EUROPE TENSIONS: SPAIN URGES RESTRAINT, GERMANY PROVIDES WEAPONS, & FRANCE SEEKS TO EXIT RUSSIA OPERATIONS
Spain urges importers not to sign new contracts with Russia
Spain itself is the biggest European buyer of liquefied natural gas from Russia and urged importers not to sign new contracts with Moscow.
Germany provides weapons to Ukraine
Germany delivered three DACHS armored engineering vehicles, drones, MG3 machine guns, spare parts for Leopard 2 tanks, and Marder infantry vehicles to Ukraine.
France to sell Russia operations
French home-improvement chain Leroy Merlin will sell its Russia operations to local management, subject to Russian regulatory approval, according to holding company Adeo. Leroy Merlin, Auchan, and Decathlon had around 77,500 workers in the country previously.
Russia damages power plants in Ukraine
More than 20 thermal plant and eight hydroelectric plant units with 5 gigawatts of energy capacity remain damaged after Russian missile and drones attacks, Interfax-Ukraina reported. Most units have been hit since October 2021, and others, including five thermal stations and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, are under Russian occupation.
ICC issues a warrant against Putin for war crimes
The ICC issued the warrant against Putin for war crimes related to the alleged abduction of children from Ukraine. South Africa may be obliged to execute the arrest order as a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC, after refusing to execute an ICC warrant for then-Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir while he was in the country.
Denmark salvages Nord Stream 2 pipeline object
Denmark is salvaging an unidentified object found next to the Nord Stream 2 undersea gas pipeline that was damaged in a blast in September, as investigators continue to seek who was behind the attack. The operation comes two weeks after German authorities searched a vessel that may have transported explosives used in the attack on the Russian pipelines.
Pro-Kremlin attacks on Ukraine
Kremlin troops attacked several regions with Iranian-made Shahed drones and guided bombs early Friday, the Ukrainian Air Force said. Russian tactical aircraft took off from airfields in Morozovsk and Akhtubinsk; ten Su-35 fighter jets launched 11 bombs and one Kh-31P missile over the Sumy region. No details of casualties or damage are immediately available.
Russian facing extradition escapes in Milan
A Russian accused of being part of a global network that illegally imports US technology to support Putin’s war in Ukraine has escaped from house arrest in Milan after breaking his electronic bracelet.
EU speeds up ammunition production, defense group urges for scaling up
A European defense lobbying group has welcomed the EU’s plan to help speed the production of ammunition for Ukraine but called on governments to provide longer-term certainty to scale up production volumes. Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe also urged the EU to guarantee reliable access to finance and implement additional support measures for the European defense industry.
Five killed in a missile strike on Ukraine’s civil ‘points of invincibility’
Five people were killed when a Russian missile struck a “point of invincibility” in Ukraine’s eastern city of Kostyantynivka, according to the Kyiv-based prosecutor general offices. Russians used S300 missiles, originally designed to intercept rockets. Thousands of “points of invincibility” have been set up around Ukraine to provide basic services.
Joe Biden’s administration steps up campaign to build influence in Africa
Vice President Kamala Harris’s trip to Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia follows closely after visits by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Xi Jinping’s diplomatic push is also picking up steam after his return from Moscow.
China urges Europe to support peace talks
China’s top diplomat urged Europe to play a role in supporting peace talks, saying “a cease-fire, stopping the war, resuming peace talks and a political settlement of the crisis should become the strategic consensus between China and Europe.”
Become a Maverick Insider
If you appreciate in-depth, impartial journalism, and would like to support our groundwork, consider joining our Maverick Insider program. A basic subscription is R180 per month or R2000 per year, and you will receive R200 in Uber vouchers. Membership also includes exclusive weekly-insights, competitive cross-words, and access to our commenting forum.