NATO never stronger, Biden says in Finland

Ahead of a US-Nordic meeting in Finland, United States President Joe Biden says NATO has never been stronger after alliance leaders promised more defence packages to Ukraine to counter Russia’s invasion of the country.
Russia’s nuclear chief said only “a complete idiot” would blow up the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant amid Ukrainian claims that Moscow is planning an attack.Ukrainian spokesperson says Kyiv has recieved cluster munitions
Ukrainian military spokesperson says Kyiv has received cluster munitions less than a week after the US announced it would send the weapons.

Cluster munitions are “in the hands of our defence forces,” Valeryi Shershen, a spokesman for the Tavria military command in southern Ukraine, told Ukrainian television.

The US announced on July 7 that it would send Kyiv cluster munitions as part of an $800-million security package to fight back against Russian forces.

But the US decision has sparked a backlash from rights agencies who urged Washington to retract the plan.

More than 100 countries currently prohibit the weapons. They typically release large numbers of smaller bomblets that can kill indiscriminately over a wide area.

Those that fail to explode pose a danger for decades.At least one person killed in Kherson: Governor
A Russian artillery attack has killed at least one person in the village of Mykilske.

Kherson’s regional Governor Olexsandr Prokudin wrote on Telegram that the attack occurred on the settlement, and one of the shells hit the yard of an elderly woman.

“The doctors who arrived at the scene of the tragedy had only to declare death,” he said.Ukrainian energy company sees better prospects than last year
Ukrainian state-owned energy company Naftogaz said the company is doing better this year after reporting a loss of 79.1 billion hryvnias ($2.14bn) in 2022, CEO Oleksiy Chernyshov said.

He said the company had prepared a $1.6bn capital expenditure plan to increase production from existing wells.

On Thursday, the energy company launched consent solicitation to restructure its Eurobonds due in 2022 and 2026 to end a months-long default.Only ‘a complete idiot’ would blow up Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant: Russia
Russia’s nuclear chief pushed back against Ukrainian claims that Moscow had plotted to blow up the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and said only “a complete idiot” would exhibit such recklessness.

“Those who wanted to arrange some sort of provocation there have been exposed,” Alexey Likhachev, the general director of Russia’s state nuclear corporation, Rosatom, told state television, citing observations by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Kyiv has repeatedly said that Russian forces planned to blow up southern Ukraine’s ZNPP.US President Biden to meet Nordic alliance after NATO summit
US President Joe Biden held talks with Nordic leaders at Finland’s presidential palace, visiting NATO’s newest member a day after a summit in Lithuania.

Biden travelled to Finland to participate in a US-Nordic summit with the leaders of Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway.

Finland’s decision to join NATO broke with seven decades of military non-alignment after Russia invaded Ukraine last year.

Ahead of a bilateral meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Biden hailed Finland as an “incredible asset”.

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