Ukraine Latest: Kyiv Wants Sanctions on Russian Nuclear Sector

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(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine wants Russia’s nuclear energy sector and liquefied natural gas to be part of future sanctions packages, Ukraine’s energy minister told Bloomberg Television.

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Ukrainian forces downed 14 out of 15 Shahed-type drones launched by Russian troops overnight, Ukraine’s General Staff said on Facebook. Twelve of the unmanned aircraft were shot down over Kyiv, the city’s military administration said.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited two towns in Ukraine’s northern Sumy region near the Russian border, where Kremlin troops were forced out a year ago. Reconstruction of the devastated communities “will definitely happen,” he said.

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(All times CET)

Belarus Opposition Leader Meets With Jake Sullivan (12:40 a.m.)

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has met with Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the White House said Tuesday.

During the Monday encounter, Sullivan expressed “the steadfast support of the United States for the Belarusian people’s pursuit of a sovereign and democratic future, including free and fair elections as well as human rights protections,” according to a White House statement. In the 2020 election, Tsikhanouskaya challenged the country’s longtime leader, Alexander Lukashenko. She fled the day after the vote following threats from officials.

Lukashenko has long been a steadfast supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and allowed the use of his country’s territory for the invasion of Ukraine. Over the weekend, Putin announced a plan to place nuclear weapons in Belarus.

US Backs Ukraine’s Call to Set Up Special Tribunal (6:31 p.m.)

US President Joe Biden’s administration supports Ukraine’s efforts to establish a special tribunal to prosecute Russia for the crime of aggression, said a State Department official who asked not to be named.

The US believes a special tribunal would have significant international support, maximize the chance that Russia would be held accountable over its invasion of Ukraine and would ideally be located in another country in Europe, the official said.

Blinken Backs Ukraine’s Peace Proposal, Warns Against China’s (4:56 p.m.)

The US supports Ukraine’s peace framework, which demands the withdrawal of all Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, and opposes alternate proposals that would advantage Moscow, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

The top US diplomat endorsed Kyiv’s proposal during a virtual session of the Summit for Democracy, where Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba detailed its 10 points.

Xi’s Actions Undermine China’s Credibility on Ukraine: Sunak (4:31 p.m.)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak warned that China’s actions “undermine their credibility” as a neutral party on Ukraine, and urged President Xi Jinping to “use his influence with Putin to end this war.”

Speaking at a parliamentary committee hearing in London on Tuesday, Sunak said that it was “clear that Russia is dependent on China” after Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow.

Ukraine Ready to Resume Electricity Export to EU (3:38 p.m.)

Ukraine has sufficient electricity in its system to consider restarting exports to the European Union in the near future, according to Energy Minister German Galushchenko.

Exports were halted in October after Russia targeted Ukrainian energy infrastructure with missile strikes and drone attacks, causing power cuts in most regions. The system has since resumed functioning following repairs and support from international partners.

Zelenskiy Visits Towns Near Russian Border (3:11 p.m.)

Zelenskiy visited the town of Okhtyrka, 61 kilometers (38 miles) from the Russian border, to survey the devastation on the anniversary of its liberation by Ukrainian forces. He also visited Trostyanets, 35 kilometers from the border, which was heavily damaged and plundered, according to the presidential website.

“Ukrainians will live here, on their land, in their cities and villages, which we have to rebuild after the war,” Zelenskiy said on the visit, during which he inspected reconstruction projects and border guard positions.

Rentals Plunge in Kyiv, Soar in the West (2:01 p.m.)

Russia’s invasion has drastically changed Ukraine’s rental market, cutting prices in the capital Kyiv, which was the most expensive place to live before the war, while pushing them up in two western regions far from the battlefield, according to official statistics.

The average rental cost of a one-room apartment in Kyiv, which was at risk of occupation in early 2022 and is still targeted by Russian missile barrages, dropped 13% from the previous year to more than 7,300 hryvnia ($200) this month, according to the statistics office. The plunge was deeper in regions closer to the front line.

In contrast, average prices for a one-room apartment in Zakarpattya and Lviv in western Ukraine soared as many Ukrainians fled fighting. Prices almost tripled in Zakarpattya, while climbing some 65% in Lviv.

Ukraine Seeks Long-Range Air Defense to Hold Back Russian Attacks (1:20 p.m.)

Ukraine needs long-range air-defense equipment and modern aircraft to fend off Russian tactical aviation from Ukraine’s borders, Air Defense spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said. Russian tactical aircraft are beginning to carry difficult-to-intercept modernized guided bombs in addition to missiles, he said.

“These are new threats that we have to take into account,” Ihnat said. “The most effective method is to drive Russian aviation away from the borders.”

Ukrainian Minister Urges Sanctions on Russian Nuclear Sector (12:25 p.m.)

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant under Russian control in southeastern Ukraine is being operated incorrectly, Galushchenko said. Ukraine is more worried about the deteriorating situation at Zaporizhzhia than about Russian plans to place nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus, he added.

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