Ukraine-Russia war latest LIVE: Evil Putin holds Europe gas exports to RANSOM in 'political move' against West sanctions | The Sun

RUSSIA has blamed Western sanctions for its decision to curb gas supplies to Europe.

On Tuesday, Gazprom – Moscow’s state-backed energy giant – announced it would slash gas deliveries through a key European pipeline by 40 per cent, report The Guardian.

In a statement, the firm said it had been forced to partially suspend operations at the Portovaya compressor station on the Russian Baltic Sea coast. 

"Due to the sanctions imposed by Canada, it is currently impossible for Siemens Energy to deliver overhauled gas turbines to the customer," it said.

"Against this background we have informed the Canadian and German governments and are working on a viable solution."

The move, Germany says, is politically motivated, and has appealed to Canada to review its sanctions on Moscow.

Robert Habeck, Germany's economic minister, said: "I also have the impression that what happened yesterday (Tuesday) is a political decision, and not a decision that is technically justifiable."

He added: "What effect it has on the European and German gas market, we will have to wait and see.

"The Russian side's argument is simply a pretext. It is obviously a strategy to unsettle and drive up prices."

Read our Ukraine war live blog below for the latest news & updates…

  • Milica Cosic

    UK sets out new Russia sanctions for "barbaric treatment of children in Ukraine"

    Britain has today said it had sanctioned Russian Children's Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for the "forced transfer and adoption of Ukrainian children", as part of a new wave of sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.

    "We are targeting the enablers and perpetrators of (Russian President Vladimir) Putins war who have brought untold suffering to Ukraine, including the forced transfer and adoption of children," Britain's Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.

    Britain said the latest sanctions round of sanctions also included Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, targeted for his support and endorsement of the war in Ukraine. 

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia sanctions 121 Australians – including journalists

    Russia's foreign ministry said today that it was sanctioning an additional 121 Australian citizens, including journalists and defence officials, citing what it calls a "Russophobic agenda" in the country.

    Among the sanctioned individuals are journalists from Australia's ABC News, Sydney Morning Herald and Sky News, as well as various defence officials, it said.

    Russia announced a similar move against dozens of British journalists on Tuesday, in what Moscow said was a response to Western sanctions and the "spreading of false information about Russia". 

  • Milica Cosic

    Macron meets Zelensky for first time since war began

    French President Emmanuel Macron met Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv today, Macron's office said.

    This marks the first time the two leaders had met physically since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

    Macron was visiting Kyiv alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, in a show of support which the Kyiv government hopes will be followed by concrete action to help it in the war with Russia.

  • Milica Cosic

    Japan airline ditches 'Z' logo used as pro-Russia symbol

    Japan's Zipair budget airline only launched in 2020, but an unfortunate coincidence has forced a rebrand of its logo – the letter Z, now linked to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    The symbol shot to controversy worldwide after being spotted on Russian tanks and military uniforms in Ukraine.

    It has since appeared on cars and clothing in Russia and online and has become a sign of support for the invasion, a patriotic trend the Kremlin is keen to encourage.

    Zipair president Shingo Nishida said Wednesday that the company is ditching the logo to avoid anyone mistakenly thinking his business is in favour of the bloody conflict.

    "Some people might feel that way when they see it without any explanation," he told reporters, according to Kyodo News and other local media.

    Zipair's new logo – a green, black and white geometric design – will from Saturday replace the black 'Z' currently on the tail fin of its planes, the reports said.

  • Milica Cosic

    Macron, Scholz, Draghi visit war-scarred Kyiv suburb Irpin

    French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi visited Irpin today.

    It is a battle-damaged suburb of Ukraine's capital, and they visited in a show of support for the country at war with Russia.

    AFP journalists on the scene said the European leaders had arrived to the town north of Kyiv, where residential buildings and civilian infrastructure remain damaged following Russian troops' attempts early in the invasion to capture the capital.

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia-backed forces to reopen humanitarian corridor at Azot plant

    Russia-backed forces will reopen a humanitarian corridor for civilians to leave the Azot chemical plant in Sievierdonetsk, the Interfax news agency reported today, citing a separatist leader.

    Leonid Pasechnik, head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, said separatist forces had entered the plant – where Ukraine says hundreds of civilians are taking shelter – but had been unable to dislodge Ukrainian fighters from the factory, the Tass news agency reported. 

  • Milica Cosic

    German, French, Italian leaders arrive in Kyiv

    French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi have arrived in Kyiv, on a joint trip to show their backing for Ukraine.

    “It’s an important moment. It’s a message of unity we’re sending to the Ukrainians, of support, to talk both about the present and the future, since the coming weeks, as we know, will be very difficult,” Macron said as they arrived.

    “We’re here, we’re focused, we will join president Zelensky to go to a war site where massacres have been carried out,” Macron said.

  • Milica Cosic

    MoD: Situation in Donbas extremely difficult for Ukrainian troops

    The British Ministry of Defence has given its latest intelligence report, and says that bridges over the Siverskyy Donets River,  which flows through eastern Ukraine into western Russia have likely been destroyed.

    “All of the main bridges over the Siverskyy Donets River, which link the contested town of Sieverodonetsk and Ukrainian-held territory, have now highly likely been destroyed,” the defence ministry said on Thursday morning.

    “Ukraine has probably managed to withdraw a large proportion of its combat troops, who were originally holding the town. The situation continues to be extremely difficult for the Ukrainian forces and civilians remaining east of the river,” the British MoD said.

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia ‘strategically’ lost war in Ukraine

    The head of the UK’s armed forces says Russia has already “strategically lost” the war in Ukraine and is now a “more diminished power”.

    Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said Vladimir Putin had lost 25% of Russia’s land power for only “tiny” gains.

    While Russia may achieve “tactical successes” in the coming weeks, he said any notion that the war had been a success was “nonsense”.

    Admiral Radakin, who is the UK’s chief of defence staff, said Russia was running out of troops and advanced missiles and would never be able to take over all of Ukraine.

    Admiral Radakin spoke to the PA news agency as he visited Scotland on Wednesday, where he met soldiers at Edinburgh Castle.

    He said: “This is a dreadful mistake by Russia. Russia will never take control of Ukraine.

    “Russia has strategically lost already. NATO is stronger, Finland and Sweden are looking to join.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Macron, Scholz and Draghi headed to Kyiv by train

    French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi left Poland today onboard a train bound for Kyiv, an AFP reporter said.

    The three leaders left this morning, according an AFP video – which showed the trio sitting together in a train compartment.

    It is the first time that the leaders of the three European Union countries have visited Kyiv since Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

    They are due to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the visit comes as Kyiv is pushing for membership of the EU.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Robot replaced guests at Putin’s annual economic summit after other nations boycott it

    A ‘female’ robot replaced human guests for Putin’s summit, as Russia continues to batter Ukraine.

    This new guest was invited to today’s meeting was a Russian robot woman attended the forum which is being boycotted by the West over the war in Ukraine.

    Android barmaid Dunyasha was seen selling ice cream at the St Petersburg event.

    Putin, 69, is only due to attend for one day of the four-day annual forum, sparking speculation over medical problems amid rumours of cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

    Recent reports say he has been advised not to attend public events for long, despite the Kremlin insisting he is healthy.

    The robot will be present throughout even though one Russian outlet slammed her outfit as “resembling a mix of The Stepford Wives and Soviet shop assistants from 1950s”.

    She is made as the spitting image of 2014 Perm beauty contest winner Diana Gabdullina, 31, wife of the owner of robot making company Rashid Gabdullin.

    Credit: Getty
  • Milica Cosic

    Russia & U.S. must discuss nuclear treaty extension

    Russia and the United States must discuss the extension of the START nuclear arms reduction treaty, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the RIA news agency in an interview today.

    "The matter was important for global security and Russia's military operation in Ukraine was no reason to avoid its discussion," Peskov added.

  • Lauren Lomas

    IKEA to SHUT DOWN factories in Russia in response to invasion

    The furniture giant has made a pledge to sell off factories in Russia, and close offices.

    As a response to the “devastating war” IKEA will reduce its 28,000 workforce, as the war has continued on from February earlier this year.

    The company condemned Russia, saying that bosses can’t see a way to continue business in the country after 22 years.

    “To ensure necessary business processes, we are organising the sale of homeware goods that are in our warehouses to employees and customers. Dates will be announced soon,” IKEA said.

    It said it may donate some stock to people in need.

    But selling surplus inventory and generating revenue there may raise eyebrows given the public and political pressure on companies not to make money from doing business in Russia.

  • Milica Cosic

    Ukraine pleads for more weapons as European leaders expected in Kyiv

    Ukraine said it urgently needed more weapons to fend off Russian advances in the south and the east – an appeal aimed at the West as the leaders of Germany, France and Italy are expected to visit Kyiv today.

    Major-General Dmytro Marchenko, who leads Ukraine's forces in Mykolaiv, said his troops could achieve victory over Russia if they are given the right weapons.

    "It is clear that this will not end soon. But then again, if we are given all the weapons that we need, the counter-offensive could well be over by the end of the summer," Marchenko told U.S.-backed broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

  • Lauren Lomas

    President Volodomyr Zelenksiy’s acting career

    Born on 25 January 1978, Zelenskiy was a famous actor, comedian and writer before he was made President.

    The Ukrainian president is best known for starring in the television series “Servant of the People.”

    He acted as a destitute schoolteacher who is suddenly launched to fame when he becomes president of Ukraine when his anti-corruption video goes viral.

    It premiered in 2015, and he became president in 2019.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Germany calls Russia’s move to cut gas ‘political’

    The Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the decision to cut supplies of gas to Germany was not ‘justifiable’.

    Speaking at a press conference this morning Habeck said that Russia cut the line for repair works.

    However he does not believe this to be viable, and said that he thinks the move was political after Germany is now forced to source 40 per cent of gas elsewhere.

    The “repair works” which were deemed essential will not take place till autumn.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Ukraine’s EU membership still being debated by members

    Following the brutal invasion of Russia into Ukraine, President Zelenskiy applied for EU membership.

    The application is stirring arguments, as some members worry about “enlargement”.

    Leaders will sign off their official recommendations during the June 23 to 24 summit.

  • Lauren Lomas

    UN investigates Ukrainian children being adopted in Russia

    Reportedly the UN is looking into whether children are being snatched from their families and rehomed in Russia.

    Michelle Bachelet said her office “has been looking into allegations of children forcibly deported from Ukraine to the Russian Federation,” while speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

    Rumours of whether children were being rehomed in Russia are yet to be confirmed.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Ukraine only received 10% of arms needed

    The war torn nation has begged for the West to provide much needed supplies and munitions to fight against the Russians.

    Ukraine’s deputy defence minister Ganna Maliar said the country had only received “around 10 percent” of the arms it needed yesterday.

    Britain will soon deliver multiple-launch rocket systems to Ukraine in response to its request for military donations, Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, said today.

  • Lauren Lomas

    In pictures: Girl rides her bike through town wreckage in Ukraine

    The little girl rides her bike through the rubble in Ukrainian city Dobropillya in eastern Donbas region.

    Missile strikes destroyed settlements and homes.

    Yesterday night President Zelenskiy said: “We keep telling our partners that Ukraine needs modern anti-missile weapons.”

    He said: “Our country does not have them yet at a sufficient level, but it is in Ukraine and right now that there is the greatest need for such weapons. Procrastination in providing them cannot be justified.”

    Credit: AFP
  • Lauren Lomas

    Russia and China joining economic forces as West impose sanctions

    The Kremlin have said that the sanctions imposed were ‘unlawful’.

    Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed today to ramp up economic cooperation after “unlawful” Western sanctions, the Kremlin said.

    “It was agreed to expand cooperation in the energy, financial, industrial, transport and other areas, taking into account the situation in the global economy that has become more complicated due to the unlawful sanctions policy of the West,” the Kremlin said following phone talks between the leaders.

  • Lauren Lomas

    Kremlin: Communication with Washington must continue

    The Kremlin said today that communication remains “essential” in relations with the United States, amid tensions over Russia’s continuing war in Ukraine.

    “Communication is essential, in the future we will still have to communicate,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a conference call today, when asked about the state of U.S.-Russia relations.

    “The U.S. is not going anywhere, Europe is not going anywhere, so somehow we will have to communicate with them.”

  • Lauren Lomas

    Pentagon chief called Ukraine invasion a ‘pivotal’ moment

    Allies are told not to lose focus on the conflict in Ukraine, after the west has been called to supply more weapons to help fight against the Russians.

    Ukraine’s military have asked for: 1,000 howitzers, 500 tanks and 1,000 drones among other heavy weapons, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said on Monday.

    Western countries have promised NATO-standard weapons, including advanced U.S. rockets.

    During today’s meeting in Brussel’s US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said: “We cant afford to let up and we cant lose steam. The stakes are too high,” Austin said at the start of the meeting in Brussels.”

  • Lauren Lomas

    President Macron visits Molvoda, a European country bordering Ukraine

    The French President said that Moldova's bid to join the European Union was 'legitimate'.

    He participated in a press conference with Moldova President Maia Sandu.

    Moldova's government has raised concerns that Russia's invasion will spill out of Ukraine and into surrounding nations.

    Macron described the war as "a threat for the stability of the whole region", and said Moldova was "already a country anchored within the European family".

    Following the conference, Macron and the Cafe ‘Creme de la creme’ in Chisinau.

    France’s President Macron, center, and Moldova’s President Sandu visiting the Cafe ‘Creme de la creme’ in Chisinau, MoldovaCredit: AP
  • Lauren Lomas

    IKEA to SHUT DOWN factories in Russia in response to invasion

    The furniture giant has made a pledge to sell off factories in Russia, and close offices.

    As a response to the "devastating war" IKEA will reduce its 28,000 workforce, as the war has continued on from February earlier this year.

    The company condemned Russia, saying that bosses can't see a way to continue business in the country after 22 years.

    "To ensure necessary business processes, we are organising the sale of homeware goods that are in our warehouses to employees and customers. Dates will be announced soon," IKEA said.

    It said it may donate some stock to people in need.

    But selling surplus inventory and generating revenue there may raise eyebrows given the public and political pressure on companies not to make money from doing business in Russia.

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