Ukraine Latest: Zelenskiy Marks Anniversary of Bucha Liberation

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vowed to drive Russia out of Ukraine as he marked the one-year anniversary of the liberation of Bucha, the town northwest of Kyiv that suffered reported wide-scale atrocities under the occupation of Moscow’s troops.

(Bloomberg) — President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vowed to drive Russia out of Ukraine as he marked the one-year anniversary of the liberation of Bucha, the town northwest of Kyiv that suffered reported wide-scale atrocities under the occupation of Moscow’s troops.

Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a new foreign policy concept that set out to confront the US and its allies as hostile, claiming an “era of revolutionary changes” was under way in international relations. 

Turkey’s parliament approved Finland’s NATO membership, removing the final hurdle to the Nordic nation’s accession to the alliance. The vote seals a major change in Europe’s security posture following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, doubling the length of NATO’s Russian frontier. 

Key Developments

  • Putin Signs New Russia Foreign Policy Against ‘Hostile’ West
  • Finland Clears Last Obstacle to NATO Entry With Turkish Nod
  • Spanish Premier Urges Xi to Reach Out to Ukraine on Peace Plan
  • Russia Tightens Grain Trade Grip as Western Firms Pull Back 

(All times CET)

Putin Signs New Foreign Policy Against ‘Hostile’ West (3:17 p.m.)

Putin signed a 42-page policy document that argues the US is “the source of fundamental risks to the security of the Russian Federation” and most European states are pursuing an “aggressive policy” aimed at undermining Russia’s sovereignty. 

The policy “serves as a solid doctrinal basis for our further work on international affairs,” Putin told a meeting of his Security Council. Russia will seek to boost ties with “constructive partners” and create “conditions for unfriendly states to abandon their hostile policy toward our country,” he said.

Russia intends to deepen relations with China and India, and to make military aid to Latin American nations facing “US pressure” a priority of its foreign policy, according to the document.

Belarus Seeks to Control Russian Nuclear Arms on Its Territory (3:16 p.m.)

Belarus will control any nuclear weapons placed there, President Alexander Lukashenko said in a televised address.

“We here will operate everything that there is in Belarus,” Lukashenko said. His comments clashed with statements from Putin last week, who said he’ll station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus without handing control over them to avoid breaching non-proliferation obligations.

Ukrainians See Negotiations Possible Only After Russian Withdrawal (2:09 p.m.)

More than 60% of Ukrainians support the idea that negotiations with Russia are possible only after it withdraws its troops back over the nations’ 1991 borders, according to a poll held by the Kyiv-based Razumkov Center think tank.

Spanish Premier Urges Xi to Reach Out to Ukraine About Peace (1:20 p.m.)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to speak with his Ukrainian counterpart if Beijing wants to play a role in ending Russia’s invasion.  

“We all want peace, but we want that peace to be just and lasting, and for that to happen it has to be based on the position of the country that is being attacked,” Sánchez said after meeting Xi. 

Spain is in line with the European Union in supporting the Ukrainian president’s blueprint to end the hostilities released a few months ago, Sánchez added, rebuffing Xi’s call for peace that would freeze in place territory seized by Russian forces. 

Zelenskiy Says World Changed After Seeing Bucha Atrocities (1 p.m.)

The world changed significantly after images came to light from Bucha a year ago following its liberation from a month of Russian occupation, Zelenskiy said. 

Ukraine’s leader visited the town, northwest of Kyiv, with the leaders of Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia and Moldova, who also attended a summit on addressing Russia’s responsibility for war crimes committed in Ukraine.

Ruble Heads for Quarterly Loss vs Dollar (12:27 p.m.) 

Russia’s ruble slid against the dollar amid importers’ demand for foreign currency and lower FX sales from exporters, and it was poised for a second consecutive monthly decline as the first quarter draws to a close.  

Russian Oil Price Cap to Stay at $60, European Governments Told (10:36 a.m.)

The European Commission told member states that a $60-a-barrel cap on the price of Russian oil is proving effective in hurting the Kremlin’s access to petrodollars while not disrupting the market, and will remain unchanged for now. 

The bloc’s executive arm told diplomats from the EU’s 27 member states that there’s no willingness among most Group of Seven countries to lower the threshold now, people familiar said.

Russia Tightens Grip on Grain Trading (8 a.m.) 

The future of major Western grain traders in Russia has been upended this week. Glencore-backed Viterra said Thursday it will stop shipping crops from Russia starting in July and may shed its assets there, a day after Cargill said it would soon stop exporting grain it sources in Russia — although it can continue buying cargoes from other firms at ports.

The back-to-back moves appeared to rattle other companies as well, with Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. now reviewing its stake in a sweetener and starch venture there.

Russian Launches Missiles, Drones Overnight (7 a.m.)

Kremlin forces conducted nine missile launches against civilian infrastructure in Kharkiv overnight, Ukraine’s General Staff said on Facebook. A private building and two cars were damaged in strikes, regional governor Oleh Synyehubov wrote on Telegram, with three people sustaining minor injuries. 

Ukraine was also attacked with UAVs, and downed nine out of 10 Iranian Shahed-136/131 attack drones launched by Russia, according to General Staff. Two civilians were injured when a drone struck the Izyum district of Kharkiv. 

Finland Clears Last Obstacle to NATO Entry (3:50 a.m.) 

Turkey’s Parliament voted to approve Finland’s membership in NATO, removing the final obstacle to the accession of Russia’s Nordic neighbor into the defense alliance as its 31st member.

Lawmakers in Ankara unanimously voted on Thursday to ratify Finland’s entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the last of current members to approve the expansion after the Hungarian parliament on Monday also backed the move. 

The vote seals a major change in the European security architecture after militarily non-aligned Finland and Sweden sought NATO membership in a U-turn following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago.

Read more: Why Turkey Is Still Blocking Sweden’s NATO Accession: QuickTake


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