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Ukraine live briefing: Russia to reduce oil production; Russian missile crossed into Moldovan airspace, Moldova says


Moldova said Friday a Russian missile crossed into its airspace while heading toward Ukraine, and the government summoned Russia’s ambassador to register the “unacceptable violation of our airspace.” It condemned the incursion and called on Russia to stop its “military aggression” against Ukraine.

The head of Ukraine’s armed forces said the missiles also crossed into the airspace of neighboring Romania — a NATO member. However, the Romanian Defense Ministry denied this, saying its air force detected a projectile, probably a cruise missile, launched from the Black Sea but that it did not enter Romanian airspace.

Russia will reduce its oil production by 500,000 barrels a day beginning in March in response to price caps imposed by Western countries on Russian oil, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in a statement Friday. While the impact of the reduction is unclear, analysts have said it could eventually lead to higher gasoline prices, and the international benchmark for oil prices, Brent crude, rose 2.2 percent Friday to $86.42 per barrel.

Here’s the latest on the war and its impact across the globe.

Key developments

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  • A Russian projectile came “approximately 35 kilometers northeast of the border” of Romania’s airspace, its Defense Ministry said in a statement Friday, adding that it was “mostly likely a cruise missile” launched from a ship near the Crimean Peninsula. The projectile entered Ukrainian airspace, then Moldovan airspace, before reentering Ukraine, it said. A spokeswoman for NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, asked about Ukraine’s allegation that it had entered Romanian airspace, referred to the Romanian Defense Ministry’s statement.
  • In Moscow, the Kremlin confirmed Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would deliver a high-profile address to the country’s Federal Assembly on Feb. 21. Under Russia’s constitution, Putin is expected to make the speech annually, but he skipped it last year, prompting speculation. He is expected to mention the ongoing war in Ukraine, which Russia dubs a “special military operation,” as the anniversary of the invasion approaches.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron has not ruled out sending fighter jets to Ukraine, a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a rare trip to Brussels. Macron told European officials Friday: “I exclude absolutely nothing.” However, he said the focus should remain on artillery and other weapons that could boost Ukraine’s defenses in the near term. Zelensky has made several requests for fighter jets and other military equipment, but many Western allies have been reluctant to commit to providing warplanes for fear of escalating the conflict.
  • Ukraine uses specific coordinates provided or confirmed by U.S. military personnel for the majority of its rocket strikes, The Washington Post reported. The disclosure reveals that the Pentagon is playing a more significant role in the war than previously known.
  • The Pentagon is urging Congress to resume funding top-secret programs in Ukraine, current and former U.S. officials have told The Post. The programs were suspended ahead of Russia’s invasion last year and, if resumed, could allow American Special Operations troops to employ Ukrainian operatives to observe Russian military movements and counter disinformation. Congressional officials say it is difficult to predict the outcome.