Russia-Ukraine live news: Zelenskyy rules out talks with Putin

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signs a decree ruling out direct peace talks with his Russian counterpart.
  • Russia says more than 200,000 reservists have been conscripted since Putin announced a “partial mobilisation” drive.

    EU to integrate aid for Ukraine into 2023 budget

    European Union finance ministers have agreed to integrate the EU’s support payments to Ukraine into the bloc’s 2023 budget to make disbursements more structured and predictable, the vice president of the EU’s executive arm says.

    Speaking to journalists after a meeting of the ministers, the European Commission’s Valdis Dombrovskis admitted this year’s payments to Kyiv had been irregular.

    “It is important to have a more predictable flow for Ukraine next year, so our intention is to integrate it into the EU budget discussions for 2023 and in this way make it a more steady flow,” Dombrovskis said.

    Belarus’s Lukashenko accuses Ukraine of border provocations

    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has accused neighbouring Ukraine of deploying 15,000 troops to near the two countries’ shared border to build defences and conduct reconnaissance, actions that he called “provocations”.

    In comments carried by Belarus’s state news agency, Belta, Lukashenko said the Ukrainian unit brought up to the border had blocked roads and was setting up checkpoints and firing positions. He added the troops were “constantly conducting optical, radio-electronic and radio-technical reconnaissance of our territory, troops and objects”.

    “Often with their drones violating the line of the state border. And at the same time, they worry and worry: ‘Oh, don’t let Belarus enter the war’. And there are constant provocations at the border,” Lukashenko said. There was no immediate response to his claims from Kyiv.

    Russia is Belarus’s main backer and the two neighbours are part of a borderless so-called “union state”. Moscow deployed forces, missiles and aircraft to Belarusian territory under the pretext of military drills prior to launching its invasion and then funnelled troops into Ukraine when it began the offensive on February 24.

    Drone activity reported near North Sea gas field, Danish police say

    Danish police received reports of drone activity over the weekend near the Roar gas field in the North Sea, a police spokesperson has said.

    The Roar field is next to Denmark’s largest gas field, Tyra, both of which are operated by TotalEnergies.

    The French energy company said last week it had observed “unauthorised drone activity” near one of its other offshore oil and gas installations in the North Sea, the Halfdan B field.

    Denmark has, like some other countries in the region, raised its emergency preparedness level for its power and gas sector after several countries said two Russian pipelines to Europe leaking gas into the Baltic Sea had been subject to sabotage.

    Japan expels Russian consul in retaliatory move

    Japan has ordered a Russian consul in Sapporo to leave the country by October 10 in retaliation for the expulsion of a Japanese diplomat in Vladivostok last month, the country’s foreign ministry has announced.

    Takeo Mori, Japan’s vice minister for foreign affairs, summoned Russian ambassador Mikhail Galuzin on Tuesday to inform him of the decision.

    The move came after Russia’s FSB security agency said in September that it had detained a Japanese consul for suspected espionage and ordered him to leave the country.

    “It is obvious that this latest step by the Japanese side can only lead to further deterioration of bilateral relations, which have already degraded recently as a result of Tokyo’s destructive policy,” Galuzin said in a statement.

    UK to extend deployment of air defence system in Poland: Defence secretary

    The United Kingdom will extend the deployment of an air defence system in Poland, the country’s defence secretary has announced during a visit to the southern Polish city of Zamosc.

    “I am pleased to announce that we will extend the current posting of our medium air defence … for another period to make sure that as Poland helps to continue … logistical support to Ukraine it is safe in doing so,” Ben Wallace told a news conference.

    Kremlin says it won’t engage with Western ‘nuclear rhetoric’

    The Kremlin has said it does not want to take part in what it described as Western exercises in “nuclear rhetoric” after reports suggested Russia was preparing to demonstrate its willingness to use nuclear weapons.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s remarks came after The Times newspaper on Monday claimed NATO had warned member states that Russia was set to hold a nuclear test on Ukraine’s borders.

    The British newspaper reported the alliance had distributed an intelligence report alerting members and allies to the alleged threat.

    The warning reportedly made direct mention of Russia’s nuclear-capable torpedo drone, Poseidon, dubbed the “weapon of the apocalypse”.

    The newspaper also said Russia had moved a train thought to be linked to a unit of the defence ministry that was responsible for nuclear munitions.

    In a separate report, the Reuters news agency on Tuesday quoted an unnamed Western official as saying that there were no indications of unusual activity surrounding Moscow’s nuclear arsenal.

    “We have not seen any indicators or activities that we would think are out of the norm. We have not seen activity which is beyond the usual for the sorts of activities that are conducted by those elements of the Russians’ strategic forces,” said the official.

    Russian official says grain harvest to grow after annexation of Ukrainian territories

    Russia’s grain harvest is set to grow by about five million tonnes a year because of its annexation of four Ukrainian territories, the country’s agriculture minister has said.

    “Considering the arable land that exists there, I think at least five million tonnes of grain will be added to the Russian savings box. I also think that we’ll get other crops,” Dmitry Patrushev was quoted as saying by Russia’s state-run TASS news agency.

    The Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhia regions are all partly or mostly occupied by Russian forces. Moscow’s offensive has sharply reduced Ukraine’s grain crop and disrupted shipping in the Black Sea, prompting a global food security crisis.

    EU summons Russia’s envoy over annexation move

    The EU has summoned Russia’s envoy to the bloc to condemn and reject Moscow’s “illegal annexation” of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhia regions of Ukraine.

    The EU’s diplomatic service said the bloc had urged Moscow to reverse its “unlawful act” and unconditionally withdraw all its troops from the entirety of Ukraine’s territory during Monday’s meeting with Russia’s charge d’affaires, Kirill Logvinov.

    “The EU does not, and will never, recognise this illegal annexation by Russia,” the bloc said in a statement. “These decisions by Russia are null and void and cannot produce any legal effect whatsoever.”

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