- US says Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demand that foreign buyers pay for Russian gas in roubles is a sign of “desperation”.
- US President Joe Biden says he is sceptical Russian troops are pulling back from Kyiv.
- Washington has announced plans to release an “unprecedented” amount of oil from its strategic petroleum reserve.
- Italy and Germany say they agree on importance of sanctions against Russia.
- Ukraine says “there are no longer any outsiders” at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Here are all the latest updates:
Russian troops have left Chernobyl, Ukraine says
Russian troops have left Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) after weeks of occupation, officials in Kyiv have said.
“There are no longer any outsiders on the territory of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant,” Ukraine’s state agency in charge of the Chernobyl exclusion zone said on Facebook.
The UN nuclear watchdog, IAEA, also confirmed that it had been informed by Ukraine that Russian forces handed control of the power plant and “moved convoys of troops”.
The agency said it would send the “first assistance and support mission to the Chornobyl NPP in the next few days”.
#Ukraine informed IAEA today that Russian forces that had been in control of #Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant since 24 Feb have, in writing, transferred control of the NPP to Ukrainian personnel and moved convoys of troops. https://t.co/DkBXEJpDu8 pic.twitter.com/guITblxwXP
— IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency (@iaeaorg) March 31, 2022
18 mins ago (20:39 GMT)
Italy and Germany say they agree on importance of sanctions against Russia
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed in a phone call on the importance of keeping up sanctions against Russia, which are “proving very effective”, Draghi’s office has said.
The phone call between the two leaders comes after Putin threatened to halt contracts supplying Europe with a third of its gas unless they are paid in Russian currency.
20 mins ago (20:38 GMT)
US says Russia’s demand of roubles for gas is sign of ‘desperation’
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demand that foreign buyers pay for Russian gas in roubles is a sign of Moscow’s economic and financial “desperation”, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price has said.
European nations, some of which rely heavily on Russian gas, have rejected the demand, with the German government saying it amounted to “blackmail”.
“I think fundamentally this is just another indication of the dire straits that Russia’s economy is in,” Price told reporters during a news briefing, adding that it was up to countries in Europe to determine their response.
23 mins ago (20:34 GMT)
US to add more entities in Russia, Belarus to sanctions list
The US Commerce Department will impose further sanctions in the coming days targeting Russia’s defence, aerospace and maritime sectors, adding 120 entities from Russia and Belarus to its blacklist, the White House has said.
That will bring the number of Russian and Belarusian parties added to the list to more than 200 since the invasion of Ukraine began, spokesperson Kate Bedingfield told a news conference.
25 mins ago (20:32 GMT)
Ukraine war should not hinder Iran deal revival, US analysts say
Detractors of the Iran nuclear deal have added Russia’s involvement in talks to revive the multilateral pact to their long list of grievances against the agreement, as Russian forces continue their offensive in Ukraine.
However, supporters of the accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), say the conflict in Ukraine should intensify – not blunt – efforts to restore it.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Read all the updates from Thursday, March 31 here.
The post Ukraine live news: All Russian troops out of Chernobyl, Kyiv says appeared first on Al Jazeera.Last Update: Thu, 31 Mar 22 17:06:08