Russia threatens to cut off European gas supply
02 April 2022 | 5:01 am
Moscow has set a Friday deadline for gas payments to be made in rubles. Germany has called this "blackmail" and insists on paying in euros or dollars.
Russia this week widened its military offensive in Ukraine. For the first time, Russian forces have begun striking targets in the west of the country. But in addition to bombarding new cities, Russia is continuing its bombardment of Mariupol in the south, as well as Sumy and Kharkiv to the northeast. Satellite images of the long-awaited Russian convoy suggest that it is attempting to encircle the capital, Kyiv.
As concerns grow over Russia's ability to meet its debt obligations, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva says a default is no longer seen as "improbable". Also, lockdowns in China send shares in Hong Kong plummeting, and the French economy adjusts to higher fuel prices.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pushed for India to take a tougher line or Russia while meeting Narendra Modi in New Delhi. India has not directly condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Germany has vowed to wean itself off Russian gas imports in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. Economy Minister Robert Habeck is visiting Qatar, one of the world's largest exporters of liquified natural gas (LNG).
Some EU governments are pushing for an embargo on Russian oil and gas to punish Moscow for its war against Ukraine and force a Russian military withdrawal.
Facebook and Instagram's parent company, Meta, has been designated as an "extremist" organization by a Russian court. But Meta's WhatsApp is excluded from the ban.
Nearly a month in, Ukraine is resisting as invading Russian forces increasingly resort to shelling civilians. With an estimated 300,000 trapped in the besieged port city of Mariupol and amid shelling in major cities including the capital, Kyiv is refusing to surrender and the Russian advance is slow going. Are we now digging in for a long war? And what does a long war mean for the invaders and the besieged?
The French bank BNP Paribas has told its customers it will no longer process transactions in Russia after the end of March, as it halts all new projects in the country. BNP's Russian business is relatively small - with €1.3 billion of exposure to the market - but the move is symbolic as other lenders consider their position in the country. Also today, we hear from the Ukrainian farmers who are continuing to work the land amid fears for food production due to the war.
Alexei Navalny and his supporters have decried the charges as politically motivated. He faces a 13-year prison sentence.
Russia has used hypersonic weapons in the Ukraine war. They are extremely fast and can evade interception for longer than conventional ballistic missiles.
War in Ukraine: Kherson residents stand up to Russians, and a military expert outlines Russia's weaponry
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France's TotalEnergies to stop buying oil from Russia by end of 2022. The French oil giant TotalEnergies will stop buying oil and petroleum products from Russia by the end of this year, after facing criticism over its inaction following the invasion of Ukraine. The company will, however, continue buying Russian gas.
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