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RUSSIAN – UKRAINE WAR : DAY 13
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Here we follow all developments on the military offensive launched by Russia in Ukraine.

9:32 am – Russia threatens to cut gas supplies to Europe if West bans oil imports

Oil prices could exceed $300 a barrel and gas supplies to Europe could be cut if the European Union and the US decide to punish Russia and suspend, or reduce, oil imports from that country. The warning was left by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

“Apart from the baseless accusations against Russia about the energy crisis in Europe and the ban on Nord Stream 2, we know that we have every right to take a ‘mirror’ decision and place an embargo on gas transited via Nord Stream 1, which is currently run at 100 percent of capacity,” he warned.

While he admits that the Kremlin has yet to make that decision, Novak recalled “that a rejection of Russian oil would have catastrophic consequences for the global market.”

9:15 am – Italy wants to be independent from Russian gas in 24 to 30 months

The Italian Minister of Energy Transition, Roberto Cingolani, said this Tuesday that the country intends to be able to give up the purchase of gas from Russia for 24 to 30 months.

Speaking to state television Rai, Cingolani confirmed that gas coming from Russia currently represents around 40 percent of the country’s imports.

To support the energy independence process, the minister added that Italy intends to install a new floating liquefied natural gas terminal this year.

Meanwhile, Enel, Italy’s biggest utility, said it was ready to resume plans to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in southern Italy.

In comments to Reuters on Tuesday, Enel said it was useful for Italy to have two extra LNG terminals to be less dependent on pipelines.

“For this reason, Enel has made it available to resume the Porto Empedocle LNG plant project, which is fully permitted,” said an Enel spokesperson.

8:41 am – About 1.2 million people fled Ukraine via Poland

Since the start of the Russian military offensive on 24 February, some 1.2 million people have fled Ukraine for Poland. On Monday alone, around 141,500 people crossed the Ukrainian-Polish border, Polish authorities said.

8:17 am – Invasion of Ukraine. Putin rules out ‘further mobilization of reserves’

The Russian president denies that he is recruiting Syrians to fight in Ukraine and also guarantees that he will not call in the military in the reserve. In a video published this Tuesday, International Women’s Day, Vladimir Putin asks the mothers, sisters and wives of Russian soldiers to be proud of them.

8:12 am – The second wave of refugees from Ukraine will be more vulnerable, says UNHCR chief

After the first wave of refugees from Ukraine, there is likely to be a second wave made up of more vulnerable refugees, warned the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“If the war continues, we are going to start seeing people without resources and without connections,” UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said during a press conference.

“This will be a more complex situation to manage for European countries going forward, and it will take even more solidarity from everyone in Europe and beyond,” he said.

8:06 am – EU pays around 260 million euros a day to import Russian oil

The European Union pays around 260 million euros daily for Russian oil imports, according to a report published this Tuesday by the environmental organization Transport & Environment.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfolds, and given the uncertainty of how EU sanctions against Moscow will affect the energy sector, T&E puts the total amount of Russian crude oil exports to Europe and the UK for the year spent at €104 billion, much higher than the €43.4 billion from Russian natural gas purchases.

However, the association, which calls on the EU to carry out a “global embargo on Russian oil”, explained that the continent’s dependence on Russian supplies as a whole, while significant, is not insurmountable.

The report indicates that the majority of EU oil imports are via tankers and ports, and only 4-8% of Europe’s oil supply comes from Russian pipelines, which means that it is feasible to obtain oil elsewhere at short term.

However, the association says that replacing Russian crude will not solve Europe’s long-term dependence on oil, and calls for measures to prepare for a possible oil market disruption, including an increase in teleworking and car-free days. , as well as the redirection of European funds to boost the mass purchase of electric vehicles.

T&E also calls for improving transport efficiency and accelerating the electrification of this sector to reduce oil consumption and avoid dependence on Russian imports.

7:54 am – Humanitarian corridors go into effect in five Ukrainian cities

According to the Interfax agency, which cites the Russian Ministry of Defense, humanitarian corridors in Kyiv, Cherhuhiv, Sumi, Kharkiv and Mariupol agreed with the Ukrainian authorities are already open.

7:43 am – Gone. City evacuation starts at 8:00 am

It is one of the cities where a “humanitarian corridor” was established by Russian and Ukrainian negotiators. Iryna Vereshchuk, deputy prime minister of Ukraine, said today that civilians should start to be evacuated from 10:00 am local time (8:00 am in Lisbon).

7:23 am – Ukraine orders return of troops on UN peacekeeping missions

The Ukrainian President today decided to withdraw Ukrainian peacekeepers involved in UN missions so that they can join the country’s defense against the Russian military offensive.

Parliament published on its account on the messaging platform Telegram the document in which the Ukrainian leader decrees this measure.

“[Volodymir] Zelensky decided to call on Ukrainian peacekeepers from all missions around the world. The aim is to participate in protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state,” he added.

According to the website of Ukraine’s permanent representation at the UN, the country has been contributing to UN peacekeeping missions since 1992.

Ukrainians have so far participated in Blue Helmets peacekeeping operations in six places around the world: in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Cyprus, Kosovo, Abyei (between Sudan and South Sudan) and Mali. The largest contingent of Ukrainian peacekeepers is in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

7:10 am – Bombings in Sumi. At least nine people died on Monday night.

At least nine people, including two children, were killed on Monday night in an airstrike in the town of Sumi, about 350 kilometers east of Kyiv, near the Russian border. The information is advanced by the Ukrainian emergency services this Tuesday.

“Enemy planes insidiously attacked residential buildings,” Ukrainian emergency services said via Telegram.

Rescue teams arrived at the scene around 23:00 (local time).
State of play

– Russian planes bombed the northeastern city of Sumi on Monday night, damaging homes in residential areas, said Dmytro Zhivitsky, head of the city’s military administration. “There are dead and wounded,” he confirmed.

– The Russian Defense Ministry announced local truces, starting at 7:00 am on Tuesday, to facilitate humanitarian corridors that allow the evacuation of civilians, in several cities, including the capital Kiev, Mariupol and Kharkiv and Sumi.

– Moscow also announced that there will be the fourth round of negotiations soon to take place in Belarus. The information was provided by a negotiator who was in the third round of negotiations that took place on Monday.

– The meeting between negotiators ended without reaching an agreement for peace. Only small “advances” were made in the logistics of humanitarian corridors.

– The first high-level meeting since the beginning of the invasion is scheduled for next Thursday, the 10th: the Russian and Ukrainian Foreign Ministers will meet on the sidelines of the Diplomatic Forum that will take place in Turkey, a joint meeting with the Turkish counterpart.

– Among the conditions presented by Russia to stop the conflict is the recognition of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states and the non-integration of Ukraine in NATO.

– Moscow also released a list of “hostile” countries that includes all countries in the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Russian companies will now be able to pay debts to these countries in rubles, a currency that has lost eighty percent of its value since the beginning of the year.

– The United Nations reports that more than 1.7 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began. The European Union estimates that five million refugees could reach the 27 Member States.

– US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are “determined to continue to increase the cost” inflicted on Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine, according to with a statement released Monday by the White House.

However, this western front seems less united on the issue of the embargo on the sale of Russian hydrocarbons, an option rejected by Germany, which is very dependent on Russian gas.

– Prices of key strategic raw materials soar, as Russia and Ukraine are major world suppliers. Russia is a major producer of oil and gas and investors fear possible disruptions to hydrocarbon supplies.

– Oil prices, North Sea Brent or US WTI, reached all-time highs, briefly surpassing USD 130 per barrel for the first time since 2008. The price of gas reached an all-time high in Europe at EUR 345 per megawatt-hour.

– Ukraine’s export capabilities are also a matter of concern, as together with Russia it is considered a “breadbasket” for the rest of the world. In Europe, the price of wheat has soared since the beginning of the conflict to reach an unprecedented price, reaching 450 euros per tonne.

Source: with agencies

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