The Russian finance minister has apparently issued the next ruble threat against the West. According to Vedomosti newspaper, Anton Siluanov said he supports a Gazprom plan to accept payments for LNG exports only in Russian rubles. Russia had previously threatened to only accept rubles for oil and gas supplies to the West. This should support the ruble battered by western sanctions.

According to the United States, Iran wants to supply Russia with hundreds of drones for the war of aggression against Ukraine. Tehran wants to supply Moscow with “up to several hundred” such unmanned aerial vehicles, including weapon-capable drones, US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, told journalists on Monday.

“Our information also indicates that Iran is preparing to train Russian units in the use of these drones,” Sullivan said. “The first training sessions could begin as early as July.”

Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, is handing over his entire media empire to the state over a law limiting the influence of oligarchs. “This week Media Group Ukraine will give up all Ukrainian licenses of our television channels (…) and print media in favor of the state,” Akhmetov said on Monday.

The 55-year-old multi-billionaire said the tight deadline for selling media set out in the September 2021 law and “Russian military aggression against Ukraine” make it “impossible” for him to sell the media companies on market terms. Media Group Ukraine is one of the largest media holdings in the country. It owns ten TV channels, including news channels, online media and print media.

Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podoliak welcomed Akhmetov’s announcement. “The de-oligarchization law is the beginning of a new chapter in the relationship between the state and the business world.”

Akhmetov has an estimated fortune of more than four billion euros. His holding SCM is active in the steel, energy and coal sectors, among others. Born in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, the industrial magnate and owner of the Shakhtar Donetsk football club was actually considered pro-Russian for a long time. However, he condemned the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sharply criticized the planned delivery of a serviced Russian turbine for the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1. If a terrorist state could enforce such an exception to the sanctions, which exceptions would it want tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, Zelenskyj asked in a video message. Zelenskyy said the decision to “exception sanctions” was perceived in Moscow as a “manifestation of weakness”.

Also Read: The Ukraine Update on July 11 – Pro-Russian Mayor Killed, No More Gas Through Nord Stream 1: What Happened Today