Live blog | Russia threatens oil boycott; Russians accuse Ukraine of ‘nuclear terrorism’

Russia exports less grain

14:23 | Russia is struggling to export its record grain harvest. In July and August, the first two months of the new grain season, the country exported 6.3 million tons of grain. It was 22 percent less than a year earlier, says data company Logistic OS based on ship data. Ukraine has exported 1.5 million tons of food across the Black Sea since the establishment of a safe corridor.

The slow pace of Russian exports is putting further pressure on food prices as crops in many other countries suffered from severe drought. Food is exempt from sanctions against Russia, but bankers and insurance companies are reluctant to do business with the country for fear of violating sanctions.

In addition, much grain is exported via the Black Sea, and shipping companies do not want to send their ships into a war zone. “We suffer from reputational risk or informal sanctions,” explains director Dmitri Rylko of the Russian agricultural market researcher IKAR.

Russia threatens oil boycott

13:45 | If countries want to introduce a maximum price for Russian oil, Russia will no longer sell oil to those countries, the country threatens. The United States argues for such a price ceiling. The G7, a group of seven major industrialized nations, wants to officially back that plan on Friday.

If the plan is approved, the participating countries will no longer pay a higher amount for the oil than has been agreed among themselves. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has previously stated that the plan could only work if it gets worldwide support, but the US believes that is not necessary. Major buyers of Russian oil such as Turkey and India can use the maximum price in their negotiations with Russia.

Ukraine engages in nuclear terrorism

11:53 | Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has accused Ukraine of “nuclear terrorism” for shelling the Zaporizhzhya nuclear reactor. The Russians have this reactor under control, and both sides accuse each other of foul play.

Shoigu himself has reportedly been deposed recently by President Vladimir Putin. Russia’s strongman is said to have vented his frustration at the slow progress in the dispute over Shoigu. The military and the Kremlin now communicate directly with each other, passing through the Ministry of Defense.

Inspectors stay permanently at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant

11:15 | Two inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will remain permanently at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. The Russian representative at the IAEA told the RIA Novosti news agency.

An IAEA mission is currently at the facility, Europe’s largest nuclear facility, which has been under the control of Russian forces since March.

‘Russian participation in army exercise less’

08:50 | No more than 15,000 Russian troops are taking part in the Vostok 2022 military exercise that started on Thursday, the British Ministry of Defense said on the basis of intelligence. According to Russia, 50,000 of its military are currently training.

Regarding the number of participants, the defense says this is about 20 percent compared to the previous Vostok exercise in 2018. Russia said on Monday that its capacity to conduct large-scale exercises is not affected by the invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

The British claim that Russia’s military performance in Ukraine has made it clear that despite exercises such as Vostok, the Russian army is unable to carry out “large, complex operations”. Such exercises are said to be “heavily scripted” and primarily intended to impress Russian leaders and international audiences.

Stranded grain ship floated again

07:05 | A cargo ship loaded with 3,000 tons of Ukrainian corn that ran aground in the Bosphorus area on Thursday was revived early Friday morning. The 173 meter Lady Zehma, registered in Panama, drifted due to problems with the rudder. According to the governor of Istanbul, there were no accidents on board. The boat is now safely anchored in Istanbul.

Ship traffic in the busy Bosphorus was hampered for some time on Thursday by the incident. Lady Zehma was from the Ukrainian port city of Chornomorsk, south of Odessa, on her way to Ravenna in Italy.

“Russia does not allow foreign media in Zaporizhzhya

06:00 | The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team that has been at the large nuclear power plant in the Zaporizhzhya region since Thursday is not accompanied by international media, although that was the appointment. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his video message Thursday night that Russian troops were only letting Russian media through.

Although it is impossible to verify whether international media were actually stopped at the Enerhodar nuclear power plant, as Zelensky claims, it is certain that IAEA chief Rafael Grossi only spoke to Russian media on Thursday.

Images on Russian state television show how only Russian media microphones were used in the interview with Grossi. Later, the head of the delegation of experts himself posted a video on Twitter.

Grain ship stuck

05:00 | A cargo ship loaded with 3,000 tons of Ukrainian corn ran aground on Thursday in the Bosphorus area. The 173 meter Lady Zehma, registered in Panama, drifted due to problems with the rudder. According to the governor of Istanbul, there were no accidents on board and the boat is anchored in a safe place. The Turkish Coast Guard is nearby.

Ship traffic in the busy Bosphorus was hampered for some time by the incident. Lady Zehma was from the Ukrainian port city of Chornomorsk, south of Odessa, on her way to Ravenna in Italy.

The IAEA chief receives a lot of information about nuclear power plants

04:00 | Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and a delegation of experts inspected the large nuclear power plant in the Zaporizhzhya region on Thursday afternoon. The complex in Enerhodar in southern Ukraine has recently come under regular fire. Russia, which has occupied the facility, and Ukraine blame each other for the attacks.

“I think we have been able to gather a lot of information in these few hours. I saw the most important things I needed to see and the explanations were very clear,” Grossi told Russian media that followed The IAEA team during the visit to the nuclear power plant. The trip there was delayed by shelling. “At times we were very worried by heavy machine gun fire and artillery fire.”

Grossi also said that the IAEA delegation will remain present for a while. “Tell the world,” he said in a video distributed by RIA Novosti.

Leave a Comment