Russia pledged to reopen Mariupol’s port to foreign vessels as Estonia and Lithuania push for European nations to send warships into the Black Sea to protect freighters carrying Ukrainian grain from potential Kremlin interference.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said NATO is unlikely to help secure safe passage for agricultural shipments.
Canada plans to send more artillery rounds to the battlefield to help Ukraine fight the Kremlin’s forces. Moscow moved closer to a potential default after the US Treasury said it would let a key sanctions waiver benefiting American investors expire.
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All times CET:
Ukraine Sees No Will of NATO to Help With Naval Escorts (8:12 a.m.)
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba said he saw no desire from NATO now to help secure safe passage of grains through the Black Sea, a crucial move as the world worries about food shortages and rising prices.
“If NATO did not close the Ukrainian skies in the most tragic moments of the war, why should they dare to close the Ukrainian sea to allow the free passage of vessels with Ukrainian agricultural products,” he said. “I would wholeheartedly welcome the decision but I just don’t see the stamina and the bravery to take all the risks associated with this operation.”
The interruption of Ukraine’s agricultural cycle risks a multi-year global food crisis, Kuleba told a breakfast organized by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in Davos, “but in the end the problem is that you cannot trust Russia even if they sign papers guaranteeing safe passage.” Moscow has effectively blockaded Ukrainian ports, leaving the government in Kyiv struggling to get grain shipments out and sending prices to near-record highs.
Russia and China Air Drill Rankles Neighbours (7:19 a.m.)
Japan’s top government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno condemned a joint exercise held by Chinese and Russian war planes as a “heightened provocation.” The countries conducted a military drill Tuesday as US President Joe Biden finished an Asia trip, sending bombers and other aircraft south of the Korean Peninsula and over waters between Japan and South Korea, Seoul said, as it criticized the move.
China said its joint strategic air patrol with Russia didn’t target any third party and had nothing to do with the current international and regional situations, according to a statement from the defense ministry.
Russia to Open Corridor for Foreign Vessels From Mariupol (5:23 a.m.)
Russia will open a humanitarian corridor for foreign vessels leaving Mariupol port at 8 a.m. in Moscow, Russia’s National Defense Control Center said in an statement.
Russia seized Mariupol last week after a three-month siege. It is trying to ship $170 million of steel and other metals from the city, the head of Mariupol’s port, Ihor Barskyi, said in an interview with Ukrayinska Pravda website.
Canada to Give Artillery Rounds to Ukraine (3:21 a.m.)
Canada plans to donate 20,000 artillery rounds to Ukraine than can be fired from the M777 howitzers that it and other allies have given to the country, its defense ministry said in a statement.
“Today’s announcement is another example of our unwavering commitment to provide Ukraine with the comprehensive military aid it needs to defend its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence,” minister Anita Anand said, according to the statement.