NATO leader warns Ukraine war could drag on for years; Putin threatens ‘lightning fast’ retaliation if nations intervene – CNBC

Ukraine war could drag on for years, NATO chief says

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a press conference at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2022.

Kenzo Tribouillard | AFP | Getty Images

There’s a possibility that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine will last for years, NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

“We need to be prepared for the long term …There is absolutely the possibility that this war will drag on and last for months and years,” Stoltenberg told a youth summit in Brussels.

He said the military alliance is ready to help Kyiv to transition from using old Soviet-era weapons to NATO-standard weapons.

Holly Ellyatt

Don’t test our patience, Russia warns the West

Russia has warned the West against inciting Ukraine to attack Russian territory, saying that this will lead to a “tough response from Russia.”

“In the West, they are openly calling on Kyiv to attack Russia including with the use of weapons received from NATO countries,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow, Reuters reported.

“I don’t advise you to test our patience further,” she said.

Zakharova’s comments come after several attacks by Ukrainian forces on Russian regions bordering Ukraine. Russia said earlier this week that if such attacks continued then it would target decision-making centers in Ukraine.

Ukraine has not directly admitted that its forces were responsible for the spate of attacks but presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak reportedly described the incidents as “karma.”

Holly Ellyatt

Germany’s military must be strong enough to deter Russia from attacking, Scholz says

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany is looking to create closer ties with countries that share its values, naming Japan and India, among others.

Lisi Niesner | Reuters

Germany’s leader said a strong military is needed to ensure Russia does not consider attacking it.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz also said Thursday that Putin is clinging to the idea of a “forced peace” in Ukraine and that will not work, Reuters reported.

Speaking in Tokyo, Scholz said Germany is looking to create closer ties with countries that share its values, naming Japan and India, among others.

— Holly Ellyatt

Central bank policy needs to be prudent amid gas shock threat, official says

Bank of Italy Governor and ECB Governing Council member Ignazio Visco warns the central bank’s policy must remain careful amid the threat of the Russian war in Ukraine, but signals a third-quarter hike may be in the cards.

Holly Ellyatt

Exxon reportedly declared force majeure on Sakhalin-1 operations

Exxon Neftegas Ltd.’s Sakhalin-1 oil and gas onshore processing facility site is pictured near Nogliki, Sakhalin Island.

Hector Forster | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Exxon Mobil’s Russian unit Exxon Neftegas has declared force majeure on its Sakhalin-1 operations, Reuters reported.

In a written response to Reuters, a spokesperson said Exxon is taking steps to exit the oil and gas project, which includes addressing contractual and commercial obligations.

The company previously said it would cease operations in Russia, including exiting the project.

Reuters reported that stakeholders in the project encounter increasing difficulty in shipping crude oil from the region due to sanctions on Russia, fear of reputational risk and trouble finding insurance coverage.

— Chelsea Ong

‘We would never feel safe again’ if Putin succeeds in Ukraine, UK says

“If Putin succeeds there will be untold further misery across Europe and terrible consequences across the globe,” said U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

Mateusz Wlodarczyk | Nurphoto | Getty Images

The fate of Ukraine is hanging in the balance and Western allies must “double down” on their support for the country to ensure Putin fails in Ukraine, the U.K.’s foreign secretary said Wednesday.

“Ukraine’s victory is a strategic imperative for us all,” Liz Truss said in a speech in London last night, as she argued the Group of Seven industrialized nations and their allies need to maintain pressure on Russia through tougher sanctions, including “cutting off oil and gas imports once and for all,” providing further military aid, and continued humanitarian support.

“If Putin succeeds there will be untold further misery across Europe and terrible consequences across the globe,” she said, adding that “we would never feel safe again.”

“So we must be prepared for the long haul and double down on our support for Ukraine,” she said. Truss’ comments come at a time when tensions between Western nations and Russia have risen significantly, with President Vladimir Putin warning that Russia will retaliate against any intervention in the Ukraine war.

Holly Ellyatt

Blinken says Europe has ‘ambitious’ plans to cut energy reliance on Russia

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, U.S., April 26, 2022. Blinken and the defense secretary on Monday committed a total of $713 million in foreign military financing for Ukraine and 15 allied and partner countries. 

Al Drago | Reuters

European countries have ‘genuinely ambitious’ plans to reduce their reliance on Russian energy, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, adding that ‘further progress’ was expected on Russian oil imports in the coming weeks.

“The Europeans have, I think, genuinely ambitious plans to move away from this reliance on Russian energy. The challenge is to put them into effect,” Blinken said at a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Around half of Russia’s 4.7 million barrels per day of crude exports go to the EU. Cutting them off would deprive Moscow of a major revenue stream.

“I think you are likely to see in the coming weeks further progress on the oil side of the equation in terms of Russian imports. Gas is a bigger challenge,” he added.

The European Union is considering options to cut imports of Russian oil as part of possible further sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, but none has been formally proposed as governments assess their impact.

— Reuters

White House set to make ‘massive’ funding request for more Ukraine aid

A C-130 Hercules taxis on the flightline July 14, 2014, at Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kelly Goonan | U.S. Air Force

The White House is preparing to send a request to Congress for additional Ukraine aid as early as Thursday, administration officials confirmed to NBC News.

Officials described the amount of the request as “massive” but would not provide a specific dollar amount as some of the details have not been finalized.

The officials said the dollar amount sought should be able to fund U.S. support for Ukraine through the end of the current fiscal year, which ends in September. Since Russia’s late February invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration has authorized $3.4 billion in military assistance.

Last week, President Joe Biden said that he was running out of funding authorized by Congress and would soon send a request to lawmakers.

The latest military aid package of $800 million, which is the eighth installment of aid, comes after eight weeks of war and as Russian forces prepare for a renewed fight in the east and south of Ukraine.

— Amanda Macias

Putin threatens to retaliate against anyone who interferes with war in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks past a guard during a ceremony honouring the country’s Olympians and Paralympians at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia April 26, 2022. 

Maxim Shemetov | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned world leaders against interfering with what he continues to call a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

“I want to stress once more, the special military operation in the Ukraine and Donbas, which started in February, all the objectives will be definitely carried out to guarantee the security of people in the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, the Russian Crimea and all our country,” Putin said before Russia’s Council of Legislators in St Petersburg.

He said Russia’s military prevented a “real threat, which was hanging over our motherland.” Putin added that the Kremlin would retaliate against anyone who interfered with the ongoing military operation.

“Our response, our retaliation, those attacks will be lightning-fast. We have all instruments for that. Such instruments that no one can boast of … and we’re going to use them if we have to. I want everybody to know that,” Putin said.

It was not immediately clear what was meant by instruments. Putin also said the rafts of global sanctions against Russia have failed to “strangle us economically.”

— Amanda Macias

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NATO leader warns Ukraine war could drag on for years; Putin threatens ‘lightning fast’ retaliation if nations intervene – CNBC

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