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The latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine. All times EST.
2:07 a.m.: Japan will use its turn next year in leadership roles at the Group of Seven and the United Nations to pressure Russia to halt its war in Ukraine, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi said at the Reuters NEXT conference.
“Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine is a clear violation of international law. It is an unacceptable and outrageous act threatening the very foundation of the international order,” Hayashi said.
Japanese leaders have said Russia’s attack on Ukraine poses a challenge to their own national security and fear it may encourage North Korea to further threaten its neighbors and embolden China to use military force to push its territorial ambitions in the South China Sea and East Asia, including against nearby Taiwan.
Japan’s presidency of the G-7 industrial democracies in 2023 and its return for a two-year stint as a non-permanent Security Council member will give it a more conspicuous international platform to voice its concerns.
1:08 a.m.: France may face “some days” of power cuts this winter, the head of French power grid operator RTE said Thursday, as the government briefed local authorities on how to manage any possible outages.
“The situation entails risks, but one must not think power cuts are inevitable,” Xavier Piechaczyk told France Info radio, according to Reuters.
Utility giant EDF has faced an unprecedented number of outages at its fleet of nuclear reactors, reducing nuclear output to a 30-year low just as Europe scrambles to replace Russian gas supplies, which Moscow cut off in retaliation for EU sanctions imposed over its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Piechaczyk stuck with the grid operator’s last supply forecast, which had highlighted risks of shortages in January.
“Today we have 35 gigawatt of available nuclear power as of December 1, the aim is to reach between 40 and 41 on January 1 and to end the month at around 43, compared to a total capacity of 61.”
Piechaczyk said the forecast was modeled on EDF’s nuclear maintenance schedule, with some additional delays already anticipated.
12:02 a.m.: The U.S. government on Thursday announced the approval of a $380 million sale of Stinger portable anti-air missiles and other equipment to Finland, Agence France-Presse reported.
“The proposed sale will improve Finland’s defense and deterrence capabilities,” the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement.
“This critical platform will bolster the land and air defense capabilities in Europe’s northern flank, supporting the U.S. European Command’s top priorities.”
The announcement comes more than nine months into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which pushed Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership, and follows a $323 million proposed missile sale to Helsinki announced on Monday.
The State Department approved the possible sale, and the DSCA on Thursday provided the required notification to Congress, which still needs to sign off on the transaction.
Some information in this report came from Agence France-Presse and Reuters.