Ukraine Latest: NATO Allies Seek Deal to Boost Defense Spending
NATO Secretary General said allies are pushing to strengthen the alliance’s target of spending 2% of output on defense.
(Bloomberg) -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said allies are pushing to strengthen the alliance’s target of spending 2% of output on defense, with the aim of reaching an agreement by July.
Ukraine warned that Russia may launch more attacks over the Orthodox Christmas holiday later this week even as Kyiv continued to down Iran-made Shahed drones being sent into the country, the nation’s air defense command said on Monday.
Germany, meanwhile, is open to using billions of euros in frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine rebuild as long as legal issues can be resolved and allies follow suit, according to people familiar with the discussions.
(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)
- Germany Open to Seizing Russian Assets to Help Ukraine Rebuild
- European Gas Swings After Hitting Lowest Level Since Before War
- Russia’s Oil Flows Slump to 2022-Low as Sanctions Squeeze Moscow
On the Ground
Two people died and nine were injured in Kherson and the region due to Russian attacks, Governor Yaroslav Yanushevych said on Telegram. Ukraine’s air defense systems intercepted every drone from two consecutive nights of Russian strikes since Dec. 31, according to the Institute for the Study of War. But two Russian Iskander missiles hit the town of Druzhkivka in the Donetsk region, killing one person and damaging the local ice arena as well as residential and industrial buildings, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said in a video on Telegram.
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Putin Plans to Talk Wednesday With Erdogan, Interfax Says (8:09 p.m.)
Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Wednesday, Interfax reported, citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Erdogan has sought to play the role of intermediary between Russia and Ukraine.
UK’s Sunak Pledges Long-Term Support for Ukraine (4:50 p.m.)
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy by phone, pledging long-term support for Kyiv. The commitment was demonstrated by the recent delivery of 1,000 anti-air missiles, Sunak’s office said in an emailed readout.
The UK is also working to “provide further equipment in the coming weeks and months to secure Ukraine’s victory on the battlefield,” Sunak said.
Russian Oil Flows Slump as Sanctions Squeeze Moscow (1:35 p.m.)
Russian crude shipments slid to the lowest for 2022 in the final four weeks of the year as sanctions crimped Moscow’s exports.
Cargoes bound for China, India and Turkey, which have become a lifeline for Russian supplies displaced from Europe, saw a third straight drop. The country’s overall seaborne flows fell by 117,000 barrels a day to 2.615 million barrels on a four-week average basis.
Germany Open to Seizing Russian Assets to Help Ukraine Rebuild (1:24 p.m.)
Germany is open to using billions of euros in frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine rebuild as long as legal issues can be resolved and allies follow suit.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government supports Ukraine’s demand for war reparations but hasn’t yet taken an official position on seizing assets from the Russian state. The issue is complex and some parts of the ruling coalition are more ardent than others, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Stoltenberg Says NATO Members Want More Ambitious Spending Goals (9:10 a.m.)
Some North Atlantic Treaty Organization members want the alliance to sharpen its target of every member spending 2% of output on defense by making the guideline a minimum, according to Secretary General Stoltenberg.
In 2014, NATO agreed that members whose military spending was below 2% would “aim to move toward” the goal within a decade, yet more than half remain well below. “We will meet, we will have ministerial meetings, we will have talks in capitals,” Stoltenberg said in an interview with German news agency DPA, adding that the aim is to seal agreement no later than the next NATO summit in Vilnius in July.
Ukraine Expects Protracted Drone Attack From Russia (9:10 a.m.)
Moscow plans a protracted drone attack on Ukraine to “exhaust” the country’s energy infrastructure, air defenses and people, according to President Zelenskiy.
Ukraine’s anti-missile forces have intercepted more than 80 Iran-made drones launched by Russia against the power grid and civilian infrastructure since the beginning of the year, and many more are yet to come, Zelenskiy said in his nightly address to the nation on Monday.
“Over coming weeks, nights may be pretty troubled,” he said. “We have information that Russia plans a protracted attack by Shahed drones.” The attack is meant to reassure the Russian people as its troops suffer painful battlefield losses, according to Ukraine’s leader.
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