Russian drone attack knocks out Kyiv’s power supply; ruble plummets

Kremlin slams EU price-cap measures on gas as ‘unacceptable’

A worker walks through the natural gas pipeline connecting the floating storage and regasification unit ship to the main land in Wilhelmshaven, northern Germany, Dec. 17, 2022. EU energy ministers are wrangling over a proposed cap on gas prices.

Michael Sun | AFP | Getty Images

Moscow has slammed the EU’s gas price cap measure, which was reached after months of negotiations by the bloc.

Reuters quoted Russia’s Interfax news agency as saying Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the measure was an “unacceptable” attack on market pricing.

Russia invades Ukraine, EU scrambles to end heavy reliance on Ukraine The focus on Russian gas has led to an energy crunch that has sent prices sharply higher and led to market volatility.

— Natasha Turak

EU approves gas price cap measure to tackle energy crisis

EU energy ministers agreed on Monday to a “dynamic” cap on gas prices after two months of tense negotiations.

Imposing limits on gas prices has been controversial for European officials. While many EU member states see the measure as crucial to reducing sky-high energy costs for consumers, others are concerned about the policy’s potential market impact.

“We did our job, we got a deal. Another impossible task,” Czech Republic Industry Minister Josef Sikla, who chairs the EU Council, told a news conference.

Energy ministers overcame their differences to agree to what they called a market correction mechanism. It will be automatically activated in two cases: if front-month gas contracts at the Dutch title transfer facility (the main benchmark for European gas prices) exceed €180 ($191) per MWh for three consecutive business days; The LNG reference price was €35 higher.

The measure will be implemented from February 2. 15. At the time of application, a “dynamic bidding limit” of 20 working days will be set for natural gas futures trading.

Read the full story here.

— Jenny Reed

Shareholders of energy firm Uniper clear path for German nationalization

German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and German Finance Minister Christian Lindner at the Hoegh Esperanza LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven Natural gas floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) leaves the terminal during the inauguration ceremony of the unit operated by operator Sniper SE in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, Saturday, December 12. January 17, 2022. Germany commissioned its first state-chartered LNG ship as Europe’s largest economy races to displace Russian gas amid an energy crunch and freezing temperatures. Photographer: Liesa Johannssen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Lisa Johnson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Shareholders in German energy firm Uniper have approved a rescue plan for the gas supplier, clearing the way for its nationalization.

The government announced plans to nationalize Uniper in September, expanding state intervention in the power sector to prevent energy shortages caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine. The deal builds on an initial rescue package agreed in July, with Germany providing an 8 billion euro ($8.5 billion) capital increase.

As part of the deal, the government will take a nearly 99 percent stake in the energy provider, previously controlled by Finland-based Fortum. The Finnish government owns the largest stake in Fortum.

Uniper said its shareholders “approved the proposed capital measure by a large majority” at an extraordinary general meeting on Monday.

It said European Commission approval under state aid law was “expected in the near future”.

— Associated Press

Putin arrives in Belarus for talks with Lukashenko

MINSK, BELARUS – DECEMBER 19: (outside Russia) Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko (right) at the Palace of Independence on December 19, 2022 in Minsk, Belarus at the welcoming ceremony.

Contributors | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Minsk for talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Russian state media reported on Monday afternoon.

The meeting was Putin’s first visit to the Belarusian capital since 2019, amid growing concerns that Moscow could press its allies to increase their military involvement in the war.

Earlier on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called Belarus Russia’s “number one ally” in an interview with Russian news agencies, but said it was “stupid and unfounded” that Moscow wanted to force Minsk into the conflict. baseless fabrication”.

—Karen Gilchrist

Britain’s Rishi Sunak meets allies in Latvia to discuss Ukraine

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met other members of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), the UK-led coalition of European militaries, in Riga, Latvia, to share tactical knowledge and conduct joint training exercises to improve interoperability.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (L) and Latvian Prime Minister Chris Janis Kalins (R) during the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) National Leaders meeting in Riga, Latvia, December 19, 2022 bilateral talks.

Henry Nichols | AFP | Getty Images

He will announce a new package for Ukraine and urge other member states to continue supporting Ukraine. Later in the day, he will meet British troops in neighboring Estonia.

Ahead of his visit, Sunak said in a statement: “From the Arctic Circle to the Isle of Wight, the UK and our European allies are in lockstep in responding to the invasion of Ukraine, and our ambition for peace remains unwavering once again in Europe.. …I know this Joint Expeditionary Force summit will only underscore our close friendship and unwavering support for Ukraine.”

JEF includes the United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

— Natasha Turak

Kremlin denies reports of Belarus joining conflict

On Monday, the Kremlin rejected claims that President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Belarus was a sign of Minsk’s involvement in the war.

On December 14, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting with members of the government via video link at his residence in the Novo-Ogaryovo region outside Moscow, Russia.

Sputnik | Reuters

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the reports “baseless” and “stupid” hours before Putin’s arrival in the Belarusian capital, RIA Novosti reported.

Putin’s visit on Monday afternoon marked his first visit to the former Soviet ally in more than three years, as Belarus’ defense ministry said it had completed a series of checks on the military readiness of its armed forces.

—Karen Gilchrist

Zelensky asks West for weapons systems

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday called on Western leaders to meet in Latvia to provide Kyiv with a wide range of weapons systems in its ongoing war with Russia, Reuters reported.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky appears on a screen as he speaks via video link during the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) plenary meeting in Riga, Latvia, Dec. 19, 2022.

Henry Nichols | AFP | Getty Images

“I ask you to increase the possibility of supplying our country with air defense systems and help our partners to expedite decisions about it,” Zelensky asked in remarks via video link from a meeting of leaders in Riga.

Western allies including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden will hold a British-led meeting in the Baltic states on Monday.

—Karen Gilchrist

Belarus says military inspections completed ahead of Putin visit

Belarus’ defense ministry said on Monday it had completed a series of checks on the military readiness of its armed forces, signaling a possible shift to a more active role in the conflict, Reuters reported.

Russian ally Belarus, which served as a staging point for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February, has been conducting a series of military exercises in recent weeks.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Minsk on Monday, concerns grew that he might pressure his former Soviet allies to join a new offensive against Ukraine.

—Karen Gilchrist

Russian ruble falls to six-month low

this russian ruble It fell to more than six-month lows against the dollar on Monday as low oil prices and growing sanctions concerns threatened the country’s export earnings.

By around 9:00 GMT on Monday, the ruble was down 2.4% at 66.22 per dollar. The drop marked the ruble’s lowest level since May 30.

—Karen Gilchrist

Russian drone attack causes ‘pretty serious’ damage

This image shows objects of critical power infrastructure burning after drone strikes in Kyiv during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sergei Subinsky | AFP | Getty Images

A Russian drone strike caused “pretty serious” damage in the Kyiv region on Monday, Governor Oleksiy Kubela said, according to Reuters.

Three parts of the region were without power after Russia launched 35 kamikaze drones into Ukraine early Monday, the governor said.

The attack, which destroyed critical infrastructure, marked Moscow’s third airstrike on the Ukrainian capital in six days, according to Reuters.

—Karen Gilchrist

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