Ukraine latest: Biden says Putin is trying to erase Ukrainian culture

U.S. President Joe Biden says leaders are navigating “a dark time in our divided history” over Russia’s war in Ukraine, adding that President Vladimir Putin’s attacks appear to be aimed at destroying his neighbor’s culture.

Lithuania is seeking support for a naval alliance that would implement a defensive corridor for shipments of grain from Ukraine and break a Russian blockade of the Black Sea, the news report said.

A Russian diplomat in Geneva has resigned in a rare protest over the conduct of Moscow. A Kiev court has sentenced a Russian soldier to life in prison for killing a Ukrainian civilian, ending the first war crimes trial since the attack.

Core development

  • Putin’s state oil champion is the most declining production
  • Russia’s diplomat has resigned in protest of the war in Ukraine
  • Europe plans to replace Russian gas stumbling block on LNG
  • Russia further tightened capital controls as the ruble continued to appreciate
  • Zelensky has demanded Davos to avoid Russia and invest in Ukraine
  • Putin’s war means Russia’s rich are no longer welcomed in Davos

All time CET:

Production at Putin’s State Oil Champ drops (6:00 a.m.)

According to Bloomberg calculations based on industry data, the initial throughput of Russia’s largest refiner fell by about 28% in the first days of May compared to pre-war levels.

Rosneft PJSC’s chief executive, Igor Sechin, has been in Putin’s inner circle for decades, and the agency’s affiliates have been responsible for nearly two-thirds of Russia’s production since the Ukraine invasion, according to the energy ministry.

Biden says quad meeting Putin is creating humanitarian crisis (3:51 am)

Speaking at the opening of a summit of leaders in Tokyo between fellow quad members Australia, India and Japan, Biden said Russia’s “brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine was a humanitarian catastrophe.”

“It seems to me that Putin is just trying to extinguish the culture,” Biden said. “He is not even targeting military targets.” Biden is seeking the support of quad leaders because they are fighting a war that has wreaked havoc on the economy and created a food crisis.

Royal Navy may escort grain ship, Times reports (1:03 am)

According to The Times of Britain, Britain is in talks with its allies to send warships to the Black Sea to protect Ukraine’s cargo ships. The foreign ministers of Lithuania and the United Kingdom have discussed the idea of ​​breaking the Russian blockade to include NATO-dependent countries.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabriel Landsbergis told the Guardian this week that his country was seeking a “willing” naval alliance to lift Russia’s Black Sea blockade on Ukraine’s grain exports.

Italian Mafia Fight for US-Russian Asset Crackdown (11:15 pm)

According to Treasury officials, the United States is taking lessons from the Italians, who have honored their ability to fight the mafia.

“They have a great history, a wealth of experience, in response to their own organized-crime entities,” said Brian Nelson, under-secretary of terrorism and financial intelligence, in an interview. “They are clear-eyed about the work ahead.”

Italy has seized three yachts and several properties belonging to Russian oligarchs, Nelson said, and the United States is trying to adopt those tactics to identify people trying to evade sanctions on Russia.

Lavrov talks about China relations (11:05 pm)

Russia’s economic ties with China will grow faster after Western nations sever trade ties, and its main industries need to be independent of the West, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told students at an elite school in the Moscow region, according to a copy of the ministry’s website.

Even if Western nations “return to their senses” and resume some form of cooperation, Russia will “seriously consider whether we really need it,” Lavrov said. He said the economy was creating import alternatives and increasing trade in local currencies with China, India, Iran and other partners.

“Hopefully McDonald’s will come back, to put it bluntly, to sit back and do nothing, to wait for them to arrive and to deliver our spare parts, some components, semiconductors,” Lavrov said.

Zelensky calls on world to pressure Russia to exchange prisoners of war (9:30 p.m.)

Zelensky says thousands of Ukrainian troops are now being held captive in Russia, including at a steel plant in the besieged city of Mariupol, and he has called on world leaders to persuade Russia to agree to a prisoner exchange.

“We are ready for the exchange tomorrow, we do not need Russian troops,” Zelensky said in a video address to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

He also called on other countries to help Ukraine reopen its ports for grain exports, and what he said was to help the 500,000 Ukrainians deported by Russia return to Russian territory.

Ambassadors from Finland and Sweden say membership will strengthen NATO (8:54 pm)

The military capabilities of Finland and Sweden will help strengthen NATO across the board, including Turkey, the two countries’ ambassadors to the United States have said.

Sweden’s Karin Olofsdotter and Finland’s Mikko Hautala said at an event at the Brookings Institution that they were discussing a bid with Turkey to join NATO in their respective countries, after Turkish officials hinted at a misconception about the move.

Twenty countries are sending more weapons, Austin says (7:46 p.m.)

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin says 20 countries have agreed to send more security assistance to Ukraine. “We are stepping up our efforts,” Austin told reporters after more than 40 countries attended a zoom meeting of the Pentagon-hosted Ukrainian Defense Contact Group.

Denmark has promised to send a Harpoon anti-ship missile system, while Italy, Greece, Norway and Poland will supply artillery systems, Austin said.

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Millie, said the Pentagon had sufficient stockpiles of important weapons to send weapons to Ukraine. “We’re doing well and our risks are being handled appropriately,” Millie said.

Putin’s trusted wife gives Fossagro steak (7:32 p.m.)

Vladimir Litvinenko, former chairman of OAO PhosAgro, has handed over a 20.6% stake in Russian fertilizer producer to his wife, Tatiana Litvinenko, the company said. Litvinenko reduced its holdings by 0.39%, it said.

Latvia wants NATO brigade to stop Russia (5:48 pm)

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, President Aguilar Levitz said Latvia needed a NATO brigade, a military force of 5,000 troops, to prevent a possible attack on Russia.

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday, Levites said, “Russia is not provoked by force, but Russia is provoked by weakness.” “So we’re also looking at the presence of NATO troops on a brigade scale,” he said, a level that could “deter Russia.”

European Union’s stalemate over Russian oil embargo deepens (4:15 pm)

According to people familiar with the matter, the European Union is unlikely to approve a ban on Russian oil as Hungary continues to oppose the move.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said a few weeks ago that it would take a summit of European leaders to forge an oil embargo, but his government is now signaling that any progress will probably slip next month very soon, people say.

EU member states disagree on aid package for Ukraine (4:05 pm)

EU countries are debating how to design a plan for a new 9 billion euro ($ 9.6 billion) aid package for Ukraine.

Several countries, including Germany, have offered to provide grants in lieu of loans, the European Commission, the European Union’s executive branch, has said, according to people familiar with the matter. Also, Austria, Luxembourg, Finland, Malta, Denmark, Hungary and Greece are reluctant to spell out the financial instruments that will be used to support Kiev in its decision to reach next week’s EU summit.

Russian ambassador resigns in protest of war (3:59 pm)

Vladimir Putin, a diplomat at Russia’s UN mission in Geneva, has resigned in protest of Ukraine’s aggression, becoming the country’s first ambassador to publicly criticize the war.

“Putin has become both a war criminal and a dictator,” Boris Bondarev, 41, who was involved in disarmament missions, said in a phone interview. “I can’t work with colleagues who are serious about launching a nuclear attack on a Washington suburb to intimidate Americans into surrendering,” he said. These conversations have become more frequent. ”

Although some officials, such as Anatoly Chubais, the Kremlin’s climate envoy, have quietly left their positions since the war began, Bondarev posted a resignation statement on Facebook in English and Russian, saying he was “not ashamed of my country as of February 24” when Putin announced the attack. Give. He said he had waited until now to step down because he wanted to ensure the safety of his family.

Ukraine says food crisis will begin to bite in July (3:10 pm)

Ukraine failed to export 5 million tons of wheat from its current crop as planned because Russia is blocking its ports, Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solsky said in a comment to Voice of America over the weekend that was posted on the ministry’s website on Monday.

“The world will begin to feel this intensely by mid-July.” He said farmers were facing difficulties in exporting last year’s crop and harvesting the current crop, half of which is located in occupied territories and active fighting areas.

Russian soldier convicted of first war crime (12:50 p.m.)

A Kiev court has sentenced Vadim Schayamarin to life in prison for killing a Ukrainian citizen in the Sumi region after Russia’s aggression began in late February, the news service Interfax reported.

The 21-year-old “violated the laws and customs of war,” the court ruled, according to Interfax. He had previously pleaded guilty and asked the widow of the man he had killed to forgive him. There was no immediate reaction from the Kremlin to the verdict in the case, which received little coverage inside Russia.

Ukraine is seeking an international tribunal to try thousands of cases of alleged Russian war crimes and a way to exchange prisoners of war, such as sashmarin, for Ukrainians who defended Mariupol and are now in Russian hands.

Ukraine calls for more Russian secession (11:35 am)

Zelensky has strengthened his call for a blockade of oil, technology and other trade with Russia, with the exception of sanctions against the country’s banking sector. He says the international community needs to set a precedent for dismantling the Kremlin now and in the future.

“If brutal forces prevail, there is no need to gather in Davos,” he said in a keynote address. “Brutal power doesn’t talk, it kills.” He said Ukraine was open to companies leaving Russia. “You will have access not only to a market of 40 million consumers, but also to the European Union market,” he said in the context of his country’s bid for membership of the trading bloc.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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