German Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised his Canadian counterpart for his “strong decision” to allow the shipment of turbines back to Europe that are crucial to the operation of a key Russian gas pipeline.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail newspaper, Scholz pushed back against criticism that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had undermined Russian sanctions, and said releasing the turbines — which were undergoing repairs in Canada — eliminated a potential Russian excuse for cutting gas supplies.
Speaking to a United Nations conference on nuclear non-proliferation late Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned what he said were Russia’s “reckless” threats of nuclear escalation. President Vladimir Putin said in a statement issued to participants that there can be “no winners in a nuclear war.”
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On the ground
Russia continued its shelling of the southern port of Mykolaiv, according to local authorities. Explosions were also heard in Kharkiv region in the northeast. Around Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, Russian forces are conducting an offensive in the Bakhmut and Avdiyivka sectors, Ukraine’s general staff reported, adding that its forces repelled a number of attacks. Russia is continuing to transfer troops to support defensive positions in southern Ukraine and may be halting its campaign around Slovyansk in the east for the time being, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest assessment. The withdrawal will likely create an opportunity for Ukrainian forces to launch a counteroffensive, the report said.
Baerbock Echoes Blinken on ‘Reckless Rhetoric’ (9:30 a.m.)
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Russia is placing the international Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in jeopardy and echoed Blinken’s comments by accusing Moscow of spreading “reckless rhetoric.”
“It is good that a large majority of states have condemned Russia’s aggression and its signals regarding nuclear weapons,” Baerbock said in a speech Monday at the UN. “Reaffirming this condemnation remains a matter of credibility for all those who support serious efforts toward nuclear disarmament.”
Crop Prices Extend Declines (7 a.m.)
Global corn, soybean and wheat prices extended their declines as US crop conditions came in better than expected and Ukraine prepares to gradually ramp up exports after the first shipment since Russia’s invasion left for Lebanon.
The first two weeks will be treated as a trial period, with no more than three vessels a day in each direction through new safe-passage corridors, Ukraine Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov told Bloomberg TV Monday. If successful, exports could increase to as much as three million tons per month in four to six weeks’ time, he said.
US Sending $550 Million More Arms (8 p.m.)
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby confirmed that the US is sending $550 million worth of weapons in its latest package for Ukraine.
The Pentagon said in a statement that the new aid will include more ammunition for the High Mobility Advanced Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS, as well as 75,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition. The US “has committed approximately $8.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration” and more than $10 billion since 2014, the Defense Department said.
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