Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now



Sept 4 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has told Europeans to expect a difficult winter as the Russian assault on his country leads to cuts in oil and gas exports by Moscow.

ENERGY

* European gas buyers already grappling with record-high prices face further pain when the markets open on Monday after Russia said one of its main supply pipelines to Europe would remain shut indefinitely, sparking fears over energy rationing.

* The European Union expects Russia to respect existing energy contracts but is prepared to meet the challenge if it fails to do so, Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said on Saturday.

* Germany's government will use income from windfall taxes to lower end-consumer prices for gas, oil and coal, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, announcing measures to mitigate the impact of rising energy prices on its population.

* Germany's gas storage facilities have reached the October goal of 85% despite the extended halt of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline delivering gas from Russia, data from European operators group GIE showed on Saturday.

* Sweden aims to offer 250 billion Swedish crowns ($23.23 billion) in liquidity guarantees to energy firms to help avert a financial crisis, Finance Minister Mikael Damberg said on Sunday.

* Russia does not support an oil production cut at this time and it is likely OPEC+ will keep its output steady when it meets Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter. (Link)

DIPLOMACY

* China's top legislator Li Zhanshu will attend the seventh Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok this week, the official Xinhua news agency reported, becoming the most senior Chinese official to visit Russia since the Ukraine war began.

* Giorgia Meloni, set to lead a new Italian government with two parties once close to Moscow, warned of the risk posed to Western nations by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, calling it the "tip of the iceberg" in a struggle for influence.

ZAPORIZHZHIA PLANT

* The Zaporizhzhia plant continues to supply electricity to the grid through a reserve line despite losing connection to the last remaining main external power line, the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Saturday.

* An official from the Russian-installed administration in Zaporizhzhia told a radio station the situation around the nuclear plant has been calm so far on Sunday after accusing Ukrainian forces of trying to attack the plant two days in a row. Ukraine says Russia attacked the plant itself.

* Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call that his country can play a facilitator role regarding the plant, his office said on Saturday.



EXPLAINER-Why Russia drives European and British gas prices

EXPLAINER-Nord Stream turbine tension puts focus on gas pipeline
parts

TIMELINE-Ukraine's turbulent history since independence EXPLAINER-Blood, treasure and chaos: the cost of Russia's war in Ukraine

ANALYSIS-As Ukraine war drags on, Europe's economy succumbs to crisis

Meltdown averted but six months on, Russians face economic pain Milestones of six months


(Compiled by William Mallard, Frances Kerry and Philippa Fletcher)

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