Putin asks forces to secure nation’s borders

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin says the situation in four areas of Ukraine is “extremely difficult” as he ordered the Federal Security Service (FSB) to step up surveillance to secure its borders and combat new threats.
  • Putin has instructed security services to keep greater control of society and root out “traitors, spies and saboteurs”, the country’s news agencies reported.
  • Putin: FSB must secure Russian borders

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the FSB, Russia’s security service’, to strengthen the country’s border and sus out “traitors, spies and saboteurs”, the country’s news agencies have reported.

    Putin also spoke about the annexed regions of Ukraine in his speech on Security Services day and said the situation was “extremely difficult”.

    EU foreign policy chief condemns Iran

    EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell condemns Iran’s support for Russia and the ongoing repression of opposition in the country but said the EU would continue working with Iran to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

    “Necessary meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Jordan amidst deteriorating Iran-EU relations,” Borrell tweeted ahead of a regional conference being hosted by Jordan.

    “Stressed need to immediately stop military support to Russia and internal repression in Iran. Agreed we must keep communication open and restore JCPOA on basis of Vienna negotiations”.

    IMF approves donor fund for Ukraine

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it has approved an economic monitoring program for Ukraine, which could help Kyiv secure donor funding.

    The monitoring programme “is designed to help Ukraine maintain stability and catalyze donor financing amid very large balance of payment needs and exceptionally high risks,” following the Russian invasion, the International Monetary Fund said in a statement.

    Ukrainian authorities are committed to economic and financial reforms, concerning in particular tax collection, the domestic debt market, transparency and the independence of the central bank, the IMF said.

    They have four months to prove their progress as per the Program Monitoring with Board involvement (PMB) scheme, the statement said.

    Ukraine needed between $40bn and $57bn to cover its budgetary and operating needs for 2023, said Gavin Gray, the IMF’s head of mission for Ukraine.

    Rouble drops to seven-month low as sanctions rock Russia’s currency

    The rouble has dropped to a more than seven-month low against the dollar as fears rise over the possible effect of sanctions on oil and gas on the Russian currency.

    On Tuesday morning, the rouble was 2.2 percent weaker against the dollar at 69.19, its weakest mark since May 11.

    It had lost 2 percent to trade at 73.54 versus the euro, its weakest since May 6, and shed 2.4 percent against the yuan to 9.89, clipping a near six-month low.

    The rouble remains the world’s best-performing currency this year.

    But, after the pressure of sanctions in recent weeks, Veles Capital said in a note, the weakening rouble makes sense, referencing the $60-per-dollar oil price cap and the ninth package of European Union sanctions against Moscow.

    “On Monday, the pressure was seriously strengthened with information about preparations to introduce a ‘ceiling’ on the price of Russian gas from the start of 2023,” Veles Capital said.

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    Russia renews attacks as Kyiv tries to restore power

    Ukrainian forces have shot down several drones, officials say.

    Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities have been working to restore power to Kyiv after an attack on Friday damaged energy facilities. Friday’s attack was one of the biggest since the war began and plunged multiple cities into darkness.

    Millions of people across Ukraine have had no heating or running water after the Russian attacks.

    Russia’s Transneft receives Polish and German requests for oil: TASS

    Russia’s Transneft has received requests for oil for 2023 from Poland and Germany, the state oil pipeline monopoly’s head told Rossiya-24 TV station, according to TASS news agency.

    The EU has pledged to stop buying Russian oil via maritime routes from December 5, with Western nations also imposing price caps on Russian crude oil, but the Druzhba pipeline remains exempt from sanctions.

    Transneft’s comments are at odds with suggestions last month that Poland aimed to abandon a deal to buy Russian crude.

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