Wednesday.

"In any case, we must find even small opportunities for the negotiation process. Without this, I think it is difficult to end the war," Zelensky was quoted as saying in an interview with Turkey's Haberturk television channel.

Zelensky emphasized the importance of the mediation mission of other countries, including Turkey, in the talks.

At least 280 people, including children, were found dead in Bucha, some 28 km northwest of Kiev after the Ukrainian army retook control of the town from the Russian military.

Zelensky earlier called the killings of civilians in Bucha a "war crime".

9h ago 07:46 AM Apr 07, 2022
The United States on Wednesday imposed additional sanctions on Russia for its military operation in Ukraine, targeting the country's major financial institutions and the two daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to a factsheet from the White House detailing the measures, the United States will impose full blocking sanctions on Russia's largest financial institution, Sberbank, and the country's largest private bank, Alfa Bank, freezing any of the two banks' assets in the U.S. financial system and prohibiting Americans from doing business with them.

U.S. President Joe Biden will sign an executive order banning new investment in Russia by Americans no matter where they live, the factsheet said, adding the executive order aims to "ensure the enduring weakening of the Russian Federation's global competitiveness."

Additionally, Americans will no longer be allowed to conduct business transactions with major Russian state-owned enterprises, whose assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction will be frozen. The Department of the Treasury will announce the names of these entities Thursday.

Full blocking sanctions will be imposed on Putin's two adult daughters, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's wife and daughter, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin as well as former Russia President and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is now deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia.

9h ago 09:55 PM Apr 06, 2022
Russia and Ukraine are continuing negotiations but there remains a long way to go, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

"There is still quite a long road ahead ... The working process is continuing, but more viscously than we want," Peskov told a daily briefing, stressing that Moscow would like Kiev to be more active during the negotiations.

The withdrawal of Russian troops from the Kiev region was to facilitate the peace talks, he told France's LCI broadcaster earlier in the day.

Russia is interested in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreeing to Russia's conditions, which were clearly formulated by the Russian delegation, so that the military operation will come to an end, he said.
9h ago 09:27 PM Apr 06, 2022
 
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian Photo: fmprc.gov.cn

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian Photo: fmprc.gov.cn



China has been greatly concerned about the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, especially harm on civilians, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday, noting the reports and images about the deaths of civilians in Bucha are deeply disturbing and that the truth of the incident must be thoroughly investigated. 

Speaking at the press conference on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said relevant parties should be restrained and avoid baseless accusations before an investigation is concluded. "The humanitarian issue should not be politicized and any accusation should base on facts."

China supports all initiatives and measures that could help ease the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, has already provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine and will continue to work with the international community to prevent any harm on civilians, Zhao said.  

The positive trend toward ceasefire that emerged after the latest Russia-Ukraine talks in Turkey, such as Russia to reduce military activities around Kiev and Ukraine to consider neutral position, has been ruined by the incident, even though no independent investigation has been carried out yet, and the situation will become intense again, said Chinese analysts. 

9h ago 06:01 PM Apr 06, 2022
People evacuate in Irpin, Ukraine, March 11, 2022. Photo: Xinhua

People evacuate in Irpin, Ukraine, March 11, 2022. Photo: Xinhua


 
Ukraine on Wednesday created 11 humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to leave conflict-affected cities and deliver humanitarian aid, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Telegram.

The humanitarian corridors established safe exit routes from five towns in the southern Zaporizhzhia region and five towns and villages in Luhansk, Vereshchuk said.

One humanitarian corridor was set up to allow civilians to leave Mariupol in Donetsk, where there has been fierce fighting, via private transport.

On Tuesday, some 3,800 people were evacuated from conflict-affected areas in Ukraine.
9h ago 09:15 PM Apr 05, 2022
Photo taken on March 10, 2022 shows the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.Photo: Xinhua

Photo taken on March 10, 2022 shows the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.Photo: Xinhua


 
A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is possible only after a peace treaty is ready, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

"Nothing has changed for us. We do not reject the possibility of such a meeting for our president," Peskov told a daily briefing.

"But we repeat once again that such a meeting is possible only after the text of the document is agreed upon," he said.

Moscow and Kiev have conducted several rounds of negotiations aimed at finalizing a treaty to end the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
9h ago 08:49 PM Apr 05, 2022
More than 20 billion US dollars of international aid has been allocated for Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported on Tuesday, citing Kyrylo Shevchenko, governor of the National Bank of Ukraine.

"The financial aid allocated for Ukraine by now exceeds 20 billion dollars. A part of it has already been disbursed," Shevchenko was quoted as saying.

In March, Shevchenko said that international donors have pledged 15 billion dollars in financial, technical and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. ■
9h ago 08:00 PM Apr 05, 2022
Ukraine established seven humanitarian corridors on Tuesday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Telegram.

One humanitarian corridor was set up to allow civilians to leave the conflict-torn city of Mariupol via private transport, Vereshchuk said.

Other humanitarian routes were established to evacuate people from Tokmak and Berdyansk towns in the southern Zaporizhzhia region and from four settlements in Luhansk, the official said.

On Monday, 3,376 people were evacuated from conflict-affected areas in Ukraine.
9h ago 12:30 AM Apr 05, 2022
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi

The basic stance of China on the Ukraine issue is to facilitate dialogue to promote peace, China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in a phone call on Monday at the invitation of the latter. 

Kuleba provided an overview of the situation between Russia and Ukraine, saying that China is a great country that advocates and practices the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and is a key positive force in maintaining peace. 

Ukraine attaches great importance to China's international influence and prestige, and is willing to maintain communication with China, Kuleba said, hoping that China will continue to play an important role in ceasefire.

Wang thanked the Ukrainian government and all sections of the Ukrainian public for their efforts in assisting the safe evacuation of Chinese citizens in Ukraine, stressing that Chinese leaders and the Chinese government attach great importance to the safety of every overseas citizen, and hope that the Ukrainian side would continue to take active and effective measures to ensure the safety of a few Chinese citizens who have voluntarily stayed in Ukraine. 

Kuleba said that the Ukrainian side will make its best efforts to this end.

9h ago 05:19 PM Apr 03, 2022
Servicemen of the Ukrainian National Guard take positions in Kiev, on February 25, 2022. Photo: The Paper

Servicemen of the Ukrainian National Guard take positions in Kiev, on February 25, 2022. Photo: The Paper


Ukraine has regained control of the "whole Kiev region," Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Maliar said on Facebook on Saturday.

Ukraine has retaken "Irpin, Bucha, Gostomel and the whole Kiev region," said Maliar.

The Russian military continues to carry out systematic missile and aviation strikes on targets in Ukraine, but the intensity has decreased, said the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Additional units of the Russian military are preparing to participate in combat in Ukraine, it added.
9h ago 05:13 PM Apr 03, 2022
Explosions rocked Ukraine's southern Black Sea port city of Odesa early Sunday as the city came under an airstrike, the Operation Command South, a formation of the Ukrainian Ground Forces in southern Ukraine, said on Facebook.

The attacks hit the city's infrastructure. Some of the missiles were intercepted by the air defense.

According to preliminary data, there were no reports of casualties from the strikes.

Smoke has been rising in various districts of the city.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed an oil refinery and three storage facilities for fuel and lubricants near Ukraine's Odessa with high-precision sea- and air-based missiles.

9h ago 08:24 AM Apr 03, 2022
The draft agreements that were discussed during the meeting in Istanbul this week are now ready for discussion by the presidents of Ukraine and Russia, head of the Ukrainian delegation David Arakhamia said Saturday.

The draft has been "developed enough to conduct direct consultations between the two leaders of the countries," Arakhamia was quoted by Interfax-Ukraine news agency as saying.

"Our task is to prepare the final stage not of the document itself, but of those issues that we touched upon, and to prepare the future meeting of the presidents," he said.

Ukraine's government-run Ukrinform news agency confirmed on Friday that the two sides have started the next round of peace talks via video, citing a member of the Ukrainian delegation Mykhailo Podolyak.

Russia and Ukraine held their latest round of face-to-face peace talks in Turkey's Istanbul on Tuesday, which lasted for about three hours.
9h ago 05:53 PM Apr 02, 2022
Screengrab of Russian Defence Ministry briefing showing US-sponsored biolabs on Ukraininan territory. Photo : Russian Ministry of Defence

Screengrab of Russian Defence Ministry briefing showing US-sponsored biolabs on Ukraininan territory. Photo : Russian Ministry of Defence


Russia's Defense Ministry has found evidence suggesting Kiev was planning to use pathogens developed in Pentagon-funded biological laboratories against the population of Donbass and Russia, according to an article published on RT.

Alongside Kiev's intent, the defense ministry allegedly identified concrete US officials involved in developing biological weapons in Ukraine.

These officials were "the heads of divisions and employees of the US Department of Defense, as well as its main contractors," said the report, citing Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

Hunter Biden, the son of the current US president Joe Biden, was directly involved in these campaigns, Konashenkov said, citing investigations by Western media, adding Hunter Biden has worked closely with Pentagon contractor Metabiota, which specializes in research on pathogens that can be used to develop biological weapons.
9h ago 08:19 AM Apr 02, 2022
Ukrainian and Russian forces on Friday exchanged prisoners under an agreement reached by the two countries' negotiating groups earlier this week, said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Ukrainian president's office.

"The exchange has just taken place. 86 Ukrainian servicemen, including 15 women, are now safe," Tymoshenko said on Telegram.

The prisoner swap took place in Ukraine's southern Zaporizhzhia region, Tymoshenko said, without giving the number of captives released by Ukraine.

Ukraine and Russia held their latest round of face-to-face peace talks in Turkey's Istanbul on Tuesday.

Ukraine and Russia conducted their first prisoner swap last week since the start of the conflict on Feb. 24, Ukrainian authorities said.
9h ago 10:51 PM Apr 01, 2022
Photo taken on March 7, 2022 shows a view of the third round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations at the Belovezhskaya Pushcha.Photo:Xinhua

Photo taken on March 7, 2022 shows a view of the third round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations at the Belovezhskaya Pushcha.Photo:Xinhua


Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are continuing in an online format, the head of Russia's delegation at talks with Ukraine Vladimir Medinsky said Friday.

"We are continuing negotiations in a videoconference format. Our positions on Crimea and Donbass remain unchanged," Medinsky wrote in a Telegram post.

Also on Friday, Ukraine's government-run Ukrinform news agency confirmed that Ukraine and Russia have started the next round of peace talks via video, citing a member of the Ukrainian delegation Mykhailo Podolyak.

On Thursday, another Ukrainian negotiator, David Arakhamia, said that at the fresh talks, the Ukrainian and Russian delegations will intensify efforts to work out an agreement needed for a meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia and Ukraine held their latest round of face-to-face peace talks in Turkey's Istanbul on Tuesday, which lasted for about three hours.
9h ago 10:13 PM Apr 01, 2022
A fire broke out at an oil depot in the Russian city of Belgorod after two Ukrainian military helicopters attacked the fuel storage facility, Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of the Belgorod Region, said Friday.

Hours later, spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry Olexandr Motuzyanyk said he does not confirm or deny the information about Ukraine's involvement in the fire at the oil depot in Russia's Belgorod, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

"I will neither confirm nor deny this information," Motuzyanyk told reporters at a media briefing in Kiev.

Ukraine has been carrying out a defensive operation to repel "Russian armed aggression" on the territory of Ukraine, he said.

"This does not mean that Ukraine should be responsible for all miscalculations, all catastrophes, and all the events taking place in Russia," Motuzyanyk added.

9h ago 05:51 PM Apr 01, 2022
Ukraine and Russia will resume their peace talks on Friday in an online format, the Ukrinform news agency reported Thursday, citing a member of the Ukrainian delegation David Arakhamia.

During the talks, the Ukrainian and Russian delegations will intensify efforts to work out an agreement needed for a meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Arakhamia said on Telegram.

"We hope that the presidents of the countries will meet next," Arakhamia said, noting that the Ukrainian side insists that the meeting take place anywhere but Russia or Belarus.

According to the TASS news agency, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that "as for the resumption (of the peace talks) tomorrow ... if it happens, we will inform you."

There is no clear timeframe of a possible meeting between Putin and Zelensky, Peskov said.

9h ago 09:10 AM Apr 01, 2022
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Thursday it had been informed by Ukraine that Russian forces that had been in control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant were leaving the facility and had "in writing, transferred control" of the plant to Ukrainian personnel.

Ukraine said two convoys of Russian forces had left the Chernobyl plant and moved toward Belarus and a third convoy had left the city of Slavutych, where many of the facility's staff live, and moved toward Belarus, the IAEA said in a statement.

The remaining Russian forces at the Chernobyl site were also presumed to be preparing to leave, according to the statement.

The IAEA said it was in close consultations with Ukrainian authorities on sending a first assistance and support mission to Chernobyl in the next few days.

The UN nuclear watchdog said it had not been able to confirm reports of Russian forces receiving high doses of radiation in the exclusion zone of Chernobyl, but was seeking further information to provide an independent assessment of the situation.

9h ago 09:08 AM Apr 01, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted on Thursday he had discussed steps toward peace in Ukraine with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

During the conversation, Zelensky noted the high level of organization of negotiations of Ukrainian and Russian delegations in Istanbul.

Besides, the Ukrainian leader said he appreciates the readiness of Turkey to become a guarantor of Ukraine's security.

Ukraine and Russia concluded their fresh round of face-to-face peace talks in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Tuesday.

At the negotiations, Kiev proposed to sign a new international treaty on security guarantees, which enshrines obligations for the guarantor countries to provide Ukraine with military assistance in the event of an attack.
9h ago 09:07 AM Apr 01, 2022
The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) has transferred Energoatom, the operator of Ukraine's nuclear power plants, from Moscow to the Paris directorate, Energoatom said Thursday.

"The WANO Governing Board at its meeting supported the application of Energoatom and decided to transfer the company, along with all its plants and nuclear power units, to the Paris association center," Energoatom said on Facebook.

Ukrainian nuclear power plants had been part of the WANO Moscow center since the establishment of this organization in 1989, Energoatom said.

A total of 15 nuclear units at four operating Ukrainian nuclear power plants generate about 55 percent of Ukraine's electricity needs.
9h ago 09:06 AM Apr 01, 2022
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose on Thursday as Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to invoke safe haven demand.

The most active gold contract for June delivery rose 15 U.S. dollars, or 0.77 percent, to close at 1,954 dollars per ounce.

Gold rose 2.8 percent for March, and 6.9 percent for the first quarter of this year.

Russia issued a decree on Thursday, demanding payment for natural gas in rubles. This suggests that a breakthrough in peace talks is still far away.

U.S. Department of Commerce reported on Thursday that U.S. consumer spending increased by 0.2 percent in February, indicating high inflation and supporting gold.

9h ago 09:03 AM Apr 01, 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky discussed the latest development in the Ukraine crisis over the phone on Thursday, the Turkish presidential office said.

Erdogan stated that the recent peace talks between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations in Istanbul gave a meaningful impetus to the process to end the crisis and establish peace, the presidential office said in a statement.

Erdogan reiterated his proposal to bring together the presidents of Ukraine and Russia for a summit in Turkey. Zelensky thanked Erdogan for hosting the talks in Istanbul, according to the statement.

Russia and Ukraine concluded a fresh round of face-to-face peace talks in Istanbul on Tuesday, creating a possibility of formulating a security treaty.

Following the meeting, Ukrainian negotiators named several countries which could act as guarantors, protecting Ukraine on the international arena, and Russian delegates pledged to scale down Russia's military operations in Ukraine to create the necessary ground for dialogue.

9h ago 09:03 AM Apr 01, 2022
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that "the top leadership" of the European Union (EU) has been barred from entering Russia in response to Brussels' massive sanctions.

The restrictions apply to a number of European commissioners, heads of EU military structures, and the vast majority of lawmakers of the European parliament promoting anti-Russian policies, the ministry said in a statement.

The "blacklist" also includes representatives of the governments and parliaments of some EU member states, public figures and media workers.

The ministry said it had informed the EU delegation in Moscow of the entry ban, but it did not publish names of the targeted.

"We reaffirm that any hostile actions on the part of the EU and its member states will continue to inevitably receive a harsh response," the statement said.
9h ago 08:21 AM Mar 31, 2022
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said in a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that a ceasefire in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine should be established "as soon as possible," according to a statement from Draghi's office.

The conversation "centered on the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and the latest developments," said the statement.

Draghi "stressed the importance of establishing a ceasefire as soon and possible," and that Italy remained willing to "contribute to the peace process" if there were "clear signs" Russia would de-escalate the conflict, it said, adding the leaders agreed to remain in close contact.

Italy's statement said that Putin explained his country's plan to require Italy and other countries critical of Russia in the crisis to pay for Russian natural gas exports in rubles, the Russian currency. Traditionally, such payments are made in U.S. dollars or euros.

The statement did not say if Draghi agreed to the Russian plan, though on March 24 Draghi said that requiring payment for Russian gas in rubles was a violation of the gas supply contracts currently in force.

9h ago 08:20 AM Mar 31, 2022
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday received a phone call from his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, the second in one week, during which they discussed "the developments of the Ukrainian crisis," said the Egyptian presidency.

Zelensky briefed Sisi on the latest developments of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine peace negotiations in a bid to end the current conflict, said Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Rady in a statement.

During the conversation, the Egyptian president "emphasized the importance of addressing all means leading to calm and a peaceful solution to the conflict."

Sisi also stressed Egypt's keenness to make all efforts, whether at the bilateral, regional or international levels, to achieve a peaceful settlement to the crisis, according to the Egyptian presidency.

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict started on Feb. 24 when Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a "special military operation" against Ukraine.

9h ago 08:19 AM Mar 31, 2022
Russia is redeploying its troops from Kiev and Chernihiv directions, in the central and northern Ukraine respectively, to Ukraine's eastern regions, Oleksiy Danilov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, said Wednesday.

Some personnel, who were in Chernihiv and Kiev directions, are being redeployed. Some of them appear in the Kharkiv and Donetsk directions," Danilov was quoted as saying by the Ukrinform news agency.

Russia's new offensive on Ukrainian forces is also possible in the eastern Lugansk area, Danilov said.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian Defense Ministry's spokesman Olexandr Motuzyanyk said that Russia has been withdrawing some troops from Kiev and Chernihiv directions.

On Tuesday, Russia's Defense Ministry announced that Russia decided to significantly reduce military activity near Kiev and Chernihiv.
9h ago 08:17 AM Mar 31, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed gas payment issues and Russia-Ukraine talks during a telephone call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday.

Putin informed Scholz about the substance of the decision to switch to Russian rubles in gas transactions, for Germany in particular, and reiterated that the move was taken in response to a violation of international law, namely after EU member states froze the foreign exchange reserves of the Bank of Russia.

"It was noted that the decision taken should not lead to a deterioration of contractual obligations for the European companies importing Russian gas," the Kremlin said.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the latest round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian representatives in Istanbul, and addressed issues related to the safe evacuation of civilians from combat zones, primarily from Mariupol.
9h ago 08:12 AM Mar 31, 2022
U.S. President Joe Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, on Wednesday that the United States will provide Ukraine with 500 million U.S. dollars in "direct budgetary aid," the White House said in a readout of the pair's telephone conversation.

The White House said Biden told Zelensky the United States "intends to provide the Ukrainian government with 500 million dollars in direct budgetary aid" on the call, which lasted about an hour to end at 12:03 p.m. ET, according to a pool reporter covering the White House.

"The leaders discussed how the United States is working around the clock to fulfill the main security assistance requests by Ukraine, the critical effects those weapons have had on the conflict, and continued efforts by the United States with allies and partners to identify additional capabilities to help the Ukrainian military defend its country," the readout said.

Zelensky said on Twitter following the call that he and Biden "shared assessment of the situation on the battlefield and at the negotiating table. Talked about specific defensive support, a new package of enhanced sanctions, macro-financial and humanitarian aid."
9h ago 08:04 AM Mar 31, 2022
Ukrainian Defense Ministry's spokesman Olexandr Motuzyanyk on Wednesday confirmed that Russia has been withdrawing some troops from Kiev and Chernihiv directions, in central and northern Ukraine respectively, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

"The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine notes a certain partial relocation of individual units from the Kiev direction, as well as from the Chernihiv direction," Motuzyanyk told a media briefing.

However, there was no mass withdrawal of Russian troops from those areas, he added.

Motuzyanyk suggested that Russian forces may renew their offensive against Kiev and Chernihiv after replenishing the units that suffered the biggest losses in the battles.

On Tuesday, Russia's Defense Ministry announced that Russia has decided to significantly reduce military activity in the Kiev and Chernihiv directions.
9h ago 08:00 AM Mar 31, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday that he has discussed support for Ukraine with U.S. President Joe Biden.

"Talked about specific defensive support, a new package of enhanced sanctions, macro-financial and humanitarian aid," Zelensky tweeted after the talks.

The situation on the battlefield in Ukraine and the diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis were other topics of the hour-long conversation, Zelensky said.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the White House said Biden and Zelensky discussed delivering "military, economic, and humanitarian assistance" to Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia.

In addition, Biden informed Zelensky that the United States intended to provide the Ukrainian government with 500 million U.S. dollars in direct budgetary aid, and reviewed the additional sanctions and humanitarian assistance announced last week, the statement said.
9h ago 08:25 PM Mar 30, 2022
Ukraine established three humanitarian corridors on Wednesday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Telegram.

Two corridors were set up to allow Ukrainian civilians to flee the cities of Melitopol and Energodar in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, which were captured by Russia's forces, Vereshchuk said.

Another humanitarian route was established in the eastern Donetsk region to evacuate people from the city of Mariupol, where active hostilities are underway, she added.

Last Thursday Ukraine established seven humanitarian corridors, following nine corridors the previous day, according to Ukraine's government-run Ukrinform news agency.
9h ago 10:01 AM Mar 30, 2022
Russophobia Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Russophobia Illustration: Liu Rui/GT



 
9h ago 08:04 AM Mar 30, 2022
The U.S. dollar dropped in late trading on Tuesday as the euro advanced amid positive signs from Russia-Ukraine peace talks.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, decreased 0.69 percent at 98.4060.

In late New York trading, the euro rose to 1.1095 U.S. dollars from 1.0993 dollars in the previous session, and the British pound decreased to 1.3094 dollars from 1.3098 U.S. dollars in the previous session. The Australian dollar increased to 0.7512 U.S. dollar from 0.7501 dollar.

The U.S. dollar bought 122.92 Japanese yen, lower than 123.60 Japanese yen of the previous session. The U.S. dollar fell to 0.9311 Swiss franc from 0.9351 Swiss franc, and it fell to 1.2494 Canadian dollars from 1.2527 Canadian dollars.

Russian and Ukrainian delegations held a fresh round of face-to-face peace talks in Istanbul on Tuesday. Russian chief negotiator said the talks were "constructive."
9h ago 08:03 AM Mar 30, 2022
A Chinese envoy on Tuesday warned that indiscriminate sanctions over the Ukraine conflict will bring about new humanitarian problems.

"The ever-escalating sweeping and indiscriminate sanctions have hit global energy, food, economics and trade, and financial markets, and will continue to do so, affecting the lives and livelihoods of the general public, and giving rise to new humanitarian problems," Dai Bing, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, told a Security Council meeting on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

Developing countries, which make up the majority of the world, are not parties to this conflict, and should not be drawn into the confrontation and forced to suffer the consequences of geopolitical clashes and sparring among major powers, he said.

Right now, global food security is being seriously challenged, which warrants due attention. Sanctions and economic blockades will only artificially exacerbate food shortages and price distortions, further disrupt food production and food supply chain across the world, push up food prices, and put burdens on developing countries, he said.

"We call for enhanced international coordination to stabilize food supply and food prices, refrain from unjustified export restrictions, keep the market working in a stable manner, and ensure global food security."

9h ago 08:02 AM Mar 30, 2022
At least 12 people were killed and 33 others injured in an airstrike carried out by Russia's forces on a regional administration building in Ukraine's southeastern city of Mykolayiv, the press service of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.

The airstrike, which occurred at about 8:45 a.m. local time (0545 GMT), destroyed the central section of the nine-story building, the ministry said.

According to the ministry, 18 people were rescued from the debris following the attack.

The search and rescue operation is under way, the ministry said.
9h ago 08:02 AM Mar 30, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday that he saw positive signals from the peace talks between Ukraine and Russia.

"The signals we hear from the negotiating platform can be called positive," Zelensky said in a video address published on his official Telegram channel.

At the same time, Zelensky said Ukraine is "aware of all the risks" and will trust only "concrete results."

Earlier Tuesday, Ukrainian and Russian delegations held their latest round of peace talks in Turkey's city of Istanbul, the fifth since Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Following the negotiations on Tuesday, David Arakhamia, a member of the Ukrainian delegation, said Kiev has proposed signing a new international treaty on security guarantees in an attempt to end the conflict in Ukraine.
9h ago 08:01 AM Mar 30, 2022
Oil prices declined on Tuesday as Russia-Ukraine peace talks showed progress.

The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery lost 1.72 U.S. dollars, or 1.6 percent, to settle at 104.24 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for May delivery decreased 2.25 dollars, or 2 percent, to close at 110.23 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The above market reactions followed reports of progress in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.

The two sides held a fresh round of face-to-face peace talks in Istanbul on Tuesday. Russian chief negotiator said the talks were "constructive."

Meanwhile, traders continued to assess the impact of COVID-19 on fuel demand.

9h ago 08:01 AM Mar 30, 2022
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine's indirect losses from the conflict with Russia are estimated at more than 1 trillion U.S. dollars, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported on Tuesday.

"The losses, calculated indirectly, taking into account the losses in the coming years, amount to more than a trillion dollars," Shmyhal said.

The cost of direct damage to Ukraine's public buildings, bridges, roads, civilian and military infrastructure caused by the attacks is estimated at about 270 billion dollars, Shmyhal said.

He projected that Ukraine's gross domestic product (GDP) will shrink by 35 percent this year due to the conflict.

Ukraine's GDP was up 3.4 percent in 2021 after a 3.8-percent decline in 2020.
9h ago 08:00 AM Mar 30, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron held a phone conversation on Tuesday to continue discussions of the situation in Ukraine, shortly after a new round of Moscow-Kiev peace talks ended in Istanbul, Turkey.

According to a Kremlin statement, Putin and Macron paid particular attention to humanitarian issues in Ukraine.

Putin informed Macron of measures being taken by the Russian military to provide emergency humanitarian assistance and ensure the safe evacuation of civilians, including from the eastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.

Putin stressed that in order to resolve the difficult humanitarian situation in Mariupol, "Ukrainian nationalist militants must stop resistance and lay down their arms," the statement said.

The presidents also touched upon Russia's decision to shift to payments in rubles for its natural gas supplied to "unfriendly" countries and regions, particularly to the European Union, according to the statement.

9h ago 07:59 AM Mar 30, 2022
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that his government is in talks with international partners over the supplies of fuel to Ukraine, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

"We are negotiating with global companies and foreign countries over the supplies," Shmyhal said.

Ukraine has undertaken a series of measures to ensure stable supplies of fuel to the army and to the farmers who conduct the sowing campaign, he added.

On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Russian media that Russian forces carried out attacks on fuel depots in Ukraine amid the sowing campaign.

Later, Zelensky said that Ukraine would get fuel from Azerbaijan for its agricultural needs.
9h ago 07:59 AM Mar 30, 2022
Russia said Tuesday that it is expelling a combined number of 10 diplomats of the three Baltic states in tit-for-tat retaliation.

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and strongly protested "the provocative, unjustified" expulsion of Russian diplomats, the ministry said in a statement.

Four diplomats of Lithuania, three of Latvia and three of Estonia were ordered to leave Russia based on the principle of reciprocity, it said.

On March 18, the Baltic nations in a coordinated way expelled a total of 10 Russian diplomats "in connection with activities that are contrary to their diplomatic status and taking into account ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine."
9h ago 09:03 PM Mar 29, 2022
The Russian Defense Ministry has decided to significantly reduce military activity in the Kiev and Chernihiv directions, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin announced Tuesday.

The decision was made to increase mutual trust between Russia and Ukraine and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations, Fomin said following the new round of Moscow-Kiev peace talks in Istanbul, Turkey.

According to him, during Tuesday's negotiations, progress was made on the preparation for a treaty on the neutral and non-nuclear status of Ukraine as well as security guarantees to Ukraine.
9h ago 08:55 PM Mar 29, 2022
Russia and Ukraine have concluded their first day of fresh round of face-to-face peace talks here on Tuesday, which lasted for approximately three hours, according to media reports.

Ukraine's neutrality, its disarmament and security guarantees, de-Nazification and the removal of obstacles to Russian language usage in Ukraine, are among the topics on the table, local media reported ahead of the meeting.

The talks between Ukraine and Russia in the Turkish city of Istanbul are "difficult," Mykhailo Podolyak, a member of the Ukrainian delegation, said Tuesday.
9h ago 03:46 PM Mar 29, 2022
File photo: Xinhua

File photo: Xinhua


 
Russia and Ukraine kicked off a fresh round of face-to-face peace talks here on Tuesday, aiming to achieve substantial progress for a ceasefire, according to media reports.

Since Feb. 28, Russia and Ukraine have held three rounds of face-to-face peace talks and a series of online discussions, failing to reach a major agreement.
9h ago 09:20 AM Mar 29, 2022
Oil prices sank on Monday as traders weighed demand outlook while awaiting a fresh round of Russia-Ukraine peace talks.

The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery lost 7.94 U.S. dollars, or 7 percent, to settle at 105.96 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for May delivery decreased 8.17 dollars, or 6.8 percent, to close at 112.48 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The pullback came as investors continued to assess the impact of COVID-19 on fuel demand.

Elsewhere, "hopes that the peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia could lead to rapprochement" also contributed to the price slide, Carsten Fritsch, energy analyst at Commerzbank Research, said Monday in a note.

Ukraine and Russia will start the next round of peace talks on Tuesday in the Turkish city of Istanbul, the Ukrainian government-run Ukrinform news agency reported on Monday.

9h ago 09:20 AM Mar 29, 2022
Russia's airstrike hit an oil depot in Ukraine's northwestern Rivne region on Monday, the head of the regional military administration Vitaliy Koval said.

Experts of the State Service for Emergencies and chemical laboratories are working on the site of the explosions, Koval wrote on Telegram.

There were no reports on casualties in the attack.

On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Russian media that Russian forces attacked fuel depots in Ukraine at the time when Ukraine is carrying out the spring sowing campaign.
9h ago 09:19 AM Mar 29, 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he will meet with the negotiation teams of Ukraine and Russia on Tuesday before their next round of talks in Turkey's Istanbul city.

"We will have a short meeting with the delegations tomorrow morning," Erdogan said at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.

Turkey is "almost the only country that makes sincere efforts to resolve the ongoing crisis between Ukraine and Russia through dialogue," he said.

Erdogan emphasized that his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky are "progressing positively."

He also suggested that some circles were trying to make Turkey a side of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

9h ago 09:17 AM Mar 29, 2022
The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday proposed 6.9 billion U.S. dollars in its fiscal year 2023 budget proposal, which is aimed at addressing what it views as threats stemming from the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

"This funding will enhance the capabilities and readiness of U.S. Forces, (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) allies, and regional partners in the face of Russian aggression," read a budget document, referring to what Russia said was a special military operation in Ukraine that started more than a month ago.

Also included in the 5.8-trillion-dollar fiscal year 2023 budget, in which the administration asked Congress to appropriate a total of 773 billion dollars for the Defense Department, is a sum of 682 million dollars for Ukraine "to counter Russian malign influence and to meet emerging needs related to security, energy, cybersecurity issues, disinformation, macroeconomic stabilization, and civil society resilience," according to the document.
9h ago 09:16 AM Mar 29, 2022
Ukraine and Russia will start the next round of peace talks on Tuesday in the Turkish city of Istanbul, the Ukrainian government-run Ukrinform news agency reported on Monday.

Before the talks, which will start at 10.30 a.m. local time (0730 GMT) and be held behind closed doors, the members of the Ukrainian and Russian delegations will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the report said.

Earlier on Monday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba held a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, voicing appreciation to Turkey for hosting the meeting.

"I hope that under Turkish mediation leadership, these negotiations will bring results serving the interests of peace in Ukraine and our security," Kuleba tweeted.

The Russian delegation arrived in Istanbul on Monday, news reports said.

9h ago 09:15 AM Mar 29, 2022
Ukraine will get fuel from Azerbaijan for the sowing campaign, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted on Monday after phone talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev.

Following the conversation, Zelensky thanked Aliyev for Azerbaijan's readiness to supply fuel for Ukraine's agricultural needs.

On Sunday, Zelensky told Russian media that Russian forces carried out attacks on fuel depots in Ukraine amid the sowing campaign.

Ukraine for years has been a key global producer of wheat, corn and sunflower oil. In 2021, the country's harvest of cereals and legumes hit a record high of 84 million tons, up 28.5 percent year on year.

Last year, Ukraine exported some 51.2 million tons of grain worth 12.5 billion U.S. dollars, according to media reports.
9h ago 08:37 AM Mar 29, 2022
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday launched an initiative for a humanitarian cease-fire in Ukraine.

"Today I am announcing that in the exercise of my good offices, I have asked Martin Griffiths, the coordinator of our humanitarian work worldwide, immediately to explore with the parties involved the possible agreements and arrangements for a humanitarian cease-fire in Ukraine," he told reporters.

The one-month-old conflict between Ukraine and Russia has led to the senseless loss of thousands of lives, the displacement of 10 million people, the systematic destruction of essential infrastructure, and skyrocketing food and energy prices worldwide. This must stop, said Guterres.

He stressed that there must be a political solution.

"The solution to this humanitarian tragedy is not humanitarian. It is political. I am, therefore, appealing for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire to allow for progress in serious political negotiations, aimed at reaching a peace agreement based on the principles of the United Nations Charter," he said.

9h ago 08:36 AM Mar 28, 2022
Russian and Ukrainian delegations will hold a new round of face-to-face negotiations on March 29-30, head of Russia's negotiation team Vladimir Medinsky said on Sunday.

"Today, another round of negotiations with Ukraine via video link took place. As a result, it was decided to meet in person on March 29-30," Medinsky, also an aide to the Russian president, said on Telegram.

Meanwhile, David Arakhamia, a member of the Ukrainian delegation said Sunday that the next live round will be held in Turkey on March 28-30.

Since Feb. 28, Russia and Ukraine have held three rounds of face-to-face peace talks and then a series of online discussions, failing to reach a major agreement.

The new round of talks will take place after the Russian military announced on Friday that the main tasks of the first stage of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine had been completed in general.
9h ago 08:07 AM Mar 27, 2022
The Russia-Ukraine conflict continues on Saturday as relevant parties are working to broker a peaceful solution. Following are the latest developments of the situation:

The main tasks of the first stage of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine have been completed in general, the Russian military said Friday.

"The combat potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been significantly reduced," said Sergei Rudskoy, first deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.

"Our forces and means will concentrate on the main thing -- the complete liberation of Donbass," he said.

- - - -

9h ago 10:06 PM Mar 26, 2022
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) and Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (back) attending Russia-Turkiye-Ukraine tripartite Foreign Ministers meeting in Antalya, Turkey on March 10. Photo: AFP

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) and Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (back) attending Russia-Turkiye-Ukraine tripartite Foreign Ministers meeting in Antalya, Turkey on March 10. Photo: AFP


Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that his country's negotiation process with Russia is very difficult, the press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported Friday.

"The negotiation process is very difficult. The Ukrainian delegation has taken a strong position and does not relinquish its demands," Kuleba was quoted as saying.

He stressed that the Ukrainian side insists on a ceasefire, security guarantees, and territorial integrity of Ukraine at the talks.

While commenting on the statements of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Ukraine and Russia reached a consensus on the four points, Kuleba said the classification of key topics of negotiations into four or other points is incorrect.

Many different issues are discussed at the same time in the subgroups of delegations, Kuleba said.

9h ago 10:02 PM Mar 26, 2022
Vladimir Medinsky, (second left) head of the Russian delegation, and Davyd Arakhamia, (third right) faction leader of the Servant of the People party in the Ukrainian Parliament, attend peace talks in Gomel region, Belarus, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. Photo: AFP

Vladimir Medinsky, (second left) head of the Russian delegation, and Davyd Arakhamia, (third right) faction leader of the Servant of the People party in the Ukrainian Parliament, attend peace talks in Gomel region, Belarus, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. Photo: AFP


An agreement between Moscow and Kiev can only be reached if all of Russia's major concerns are addressed, head of Russia's negotiation team Vladimir Medinsky said Friday.

"We insist on a comprehensive treaty. In addition to the neutral status of Ukraine and guarantees of its security, the pact should include a number of positions vital for our country," he told reporters.

Otherwise, the conclusion of an agreement is unlikely, said Medinsky, Russian presidential aide and head of the Russian delegation.

According to the official, the Ukrainian side is primarily concerned about obtaining security guarantees from third parties in the event that Ukraine does not join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which is "a completely understandable position."

Medinsky noted that there has been a convergence of views on minor issues during the ongoing negotiation process, but not much progress has been made on major political matters.

9h ago 07:50 AM Mar 26, 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday held a phone conversation to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

The two leaders discussed the situation on the ground and the stage of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, according to a statement issued by the Turkish presidency.

Erdogan told Zelensky that he once again had emphasized Turkey's support for Ukraine's territorial integrity at the NATO leaders' summit, which was held in Brussels Thursday, said the statement.

The Turkish president said he had told the leaders of NATO members about Turkey's "active and principled policy, and the effective diplomatic efforts comprehensively."

"Turkey has put into practice all the help it can in this process," Erdogan told Zelensky.

9h ago 07:49 AM Mar 26, 2022
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that his country's negotiation process with Russia is very difficult, the press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported Friday.

"The negotiation process is very difficult. The Ukrainian delegation has taken a strong position and does not relinquish its demands," Kuleba was quoted as saying.

He stressed that the Ukrainian side insists on a ceasefire, security guarantees, and territorial integrity of Ukraine at the talks.

While commenting on the statements of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Ukraine and Russia reached a consensus on the four points, Kuleba said the classification of key topics of negotiations into four or other points is incorrect.

Many different issues are discussed at the same time in the subgroups of delegations, Kuleba said.

9h ago 07:49 AM Mar 26, 2022
An agreement between Moscow and Kiev can only be reached if all of Russia's major concerns are addressed, head of Russia's negotiation team Vladimir Medinsky said Friday.

"We insist on a comprehensive treaty. In addition to the neutral status of Ukraine and guarantees of its security, the pact should include a number of positions vital for our country," he told reporters.

Otherwise, the conclusion of an agreement is unlikely, said Medinsky, Russian presidential aide and head of the Russian delegation.

According to the official, the Ukrainian side is primarily concerned about obtaining security guarantees from third parties in the event that Ukraine does not join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which is "a completely understandable position."

Medinsky noted that there has been a convergence of views on minor issues during the ongoing negotiation process, but not much progress has been made on major political matters.

9h ago 07:47 AM Mar 26, 2022
The main tasks of the first stage of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine have been completed in general, the Russian military said Friday.

"The combat potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been significantly reduced," said Sergei Rudskoy, first deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.

"Our forces and means will concentrate on the main thing -- the complete liberation of Donbass," he said.

The Ukrainian cities of Kiev, Kharkov, Chernihiv, Sumy and Nikolaev are blocked by Russian troops, while Kherson and most of the Zaporozhye region are under Russia's full control, Rudskoy said.

Since the start of the military operation a month ago, more than 14,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed and about 16,000 others wounded, said Rudskoy.

9h ago 07:46 AM Mar 26, 2022
Russia's special military operation in Ukraine will continue until all tasks set by President Vladimir Putin are fulfilled, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said Friday.

"These targets are related to the future of Ukraine: the status of Ukraine as a neutral state, a state that does not pursue an anti-Russian policy, a state that is not militarized, and a state as our normal neighbor," Medvedev said.

Russia launched the special military operation a month ago primarily because these goals were not achieved through diplomacy, he said in an interview with Russia's RIA Novosti news agency and RT broadcaster.

The main tasks of the first stage of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine have been completed in general, and the combat potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been significantly reduced, the Russian military announced on Friday.

The Russian military will "concentrate on the main thing -- the complete liberation of Donbass," said Sergei Rudskoy, first deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.
9h ago 10:37 PM Mar 25, 2022
NATO File Photo: VCG

NATO File Photo: VCG


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies gathered on Thursday, for what Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called "an extraordinary NATO summit in an extraordinary security situation" amid the Ukraine crisis.

The meeting, held on the day that marked one month since the start of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, might temporarily boost unity across the Atlantic, but could not easily balance the demands of relevant parties or put out the fires in Ukraine.

Behind closed doors, NATO heads of state and government agreed to form four new NATO battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, to supplement the four established ones in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. They also agreed to strengthen "longer term deterrence and defense posture" supported by "enhanced exercises."

Stoltenberg also said that NATO will strengthen the cyber defenses and offer Ukraine cybersecurity assistance.

In the statement after the gathering, there was no agreement to impose additional sanctions against Russia, especially the country's oil and gas products. This demonstrates the obvious divergence among NATO members, who have different security and economic concerns.

9h ago 10:35 PM Mar 25, 2022
A vehicle runs past a gas station in Berlin, capital of Germany, March 11, 2022.Photo:Xinhua

A vehicle runs past a gas station in Berlin, capital of Germany, March 11, 2022.Photo:Xinhua


Germany plans to halve Russian oil imports by the middle of the year and become almost independent by the end of 2022, the Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection (BMWK) said on Friday.

The country's dependence on Russian oil would be reduced in the coming weeks to around 25 percent through contract conversions, according to the ministry.

"The first important milestones have been reached to free us from the grip of Russian imports," said Robert Habeck, Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, adding that contract conversions were being done at an "insane pace."

With regard to coal, Germany could become independent of Russia by the fall, according to BMWK. From April, the country's dependence on Russian coal could be reduced from 50 percent to 25 percent in the short term.

Although diversification of gas imports was progressing, the process was "challenging," said Habeck.

9h ago 10:04 PM Mar 25, 2022
Unmasking the superpower: Where the Ukraine crisis started Cartoon: Xu Zihe/GT

Unmasking the superpower: Where the Ukraine crisis started Cartoon: Xu Zihe/GT

Editor's Note:


Since the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine began, the international community has become increasingly aware of the roles the US and NATO have played behind the crisis.

From leading NATO's eastward expansion to hem in Russia's territorial space, to launching color revolutions; from imposing sanctions on "disobedient countries," to coercing other nations to pick sides… the US has acted like a "Cold War schemer," or an "vampire" who creates "enemies" and make fortunes from pyres of war. 

The Global Times is publishing a series of stories and cartoons to unveil how the US, in its superpower status, has been creating trouble in the world one crisis after another.  

This is the first installment.

9h ago 07:50 AM Mar 25, 2022
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi received on Thursday a phone call from his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky during which they discussed the latest developments of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, said the Egyptian presidency.

Zelensky briefed Sisi on "the developments in the course of negotiations" relating to the conflict, said Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Rady in a statement.

During the conversation, the Egyptian president stressed the necessity of giving priority to dialogue and diplomatic solutions, "affirming Egypt's support for all endeavors that would speed up the political settlement of the crisis" through discussions and negotiations.

Sisi said that Egypt is following "with great concern" the successive developments of the crisis and the consequent deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

For his part, Zelensky expressed appreciation for the efforts made by Egypt to continue hosting Ukrainian tourists in Egyptian resorts, providing them with all means of assistance and facilitating the procedures for their return to Ukraine's neighboring countries.

9h ago 07:48 AM Mar 25, 2022
UN member states on Thursday adopted a resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

The resolution, drafted by Ukraine and allies, received 140 votes in favor and 5 votes against, while 38 countries abstained.

The text strongly encourages the continued negotiations between all parties, and again urges the immediate peaceful resolution of the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine "through political dialogue, negotiations, mediation and other peaceful means in accordance with international law."
9h ago 12:31 AM Mar 25, 2022
Screengrab of Russian Defence Ministry briefing showing US-sponsored biolabs on Ukraininan territory. Photo : Russian Ministry of Defence

Screengrab of Russian Defence Ministry briefing showing US-sponsored biolabs on Ukraininan territory. Photo : Russian Ministry of Defence


The Russian Defense Ministry released on March 24 the latest results on the analysis of information about the 30 Pentagon-funded Ukrainian biolabs engaged in dangerous and illegal research on deadly pathogens. 

US officials and Western media at first denied that such labs existed, but a senior administration official has subsequently confirmed their presence, according to Sputnik.

An investment firm connected to US President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, has been involved in the financing of the Pentagon's military biological program in Ukraine, Igor Kirillov, the head of Russia's Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces, mentioned during a briefing on Thursday. 

"Incoming material allowed us to trace the interaction scheme between US government agencies and the Ukrainian biolab," Kirillov said, adding that the involvement in financing these activities by structures close to current US leadership, in particular Hunter Biden's Rosemont Seneca investment fund, draws attention to itself. 

According to information from the Russian Ministry of Defense, the fund has at least $2.4 billion in investment capital.

9h ago 09:23 PM Mar 24, 2022
Russia's armed forces have taken control of the city of Izyum in Ukraine's Kharkov region, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Thursday.

Russian forces also hit 60 Ukrainian military facilities over the past day, including two command posts, two multiple launch rocket systems, four ammunition depots, and 47 sites with equipment and military hardware, Konashenkov told a regular briefing.

Meanwhile, according to a spokesman for the Regional Military Administration of Ukraine's southern Black Sea port city of Odesa, the city came under shelling from Russian warships on Thursday.

The strikes were aimed at putting "psychological pressure" on Odesa residents, Bratchuk said on Facebook, without providing information on whether there were any casualties in the incident.

Earlier in the day, the press service of the Ukrainian Naval Forces said on Facebook that the Ukrainian military destroyed the Orsk large landing ship of the Russian forces near Ukraine's southeastern city of Berdyansk.
9h ago 08:45 PM Mar 24, 2022
Ukraine set up seven humanitarian corridors on Thursday to evacuate civilians, the government-run Ukrinform news agency reported, citing Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

At a media briefing, Vereshchuk said 45 buses are set to evacuate civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol in Donetsk, adding that the evacuation will continue in towns and villages in the southern Zaporizhzhia region and the central Kiev region.

On Wednesday, Ukraine established nine humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from the above-mentioned two regions.
9h ago 01:52 PM Mar 24, 2022
Zhang Jun, China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Photo: CFP

Zhang Jun, China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Photo: CFP


The United Nations Security Council voted Wednesday on a Russian draft resolution on humanitarian issues in Ukraine. The vote was two in favor from Russia and China and 13 abstentions, which made the resolution fail to pass.

The Russia-drafted resolution calling for aid access and civilian protection in Ukraine has been defeated, and Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused those who abstained on Wednesday of doing so "for political reasons," Reuters reported.

Explaining China's vote, Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, said the Chinese side had a "strong expectation" that there should be an immediate ceasefire, but that while pushing for a halt to the fighting, the council should "also respond to the humanitarian crisis in a positive, pragmatic and constructive manner."

"China has been calling for maximum avoidance of civilian casualties and making every effort to ensure basic humanitarian needs," said Ambassador Zhang, noting that the fundamental reason for China to vote in favor of the resolution is to urge the international community to pay attention to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. 

Relevant parties should strengthen coordination on humanitarian issues, earnestly protect the safety of civilians, especially vulnerable groups such as women and children, and facilitate evacuation and humanitarian relief operations, Zhang noted.

9h ago 01:24 PM Mar 24, 2022
China's permanent representative to the UN Zhang Jun on Wednesday expressed his hope that the UN Security Council would play a meaningful role in handling the humanitarian situation in Ukraine after the council failed to adopt a resolution submitted by Russia.

The 15-member UN Security Council on Wednesday failed to adopt a resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. Two members -- Russia and China -- voted in favor of the text submitted by Russia while 13 others abstained.

"We advocate that the Security Council should fulfill its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and play its due role in the humanitarian issue of Ukraine," Zhang said in his explanatory remarks after the vote.

China's vote "was based on our call for the international community to attach high importance to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, and for the parties concerned to strengthen coordination on humanitarian issues, so as to effectively protect the safety of civilians, especially women, children and other vulnerable groups, and to facilitate the personnel evacuation and humanitarian relief operations," Zhang said.

Over the past few weeks, the council has had repeated consultations on the draft resolutions proposed by France, Mexico as well as Russia, and China has actively participated in the consultations, and has always called on all parties to focus on the humanitarian issue, transcend political differences and do their best to seek consensus, he said.

9h ago 10:58 AM Mar 24, 2022
The 15-member UN Security Council on Wednesday failed to adopt a resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

Two members (Russia and China) voted in favor of the text and 13 others abstained. The text submitted by Russia was rejected.

A Security Council resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, China, Britain, France or the United States to be adopted.

Russia's draft resolution expresses grave concern about reports of civilian casualties and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine, including the growing number of internally displaced persons and refugees. The draft text also calls for the protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical personnel, respect for international law and the protection of civilian objects and critical infrastructure, safe and unhindered evacuation of all civilians, and unhindered humanitarian access in Ukraine.

The council has held three briefings on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine since the conflict erupted, respectively on Feb. 28, March 7 and March 17.
9h ago 10:54 AM Mar 24, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday to discuss the Ukrainian situation.

Bennett voiced his assessments of the situation regarding Ukraine and the ongoing negotiation process between Russian and Ukrainian delegations, the Kremlin said in a brief statement.

Putin shared his views on the Moscow-Kiev peace talks and the development of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, it added.

Earlier in the day, Putin had a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to discuss the same issue.
9h ago 12:04 AM Mar 24, 2022
Milking the crisis Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Milking the crisis Illustration: Liu Rui/GT


By March 24, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has lasted one month. All peace-loving people in the world hope that this bloody conflict, which could have been avoided, could end soon. However, the US and NATO, which hold the key to resolving the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, have made no practical moves to end the war. Instead, they are still intensifying contradictions and escalating confrontation, creating obstacles for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden left for Europe on Wednesday, where he will attend the NATO summit, the G7 summit and the European Council meeting. According to media reports, Biden will work with European allies to coordinate next-stage military assistance to Ukraine and will announce a new round of sanctions against Russia. On the one-month mark of the conflict, Biden carried out his intensive diplomatic offensive in Europe, yet nothing on his agenda is not about adding fuel to the fire. 

When touching upon Biden's European trip, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that there will be hard days ahead in Ukraine as "this war will not end easily or rapidly." This is not so much a "judgment" by the US, but a carefully guided direction by Washington. Washington wishes the war will not end, so it can maximize the use of the conflict to gain geopolitical value from it. In other words, it is seeking to benefit from Ukraine's misfortune. 

Because of this, the US and Europe may seem to appear close, but their substantive differences are deepening. While Washington is obsessed with delaying Russia-Ukraine negotiations, Europe wants security and stability. There are emerging anti-war voices in Europe, and these voices include disapproval toward Washington's arms delivery to Ukraine. More and more Europeans realize that blindly sending arms to Ukraine is heading toward the opposite direction of the security goals they pursue. In addition, the result of long-term extreme sanctions must be that the US gets rich, Europe pays the bill and Ukraine bleeds. Washington can't hide these petty ideas. 

Also because of this, Biden has to "stabilize" Europe when it has wavering intentions. It is not difficult to imagine that Washington will pull out the "transatlantic friendship," "democratic alliance," and other small cards from its pockets and distribute them to friends as passes to the world VIP club, using the illusory "honor" to extract high "dues." Washington also exerts strong pressure on neutral countries that "don't join the club," criticizing India for being "shaky" on one hand and  sensationalizing China's "threat" to peace on the other. Isn't this a typical mafia approach?

9h ago 11:57 PM Mar 23, 2022
Unmasking the superpower: Where the Ukraine crisis started Cartoon: Xu Zihe/GT

Unmasking the superpower: Where the Ukraine crisis started Cartoon: Xu Zihe/GT


 
9h ago 10:41 PM Mar 22, 2022
The US is a country with a long history of using and developing chemical and biological weapons in other countries, and such moves, that contravene human rights bills and international laws that could be traced back to 1940s after World War II, have been largely ignored by most mainstream Western media outlets, and analysts have predicted that the US' dirty record in this field could spike global concerns over its recent operating of biological laboratories worldwide.

According to information gathered and gleaned from interviews done by the Global Times reporters, the US government has cooperated and colluded with Japanese war criminals to obtain data and technologies for the making of biological and chemical weapons for which Japan conducted inhumane live human experiments on innocent Chinese people during Japan's invasion of China. 

Most of the data and files collected by said Japanese war criminals were acquired by scientists in Fort Detrick, the center of the US' biological weapons program, and after the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was established in 1947, the agency participated in the relevant research pertaining to the development of biowarfare weapons.

Ruins of Japan's notorious Unit 731 facilities in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province Photo: VCG

Ruins of Japan's notorious Unit 731 facilities in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province Photo: VCG


Nasty cooperation

Unit 731, infamous for conducting Japanese biological warfare experiments, was located near Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, which was occupied by Japanese invaders. The monstrous unit was created by Japanese war criminal, microbiologist Shiro Ishii in 1936, and eventually was comprised of 150 buildings and had the capacity to hold 600 people at a time to be experimented on, according to the book titled Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare, 1932-1945, and the American Cover-up.

Unit 731's experiments involved deliberately infecting people, primarily Chinese prisoners of war and civilians, with infectious agents, and exposing prisoners to bombs designed to penetrate the skin with infectious particles.

9h ago 08:25 PM Mar 22, 2022
A girl from Ukraine takes a rest with her dog at a new transit shelter opened by the Defense Committee of Budapest at the Budapest Olympic Center in Budapest, Hungary on March 21, 2022. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)
A girl from Ukraine takes a rest with her dog at a new transit shelter opened by the Defense Committee of Budapest at the Budapest Olympic Center in Budapest, Hungary on March 21, 2022. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)


 
Volunteers help people from Ukraine at a new transit shelter opened by the Defense Committee of Budapest at the Budapest Olympic Center in Budapest, Hungary on March 21, 2022. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)
Volunteers help people from Ukraine at a new transit shelter opened by the Defense Committee of Budapest at the Budapest Olympic Center in Budapest, Hungary on March 21, 2022. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)


 
Volunteers take care of children from Ukraine at a new transit shelter opened by the Defense Committee of Budapest at the Budapest Olympic Center in Budapest, Hungary on March 21, 2022. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)
Volunteers take care of children from Ukraine at a new transit shelter opened by the Defense Committee of Budapest at the Budapest Olympic Center in Budapest, Hungary on March 21, 2022. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)


 
9h ago 03:24 PM Mar 22, 2022
Members of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, will work in a joint commission with the lower house - the State Duma - to investigate US biological laboratories in Ukraine, Grigory Karasin, head of the Council's Foreign Affairs Committee, told Sputnik.

Earlier, a draft resolution was submitted to the State Duma, which presented a list of lawmakers who could be included in the commission to probe the activities of the US labs in Ukraine. It reports support for the initiative to create the commission, as well as an appeal to the Federation Council with a proposal to create the commission. The annex to the resolution names 14 lawmakers, including commission chair Irina Yarovaya.

"We will definitely join this commission. We discussed this issue," Karasin said.

The Russian Defense Ministry earlier held a presentation, according to which it was noted that the United States spent over $200 million on biological laboratories in Ukraine, which participated in the American military biological program.

Russia, in light of the US military biological activities in Ukraine, does not exclude the launch of a consultation mechanism under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), according to the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova.

9h ago 03:20 PM Mar 22, 2022
During Moscow's special operation, launched in Ukraine on 24 February, the Russian armed forces have so far found 30 bio laboratories in the country that were fulfilling orders from the US Department of Defence and involved in the production of biological weapons.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, has claimed that a bioweapon developed in Ukraine has a negative impact on the reproductive system of women and the immunity of "certain ethnic groups", including the ethnically Russian population of the country.

"This weapon affects both the reproductive function of women of a certain nationality, and the immune system of a particular ethnic group in general. It causes allergies, intolerance to traditional food, and susceptibility to diseases, which, in turn, leads to a weakening of the nation's immunity and its extinction without the impact of wars", he wrote on his Telegram channel.

Rogozin recalled that from March 2017 to April 2018 he was at the helm of a government commission on biological and chemical safety, a panel that he said often dealt with the issue of the US "encircling" Russia with its biological laboratories.

The Roscosmos chief also pointed out that Russian authorities know perfectly well that the goal of the Pentagon's biological experiments, which involve "biomaterials obtained from Slav test subjects of Ukraine and other countries neighbouring Russia is to develop an 'ethnic weapon' against the country's ethnically Russian population".

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