Ukraine, Briefly

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  • Russian troops entered the outskirts of the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, according to the regional governor, who described the fighting as “very fierce.” Taking the city has become a crucial goal for Moscow’s advance in the Donbas, according to Reuters. At the same time, the United States said it would not send rockets to Ukraine that could reach the Russian territory, CNN added. Officials noted that the Biden administration is concerned that Ukraine could use the weapons to carry out offensive attacks inside Russia.
  • Germany’s ruling coalition and the main opposition party have agreed to proceed with a considerable increase in defense spending as outlined by Chancellor Olaf Scholz three months ago, the Associated Press wrote. Scholz praised the agreement on Monday, calling it “the right answer to the turning point that started with Russia’s attack on Ukraine.” Meanwhile, Danes will vote Wednesday on whether to remove their country’s opt-out from the EU’s defense and security policy, the next potentially seismic policy shift in northern Europe in the aftermath of Russia’s full-fledged war against Ukraine, the Financial Times reported.
  • The European Union agreed on a proposal to ban more than two-thirds of Russian oil imports, saying the agreement will cut off a major source of funding for Russia’s military machine, the BBC wrote. The ban, however, will only affect oil that arrives by sea but not pipeline oil, following opposition from Hungary. Meanwhile, Serbia’s president announced this week that he has secured an “extremely favorable” natural gas deal with Russia, the Associated Press said separately. Serbia has refused to condemn Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine or impose sanctions on its Russian ally.

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