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LIVE: Gazprom Suspends Gas Supplies to Bulgaria, Poland

  • Russian energy giant Gazprom

    Russian energy giant Gazprom

Published 26 April 2022

Russian energy giant Gazprom has informed Bulgarian company Bulgargaz that it would halt natural gas supplies to Bulgaria starting from April 27, the Bulgarian energy ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

On April 26, United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres continues efforts to achieve a definitive ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine. Below are the main developments of this conflict as they happen.

Decision on UK citizens captured by Russia in Mariupol to be made by Kiev - Johnson

The final decision on the possible swap of British citizens Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, taken prisoner in Mariupol, will be made by the Kiev government, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in an interview with TalkTV on Tuesday.

"It is very important to understand that Aiden and other UK nationals who have been fighting for the Ukraine armed forces who get captured are not hostages and they are not to be swapped as though they are terrorists - they are prisoners of war," he said. "They are, therefore, entitled to rights under the Geneva Convention. They should not be paraded in front of the cameras."

"We will do what we can," Johnson went on.

"Clearly it is for the Ukrainians," the UK premier continued, commenting on the possibility of swapping them for Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk.

Johnson added that his government was working closely with Kiev on the issue.

Earlier, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said, answering a question about the fate of Pinner and Aslin, who served in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, that the British government will provide "all possible support" on this issue, without specifying what support he is talking about. Speaking on Russian TV, Pinner asked Johnson to exchange him and Aslin for Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk.

On April 12, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced Medvedchuk’s apprehension and posted photos of the politician in handcuffs. He offered to exchange Medvedchuk for Ukrainian POWs. Last week, Medvedchuk’s spouse Oksana Marchenko addressed relatives and close ones of the captured British citizens, calling on them to ask Johnson to exchange them for her husband.

Western ‘financial recipes’ no longer working - Russian diplomat

Current failures in the global economic development are caused by injustice of the existing economic order, and financial recipes earlier created by developed nations are no longer working, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin at the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development.

"The reason for current failures in economic development is injustice of the existing international economic order, which is perpetuated by the unwillingness of developed countries to revise the present financial architecture that infringes rights and legitimate interests of the developing world," he said.

"Places allocated for developing States in global supply chains damage their chances for moving up to a new level of development. Existing export-oriented economic models make the well-being of entire regions directly dependent on growth rates in developed economies," the official continued. "Besides, according to the IMF, in the long run primary commodity prices fall relative to those of manufactured goods produced by developed countries."

The Russian diplomat went on to say that "financial recipes proposed every year by leaders of the developed world have stopped to work."

"Efforts to mobilize domestic resources are undermined by the lack of resolute action to counter base erosion and illicit financial flows. Instead, we see, for example, attempts of one particular country to cynically force others to forgo their own taxation schemes for multinational IT companies - a potentially significant source of public revenue," he said.

White House urges to reduce rhetoric on nuclear war - press secretary

The White House assumes that a nuclear war cannot be won and calls for taking down rhetoric on the matter, Press Secretary Jen Psaki has told reporters.

"I think you heard some of our national security officials make clear there’s no winning a nuclear war. And obviously, our objective continues to be to call on reducing the rhetoric, on taking the rhetoric on that front down," she said.

Gazprom informs Bulgargaz about halting gas deliveries from April 27 - Bulgarian ministry

Russian energy giant Gazprom has informed Bulgarian company Bulgargaz that it would halt natural gas supplies to Bulgaria starting from April 27, the Bulgarian energy ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Today, on April 26, Bulgargaz was notified that natural gas deliveries by Gazprom Export will be suspended starting from April 27, 2022," the ministry said.

"An analysis by state company Bulgargaz and the Bulgarian Energy Holding established that the new two-stage payment procedure, suggested by the Russian side, does not correspond to the current agreement, valid until the end of the year, and carries significant risks for the Bulgarian side, including payment without receiving gas from the Russian side," the statement says.

The document says that the Bulgarian energy ministry, Bulgarian Energy Holding, Bulgargaz and Bultransgaz have taken measures to reach alternative gas supply agreements. For the time being, there have been no restrictions on gas consumption in Bulgaria.

For its part, Polish state gas company PGNiG said it had been told all gas deliveries would be halted from 08:00 CET

"On April 26, Gazprom informed PGNiG of its intention to entirely suspend deliveries under the Yamal contract at the beginning of the contract day on April 27," PGNiG said in a statement on Tuesday.


Russia Hits Railway Hubs Used for Weapons Delivery to Ukraine

Russia Warns of ‘Proportional Response’ If Ukraine attacks its territory. On Tuesday, Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said that Russia will launch attacks against Kyiv if the Zelensky regime uses weapons provided by the United Kingdom.

"The Russian Armed Forces are ready around the clock to launch retaliatory strikes with long-range precision weapons against decision-making centers in Kyiv," Konashenkov said.

"We want to emphasize that London's direct provocation of the Kyiv regime to undertake such actions will, in the event of an attempt to implement them, have an immediate proportionate response."

These statements came after James Heappey, the British Secretary of State for the Armed Forces, considered it "legitimate" for the Ukrainian Army to attack military targets on Russian territory with British weapons.

"It is completely legitimate for Ukraine to target the interior of Russia to undermine logistics that would otherwise directly contribute to deaths on Ukrainian soil," he said, adding that "it is not necessarily a problem" if British weapons are used to attack those targets.

Ukraine bombs Russian village again. On Tuesday, Viacheslav Gladkov, the governor of the Russian region of Golovchino, said that four houses were destroyed as a result of a bombardment carried out from Ukraine. No civilian casualties were recorded.

The town of Golovchino, located 50 kilometers from Belgorod, was also attacked on April 19, when three residents needed medical help and 76 houses and 17 vehicles were damaged.

On Monday, Gladkov also denounced Ukrainian attacks on the towns of Nekhoteevka and Zhuravlevka, where 14 homes were destroyed.

Putin says there is no more fighting in Mariupol. During a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday, the Russian president Vladimir Putin noted that there is no longer any fighting in the city of Mariupol.

Regarding the Ukrainian military and the neo-Nazis surrounded in the Azovstal steelworks, Putin stated that "the Kyiv authorities must assume their political responsibility and, for humanitarian reasons, give them the order to lay down their arms."

The Kremlin said that the prisoners of war would receive medical assistance and treatment according to the norms of international law.

UN proposes to create a contact group for humanitarian corridors. UN Secretary Antonio Guterres proposed the creation of a trilateral contact group to guarantee the effectiveness of humanitarian corridors.

"I proposed the creation of a Humanitarian Contact Group that unites the UN, Russia and Ukraine, to search for the possibilities of opening safe humanitarian corridors with a local ceasefire to guarantee that they are really effective," he said during a press conference with the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Erdogan urges Putin for leaders' summit to solve Ukrainian crisis. On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Vladimir Putin to hold a summit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

During a phone talk, Erdogan told Putin that the "continuation of the positive momentum achieved in the Istanbul talks" to reach peace in Ukraine is in the interest of everyone. He also pointed out the importance of achieving a ceasefire, the effective operation of humanitarian corridors, and safe evacuations.

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