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Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Six vessels set to leave Ukraine carrying 96,181 metric tons of agricultural products

ISTANBUL, TURKIYE – AUGUST 09: An aerial view of “Glory” named empty grain ship as Representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Turkiye and the United Nations (UN) of the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) conduct inspection on vessel in Istanbul, Turkiye on August 09, 2022. The UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed a deal on July 22 to reopen three Ukrainian ports — Odessa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny — for grain that has been stuck for months because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which is now in its sixth month. (Photo by Ali Atmaca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The organization overseeing the export of agricultural products from Ukraine said it has approved six vessels to leave the besieged country.

The Joint Coordination Center, an initiative of Ukraine, Russia, the United Nations and Turkey, said that the vessels are carrying a total of 96,181 metric tons of grain and other food products.

The ships are expected to depart Saturday and are destined for Spain, Italy, Greece, Libya and Turkey.

— Amanda Macias

IAEA director general says renewed shelling at Zaporizhzhia has led to loss of power in nearby city

A Russian serviceman stands guard the territory outside the second reactor of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Energodar on May 1, 2022.

Andrey Borodulin | AFP | Getty Images

The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog said that the infrastructure that powers the city of Enerhodar has been destroyed due to shelling at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

“Enerhodar has gone dark and we have seen that once infrastructure is repaired, it is damaged once again,” International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi said in a statement.

“This is an unsustainable situation and is becoming increasingly precarious. This is completely unacceptable. It cannot stand,” he said, adding that the city has no running water, power or sewage.

“I therefore urgently call for the immediate cessation of all shelling in the entire area. Only this will ensure the security of operating staff and allow the durable restoration of power to Enerhodar and to the power plant,” he said.

Earlier this month, Grossi lead a group of IAEA investigators to the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

— Amanda Macias

EU nations struggle to find joint approach on energy prices

EU lawmakers have repeatedly accused Russia of weaponizing energy exports to drive up commodity prices and sow uncertainty across the bloc. Moscow denies using energy as a weapon.

Picture Alliance | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

European Union nations struggled to find full consensus on ways to shield the population from dramatically increasing energy prices that threaten to plunge millions into cold and poverty over the winter as Russia chokes off natural gas supplies.

As tensions with Moscow mount over the war in Ukraine, the energy ministers of the EU’s 27 nations could not paper over differences on whether and how to impose a price cap on Russian natural gas, with ever-recalcitrant Hungary refusing to agree, saying it would go against its supply interests.

Other countries differed on whether a price cap should apply only to Russia or to other producers, too.

An immediate solution on all proposals to bring natural gas and electricity prices back to affordability had not been anticipated, but energy ministers gave general recommendations to the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, on options like instituting windfall levies on some energy companies whose profits have risen along with skyrocketing prices.

— Associated Press

G-7 looks to recruit more countries on Russian oil cap before negotiating details, officials say

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US President Joe Biden, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and France’s President Emmanuel Macron pose for a G7 leaders’ family photograph during a NATO summit at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2022.

Michael Kappeler | AFP | Getty Images

Two months after they agreed to explore price limits on Russian oil sales, G-7 countries are still trying to recruit more countries to join their efforts before they enter more detailed discussions about the policy’s specifics, according to U.S. and European officials.

“The coalition has to be broader, and this is the diplomatic phase [negotiators] are entering into,” said one European official, requesting anonymity to discuss sensitive deliberations.

They aim to restrict the amount of revenue the Kremlin receives, but keep Russian oil on the market to avoid supply disruptions.

Key importers of Russian oil – China, India, and Turkey – have not yet said whether they will join in the coordinated price cap or negotiate their own side deals with Russia. Their participation could determine how much leverage Western nations have to set prices.

“It’s premature to start discussing the price before the coalition comes together,” a senior Treasury official told CNBC.

Read more here.

— Kayla Tausche

Reconstructing Ukraine will cost at least $349 billion, new World Bank report estimates

Firefighters at the rubble of a building destroyed by Russia’s missile strike in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Sept. 06, 2022.

Metin Aktas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The government of Ukraine, European Commission and the World Bank assessed that it will cost at least $349 billion to reconstruct Ukraine after Russia’s invasion.

The joint report named “Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment” covers the effects of the war between Feb. 24 and June 1. The report lists physical damage to Ukrainian infrastructure totaling more than $97 billion.

“The destruction was concentrated in the Chernihivska, Donetska, Luhanska, Kharkivska, Kyivska, and Zaporizka oblasts,” the authors of the report wrote.

— Amanda Macias

‘She knew and worked with all NATO secretary generals’: Blinken and Stoltenberg honor Queen Elizabeth II before meeting on Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) in Brussels on September 9, 2022, a day after his unannounced visit to Ukraine.

Jonathan Ernst | AFP | Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg took a moment to honor Queen Elizabeth II’s reign ahead of their meeting about the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“Today the NATO flag and the flags of 30 allies are at half mast to honor her majesty Queen Elizabeth the second,” Stoltenberg said alongside Blinken in Brussels. “She was a strong supporter of the transatlantic alliance of our armed forces and our values. She knew and worked with all NATO Secretary Generals since the founding of NATO.

“She was a powerful, unifying force, a source of comfort and resilience to millions of people from all walks of life. On behalf of the United States, I extend our deepest condolences to our British friends, to the government of the United Kingdom and to the royal family,” Blinken said.

— Amanda Macias

100 vessels carrying agricultural products have left Ukrainian ports

The cargo ship Razoni, which departed from Ukraine’s Odessa Port within the framework of the grain shipment agreement, is pictured in the Bosphorus on August 3, 2022, in Istanbul, Turkey.

Hakan Akgu | Getty Images

The organization overseeing the export of agricultural products from Ukraine said 100 vessels have left the besieged country since ports reopened.

The Joint Coordination Center, an initiative of Ukraine, Russia, the United Nations and Turkey that was established in July, said the ships transported 2,334,850 metric tons of grain and other food products.

— Amanda Macias

EU energy ministers meet to discuss a price cap on Russian gas

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the region is facing an extraordinary situation.

Thierry Monasse | Getty Images News | Getty Images

European Union energy ministers met in Brussels to hold emergency talks about how to shield households from surging gas and electricity prices ahead of the colder months.

Ahead of the meeting, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen laid out a five-point plan to tackle skyrocketing energy bills. This included a price cap on Russian gas, a windfall tax on fossil fuel profits, a mandatory target for reducing electricity use and emergency credit lines for power companies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that he’s prepared to let Europe “freeze” this winter by ripping up existing supply contracts if a cap on Russian energy exports is imposed.

— Sam Meredith

Ukraine’s defense ministry quotes Queen Elizabeth in tweet listing Russian losses

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry posted a list of Russian military personnel and equipment losses since the start of the war on Feb. 24, along with a quote from the late Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Sept. 8.

The quote, which was delivered in 1940 in a radio broadcast by Queen Elizabeth II to the children of the commonwealth when she was still a princess, read: “When peace comes, remember it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place.”

The ministry claimed that Russian forces had lost an additional 650 troops, bringing the total to 51,900 Russian troops killed since the start of the invasion. It also said that Russia had so far lost 2,122 tanks, 4,575 armored combat vehicles, 239 military jets, 211 helicopters, and 15 warships or boats.

CNBC could not independently verify the information.

— Natasha Turak

Nearly 400 square miles of territory recaptured, Zelenskyy says

A Ukrainian armored vehicle advances toward the front in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on September 8, 2022.

Metin Atkas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

More than 1,000 square km (386 square miles) of Ukrainian territory has been retaken from Russian forces, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, following a surprise counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region in the country’s northeast.

“Our heroes have already liberated dozens of settlements. And today this movement continued, there are new results,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address.

“In total, more than a thousand square kilometers of our territory have been liberated since 1 September.”

A Russian armored vehicle that was captured by Ukrainian troops is hauled out of Kharkiv on Sept. 8, 2022.

Metin Atkas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

He thanked his armed services and the soldiers involved in the operations, and also thanked the U.S. for its latest commitment of $675 million in military aid.

“Each of these steps of our partners has a real impact on the strength of our state and the whole of Europe in defense against Russian terror,” he said.

— Natasha Turak

Ukraine energy chief says is Russia trying to ‘steal’ nuclear plant

A. Russian serviceman guards an area of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in territory under Russian military control, southeastern Ukraine, May 1, 2022.

AP

The head of Ukraine’s atomic energy operator accused Russia of trying to “steal” Europe’s largest nuclear plant by cutting it off from the Ukrainian electricity grid and leaving it on the brink of a radiation disaster.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has been without an outside source of electricity since Monday and receives power for its own safety systems from the only one of its six reactors that remains operational, Enerhoatom chief Petro Kotin told The Associated Press.

“We are trying to keep this unit running as much as possible, but eventually it will have to be shut down and then the station will switch to diesel generators,” he said, adding that such generators are “the station’s last defense before a radiation accident.”

— Associated Press

4 nations bordering Russia to restrict Russian tourists

A women shop for souvenirs in Budva, the main summer tourist destination Montenegro May 24, 2022.

Stevo Vasiljevic | Reuters

Four European countries that border Russia will take regional steps this month to limit people from Russia from entering Europe’s visa-free zone by land because they “are increasingly concerned about the substantial and growing influx of Russian citizens.”

“We believe that this is becoming a serious threat to our public security and to the overall shared Schengen area,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said. “There are people coming with the aim of undermining the security of our countries.”

Poland and the three Baltic countries — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — have agreed on a common regional approach with the “political will and firm intention to introduce national temporary measures for Russian citizens holding EU visas.”

Such measures should take effect in each of the four countries by Sept. 19.

— Associated Press

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