Friday, June 9, 2023

Ukraine war: India ramps up Russian oil imports, Trump calls for peace, Kaliningrad renamed

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These are the latest developments from the Ukraine war.

India ramps up purchases of Russian oil

Indian imports of Russian oil rose tenfold last year, according to one of its banks. 

Figures from the Bank of Baroda showed Asia’s third-largest economy massively increased purchases of crude oil from Moscow, as Western countries moved to slash Russian energy imports.

India now receives nearly 20% of its oil from Russia – up from just 2% in 2021, the state-owned lender revealed. 

Moscow has sold energy at a discounted price to countries like China and India, which is the third largest importer of oil on the planet. 

During the last financial year, India saved around €4.55 billion due to these reduced costs.  

New Delhi has not joined Western sanctions on Russian imports, maintaining it cannot pay high prices with millions in poverty, though there is pressure from Europe and the US. 

It has not condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Trump calls for peace

Former US President Donald Trump has called for fighting to stop in Ukraine. 

Speaking at a 90-minute event on the news outlet CNN – which he has repeatedly called fake news – Trump said “I want everybody to stop dying”. 

Asked who he would like to see win, the ex-president added: “I don’t think of winning or losing, I think in terms of getting it settled.”

Trump has repeatedly claimed Russia would have never invaded Ukraine if he were president. He claims if he was voted into the White House again, Ukraine would have a settlement in 24 hours. 

The 76-year-old said he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin had made an error invading Ukraine, though stopped short of calling him a war crime, when asked.

Tensions are growing within the US Republican Party over whether to keep supporting Kyiv as it battles to expel Russian forces. 

In March 2022, the Pew Research Center found widespread support for helping Ukraine, with 74% of Americans saying the Biden administration was either providing the right amount of aid or should provide more.

Since then, the percentage of Americans saying their country has given “too much” aid to Ukraine has steadily increased, hitting 26% in January. 

Poland renames Russia’s Kaliningrad

Poland is reverting to using its historical name for Kaliningrad, a Russian city and administrative region it borders. 

It will be designated on Polish maps as Krolewiec from now on, following a recommendation from the government commission on geographic names abroad.

The Kremlin reacted angrily, with its spokesperson Dmitry Peskov calling the move a “process bordering on insanity” that went beyond Russophobia.

The city, formerly known as Koenigsberg, was ceded from Germany to the Soviet Union after World War II. In 1946, it was renamed Kaliningrad, after Mikhail Kalinin, one of the leaders of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Polish authorities said the current name was artificial, lacking any connection to the city or the region, whereas the centuries-old name of Krolewiec was part of Poland’s cultural heritage.

They also pointed out that Kalinin was one of six Soviet officials who ordered the execution of more than 21,000 Polish prisoners of war. 

The Ukraine war has reinvigorated deep-seated tensions between Russia and Poland, with Warsaw emerging as a key ally of Kyiv, supplying it with weapons and rallying international support.



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