(Bloomberg) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson will deliver a virtual address to Ukraine’s Parliament on Tuesday that compares Kyiv’s struggle to Britain’s during World War II. His government also announced a new military aid package for Ukraine.
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The European Union agreed to provide more detailed guidance in coming days on what companies can and can’t do under sanctions rules to address Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands to pay for gas in rubles.
A U.S. defense official said Russia has made limited progress in shifting its war toward the eastern Donbas region, adding its troops continue to struggle with haphazard logistics and low morale.
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Austria Minister Says EU Must Consider Treaty Change: FT (6:01 a.m.)
The EU must consider treaty changes if it decides to grant Ukraine membership in the future, the Financial Times reported Austrian Foreign Minster Alexander Schallenberg as saying.
He said Russia’s invasion of its neighbor was a “geostrategic moment” for Europe and the EU needs to provide stronger support to countries bordering it, such as Ukraine and Moldova, to help them to avoid Russia’s domination. “Let’s get our act together and put our money where our mouth is,” the paper quoted him as saying.
EU treaty change requires unanimity and several member states, including the Netherlands, have spoken out against trying to shorten the enlargement process to allow for Ukraine’s membership.
Johnson to Address Ukrainian Parliament (1:40 a.m.)
According to prepared remarks released by the prime minister’s office, Johnson, in his virtual speech, will echo the words of Winston Churchill: “This is Ukraine’s finest hour, an epic chapter in your national story that will be remembered and recounted for generations to come.”
His government announced 300 million pounds in military aid and the U.K. will provide “specialized civilian protection vehicles to Ukraine,” Johnson’s office said. The British Embassy is also readying to reopen in Kyiv.
Draghi Seeks EU Guidance on Gas Payments (10:50 p.m.)
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that setting up a ruble-denominated account to pay for Russian gas, as requested by Putin, would be a breach of contract.
“It’s very important that the EU Commission gives a clear legal opinion if payment in rubles is a violation of sanctions,” Draghi said at a press conference Monday. He urged clearer direction from the EU as Italy is due to make payments in about two weeks, adding that Italy will adhere to the EU’s guidance.
EU Looks to Africa as Potential Supplier of Gas (10:25 p.m.)
The European Union will seek to step up cooperation with African countries to help replace imports of Russian natural gas and reduce dependence on Moscow by almost two-thirds this year.
Countries in Africa, in particular in the western part of the continent, such as Nigeria, Senegal, and Angola, offer largely untapped potential for liquefied natural gas, according to a draft EU document seen by Bloomberg News.
Scholz Isn’t Planning Kyiv Trip After a Snub (9:34 p.m.)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he’s not currently planning to visit Kyiv after a proposed trip by the nation’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, was blocked by Ukraine last month in what was taken as a snub.
“That is standing in the way,” Scholz said Monday in an interview with public broadcaster ZDF. He added it was unacceptable for Ukraine to reject a visit by the president of a country like Germany that has provided so much military and financial assistance.
Steinmeier has been widely criticized — including by Ukraine’s ambassador in Germany — for his past support for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany and for his role when foreign minister of encouraging reconciliation and dialogue with Moscow.
Pentagon Says Russians Have Low Morale, Flawed Logistics (7:07 p.m.)
Russia’s progress in the Donbas region has been minimal at best, a U.S. defense official told reporters, saying Putin’s troops continue to suffer from low morale and imperfect logistics.
The official also said that Russian forces have been pushed 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Kharkiv.
Separately, former CIA Director David Petraeus said Russia is being hampered by shortfalls in equipment and personnel, with no quick solution as the war drags on. That means there is now a re-assessment over whether Ukraine should fight to take back everything its lost to the Russians since the start of the war, the retired general said in an interview with David Westin on Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power.”
EU to Issue More Guidance on Rubles-for-Gas Demands (6:50 p.m.)
The EU will provide more detailed guidance in the coming days on what companies can and can’t do under EU sanctions rules to address Russia’s demands to pay for gas in rubles, the bloc’s energy commissioner, Kadri Simson said. She told reporters that companies need clarity that the Kremlin’s mechanism “is a violation of the sanctions and cannot be accepted.”
Barbara Pompili, France’s minister for ecological transition, said that all member states indicated that they will stick to EU guidelines on payment for gas. Hungary, which is highly dependent on Russian energy, has previously suggested it is open to paying in rubles to ensure continued deliveries.
War Boosts Euro’s Appeal for Czech Business (4:15 p.m.)
Market turmoil spurred by the war in Ukraine is increasingly pushing Czech businesses to abandon the koruna for euros, with industry leaders seizing the chance to pressure the reluctant government to adopt the single currency.
Rich Nations Seek to Seal Coal Transition Deals (4:10 p.m.)
As they prepare for the next round of global climate talks in November, officials from rich countries are trying to pull together a series of multibillion-dollar packages to help poor countries phase out coal.
But negotiations have been snarled by national politics and Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has made the dirtiest fossil fuel a lucrative commodity to mine and export, according to people familiar with the talks.
Poland Calls for Embargo on Russian Oil and Gas (3:07 p.m.)
Poland supports a ban on Russian oil and will call for an embargo on gas, preferably at the same time, Climate Minister Anna Moskwa told reporters before the ministerial meeting in Brussels. To encourage skeptical nations to end their dependency on fossil fuels from Moscow, Poland wants to propose a special carbon market-like mechanism on energy sources imported from Russia.
Such a system would set a date at which the use of energy sources from Russia should be zeroed out. Each member state would get assigned a quota of fossil fuels that it can import and those wanting to use more would have to buy permits to do so from those who use less than their limit. Revenues from such a program could be used to help Ukraine or to aid diversification of energy sources.
EU United on Rejecting Putin Gas Demand, Pompili Says (2:38 p.m.)
The EU is using the meeting in Brussels to demonstrate its unity over continuing to pay for Russian gas in euros, and to reassure Poland and Bulgaria of Europe’s help after being cut off by Moscow, Barbara Pompili, France’s minister for ecological transition, told reporters in Brussels.
Pompili declined to say whether member states would reach an agreement on gas storage this week but said that talks were advancing.
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