Erdogan to meet Putin in Sochi

  • Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit the Russian coastal city of Sochi on August 5 to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
  • Russian energy giant Gazprom has said gas flows to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline will be slashed to 20 percent from Wednesday due to maintenance issues, a move the EU’s energy chief has called “politically motivated”.

    Putin to meet Turkey’s Erdogan in Sochi: Local media

    Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold a meeting with his Russian counterpart President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on August 5, Interfax news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

    The two leaders will discuss regional problems and bilateral relations, Interfax news agency said.

    EU says gas deal should yield enough savings to survive ‘average’ winter

    A deal agreed by EU countries to curb their gas use should yield enough gas savings to last through an average winter, if Russia were to fully cut supplies in July, the bloc’s energy chief Kadri Simson has said.

    “Our initial calculations indicate that even if all the exemptions were used in full, we would achieve a demand reduction that would help us safely through an average winter,” Simson told a news conference.

    UK targets Russian officials in new wave of sanctions

    The UK has sanctioned Kremlin-imposed officials in the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces in eastern Ukraine as well as 29 regional governors across Russia in response to Moscow’s invasion.

    Vitaly Khotsenko and Vladislav Kuznetsov, the Russian-imposed Prime Minister and First Deputy Chairman of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, were among the 42 new designations, which also included Russia’s minister and deputy minister of justice, and two nephews of Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who was himself sanctioned by the UK in March.

    “Khotsenko and Kuznetsov have been sent to implement Russia’s policies across the invaded region, supporting Putin’s plans to illegally annex more of Ukraine and use sham referendums to falsely legitimise their occupation,” the UK foreign office said in a statement.

    Russia to quit International Space Station ‘after 2024’: Roscosmos

    Russia has decided to quit the International Space Station (ISS) “after 2024”, the newly-appointed chief of Moscow’s space agency has told President Putin.

    “Of course, we will fulfil all our obligations to our partners, but the decision to leave this station after 2024 has been made,” Roscosmos chief Yury Borisov said in comments released by the Kremlin.

    Russian cosmonauts on the ISS have received particular attention in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with early speculation that the crew’s choice to wear yellow and blue flight suits while boarding the station in March was a subtle show of Ukrainian solidarity.

    That speculation was doused in July when Roscosmos released photos of the cosmonauts holding the flags of the Russian-backed breakaway regions of the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic, which are located in Ukraine’s Donbas region.

    Monitoring centre for Ukrainian grain exports to open in Istanbul: Turkey

    A joint coordination centre (JCC) for Ukrainian grain exports under a UN-brokered deal will be opened in a ceremony in Istanbul on Wednesday, Turkey’s defence ministry has said.

    Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN signed the accord last week to resume Ukraine’s grain exports, which had stalled after Russia’s February 24 invasion of its neighbour. All parties will appoint representatives at the JCC to monitor the implementation of the plan.

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