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RUSSIA

Kiev warns of Russian landmines in Ukraine

A Ukrainian delegation in Geneva on Thursday charged that Russian troops were laying anti-personnel mines in Ukraine and had grabbed a Ukrainian stockpile of landmines used for training.

Kiev warns of Russian landmines in Ukraine
A pro-Russian demonstrator shouts slogans into a megaphone in a rally in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa on Thursday. Photo: Alexey Kravtsov/AFP

Ukraine "is strongly concerned about the use of anti-personnel mines by the Russian Armed Forces in several parts of the Ukrainian territory," a Ukrainian delegation said at a meeting on landmines in the Swiss city.
   
The delegation accused Russian troops of creating minefields "at the entry points between the continental part of Ukraine and Crimean peninsula," which was annexed by Moscow last month.
   
Amid an intensifying standoff over the splintered ex-Soviet state, Kiev said mines had been laid both in Crimea, which it insisted "remains an integral part of Ukraine", and in the neighbouring Ukrainian region of Kherson.
   
"The mine-fields are fenced with barbed wire and marked with warning signs 'Mines'," it said, according to a draft of the statement presented to the meeting on compliance with the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, also known as the Ottawa Treaty.
   
Ukraine, which had not been scheduled to speak at Thursday's meeting, stressed its eagerness to "destroy anti-personnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction".
   
This could however only be done, it said, once Kiev regained "control of the territory currently occupied by the aggressor," Russia.
   
The Ukrainian delegation, whose comments came as Moscow stepped up the tensions Thursday with threats of cutting off its supply of natural gas to the country, also accused Russian troops of seizing a stockpile of mines from a Ukrainian military depot in Crimea.
   
The OZM-4 cast iron fragmenting mines, which do not have self-destruct mechanisms, had been stored by the Ukrainian military for training in mine detection and clearance, the delegation said.
   
The mines now "appeared to be out of the legal framework of the Ottawa Treaty," it said.
   
Ukraine is also scheduled to address the meeting on Friday to explain why it has missed its deadline to destroy its stockpiles of anti-personnel mines.

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UKRAINE

Shareholder group urges Switzerland’s Nestle to halt all Russia business

Nestle must halt all its activities in Russia, the Actares shareholder organisation said Monday, ramping up the pressure after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky singled out the Swiss food giant.

Shareholder group urges Switzerland's Nestle to halt all Russia business

Nestle has suspended all its imports and exports to Russia, including Nespresso coffee pods and S.Pellegrino bottled water, but has maintained deliveries of vital products such as baby food.

In a speech live-streamed to a rally outside the Swiss federal parliament in Bern on Saturday, Zelensky urged Swiss companies to cease doing business in Russia, picking out Nestle, and condemned firms that carried on regardless despite the siege of Mariupol.

“Actares — shareholding for a more responsible economy — urges Nestle to consider President Zelensky’s call in the Federal Square to stop doing business with Russia!”, the group, one of Switzerland’s top shareholders’ associations, said in a statement.

Nestle insisted Sunday that it was not making any profits in Russia, winding down many of the firm’s activities in the country following the Kremlin-ordered invasion of neighbouring Ukraine on February 24.

READ MORE: Ukraine’s Zelensky blasts Swiss banks in address to Bern rally

“We have stopped all our investments there and have ceased all our advertising activities,” a spokeswoman told AFP. “We do not make any profit from our remaining operations in Russia.

“We are doing everything possible in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to help alleviate this humanitarian catastrophe.”

Several US multinationals have withdrawn from Russia, like the fast food chain McDonald’s and the beverage giants Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Nestle has been the subject of a call for a boycott circulating on social media networks.

On Monday, Zelensky called on European leaders to cease all trade with Russia in an effort to pressure Moscow to halt its nearly month-long military assault on Ukraine.

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