Ukraine latest: Blinken says US aid ‘best way to achieve just peace’ | Daily News Byte

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(Bloomberg) — A U.S. commitment to stand by the government in Kiev “as long as necessary” is the best way to “improve the prospects for a just and lasting peace” and “really improve the prospects for meaningful diplomacy,” according to Secretary of State Antonio Blinken. .

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Blinken — who discussed the war Friday in a conversation with his Chinese counterpart — said work was continuing to repair and defend Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and strengthen its air defenses, including Patriot missiles.

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“We know a hard winter is ahead for Ukrainians as President Putin implements his new strategy of trying to freeze Ukrainian men, women, children, the elderly to death,” Blinken said in a statement to reporters.

(See RSAN on Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key developments

  • Biden targets Russian mercenaries accused of crimes in Ukraine
  • Russia could reduce daily oil production by 700,000 barrels, says Novak
  • Heat drags European gas to biggest weekly drop since September
  • Germany arrested an alleged double agent for cooperating with Russia
  • The tycoon is looking to expand into Ukraine despite being sanctioned there

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On the field

Russian forces launched limited counterattacks along the Kremen-Svatova line in the east of the country, and Ukrainian troops continued counteroffensive operations in the area, according to the latest report from the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War. Russian forces also carried out further attacks around Bakhmut and near Avdiyivka near Donetsk, the institute said, adding that Ukrainian partisans continued to target Russian occupation authorities. Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks near 19 settlements, the country’s general staff announced on Facebook.

(All times CET)

Russian shares fall for six weeks (8:45 am)

Russia’s benchmark MOEX index is on track to post six straight weeks of losses, its longest streak since 2017, as traders assess the impact of sanctions and other restrictions on the economy.

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The MOEX index fell by 0.4 percent on Friday, led by Lukoil, Sberbank and Norilsk Nickel. That extended its weekly decline to 0.8%. The index has fallen by around 44% this year.

Germany helps reduce reliance on Soviet kit (8:30am)

Germany’s defense ministry said recent exchange agreements with countries including Slovakia are helping NATO partners end their reliance on outdated Soviet-era military equipment.

According to the agreements, Germany replaces the equipment supplied by the nations to Ukraine with more modern material. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht delivered the first of 15 Leopard 2 A4 main battle tanks to Slovakia this week, with the remaining 14 to follow next year.

Oil gains as Russia threatens to cut output (7:30am)

Oil headed for a significant weekly gain as Russia said it may cut crude output in response to a price cap imposed by the Group of Seven on its exports, highlighting risks to global supplies in the new year.

West Texas Intermediate climbed above $78 a barrel, set for a gain of more than 5% this week, even as concerns over short-term demand in China flared and US data boosted the prospect of more interest rate hikes. Russia could cut production by 500,000 to 700,000 barrels a day in response to the cap, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said, according to the state news service Tass.

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