Newsdeck

WAR IN EUROPE

Ukraine latest: Xi may visit Russia next week

From left: China's President Xi Jinping. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Jack Taylor / Pool) | Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Hollie Adams / Pool)

The International Criminal Court is planning to seek the arrest of Russian officials for forcibly deporting children from Ukraine and targeting civilian infrastructure, a source said on Monday, in what would be the first international war crimes cases arising from Moscow's invasion.

WAR CRIMES CASES

* The prosecutor of the ICC is expected to ask a pre-trial judge to approve issuing warrants against several Russians in relation to the conflict in Ukraine, a source with knowledge of the matter said on condition of anonymity. The office of the prosecutor at the ICC declined to comment. Russia’s defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Russia has strongly denied its forces have committed war crimes.

DIPLOMACY

* Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to travel to Russia to meet his counterpart Vladimir Putin as soon as next week, people familiar with the matter said, which would be sooner than previously expected.

* Xi plans to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for the first time since Russia’s invasion, the Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper, citing people familiar with the matter, said the call was likely to take place after Xi’s visit to Moscow next week. US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Ukraine has not confirmed the call.

GRAIN

* Moscow is suggesting to renew a deal allowing the safe export of grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports but only for a period of 60 days, half the term of the previous renewal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said on Monday after talks with UN officials in Geneva.

* A patchwork of fixes and increased crop plantings around the world to counter the impact of war in Ukraine on global grain supplies are not enough to ward off further risks of disruption, experts say.

BAKHMUT BATTLE

* The situation in Bakhmut was difficult, the commander of Ukrainian ground forces said, though adding that his troops were repelling all Russian attempts to capture it.

* The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, which has led the assault on Bakhmut, said on Sunday the situation in the mining town was “tough, very tough … But we are advancing and we will be advancing”.

(Compiled by Reuters editors)

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