Wed, 08 Feb 2023

Ukraine urged NATO members Tuesday to speed up weapons deliveries and help restore its shattered power grid, as Western allies vowed to bolster support to aid Kyiv through winter in the face of Russia's attacks. Follow our blog to see how the day's events unfolded. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

04:23am: Ukraine urges allies to speed up support for winter of war

Ukraine urged NATO members Tuesday to speed up weapons deliveries and help restore its shattered power grid, as Western allies vowed to bolster support to aid Kyiv through winter in the face of Russia's attacks.

Moscow has unleashed waves of strikes against Ukraine's energy infrastructure as its troops are pushed back on the ground, plunging millions of people into darkness.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called for supplies of weapons, especially advanced air defence systems, to come "faster, faster, faster" as he joined a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers in the Romanian capital Bucharest.

04:00am: Ukraine strikes digital trade agreement with Britain

Britain on Wednesday said it had agreed in principle a digital trade deal with Ukraine, the eastern European country's first such agreement as it seeks support for its economy following Russia's invasion.

Britain has sought to support Ukraine during the war, providing weapons but also taking economic steps, such as cutting tariffs on all Ukrainian goods to zero.

Talks on the digital deal began in the summer and were fast-tracked with a view to supporting Ukraine's economy through the war and afterwards.

01:21am: NATO promises more weapons and energy support for Ukraine

NATO allies promised more arms for Ukraine and equipment to help restore power supplies cut by Russian strikes in meetings on Tuesday.

Foreign ministers from the NATO alliance, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, began a two-day meeting in Bucharest on Tuesday, seeking ways both to keep Ukrainians safe and warm and to sustain Kyiv's military through a coming winter campaign.

US and European officials said ministers would focus in their talks on non-lethal aid such as fuel, medical supplies and winter equipment, as well as on military assistance. Washington said it would provide $53 million to buy power grid equipment.

12:25am: PM says Finland must give more weapons to make sure Ukraine wins war against Russia

Prime Minister Sanna Marin made the comments Wednesday in Auckland on the first-ever visit by a Finnish prime minister to New Zealand and Australia.

"We need hard power when it comes to Ukraine," Marin told reporters when asked what soft-power influence smaller countries like Finland and New Zealand could exert.

"They need weapons, they need financial support, they need humanitarian support, and we need to also make sure that all the refugees fleeing from Ukraine are welcomed to Europe," Marin said. "We have to make sure that they will win," Marin said.

Since the war began, both Finland and Sweden have abandoned their longstanding policies of military nonalignment and applied to join NATO. Both countries are still seeking endorsement from Turkey.

Marin said Western countries also needed to ensure sanctions were "harder and harder against Russia" because the war was affecting everyone, not only the civilians in Ukraine but also people worldwide with higher energy prices.

12:00am: Ukraine's forces strike power plant in Russia's Kursk region, says governor

Ukrainian forces struck a power plant in multiple attacks on Russia's Kursk region on Tuesday, causing some electricity outages, a local governor said.

"In total, there were about 11 launches. A power plant was hit," Roman Starovoyt, the governor of the Kursk region, said on the Telegram messaging app.

"Because of this, there are partial power outages in the Sudzha and Korenevo districts." The districts are part of Russia's Kursk region and sit over Ukraine's northeast border.

There was no immediate information on possible injured or casualties, he added.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

Originally published on France24

More Christchurch News

Access More

Sign up for Christchurch News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!