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Russia-Ukraine war: Zelenskiy sounds warning as EU decision nears; European ministers to meet on grain blockade – live news | World news


Germany to limit use of gas, increase burning coal

Germany has said it will limit the use of natural gas for electricity production amid concerns about possible shortages caused by a cut in supplies from Russia.

Germany relies on Moscow for most of its gas, but says it is seeking to fill its gas storage facilities and phase out Russian energy imports to prepare for the next winter, when it fears Russia, which has cut deliveries in recent days, could reduce or even completely halt supplies.

Germany’s economy ministry said the new measures would include increased reliance on coal-fired power plants as well as an auction system starting in the coming weeks to incentivise industry to consume less.

Robert Habeck, a member of the environmentalist Green party, said in a statement on Sunday:

In order to reduce gas consumption, less gas is to be used to produce electricity. Instead, coal-fired power plants will have to be used more…

That’s bitter, but in this situation it’s almost necessary to reduce gas consumption. We must and we will do everything we can to store as much gas as possible in summer and autumn. The gas storage tanks must be full in winter. That has top priority.”

Habeck pointedly placed the blame on Russian president, Vladimir Putin:

The tense situation and high prices are a direct consequence of Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine. There is no mistake.

What’s more, it’s obviously Putin’s strategy to unsettle us, drive up prices and divide us. We won’t allow that. We defend ourselves resolutely, precisely and thoughtfully.”

It also includes €15bn ($15.8bn) in credit lines for Germany’s gas market operator, via state lender KfW, to fill gas storage facilities faster, a government source told Reuters, asking not to be named.

Habeck said that depending on the situation, the ministry, which is in charge of security of energy supply in Europe’s top economy, will take further measures.

Two people familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that could include launching the second phase under Germany’s gas emergency plan.

The second phase, which kicks in when there is a high risk of long-term supply shortages of gas, would enable utilities to pass on high gas prices to customers and thereby help lower demand

In view of the throttling of gas supplies from Russia, the federal government is taking additional measures to save gas. In this way, the use of gas for power generation and industry will be reduced and storage tanks will be filled.”

European ministers to meet on grain blockade

European Union foreign ministers will discuss ways to free millions of tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine due to Russia’s Black Sea port blockade at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.

Ukraine is one of the top wheat suppliers globally, but its grain shipments have stalled and more than 20m tonnes have been trapped in silos since Russia’s invaded the country and blocked its ports.

The EU supports efforts by the United Nations to broker a deal to resume Ukraine’s sea exports in return for facilitating Russian food and fertiliser exports, but that would need Moscow’s green light.

Scattered grain sits inside a warehouse damaged by Russian attacks in Cherkaska Lozova, on the outskirts of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine. Photograph: Bernat Armangué/AP

Turkey has good relations with both Kyiv and Moscow, and has said it is ready to take up a role within an “observation mechanism” based in Istanbul if there is a deal.

It is unclear if the EU would get involved in militarily securing such a deal.

Whether there will be a need in the future for escorting these commercial ships, that’s a question mark and I don’t think we are there yet,” an EU official said.

Zelenskiy predicts Russia will escalate attacks, warns Europe

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has predicted Russia will intensify its attacks this week, warning European partners that they too should be prepared for an increase in hostilities as Kyiv awaits a decision on its bid to join the EU.

The caution follows a European Commission recommendation to grant Kyiv candidate status to join – a diplomatic blow to Moscow.

Tomorrow a historic week begins,” Zelenskiy said in a video address on Sunday night, adding: “There have been few such fateful decisions for Ukraine.

And in such a week, we should expect greater hostile activity from Russia. And not only against Ukraine, but also against other European countries. We are preparing. We are ready. We warn partners.”

Zelenskiy expects Russia to intensify attacks on Ukraine and other European countries – video

European leaders are due to meet this week to give their final decision regarding Ukraine’s fast-tracked membership application.

Although Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has said Moscow has “nothing against” the move, a Kremlin spokesperson said Russia was closely following Kyiv’s bid, especially in light of increased defence cooperation among member countries.

Summary and welcome

Hello it’s Samantha Lock back with you to deliver all the latest developments from Ukraine.

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has predicted Russia will intensify its attacks this week, warning European partners that they too should be prepared for an increase in hostilities as Kyiv awaits a decision on its bid to join the EU.

Here are all the other major developments as of 8am in Kyiv.

  • Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he expects Russia will intensify attacks on Ukraine and possibly other European countries after the EU Commission proposed it as a candidate for EU membership. “Obviously, this week we should expect from Russia an intensification of its hostile activities,” he said in a nightly video address. “And not only against Ukraine, but also against other European countries. We are preparing. We are ready. We warn partners.”
  • Ukraine’s forces remain on the defensive in the eastern Donbas region, where fighting continues in Sievierodonestsk. Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, said Russia was massing forces in an attempt to take full control of the city after weeks of fighting but maintained that “all Russian claims that they control the town are a lie”. “They control the main part of the town, but not the whole town,” he told Ukrainian television.
  • European Union foreign ministers will discuss ways to free millions of tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday. It is hoped a deal can be struck to resume Ukraine’s sea exports in return for facilitating Russian food and fertiliser exports but remains unclear if the EU would get involved in militarily securing such a deal. “Whether there will be a need in the future for escorting these commercial ships, that’s a question mark and I don’t think we are there yet,” an EU official said.
  • The war in Ukraine could last for years and will require long-term military support, according to Nato and other western leaders. “We must prepare for the fact that it could take years,” Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said in an interview with the German newspaper Bild on Sunday. British prime minister, Boris Johnson, added: “I am afraid that we need to steel ourselves for a long war.”
  • Ukraine’s parliament voted through two laws on Sunday which will place severe restrictions on Russian books and music. Proposed laws will forbid the printing of books by Russian citizens, banning the commercial import of books printed in Russia and prohibiting the playing of music by post-1991 Russian citizens on media and on public transport in the latest attempt to break cultural ties between the two countries.
  • The New York Times identified over 2,000 munitions used by Russian forces in Ukraine, “a vast majority of which were unguided.” According to the newspaper, over 210 weapons that were identified were types that have been widely banned under a variety of international treaties.
  • Austria’s government announced that it will reopen a mothballed coal power station because of power shortages arising from reduced deliveries of gas from Russia. The authorities would work with the Verbund group, the country’s main electricity supplier, to get the station in the southern city of Mellach back in action, the chancellery said on Sunday.
  • Morocco’s national human rights body has urged Russian authorities to guarantee a “fair trial” for a young national appealing a death sentence imposed by a pro-Russian court in Ukraine. Amina Bouayach, president of the National Council of Human Rights (CNDH), has contacted the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation and urged the Russian body to take “the necessary steps to ensure Brahim Saadoun receives a fair trial during his appeal.”
A Ukrainian serviceman mans a position in a trench on the front line near Avdiivka, Donetsk region on 18 June.
A Ukrainian serviceman mans a position in a trench on the front line near Avdiivka, Donetsk region on 18 June. Photograph: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP/Getty Images





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