Live Update: Russia’s “Special Operation” In Ukraine; Day 275

IEA chief predicts energy crunch for Europe next winter

The head of the International Energy Agency has stated that Europe will be able to cope with the current crunch on natural gas supply because of the reserves it has, however, the situation doesn’t look too promising for next winter.

Speaking at an energy symposium in Berlin hosted by the German government, Fatih Birol said that, barring unforeseen events, “Europe will go through this winter with some economic and social headaches, bruises here and there” as a result of efforts to wean itself off Russian gas and the wider increase in energy costs resulting from the war in Ukraine.

Birol noted that by next year, Russian gas supplies to Europe may end completely and emphasised that the European nations need to unite and start immediately preparing for next year’s situation.

With 75 percent of Russia’s gas exports and 55 percent of its oil going to Europe before the war, Moscow will also need to find new markets for its output, he added.

Putin says oil price caps would have ‘grave consequences’

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Western plans to introduce oil price caps would have “grave consequences” for energy markets, during a telephone conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani.

“Putin stressed that such actions go against the principles of market relations and are highly likely to lead to grave consequences for the global energy market,” according to the Kremlin’s readout of the call.

Putin’s remarks come as energy ministers from the European Union held an extraordinary meeting Thursday aimed at containing the economic fallout from surging gas prices triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Oil price cap ‘in play’: Biden

President Joe Biden stated a price cap on Russian oil that is proposed by the United States and its Western allies was in play, adding that he had spoken to Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen on the issue.

“It’s in play,” Biden told reporters during a Thanksgiving holiday visit to a fire station on Nantucket Island.

100 prisoners of war exchanged between Russia and Ukraine

Russia and Ukraine carried out a prisoner exchange Thursday with 100 soldiers in total returning to their respective home countries.

According to Russian and Ukrainian officials, each side returned 50 captive soldiers following negotiations.

“On November 24, as a result of the negotiation process, 50 Russian servicemen were returned from the territory controlled by the Kyiv regime, who were in mortal danger in captivity,” the Russian defense ministry said in a statement.

The soldiers will be taken to Moscow for treatment and provided with the “necessary medical and psychological assistance,” it added.

According to the office of the President of Ukraine, Andrii Yermak, two officers were among 50 returned soldiers who were captured in battles in Mariupol, Azovstal, Chernobyl power plant and Snake Island.

“We continue to work on the release of all our people from captivity. I am grateful for the work of the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War. We will return everyone,” he announced in a statement.

Over the past two days, 86 Ukrainian service members have been returned and a total of 1,269 people have been released over the course of the Russian invasion, he added.

EU chief to discuss Russia, economy during meeting with Xi

European Union chief Charles Michel will be meeting with President Xi Jinping in Beijing next week to seek help in ending Russia’s war on Ukraine and address the economic imbalance between China and Europe.

“We will discuss global challenges as well as subjects of common interest,” Michel tweeted as he announced his trip.

Michel is expected to meet with Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Wu Bangguo, chairman of the standing committee of the Chinese People’s Congress during this trip as well.

A European official stated it was critical for Europe that China not provide weapons to Russia and not help Moscow evade EU and US economic sanctions.

Kyiv destruction is due to ‘foreign and Ukrainian air defence systems’: Russia

Russia’s Ministry of Defence spokesperson, Igor Konashenkov, says armed forces “launched a massive air, sea and land-based high-precision long-range weapons attack against the military command and control system of Ukraine and related energy facilities”.

“I would like to emphasise that not a single strike was made on targets within the city of Kyiv,” Konashenkov stated in a daily video briefing.

“All the destruction announced by the Kyiv regime in the city was the result of the fall of missiles of foreign and Ukrainian air defence systems located in residential areas of the Ukrainian capital,” he added.

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