G-20 News

Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

US Treasury Secretary Yellen to advocate Russian oil price cap during Asia trip

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies at the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing entitled “Financial Stability Oversight Board Annual Report to Congress,” in the Senate Office Building Dirksen in Washington, DC on May 10, 2022.

tom williams | Swimming pool | Reuters

Janet Yellen plans to advocate for a Russian oil price cap on her first Indo-Pacific trip as US Treasury Secretary, in what amounts to an attempt to limit revenue flowing to the Kremlin then that he is waging war on Ukraine.

The Treasury Department said Yellen’s trip to Japan, Indonesia and South Korea will focus on “opportunities to further strengthen historic sanctions” imposed on Russia. He added that the goal of a potential Russian oil price cap would be to “limit the income of the Russian military while mitigating the impact of war on gas and energy prices in America and in the world”.

Russia is one of the world’s largest exporters of petroleum products, and its war against its neighbor has limited supplies due to disrupted trade routes and sanctions imposed by the United States and NATO allies . President Joe Biden and other world leaders are trying to balance support for Ukraine with domestic anger and budget angst over food and fuel inflation.

Some 67% of Americans said gas prices were causing them financial hardship, according to a Gallup poll conducted in June, when gas prices in the United States hit all-time highs. The last time two-thirds of Americans said high gas prices were causing financial hardship was in 2011.

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell to $4.721 on Friday from a record high of $5.016 hit on June 14.

Thomas Frank

Celebrity chef and humanitarian Jose Andres shares video of volunteers wrapping food donations in Ukraine

Renowned Spanish chef and restaurateur Jose Andres has shared a video on Twitter of volunteers in Ukraine preparing meals for the war-weary country.

“Over 40,000 bags are made every day! 20 meals per bag = 800,000 meals plus hundreds of thousands of hot meals,” wrote Andres, who founded World Central Kitchen, a humanitarian organization dedicated to feeding communities. vulnerable.

The two-star Michelin chef brought the World Central Kitchen to Ukraine to tackle the growing food crisis triggered by the war in Russia.

—Amanda Macias

Russian ambassador reportedly says troops unlikely to leave southern Ukraine

Russian Ambassador to London Andrei Kelin says Kremlin forces will defeat Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbass region and Moscow is unlikely to pull out of a large swath of land on the southern coast of Ukraine, according to Reuters.

“We are going to liberate all of Donbass,” Kelin told Reuters in an interview.

“Of course, it is difficult to predict the withdrawal of our forces from the southern part of Ukraine because we already have the experience that after the withdrawal the provocations start and everyone gets shot and all that. “

—Sam Meredith

Zelenskyy says Snake Island takeover shows Ukraine ‘cannot be broken’

Moscow said Russian troops withdrew from Snake Island (pictured here in an image released by Odessa’s military governor) last week as a “goodwill gesture”. Ukraine, however, said Russian forces had hastily evacuated after successful military action.

Military Governor of Odessa | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the recapture of Snake Island, a strategically important island in the Black Sea, sends a powerful message to Russian forces.

“And now let every Russian captain – be it a ship or an airplane – see the Ukrainian flag on Zmiinyi [Snake Island] and know that our state cannot be broken,” Zelenskky said.

Moscow said Russian troops withdrew from Snake Island last week as a “goodwill gesture”. Ukraine, however, said Russian forces had hastily evacuated after successful military action.

—Sam Meredith

Lavrov accuses West of ‘rabid Russophobia’ at G-20 meeting

Lavrov of Russia meets with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi during the G-20 ministers’ meeting in Bali, Indonesia, July 8, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Western officials at the G-20 ministers’ meeting in Bali, Indonesia, of criticizing Moscow rather than focusing on how to solve global economic problems.

G-20 host Indonesia had been pushing for ministers to find a way to help end Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

Speaking upon arriving at the conference, Lavrov said: “Despite all this and the useful discussions which should enable us to ask our Western colleagues very direct questions, they do not have answers to these questions.”

He added: “There is only rabid Russophobia, which they are turning to instead of finding much-needed common ground on key issues of global economics and finance, on which the G-20 has been created”.

—Sam Meredith

Russian forces prepare for new offensives in Donetsk, says UK

Russian troops are preparing for new offensives in eastern Ukraine, according to the British Ministry of Defence.

Russian forces are “probably halting to replenish before undertaking new offensive operations in Donetsk Oblast,” the ministry said via Twitter. He added that Ukrainian forces continued to make “gradual advances” in the southwestern region of Kherson.

“There is a realistic possibility that Russia’s immediate tactical objective will be Siversk, as its forces attempt to advance towards its most likely operational objective of the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk urban area.”

US calls for fighters detained in Ukraine to be recognized as ‘combatants’, media say

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov reportedly said the United States had requested that American fighters detained in Ukraine be considered “combatants”, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

The US Embassy in London was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC on Friday.

Putin tells Ukraine that Russia has barely started its military action

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Caspian Summit in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, June 29, 2022.

Grigory Sysoyev | sputnik | Reuters

As Russia’s military action in Ukraine enters its fifth month, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Kyiv that he must quickly accept Moscow’s terms or prepare for the worst, adding ominously that Russia has barely started its action.

Speaking at a meeting with leaders of the Kremlin-controlled parliament, Putin accused Western allies of fueling hostilities, saying “the West wants to fight us to the last Ukrainian”.

“It’s a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but it seems to be heading in that direction,” he added.

“Everyone should know that, overall, we haven’t started anything serious yet,” Putin said in a threatening note.

He said Russia remained ready to sit down for talks to end the fighting, adding that “those who refuse to do so should know that the longer this goes on, the harder it will be for them to reach a deal with us.” .

— Associated Press

War could leave Ukraine’s environment with ‘toxic legacy for generations to come’, warns UN

A Ukrainian woman walks past flames and smoke rising from a fire following artillery fire on the 30th day of the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces in the city of Kharkiv, in the northeast, March 25, 2022.

Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images

United Nations investigators have said the war in Ukraine “could leave the country and the region with a toxic legacy for generations to come”, according to preliminary monitoring reports from the region.

The United Nations Environment Programme, or UNEP, has uncovered thousands of possible incidents of air, water and soil pollution and ecosystem degradation, including risks to neighboring countries.

“The mapping and initial screening of environmental hazards only serves to confirm that war is literally toxic,” wrote UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen in the report.

“The first priority is to end this senseless destruction now. The environment is about people: it is about livelihoods, public health, clean air and water, and basic food systems. This is about a secure future for Ukrainians and their neighbours, and further damage must not be done,” she added.

Andersen said Ukraine will also need international support to repair damage across the country and mitigate risks for the wider region.

—Amanda Macias

Finland to boost Russian border security with amended law

Finnish army soldiers take part in the NATO multinational exercise Saber Strike in Adazi, Latvia on June 11, 2015.

Finnish army soldiers take part in the NATO multinational exercise Saber Strike in Adazi, Latvia on June 11, 2015.

Finland’s parliament has passed amended border security legislation that allows crossings with Russia to be closed, amid fears Moscow may choose to send large numbers of migrants across the border.

The lawmakers’ decision came just two days after NATO’s 30 members signed formal membership protocols for Finland and Sweden to join the alliance – an outcome that angered Russia. The membership applications of the two Nordic nations were approved at a NATO summit in late June in Madrid.

Amendments approved by Finnish lawmakers will give the centre-left government led by Prime Minister Sanna Marin broader powers to restrict border traffic in exceptional situations, particularly on the 1,340-kilometre (830-mile) border with the Russia, the longest of all members of the European Union. .

The changes would also allow Finland, a nation of 5.5 million people, to build barriers and fences along the border with Russia if necessary. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto is due to sign the amendments to the law on Friday.

— Associated Press

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