EU drafts proposal to phase in a ban on Russian oil – as it happened

Mark Voyger is an expert on transatlantic relationships at the Center for European Policy Analysis and a former special adviser to the US army. He has been interviewed on Sky News in the UK this morning, and told viewers that the virtual address by the UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson to the Ukrainian parliament will be seen as a significant moment of support. He told viewers:

It is absolutely important and critical for Ukraine to see this massive international support being demonstrated in these difficult times. Obviously, we’ve already had multiple high- level visits, including the UN general secretary, and from the European Union’s leadership, the US.

So this is a clear sign to not only the government, but the Ukrainian people, that the west is ready to do what is necessary to help them achieve victory.

On the potential expansion of Nato membership to include Sweden and Finland as a result of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, he said:

Volatile regions are only those that are not members of Nato. The history of those conflicts shows that Russia attacks effectively non-Nato members – that is Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine. It hasn’t dared to touch any an inch of Nato territory yet.

I must say Vladimir Putin with his arrogant aggressive policies in the region has achieved the miracle really of convincing even the Swedes to forego their 300 plus years of neutrality. So I expect them to get fast tracked into Nato. This is a historical chance for them.

Ultimately this will strengthen tremendously the Nato eastern flank because now we’ll have a continuous, contiguous effectively, Nato border from the Arctic ocean down to the Black Sea and the Caucasus. This is of extreme importance in the global efforts in containing Putin’s Russia.

Updated at 03.22 EDT

Serhiy Haidai, governor of Luhansk oblast, has posted to Telegram in the last few minutes, saying:

12 enemy attacks were successfully repelled on the front line of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Six tanks, five artillery systems, 22 units of armoured combat vehicles and eight motor vehicles were destroyed. Air defence units shot down five…

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