Ukraine, Briefly

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  • For the first time in a century, Russia defaulted on its foreign-currency sovereign debt, the culmination of ever-tougher Western sanctions that cut off payment lines to international creditors, Bloomberg reported. For months, the country discovered ways to avoid sanctions imposed because of its invasion of Ukraine. However, the grace period on around $100 million of interest payments due May 27 expired Sunday, a deadline seen as the equivalent of a default.
  • NATO will boost the number of soldiers on high alert from 40,000 to more than 300,000 as part of the greatest defense upgrade since the Cold War, according to Sky News. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affecting Europe’s security, the alliance’s chief also said that members will increase force deployments in NATO nations closest to Russia.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit two small former Soviet governments in Central Asia this week, according to Russian state media, in what will be the leader’s first known travel overseas since ordering the invasion of Ukraine, Reuters noted.
  • European Union countries decided Monday that all natural gas storage in the 27-nation bloc should be filled to 80 percent capacity for the coming winter as they prepare for Russia possibly decreasing exports again, the Associated Press added. At the same time, the goal is in line with the EU’s attempt to reduce its reliance on Russian energy.

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