MOSCOW – Russia’s state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom says it has halted gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after they refused to pay for the supplies in rubles.
Gazprom said in a statement that it has not received any payments from Poland and Bulgaria since April 1 and will suspend supplies to them from Wednesday.
It warned that supplies to Europe will be reduced to that amount if they siphon gas destined for other European customers.
The move follows an order from Russian President Vladimir Putin to switch payments for Russian gas shipped to Europe to rubles.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:
– US: Allies must move “at wartime speed” to help Ukraine
— Nuclear chief: Russia’s seizure of Chernobyl risked an accident
– Poland and Bulgaria say Russia is cutting off natural gas supplies
– Russia has been removed as the host of the 2023 Men’s Ice Hockey World Championship
– US is pushing for more arms for Ukraine amid fears of escalating war
Follow all AP reports on Russia’s war against Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
BEIJING — Drone company DJI Technology Co. said it would temporarily halt its operations in Russia and Ukraine to ensure its products are not used during hostilities.
“DJI is internally reassessing compliance requirements in various jurisdictions. Pending the current review, DJI will temporarily suspend all business activities in Russia and Ukraine,” the company said in a statement.
The statement makes it one of the few Chinese companies to have publicly withdrawn from Russia. While many Western brands and companies have withdrawn from the Russian market in protest at the invasion of Ukraine, many Chinese firms continue to operate in the country. China continues to refrain from directly criticizing Russia for the war.
The suspension comes over a month after Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov wrote an open letter calling on DJI to block sales of its drones in Russia, claiming the Russians would “use DJI products in the… Use Ukraine to navigate their missiles to kill civilians.”
POKROVSK, Ukraine — As Russian forces intensify their shelling of eastern Ukraine, more and more people are leaving their homes in search of safety.
In Pokrovsk, a city in the Donetsk region, people queued on Tuesday to board a train bound for the country’s far west along the borders with Hungary and Slovakia. One person was lifted onto the train in a wheelchair, another on a stretcher.
The passengers took with them cats, dogs, a few bags and boxes, and the memory of those who did not escape in time.
“We were in the basement but my daughter couldn’t make it and was hit by shrapnel on the doorstep,” Mykola Kharchenko, 74, said during Monday’s shelling. “We had to bury her in the garden near the pear tree.”
He said his village of Vremivka, some 70 kilometers from Pokrovsk, was under heavy shelling for four days and everything was destroyed. With tears in his eyes, Kharchenko said he somehow kept himself together at home, but when he reached the train station he collapsed.
UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations says Secretary-General António Guterres and Russian President Vladimir Putin have reached an agreement in principle for the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to be involved in the evacuation of civilians from a besieged steel plant in Ukraine’s southeastern city should be Mariupol.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that during their face-to-face meeting on Tuesday, Guterres and Putin “discussed the proposals for humanitarian aid and the evacuation of civilians from conflict zones, particularly in relation to the situation in Mariupol.”
The sprawling Azovstal Steelworks was almost completely destroyed by Russian attacks, but it is the last nest of organized Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol.
An estimated 2,000 soldiers and 1,000 civilians are said to have holed up in bunkers under the destroyed building.
Dujarric said that after the agreement in principle between Guterres and Putin, talks will be held with the UN Humanitarian Aid Office and the Russian Defense Ministry about the evacuation.
WASHINGTON – The State Department says US diplomats have started returning to Ukraine by making day trips to temporary offices in the western city of Lviv from neighboring Poland.
The department said the first group of diplomats crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border and traveled to Lviv on Tuesday morning, before returning to Poland later in the day.
The move came just two days after Foreign Minister Antony Blinken informed Ukrainian leaders during a secret visit to Kyiv that the US would begin reshuffling its diplomatic facilities in Ukraine this week.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the agency has accelerated its review of the reopening of the US embassy in Kyiv, which was closed shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. He said the embassy’s operations would resume as soon as possible in the capital, depending on the security situation.
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