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Ukraine war: Zaporizhzhia ‘blackmail’, Hungary imports more gas, anthem played to Russian tourists | NEWSRUX

Bombing of Ukraine nuclear plant continues as extra accusations fly

Kyiv and Moscow as soon as once more accused each other of firing on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear energy station on Sunday. 

Ukraine’s nuclear company Energoatom claimed there had been “new provocations” over the weekend, with alleged Russian shells hitting the plant with intervals of three to five seconds. 

Russian-backed authorities in occupied areas round Zaporizhzhia claimed Ukrainian forces had been behind the shelling, which broken a pump and brought about a hearth to interrupt out on the plant. 

Euronews can not independently confirm these claims. 

Russia seized the plant — which is the biggest in Europe — early on into the warfare, and has since been accused by Ukraine of utilizing it as a navy base. 

It has been shelled a number of instances in latest weeks, elevating fears of a nuclear catastrophe and main the UN to name an pressing assembly final week. 

In his day by day deal with, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denounced what he known as “Russian blackmail” over the nuclear station. 

“The occupiers try to intimidate folks in an especially cynical manner through the use of the Zaporizhia nuclear energy plant,” he mentioned, claiming that Russian forces are bombing Ukrainian-held cities from the positioning. 

Zelenskyy warned that Russia’s occupation of the positioning is rising the “nuclear risk to Europe”. He known as for brand spanking new sanctions and mentioned that these behind the “blackmail” ought to “be tried in a global court docket.”

The Ukrainian authorities, supported by their Western allies, are calling for the demilitarisation of the world and the withdrawal of Russian troops who’ve occupied the positioning since March.

Hungary steps up imports of Russian gasoline

Hungary introduced on Saturday that it’s importing extra Russian gasoline than beforehand deliberate underneath commerce offers, following a go to by its high diplomat to Moscow in July.

Russian power large Gazprom delivered “increased volumes [of gas] than these talked about within the contract” to Hungary, in keeping with the nation’s international ministry. 

Senior official Tamas Menczer mentioned this was due to commerce negotiations between Budapest and Moscow, which had “made it potential to achieve an settlement.”

“It’s the responsibility of the Hungarian authorities to make sure a safe gasoline provide for the nation, and we’re as much as it,” he wrote on Fb. 

An additional 2.6 million cubic metres of Russian gasoline might be imported into Hungary in August through the Turkstream pipeline, Menczer added, saying that negotiations had been ongoing relating to September deliveries.

One cubic metre of gasoline provides roughly the identical quantity of power as a litre of diesel. 

Hungarian Overseas Minister Peter Szijjarto made a shock go to to Moscow final month to debate ramping up deliveries of Russian gasoline, on high of the 4.5 billion it obtained every year earlier than the invasion. 

“In mild of what we all know concerning the present state of the European market, it’s clear that buying such a big quantity is unimaginable with out Russian sources,” mentioned Menczer. 

Hungary, like many different European nations, is extremely depending on Russian power, with round 80 per cent of its gasoline coming from Russia.

Budapest has staunchly opposed any potential EU sanctions on Russian gasoline, though it has not voted towards Brussel’s punitive packages.

Finns blast Russian vacationers with Ukrainian anthem

Finland is enjoying the Ukrainian nationwide anthem on the nation’s sizzling spots for Russian vacationers, in a bid to point out solidarity with Ukraine. 

On the Imatrankoski rapids — a preferred attraction in japanese Finland — the Ukrainian nationwide anthem sounds day-after-day when a century-old dam opens in entrance of lots of of spectators, together with many Russians.

Music by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius was historically performed alone in the course of the spectacle however since July it has been preceded by Ukraine’s anthem to protest the Russian invasion.

“It is dangerous for Russians who love Finland,” mentioned Mark Kosykh, a 44-year-old Russian vacationer who got here to see the rapids together with his household.

“However we perceive the federal government of Finland,” he added, stating that not all of his compatriots assist the warfare.

“Not all Russians are for Putin. The federal government and all folks have to grasp that,” he says.

The Ukrainian nationwide anthem can be performed every night from Lappeenranta city corridor, which overlooks a preferred shopping center with Russian vacationers.

“The target is to specific sturdy assist for Ukraine and to sentence the warfare of aggression,” mayor Kimmo Jarva instructed AFP.

Many Russians journey to Lappeenranta to purchase garments and cosmetics, and Russian license plates are aplenty all through the city.

For the reason that begin of the battle, Finns have taken an more and more dim view of those vacationers.

58% of Finns are in favour of limiting vacationer visas for Russian residents, in keeping with a ballot printed final week by public tv Yle.

“For my part, their quantity needs to be restricted very strongly,”  mentioned Antero Ahtiainen, 57, a resident of Lappeenranta. “I see no different method to make Russian politicians assume.”

UN grain ships prepared for Africa

Extra ships are resulting from depart from Ukraine’s black sea ports loaded with important meals provides for Africa. 

A United Nations-chartered ship MV Courageous Commander will depart Ukraine for the African continent within the coming days after it finishes loading greater than 23,0000 tons of much-needed wheat.

The cargo was funded by donations from the UN World Meals Programme, US Company for Worldwide Growth and several other personal donors.

16 ships in complete have now left Ukraine following the cope with Russia to permit a resumption of grain exports from the nation’s Black Sea ports. 

Ukrainian wheat and maize have languished in silos since Ukraine’s ships had been blockaded by Russia on the outbreak of warfare.

The settlement was reached final month amid fears that the lack of Ukrainian grain provides would result in extreme meals shortages and even outbreaks of famine in elements of the world

The ship would be the first humanitarian meals help cargo certain for Africa because the begin of the invasion 5 months in the past. 

Ukraine has some 20 million tonnes of grain left over from final 12 months’s crop, whereas this 12 months’s wheat harvest can be estimated at 20 million tonnes.

Up to now a lot of the cargoes underneath the deal have carried grain for animal feed or for gas.

As a part of the U.N. deal, all ships are inspected in Istanbul by the Joint Coordination Centre, the place Russia, Ukrainian, Turkish and U.N. personnel work.

Macron rubber stamps Finland and Sweden’s NATO bids

France’s president Emmanuel Macron signed protocols on the NATO accession of Finland and Sweden on Saturday.

“This sovereign selection of Finland and Sweden, two European companions, will strengthen their safety within the face of the present risk of their rapid neighbourhood,” mentioned the Elysée. 

“This] will make a big contribution, given the capabilities of those two companions, to the collective posture and to our European safety,” it added. 

Sweden and Finland started making an attempt to affix the western alliance after Russia invaded Ukraine, with each placing in membership functions. 

The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO should be ratified by all members of the bloc. To this point, greater than 20 of the 30 nations that make up the alliance have completed so. 

“Twenty allies” have “already ratified the protocols”, had indicated, in the course of the adoption by the French Parliament, the Minister of Overseas Affairs Catherine Colonna.

On Could 18, Finland and Sweden utilized to affix NATO, however Turkey instantly blocked the accession course of. 

Ankara demanded that these nations declare Kurdish organizations terrorist, extradite these it accuses of terrorism or taking part in a coup try in 2016, and carry bans on weapons provide to Turkey. 

Overseas Ministers of Turkey, Sweden, and Finland signed a memorandum that removes obstacles to the accession of the 2 nations to NATO. 

Nevertheless, Ankara later mentioned that it was not remaining and the Turkish parliament may not approve it if Stockholm and Helsinki didn’t adjust to its calls for.

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