Russia “will not accept” a price cap on its oil and is analysing how to respond, the Kremlin said in comments reported on Saturday, in response to a deal by western powers aimed at limiting a key source of funding for its war in Ukraine. The price cap on Russian seaborne oil was adopted by the G7 and Australia, after it was agreed by EU countries.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the $60 price cap on seaborne Russian oil is not serious and will do little to deter Russia from waging war in Ukraine. “It’s only a matter of time before stronger tools will have to be used anyway. It is a pity that this time will be lost,” he said in a video statement on Saturday.
US treasury secretary Janet Yellen said the cap will particularly benefit low- and medium-income countries that have borne the brunt of high energy and food prices. “The price cap will immediately cut into (President Vladimir) Putin’s most important source of revenue,” Yellen said in a statement.
Russia’s embassy in the US criticised what it called the “dangerous” western move and said Moscow would continue to find buyers for its oil.
US defense secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday accused Russia of “deliberate cruelty” in its war in Ukraine, saying Moscow was intentionally targeting civilians. “With deliberate cruelty, Russia is putting civilians and civilian targets in its gunsights,” Austin told the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California.
Ukraine is slapping sanctions on 10 senior clerics linked to a pro-Moscow church on the grounds they agreed to work with Russian occupation authorities or justified Moscow’s invasion, the security service said on Saturday. The announcement is the latest in a series of steps against a Ukrainian branch of the Orthodox Church linked historically to Moscow. The Orthodox Church in Russia itself backs the war.
Eighteen Ukrainian diplomatic missions in 12 countries have received bloody packages, including animal parts, in what Ukraine has described as a “campaign of terror and intimidation”. Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesperson from Ukraine’s foreign ministry, said the packages were simultaneously sent from one European country, which he could not disclose while the investigation was ongoing.
The west should consider how to address Russia’s need for security guarantees if Vladimir Putin agrees to negotiations about ending the war in Ukraine, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said. He said Europe needed to address Putin’s fear that “Nato comes right up to its doors”, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia, as Europe prepares its future security architecture, Reuters reports.
The Ukrainian army has recaptured 13 settlements in the Luhansk region, the eastern-most oblast in the country, according to the head of the regional administration, Serhiy Haidai. He said that artillery was still being fired at the villages by Russian forces. Doctors are due to visit next week and firewood is being organised for residents, Haidai posted on Telegram.
Russian forces are concentrating most of their strength on taking the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk, according to the British Ministry of Defence.
Ukraine has detained eight people over the theft of a mural painted by the elusive British street artist Banksy from a wall in the Kyiv suburbs, authorities said. The stencil image of a person in a nightgown and gas mask holding a fire extinguisher next to the charred remains of a window in the town of Hostomel went missing on Friday, they said.