Ukraine live briefing: U.S. ready to restart nuclear talks with Russia; U.N. nears deal to protect Zaporizhzhia plant

Ukraine live briefing: U.S. ready to restart nuclear talks with Russia; U.N. nears deal to protect Zaporizhzhia plant

Updated: 1 month, 25 days, 23 hours, 41 minutes, 50 seconds ago

Ukraine live briefing: U.S. ready to restart nuclear talks with Russia; U.N. nears deal to protect Zaporizhzhia plantUkrainian soldiers wait on top of a self-propelled howitzer 2S1 Gvozdika near the frontline town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on Dec. 2. Ukrainian soldiers wait on top of a self-propelled howitzer 2S1 Gvozdika near the frontline town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on Dec. 2. (Roman Pilipey/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

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The Biden administration is prepared to restart talks with Russia over a nuclear arms treaty despite the Kremlin’s decision to postpone negotiations planned for earlier this week, the State Department said Friday. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is the sole remaining strategic nuclear arms control treaty between Washington and Moscow, but its future has been called into question as tensions rise over the war in Ukraine.

Also Friday, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said it was nearing a deal between Ukraine and Russia to protect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Russia seized the facility soon after it invaded, and repeated shelling at and around the site has raised fears of a global nuclear catastrophe.

“We are almost there. Believe me … Now we have a proposal on the table which simply put is aiming to stop the folly of bombing the largest nuclear power plant in Europe,” International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi said, according to Reuters.

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Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.

1. Key developmentsThe European Union, Group of Seven nations and Australia all agreed Friday to limit the price of Russian oil, a measure the Biden administration called “welcome news” that will take effect Monday. It remains unclear whether the move will seriously hit Moscow’s finances in the near term, since the

, a measure the Biden administration called “welcome news” that will take effect Monday. It remains unclear whether the move will seriously hit Moscow’s finances in the near term, since the $60-per-barrel cap is so close to current pricesThe Kremlin dismissed the idea of talks between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and President Biden to end the war. Biden had suggested this week that he could meet with Putin if the latter was serious about pulling his troops out of the country. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the condition was a non-starter. “The U.S. still doesn’t recognize new territories of the Russian Federation,” Peskov said, referring to the four Ukrainian regions Russia illegally annexed in September.

to end the war. Biden had suggested this week that he could meet with Putin if the latter was serious about pulling his troops out of the country. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the condition was a non-starter. “The U.S. still doesn’t recognize new territories of the Russian Federation,” Peskov said, referring to the four Ukrainian regions Russia illegally annexed in September.

Satellite images released by Maxar Technologies offer a rare, detailed look at Mariupol, the Black Sea port city that Russia seized in May after a long and bloody siege. The latest images were taken Nov. 30 and depict a significant number of new graves in the city’s primary cemetery, as well as a freshly built Russian military installation.

2. Battleground updatesUkrainian strikes on Russian logistics lines may be complicating the Kremlin’s ability to redeploy troops from the Kherson region to locations near the Zaporizhzhia region, where there is heavy fighting,

from the Kherson region to locations near the Zaporizhzhia region, where there is heavy fighting, according to the Institute for the Study of WarRussian authorities are calling on residents in some occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia to register with authorities, potentially for “possible evacuation,”Ivan Fedorov, the exiled Ukrainian mayor of the occupied city of Melitopol,

potentially for “possible evacuation,”Ivan Fedorov, the exiled Ukrainian mayor of the occupied city of Melitopol, said Friday . Separately, pro-Kremlin Telegram channels reported Friday that preparations were underway to begin evacuating residents from a town in Kherson, where Ukraine has waged a counteroffensive.Russia’s army is suffering a “shortage of munitions,” according to a Friday

according to a Friday update from Britain’s Defense Ministry. In part, this is due to relocating supply lines and changing rail transfer points in the south and east, it said, with the shortages being “exacerbated” by logistical challenges on the ground. As a result, the shortages are “likely one of the main factors currently limiting Russia’s potential to restart effective, large scale offensive ground operations,” it added.

3. Global impact

Putin told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a phone call Friday that “Western states, including Germany,” were to blame for Ukraine’s refusal to negotiate any matters relating to the war. (Ukraine has said it is willing to negotiate but that Russia first needs to withdraw.) The Russian president also accused the West of “pumping up the Kyiv regime with weapons.” The conversation was the first between an E.U. leader and Putin since the Kremlin’s recent attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure and its string of battlefield defeats this fall.A half-dozen Ukrainian embassies across Europe, as well as several consulates, have received “bloody packages” containing animal eyes, in what Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said Friday was a “well-planned” campaign of intimidation and terror.

in what Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said Friday was a “well-planned” campaign of intimidation and terror.

Europe “isn’t strong enough right now” to deal with the fallout of the Ukraine war and stand up to Russia on its own, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Friday. Speaking at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Marin said: “I must be brutally honest with you, Europe isn’t strong enough right now. We would be in trouble without the United States.”American Paul Whelan, imprisoned in Russia for espionage, called his family Friday after a break in communication that led the Biden administration to express about his well-being. Whelan, who had missed a scheduled call home, told U.S. Embassy officers that he had been transferred to a prison hospital on Thanksgiving Day and was later returned to his prison. The State Department considers Whelan to be wrongfully detained.concern about his well-being. Whelan, who had missed a scheduled call home, told U.S. Embassy officers that he had been transferred to a prison hospital on Thanksgiving Day and was later returned to his prison. The State Department considers Whelan to be wrongfully detained.

4. From our correspondents

After Kherson, Ukraine’s military ponders new push south and east: Much attention is now shifting to the Zaporizhzhia region, to the southern front line less than 100 miles north of the Azov Sea, where Ukrainians are eager to sever the “land bridge” connecting mainland Russia to Crimea, which Russia invaded and illegally annexed in 2014, write Samantha Schmidt and Serhii Korolchuk for The Post.

The Kremlin is also gearing up for a fight and building up more fortified defensive positions. “Everyone is talking about Zaporizhzhia. Everyone,” said military analyst Konrad Muzyka.

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