Russia has announced that it will be expelling some German diplomats in retaliation for a similar move by Germany. While Germany has not yet confirmed any expulsions, the arrival of a Russian government plane in Berlin is believed to be related to the issue. According to reports from Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, Germany has apparently decided to expel over
* Russia’s Defence Ministry said Russian forces had captured three more blocks in the western part of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.
* The U.S. said on Friday it would soon start training Ukrainian troops to use its Abrams tanks as Germany announced a deal to establish a hub in Poland to repair German Leopard tanks deployed in Ukraine.
* NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said NATO allies agreed Ukraine would eventually become a member and that Ukrainian President Zelenskiy had been invited to attend the Western military alliance’s summit in July.
* The U.S. Air National Guardsman accused of leaking classified documents about the Ukraine conflict to a small group of gamers had been posting months earlier than previously known and to a much larger chat group, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing online postings it had seen.
The Philippines and China plan to establish additional communication channels to address maritime disputes.
* A Moscow court ordered the arrest in absentia of Bulgarian investigative journalist Christo Grozev, whose reporting for the Bellingcat news outlet has angered Russia, RIA news agency said.
* Russia’s richest people added $152 billion to their wealth over the past year, helped by high prices for natural resources – rebounding from the huge losses they experienced after the start of the war in Ukraine, Forbes Russia said.
* A first batch of Russian fertiliser seized by Latvia last year is being shipped to Kenya by the U.N. World Food Programme, Latvia said. It was not immediately clear if Russia approved of the shipment, or what effect it would have on the prospect of an extension of the separate Black Sea deal allowing Ukraine to export grain by ship.
* Ukrainian state-owned gas company Naftogaz has held talks with Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), Halliburton (HAL.N) and Chevron (CVX.N) about projects in Ukraine as the Kyiv government tries to lure back foreign investment into its energy sector, the Financial Times reported.