– Turning off the tap –
Russian gas supplies to Western Europe are slumping, with French network operator GRTgaz saying it has received nothing from Russia via pipeline for two days amid warnings by Gazprom it would sharply cut deliveries to Europe.
Gazprom, which after having already slashed deliveries to Germany insists importers have to play by its rules, says supply reductions via the Nord Stream pipeline are the result of repair work.
But EU officials believe Moscow is punishing the allies of Ukraine.
Italy’s Eni adds for its part it will receive only 50% of the gas requested from Gazprom, after Rome accused the Russian giant of peddling “lies” over a series of cuts.
– Severodonetsk civilians need ceasefire: governor –
Ukraine says only a “complete ceasefire” would allow hundreds of civilians to be evacuated from the Azot chemical plant in the embattled eastern city of Severodonetsk.
“It is now impossible and physically dangerous to get out of the plant due to constant shelling and fighting. There are 568 people in the shelter, including 38 children,” Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai says on social media. “Exit from the plant is possible only with a complete ceasefire.”
Severodonetsk is the largest city in the Luhansk Region that is still in Ukrainian hands, and it has been under heavy Russian shelling for weeks.
– Humanitarian situation ‘extremely alarming’ -UN –
The UN warns the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine is “extremely alarming” and continues to deteriorate. “Nearly four months since the start of the war, the humanitarian situation across Ukraine — particularly in the eastern Donbas — is extremely alarming and continues to deteriorate rapidly,” the UN’s humanitarian agency, OCHA, states.
Regarding the flashpoint of Severodonetsk, the UN notes “diminishing access to clean water, food, sanitation and electricity” in the city.
– Russia has ‘strategically lost’: UK military –
Russia has already “strategically lost” its war with Ukraine, suffering heavy losses and strengthening NATO, the UK’s chief of defence staff says. “This is a dreadful mistake by Russia. Russia will never take control of Ukraine,” says Tony Radakin, the country’s highest-ranking military officer. “Russia has strategically lost already,” says Radakin.
In his view, Russian President Vladimir Putin may achieve “tactical successes” but at the price of sacrificing a quarter of his country’s army power for “tiny” gains.
– EU looking to fast track membership bid –
The European Commission is meeting to give its fast-tracked opinion on Ukraine’s bid for EU candidacy, a step closer to membership for the country a day after the bloc’s most powerful leaders visited Kyiv.
Any such move would require approval of all 27 of the bloc’s member states.
The opinion will serve as a basis for discussion at next week’s EU summit, where leaders are expected to approve Ukraine’s candidate status, but with stern conditions attached, and membership could take decades.
– European leaders back Ukraine’s EU bid –
The leaders of France, Germany and Italy have returned across the border to Poland after visiting Kyiv where they said they support “immediate” EU candidate status for Ukraine.
French President Emmanuel Macron, criticized in some quarters for warning that Russia must not be “humiliated”, says Ukraine must “resist and win” the war, praising its people’s “heroism”.
He also announces France will donate six additional long-range artillery systems.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter