Moscow’s foreign minister stated that the West has declared a “total war hybrid” against Russia. It is difficult to predict how long this will last.
Sergei Lavrov stated that the effects of the war in Ukraine would be felt all over the globe.
He warned, however, about the sanctions against Russia: “Western politicians need to understand that their attempts to isolate our country are futile.”
He went on to accuse Western countries of stealing assets from other countries and losing their reputations as reliable partners.
In a speech on the 80th anniversary of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, he stated that “In the future the world economy will become de-Americanized.”
“We tried everything to avoid a clash, but now the challenge has been laid down, we accept it,” said Mr Lavrov.
“We are not strangers to sanctions: almost always, they were there in some form or other.”
He made these comments after the G7 meeting of foreign ministers earlier Saturday. The nations signed a statement stating that they will continue economic pressure on Russia.
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This group includes the UK, USA and Canada as well as France, Germany, Japan, Germany and France.
“We reaffirm and continue to act in unison our determination to increase economic pressure on Russia,” read a joint statement.
Other important developments: * President Zelenskyy states that talks with Russia to get wounded defenders out the Azovstal plant at Mariupol were “very complicated”.
Interfax reported that Russian fighter jets took part in Baltic Sea drills.
* Russia declares that it will take appropriate precautionary steps if NATO deploys nukes and other infrastructure near its border
* Ukraine has hundreds of Russian soldiers lying in wait in a train, in frigerated storage. They will be sent home to their families.
* An American think tank claims that Russia has lost the battle to become Ukraine’s second largest city.
Putin warns Finland that it would be a mistake to join NATO
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Finland’s leader to abandon neutrality, but said that there are no security threats for Helsinki, its capital.
Responding to Mr Putin’s demands, President Sauli Niinisto said that the invasion of Ukraine and his demands for countries not to join NATO had changed Finland’s security environment.
Finland’s president stated that the conversation between them was straightforward and direct, and was free from any aggravations. It was important to avoid tensions.
Russia’s Kremlin described this call as a “frank discussion of points” – which is usually a diplomatic euphemism to describe a difficult conversation.
A similar move by Sweden is expected to follow Finland’s NATO membership bid.
A NATO expansion would be a setback to Putin, who fought the war in, what he claimed, an attempt to stop the alliance’s easterly advancement.
“We are in an entirely different situation since Russia began its ruthless warfare”
Sky News spoke to Finland’s European affairs minister about its bid to join the alliance. He said that the country is ready to fulfill its security responsibilities.
Tytti Tuppurainen was asked if Finland was playing a dangerous card by refusing to heed Mr Putin’s warning.
“We are now in a completely different place since Russia began its illegal and ruthless war in Ukraine.”
She stated that Finland needs to “get allies” and “get more partners”, but not to “provoke anyone”.
Ms Tuppurainen stated, “It’s all about security.” “We have a neighbor that we have seen can act and wage a very brutal war.
“We have been prepared for all sorts of unpleasant measures against us, but there is absolutely not panic and we aren’t afraid. We have been planning for all sorts of actions, but this is our decision.
She said that Putin is to blame, and that this was one of the results of his game.
“There is no danger”
Finigrid, Finland’s national grid operator, stated to Sky News earlier Saturday that no electricity from Russia is entering Finland.
According to some reports, the cut was caused by inability to process payments.
Reima Paivinen, senior vice president at Finigrid, stated that she was not concerned about Russia’s input. It accounts for around 10% of our consumption. The lack of Russian input can be compensated by increased production in the country and increasing imports from Sweden, the Baltic and other countries.
He said, “There is no danger that there will not be enough electricity.”