Ukraine Latest: Yellen Warns Russia Risks ‘Shut In’ of Some Oil

(Bloomberg) --

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US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said it’s “very likely” that European Union sanctions will force Russia to offer some crude oil exports at a price set by the US and its allies, if Moscow wishes to prevent a shut-in of some supplies.

“They’re going to be looking for buyers, and we think they’re going to have a hard time selling all of it,” Yellen said Saturday in an interview with Bloomberg News. An EU ban on seaborne imports of Russian crude starts on Dec. 5.

Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson city is an “extraordinary victory” for Ukraine, though Russian claims that it pulled its forces from the Dnipro’s west bank haven’t been verified, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Saturday that Ukraine has regained control of more than 60 settlements in the Kherson region.

Key Developments

  • Biden Aide Says Kherson Retreat ‘Extraordinary Victory’ for Kyiv

  • Yellen Says Russia Faces Oil Shut-In or Price Cap Amid Sanctions

  • Ukraine Leader Hails Kherson Return in Major Blow for Putin

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

On the Ground

Ukrainian military administration officials have returned to Kherson, while Ukraine’s air force carried out 11 strikes against Russian troops in occupied parts of the Kherson region, the general staff in Kyiv said on Facebook. It said Russia is bolstering fortifications on the left bank of the Dnipro river in a bid to keep control of occupied territories. Seeking a return to a semblance of everyday life in Kherson, the national postal service said it’ll deliver pension checks to Ukrainians starting Monday. In the Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk and Sumy regions, Ukraine said Russian air and rocket strikes hit 15 localities. Russian troops were attempting to advance toward Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Novopavlivka in the Donetsk region.

(All times CET)

Zelenskiy Says Ukraine Expanding Kherson Control (6:49 p.m.)

Ukrainian forces regained control of more than 60 settlements in the Kherson region as of Saturday evening, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video message.

He warned residents to be aware of the risk of unexploded ordnance and booby traps, saying that police had cleared more than 2,000 pieces in the region, including mines and undetonated shells. Departing Russian forces destroyed a broad range of infrastructure, including water, electricity, central heating and communications, he said.

Putin, Raisi Discuss Deepening Iran-Russia Ties (6:15 p.m.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi discussed further increasing political and economic cooperation, including on transport and logistics, during a phone call, according to a Kremlin statement.

Separately, Ukraine’s military intelligence agency alleged on Telegram that an agreement was reached this summer to supply Iranian ballistic missiles to Russia.

Russia Wavers on Extending Grain Transit Deal (2:15 p.m.)

Russia hasn’t decided on an extension of the deal allowing exports of Ukrainian grains, which expires next week, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin told reporters following grain talks with the United Nations in Geneva on Friday, according to Tass. He added that the country will consider all circumstances before making a decision and urged the UN to push for implementation of the “Russian part” of the deal, stipulating unimpeded exports of Russian foodstuffs and fertilizer.

Russia will insist on reconnecting its agricultural bank, Rosselkhozbank, to the SWIFT bank payments system, as it is vital to removing obstacles for its agricultural exports, Vershinin said. UN representatives assured Russia that they also consider the issue crucial, he said.

TV, Radio Back in Operation in Kherson (11:05 a.m)

Ukrainian TV and radio services have been restored in Kherson, Ukraine’s special communications service said on its website. Polish company Emitel SA provided the equipment.

Meanwhile, power distributor Khersonoblenergo started work on resuming supplies to liberated parts of Kherson region and the city of Kherson, the company said on its website.

Ukraine Says Up to 19 Russian Warships in Black Sea (11:00 a.m.)

As many as 19 Russian military ships including one cruise missile carrier with 8 Kalibr missiles are deployed in the Black Sea, the Ukrainian Navy said on Facebook. It said Russia is continuing to violate international maritime conventions and turns off automatic identification systems on civilian ships in the Sea of Azov.

Separately, Russia banned ships, loaded outside the country, from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait, Tass reported, citing Turkish authorities, whom Russians notified of their decision.

Rich Russians Seen Fueling Demand for Caribbean Passport (11:00 a.m.)

Vladimir Putin’s military draft following his invasion of Ukraine has triggered a flood of Russians moving to nearby countries with visa-free entry, such as Turkey or Georgia. For some wealthier citizens, an alluring alternative has opened on a faraway island in the Caribbean.

Demand from wealthy Russians looking to flee is helping drive the spike in applications for Grenada’s citizenship by investment initiative, according to Richard Hallam, a special adviser to the program. He estimates they could make up the biggest chunk of applicants this year.

Turkey’s Erdogan Urges ‘Peace Through Dialog’ (10:01 a.m.)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged talks to bring peace, saying that, with “the US in the lead,” the West attacks Russia “limitlessly” and “against that, Russia puts up resistance.”

“Our effort is to create a peace corridor from there -- the grain corridor has come into reality,” he told reporters on his way back from Uzbekistan to Istanbul. “The best way for that would be the one that goes to peace through dialog, we think.”

EU Approves €225.6 Million German Aid to Former Gazprom Germania (9:30 a.m.)

The European Commission approved €225.6 million ($233 million) of German aid to support SEFE Securing Energy for Europe GmbH, in a move that will allow the German state to take 100% ownership of the company. The decision aims to safeguard security of gas supplies to the German economy, the European Union’s antitrust arm said in a statement on Saturday.

Henichesk Becomes Temporary Capital of Russia-Controlled Area (8:15 a.m.)

Henichesk became the new capital of the Russia-controlled areas of the Kherson region after Russian troops withdrew from the city of Kherson, according to the Tass newswire.

Ukraine Urges Asia Leaders to Stop Russia Playing ‘Hunger Games’ (5:38 a.m.)

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to “take every method possible to stop Russia from playing hunger games with the world” when it comes to the grain corridor.

“Whatever happens on the battleground, Russia should not use this corridor as a blackmail, as the leverage in international relations as it tried to do recently by withdrawing and then returning to the grain initiative under pressure,” he told reporters in Cambodia.

Banksy Reveals Mural on Shelled Ukraine Building (00:01 a.m.)

Secretive graffiti-artist Banksy revealed on his Instagram a mural of a gymnast doing a handstand on a shelled out building, with the caption “Borodyanka, Ukraine.”

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