EU proposes members cut gas use by 15%

  • Officials installed by Russia in the occupied Kherson region say Kyiv’s forces struck a strategically important bridge several times with missiles.
  • The White House says Moscow is planning to annex territory it has occupied in Ukraine, using the same tactics as in Crimea in 2014.

    EU seeks to cut gas use amid fears over supplies from Russia

    The European Union’s executive arm has proposed a voluntary target for member states to cut their gas use by 15 percent until March, which could be made legally binding if Russia cuts off supplies of the energy export.

    The target set by the European Commission urges countries to cut their usage by 15 percent from August to March, compared with their average consumption in the same period during 2016-2021.

    The Commission could make the target mandatory if it declares there is a substantial risk of severe gas shortages in the EU.

    The proposal needs approval from a reinforced majority of EU countries. Diplomats from EU states are set to discuss it on Friday, with the aim of approving it at a meeting of EU countries’ energy ministers on July 26.

    Russia’s Putin warns Europe gas deliveries could keep dwindling

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has said it is the West’s own fault that the flow of Russian natural gas to European customers has ebbed and warned that it could continue to dwindle further.

    Putin’s statement on Tuesday further cranked up the pressure on the European Union, which fears Moscow could cut off gas to wreak economic and political havoc in Europe in the winter.

    On Wednesday, the bloc will outline emergency plans to reduce gas demand within months, warning countries that without deep cuts now they could struggle for fuel during the colder months if Moscow stops deliveries.

    Breakaway republic orders creation of 18-person embassy in Russia: Report

    Authorities in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), a Moscow-backed breakaway region in eastern Ukraine, have ordered the establishment of an 18-person embassy in Russia, according to a report by Russia’s TASS news agency.

    TASS cited the LPR government as saying the move would see “employees of the LPR foreign ministry’s overseas facilities” stationed in Russia.

    Putin formally recognised the LPR and another breakaway region in eastern Ukraine – the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) – as independent just days before ordering Moscow’s forces into Ukraine on February 24.

    Russian defence chief inspects troops in Ukraine, orders forces to down drones

    Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has inspected troops fighting in Ukraine, according to his ministry.

    The ministry shared footage of Shoigu meeting with military commanders and said he had received details concerning the current situation on the front line from the head of the Zapad military group, Andrei Sychevy.

    The ministry also said Shoigu had given orders to commanders telling them to destroy Ukrainian drones operating near Russia’s borders and do more to prevent Ukrainian forces from shelling areas they had lost control of.

    Russian official accuses Ukrainian forces of attacking border crossing

    The governor of Russia’s western Kursk region, which borders Ukraine, says Ukrainian forces shelled a border crossing in the area.

    Roman Starovoit said in a Telegram post that border guards had suppressed the attack with “return fire”. He added there were no casualties in the shelling but said three settlements had been left without electricity because of damage inflicted on power lines.

    There was no immediate comment from Kyiv on Starovoit’s allegations. Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify his report.

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