Ukraine Latest: Putin Says Annex of Four Regions Is 'Forever'

  • In Business
  • 2022-09-30 14:43:28Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- President Vladimir Putin on Friday said that Russia is annexing four occupied regions in Ukraine "forever" and repeated warnings that Moscow will use all available means to defend the territories.

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In a joint statement, members of the European Union "unequivocally" rejected the move. President Joe Biden has denounced Russia's efforts as a "flagrant violation of the UN Charter and the basic principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity." The recent annexation votes have been condemned as illegal by the United Nations and other world leaders. UN chief Antonio Guterres described a "moment of peril."

Kyiv, backed by the US and its allies, has been pushing efforts to recapture lost territory. At least 25 civilian deaths and many injuries were reported from a Russian missile strike near Zaporizhzhia early Friday.

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

Key Developments

  • Putin Vows Annexation of Occupied Ukraine Lands Is 'Forever'

  • Ukraine Advance Near Key Donbas Town Tests Putin's Land Grab

  • Putin Poised to Formalize Annexation of Occupied Ukraine Regions

  • EU Plans Russia Import Bans, Tech Curbs Over Putin Land Grab (1)

  • Ukraine Says Dozens Killed or Injured in Russian Missile Strike

  • Wheat Prices Buoyed by Worries Over Ukraine's Export Corridor

  • Putin's Draft Order Sends 200,000 Russians Fleeing to the Border

On the Ground

Over the past day, Russia has launched give missile and 11 air strikes, as well as more than 100 rocket attacks at almost 50 Ukrainian settlements, Ukraine's General Staff said. Moscow's troops shelled the southern cities of Mykolaiv and Odesa on Thursday night. Kyiv's troops have likely nearly completed the encirclement of the Russian grouping in Lyman and cut critical ground lines of communication that support Russian troops in the Drobysheve-Lyman area, the US-based Institute for the Study of War said in an update. Seven months into the conflict, Belarus remains highly unlikely to become directly involved in the war in Ukraine on behalf of Russia, according to ISW.

All times CET:

UK Sanctions Russia Central Bank Chief Elvira Nabiullina (4:45 p.m.)

The UK government added Nabiullina to its sanctions list on Friday, according to a government statement.

"Nabiullina is obtaining a benefit from or supporting the Government of Russia through working for the Government of Russia as Governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation," it said.

Italy's Meloni Condemns Russian Annexation (4:30 p.m.)

Giorgia Meloni -- whose right-wing bloc won recent elections and is likely Italy's next prime minister -- said the move "had no juridical or political validity." Meloni has vowed to maintain Prime Minister Mario Draghi's policy of support for Ukraine, despite the past pro-Russia stances of some of her coalition allies, such as Matteo Salvini.

Ukraine Applying for Fast-Track NATO Entry (4:20 p.m.)

Zelenskiy announced the bid in a video address to the nation. Ukraine has already made its "path towards NATO," demonstrating "compatibility with the alliance's standards," he said. "We trust each other, help each other and defend each other. We know it is possible."

All 30 members of NATO would have to unanimously agree to invite Ukraine to join, and the process can take years.

EU Presents Tougher Security Rules for Visas for Russians (3:35 p.m.)

The European Commission cited "an escalation of the security threat" by Moscow including alleged war crimes, partial mobilization and plans to annex Russian-occupied areas in Ukraine.

Commissioner Ylva Johansson told reporters the updated guidelines include more thorough security assessments of applicants, and refusing visas to citizens who could stay longer than 90 days in the EU. She said about 190,000 Russians had entered bloc in September, around 10,000 to 20,000 more than usual for that month.

The EU earlier this month adopted higher fees, the need for more documents, an increased processing time, and more restrictive rules for multiple-entry visas for Russians.

Putin Says Russia Annexing Ukrainian Regions 'Forever' (3:00 p.m.)

In a speech to officials at a Kremlin ceremony, Putin also called on Ukraine to halt fighting and begin negotiations.

Ukraine has rejected negotiations until Russian forces have been pushed back at least to positions they held before the Feb. 24 invasion. Russia doesn't control the territories in full that it's seeking to absorb. The United Nations has condemned Russia's seizure of the Ukrainian regions as illegal. Putin cited the UN Charter in his speech seeking to justify the annexation.

EU Members Reject Russian Annexation (2:55 p.m.)

"We do not and will never recognise the illegal 'referenda' that Russia has engineered as a pretext for this further violation of Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, nor their falsified and illegal results," the EU said in a statement. "These decisions are null and void and cannot produce any legal effect whatsoever."

Work Continues on New EU Sanctions Package (1:55 p.m.)

Negotiations among European Union ambassadors continues on the EU's proposed eighth package, with talks expected to stretch into next week, according to people familiar with the matter.

Read more: EU Plans Russia Import Bans, Tech Curbs Over Putin Land Grab

Norway Tightens Controls Along Border With Russia (1:50 p.m.)

A police helicopter equipped with sensors will be used to help detect any illegal crossings of the 19 kilometer-long border, the government said on Friday. The conscription of Russian troops and a possible travel ban for Russian citizens has increased the risk of illegal border crossing, it said.

The government also said it is ready to shut border crossings to Russian tourists, like Finland has done, but will hold off on doing that for now. "We will close the border quickly if it becomes necessary, and changes can come at short notice," Justice and Public Security Minister Emilie Enger Mehl said.

There have been few arrivals in Norway compared to Finland.

Ukraine Defense Minister Sees 'Good News' Coming After US Call (12:24 p.m.)

Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine's defense minister, spoke by phone with US counterpart Lloyd Austin, he said on Twitter, adding that "good news" would be announced soon.

Kremlin Says Ukraine Attack on Annexed Lands Would Be Act of 'Aggression' (11:29 a.m.)

The Kremlin said Ukrainian efforts to recapture areas annexed by Russia will be classified as act of aggressions against the Russian state.

Still, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, called talk of nuclear escalation "irresponsible" on a conference call with reporters on Friday, and declined to say whether attacks on the territories may meet the standard for using the weapons set out in Russia's military doctrine.

Peskov said he wasn't able to say whether Russia plans to annex the entire Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions or just areas now held by its troops. He said the agreements Friday will cover all of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, though Ukraine still controls parts of those.

'Moment of Peril' as Putin to Formalize Annexation (10:47 a.m.)

Vladimir Putin on Friday will sign accession documents formalizing the Kremlin's annexation of four occupied regions in Ukraine, including some of the nation's key agricultural and industrial centers.

The United Nations has denounced the land grab as illegal and many countries have already condemned it. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Thursday Russia would "annex itself to the catastrophe that it has brought to the occupied territory of our country."

The Russian president will address legislators and other officials after the signing ceremony at the Kremlin.

Zaporizhzhia Atomic Workers Told to Apply at Rosatom to Keep Jobs (9:36 a.m.)

Ukraine said its workers at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant were told they'll need to re-apply to Kremlin-controlled Rosatom to keep their jobs.

Moscow's plan to recognize the Zaporizhzhia region, including the site of the atomic plant, as part of Russian territory are overshadowing attempts to de-escalate fighting around the facility. Kyiv's ambassador told a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency that Rosatom has sent in more officials to enforce a change in ownership once the territorial acquisition is completed.

"Representatives of Rosatom stated that at that moment, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant will belong to Rosatom," Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk said. Allowing Russia to claim ownership of Zaporizhzhia would represent the biggest nuclear heist in history; the plant has a replacement value of about $40 billion and produces a fifth of Ukraine's electricity. Russian forces seized the facility during the first week of the invasion.

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