LIVE – War in Ukraine: “Other Russian banks want to leave Swift”, says Josep Borrell

On the 69th day of the invasion of Ukraine, the evacuation of civilians still present in Mariupol was to resume, according to local authorities in the city besieged by Russian troops slowly advancing in the eastern and southern part of the country. The large port city of Odessa was the target of a missile attack that killed at least one person, while the authorities in Mariupol hope to be able to resume the evacuations of civilians that started over the weekend.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 5.4 million Ukrainians have fled their country. Women and children represent 90% of these refugees, men aged 18 to 60 who are likely to be mobilized and who are not entitled to leave. About 8.3 million people could flee the country this year, according to UN estimates.

Today’s highlights

> More than 3,000 civilians killed since the start of the conflict, according to the UN

> Moscow does not intend to end the war in Ukraine on May 9, according to Lavrov

> Russia has resumed bombing of Azovstal factory

>> Follow the highlights on Tuesday, May 3:

05:00 – “Other Russian banks will leave Swift”, says Josep Borrel

The European Union’s sixth sanctions package against Russia, presented by the European Commission on Tuesday, will include the withdrawal of “other banks” from the Swift transaction system, its High Representative for Foreign Affairs said on Monday. , Josep Borrell, on the occasion of an official visit to Panama. Several European diplomatic sources had indicated over the weekend that the main Russian bank, Sberbank, which represents 37% of the market, should thus be excluded from Swift.

“In the energy sector, we are working on proposals that will limit energy imports from Russia, especially oil,” the diplomat also clarified during a press conference. In fact, the 6th sanction package could include a timetable for phasing out Russian oil imports, which represents 30% of EU oil imports.

0:54 – A new explosion in Belgorod

According to the Russian agency Ria Novosti, “a loud bang, similar to the sound of a medium-sized explosion, was heard in the middle” of this Russian city not far from the Ukrainian border. On Sunday, a fire broke out in a building of the Russian Ministry of Defense in the city, and on Monday, two explosions shook the city again in the early hours of the day.

>> The most important information of the night

> Evacuation of civilians should continue in Mariupol

A new evacuation of civilians, “with the support of the United Nations and the Red Cross, has been decided for tomorrow”, reported Monday night on Telegram, the municipal council of the city besieged by the Russians. According to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, “hundreds of civilians” remain “stranded in Azovstal”.

Russian forces regularly bombard the site. They resumed, as they had done on Sunday night, the shooting on the outskirts of the Azovstal factory, after the day’s evacuation operations were completed. According to a statement issued by the Ukrainian Azov Regiment, which participates in the defense of the steelworks, “after the partial evacuation of civilians from the territory of Azovstal, the enemy continues to fire on the territory of the plant, including buildings where civilians are hiding”.

> Washington accuses Russia of wanting to “annex” two pro-Russian territories

The United States has reported “very credible” information that Russia intends to hold referendums “in mid-May” to “try to annex” the pro-Russian separatist “republics” of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine.

“According to the latest information, we believe that Russia will try to annex the ‘People’s Republic of Donetsk’ and the ‘People’s Republic of Lugansk’,” the US Ambassador to the United States told reporters in Washington. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Michael Carpenter. “This information shows that Russia intends to produce referendums from scratch” in this sense, he added.

> No lifting of sanctions against Russia without peace agreement in Ukraine, says Scholz

“Our goal is for Russia to end the war and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory,” the German chancellor said in an interview with public television station ZDF. “We will only lift the sanctions if (Vladimir Putin) reaches an agreement with Ukraine and he will not achieve it by dictating the terms of peace,” he continued.

> A teenager killed in a new Russian attack on Odessa

A 15-year-old boy was killed and a minor injured in a Russian attack on Odessa, the municipal authorities of this port city in southern Ukraine announced. “A missile attack on Odessa damaged a building in which five people were. A 15-year-old boy died, another minor child was brought to the hospital,” the Telegram City Council announced without giving details about the fate of the other three occupants of the building.

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