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LIVE: US Agrees With Russia That Nuclear War Could Not Be Won

  • White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a news briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 29 April 2022.

    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a news briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 29 April 2022. | Photo: EFE/EPA/Chris Kleponis / POOL

Published 2 May 2022

The United States agrees with Russia that there can be no winners in a nuclear war, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told a regular briefing on Monday.

On May 2, while Russian forces continue their offensive in the Kherson region, the European Union (EU) studies new sanctions against Moscow. Below are the main developments of the Ukrainian conflict as they happen.

London will send military aid worth $375 mln to Ukraine - Downing Street

The next package of British military aid to Ukraine will include electronic warfare equipment, in particular GPS jamming equipment, a counter-battery radar system, as well as night vision devices. This is according to a statement the office of the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued on Monday.

Speaking via video link to the parliament on Tuesday, the head of the British government will go into detail about what is included in the new $375 million package, 10 Downing Street said.

"The UK will also send in the coming weeks heavy lift systems to provide logistical support to isolated forces, and more than a dozen new specialized Toyota Landcruisers to help protect civilian officials in Eastern Ukraine and evacuate civilians from frontline areas, following a request from the Ukrainian government," the statement says.

US agrees with Russia that nuclear war could not be won - White House

The United States agrees with Russia that there can be no winners in a nuclear war, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told a regular briefing on Monday.

"I would say that the Russians themselves have, over time, including as recently as last year, made clear that no nuclear war - a nuclear war could not be won. We agree with that. And that is important for every country to restate and every elected official to restate around the country here as well," she said.

Psaki added that US President Joe Biden remains unwilling to send US troops to Ukraine.

"I would note the President’s view, and his position continues to be that we are not putting U.S. troops on the ground to fight this war. And that’s something we will continue to reiterate for Americans," she said.

She also denied that the situation around Ukraine has turned into an indirect conflict between NATO and Russia.

"<…> It is not a proxy war. This is a war between Russia and Ukraine. NATO is not involved. The United States is not fighting this war. So, I think it’s important and vital for all of us to not repeat the Kremlin talking points on this front," she said.

Austria to welcome EU’s embargo on Russian oil supplies, says energy minister

Austria is ready to support the European Union’s embargo on Russia’s oil supplies, the republic’s Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology Leonore Gewessler told reporters on Monday.

"As far as the oil embargo issue is concerned, you know that there has not been an offer of the European Commission. But Austria is ready to welcome the oil embargo if the European Commission and member states decide on it. We are prepared. In Austria we only bought around 10% of oil from Russia in the past years. We actively reduced this dependence over the past months and no longer refined Russian oil in March," she explained.

The situation with supplies of Russian oil to the European Union is different in each country, the minister said, adding that it is necessary to make a joint decision.

Austria’s oil and gas company OMV said earlier that the Austrian side stopped importing and refining Russian oil in March over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

European Commission considers payment for gas in rubles breach of sanctions

The European Commission considers the payment for Russian gas in rubles a breach of sanctions, though it will provide detailed explanations on possible further actions and payment ways to the European Union’s companies in coming days, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson told a press briefing following an extraordinary council of the EU’s energy ministers in Brussels on Monday.

The European Commission considers Gazprom’s decision to suspend supplies to Poland and Bulgaria a breach of Russia’s contracts, she said, adding that there are no immediate risks for gas supply to the European Union, though the European Commission believes EU states should start getting prepared for suspension of Russian gas deliveries. The commissioner also admitted that the European Union cannot fully replace Russian gas.

According to Simson, the mechanism offered by Moscow of transfering euros to Gazprombank followed by the conversion of the payment into rubles is "a clear breach of sanctions as they provide assets for the operation of the Central Bank."

"Paying in rubles through the conversion mechanism managed by the Russian public authorities and a second dedicated account in Gazprombank is a violation of the sanctions and cannot be accepted," she said, adding that "a more detailed guidance on what companies can and cannot do within the sanctions framework" would be provided.

Most European companies are to make their next gas payments in the middle or at the end of May, according to the commissioner.

All ministers condemned Gazprom’s decision to stop supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, Simson said, noting that this is considered a breach of contracts, as well as an attempt to divide the EU.

"At this stage there are no immediate risks for Europe’s security of supply," she said. Bulgaria and Poland that no longer receive any gas from Russia, are provided via alternative routes through Greece and Germany.

That said, the European Commission urges the EU nations to starting preparing a plan of action in case gas supplies from Russia are halted.

The European Union currently receives liquified natural gas in record volumes, with last week’s deliveries reaching 0.4 bln cubic meters per day, the commissioner said, adding that the level of storage in Europe stands at 32%, rising in all countries.

Meanwhile, Simson admitted that the EU cannot fully replace 155 bln cubic meters of Russian gas per year by supplies from other sources, and urged the EU countries to step up the development of alternative energy.

On April 26, Gazprom submitted to Polish and Bulgarian importing companies a notification on suspension of gas supplies starting April 27 due to their refusal to make final payments in Russian rubles. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered on March 23 that unfriendly states must pay for Russian gas in rubles, saying that Moscow would refuse to accept payments under gas contracts with those states in "compromised" currencies, particularly meaning dollars and euros.


Russian FM Lavrov Outlines Who Can ‘Bring Peace’ to Ukraine

Zaporizhia awaits evacuees from the Azovstal. The first evacuated civilians are expected to arrive in Zaporizhia, a city just over 200 kilometers north of Mariupol, on Monday.

Municipal technicians, doctors, and humanitarian organizations have coordinated in Zaporizhia to receive the convoy with some one hundred evacuees who left Azovstal thanks to an operation sponsored by the United Nations (UN) and the Red Cross.

Russia tries to occupy Kherson. Russian forces continue their offensive in southern Ukraine, where they try to advance in the direction of the South Bug, a river that flows into the Black Sea, with the aim of reaching the border of the Kherson region. British defense intelligence reported that the ruble will be used in Kherson from this month as part of a 4-month currency transition scheme enacted by Moscow.

Two explosions occurred in Russia's Belgorod Region, which borders Ukraine. No damage or casualties have been reported, Vyacheslav Gladkov, the regional governor, said on Sunday. "According to the operational headquarters, there is no damage or destruction. There were no casualties. Footage of flashes in the sky has already appeared on social networks," Gladkov wrote on Telegram.

The European Union (EU) is preparing the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. This package is expected to include a ban on Russian oil imports, something Germany has already said it "actively" supports. However, Hungary has insisted that it remains opposed to the EU imposing an embargo on imports of Russian oil and gas.

In an extraordinary council that takes place in Brussels on Monday, the EU energy ministers debate the mechanism designed to avoid further Russian gas supply cuts, such as those suffered by Poland and Bulgaria.

During an official visit to Warsaw, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, stated that the EU "without a doubt" should "behave similarly" to Washington in terms of sanctions against Moscow. Pelosi recalled that this week the Congress of States adopted legislation to freeze Russian assets and then use them to rebuild Ukraine.

The Russian special military operation is not subject to rigid dates. The Russian military will not artificially adjust its actions during the special operation in Ukraine to any date, including Victory Day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday.

"We will solemnly celebrate May 9, as we always do," Lavrov said in an interview with Italy's Mediaset broadcaster. The pace of the operation in Ukraine depends, first of all, on the need to mitigate risks for civilians and Russian troops, he added.


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