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Yamashinskoye oil field near the village of Boriskino, Almetyevsky district, located in southeastern central part of Russia
The oil cap is meant to hurt Russia's fossil fuel revenues, though Ukraine has argued it could have been capped at a price even lowerImage: Yegor Aleyev/ITAR-TASS/IMAGO
ConflictsUkraine

Ukraine updates: Zelenskyy wants lower Russian oil price cap

December 3, 2022

The European Union approved a plan to cap prices of Russian oil at $60 a barrel, with the deal coming into effect December 5. Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy thinks it may not be enough. Follow DW for the latest.

https://p.dw.com/p/4KRQG

EU member states approved a cap on Russian oil prices at $60 a barrel, the European Commission said Saturday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said after the Commission's announcement in his nightly address that it was not "serious" enough and, even with the price cap, the situation was "quite comfortable" for Moscow. 

It is "a matter of time when stronger tools will have to be used anyway," Zelenskyy said.

EU agrees on Russian oil price cap

The European Union drew up the plan after a proposal from the G7 countries, all of which have approved the cap, which is aimed at hitting Moscow's oil revenues.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement that the decision will "hit Russia's revenues even harder and reduce its ability to wage war in Ukraine."

It would also help stabilize global energy prices, she said.

Von der Leyen says Russian oil cap 'will stabilize global energy markets'

Andriy Yermak, the head of Zelenskyy's office, earlier said it was necessary to set the price cap lower "in order to destroy the enemy's economy faster."

Russia has rejected the price cap.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would not accept the price ceiling and added that Moscow would analyze the situation before deciding on a specific response.

The price cap goes into effect along with EU sanctions that ban seaborne imports of Russian oil from December 5. 

Here are the other top headlines related to the war in Ukraine on Saturday, December 3:

Putin not sincere about peace talks, says top US diplomat

The US State Department's undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland said Saturday that Putin was not sincere about peace talks with Ukraine. Nuland has previously drawn Kremlin ire for handing out sandwiches to protesters on Kyiv's Maidan Square during protests there in late 2013.

The senior US diplomat told reporters after meeting Zelenskyy and other senior Ukrainian officials in Kyiv that "diplomacy is obviously everyone's objective but you have to have a willing partner."

"And it's very clear, whether it's the energy attacks, whether it's the rhetoric out of the Kremlin and the general attitude, that Putin is not sincere or ready for that" she added.

US President Joe Biden earlier this week said he was prepared to speak with Putin if the Russian leader was interested in ending the war in Ukraine. However, the idea died quickly after the Kremlin asked the West to recognize Moscow's claims to Ukrainian territory it has tried to annex.

Macron says Russia needs security guarantees

French President Emmanuel Macron said it was important to address Russian leader Vladimir Putin's fear that "NATO comes right up to its door, and the deployment of weapons could threaten Russia" if peace talks for ending the war are to begin.

French TV station TF1 broadcast Macron's remarks, recorded during his state visit to the US, on Saturday. The French president argues for a stronger security architecture for Europe.

Joe Biden willing to discuss Ukraine with Vladimir Putin

Putin has long described NATO's growth to Russia's borders as the top security threat to his country. Putin has said Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 because of Kyiv's close ties to Western allies.

"That topic will be part of the topics for peace, so we need to prepare what we are ready to do, how we protect our allies and member states, and how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table," Macron said.

Russian and Belarusian defense ministers discuss regional security

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held talks with his Belarusian counterpart Viktor Khrenin, Belarusian state media reported Saturday.

The two sides discussed bilateral military cooperation and amended an agreement on the "joint provision of regional security," without providing further detail.

Russia and Belarus are closely allied economically and militarily, with Moscow using Belarus as a key staging post for the invasion of Ukraine.

Belarus held contested presidential elections in 2020 that sent thousands into the streets in protest of strongman Alexander Lukashenko's extended tenure in office.

Estonia buys HIMARS in $200M deal

Estonia on Friday signed a deal with the US to procure the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) in the Baltic state's largest arms procurement project on record, defense officials said.

The Estonian Center for Defense Investment said the package, worth $200 million (€189 million), includes HIMARS rockets with ranges of 70-300 kilometers (45-185 miles) and training.

US security and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin are expected to make the first deliveries in 2024.

High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS ) is in operation during military exercises at Spilve Airport in Riga, Latvia
Washington has made clear that the precision weapons and rocket systems provided by the US and allies have been key to the dramatic shift in momentum in the war Russia launched against UkraineImage: Roman Koksarov/AP/picture alliance

Lieutenant Colonel Kaarel Maesalu, head of the capability development department at the Estonian Defense Forces, said in a statement that the new rocket launchers make it "possible to decisively influence the enemy even before coming into contact with our infantry units.''

Estonia is a NATO member country, with Russia on its eastern border. Fellow Baltic states Latvia and Lithuania either have or are currently in the process of acquiring their own HIMARS.

Moldova tackles electricity outages

Moldova announced a new energy deal to tackle the threats of electricity outages during winter, Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said Saturday.

Spinu said state utilities firm Energocom would purchase enough electricity from the country's largest power station to cover all of Moldova's needs for December when combined with existing imports from Romania.

The power station, located in Transnistria, depended on Russian gas to supply electricity to the country. Transnistria is occupied by Russian-backed forces.

Moldova has suffered from widespread power outages amid a reduced flow of natural gas from Russia and Kremlin air strikes on energy infrastructure in neighboring Ukraine.

rm/ar (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)

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