Live: Inspection team heads for first Ukraine grain ship off Turkish coast
Issued on: 03/08/2022 – 06:34
A team of inspectors headed off on a boat to check the first grain-carrying ship to leave Ukrainian ports in wartime on Wednesday, a day after it anchored in the Black Sea off Turkey’s coast. Follow FRANCE 24’s live blog for the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
9:37am: Zelensky says he would like to see China join countries opposed to Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday that China was balancing and maintaining neutrality over Russia’s war in Ukraine, but that he would like to see China join the countries opposed to Moscow over the invasion.
9:17am Inspection team heads for first Ukraine grain ship off Turkish coast
He made the comments by video link at an event organised at the Australian National University.
A team of inspectors headed off on a boat to check the first grain-carrying ship to leave Ukrainian ports in wartime on Wednesday, footage on state broadcaster TRT Haber showed, a day after it anchored in the Black Sea off Turkey’s coast.
The ship Razoni, carrying 26,527 tonnes of corn to Lebanon, departed Ukraine’s Odesa port on Monday and was to be inspected by Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN personnel who are working at a Joint Coordination Centre in nearby Istanbul.
7:46am: Russia’s Lavrov: US has not offered Moscow to resume talks on New START
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that the United States had made no approaches to resume talks on a new strategic nuclear arms reduction treaty to replace the so called 2011 “New START” deal.
U.S. President Joe Biden said he was ready to “expeditiously negotiate a new arms control framework” to replace New START when it expires in 2026, while President Vladimir Putin said there could be no winners in any nuclear war.
“It has become their habit to announce things over the microphone and then forget about them,” Lavrov said. “There have been no approaches to us to restart the negotiation process.”
7:12am: UK military intelligence says it is highly unlikely the rail link between Kherson and Crimea remains operational
The rail link connecting Russian-occupied Kherson in southern Ukraine with Crimea is highly unlikely to be operational due to a Ukrainian strike against a Russian ammunition train, Britain said on Wednesday.
Russian forces are likely to repair the railway line in a few days, although it will remain a vulnerability for Russian forces and their logistical resupply route from Crimea into Kherson, Britain said in an intelligence update on Twitter.
It is likely there will be an increase in civilians attempting to flee Kherson and surrounding areas, as hostilities continue and food shortages worsen, according to the update.
2:05am: US Senate will hold a vote Wednesday on Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO
The US Senate will hold votes on Wednesday on approving both Finland and Sweden’s accession into NATO, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Tuesday.
Schumer said the debate will begin at 1:30pm ET (1730 GMT).
1:35am: French parliament ratifies accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO
France’s National Assembly voted to ratify the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO on Tuesday after the historic decision by the two countries to give up their neutrality. The measure passed by a vote of 209 in favor and 46 against.
France joins “twenty allies” who “have already ratified the protocols”, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said.
All thirty NATO member states need to formally ratify the measure before Sweden and Finland can enjoy the full protection of Article 5 of the NATO Charter in the event of an attack. Meanwhile, Turkey is threatening to “freeze” the process, accusing the two Scandinavian countries of aiding the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its allies that Ankara considers terrorist organisations.
12:30am: Woman believed to be Putin’s ‘girlfriend’ hit in latest round of US sanctions
The United States blacklisted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s purported girlfriend and the tycoon owner of the second-largest estate in London Tuesday in the latest round of sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.
Also hit with US business bans were several other oligarchs believed to be close to Putin, four officials Russia has named to administer occupied territories in Ukraine, and around two dozen high technology institutes and companies, including key state-backed electronics entities.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)