Russia-Ukraine war live: Nato foreign ministers meet in Romania; US to announce ‘substantial’ aid | World news

 Russia-Ukraine war live: Nato foreign ministers meet in Romania;  US to announce ‘substantial’ aid |  World news


US to announce ‘substantial’ aid as Nato foreign ministers meet in Romania

The United States is expected to announce “substantial” financial aid to Ukraine on Tuesday to help it deal with the damage caused by Russian attacks on its energy infrastructure, senior US officials said.

The aid, which will be detailed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in the Romanian capital Bucharest, “is substantial and it is not the end”, one senior official told journalists Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity and without giving further details.

However, I noticed that the Biden administration had budgeted $1.1bn for energy spending in Ukraine and Moldova.

NATO foreign ministers are meeting Tuesday and Wednesday in Bucharest where the alliance’s support for Ukraine since the Russian invasion will be discussed.

Germany, which currently chairs the G7, has convened a meeting Tuesday afternoon on the sidelines of the NATO gathering to discuss the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.

Romania, as well as neighboring Moldova, has been hard hit by the war, and around two million people fleeing Ukraine have passed through the country.

Bucharest currently hosts nearly 80,000 refugees, according to figures cited by Washington.

Key events

Rocketing energy bills are forcing Hungary to shutter libraries, theaters, swimming pools and even its new football stadiums for winter, AFP reports.

The state-of-the-art grounds – symbols of right-wing nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s 12 years in power – are among a long list of buildings no longer able to cope with rising energy prices in the central European country.

Despite being one of the country’s richest cities and being run by Orban’s own party, Szekesfehervar is one of many closing its museums, libraries and theaters.

A notice that says,
A notice that says, “The central library is closed from 1 November” hangs on the main entrance of the library in Szekesfehervar, Hungary. Photograph: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images

Its new 14,000-capacity city-run stadium also pulled down its shutters this month to save costs, said mayor Andras Cser-Palkovics.

“Community spaces are what make a city. No one was happy about the measures but they accepted that they are needed,” Cser-Palkovics, a member of Orban’s ruling Fidesz party, told AFP in Szekesfehervar’s City Hall.

People should not forget the war in Ukraine this Christmas, the country’s first lady has said ahead of a speech to British MPs on Tuesday.

Olena Zelenska is expected to address MPs and peers on Tuesday as she visits London, days after Rishi Sunak made his first visit as prime minister to Kyiv to meet Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Zelenska will urge the British public not to forget the “tragedy” of the Russian invasion amid the festive season.

The pace of global shipping activity is set to lose steam next year as economic turmoil, conflict in Ukraine and the impact of the pandemic weaken the outlook for trade, UN agency Unctad said on Tuesday.

The world’s largest investment banks expect global economic growth to slow further in 2023 following a year ruined by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and soaring inflation.

The slowdown is expected to impact shipping, which transports more than 80% of global trade, although tanker freight rates could remain high.

For the overall 2023-2027 period, growth is predicted at an annual average of 2.1%, a slower rate than the previous three-decade average of 3.3%, UNCTAD said, adding that “downside risks are weighing heavily on this forecast”.

“The recovery in maritime transport and logistics is now at risk from the war in Ukraine, the continued grip of the pandemic, lingering supply-chain constraints, and China’s cooling economy and zero-Covid policy, along with inflationary pressures and the cost -of-living squeeze,” Unctad said in the report.

Kyiv plans to erect Christmas trees, minus lights, throughout the battered city in a defiant display of holiday spirit as the capital area’s millions of residents suffer through blackouts due to Russian attacks, officials said.

“No one is going to cancel the New Year and Christmas, and the atmosphere of the New Year should be there,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko told the RBC-Ukraine news agency in an interview.

“We cannot allow Putin to steal our Christmas.”

Sergey Kovalenko, chief executive officer of YASNO, which provides power to Kyiv, said on his Facebook page that to save electricity, the trees will be without illuminations and garlands.

“There will be the New Year’s-Christmas tree and it will be the most energy-responsible, but still festive for all of us,” Kovalenko said.

Klitschko said that there will be no mass gatherings or concerts – a tradition to welcome the New Year. The city’s businesses will sponsor trees throughout Kyiv, including on Sophia Square in the Old Kyiv neighborhood.

US to announce ‘substantial’ aid as Nato foreign ministers meet in Romania

The United States is expected to announce “substantial” financial aid to Ukraine on Tuesday to help it deal with the damage caused by Russian attacks on its energy infrastructure, senior US officials said.

The aid, which will be detailed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in the Romanian capital Bucharest, “is substantial and it is not the end”, one senior official told journalists Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity and without giving further details.

However, I noticed that the Biden administration had budgeted $1.1bn for energy spending in Ukraine and Moldova.

NATO foreign ministers are meeting Tuesday and Wednesday in Bucharest where the alliance’s support for Ukraine since the Russian invasion will be discussed.

Germany, which currently chairs the G7, has convened a meeting Tuesday afternoon on the sidelines of the NATO gathering to discuss the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.

Romania, as well as neighboring Moldova, has been hard hit by the war, and around two million people fleeing Ukraine have passed through the country.

Bucharest currently hosts nearly 80,000 refugees, according to figures cited by Washington.

Summary

Hi, this is the Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine. My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest for the next few hours.

The United States is expected to announce “substantial” financial aid to Ukraine on Tuesday to help it deal with the damage caused by Russian attacks on its energy infrastructure, senior US officials said.

The aid, which will be detailed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of a Nato meeting in the Romanian capital Bucharest, “is substantial and it is not the end”, one senior official told journalists Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity and without giving further details.

However, I noticed that the Biden administration had budgeted $1.1bn for energy spending in Ukraine and Moldova.

Here are the other key recent developments:

  • Fighting around the key eastern Ukraine town of Bakhmut has descended into a bloody morass with hundreds of dead and injured reported daily. Russia moved fresh formations to the area in recent weeks, but neither Russian nor Ukrainian forces have made a significant breakthrough after months of fighting.

  • Russian forces continue to shell residential infrastructure and housing in the recently liberated city of Khersonaccording to Ukraine’s military. In its update on Monday, US thinktank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said Russian troops were digging trenches and fortifying their positions in preparation for a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive in eastern Kherson.

  • The United States will announce new aid on Tuesday to help Ukraine restore electricity as the country faced another week of cold and darkness after Russian strikes on its power grid caused rolling blackouts.

  • The US is considering a Boeing proposal to supply Ukraine with cheap, small precision bombs fitted on to abundantly available rockets, allowing Kyiv to strike far behind Russian lines as the west struggles to meet demand for more arms. US and allied military inventories are shrinking, according to Ukraine’s armed forces general staff.

  • DTEK, Ukraine’s biggest private electricity producer, said it would reduce electricity supply by 60% for its consumers in Kyiv. National grid operator Ukrenergo said on Monday it had been forced to resume regular emergency blackouts across the country after a setback in its race to repair energy infrastructure.

  • Ukrainian forces damaged a rail bridge north of the Russian-occupied southern city of Melitopol that has been key to supplying Russian forcesUkraine’s armed forces said.

  • Russians are sporadically shelling cities with no apparent strategic aim other than to cause casualties. The Guardian visited a residential district in Dnipro, where a series of houses were destroyed by a fragmentation warhead, designed to inflict maximum casualties.

  • Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office has said 329 children are considered missing in Ukraine, while 12,034 have been deported to Russia. According to the Ukrainian government’s children of war portal, 440 children have been killed as a result of Russia’s war and 851 children are reported as injured.

  • Russia has “unilaterally postponed” talks with the US aimed at resuming nuclear weapons inspections in Cairo this week, a US state department spokesperson confirmed. Talks between US and Russian officials were scheduled to begin tomorrow. The Russian foreign ministry confirmed in a statement that talks would no longer take place this week.

  • The Ukraine war hotline between Russia and the US has been used once, according to a Reuters source. The communications line was created at the beginning of the war. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the US initiated a call on the “deconfliction” line to communicate its concerns about Russian military operations near critical infrastructure in Ukraine.



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