- The United Kingdom says it is unclear how Russia will achieve a plan to increase its armed services by 140,000 personnel, saying the decree is unlikely to make meaningful progress in increasing Moscow’s “combat power” in Ukraine.
- Ukrainian and Russian officials again exchange blame for recent shelling near Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant as inspectors from the United Nations nuclear watchdog await clearance to access the site.
Europe at risk amid fighting near nuclear plant: Ukraine minister
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Russian forces had turned the Zaporizhzhia plant into military base, putting the whole continent at risk, and had no business being there.
“Russian invaders turned Zaporizhzhia NPP into a military base putting the entire continent at risk. Russian military must get out of the plant,” he said on Twitter.
Russian shelling damages building in Sloviansk: Ukraine authorities
Russian forces shelled the Ukrainian city of Sloviansk, damaging residential buildings and a school, Ukrainian officials have said.
“That’s what liberation looks like … that’s how the ‘liberators’ [Russians] are liberating us,” Sloviansk resident Konstiantyn Daineko said, according to AP news agency, as he surveyed the damage in his mother’s apartment. Daineko said he was listening to music and falling asleep when the building was struck.
Al Jazeera could not independently verify the officials’ claims.
Bangladesh to import 500,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia: Reuters
Bangladesh is set to import 500,000 tonnes of wheat at the rate of $430 a tonne from Russia in a government-to-government deal as it battles to secure supplies amid surging prices, two government officials with direct knowledge of the matter have said.
The deal with Russia will be signed in a few days and the shipment will take place in phases by January, one of the officials said.
Salman Fazlur Rahman, the prime minister’s private industry and investment adviser, told Reuters news agency that Bangladesh is buying grain and fertiliser from Russia but did not elaborate.
“We can make payments in dollars for imports of food grains and fertilisers from Russia through 24 global banks, with no restriction on such imports,” he said.
Ukraine, Russia say no increase in radiation levels at Zaporizhzhia plant
The Ukrainian and Russian officials say there has been no increase in radiation levels at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant following the latest shelling around the Russian-occupied site.
The radiation situation remains normal, the Russian Defence Ministry said in Moscow. Ukrainian state nuclear operator Energoatom made a similar statement earlier in the day.
Both sides have accused the other of shelling the sprawling complex for weeks, raising fears of a widespread disaster at Europe’s largest nuclear plant.
EU on track to suspend expedited visa scheme for Russians: Report
European Union foreign ministers are set to unify behind suspending the bloc’s preferential treatment of Russians applying for visas, according to the Financial Times.
The move comes amid pressure from some countries, including Poland and the Czech Republic, who have already stopped issuing visas to Russian tourists. However, Russians can still enter the Schengen zone through other countries and travel to those who have stopped issuing visas.
The foreign ministers plan to initially give political support to suspending a 2007 deal between the bloc and Russia, which would create more document requirements, longer wait times and higher fees for Russian tourists applying for visas, three officials told the newspaper.
There is no consensus on what steps the bloc would take beyond that, with several countries, including Germany, opposing an outright ban.
More grain shipped across Danube than at any time since conflict: Ukraine
Ukrainian authorities have said more grain is being shipped across the Danube River than at any point since Russia’s invasion began.
Since March, more than 4 million tonnes of grain have been taken out of the country through Ukraine’s Danube ports, according to the Ukrainian Infrastructure Ministry. On Saturday, 11 ships made their way to the river ports of Izmail, Reni and Ust-Dunaysk and loaded a total of 45,000 tonnes of grain, the ministry said on Sunday.
On July 22, Ukraine and Russia, under UN mediation, signed an agreement with Turkey to allow exports from Ukraine from three Black Sea ports, relieving pressure on global food markets.
The Istanbul Coordination Center, which was established under the deal, said on Saturday that 1 million tonnes of grain and other foodstuffs had been exported through the Black Sea route so far. A total of 103 ships had set sail either to or from Ukraine.