Volodymyr Zelensky is expected Wednesday in Washington

Cover image: Residents use a ladder to enter a building damaged by Russian shelling in Kherson December 20, 2022. DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP

  • Moscow says it doesn’t want to absorb Belarus. Russian President Vladimir Putin assured that Russia “n/A[vait] not interested” to absorb Belarus, its closest ally, which is heavily dependent on Moscow for gas and oil supplies. Putin spoke at a news conference with his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, after their talks in Minsk. Mr. Kremlin insists on close relations between the two countries, “closest ally and strategic partner” who fight “in an effective way” Western Sanctions.
  • The two countries have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in “all domains”, also stated Head of the Kremlin, especially in the field of defense. This is “general measures to ensure safety” from both countries, “reciprocal arms transfer”, as well as the creation of joint weapons, said Putin. Russia will also continue to train Belarusian servicemen to fly Soviet-designed Belarusian aircraft capable of carrying nuclear bombs, according to the same sources.
  • The Russian military claims to have shot down four American-made missiles near Ukraine. “Four American HARM anti-radar missiles shot down in Belgorod region airspace”, said the Russian Ministry of Defense in its daily report published on Telegram, without further details. Inquired by Agence France-Presse, the Pentagon said “unable to confirm this information”.
  • Canada to seize the assets of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. The Canadian government announced on Monday that it had begun proceedings to seize $26 million from a company owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, under sanctions in retaliation for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Several Western countries have seized yachts and frozen assets linked to the Russian oligarchy to put pressure on Vladimir Putin and his entourage.
  • EU ministers agree on gas price cap. EU energy ministers have agreed to cap gas prices, said in twitter Czech Presidential spokesperson for the European Union (EU), Dmitrij Cernikov. According to a document seen by Reuters news agency, the limit will be triggered if the monthly contract price on the benchmark TTF gas market exceeds 180 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) for three consecutive days. These limits will take effect from February 15 and will not initially concern over-the-counter purchases, the document explains.
  • Moscow described the Twenty-Seven’s decision as “unacceptable”. “This is a violation of the market process for price formation”said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, quoted by Russian news agencies.

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