Latest news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

Turkey’s Erdogan meets Putin for talks in Sochi

President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Tayyip Erdogan, have started talks in the Russian city of Sochi, on the Black Sea.

The pair are set to discuss Syria, Ukraine and Russia’s construction of a nuclear power plant in southern Turkey.

The Russian president thanked Erdogan for Turkey’s role in helping organize the resumption of grain shipments from Ukraine.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, on August 5, 2022.

Turkish Presidential Press Office | Reuters

“Deliveries have already started, I want to thank you both for this and for the fact that at the same time an accompanying decision was made on the uninterrupted supply of Russian food and fertilizers to world markets,” he said Putin.

Putin also told Erdogan he wants to sign an agreement to boost trade and economic ties between Moscow and Ankara.

“I hope that today we can sign a relevant memorandum on the development of our trade and economic ties,” Putin said.

—Karen Gilchrist

US says it will “pursue” Russia’s offer to discuss prisoner swap

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the 10th annual review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at the UN headquarters on August 1, 2022 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington will “pursue” Russia’s offer to discuss a prisoner swap for jailed basketball star Brittney Griner.

“They are ready to participate” in a trade for Griner, Blinken told the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. “And we will pursue it,” he added.

Earlier on Friday, Moscow said it was willing to discuss prisoner swaps with Washington through an existing diplomatic channel, a day after Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison on drug charges.

—Karen Gilchrist

Russia expels 14 Bulgarian diplomats

Russian government IL-96 aircraft takes off from the airport in Sofia, Bulgaria on July 3, 2022.

Nurfoto | Nurfoto | Getty Images

Russia declared 14 Bulgarian diplomats persona non grata, the country’s foreign ministry said.

Earlier this summer, Bulgaria expelled 70 Russian diplomats over espionage concerns and limited the size of Moscow’s representation as relations fractured between the once close allies.

In a statement, Russia’s foreign ministry said Bulgaria’s move was evidence of “further degradation of the collective West, which is ready to sacrifice the interests of its partners to harm Russia”.

—Karen Gilchrist

The war cannot be ended by ignoring Russia, Erdogan’s aide says

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, on August 5, 2022.

Turkish Presidential Press Office | Reuters

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

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

“The truth is that some of our friends do not want the war to end. 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 while ignoring Russia. Diplomacy and peace must prevail,” he added.

The comments come as Erdogan was heading to Sochi, Russia, to meet his counterpart, President Vladimir Putin.

—Karen Gilchrist

Zelenskyy reacts after Amnesty accused Ukraine of endangering civilians

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky makes a statement during a joint press conference with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda after their meeting in Kyiv on July 28, 2022.

Sergey Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denounced allegations by Amnesty International that Ukraine is endangering civilians by basing troops in residential areas.

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

Zelenskyy refuted the claims, saying Amnesty was “trying to shift responsibility from the perpetrator to the victim”.

—Karen Gilchrist

Russian-backed separatists claim to have taken the village of Pisky in eastern Ukraine

Pisky, a village outside Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, has been captured by pro-Russian forces, according to Russian state news agency Tass.

Gaelle Girbes Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russian and pro-Russian forces said they have taken full control of Pisky, a village outside Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, according to Russian state news agency Tass.

They added that fighting was taking place in the town of Bakhmut, north of Donetsk.

The Ukrainian military said on Thursday that Russian forces had launched at least two assaults on Pisky, but had so far been repulsed.

—Karen Gilchrist

Russia says it is ready to discuss a prisoner swap with the US

US Women’s National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball player Brittney Griner, who was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, awaits the verdict in the The defendants’ cage before a court hearing in Khimki, outside Moscow, in August. 4, 2022.

Evgenia Novozhenina | AFP | Getty Images

Moscow said it was ready to start talks with the United States on a prisoner swap following the conviction of basketball star Brittney Griner.

A Russian court found WNBA Griner guilty on drug charges and sentenced her to nine years in prison on 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 these issues.

“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 previously warned the United States not to resort to “megaphone diplomacy” in Griner’s case.

—Karen Gilchrist

Blinken and Lavrov will not speak at ASEAN meetings in Cambodia

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

Tang Chhin Sothy | Afp | Getty Images

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is not scheduled to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where the two men are attending the Association of Southeast Nations Asian for foreign ministers, a State Department official told reporters.

The two men did not make eye contact despite sitting close to each other at the East Asia Summit foreign ministers’ meeting, the group’s notes showed.

According to the US official, Russia has not given a “serious response” to the Biden administration’s proposal to the Russian government to release Griner and ex-Marine Paul Whelan.

Addressing Russia’s war in Ukraine is one of Blinken’s goals in Cambodiawhere he will be until Friday, before traveling to the Philippines, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, the US State Department said.

—Natalie Tham

Three ships carrying grain leave Ukrainian ports

Three more ships carrying grain and food left Ukrainian ports under a recent landmark agreement. on August 5, 2022 in Odesa, Ukraine.

Metin Atkas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Three more ships carrying grain exports from Ukraine left the country’s Black Sea ports, the United Nations coordination committee confirmed.

The ships, carrying a total of 58,041 tonnes of maize, left for the UK, Ireland and Turkey.

The shipments are part of an internationally negotiated deal to unblock Ukraine’s agricultural exports and ease the growing global food crisis. It follows the first shipment of grain on Monday.

Meanwhile, a Turkish bulk carrier was expected to arrive at the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Chornomorsk, the first to arrive at the country’s port since the Russian invasion.

Kyiv has asked that the pact be extended to other goods such as metals.

—Karen Gilchrist

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About the Author: Chaz Cutler

My name is Chasity. I love to follow the stock market and financial news!