As the war between Russia and Ukraine enters its 80th day, we take a look at the main events.
Here are the key events so far on Saturday May 14.
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- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that although the Ukrainians are doing their best to drive out the Russians, “today no one can predict how long this war will last.” “Unfortunately, this will depend not only on our people, who are already giving their best. This will depend on our partners, on European countries, on the entire free world.”
- Zelenskyy said talks with Russia to get wounded defenders out of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol were very complex, adding that kyiv was using influential intermediaries.
- The deputy commander of the Azov Regiment, the last Ukrainian army unit holding out in the ruined port city, said his troops will resist Russian forces “as long as they can” despite shortages of ammunition, food, water and medicine.
- The Ukrainian military said Russian forces continued their offensive in the east of the country, attacking new cities and towns.
- More than six million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began, according to the UN.
- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time since late March.
- US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called for an immediate ceasefire when he spoke by phone with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the Pentagon said.
- Austin and Shoigu discussed current international security issues, including Ukraine, the TASS news agency quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying.
- Ukraine’s foreign minister says his country remains ready to enter into diplomatic talks with Russia to unblock grain supplies and achieve a political solution to the war.
- The United States has accused Russia of using the UN Security Council to spread disinformation and conspiracy theories about biological weapons in Ukraine to distract from its war against its smaller neighbor.
Economy and NATO
- Foreign ministers from the G7 group of wealthy nations backed delivering more aid and weapons to Ukraine in what Germany called a “powerful sign of unity” to deepen Russia’s global isolation.
- The world will not run out of oil, even with lower output from sanctions-hit Russia, the International Energy Agency said. It cut its supply loss predictions to 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.5 million bpd forecast last month.
- The European Union is hopeful of reaching an agreement to impose a gradual embargo on Russian oil this month despite supply concerns in Eastern Europe, diplomats said.
- Natural gas prices rose after Russian state exporter Gazprom said it would no longer send supplies to Europe through a pipeline in Poland.
- Swedish NATO membership would boost national security and help stabilize the Nordic and Baltic regions, Sweden’s foreign minister said, a day after Finland said it would seek to join the US-led alliance.
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country is “not in favor” of Finland and Sweden joining NATO, indicating Turkey could use its membership in the Western military alliance to veto moves to admit the two countries.