The G7 group of industrialized powers agreed on Friday to put in place a price cap on Russian oil imports as it seeks to tighten sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. The move comes as heavy fighting continues in areas near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, where an IAEA team began inspecting facilities held by Russian forces on Thursday. Follow our live blog for the latest developments. All times are in Paris time (GMT+2).
5:35 p.m.: Ukraine detains woman for telling Russia where her husband’s military unit is
A 31-year-old woman from eastern Ukraine has been arrested for sending the locations of her soldier husband’s unit and other army assets to Russian military intelligence, the Service said. Ukrainian State Security (SBU).
The anonymous woman from the Dnipropetrovsk region transmitted information about the location of military buildings and equipment along the front-line positions in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions, the SBU wrote on Telegram.
The woman was interrogating her husband and “passed the information she received through messaging apps to Russian military intelligence, where it was used for artillery and airstrikes,” her statement said.
The SBU, Ukraine’s top internal security agency, regularly announces the capture of people it calls spies who have been caught passing military intelligence to Moscow.
5:15 p.m.: Moscow warns US against sending long-range weapons to Ukraine
A senior Russian diplomat has sternly warned Washington against supplying long-range weapons to Ukraine, noting that the United States is close to getting directly involved in the conflict.
“We have repeatedly warned the United States of the consequences that could ensue if the United States continues to flood Ukraine with weapons,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told state media. ‘State. party to the conflict.
Ryabkov also pointed to the country’s military doctrine which envisages the use of nuclear weapons in the event of a threat to the existence of the Russian state.
The top diplomat warned that “a very narrow margin that separates the United States from becoming a party to the conflict must not create the illusion for the rabid anti-Russian forces that everything will remain as it is if they cross it”.
3:30 p.m.: G7 finance ministers agree Russian oil price cap
The G7 group of industrialized powers has agreed to move “as a matter of urgency” towards putting in place a price cap on Russian oil imports as it seeks to toughen sanctions on Moscow.
“We are committed to working urgently to finalize and implement this measure,” the G7 finance ministers said in a statement, without specifying the level of the cap.
“We seek to establish a broad coalition to maximize efficiency and urge all countries still seeking to import Russian petroleum and petroleum products to commit to doing so only at prices at or below the ceiling price.”
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the price cap would help fight inflation while dealing a blow to Moscow’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine.
The price cap helps achieve “our twin goals of putting downward pressure on global energy prices while depriving Putin of revenue to fund his brutal war in Ukraine,” Yellen said in a statement.
2:45 p.m .: Russia threatens “no gas” for Europe if Brussels adopts price cap
Russia will stop supplying gas to Europe if Brussels imposes a price cap on Russian gas, warned Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s former president and prime minister.
Responding to comments by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on capping the price Europe pays for Russian gas, Medvedev wrote on the Telegram messaging app: “There will simply be no no Russian gas in Europe”.
Earlier on Friday, von der Leyen called for a price cap on the Russian gas pipeline to Europe, saying it was necessary to fight Russian attempts to manipulate the European energy market.
11:45 a.m .: Russia launches “Vostok 2022” military exercises with China, India and other allies
Russia has launched large-scale military exercises, dubbed “Vostok 2022”, with several Kremlin-friendly countries, including China and India.
The exercises from September 1 to 7 are taking place at several training grounds in Russia’s Far East and in the waters off its eastern coast.
11:22 a.m .: Two IAEA inspectors will remain permanently at the Zaporizhzhia plant: Russian envoy
Two IAEA inspectors will stay permanently at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the Russian ambassador to international institutions in Vienna, where the IAEA is based, told the RIA Novosti news agency.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, has been under the control of Russian forces since March.
10:55 am: The IAEA mission can still play a role despite the Russian presence in Zaporizhzhia: Zelensky
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) mission at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant could still be important despite the difficulties encountered due to the Russian presence at the site, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.
“We have done everything to ensure that the IAEA has access to the Zaporizhzhia plant and I think this mission can still have a role to play,” Zelensky said in a video shown at the European House, Ambrosetti Forum meeting in northern Italy.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t heard the gist of the IAEA which is the call for Russia to demilitarize the station,” Zelensky added. “I hope the mission will respect what we have agreed and serve the interests of the entire international community.”
10:02 a.m.: IAEA team not allowed access to Zaporizhzhia crisis center: Ukrainian nuclear company
Ukrainian nuclear company Energoatom said it would be “difficult” for the IAEA to make an unbiased assessment of the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant due to Russian interference.
Energoatom also said the IAEA mission, which arrived at the power plant on Thursday, was not allowed to enter the plant’s crisis center, where Ukraine says Russia has stationed troops.
9:01 am: the French industrial gas group Air Liquide withdraws from Russia
French industrial gases producer Air Liquide will complete its withdrawal from Russia this month after signing an agreement to transfer its Russian assets to local management, the company said.
Air Liquide employs nearly 720 people in Russia, representing less than 1% of group revenue, the company said.
8:14 a.m.: Equinor completes withdrawal from Russia, marking the first full exit by an international energy company
The Norwegian energy company said on Friday it had completed its exit from Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, fulfilling a promise made in February.
It is the first full and orderly exit from Russia by an international oil and gas company as pressure mounts on others, such as TotalEnergies and Exxon Mobil, to leave as well.
Equinor announced Feb. 28 that it would begin the process of divestment from joint ventures in Russia, describing its position as “untenable” due to the outbreak of war the previous week.
“Equinor can now confirm that the full release of Kharyaga [oilfield] has also been completed,” the company said in a statement. “After Kharyaga’s exit, Equinor no longer has any assets or projects in Russia.”
07:06: Heavy fighting in southern Ukraine: United Kingdom
Heavy fighting persists in southern Ukraine, including shelling in the Enerhodar district near the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, according to the British Ministry of Defence.
On Thursday, September 1, Russia began its strategic military exercises in the east of the country, called “Vostok 2022” (East) exercises which will end on September 5.
“Russia’s military performance in Ukraine has highlighted that Russian military strategic exercises, such as Vostok, have failed to maintain the military’s ability to conduct complex large-scale operations,” the official said. Ministry of Defense in its daily update.
“Russia has publicly claimed that 50,000 troops will participate, however, it is unlikely that more than 15,000 will be actively involved this year. This represents approximately 20% of the forces that participated in the last Vostok exercise in 2018,” the daily briefing said. . “Such events are heavily scripted, do not encourage initiative and are primarily aimed at impressing Russian leaders and international audiences,” he added.
06:00: Zelensky accuses Russia of blocking journalists’ access to the power plant
Speaking in his evening speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he had agreed with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission that members of the independent media would “accompany the mission so that the world sees the truth and what is really happening”.
However, he said, Russia instead blocked access to journalists and “organized a crowd of their propagandists”.
10:30 p.m.: UN inspectors at nuclear plant “not going anywhere”
IAEA chief Rafael Grossi spoke to reporters on his return to Ukrainian territory after leading a team of nuclear inspectors at Russia’s Zaporizhzhia plant in southeastern Ukraine.
Grossi said he was able to tour the entire site, seeing key areas such as emergency systems and control rooms. His team would now have a lot of work to do to complete their analysis of worrisome technical aspects.
“We’re not going anywhere. The IAEA is here now, it’s in the factory and it’s not moving – it’s going to stay there,” Grossi said, looking tired after what he called a long day.
The IAEA chief said his team members would remain at the plant to provide an unbiased technical assessment of what is happening on the ground. They would dig deeper into the conditions and provide a report.
“It is obvious that the factory and the physical integrity of the factory have been repeatedly violated… This is something that cannot continue to happen,” he said.
10:15 p.m .: Ukrainian grain ship stranded in Istanbul, halting traffic
A freighter carrying 3,000 tons of corn from Ukraine under a UN-brokered export deal ran aground in Turkey’s Bosphorus Strait, halting shipping through Istanbul, according to the office of the governor and a shipping company.
Istanbul’s governor’s office said the 173-metre ‘Lady Zehma’ was beached and safely anchored after a rudder failure around 1800 GMT. No one was injured and the coastguards were present, he added.
Earlier this week, the Joint Coordination Center – operated by the United Nations, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey after a grain export deal was struck – said the Lady Zehma had been cleared to leave the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk for Ravenna, Italy, with 3,000 tonnes of maize.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)
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