Russia warns it could cut gas supplies via Nord Stream 1

TEHRAN, Mar. 07 (MNA) – The twelfth day of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine continues as international pressure on Russia continues to intensify.

Moscow announced the start of a special military operation in Ukraine on Feb. 24. Following this announcement, the West imposed fresh sanctions on Russia, aimed at cutting off its largest banks and preventing the country from importing critical technology.

In a phone conversation with Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, Russian President Putin said that Russia's military operation in Ukraine to defend the Donbass will be suspended only if Ukrainian forces stop fighting and agree to implement Moscow's demands on demilitarisation.

Meanwhile, according to the latest reports, the third round of Ukraine-Russia talks will be held on Monday. 

Here are all the latest updates:

Russia warns it could cut gas supplies via Nord Stream 1

Fourth round of talks with Ukraine due in Belarus shortly: Russia

Fourth round of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations will be held in Belarus shortly, member of the Russian delegation Leonid Slutsky said after a third round of talks.

"It would be naive to suggest that something will be signed today, these are voluminous documents. Undoubtedly, work on these documents will be continued in the near future. So, the next, fourth, round will be held in Belarus shortly," a senior Russian legislator said.

Slutsky said that he could not give the exact date, adding that "it will be determined in the near future".

Russia warns it could cut gas supplies via Nord Stream 1

Russia could cut gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany, but it has not made such a decision yet, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak has said, according to AlJazeera. 

“In connection with unfounded accusations against Russia regarding the energy crisis in Europe and the imposition of a ban on Nord Stream 2, we have every right to take a matching decision and impose an embargo on gas pumping through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline,” Novak said in a statement broadcast on state television.

“But so far we are not taking such a decision,” he added.

Third round of Russia-Ukraine peace talks ends with small progress

Ukraine’s negotiator has said talks with Russia have yielded small progress on evacuation logistics, but none that significantly improves the broader situation.

The two sides will continue talks on a ceasefire, Mykhailo Podolyak said in a video statement.

Russian negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said it was too early to speak of any positive outcomes.

Russia warns it could cut gas supplies via Nord Stream 1

European leaders oppose banning Russian energy imports

The leaders of Germany, Britain and the Netherlands have cautioned against abruptly banning Russian energy imports, saying there were no immediate alternative supplies.

The pushback came after the United States on Sunday said it was in “active discussions” with European nations about shutting down Russian oil imports as part of sanctions against Moscow.

“Europe has deliberately exempted energy supplies from Russia from sanctions,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a statement.

“Supplying Europe with energy for heat generation, mobility, electricity supply and industry cannot be secured in any other way at the moment.”

UK to provide Ukraine with additional $230m of aid

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the United Kingdom will pledge another 175 million pounds ($230m) in aid for Ukraine to help it deal with a growing humanitarian crisis.

The extra funding brings the UK’s overall financial support for Ukraine to about 400 million pounds ($525m), he told reporters.

European leaders oppose banning Russian energy imports

Ukraine, Russia begin third round of talks

The Russian and Ukrainian delegations have started the third round of talks in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Russia’s embassy in Belarus said on its Telegram channel on Monday.

"The third round of the Russian-Ukrainian talks just started in Belarus," the diplomatic mission wrote.

Russia’s chief delegate, presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky said before the talks started that all three blocks of issues will be discussed, among them internal political settlement, international humanitarian aspects and military settlement issues.

European leaders oppose banning Russian energy imports

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov discusses Ukraine with Iranian counterpart 

Iranian and Russian Foreign Ministers Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Sergei Lavrov held a phone conversation on Monday afternoon to discuss the Ukraine issue.

Emphasizing that Tehran opposes both the war and the imposition of sanctions, Amir-Abdollahian stressed that it is clear that the cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Iran with any country, including Russia, should not be affected by the atmosphere of sanctions.

Criticizing the sanctions imposed on Russia, Lavrov stressed the importance of cooperation between the two countries in all fields.

Canada to impose sanctions on 10 individuals close to Putin

Canada will impose sanctions on 10 individuals linked to Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.

"Today, Canada is announcing new sanctions on 10 individuals complicit in this unjustified invasion. This includes former and current senior government officials, oligarchs and supporters of Russian leadership," Trudeau told a news conference in London.

Ukrainian delegation arrives for talks with Russia

The Ukrainian delegation has arrived in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in two helicopters for talks with Russia, TASS reported.

The Russian delegation arrived at the site of negotiations earlier on Monday.

Ukrainian presidential office adviser Mikhail Podolyak said the third round of negotiations was scheduled to begin at 17:00 Moscow time.

Russian, Ukrainian delegations start third round of talks

Ukraine regains control of Mykolaiv airport

The Armed Forces of Ukraine have regained control of the airport in Mykolaiv. Head of the Mykolaiv Regional Military Administration Vitaly Kim announced on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.

“The airport is ours! The horde was defeated. Planes cannot fly yet, but nevertheless, that is an important thing!” Kim wrote.

Earlier, Kim informed that the Russian troops had taken control of the airport in Mykolaiv.

EU to discuss Ukraine’s membership bid this week

European Union leaders will discuss Ukraine’s application to join the 27-nation bloc in the coming days, EU Council President Charles Michel has said.

“The EU’s solidarity, friendship and unprecedented assistance for Ukraine are unwavering. We will discuss Ukraine’s membership application in the coming days,” Michel tweeted.

Kremlin says Russian military operation to stop 'in any moment’ if Kiev meets conditions

Russia is demanding that Ukraine halt its military activity, enshrine neutrality in its Constitution, acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory and recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Reuters news agency on Monday.

Russia is ready to halt its military operation "in any moment" if Kyiv meets its demands, Peskov emphasized.

"They should make amendments to their constitution according to which Ukraine would reject any aims to enter any bloc. We have also spoken about how they should recognize that Crimea is Russian territory and that they need to recognize that Donetsk and Lugansk are independent states. And that’s it. It will stop in a moment," Peskov told Reuters.

"And they [the Ukrainian side] were told that all this can be stopped in a moment," the Kremlin press secretary added.

Russian, Ukrainian delegations start third round of talks

Moscow confirms meeting between Ukraine, Russian FMs end of week in Turkey

Russia on Monday confirmed that its foreign minister Sergei Lavrov would meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba and Turkey’s top diplomat Mevlut Cavusoglu at a diplomatic forum in Turkey at the end of the week.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Russia’s TASS news agency that an agreement for the three-way meeting was reached during a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “on the initiative of the Turkish leader”.

Russian FM reportedly to meet Ukrainian counterpart

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba plan to meet on Thursday on the sidelines of a diplomatic forum in the Turkish resort of Antalya, according to reports by Russian news agencies and Turkey’s top diplomat.

Mevlut Cavusoglu told Turkish media the pair had agreed to meet and said he would also attend the discussions.

Russian, Ukrainian delegations start third round of talks

3rd round of talks between Russia-Ukraine today

The Russian delegation has arrived in Belarus ahead of the third round of talks with Ukraine. Talks will take place at the Białowieża Forest along the Belarus-Poland border.

Zelensky asks allies for military aircraft, boycott of Russian oil

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked Kyiv’s allies to provide Ukraine with military aircraft and to boycott Russian oil as well as other exports.

“If the invasion [of Ukraine] continues and Russia has not abandoned its plans against Ukraine, then a new sanctions package is needed … for the sake of peace,” Zelensky said in a video address.

Russian delegation leaves for Belarus for 3rd round of talks

Russian troops destroy 2,396 Ukrainian military facilities: top brass

The Russian troops have wiped out 2,396 Ukrainian military facilities since the beginning of their special operation in Ukraine, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Monday.

"Over the period of the special operation, 2,396 Ukrainian military infrastructure facilities have been destroyed, including 82 command and communications centers, 119 S-300, Buk-M1 and Osa air defense systems and also 76 radar stations," the spokesman said.

Russian delegation leaves for Belarus for 3rd round of talks with Ukraine

Russia's delegation has left for Belarus for the third round of negotiations with Ukraine expected on Monday, a Sputnik corresponded reported.

Belarus has already hosted the two previous rounds of the Moscow-Kyiv talks — on 28 February and 2 March, respectively.

Gas price in Europe tips over $3,000 per thousand cubic meters for 1st time in history

Soaring European gas futures have hit a historic maximum, surging beyond $3, 000 per 1,000 cubic metres, according to London-based ICE exchange.

The April futures price at the TTF hub in the Netherlands rose to $2,610.7 per 1,000 cubic metres, or 231 euros per megawatt hour (MWh), based on the current euro/dollar exchange rate.

This comes after 4 March saw European gas futures prices hit a record high of $2,400 per 1,000 cubic metres amid the European energy crisis, which has been further exacerbated by sweeping anti-Russian sanctions triggered by the Ukrainian crisis.

The price of gas on the stock exchange in Europe has broken historic records for four trading days in succession.

China says ready to play constructive role in promoting Russia-Ukraine peace talks

China hopes that Russia and Ukraine will make more progress during the third round of negotiations expected later on Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

"Russia and Ukraine have held two rounds of negotiations, and we hope that the parties will make new progress in the upcoming third round of negotiations," Wand told an annual press conference.

Solving complex problems requires calmness and rationality, rather than adding fuel to the fire, the minister said.

"China is ready to continue playing a constructive role in promoting reconciliation and stimulating negotiations, as well as is ready to work with the international community to mediate if necessary," the top diplomat said.

Additionally, the minister noted that the Russian-Chinese relations are not directed against third countries, and are based on the principle of non-alignment with blocs, noting that the two countries will continue to develop relations, despite any international changes.

Russian delegation leaves for Belarus for 3rd round of talks

Over 1 million Ukrainians flee to Poland

A total of around 1.067 million Ukrainians have fled to Poland since the start of the Russian operation, including 142,300 on Sunday, the Polish Border Guard has said.

“Traffic on the Polish-Ukrainian border is growing, today at 07.00 42,000 people arrived in Poland from Ukraine,” Border Guard wrote on Twitter.

New Zealand imposes sanctions against 100 Russians, including Putin

New Zealand has introduced sanctions against the Russian leadership, including Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, with the total list amounting to some 100 Russians, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

The list also includes Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, and foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, among others.

Russia declares ceasefire in areas of Kyiv, Mariupol, Sumy for evacuation

The Russian military will hold fire and open humanitarian corridors in several Ukrainian cities including the capital Kyiv at 1000 Moscow time (0700 GMT) on Monday, the Interfax news agency cited Russia’s defence ministry as saying.

The corridors, which will also be opened from the cities of Kharkiv, Mariupol and Sumy, are being set up at the personal request of French President Emmanuel Macron and in view of the current situation in those cities, it said.

Oil depot in Luhansk reportedly on fire after explosion

A powerful explosion has rocked the city of Luhansk, with reports suggesting an oil depot is on fire. According to eyewitnesses, the blast was loud and clearly audible in the city centre. It is understood that immediately after the explosion, which occurred at 6:55 a.m. (local time), a fire broke out at the oil depot.

A video showing plumes of black smoke has emerged online. It is unclear if there are any casualties, but the emergency services are working to put out the blaze. Rodion Miroshnik, an adviser to the head of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), claimed the Ukrainian forces had launched a missile attack on the oil depot.

South Korea to cut transactions with Russia’s central bank

South Korea has decided to sever transactions with Russia’s central bank, its foreign ministry says, in another move joining Western countries’ efforts to ratchet up sanctions against Moscow over its attack on Ukraine.

3rd round of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations to take place on Polish-Belarusian border

The third round of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations is expected to take place on Monday, March 7, a member of the Ukrainian delegation to talks with Russia, Servant of the People Party lawmaker David Arakhamia said and added that the next round will be held on the Polish-Belarusian border as the previous one.

According to Arakhamia, the negotiations will kick off at 15:00 pm local time in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The two delegations last met in the Brest region in western Belarus for two rounds of peace talks and agreed to have humanitarian corridors in place in the embattled cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha to facilitate the evacuation of civilians.

Oil depot in Luhansk reportedly on fire after explosion

US Congress to explore Russian oil ban: Nancy Pelosi

United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the chamber is exploring legislation to ban the import of Russian oil and that Congress intends to enact this week $10bn in aid for Ukraine in response to Russia’s military attack.

“The House is currently exploring strong legislation that will further isolate Russia from the global economy,” Pelosi said in a letter.

UK Home Secretary urges Interpol to exclude Russia from organization this week

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel wrote on her Twitter that she sent a letter to the International Criminal Police Organization calling this week for a decision to suspend Russia’s access to the organization’s activities.

"I have written today calling on the Interpol Headquarters and its Executive Committee to make a decision this week, in accordance with its rules, on the immediate suspension of Russia’s access to its systems," Patel said.

Macron, Zelensky discuss issues of security of Ukrainian nuclear facilities

French President Emmanuel Macron discussed with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, issues of the security of Ukrainian nuclear power plants, the Elysee Palace said on Sunday after their telephone conversation.

According to its press statement, Macron informed Zelensky about his telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in the day. He also touched upon issues of the security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine. "The president reiterated that it is absolutely necessary to avoid any attacks on Ukrainian civil nuclear facilities," it said.

The two presidents also discussed the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. Macron reiterated that France will continue to expand its support in this sphere.

Oil depot in Luhansk reportedly on fire after explosion

Zelensky says Russia sanctions not sufficient

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has appealed to the West to strengthen sanctions on Russia.

In a video statement, Zelensky criticised Western leaders for not responding to the Russian defence ministry’s earlier announcement that it would attack Ukraine’s military-industrial complex.

“I didn’t hear even a single world leader react to this,” Zelensky said. “The audacity of the aggressor is a clear signal to the West that the sanctions imposed on Russia are not sufficient.”

Zelensky also called for organising a “tribunal” to bring to justice those who order and carry out such crimes. “

Netflix halts service in Russia 

Streaming giant Netflix has suspended its service in Russia. A statement from the company cited “circumstances on the ground” for its decision to suspend its Russian service but did not offer any additional details.

Read all the updates from Thursday, March 6, here.


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