In the future, there will not only be price caps for Russian crude oil, but also for oil products. Ukrainian President Zelenskyj continues to hope that his country will soon join the EU. News overview.
The essentials in brief:
- The price cap for Russian oil products decided
- Selenskyj relies on rapid accession to the EU
- US sanctions Iranian drone maker
- “Spiegel”: Partner in tank export hesitant
After the EU member states, the G7 states and Australia have also agreed on upper price limits for Russian oil products. According to a joint statement, the group of leading Western industrialized nations and Australia set price caps of US$100 per barrel (159 liters) for fuels such as diesel or kerosene and US$45 per barrel for lower-value products such as heating oil. This move aims to “prevent Russia from profiting from its war of aggression against Ukraine” and promote stability in energy markets.
At the beginning of December, the countries of the European Union, the G7, and Australia decided to cap Russian crude oil at 60 dollars per barrel. They use ship transport as a lever: companies in these countries are prohibited from transporting Russian crude oil and, from Sunday, oil products, or from insuring tankers that have products on board at prices above the agreed limits.
Selenskyj relies on rapid accession to the EU
After the summit with the EU in Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy continues to hope that his country will soon join the European Union. It is becoming apparent “that it is possible to start negotiations on Ukraine’s EU membership this year,” he said in a video message.
“We are preparing for stronger integration of Ukraine into the EU internal market. This means higher revenues for Ukrainian companies. More production and jobs in our country means more revenues for our state and regional budgets,” said Zelenskyy. “That’s what really makes Ukraine stronger.”
At the summit on Friday, the leaders of the European Union acknowledged the “considerable efforts” made by Ukraine in its application for EU membership. “The future of Ukraine lies with the EU,” said Council President Charles Michel in Kyiv. However, Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen also emphasized that Ukraine still had a long way to go.
Barley: European Union “not ready”
The German Vice-President of the European Parliament, Katarina Barley, has dampened expectations of Ukraine’s rapid accession to the EU. “The fact that Ukraine was granted candidate status so quickly was a very unusual event,” said the social democrat on ARD. The country must fulfill the same conditions as all other candidate countries. These included political, economic, and legal criteria. “All three fields are far from being fulfilled.”
Barley emphasized that it was also not possible to admit a country prematurely for special reasons. “I really think that’s out of the question.” Ukraine is in the middle of a war, so it is not to be expected that progress on the accession criteria will be made particularly quickly.
The EU itself must also reform, for example with a view to the unanimous decisions that have been necessary up to now, Barley continued. “In its current state, the EU is also not ready for admission.”
Ukraine defends the “fortress” Bakhmut
Ukraine will not give up the embattled city of Bakhmut in the east of the country, according to President Zelenskyy. “We will fight as long as we can,” said the head of state. Bachmut is a “fortress”.
Ukrainian soldier in Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine (end of January)
Zelenskyi again demanded more weapons from the West to repel Russia’s attacks. “The more long-range missiles we have, the better our artillery is equipped, the faster Russia’s aggression will end and the more protection of European security and freedom is guaranteed.”
“Spiegel”: Partner in tank export hesitant
After the German commitment to deliver 14 Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, NATO partners are reluctant to make their own contributions, as Der Spiegel learned. “Putting together the battalions turns out to be a tedious feat,” government circles are quoted as saying. According to information from the news magazine, Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius was invited to a video conference last week, at which no other EU country wanted to commit itself – not even Poland and the Netherlands.
US sanctions Iranian drone maker
The US government has increased sanctions against Iran for supporting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Specifically, the new measures are aimed at eight individuals in the management of Paravar Pars, which manufactures Shahed-type drones that are also supplied to Russia, the US Treasury Department said in Washington. Russia uses unmanned aerial vehicles for attacks on critical infrastructure in Ukraine.
Consequences of a drone attack southwest of Kyiv (in October)
As a result of the sanctions, any assets of those affected are usually frozen in the United States. US citizens are prohibited from doing business with them.
Wüst fears that refugees will overburden him
With regard to refugees from Ukraine, the Prime Minister of the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst, has warned against overburdening the federal states and municipalities. In a letter to Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser, which the newspaper “Welt am Sonntag” has seen, the CDU politician demands that the funds promised by the federal government should finally flow.
He fears that states and municipalities “will soon have reached the limits of their resilience and will need further support from the federal government,” writes Wüst. The real estate provided by the federal government for refugee accommodation is often in an unusable condition. The minister should influence the responsible authorities so that the “provision of capacities that can actually be used” can be initiated.
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