Live updates | New gas pipeline reduces dependence on Russia – What We Know!

Live updates | New gas pipeline reduces dependence on Russia

VILNIUS, Lithuania — A 500-million-euro ($530 million) Lithuanian-Polish pure gasoline transmission pipeline was inaugurated Thursday, finishing one other stage of regional independence from Russian power sources.

The Gasoline Interconnection Poland-Lithuania pipeline that runs greater than 500 kilometers (310 miles), comes “at a time when Russia has as soon as once more tried to blackmail us utilizing gasoline,” Polish President Andrzej Duda mentioned on the inauguration.

Lithuania’s Prime Minister Ingridas Simonyte added that “any discount or disappearance of this supply of funding would have a really important impression on the Russian economic system and the flexibility to proceed financing the conflict in Ukraine.”

The Lithuania-Poland leg is built-in with pipelines within the different two Baltic states — Estonia and Latvia — and Finland, and into the European Union gasoline transmission system. Earlier than the pipeline was constructed, the 4 nations may solely obtain pipeline gasoline from Russia.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR: — Ukraine repels Russian assaults; Mariupol plant battle rages

— The AP Interview: Belarus admits Russia’s conflict ‘drags on’

— Europeans weigh prices of chopping Russian power over Ukraine

— Simple out from metal mill seen as unlikely for Ukraine troops

— Ukraine: Russia utilizing ‘ missile terrorism ’ in huge assaults

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— AP proof factors to 600 useless in Mariupol theater airstrike

Comply with all AP tales on Russia’s conflict on Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

Ukraine’s authorities has launched a world fundraising platform so people can donate to assist rebuild Ukraine, supply humanitarian assist, and lift cash for demining.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy introduced the initiative, referred to as United24, on Thursday.

The US and Europe, amongst others, have provided billions of {dollars} in army and humanitarian assist to Ukraine. Final week, U.S. President Joe Biden requested Congress for $33 billion to bolster Ukraine’s combat towards Russia.

Ukraine’s latest fundraising drive is meant to offer people a option to donate on their very own with a single click on, Zelenskyy mentioned.

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MADRID — Spanish authorities have arrested a Ukrainian politician-blogger accused of treason in his house nation.

An official with the Spanish nationwide police confirmed that Anatoly Shariy had been detained Wednesday in Tarragona below a world arrest warrant. Shariy is being transported to Madrid to look earlier than a choose, who will resolve upon his extradition, the official mentioned.

Ukraine’s safety providers introduced the arrest on Thursday and mentioned there was motive to imagine Shariy “was appearing on behalf of international entities.”

Shariy has been a vocal and lively critic of Ukraine’s authorities. As not too long ago as Tuesday he tweeted that he had been warned that Ukrainian intelligence was attempting to trace him down. He’s the founding father of a political social gathering that many Ukrainians contemplate pro-Russian.

Ukrainian media reported that one of many members of the social gathering mentioned in February, simply earlier than the beginning of the conflict, that Shariy had asylum within the European Union.

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Danish Overseas Minister Jeppe Kofod mentioned Thursday that Russia has determined to expel 4 diplomats with Denmark’s Embassy in Moscow.

“They’ve wrongfully turn into items in Putin’s cynical energy play,” Kofod mentioned. “It’s a fully unjustified and deeply problematic choice, which underscores that Russia not needs actual dialogue and diplomacy.”

Moscow mentioned seven Danish diplomats have been expelled. Danish media mentioned that these expelled embrace 4 diplomats and three others with out diplomatic standing. They need to depart inside two weeks.

Moscow’s tit-for-tat choice got here after Denmark final month expelled 15 Russian intelligence officers who labored at Russia’s Embassy in Copenhagen. A number of different European nations additionally expelled Russian intelligence officers.

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SOFIA, Bulgaria — In anticipation of a European Union embargo on Russian crude oil Bulgaria says it’s on the lookout for an exemption resulting from its dependence on provides from Russia.

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Bulgaria’s solely oil refinery close to the Black Sea port of Burgas is owned by Russia’s oil large LUKOIL and is the primary gas provider within the nation.

Nonetheless, Deputy Prime Minister Assen Vassilev informed reporters that the refinery is already processing as much as 50% non-Russian crude and theoretically ought to have the ability to absolutely eradicate Russian crude.

“Bulgaria, technologically, can do with out Russian crude oil, however this may considerably enhance gas costs,” Vassilev mentioned. “In case the European Fee weighs some exemptions, we wish to reap the benefits of it, as a result of will probably be in the most effective curiosity of Bulgarian shoppers.”

Slovakia and Hungary have already requested for such exemptions.

Russia stopped gasoline deliveries to Bulgaria final week in response to Sofia’s refusal to pay for it in rubles saying it violates present contracts.

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NICOSIA, Cyprus – The prime minister of Luxembourg says the European Union ought to fastidiously weigh a complete embargo on all Russian oil gasoline imports on condition that some member nations “haven’t any different” provide for power era.

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Prime Minister Xavier Bettel mentioned after talks Thursday with the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades that “simply to say no to the gasoline as we speak after we know that some nations then could have no different tomorrow is one thing we should always placed on the steadiness.”

What’s paramount right now is to take care of EU solidarity and for all 27 members to seek out methods of turning into power self-sufficient and fewer depending on power from third nations, Bettel mentioned.

He mentioned one possibility is photo voltaic power, referring to the east Mediterranean island nation’s potential to generate far more than Luxembourg.

Anastasiades mentioned the conflict in Ukraine has refocused consideration on found and potential pure gasoline reserves present in east Mediterranean waters off Cyprus and elsewhere in its place supply of power for Europe.

On Wednesday, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen referred to as on the EU member states to ban oil imports from Russia and goal the nation’s greatest financial institution and main broadcasters in a sixth package deal of sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.

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WARSAW, Poland — Poland and Sweden are co-hosting a world donors’ convention on Thursday in Warsaw to boost funds for humanitarian efforts to assist war-torn Ukraine, the place 1000’s have been killed, cities devastated and hundreds of thousands of individuals displaced by Russia’s assault.

Poland’s authorities says that Ukraine’s wants are enormous regardless of funds already donated because of the massive scale of harm from the conflict, and that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians require pressing assist.

The Excessive-Stage Worldwide Donors’ Convention for Ukraine is collectively organized by the Polish and Swedish prime ministers in collaboration with the European Fee and European Council presidents.

The goals are to permit the worldwide group to announce new pledges to fulfill the rapid humanitarian wants of Ukrainian society and to create a discussion board to debate tips on how to help Ukrainian society over the long run.

The co-hosts are prime ministers Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland and Magdalena Andersson of Sweden.

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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is predicted to handle the members by video, who’re gathering in Warsaw’s Nationwide Stadium.

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PARIS — France’s ecology minister says she is assured that the European Union’s 27 nations will shortly conform to a proposed ban on oil imports from Russia.

Chatting with FranceInfo radio Thursday, the minister, Barbara Pompili, mentioned the embargo may very well be agreed upon inside days.

“I’m assured,” she mentioned. “It’s regular that there are discussions as a result of some nations are extra dependent than others on Russian oil, so now we have to attempt to discover options to allow them to get on board with these sanctions.”

She added: “I believe we’ll get there maybe by the tip of the week or at the very least as quickly as attainable.”

The European Union’s high official, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, proposed Wednesday that EU member nations part out imports of Russian crude oil inside six months and refined merchandise by the tip of the 12 months.

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The proposals should be unanimously accepted to take impact. Von der Leyen mentioned that getting all 27 member nations — a few of them landlocked and extremely depending on Russia for power provides — to agree on oil sanctions “is not going to be simple.”

Pompili mentioned the embargo can be “for everybody” within the bloc and that “is to indicate Russia that Europe, from the tip of this 12 months, will fully do with out its oil.”

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KYIV, Ukraine — 5 individuals have been killed and at the very least 25 extra wounded in japanese Ukraine over the previous 24 hours due to the Russian shelling, Ukrainian officers mentioned Thursday.

Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai mentioned the Russian troops shelled the area 24 instances on Wednesday, hitting the cities of Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Girske and Popasna, damaging at the very least 23 homes and killing 5 individuals.

An in a single day shelling of Kramatorsk within the Donetsk area wounded at the very least 25 individuals, Donetsk governor Pavlo Kyrylenko mentioned Thursday. He added that 9 homes, a faculty and different civilian infrastructure have been broken because the end result.

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KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s Normal Employees says the nation’s forces made some good points on the border of the southern areas of Kherson and Mykolaiv and repelled a number of Russian assaults within the east.

In its each day morning replace, the Normal Employees mentioned that the Russians “misplaced management over a number of settlements on the border of Mykolayiv and Kherson areas.” Ukrainian forces additionally repelled 11 assaults within the Donetsk and Luhansk areas, the replace mentioned.

On the similar time, preventing over the Azovstal plant in Mariupol continued, the Normal Employees mentioned.

“With the help of plane, the enemy resumed the offensive with a view to take management of the plant,” the replace mentioned, including that the Russian troops have been “attempting to destroy Ukrainians models” at this final remaining pocket of Ukrainian resistance within the ravaged port metropolis.

The Normal Employees additionally famous Russian efforts to stir tensions within the Moscow-backed breakaway area of Transnistria in Moldova, which borders with Ukraine and has a Russian peacekeeping contingent. The Russian army “carries out regrouping of troops in sure areas, takes measures to replenish reserves” and is “attempting to enhance the tactical place of its models.”

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The Normal Employees’s statements couldn’t be independently verified.

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LVIV, Ukraine — The British army is saying an ongoing army drill in Belarus “just isn’t at the moment anticipated” to threaten Ukraine.

The British Protection Ministry made the assertion Thursday in a each day intelligence briefing posted to Twitter.

It comes after Belarus introduced snap army drills. That sparked suspicion in Ukraine as Russia used Belarus to funnel troops by way of initially of the conflict in February earlier than Ukrainian forces repelled an advance focusing on the capital, Kyiv.

“Russia will seemingly search to inflate the menace posed to Ukraine by these workouts with a view to repair Ukrainian forces within the north, stopping them from being dedicated to the battle for the Donbas,” the British army mentioned.

It added: “Deviation from regular train exercise that might pose a menace to allies and companions just isn’t at the moment anticipated.”

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UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations says greater than 300 civilians from the besieged southeastern metropolis of Mariupol and 4 different cities have been evacuated to Ukrainian-held Zaporizhzhia in a second profitable operation to get civilians out of areas topic to Russian shelling and assaults.

Osnat Lubrani, the U.N. humanitarian chief in Ukraine, mentioned in an announcement that lots of the civilians from Mariupol, Manhush, Berdyansk, Tokmak and Vasylivka got here Wednesday with nothing however the garments they have been carrying and are actually getting humanitarian help. She mentioned they’ll additionally obtain “much-needed psychological help.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned the 344 evacuated Wednesday are along with the greater than 150 individuals who have been evacuated earlier this week from the bunkers below the Azovstal metal mill in Mariupol, which is surrounded by Russian troops and reportedly got here below renewed hearth on Wednesday.

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No civilians have been reported evacuated from the plant on Wednesday. Zelenskyy mentioned they’re attempting to achieve an settlement to avoid wasting these remaining at Azovstal, together with ladies and kids.

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The commander of the primary defending pressure on the Azovstal metal mill within the strategic Ukrainian port metropolis of Mariupol says Russian troops have damaged into the territory of the mill, the place restricted evacuations of besieged civilians occurred final week.

The Russian authorities, in the meantime, pledged to facilitate humanitarian corridors from Thursday by way of Saturday to allow extra evacuations.

In a video posted Wednesday, Denys Prokopenko, commander of the Ukrainian Azov regiment, mentioned the incursions had continued a second day “and there are heavy, bloody battles.”

Azovstal stays one of many greatest hubs of Ukrainian army resistance and has been subjected to huge Russian aerial bombardments and shelling. Russian State TV confirmed smoke rising over Azovstal.

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A whole bunch of Ukrainian forces from totally different components of the military, in addition to civilians, stay within the plant’s underground shelters.

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A Russian authorities assertion mentioned its armed forces and their allies would open a humanitarian hall on specified hours from Thursday by way of Saturday from the Azovstal metal mill in Mariupol, Ukraine, so civilians might be evacuated.

The assertion appeared on the Telegram messaging app Wednesday and pledged the forces would chorus from army actions, withdraw to a protected distance and facilitate the withdrawal of the civilians to any vacation spot they select.

However there was no rapid affirmation of these preparations from different sources and related guarantees to arrange evacuation corridors have collapsed, due to what the Ukrainians blamed on continued preventing by Russians. A United Nations spokesman mentioned discussions about future evacuations have been ongoing.

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