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© Reuters. Ukrainian flags are seen on the windows of destroyed apartments in the town of Borodianka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on May 13, 2022. REUTERS/Vladyslav Musiienko

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(Reuters) – Finland and Sweden formally applied to join Nato on Wednesday after Russia invaded Ukraine and triggered one of the most significant changes to the European security architecture in decades.

struggle

* The Russian Defense Ministry said 694 Ukrainian fighters who were hiding at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol surrendered in the past 24 hours, RIA news agency reported. 959 militants from Azovstal have surrendered since Monday, with 80 wounded, the RIA said.

economy

* Britain and other G7 nations are studying how to use Russian assets to finance Ukraine’s reconstruction, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.

* UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected to publicly disclose on Wednesday that he is in talks with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the United States and the European Union aimed at reviving grain shipments from Ukraine and restoring fertilizer exports from Russia and Belarus, a United Nations official said.

* Russian gas producer Gazprom (MCX: ) said it will continue to supply gas to Europe via Ukraine through the Sudzha entry point, with supplies on Wednesday.

* Swiss packaging group Vetropack said it would cut about 400 jobs in Ukraine after its Hostomel plant suffered severe war damage, in a sign that the economic damage from the war in Ukraine is widening.

diplomatic

* U.S. President Joe Biden will host the leaders of Sweden and Finland at the White House on Thursday to discuss their NATO applications.

* Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine stalled as the two sides blamed each other and Moscow said it could be difficult to resume talks, officials said.

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