Russia-Ukraine Updates: Baltic States Agree on Russian Entry Restrictions | TBEN | 07.09.2022


Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia agreed on Wednesday to limit access to Russian nationals traveling from Russia and Belarus.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said the three Baltic states would significantly limit border crossings for Russian citizens with an EU Schengen visa, with exceptions for humanitarian and family reasons, truck drivers and diplomats.

The countries will coordinate to take measures at the same time – expected in mid-September.

“In recent weeks and months, border crossings by Russian citizens with a Schengen visa have increased dramatically. This is going to be a matter of public security, this is also a matter of moral and political nature,” he told a news conference in Lithuania. .

On Tuesday, the European Commission recommended that the European Union reverse a deal with Russia that simplifies the visa process. This is likely to be adopted by the European Council in the coming days. The new hurdles would lengthen processing times, increase application costs and require more documents from applicants, while limiting multiple-entry visas.

The European Union has stopped a complete travel ban on Russian citizens, despite some calls within the bloc to do so.

Here’s a look at some of the other key news stories about Russia’s war in Ukraine on September 7.

Putin admits sanctions have effect

At the Eastern Economic Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that some sectors of the Russian economy are suffering from sanctions and political pressure.

“Other challenges of a global nature that threaten the entire world have replaced the pandemic,” the Russian president said in the Far East city of Vladivostok.

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“I’m talking about the sanctions fever of the West, with its brazen, aggressive attempt to impose behavioral models on other countries, deprive them of their sovereignty and subjugate them to their will.”

However, Putin added: “As much as anyone would like to isolate Russia, it is impossible to do so.”

You can read the full story here.

Truss and Biden pledge cooperation to Ukraine

The UK’s new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, spoke to US President Joe Biden and the pair pledged to strengthen their relationship in their fight against Russia.

“I look forward to deepening the special relationship between our countries and working closely on global challenges, including continued support for Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression,” Biden said on Twitter after the call with successor Boris Johnson .

Truss’ office said in a statement it looked forward to “working closely with President Biden as leaders of free democracies to address shared challenges, especially the extreme economic problems unleashed by Putin’s war”.

The White House said the two leaders spoke about continuing close cooperation with Ukraine, as well as the challenges China poses, preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and “securing sustainable and affordable energy sources.”

The White House has said it expects the UK to have continuity over Ukraine amid the change of prime ministers.

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Moscow asks for clarification from IAEA

After the publication of a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations, Russia has asked for clarification.

The report describes worrying damage caused by shelling at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, currently owned by Russia, but did not blame the ongoing strikes.

Moscow said it asked the IAEA for “additional explanations” but did not publicly specify what information they were looking for.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian energy agency in charge of the plant has backed a UN call for a demilitarized zone around the nuclear plant amid fears of a possible nuclear accident caused by the conflict.

The Ukrainian president’s office commented on the report, saying it described the situation at the plant but did not provide details on next steps. In the report, the IAEA called for a safety zone around the factory, which it would like to help facilitate.

Greenpeace nuclear specialist Shaun Burnie has accused Russia of “stealing a nuclear power plant” by taking and continuing to operate the Zaporizhzhya facility.

In an interview with TBEN, Burnie said Russian authorities have not been transparent about future plans for the plant.

“We are concerned that there is not enough explanation as to what the Russian government and Russia’s nuclear industry, Rosatom, is actually doing at the plant, which effectively plans in the coming days to reconnect the plant to the Russian grid and effectively stealing a nuclear power plant,” Burnie said.

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EU proposes price cap for Russian gas

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has proposed that EU member states agree to a price cap on Russian gas imports.

“The goal here is very clear. We need to reduce Russian revenue, which… [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin used to fund this horrendous war against Ukraine,” von der Leyen told reporters.

The price cap would be accompanied by measures such as a mandatory cut in electricity consumption across the EU and a cap on revenues from non-gas generators.

Putin has warned that if a price cap is imposed, Russia will stop supplying gas and oil altogether.

Some EU countries have been wary of restricting Russian gas prices in the face of this threat.

More about the conflict in Ukraine on TBEN

The Russian economy was predicted to collapse after Western countries imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow over the war in Ukraine. But is the Russian economy really hurting?

German Scholz and opposition leader Merz have clashed over energy and inflation in a budget debate following the Russian invasion.

Will the energy crisis spell the end for German bakeries? The skyrocketing prices for electricity, gas and grain place an existential burden on the many bakeries in Germany.

Berlin investigates war crimes committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine. Witness accounts of Ukrainian refugees are crucial, regardless of whether the perpetrators are ultimately tried in Germany or elsewhere.

aw/msh (TBEN, TBEN, Reuters, dpa)