1. First wheat export below UN deal as two extra ships go away Ukraine
Two extra ships left Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on Friday, together with one encumbered with the primary Ukrainian wheat to be exported below a UN-brokered deal, Turkey’s defence ministry mentioned.
A complete 14 ships have now departed from Ukraine over the last two weeks, following the maintain Russia to permit a resumption of grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, once they had been stalled for 5 months because of the struggle.
The Belize-flagged Sormovsky left Ukraine’s Chornomorsk port on Friday, the Turkish ministry mentioned, wearing 3,050 tonnes of wheat to Turkey’s northwestern Tekirdag province.
It used to be the primary cargo of wheat from Ukraine, which, at the side of Russia, accounted for just about a 3rd of worldwide wheat exports prior to February 24, when Moscow introduced its complete invasion of its neighbour.
Ukraine has some 20 million tonnes of grain left over from remaining yr’s crop, whilst this yr’s wheat harvest could also be estimated at 20 million tonnes.
The Marshall Island-flagged Star Laura additionally departed from the port of Pivdennyi, sure for Iran with 60,000 tonnes of corn aboard, the ministry mentioned.
Meanwhile, every other send docked in a Ukrainian Black Sea port on Friday to start loading up with wheat for hungry other folks in Ethiopia, within the first meals supply to Africa below the UN-brokered plan.
So a ways lots of the cargoes below the deal have carried grain for animal feed or for gas, heading to Turkey or Western Europe.
The MV Brave Commander, which left Istanbul on Wednesday, arrived overdue on Friday in Yuzhne, east of Odesa at the Black Sea, to select up the grain bought by means of the World Food Programme (WFP).
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric mentioned the send named Brave Commander will raise its wheat to the Horn of Africa country of Djibouti, the place it’s going to be unloaded and despatched directly to Ethiopia.
“This is the first delivery of humanitarian food aid under the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” WFP spokesman Tomson Phiri instructed a information briefing previous in Geneva. The WFP hopes there shall be common humanitarian shipments thereafter.
Announcing the cargo, European Council President Charles Michel mentioned “cooperation of all involved actors is key” to alleviating food shortages and hunger around the world.
Ethiopia, along with neighbouring Somalia and Kenya, is facing the worst drought in four decades in the Horn of Africa.
2. Russian oil flows to Czech Republic ‘to resume on Friday night’
Russian oil flows to the Czech Republic will resume through the Druzhba pipeline after more than a week on Friday evening, Slovak pipeline operator Transpetrol said, as transit fee payments were unblocked.
Supplies via the Druzhba pipeline had been suspended to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia since August 4, because Western sanctions prevented paying transit fees to Ukrainian transit company Ukrtransnafta, Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft said on Tuesday.
A European bank has agreed to process the payment for the transit of Russian oil through Ukraine, removing the cause of the stoppage.
“Tonight (Friday) at 2000 GMT (2200 CET), oil float to the Czech Republic shall be resumed,” a spokesperson for Transpetrol said.
Czech Industry Minister Jozef Sikela also said that the oil will start flowing again. The Czech Republic covers roughly half of its oil consumption from Russia.
“We have discovered a option to unblock the transit rate cost for oil deliveries and its cargo during the Druzhba will resume quickly,” Sikela said on Twitter.
“The disruption didn’t impact the functioning of Czech refineries or the gas marketplace,” he added.
Flows to Hungary and Slovakia were restarted on Wednesday after Hungary’s refiner MOL and its Slovak unit Slovnaft found a workaround by paying the fee to Ukrtransnafta themselves.
Central European countries are partially dependent on Russian oil and largely dependent on Russian gas, and have secured exemptions from the European Union’s incoming ban on imports of Russian oil until they adjust their shipping routes and refineries so that they can take other oil.
3. Ukraine appeals to UN and Red Cross over POWs
Ukraine’s security agencies issued a joint statement on Friday calling for the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to send representatives to locations where Russia is holding Ukrainian prisoners-of-war (POWs).
The request follows earlier allegations by Kyiv that Moscow’s forces have tortured and executed prisoners, including by staging an explosion in a Ukrainian POW camp in Olenivka. Moscow claims Ukraine shelled the facility, killing over 50 POWs.
Ukraine’s General Staff on Friday reported widespread shelling and air attacks by Russian forces on scores of towns and military bases, especially in the east where Russia is trying to expand territory held on behalf of separatist proxies.
Ukrainian authorities said eleven rockets hit the area around the town of Kramatorsk overnight Thursday into Friday, damaging buildings but causing no civilian casualties.
The authorities also said Kurakhove, north of Donetsk, was also hit by rockets overnight. Two civilians were killed and a few residential houses damaged.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the eastern Donetsk region, said on Telegram seven civilians had been killed and 14 wounded in the past 24 hours.
Three civilians, including a boy, were wounded in overnight shelling of Marhanets, a town opposite the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Valentyn Reznichenko, governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, said in the latest in a string of similar reports.
4. Russia’s Black Sea aviation fleet degraded by Crimea blasts, says UK
Blasts this week at the Russian-operated Saky military airfield in western Crimea led to the loss of eight Russian combat jets, degrading its navy’s Black Sea aviation fleet, Britain said on Friday.
While the damaged jets are only a fraction of the overall aviation fleet, Britain said Black Sea capability would be affected, since Saky is used as a primary operational base.
The base airfield probably remained operational, but its dispersal area had suffered serious damage, Britain’s defence ministry added in a regular intelligence bulletin on Twitter.
The explosions on Tuesday, which Russia has said killed one and injured five, will prompt its military to revise the threat perception in the region, the ministry added.
Kyiv declined to say whether it had been behind the blasts. But the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers cited unidentified officials as saying Ukrainian forces were responsible.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told officials to stop talking to reporters about Kyiv’s military tactics against Russia, saying such remarks were “frankly irresponsible”.
The fewer details you divulge about our defence plans, the better it will be for the implementation of those defence plans,” Zelenskiy mentioned in a night cope with on Thursday.
5. EU ‘to talk about visa ban for all Russians’
A visa ban on all Russians to punish Moscow for the struggle in Ukraine shall be mentioned by means of the European Union on the finish of August, in keeping with Czech diplomatic leader Jan Lipavsky, whose nation holds the EU Council presidency.
The measure, demanded by means of the Ukrainian government, divides the EU. The EU sanctions should be followed unanimously by means of the 27 Member States.
“A total ban on Russian visas by all EU member states could be another very effective sanction against Russia,” Lipavsky argued. The minister will sound out his opposite numbers at a casual assembly in overdue August in Prague.
“In this period of Russian aggression, which the Kremlin is stepping up, there can be no question of tourism as usual for Russian citizens,” he argued.
However, the Czech minister should persuade the pinnacle of European international relations, Spain’s Josep Borrell, who chairs the international and defence ministers’ council. Sanctions proposals are certainly one of his prerogatives.
“We cannot currently ban entry to people with visas from another Schengen country. We are looking for options,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas lately wired, supporting a normal ban.
Finland could also be arguing for a European determination, as the rustic’s law does no longer permit for a complete visa ban in accordance with nationality. As the most important transit nation for Russians, it desires to cut back vacationer visas, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto mentioned in early August.
But the Commission isn’t hiding its reservations a couple of measure that might penalise all Russian nationals and insists at the want to give protection to dissidents, reporters and households.
“Member States have a wide margin for issuing short-stay visas and they examine applications on a case-by-case basis on their merits,” mentioned a spokeswoman.
“Russians overwhelmingly support the war, cheer missile strikes on Ukrainian cities and murder of Ukrainians. Let Russian tourists enjoy Russia then,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a Twitter post.
The Czech Republic stopped issuing visas to Russians on 25 February, the day after Russia invaded Ukraine.
The EU has followed six units of sanctions in opposition to Moscow, together with a halt to its coal and oil purchases.
It has additionally put greater than 1,000 Russians, together with President Vladimir Putin and plenty of oligarchs, on its blacklist of banned individuals and limited short-stay visas for officers related to the regime since overdue February.