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Live: Russia at risk of debt default after US payment license expires

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Ukrainian servicemen patrol in a recently retaken village, north of Kharkiv, east Ukraine, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP/PTI Photo)

Ukrainian servicemen patrol in a recently retaken village, north of Kharkiv, east Ukraine, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP/PTI Photo)

Live news updates: The United States pushed Russia closer to the brink of a historic debt default on Wednesday by not extending its license to pay bondholders, as Washington ramps up pressure following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The US Treasury Department said on its website late on Tuesday it would let lapse a license which expired at 12:01 a.m. ET (0401 GMT) on Wednesday and allowed Russia to make interest and maturity payments on its sovereign debt to U.S. persons.

That waiver has allowed Russia to keep up government debt payments, but its expiry now appears to make a default inevitable on at least some its $40 billion of international bonds--Russia's first major external one for more than a century, said Reuters.

A court in Delhi gave life imprisonment to Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik after finding him guilty of funding terrorists.
The National Investigation Agency had demanded death for Malik, who had pleaded guilty to all the charges including those under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).  Malik, during court hearings, said that if Indian Intelligence can prove that he had been involved in any terrorist activity or violence in 28 years, then he would retire from politics, and will also accept the hanging.

8:52 PM

Brussels says about $24 bln of Russian central bank assets frozen in EU

European Union states have reported the freezing of about 23 billion euros ($24.5 billion) of assets of the Russian Central Bank, a top EU official said on Wednesday, revealing for the first time a figure that was expected to be much higher. Russia has publicly said that Western sanctions led to the freezing of about $300 billion of its central bank's assets globally. Of these frozen assets, only less than one-tenth is in the EU, Reuters quoted EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders as saying.
8:25 PM

India to continue buying 'cheap' Russian oil, discount to be finalised: Source to Reuters

India will continue to buy "cheap oil" from Russia but has not finalised terms of the discount, said Reuters quoting a senior government official familiar with the matter Wednesday. "We will get cheap oil from Russia," the government official told reporters, adding that the average price at which the world's third largest oil importer buys crude is currently above $100 a barrel.
8:15 PM

More than 1.20 lakh fatal accidents reported in 2020: Govt report

As many as 1,20,806 fatal accidents were reported during the calendar year 2020, and victims were largely young people in productive age groups, according to a new report released by highways ministry. The report titled 'Road accidents in India -- 2020', said out of a total 1,20,806 fatal accidents, 43,412 (35.9 per cent) accidents happened on National Highways, 30,171 (25 per cent) on State Highways and 47,223 (39.1 per cent) on other roads, PTI reported.
7:48 PM

Mariupol official says first cargo ship to depart port in coming days

A Russian-backed official in the occupied Ukrainian port of Mariupol said on Wednesday that the first ship to leave since pro-Russian forces completed their capture of the city would leave in the next few days, the TASS news agency reported. The official said the ship would take around 3,000 tonnes of metals to Rostov-on-Don in Russia, TASS said.
7:27 PM

No deal on new EU sanctions against Russia expected at leaders' summit: Germany

The German government hopes talks on a fresh round of EU sanctions against Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine will be completed soon but it will not be a topic at the forthcoming leaders' summit, a German official said on Wednesday. A decision on EU candidate status for Ukraine will not be made either, said the official, according to Reuters.
7:13 PM

Britain calls on Russia to let Ukraine export its grain

Britain's Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on Wednesday called on Russia to let Ukraine export its grain to help countries where grain scarcity could trigger hunger.
Russia must "do the right thing", Wallace told reporters in Madrid where he met his Spanish counterpart Margarita Robles, and open a grain corridor from Ukraine's Black Sea ports, according to Reuters.
6:31 PM

Yasin Malik imprisoned gets two life sentences: Court

Yasin Malik imprisoned: "Two life sentences and five punishments of 10 years of rigorous imprisonment each have been awarded. All sentences are to run concurrently. A monetary penalty of over Rs 10 lakh has also been levied," lawyer Umesh Sharma was quoted by as saying. Different prison sentences and fines have been awarded for different cases. 
6:20 PM

Yasin Malik to spend life in prison, fined Rs 10 lakh: Delhi court

A court in Delhi sentenced Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik to life imprisonment after finding him guilty of funding terrorists. Malik was fined Rs 10 lakh.
5:56 PM

Yasin Malik’s supporters clash with police in Srinagar

Yasin Malik’s supporters clashed with the police in Srinagar as a court in Delhi is about announce his punishment for terrorism, India Today TV news channel reports.
5:06 PM

RailTel says it logged highest ever consolidated income of Rs 1,628 cr

State-owned RailTel Corporation said on Wednesday it has achieved its highest ever consolidated income of Rs 1,628 crore in financial year 2021-22, registering a growth of 15 per cent over consolidated income of Rs 1,411 crore in FY 20-21. RailTel made profit before tax amounting to Rs 281 crore and profit after tax of Rs 209 cr during the Financial Year 21-22 on consolidated basis, it said. The company sets up telecom infrastructure.
4:46 PM

NHPC net profit rises 7 pc to Rs 515 cr in Q4

State-owned power firm NHPC on Wednesday posted an almost seven per cent rise in its consolidated net profit to Rs 515.90 crore in the March 2022 quarter. The company had reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 482.35 crore in the quarter ended March 2021, a BSE filing showed.
4:15 PM

Russian lawmakers vote to scrap upper age limit for military

Russia's State Duma approved a law on Wednesday removing the upper age limit for contractual service in the country's military, said Reuters. Currently, only Russians aged between 18 and 40 and foreigners aged 18 to 30 can enlist as professional soldiers in the Russian army.
3:59 PM

Sri Lanka PM Wickremesinghe appointed finance minister to lead debt talks

Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will double up as finance minister leading bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund. 
Wickremesinghe, who was appointed this month following violent unrest, was sworn in by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Minister of Finance and Economic Stabilization and National Policies, according to a statement from the presidential media unit. 
3:49 PM

Shiv Sena leaders Sanjay Raut, Sanjay Pawar to file Rajya Sabha papers Thursday

Shiv Sena's chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said he and party colleague Sanjay Pawar will tomorrow file their nomination papers for Rajya Sabha elections. Shiv Sena's Kolhapur district president Sanjay Pawar will be the party's second candidate for the June 10 elections, PTI reported.
3:44 PM

Germany to loosen Covid-19 entry rules over the summer

Germany's health minister says the government plans to suspend a pandemic rule requiring people to show proof of vaccination, a negative test result or recent recovery from COVID-19 to enter the country over the summer. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told a newspaper group in comments published Wednesday that the rule, which applies to everyone age 12 and above regardless of where they are travelling from, will be suspended from June 1 to the end of August, the AP reported.

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First Published: May 25 2022 | 7:20 AM IST

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