Volodymyr Zelenskiy addressed the Venice film festival describing Russia’s war on Ukraine as “a primitive plot in three acts for the world to make three dramatic mistakes: to get used to the war, to put up with the war, to forget about the war”. Zelenskiy told the audience “not to remain silent” and “not to remain neutral” to the war.
Russia has stopped the flow of gas via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Europe, citing the need to carry out repairs. The German government rejects the claim, calling it to “belong”. It said Nord Stream was “fully operational” and that there were no technical issues. The halt on the Baltic Sea pipeline at 5am on Wednesday would last for three days, said Gazprom, the Russian state energy company.
Estonia aims to stop most Russians from entering within weeks, its foreign minister, Urmas Reinsalu, said on Wednesday. “It takes some time, but I think timing is also critical, looking at these vast numbers of Russian citizens entering,” Reinsalu said in Prague.
The EU has agreed to suspend the visa travel deal with Moscow to curb the number of Russian nationals entering the bloc for holidays and shopping, stopping short of a full tourist visa ban. Meeting in Prague, the EU’s 27 foreign ministers promised to suspend the 2007 visa facilitation agreement with Russia that makes it relatively easy to obtain travel documents.
Zelenskiy welcomed the EU visa measure. “I think it is humiliating for Europe when it is considered as just one big boutique or restaurant,” he said in his latest national address. “When the citizens of the state that wants to destroy European values use Europe for their entertainment or shopping, for the vacation of their mistresses while they themselves work for the war or to simply silently wait out the immoral fall of Russia.”
The US obtained a warrant to seize a $45m airplane owned by Russian energy firm Lukoil, the US justice department said, although the aircraft is currently believed to be in Russia. The aircraft reportedly flew into and out of Russia in violation of US department of commerce sanctions.
G7 finance ministers will discuss the Biden administration’s proposed price cap on Russian oil when they meet on Friday, the White House said. “This is the most effective way, we believe, to hit hard at Putin’s revenue and doing so will result in not only a drop in Putin’s oil revenue, but also global energy prices as well,” said White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre at the briefing on Wednesday.