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Ukraine ls: UN chief Guterres arrives in Ukraine

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UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced his arrival in Kyiv following talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I have arrived in Ukraine after visiting Moscow. We will continue our work to expand humanitarian support and secure the evacuation of civilians from conflict zones. The sooner this war ends, the better – for the sake of Ukraine, Russia, and the world,” he wrote on his official Twitter account.
Kazakhstan may declare a prominent Russian television host persona non grata after he said the Central Asian nation could meet the same fate as Ukraine if it did not side decisively with Russia, according to a Kazakh official.

Tigran Keosayan said on his YouTube show that Kazakhstan was being “ungrateful” and “sly” by failing to show its support for Russia.
Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aibek Smadiyarov said Keosayan’s comments were “insulting” and lacked objectivity. “Perhaps his statement reflects the views of some parts of the Russian public and political establishment, but it goes against the spirit and essence of the cooperation between our countries,” he added.
Shell has tightened its restrictions on buying Russian oil, saying it would no longer accept refined products with any Russian content, including blended fuels.

Shell last month said it would phase out buying Russian crude and its involvement in all Russian hydrocarbons from oil to natural gas, after facing an uproar over buying a Russian crude cargo in the days following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
The world’s largest oil trader continued to accept products with under 50 percent of fuel from Russia, based on clauses in its trading contracts. But on Wednesday it said it would no longer accept any such products from Russia.
Russian forces have used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse a pro-Ukraine rally in the occupied city of Kherson, Ukraine’s prosecutor general says.

“During a peaceful pro-Ukrainian rally on Freedom Square in the city of Kherson, servicemen of the Russian armed forces used tear gas and stun grenades against the civilian population,” the prosecutor general’s office said in a statement.
It added it was investigating the incident, and that at least four people were wounded. Russia did not immediately comment on the incident.

The developments came after local authorities said Russia had on Tuesday appointed its own mayor in Kherson, which was the first big urban centre to be seized by Moscow’s forces after it launched its invasion in late February.
Putin has warned that any countries attempting to “interfere” in Ukraine will be faced with a swift response from Moscow.
Addressing lawmakers in St Petersburg, Putin said all decisions on how the Kremlin would react in the event of a threat to Russia’s “strategic security” have already been taken.

“If anyone would want to interfere with what’s happening in Ukraine now, from the outside, they have to know Russia’s response will be swift and fast,” he said.

“We have all sorts of tools that the West cannot obtain, and we will not boast of our weapons but we will use them if need be and I want everyone to know that.”
The head of the European Union’s executive Commission says energy companies in the 27-nation bloc that agree to Moscow’s demands to pay for gas deliveries in roubles will be breaching the sanctions it has imposed against Russia.
“We have round about 97 percent of all contracts that explicitly stipulate payments in euros or dollars, so it’s very clear. And the request from the Russian side to pay in roubles is a unilateral decision and not according to the contracts,” Ursula von der Leyen said at a news conference in Brussels.

(Al Jazeera)

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