IN BRIEF: Ukraine-Russia conflict | What you need to know right now

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday complained about divisions inside the European Union over (EU) more sanctions against Russia and asked why some nations were being allowed to block the plan.

The EU is discussing a sixth round of punitive measures, including an embargo on Russian oil imports.

Such a move requires unanimity but Hungary opposes the idea for now on the grounds its economy would suffer too much.

DIPLOMACY

* President Zelenskiyy complained about divisions inside the EU over more sanctions on Russia, including an embargo on its oil exports, and asked why some nations were being allowed to block the plan, after opposition from Hungary.

* The World Health Organization (WHO) assembly passed a motion condemning a regional health emergency triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rejected a rival resolution from Moscow that made no mention of its role in the crisis.

* Finland’s prime minister said Russia’s actions in Ukraine were a turning point for the world and relations with Moscow could not go back to how they were before its invasion.

FIGHTING

* Pro-Russian separatists from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said they have established full control over the small but strategic town of Lyman in eastern Ukraine.

* The military situation in eastern Ukraine is even worse than people say it is and the country needs heavy weapons now to effectively fight Russia, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

* Russian shelling killed at least seven civilians and wounded 17 in the city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, authorities said.

* As the United States and its allies provide Ukraine with increasingly sophisticated arms, Washington has held discussions with Kyiv about the danger of escalation if it strikes deep inside Russia, US and diplomatic officials told Reuters.

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned the West that supplying weapons to Ukraine capable of hitting Russian territory would be “a serious step towards unacceptable escalation”, Tass news agency said.

ECONOMY

* The rouble extended its losses after plunging the previous session as the central bank slashed interest rates, signalling more cuts to come, and the prospect of easing capital controls and a possible sovereign default hammered the currency.

* The White House said it expects minimal impact on the US and global economy from a potential Russia debt default as Washington decided to not extend a waiver that enabled Russia to pay US bondholders.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi discussed ways to help ease the international food crisis, with the Kremlin saying this could be done only if the West lifts sanctions.

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