UK and France share a "special bond and a special responsibility" when the security of Europe is threatened, UK Prime Minister noted, adding that the two countries will always be at the forefront of Europe's defence as fighting enters its 380th day.

At the first summit between France and the UK since 2018, British premier Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron both confirmed that the meeting marks
At the first summit between France and the UK since 2018, British premier Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron both confirmed that the meeting marks "a new beginning." (Reuters)

Friday, March 10, 2023

The UK and France have agreed to train Ukrainian marines, helping to give Ukraine "a decisive advantage on the battlefield," British Premier Rishi Sunak said.

At the first summit between France and the UK since 2018, Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron both confirmed that the meeting marks "a new beginning."

Speaking at a joint news conference, the two leaders stressed the importance of joint actions to overcome challenges like energy and security, reaffirming unwavering support for Ukraine.

"We've agreed to train Ukrainian marines, helping to give Ukraine a decisive advantage on the battlefield and for Ukraine to win this war," Sunak said.

UK and France share a "special bond and a special responsibility" when the security of Europe is threatened, he noted, adding that the two countries will always be at the forefront of Europe's defense.

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2026 GMT – Ukraine orders Russian-aligned church to leave monastery complex in Kiev

Ukrainian officials has ordered a historically Russian-aligned wing of the Orthodox Church to leave a monastery complex in Kiev where it is based, the latest move against a denomination regarded with deep suspicion by the government.

The UOC says it has severed its ties with Russia and the Moscow patriarchate, and is the victim of a political witch hunt.

The Ukrainian Culture Ministry said the UOC had been ordered to leave the 980-year-old Kiev-Pechersk Lavra monastery complex, where it has its headquarters.

In a statement, it said a probe had revealed the UOC "violated the terms of the agreement regarding the use of state property", but did not give any details.

The UOC, which has until March 29 to leave, said in a Facebook post that the results of the probe were "obviously biased and grossly violate legal norms".

2021 GMT – Canada bans aluminum, steel imports from Russia

Canada has announced a ban on imports of Russian aluminum and steel products, with the aim of denying Moscow revenues to fund its war in Ukraine.

The imports were worth almost US$180 million in 2021, according to the latest government data.

"Canada, and our partners, have already sanctioned the Russian Central Bank and capped the price of Russian oil and g as," Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.

"And now, we are ensuring (President Vladimir) Putin cannot pay for his war by selling aluminum and steel in Canada, in coordination with action taken by the United States today."

The ban covers Russian unwrought aluminum, aluminum sheets, and finished products including containers and other household items made from aluminum.

Also prohibited are all primary Russian steel products, including iron and non-alloy steel, semi-finished, and finished products such as tubes and pipes.

1518 GMT — Russia cautions regional allies against aligning with the United States

Russia cautioned allies across the former Soviet Union of the perils of aligning with the United States after what Moscow said was a Western-backed coup attempt in Georgia similar to the Ukrainian "Maidan" revolution of 2014.

Russia, tied down in the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II, has seen its authority challenged by a number of neighbours and traditional allies since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in February last year.

In Tbilisi, thousands of Georgians took to the streets over three consecutive nights to protest against "foreign agents" bill, in which NGOs that receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad are required to register with Justice Ministry as an "agent of foreign influence".

1457 GMT — Russia-backed courts jail three Ukrainian soldiers 

Kremlin-backed courts in Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine have sentenced three Ukrainian servicemen, including a human rights activist, to lengthy prison terms for allegedly mistreating civilians, Russian investigators said.

"The supreme courts of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics issued sentences in three criminal cases against Ukrainian citizens Viktor Pokhozey, Maksym Butkevych and Vladislav Shel," Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement.

Donetsk and Luhansk are the two separatist-held regions in Ukraine’s Donbass region, which Russia claimed to have annexed last year following referendums denounced by Kiev and the West.

1443 GMT — Swiss government refuses re-export of arms to Ukraine

Switzerland's government said it will not change its long-standing policy banning the transfer of Swiss-made arms to a third country despite growing pressure from European nations to export them to Ukraine. 

Calls for Switzerland to break with centuries of tradition as a neutral state have been growing both internally and externally since Russia attacked Ukraine more than a year ago. In January, two parliamentary committees recommended that the rules be eased.

However, the cabinet rejected the call following a meeting.

1443 GMT — Russia's Wagner group opens dozens of recruitment centres

The head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner has announced the opening of recruitment centres in dozens of cities.

Wagner has been spearheading offensives against cities in eastern Ukraine including Bakhmut, in what has become the longest and bloodiest fight of Russia's year-long assault. Both sides have suffered heavy losses around Bakhmut.

"Recruitment centres for PMC Wagner have opened in 42 Russian cities," Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a statement, referring to his private military company.

1408 GMT — Russia denounces Georgia protests as coup attempt

Moscow accused foreign countries of fomenting days of mass protests in Georgia, likening them to an attempted coup designed to sow tension on Russia's borders.

Hundreds of Georgians rallied for a fourth day outside parliament, as lawmakers dropped controversial "foreign agent" legislation that triggered violent clashes between police and protesters earlier this week.

The days-long demonstrations point to turmoil over the future in Georgia, which aims to join the EU and NATO, much to the frustration of Moscow, which attacked in 2008 and recognised two separatist territories in the north of the country.

1039 GMT — EU justice ministers discuss compensation to Ukraine from confiscated Russian assets

EU justice ministers are holding a meeting to discuss legal drafts on paying compensation for Ukraine from confiscated Russian assets, as Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said the bloc aimed to “bring all the perpetrators of crimes in Ukraine before justice.”

Swedish Justice Minister Gunnar Strommer stressed that the discussions will go beyond “principles,” and will focus on “concrete and hands-on” solutions for the complex legal problems of circumventing sanctions and supporting Ukraine from confiscated Russian assets.

According to the latest figures revealed by the European Commission in February, the EU has frozen $22.7 billion (€21.5 billion) in Russian assets under its sanction regime targeting people responsible for the war in Ukraine.

1037 GMT — Ukraine rebounds from Russian barrage, restores power supply

Ukraine's capital has restored most of its power supply, officials said, following the latest Russian missile and drone barrage targeting critical infrastructure - the largest such attack in three weeks. 30 percent of consumers in the capital remained without heating.

The electricity supply was restored to more than nine in 10 consumers in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region, local officials said, while power was also restored to a third of consumers in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region.

More than 80 Russian missiles and exploding drones were used in the barrage, which also damaged residential buildings, killed six people and left hundreds of thousands without heat or running water.

1021 GMT — Russia announces new rotation at Zaporizhzhia plant

Russia has announced a new rotation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) staff at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP).

According to Renat Karchaa, deputy head of Rosenergoatom, a management company for all nuclear power plants in Russia, the members of the current monitoring mission, stationed at the NPP, will be replaced in early April.

"The IAEA staff usually stay at the station for a month. This is a standard mission period, then rotation. Now it is scheduled for the beginning of April, if Kiev doesn't break it," Karchaa told Russia's state news agency TASS.

1004 GMT — Ukraine detains two over destruction of world's largest plane

Ukraine's SBU security service has detained two former aerospace officials over the destruction of the world's largest plane, the Antonov-225 cargo plane, soon after the Russian offensive began.

With an 88 metre (290 feet) wingspan, the unique Antonov An-225 plane named "Mriya", which means "dream" in Ukrainian, was destroyed last year during attacks on the Gostomel Airport near Kiev as Russia attempted to seize the hub and use it to airlift armaments to the capital.

The SBU accuses top officials at Antonov defence company, the plane's manufacturer, of preventing Ukrainian forces from protecting the airfield ahead of the Russian attack. The two officials face up to 15 years in prison if convicted on a charge of obstructing the lawful activity of Ukraine's armed forces.

0802 GMT — Anti-Russia militants in Belarus take on 'two-headed enemy'

Since Russia attacked Ukraine, militant groups from Belarus have been carrying out acts of sabotage on their country's railways to paralyse rails that Russian forces used to get troops and weapons into Ukraine.

In the most recent sabotage to make international headlines, they attacked a Russian warplane parked just outside the Belarusian capital.

“Belarusians will not allow the Russians to freely use our territory for the war with Ukraine, and we want to force them to leave,” Anton, a retired Belarusian serviceman who joined a group of saboteurs, told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

“The Russians must understand on whose side the Belarusians are actually fighting," he said.

0629 GMT — Pope says Ukraine war fuelled not just by 'Russian empire'

The war in Ukraine is driven by the interests of several "empires" and not just of Russia's, Pope Francis said in an interview with Italian Swiss television RSI.

Francis said the conflict was fuelled by "imperial interests, not just of the Russian empire, but of empires from elsewhere".

He expressed a readiness to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin to call for peace.

0111 GMT — Russia intentionally targeting nuclear facilities: Zelenskyy

Ukraine has said that Russia unleashed a barrage of high-precision missile and other attacks that triggered a wave of power cuts, including at Europe's biggest nuclear power plant, calling for sanctions against Russian nuclear industry.

"Another attempt by a terrorist state to wage war against civilised society has resulted in temporary blackouts of electricity, heat, and water in some of our regions and cities, " Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

He said as a result of this strike, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was again disconnected from the power grid, adding Russia is "deliberately" creating critical situations at our nuclear facilities.

"This, by definition, means that Russia cannot be considered a bona fide participant in any relations in the nuclear sphere. This means that the sooner the Russian nuclear industry gets sanctioned, the safer it will be for the world. We cannot leave any possibility for a terrorist state to use any nuclear facilities anywhere in the world for terror."

For our live updates from Thursday (March 9), click here.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies