Latest news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

US State Department says Blinken and Lavrov haven’t spoken yet

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken talks about U.S. policy toward China during an event hosted by the Asian Community Policy Institute at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on May 26, 2022.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

The US State Department said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had not yet spoken while attending the same conference in Cambodia.

A State Department official told reporters traveling with Blinken that the senior US diplomat had no plans to speak with his Russian counterpart.

“The last time they spoke directly was during that planned phone call last week,” the official added.

There is still no “serious response” from the Russians To the United States’ proposal to release WNBA star Britney Grenier and former US Marine Paul WhelanThe official added.

– Amanda Macias

Erdogan in Turkey meets Putin for talks in Sochi

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan began talks in the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi.

The two are scheduled to discuss Syria, Ukraine and Russian construction of a nuclear power plant in southern Turkey.

The Russian President thanked Erdogan for Turkey’s role in helping arrange the resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Russian city of Sochi on August 5, 2022.

Turkish Presidency Press Office | Reuters

“The deliveries have already begun, and I would like to thank you for this and for the fact that at the same time an accompanying decision was taken on the continued supply of Russian food and fertilizers to world markets,” Putin said.

Putin also informed Erdogan that he wants to sign an agreement to strengthen trade and economic relations between Moscow and Ankara.

“I hope that today we will be able to sign a relevant memorandum on the development of our trade and economic relations,” Putin said.

Karen Gilchrist

US says it will continue Russia’s offer to discuss prisoner exchange

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken speaks at the 10th Annual Review of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at United Nations Headquarters on August 1, 2022 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Washington would “continue” Russia’s offer to discuss a prisoner exchange between imprisoned basketball star Britney Grenier.

“They are ready to engage” in a swap for Graner, Blinken said at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. “We will strive to achieve that,” he added.

Earlier Friday, Moscow said it was ready to discuss a prisoner exchange with Washington through an established diplomatic channel, a day after Grenier was sentenced to nine years in prison on drug charges.

Karen Gilchrist

Russia expels 14 Bulgarian diplomats

A Russian government plane IL-96 departs from Sofia Airport, Bulgaria, on July 03, 2022.

Norfoto | Norfoto | Getty Images

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Russia had declared 14 Bulgarian diplomats persona non grata.

Earlier this summer, Bulgaria expelled 70 Russian diplomats over espionage concerns and put an end to the size of Moscow’s representation as relations between formerly close allies frayed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Bulgaria’s move was evidence of “a further deterioration of the collective West, which is ready to sacrifice the interests of partners in order to harm Russia.”

Karen Gilchrist

Erdogan aide says war cannot end by ignoring Russia

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Russian city of Sochi on August 5, 2022.

Turkish Presidency Press Office | Reuters

A top aide to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the war in Ukraine will not end if Moscow is ignored, in an apparent attack on other NATO members.

Communications Director Fahrettin Altun praised Turkey’s role in brokering a deal to export grain from Ukraine and said other countries should intensify their diplomatic response.

“The truth is that some of our friends don’t want to end the war. They are shedding crocodile tears,” Altun told Reuters, adding that some were actively trying to undermine Turkey’s efforts without specifying who.

“The international community cannot end the war in Ukraine by ignoring Russia. Diplomacy and peace must prevail,” he added.

Erdogan’s comments came at a time when Erdogan went to the Russian city of Sochi to meet with his counterpart President Vladimir Putin.

Karen Gilchrist

Zelensky is back on fire after Amnesty accused Ukraine of endangering civilians

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a statement during a joint press conference with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nosida, following their meeting in Kyiv on July 28, 2022.

Sergey Sobinsky | AFP | Getty Images

President Volodymyr Zelensky has denounced Amnesty International’s allegations that Ukraine is putting civilians at risk by deploying its forces in residential areas.

The human rights organization said in a report Thursday that it had “documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces endangering civilians and violating the laws of war when operating in populated areas.”

Zelensky denied the allegations, saying Amnesty was “trying to shift responsibility from the aggressor to the victim”.

Karen Gilchrist

Russia-backed separatists claim to have captured Pesky village in eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian forces have captured the village of Pesky, located on the outskirts of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, according to Russia’s state news agency TASS.

Gael Gerbis | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russian and pro-Russian forces said they have taken full control of the village of Pesky, located on the outskirts of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, according to Russia’s state news agency TASS.

They added that the fighting is taking place in the city of Bakhmut, north of Donetsk.

On Thursday, the Ukrainian military said that Russian forces had launched at least two attacks on Peske, but that they had so far been repelled.

Karen Gilchrist

Russia says it is ready to discuss prisoner exchange with the United States

NBA women’s basketball player Brittney Greiner, who was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport and later charged with illegal cannabis possession, awaits sentencing inside the defendants’ cage before a court hearing in Khimki outside Moscow, in August. 4, 2022.

Evgenia Novozinina | AFP | Getty Images

Moscow has said it is ready to start talks with the United States over a prisoner exchange after basketball star Britney Grenier was sentenced.

A Russian court found WNBA Griner guilty of drug charges and sentenced her to nine years in prison Thursday.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden had previously agreed on a diplomatic channel that should be used to discuss such matters.

“We are ready to discuss this issue, but within the framework of the channel agreed upon by Presidents Putin and Biden,” Lavrov said during a visit to Cambodia.

The Kremlin had earlier warned the United States against resorting to “megaphone diplomacy” in the Grenier case.

Karen Gilchrist

Blinken and Lavrov will not speak at the ASEAN meetings in Cambodia

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken looks at the East Asia Summit foreign ministers meeting during the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Phnom Penh on August 5, 2022.

Tang Shen Southee | Afp | Getty Images

A Foreign Ministry official told reporters that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has no plans to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where the two men are attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations foreign ministers meeting.

Memos showed that the two men did not criminalize any eye contact despite sitting close to each other at the East Asia Summit foreign ministers meeting.

According to the US official, Russia did not provide a “serious response” to the Biden administration Proposal for the Russian government to release Greiner and ex-Marine Paul Whelan.

One of Blinken’s goals in Cambodia is to counter the Russian war in UkraineThe US State Department said, where he will stay until Friday, before traveling to the Philippines, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

– Natalie Tham

Three ships carrying grain leave Ukrainian ports

Three more ships carrying grain and foodstuffs set off from Ukrainian ports under a recent historic deal. On August 05, 2022 in Odessa, Ukraine.

solid relapse | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The United Nations Coordination Committee confirmed that three more ships carrying Ukrainian grain exports have left the country’s ports on the Black Sea.

The ships, collectively carrying 58,041 tons of corn, departed for the United Kingdom, Ireland and Turkey.

The shipments form part of an internationally brokered deal to unblock Ukrainian agricultural exports and ease a growing global food crisis. It follows the first shipment of pills on Monday.

Meanwhile, a Turkish bulk tanker is expected to arrive at Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Chornomorsk, the first to arrive at the country’s port since the Russian invasion.

Kyiv called for the agreement to be extended to other commodities such as metals.

Karen Gilchrist

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