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Ukraine Latest: Prime minister visits Brussels to discuss aid

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Denys Shmyhal will visit Brussels for the EU-Ukrainian Association Council, where the Ukrainian prime minister is expected to bring up the topic of financial aid as well as the country’s membership in the European Union.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met with his top military commanders over the weekend to discuss the situation on the front line, saying afterward that “Ukrainian flags are returning to the places where they should be by right.” Ukrainian forces are trying to advance in the Kherson region, which Russia occupied shortly after the start of their invasion.

Natural gas prices surged after Gazprom PJSC made a last-minute decision late Friday not to turn the crucial Nord Stream pipeline back on after three days of maintenance. Benchmark futures jumped as much as 35%.

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

Key developments

Russian Gas Supply Through Ukraine Stable as Nord Stream Shut
EU to Discuss Gas-Price Caps, Derivatives Halt Amid Crisis
European Gas Jumps as Moscow Tightens the Screw on Supply
Nordic Utilities Get $33 Billion Aid as Power Markets Fray

On the Ground

Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults in areas close to Bakhmut and Avdiivka in the eastern Donetsk region, Ukraine’s General Staff said in its morning update on Facebook. Russian troops were conducting defensive operations on the Southern Buh axis, while to the north they continued to shell parts of the Chernihiv, Sumy and Kharkiv regions, according to the statement. Separately, the Institute for the Study of War said over the weekend that there is “verifiable progress” in the east and in the south of Ukraine as Ukrainian forces are advancing in several directions and secure territory.

(All times CET)

French Official Says Sanctions Are Taking Effect (8:59 a.m.)

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said Russia’s shrinking output shows that sanctions work, and said that further measures against individuals were possible.

France is also being vigilant in trying to ensure that countries that have not put in sanctions against Russia, such as Turkey, are not used to avoid the ones put in place by the EU, she said in an interview on RTL radio.

EU to Debate Radical Energy Intervention Tools (8:59 a.m.)

EU governments are considering unorthodox measures to rein in soaring power and gas prices, including gas-price caps and a temporary suspension of power derivatives trading.

The Czech Republic, which holds of the EU presidency through December, is set to include those tools on a list of potential emergency intervention options, according to a draft document seen by Bloomberg News. The document will be a starting point for discussions when energy ministers gather on Friday for an extraordinary meeting to address spiking electricity prices and Russia’s moves to limit natural gas supplies to Europe.

Nord Stream Halt Caused by Sanctions: Kremlin (11:45 a.m.)

The halt of Russian gas flows Nord Stream I is due exclusively to sanctions by European nations, including Germany and the UK, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “There are no other reasons that would lead to problems” with gas supplies via Nord Stream, Peskov reiterated to reporters on the conference call.

Flows were due to resume on Saturday after three-day maintenance of the sole functional gas turbine at Portovaya compressor station, the starting point of Nord Stream at Russia’s side. But in a last-minute statement late on Friday, Russia’s gas giant Gazprom PJSC said a technical issue had been found and the pipeline can’t operate again until it’s fixed.

Considering that sanctions remain in place and bring “absolute confusion” to everything related to the maintenance of Portovaya’s equipment, “for now, the only hope is for this unit and that it will be somehow possible to fix it,” Peskov said.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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