Triggered since February 24, 2022, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict continues to mark the news. Situation on the ground, international reactions, sanctions… Here is the point on this war which opposes Ukraine and Russia.
– Oil: Brussels proposes a gradual embargo… –
The European Commission has proposed a phased embargo by the European Union on oil and petroleum products purchased from Russia, in retaliation for the war in Ukraine, its president, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Wednesday.
“We will gradually give up Russian deliveries of crude oil within six months and those of refined products by the end of the year”, she explained to MEPs in Strasbourg, presenting a sixth package of sanctions against Moscow to cut off funding for its war effort against Ukraine.
– …and wants to exclude the main Russian bank from Swift –
Brussels is proposing to exclude three additional Russian banks, including Sberbank, the country’s largest institution, from the Swift international financial system, as part of a new sanctions package, von der Leyen announced on Wednesday.
So far, seven Russian institutions have been deprived of access to Swift, a secure messaging platform allowing crucial operations such as funds transfer orders between banks.
Brussels also proposes to sanction the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.
– Russian assault on Azovstal in Mariupol –
The Russian army and pro-Russian forces on Tuesday launched a “powerful assault” involving tanks and an amphibious landing against the huge Azovstal steelworks, the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol, announced a commander of the Azov regiment which defends it.
This deputy commander, Sviatoslav Palamar, clarified on Telegram that powerful bombardments had taken place, killing two women and injuring “about 10 civilians”.
Vadim Astafiev, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, announced on Tuesday that “units of the Russian army and the Donetsk People’s Republic, using artillery and aircraft, are beginning to destroy (the) positions shots” of Ukrainian fighters from Azovstal.
– Israelis fight with Azov, says Moscow –
“Israeli mercenaries” are fighting in Ukraine alongside the Azov regiment, which Moscow describes as “Nazi”, Russian diplomacy said on Wednesday, whose release on Hitler’s alleged “Jewish blood” sparked a virulent controversy.
“I’m going to say something that Israeli politicians probably don’t want to hear, but maybe it will interest them. In Ukraine, Israeli mercenaries are on the side of Azov militants,” Russian foreign affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with Sputnik radio.
– Belarus announces surprise military exercise –
Belarus, an ally of Russia and bordering Ukraine, launched a “surprise” military exercise on Wednesday to test the response capabilities of its army, the Ministry of Defense said.
Military units will work on their ability to “put themselves on alert, move to predetermined areas and do combat training”, according to the Belarusian ministry in a statement.
– Boycott of Russia at the UN –
Russia will boycott – a rare move – a meeting of the UN Security Council with the European Union’s Political and Security Committee (PSC) on Wednesday, illustrating a further deterioration in relations between Moscow and partners at the United Nations, according to diplomats.
According to a Russian diplomatic source speaking on condition of anonymity, Moscow’s decision is linked to the situation in Ukraine. A Western diplomat told AFP that he had no recollection of a Russian boycott of a Security Council meeting since the offensive in Ukraine on February 24.