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- Russia intends to continue selling gas to European clients even as it asked that they pay in rubles, according to President Vladimir Putin, allaying concerns that the switch may cause interruptions in fuel from the continent’s largest supplier, Bloomberg reported. The Kremlin issued a presidential order defining the method for converting foreign purchasers’ dollars and euros into Russian currency via a state-controlled bank.
- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development warned that the Russian and Ukrainian economies would contract by 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively, in 2022, according to Al Jazeera.
- Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia is planning to take steps to become part of Russia, Al Jazeera reported separately. Separatist leader Anatoly Bibilov said, “unification with Russia is our strategic goal, our path, the aspiration of the people.” The Russia-backed region is planning to hold a referendum and said the decision was “linked with the window of opportunity that opened in the current situation,” referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a direct request to Australian lawmakers Thursday for greater assistance in the country’s struggle against Russia, including armored vehicles and stiffer sanctions, the Associated Press reported. Meanwhile, the White House said that US intelligence sources believe Russian President Vladimir Putin has been “misled” by the Russian army, resulting in tensions between the president and his military leadership, the Hill added.