NATO told to expect lengthy eastern deployment

The southern port of Mykolaiv and the city of Kharkiv in the northeast were shelled again overnight.
Image: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

Romania’s prime minister warned NATO allies that they will have to maintain an expanded troop presence on their eastern flank for at least the medium term as Russia appears intent on creating a buffer between itself and the western military alliance.

Nicolae Ciuca, a retired general who once led combat forces in Iraq, said in a Bloomberg interview that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has opened a rift akin to the Cold War. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz meanwhile blamed Moscow for a delay in shipping a turbine for Gazprom PJSC’s Nord Stream 1 pipeline that’s at the heart of Europe’s gas crisis.

The US sanctioned a number of Russian billionaire tycoons as well as a former Olympic gymnast said to be close to President Vladimir Putin.

Key Developments

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  • Crops Creep Up as Traders Eye US-China Tensions, Ukraine Cargoes
  • World’s Food Supply Faces New Threat as India Rice Crop Falters
  • European Gas Swings as Traders Seek Clarity on Russian Flows
  • Russia Balks at US Prisoner Swap Offer, Views It as Unequal

On the ground

The southern port of Mykolaiv and the city of Kharkiv in the northeast were shelled again overnight, local authorities said. In the Donetsk region, Russian forces are concentrating attacks toward Bakhmut to the north of the regional capital, Ukraine’s general staff reported. Russian forces launched two assaults in the northern Kherson region and are continuing to redeploy troops to the south, according to the latest assessment from the Institute for the Study of War.

(All times CET)

Russia Gas Stop ‘Would Trigger 2009-Style Slump’ (11:30 a.m.)

Commerzbank AG warned that Germany could face a slump similar to the contraction seen after the 2008 financial crisis if Russia were to cut off gas supplies.

A bellwether for Europe’s largest economy because it caters to Germany’s small and medium-sized companies, Commerzbank said it would expect to set aside another 500 million euros ($509 million) to 600 million euros for bad loans as a result. Germany is among the countries most vulnerable to threats of a shutoff because it built up its reliance on cheap Russian fuel over the past several decades.

Romania Says NATO Must Dig In in East (11 a.m.)

It’s “wishful thinking” to expect relations between Russia and the West to return to their pre-war status soon after the fighting stops in Ukraine, according to Romania’s Ciuca.

While he said he didn’t think Russia would attack a NATO country, the current war confirmed more than a decade of warnings from the alliance’s eastern members that Putin is bent on taking back territory once controlled by the Soviet Union.

Scholz Blames Russia for Turbine Delay (10:30 a.m.)

Speaking at a Siemens Energy AG facility in western Germany, Scholz said there was nothing preventing the Nord Stream turbine, which had been sent to Canada for maintenance work, from being transported to Russia.

Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz

@Bundeskanzler

Bei @Siemens_Energy konnte ich mit eigenen Augen sehen: Die gewartete Turbine ist da und jederzeit einsatzbereit. Sie muss nur von Russland angefordert werden. Es gibt also keine technischen Gründe, die Gaslieferungen zu reduzieren.

Sent via Twitter Web App.

View original tweet.

The component was temporarily stranded in Canada because of sanctions, before the government in Ottawa decided to allow it to be shipped to Germany, where it’s since been stuck waiting for go-ahead from Moscow. Gazprom has reduced flows through the Nord Stream pipeline, citing technical issues and missing documents. The most recent reduction leaves it operating at about 20% of capacity.

CME Considering New Wheat Futures (8 a.m.)

CME Group Inc. is considering new wheat futures as traders shy away from the existing Black Sea contract due to Russia’s invasion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Chicago-based bourse, one of the world’s largest derivative exchanges, has been consulting with traders and brokers on starting a contract for Romanian wheat, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. No final decision has been made and talks may not result in a new product, they said.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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