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Russia's debt default risk grows; Zelenskyy speaks to EU's Michel about more aid

This was CNBC's live blog tracking developments on the war in Ukraine on Tuesday. See here for the latest updates. 

Ukraine said Russia's assault on the eastern part of the country is continuing, with 38 towns hit in the Luhansk and Donetsk areas on Monday, damaging civilian infrastructure.

Ukraine remains at the top of the agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed leaders of the business and political world at the summit via video link on Monday.

He said the world is at a "turning point" and must decide whether it would allow Russia's "brute force" to win. Russian politicians, business leaders and academics are absent from the event this year.

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Ukrainian President Zelenskyy calls for stiffer sanctions against Russia at Davos

Meanwhile, a Russian soldier was sentenced to life in prison on Monday in the conflict's first war crimes trial. As the war drags on, the United Nations said that more than 6.5 million Ukrainians have become refugees.

Russia approves bill that would allow the appointment of new management for foreign companies that exit the country

Russia's Parliament has taken several steps toward putting the country's economy on a war footing, with two bills being passed in the State Duma that would allow the government to compel Russian businesses to supply the military with goods for the war effort.
Natalia Kolesnikova | Afp | Getty Images

Russia's parliament approved a bill that would allow the government to appoint new management of foreign companies that exited the country due to "anti-Russian sentiment in Europe and the U.S.," the Associated Press reported.

Many foreign companies have exited Russia after it invaded Ukraine, including McDonald's, which officially left after 32 years in the country.

After two more readings of the bill in parliament, it will go to the upper house and then to President Vladimir Putin for his approval, the AP reported.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the new law is another reason for foreign companies to leave Russia, according to the AP.

"It's the last chance to save not only your reputation but your property," he said in a statement, the AP reported.

— Chelsea Ong

Zelenskyy says Russia is putting everything it has into Donbas fight

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks at a joint news conference, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine April 28, 2022.
Valentyn Ogirenko | Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia is using everything at its disposal in the fight for four cities in the eastern Donbas region.

"The situation in the Donbas now is very difficult," Zelenskyy said in his nightly address to the nation. "Practically the full might of the Russian army, whatever they have left, is being thrown at the offensive there. Liman, Popasna, Sievierodonetsk, Slaviansk – the occupiers want to destroy everything there."

A woman stands in front of a destroyed administration building in the city of Bakhmut in the eastern Ukranian region of Donbas, on May 25, 2022.
Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images

Zelenskyy said the Ukrainian army is fighting back, but "it will take time and a lot more effort by our people to overcome their advantage in the amount of equipment and weapons."

He told Ukrainians they should be proud of having held off Russia for three months in a war that many in Russia and the West expected to last three days.

Ukrainian servicemen get ready to move toward the frontline at a checkpoint near the city of Lysychansk in the eastern Ukranian region of Donbas, on May 23, 2022, amid Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images

— Associated Press

European Council president spoke with Zelenskyy about more military, humanitarian aid

European Council President Charles Michel talks during the joint press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida following their meeting at the prime minister's office on May 12, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan.
Yoshikazu Tsuno | Getty Images

European Council President Charles Michel spoke with Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelenskyy and reiterated the bloc's commitment to Ukraine's fight against Russia.

"As the war enters its fourth month, we discussed further humanitarian, financial and military assistance," Michel wrote in a tweet.

Michel added that the two discussed how the European Union could best support efforts to rebuild Ukrainian infrastructure destroyed by Russian forces.

"Also looked into global food security and efforts to unblock Ukraine's sea ports," Michel added.

— Amanda Macias

NATO chief warns Russia that an attack on one ally 'will trigger the full response from the whole alliance'

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a press conference ahead of the alliance's Defence Ministers' meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on March 15, 2022.
Kenzo Tribouillard | AFP | Getty Images

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that while the 30-member military alliance has not put troops into Ukraine, a Russian attack "on one NATO ally will trigger the full response from the whole alliance."

"This is deterrence. The purpose is not to provoke conflict but to prevent conflict and preserve peace," Stoltenberg said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, NATO has increased its military presence in eastern parts of the alliance, Stoltenberg said.

"Now we have 40,000 troops in the NATO command. We have more naval, the air capabilities, especially in the eastern part of the alliance and we have 100,000 troops on heightened alert," he said. He added: "This is to send a very clear message to Moscow and leave no room for miscalculation or misunderstanding."

— Amanda Macias

Russia's risk of defaulting on its debt increases

The U.S. Treasury Department announced it would bar Russia from paying its bondholders through U.S. banks.

The move raises the risk that Moscow could default on its sovereign debt. The change will take effect Wednesday morning.

The Biden administration cut off transactions with the Russian central bank in late February, days after the country launched its brutal invasion of Ukraine. A carve out previously allowed U.S. banks to process Russian payments to bondholders.

— Jacob Pramuk

Premier League approves proposed Chelsea sale

Todd Boehly, founder and chief executive officer of Eldridge Industries LLC, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, on Tuesday, April 30, 2019.
Kyle Grillot | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The English Premier League board approved the proposed sale of Chelsea FC to a group led by U.S. businessman Todd Boehly.

The British government still has to approve the takeover, the Premier League said in a statement.

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale in early March following outrage over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. Days later, the U.K. sanctioned Abramovich — meaning a sale of the elite football club was subject to government approval.

The consortium led by Boehly, a part owner of Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers, agreed to pay £4.25 billion for Chelsea.

Officials are reportedly still deciding where Abramovich's proceeds from the sale will go.

— Jacob Pramuk

Russian parliament passes bill allowing Moscow to close Western news bureaus

Russian lawmakers attend a session of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, to consider approving friendship treaties with two self-proclaimed people's republics in eastern Ukraine, in Moscow, Russia February 22, 2022.
Russian State Duma | via Reuters

Russia's parliament passed a bill giving prosecutors powers to shut foreign media bureaus in Moscow if a Western country has been "unfriendly" to Russian media, following the closure of some Russian state news outlets in the West.

The bill, passed in the first reading by the lower house of parliament, or Duma, also prohibits the distribution of articles or other materials from media that have been closed by the prosecutor's office. It needs to undergo two more readings, be reviewed by the upper house of parliament, and signed by President Vladimir Putin to become law.

The journalists of a media organization deemed to be an offender under the bill would have their foreign ministry accreditation withdrawn — meaning they could not work in Russia. The new bill adds to the challenges facing foreign media after Russia in March adopted a law which penalized what it termed spreading "fake" news about its army.

"In the current geopolitical situation, the mass media has become an instrument of influence on the informational state of society," the lawmakers said in an official explanatory note on the bill.

— Reuters

Top U.S. general and national security adviser speak with Ukrainian officials

Jake Sullivan, White House national security adviser, speaks during an interview at an Economic Club of Washington event in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, April 14, 2022.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Ukraine's top military officer and a top aide of Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelenskyy spoke with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley and Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden's national security adviser.

Andriy Yermak, the head of Zelenskyy's office, said the officials discussed the security situation in Ukraine and the course of the fighting.

"They discussed the unprovoked and ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and international support for the Ukrainian armed forces," Milley's spokesman, U.S. Army Col. Dave Butler wrote in a summary of the call.

"Sullivan and Gen. Milley reaffirmed the United States' steadfast support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added.

— Amanda Macias

Destroyed Russian tanks on display for public in city squares

Destroyed Russian tanks and military equipment on display for public at Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv, Ukraine on the 90th day of conflict with Russia.

Destroyed Russian tanks and military equipment on display for public at Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 23, 2022 as Russian-Ukrainian conflict continues. 
Dogukan Keskinkilic | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Destroyed Russian tanks and military equipment on display for public at Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 23, 2022 as Russian-Ukrainian conflict continues. 
Dogukan Keskinkilic | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Destroyed Russian tanks and military equipment on display for public at Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 23, 2022 as Russian-Ukrainian conflict continues. 
Dogukan Keskinkilic | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Destroyed Russian tanks and military equipment on display for public at Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 23, 2022 as Russian-Ukrainian conflict continues.
Dogukan Keskinkilic | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Destroyed Russian tanks and military equipment on display for public at Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 23, 2022 as Russian-Ukrainian conflict continues. 
Dogukan Keskinkilic | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

— Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Biden says Russia's war in Ukraine is a 'dark hour in our shared history'

Biden on Monday attended a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, Japan.
Pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images

President Joe Biden said the world was in the midst of navigating a "dark hour in our shared history."

Biden's comments came while meeting with fellow leaders of Australia, Japan and India, a security group known as the "Quad."

"This is more than just a European issue. It's a global issue," Biden said, urging leaders to embrace a shared responsibility to counter Russia.

"The world has to deal with it and we are," Biden added. 

India, a significant customer of Russian weaponry, is the only Quad member that has not yet clearly condemned the Kremlin's war in Ukraine.

— Amanda Macias

Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba discuss security assistance

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba deliver remarks after a NATO foreign ministers meeting, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium April 7, 2022. 
Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba by phone about the ongoing global food security crisis triggered by Russian President Vladimir Putin's war.

For weeks, Russian forces have blocked roughly a dozen Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.

"The secretary noted the global food security crisis resulting from president Putin's brutal war requires a global response and they discussed potential means to export Ukraine's grain to international markets," according to a State Department readout of the call.

Kuleba wrote in a tweet that the two leaders also discussed ways to "unblock Ukraine's exports and ensure global food security."

— Amanda Macias

UN says at least 3,942 killed in Ukraine since start of war

People stand amid newly-made graves at a cemetery in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the settlement of Staryi Krym outside Mariupol, Ukraine May 22, 2022. 
Alexander Ermochenko | Reuters

The United Nations has confirmed 3,942 civilian deaths and 4,591 injuries in Ukraine since Russia invaded its ex-Soviet neighbor on Feb. 24.

The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said the death toll in Ukraine is likely higher, because the armed conflict can delay reports.

The international organization said most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, as well as missiles and airstrikes.

— Amanda Macias

Global consequences of Russia's war on Ukraine will be 'severe,' Wladimir Klitschko says

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This war will have severe consequences — not just for Russia, Wladimir Klitschko says

Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine will have far-reaching, severe consequences not only for Russia and Ukraine but also for the rest of the world, said Wladimir Klitschko, a Ukrainian former professional boxer and brother of Kyiv's Mayor Vitali Klitschko.

"We're going to have a food crisis, with Ukraine getting out of this chain of suppliers — we supply a lot of grains into Africa and Asia — and with the blocking of the Black Sea, it's not going to happen and the world is going to take those severe consequences," he said, speaking to CNBC's Hadley Gamble at the World Economic Forum.

"It's going to knock on every person's, every family's, every government's door if we don't stop it."

There is increasing alarm about the global rise in food prices, particularly of basic essential goods like wheat and cooking oil (Ukraine is a leading global producer of both wheat and sunflower seeds, used for oil), with Russia's war in Ukraine disrupting production and exporting. Russia has largely blocked exports of grain via the Black Sea, leaving Ukraine's Western allies to look for ways to get its produce out of the country.

Holly Ellyatt

West is much stronger than Russia, NATO chief says

No one knows how long the conflict in Ukraine will last but NATO must stand together to support Ukraine, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told CNBC.

"The West, NATO partners around the world, we are much stronger than Russia so as long as we support Ukraine and we're not directly involved in the war, we're not part of the war ... then we are able to stand out and to stand up against this invasion," Stoltenberg told CNBC's Hadley Gamble on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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NATO: I am confident we will find a solution with Turkey

Stoltenberg said that Russia must not be able to "get its way" in Ukraine as that would make the world "even more dangerous."

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has had several unintended consequences for Russia, with NATO looking stronger and more united than in recent years. It is also set to expand with Finland and Sweden announcing that they are applying to join the organization.

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China works more closely with Russia than they have ever done before, NATO secretary general says

Holly Ellyatt

Russia is weaponizing food supplies, EU's von der Leyen warns

Russia is using food supplies as a weapon as it has done with its energy supplies, the European Commission's President Ursula von der Leyen told global leaders gathered in Davos.

"We are witnessing how Russia is weaponizing its energy supplies. And this is having global repercussions. Unfortunately, we are seeing the same pattern emerging in food security," von der Leyen said at the World Economic Forum.

In Russian-occupied Ukraine, von der Leyen continued, "the Kremlin's army is confiscating grain stocks and machinery ... Russian artillery is bombarding grain warehouses across Ukraine – deliberately. And Russian warships in the Black Sea are blockading Ukrainian ships full of wheat and sunflower seeds."

A farmer wears a bulletproof vest during crop sowing in the Zaporizhzhia Region, southeastern Ukraine.
Dmytro Smoliyenko | Future Publishing | Getty Images

She said the consequences of these "shameful" acts with global food prices rising — particularly the price of basic commodities such as wheat and cooking oil, both of which Ukraine is a massive producer and exporter — are obvious.

"Bread prices in Lebanon have increased by 70%, and food shipments from Odesa could not reach Somalia. And on top of this, Russia is now hoarding its own food exports as a form of blackmail – holding back supplies to increase global prices, or trading wheat in exchange for political support," she said. Such an act was tantamount to using hunger and grain to wield power, she said.

Russia has blamed the West for soaring food prices, saying on Monday that these are down to the West and its international sanctions.

Holly Ellyatt

Putin is now getting 'more NATO' because of his invasion, alliance chief says

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg attends a ceremony to mark Sweden's and Finland's application for membership in Brussels, Belgium, May 18, 2022.
Johanna Geron | Reuters

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has had unintended consequences for Russia's President Vladimir Putin, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said.

"He wanted less NATO on his borders, now he's getting more NATO," Stoltenberg said in a special address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Stoltenberg's comments come as relations between Russia and the Western military alliance NATO remain tense after Finland and Sweden announced applications to join the organization.

Although the application process takes time for all existing NATO members to approve, and Turkey's objections have not yet been overcome, the expected expansion of NATO has irked Russia with President Putin calling it "a problem," although his foreign minister has tried to downplay the significance of the enlargement.

Holly Ellyatt

UK looking at how to get grain out of Ukraine, warning of 'hunger and famine' if not

Ears of wheat are seen in a field near the village of Zhovtneve, Ukraine.
Valentyn Ogirenko | Reuters

The U.K. is holding talks with Ukraine over how to get its grain out of the country, a British government minister said Tuesday.

Russia has blocked Ukraine's main sea ports, blocking exports of grain from the country — which is seen as one of the world's "bread baskets" as a massive exporter of agricultural products, from wheat to sunflower oil — and pushing up global food prices in the process.

U.K. Transport Minister Grant Shapps told Sky News that he was very concerned about the issue, saying more lives could be lost as a result of hunger.

"What really worries me is we've seen many lives lost in Ukraine and we could see even more lives lost in other places in the world through grain and food shortages which could be even greater than the lives lost in the war directly," he said.

Shapps said he'd met Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksander Kubrakov last week to discuss how to move grain out of the country, following reports that the U.K. and other willing allies could put in place a military escort to ensure ships carrying goods out of the port of Odesa were kept safe.

"We were discussing details which I can't go into but about how infrastructure could be in place to ensure the grain leaves," Shapps said Tuesday. "We're looking at all the different options ... there are lots of different potential ways to get grain and other goods out of the country," he said.

Shapps warned "there could be a lot of hunger and famine" if Ukraine's agricultural produce could not be exported.


Holly Ellyatt

Moscow appears ready to sever ties with the West as China pivot continues

"It is a direct provocation (by Ukraine), aimed at involving the West in military action," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference while in Saudi Arabia.
Russian Foreign Ministry | Reuters

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that Moscow would "seriously consider" whether it needs to re-establish relations with the West.

Speaking in a question and answer session at an event in Moscow Monday evening, Lavrov said
Western countries had espoused "Russophobia" since the Kremlin had launched what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine on Feb.24. The West considers it an aggressive, unprovoked invasion.

"If they want to offer something in terms of resuming relations, then we will seriously consider whether we will need it or not," he said, adding that Russia was developing its own system of import substitutions given the international sanctions on the country.

Russia should not be in any way "dependent on the supply of anything from the West to ensure the development of critical industries for the security, economy and social sphere of our motherland," Lavrov added.

His comments, which were posted on the foreign ministry's website, also signalled that Russia's pivot toward China would continue.

"Now that the West is in a dictatorial position, our economic ties with China will grow even faster," Lavrov said, adding that this also poses an opportunity to develop Russia's far east and eastern Siberia.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russia seeking to encircle Severodonetsk, UK says

Russia has increased the intensity of its operations in the Donbas as it seeks to encircle Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, and Rubizhne, the U.K.'s Ministry of Defence said in its latest intelligence update Tuesday.

"At present the northern and southern axes of this operation are separated by approximately 25 km of Ukrainian-held territory," the ministry noted.

While there has been strong Ukrainian resistance with forces occupying well dug-in defensive positions, Russia has, however, achieved some localized successes, due in part to concentrating artillery units, the U.K. noted.

Capturing what the British military called the "Severodonetsk pocket" (area) matters a lot to Russia, because "it would see the whole of Luhansk Oblast placed under Russian occupation."

Nonetheless, while currently Russia's main effort, this operation is only one part of Russia's campaign to seize the Donbas. 

"If the Donbas front line moves further west, this will extend Russian lines of communication and likely see its forces face further logistic resupply difficulties," the ministry noted.

Holly Ellyatt

Russia has fired on 38 towns in Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine says

Ukraine has said that Russian forces have struck multiple towns in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, including civilian infrastructure.

"The occupiers fired on 38 towns in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts," Ukraine's Joint Forces Task Force said in a Facebook post Tuesday, "destroying and damaging 62 civilian objects, including 53 houses, an agricultural enterprise, a kindergarten, a bank branch, a pharmacy and the national police administration building."

As a result of these shellings, at least seven civilians were killed and six others were injured, the update noted. CNBC was unable to verify the information.

Russian forces have been intensifying their assaults in the Donbas region in recent weeks, with fierce fighting seen around the city of Severodonetsk which is located between Donetsk and Luhansk, currently the most contested areas in the Ukraine war.

A picture taken on May 22, 2022, shows the destroyed bridge connecting the city of Lysychansk with the city of Severodonetsk in the eastern Ukranian region of Donbas, amid Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images

In a separate Facebook post, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Russian forces are "exerting intense fire along the entire line of contact and in the depths of the defense of our troops in the Donetsk, Slobozhansky and Pivdennobuzhsky operational areas."

"The greatest activity of hostilities" is observed in the Donetsk operational district, the post noted, namely near Lysychansk and Severodonetsk.

Holly Ellyatt

Kherson to accept both Russian rubles and Ukrainian hryvnyas, Russian official says

A man holds up Russian ruble and Ukrainian hryvnia notes on 18 March 2014.
Hannibal Hanschke | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

Moscow-appointed governor Vladimir Saldo in Ukraine's southern Kherson region says the region will officially accept both Russian rubles and Ukrainian hryvnyas, the Associated Press reported.

Saldo also said an office of a Russian bank will open in the region, the AP reported.

Kherson was the first city to fall fully under Russian control. A Russian official previously spoke of plans to request Russian President Vladimir Putin to annex the region and have it join the Russian Federation.

— Chelsea Ong

Turkey urges Sweden to alleviate its security concerns about the country's bid to join NATO

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech in Turkey on November 11, 2017. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Sweden to take "concrete steps" to ease Turkey's security concerns regarding Sweden's bid to join NATO, the Associated Press reported.
Turkish Presidency / Yasin Bulbul | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Sweden to take "concrete steps" to ease Turkey's security concerns regarding Sweden's bid to join NATO, the Associated Press reported.

"We can in no way ignore the fact that Sweden is imposing sanctions against us," Erdogan said, according to the AP. "Turkey's rightful expectations concerning (an end to the) support to terrorism and sanctions must be met."

Turkey has said it opposes Sweden's application to join NATO, saying the country supports the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or the PKK – a Kurdish Marxist separatist movement that has been fighting Turkish forces on-and-off since the 1980s.

The PKK is classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey, as well as by the U.S., Canada, Australia and the European Union.

— Chelsea Ong

World Food Program chief presses billionaires ‘to step up’

The head of the U.N.'s World Food Program is telling billionaires it's "time to step up" as the global threat of food insecurity rises with Russia's war in Ukraine, saying he's seen encouraging signs from some of the world's richest people, like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Agency Executive Director David Beasley built upon a social media back-and-forth he had with Musk last year, when the Tesla CEO challenged policy advocates to show how a $6 billion donation sought by the U.N. agency could solve world hunger.

Since then, "Musk put $6 billion into a foundation. But everybody thought it came to us, but we ain't gotten any of it yet. So I'm hopeful," Beasley told The Associated Press at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some of the world's biggest elites and billionaires have gathered.

"I don't know what it's going to take," he said of Musk. "We're trying every angle, you know: Elon, we need your help, brother."

Musk and Bezos didn't immediately respond to emails or other messages seeking comment.

— Associated Press

EU will likely reach a Russia oil embargo deal 'within days,' German economy minister says

The European Union will likely agree to an embargo on Russian oil imports "within days", German Economy Minister Robert Habeck told broadcaster ZDF.

Habeck warned, however, that an embargo would not automatically weaken the Kremlin as rising prices were enabling it to rake in more income while selling lower volumes of oil.

Therefore, one consideration was to no longer pay "any price" for oil, but to agree on upper limits, he said. For that to work, however, many countries would have to get on board.

— Reuters

'Never have I been so ashamed of my country': Russian diplomat quits over Ukraine invasion

Russian service members work on demining the territory of Azovstal steel plant during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine May 22, 2022. 
Alexander Ermochenko | Reuters

A Russian diplomat quit over his country's invasion of Ukraine, calling it "not only a crime against the Ukrainian people but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia."

"Never have I been so ashamed of my country as on Feb. 24 of this year," wrote Boris Bondarev, a counselor in Russia's mission to the United Nations in Geneva, in an email to other diplomats there.

"Those who conceived this war want only one thing — to remain in power forever, live in pompous tasteless palaces, sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian navy, enjoying unlimited power and complete impunity," wrote Bondarev.

Bondarev wrote that during his 20 years in Russia's Foreign Ministry, "the level of lies and unprofessionalism" has increased, but in recent years "has become simply catastrophic."

"Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not about diplomacy. It is all about warmongering, lies and hatred."

— Dan Mangan

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