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The latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine. All times EST.
1:45 a.m.: The European Commission recommended on Wednesday that $13 billion in EU funds for Hungary be frozen because Budapest is falling short on its commitments to meet European rule of law, Agence France-Presse reported.
The EU executive said Hungary had in particular failed to make good on promised reforms to ensure a fair judicial system when it comes to prosecutorial decisions.
EU member states will now have until December 19 to vote on whether to back, reject or change the commission recommendation.
The commission’s blunt recommendation was foreshadowed, with Hungary under repeated criticism by Brussels for perceived backsliding on principles and practices underpinning EU standards of democracy and law.
Budapest has already been standing in the way of efforts to extend sanctions on Moscow — with which it has good ties and energy dependency — over Russia’s war in Ukraine.
1 a.m.: The U.N. Global Humanitarian Overview estimates that an extra 65 million people will need help next year, bringing the total to 339 million in 68 countries, Reuters reported.
That represents more than 4% of the people on the planet or about the population of the United States.
“Humanitarian needs are shockingly high, as this year’s extreme events are spilling into 2023,” said the U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, citing the war in Ukraine and drought in the Horn of Africa.
“For people on the brink, this appeal is a lifeline.”
Over 100 million people have been driven from their homes as conflict and climate change fuel a displacement crisis.
Meanwhile, nine months of war between Russia and Ukraine have disrupted food exports and around 45 million people in 37 countries are currently facing starvation, the report said.
This year’s appeal represents a 25% increase compared to last year.
But donor funding is already under strain with the multiple crises. The United Nations faces the biggest funding gap ever, with its appeals only about 53% funded in 2022, based on data through to mid-November.
“Humanitarian organizations are therefore forced to decide who to target with the funds available,” a U.N. statement said.
12:01 a.m.: German energy giant Uniper said Wednesday it was taking Gazprom to an international tribunal over the Russian company’s failure to deliver gas, saying it has so far cost them $12 billion, Agence France-Presse reported.
After Moscow invaded Ukraine, Gazprom steadily dwindled pipeline supplies to Germany in apparent retaliation for Western sanctions on Russia, sending energy prices soaring.
Germany’s biggest gas importer, Uniper was left facing bankruptcy, prompting the government to say it would nationalize the firm over fears its failure could send shockwaves through Europe’s top economy.
The German company said it had begun legal action against Gazprom at a tribunal in Stockholm, claiming damages over gas that had not been delivered since June.
Some information in this report came from Agence France-Presse.
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