Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:
Russia defaulted, says Moody’s
Moody’s ratings agency confirms that Russia defaulted on foreign debt for the first time in a century after bond holders did not receive $100 million in interest payments.
it considers that Russia’s failure to pay the interest on two eurobonds after the 30-calendar-day grace period expired is “an event of default under our definition.”
Russia denies being in default, saying it has the funds to honour its debt and that the West is trying to drive it into a default artificially by imposing sanctions that make it impossible for it to service its foreign-currency loans.
Ukrainian officials say at least 18 people were killed and 59 wounded in a Russian missile strike on a shopping mall in central Ukraine in what G7 leaders meeting in Germany call a “war crime”.
The Russian military says the target of the strike was an arms depot and that the resulting explosions triggered the blaze at the shopping mall, which it claims was shut at the time of the attack.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has called the attack “one of the most brazen terrorist acts in European history” and claimed the mall was packed when the missile struck.
G7 seek price cap on Russian oil over war in Ukraine
G7 leaders at their meeting in Germany have agreed to work on a price cap for Russian oil, as part of efforts to cut the Kremlin’s revenues, a US official says.
The leaders of the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan say they will consult with third countries and the private sector on setting the cap.
In a draft statement they condemn Russia’s “illegal” war in Ukraine and say they are also planning a conference to raise funds for Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction.
Biden wife, daughter sanctioned
US President Joe Biden’s wife Jill and daughter Ashley have been banned from Russia, along with 23 other Americans who join an expanding list of Western nationals barred from the country as part of tit-for-tat sanctions.
Several US senators are also declared persona non grata, including Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
The US in April slapped sanctions on President Vladimir Putin’s daughters.
Eastern region ‘a ruin’
The governor of Ukraine’s eastern Lugansk region says the region is becoming “a ruin” as Russian forces attempt to encircle Lysychansk, the last city in Lugansk still in Ukrainian hands after the fall of neighbouring Severodonetsk.
“The Lugansk region is becoming a total ruin. The damage to the villages (near Lysychansk) is catastrophic,”
governor Sergiy Gaiday says.
Lysychansk is Russian forces’ next target in their bid to take the whole of Ukraine’s industrial Donbas area, where Moscow-backed separatists rose up against Kyiv in 2014.
Erdogan wooed on NATO bid
Finnish and Swedish leaders will discuss their stalled NATO bids with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Biden will also press his Turkish counterpart on the issue at a summit of the defence alliance in Madrid.
Turkey is resisting attempts by the two Nordic states to join NATO in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ankara has accused Finland and Sweden particularly of providing a safe haven for Kurdish militants engaged in a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.
The issue is expected to dominate the NATO gathering, with Biden’s talks with Erdogan seen as crucial for NATO’s aim to bring the two Nordic states under its wing.
© Agence France-Presse