China’s president, Xi Jinping, is planning to visit Russia as soon as next week, according to sources speaking to the Reuters news agency. Xi also plans to speak with Volodymyr Zelenskiy for the first time since the start of the war, according to the Wall Street Journal. China’s president is to speak virtually with his Ukrainian counterpart, probably after a visit to Moscow next week, the paper reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The Italian government has said Russian mercenary group Wagner is behind a surge in migrant boats trying to cross the central Mediterranean, as part of Moscow’s strategy to retaliate against countries supporting Ukraine, Reuters reported. Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin responded to the claims, saying, “We have no idea what’s happening with the migrant crisis, we don’t concern ourselves with it.”
The international criminal court intends to open two war crimes cases tied to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and will seek arrest warrants for several people. The cases are the first international charges to be brought forward since the start of the conflict, the newspaper reports.
Moscow has agreed to renew a deal allowing the safe export of grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports but only for a period of 60 days, half the term of the previous renewal, Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Vershinin has said.
Serbian economy minister Rade Basta called for sanctions to be imposed against Russia. Basta said Serbia, which has traditionally had a close relationship with Russia, had paid a “high price” for having delayed.
Partisan group Atesh claims to have killed the deputy head of the military administration of Nova Kakhovka just after midnight on Monday for collaborating with the Russian occupation. The group claims to have detonated a bomb as he approached his car outside a cafe on Pobedy Avenue and that no civilians were injured. The claims have not been verified.
Britain has declared that the UK’s security hinged on the outcome of the Ukraine war in an update to its foreign policy framework published on Monday. The UK will invest an extra £5bn in the armed forces over two years and increase defence spending to 2.5% of GDP.
Britain’s Royal Navy said it was escorting a Russian frigate and tanker in waters close to the UK having shadowed the vessels through the Channel on Sunday morning.
President Zelenskiy said his government will spend $13.5bn on defence, including military salaries and drones this year.
A senior Russian lawmaker introduced a bill to parliament on Monday to raise the age of conscription to 21-30 years from the current 18-27 years by 2026, Reuters reported.
Russia’s state-owned Tass news agency is reporting that the Russia-installed authorities in occupied regions of Donetsk are claiming that almost 4,500 people have died as a result of shelling by Ukrainian armed forces since 17 February 2022.
Russia’s industry ministry said on Monday it was expanding its list of brands that can be imported without the trademark owner’s permission to include goods from companies such as Ikea and the US toy manufacturers Hasbro and Mattel.
Source : Theguardian