US intelligence expects the reduced tempo in fighting in Ukraine to continue in the next several months and sees no evidence of a reduced Ukrainian will to resist, despite attacks on its power grid and other critical winter infrastructure, the Director of National Intelligence said on Saturday. Follow FRANCE 24’s liveblog for further updates. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).
7:00am: ‘This is a weak position’ Ukraine’s Zelensky said regarding the oil price cap
Following the price cap enacted on Saturday by the G7 countries and Australia on Russian oil imports, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who welcomed the measure at first, shifted his tone calling the price limit weak and insufficient.
7:00am: ‘Millions of Ukrainians are making due without heating or lighting’ FRANCE24 reports on the power cuts following Russian strikes in Ukraine
The situation in Ukrainian cities is dire after constant Russian shelling and an almost complete absence of electricity due to Russian attacks on the country’s power infrastructure.
2:41am: Opec+ likely to maintain oil output levels
Major oil-producing countries led by Saudi Arabia and Russia look set to maintain their current output levels at a meeting Sunday, ahead of fresh sanctions against Moscow coming into force.
The 13-member Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is due to consult with 10 other oil-producing nations, including Russia, to review their decision in October to cut production by two million barrels per day. The OPEC+ videoconference will take place from 1100 GMT Sunday.
On Friday, the EU, G7 and Australia agreed a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian oil, which will come into effect on Monday or soon after, alongside an EU embargo on maritime deliveries of Russian crude oil.
It will prevent seaborne shipments of Russian crude to the European Union, which account for two thirds of the bloc’s oil imports from Russia, an attempt to deprive Moscow’s war chest of billions of euros.
While Russia denounced the incoming price cap on Saturday, threatening to suspend deliveries to any country that adopted the measure, Ukraine suggested the cap should have been set even lower. For OPEC+, the big unknown in the oil equation is how heavily sanctions will hit Russian supply.
1:00am: US expects reduced tempo in Ukraine fighting to continue for months
US intelligence expects the reduced tempo in fighting in Ukraine to continue in the next several months and sees no evidence of a reduced Ukrainian will to resist, despite attacks on its power grid and other critical winter infrastructure, the Director of National Intelligence said on Saturday.
“We’re seeing a kind of a reduced tempo already of the conflict … and we expect that’s likely to be what we see in the coming months,” Avril Haines told the annual Reagan National Defence Forum in California. She said both the Ukrainian and Russian militaries would be looking to try to refit and resupply to prepare for a counter-offensive after the winter, but there was a question as to what that would look like, and added:
“We actually have a fair amount of skepticism as to whether or not the Russians will be in fact prepared to do that. I think more optimistically for the Ukrainians in that timeframe.”
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)