Vladimir Putin traveled to Belarus to meet with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, As fears grow in Kyiv that Moscow is pushing its closest ally to join a new ground offensive against Ukraine. Putin described the talks as “very productive” and Russia had no interest in “absorbing” anyone, they insisted. adding that unspecified “enemies” wanted to stop Russia’s integration with Belarus. Lukashenko said the high-level Belarusian-Russian negotiations covered “the entire scope of matters related to Belarusian-Russian relations.”
The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, held talks with his Belarusian counterpart, Sergey Aleinik, in Minsk. before Putin’s visit. The foreign ministers discussed “specific topical issues, efforts to counter illegal sanctions imposed by the West, as well as interaction on international platforms,” Belarusian state media It quoted the Belarusian Foreign Ministry as sayingAs well as “addressing issues of trade and economic cooperation and the implementation of joint projects.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Georgia on Monday to allow its imprisoned former president to travel abroad for treatment to protect his health.
Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia from 2004 to 2013, has been initially credited with implementing reforms. He was later sentenced to six years in prison on charges of abuse of power, which his supporters say are politically motivated.
The Belarusian Ministry of Defense said Completed a series of inspections of the military readiness of its armed forces, hours before Putin’s visit to Minsk. Weeks of military maneuvers and inspections have stoked fears in Kyiv that Belarus, which served as a staging ground for Russia to launch its invasion of Ukraine in February, may be preparing to take a more active role in the conflict again.
Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine was ready for “all possible defense scenarios” against Moscow and its ally. “Protecting our borders, with both Russia and Belarus, is our constant priority,” Zelensky said He said on sunday after a meeting with the ukrainian supreme military command. “We are preparing for all possible defensive scenarios.”
Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has warned that the chances of Minsk sending soldiers to Ukraine “may increase in the coming weeks”. Kyiv was “right to prepare” for Minsk to join Moscow’s new offensive because the possibility “may increase in the coming weeks,” Tsikhanouskaya he said in an interview With the Kyiv Post.
The head of Moldova’s security service, Alexandru Mustiata, warned of a “very great” danger of a new Russian attack on the east of his country. Russia still aims to secure a land corridor through Ukraine to the breakaway region of Moldova TransnistriaAnd the Mustata said, adding that his agency believes that Moscow is studying several scenarios to reach Moldova and that an attack is likely in January and February or later in March and April.
A Russian drone attack caused “somewhat serious” damage in the Kyiv region on Monday and three districts Electricity was left without a power source, said Governor Oleksiy Kuleba. Russia 35 “kamikaze” drones launched In the early hours of Monday, as many people slept, it hit critical infrastructure in and around Kyiv in Moscow’s third air assault on the Ukrainian capital in six days.
The Ukrainian Air Force said it shot down 30 of 35 Russian drones overnight. The Iranian-made Shahid-136/131 kamikaze unmanned aircraft It was reportedly launched from the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov, added strength.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said its forces shot down four US Harm anti-radiation missiles over the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, within 24 hours, the state-run Tass news agency reported. One person was killed and several others were injured as a result of the Ukrainian shelling on the area on Sunday morning. said the district governor.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, said that he believes that Russia’s war is the basis Ukraine “It will continue” and does not see the prospect of “serious” peace talks in the near future. Speaking to reporters during his annual end-of-year conference in New York, Guterres He said he was “very hopeful that peace could be reached in 2023, citing the “consequences” for the Ukrainian people, Russian society and the global economy if no deal is found
Rishi Sunak said the West should reject unilateral calls from the Kremlin for a ceasefire in Ukraine and focus on “weakening Russia’s ability to regroup and resupply” at a meeting of European leaders in Latvia. UK Prime Minister He was speaking at the top of the 10-nation Joint Expeditionary Force in the Latvian capital at a time of growing concern over whether Britain would do so. Continue the strong support for Ukraine that began under Boris Johnson.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has asked Western leaders meeting in Latvia to increase supplies to his country with a wide range of weapons systems. he is He called on the leaders to “do everything to hasten the defeat” He said that providing Kyiv with air defense systems would be “one of the most successful steps against Russian aggression, and this step is required now.”
European Union ministers agreed on a plan to reduce gas prices, ending months of debate over how to deal with the cost of rising energy prices after Russia cut off gas supplies to Europe. Gas price caps will begin If prices on the main European gas exchange, the Royal Dutch Transfer Facility (TTF), exceed €180 (£157) per megawatt hour for three consecutive working days, well below European Commission rates. original proposal 275 euros per megawatt-hour, which countries backing the cap derided as a joke.
The Canadian government has announced plans to seize $26 million in sanctionable assets from Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, with the proceeds of the forfeiture going toward reconstruction in Ukraine and compensation for the victims of the Russian invasion. the movement It said in a statement that this was the first case of the Canadian government using new powers to pursue forfeiture of assets belonging to sanctioned individuals.
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