IPN updates on Ukraine for March 8-9

Ukraine asks for security guarantees to drop NATO plans

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the President of Ukraine, said that his country needs security guarantees to give up on joining NATO. Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelensky said he has cooled down regarding this question after they understood that NATO is not prepared to accept Ukraine as the alliance is afraid of confrontation with Russia. But Ukraine needs a clear and specific, legally binding set of guarantees for its security.

The Servant of the People Party said that Russia should also stipulate by law that it recognizes the Ukrainian statehood and guarantees that it will not threaten Ukraine, as Zelensky’s party noted in a press release.

In electricity sector, Moldova and Ukraine cope with EU requirements

The process of synchronizing the Ukrainian electricity system with the European network ENTSO-E is close to an end and could be completed in a week, the Minister of Energy of Ukraine Herman Galushchenko said.

The systems were connected on a trial basis at the end of February, together with the Moldovan networks that form a whole with the Ukrainian ones, and worked without any problem.

Diplomatic efforts to overcome situation
China is ready to offer additional humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated during a video summit with his French and German counterparts Macron and Scholz. He pleaded for supporting the efforts to peacefully solve the crisis. The three leaders agreed to support the discussions to bring a diplomatic solution to the situation in Ukraine closer.

Civilians evacuated from combat zones with difficulty

President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer assured Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal that the ICRC is making every possible effort to organize humanitarian corridors from Mariupol.

Ukraine said Russia agreed to ceasefire on humanitarian corridors from 9am to 9pm on March 9. The Ukrainian minister of internal affairs voiced hope that the humanitarian corridors will work, but noted it seems that the Russians want to bring the situation to a critical point for the Ukrainians who need to be evacuated to beg for humanitarian corridors in Russia and Belarus.

The Ukrainian press reported that when being interrogated, Russian prisoners admitted that they conventional bombs to attack Ukrainian cities, not high-precision weapons, as Moscow asserts. This leads to significant losses among civilians and to the destruction of infrastructure.

World refuses to cooperate with Russia

U. S. President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil and other energy imports on Tuesday in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine, underscoring strong bipartisan support for a move that he acknowledged would drive up U.S. energy prices.

The European Union intends to replace 66% of the Russian gas until the end of this year. EU green boss Frans Timmermans said this is damn tough, but is possible.

British Petroleum stopped to sign new agreements for the purchase of oil and gas with Russia, as Bloomberg reported. Shell announced the abandonment of Russian oil and gas. According to Politico, the UK will also renounce the Russian oil.

The European Commission prepared a new package of sanctions against Russia and Belarus, which include the banning of exports of marine technologies from the EU to Russia, disconnection of three Belarusian banks from SWIFT and blacklisting of a number of Russian oligarchs and MPs.

Russia becomes most-sanctioned nation

Russia has vaulted past Iran and North Korea to become the world’s most-sanctioned nation in the span of just 10 days following President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

S&P Global Ratings lowered the foreign and local currency credit ratings for 52 Russian corporations and companies to CCC–.

Moody’s expects Russia’s economy will contract by 7% in real terms in 2022 and decline further in 2023. A sustained depreciation of the ruble will have severe economic consequences in the form of higher inflation and lower living standards.

Under such circumstances, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said Russia could cut gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline following the imposition of a ban on Nord Stream 2.

United before peril

The Economist said the Americans are united against Russia’s war in Ukraine in a way that is similar to the spirits after the attacks of September 11th.

This way, about three thirds of the Democrats and Republicans support the economic sanctions against the Russian Federation; 60% of the Democrats and 65% of the Republicans believe that the government should supply weapons to Ukraine; 46% of the Republicans and 58% of the Democrats support Ukraine’s entry NATO.

Russia to disconnect from global Internet

The New York Times reported that in less than a week, the U.S. and NATO have pushed more than 17,000 antitank weapons over the borders of Poland and Romania to Kyiv. Furthermore, U.S. cybersecurity experts in Eastern Europe reject cyber-attacks of Russia.

Market Rebellion said Russia will disconnect from the global Internet on March 11th. Only websites and servers in the Russian zone will be accessible to those in Russia. In March 2019, Russia conducted tests in which they electronically disconnected from the rest of the world, but retained Internet access for their citizens.

No longer twinned

European and American cities no longer want to be twinned with Russian cities. On March 5, the Czech city Heb terminated the sister city relationship with Nizhny Tagil, while Oxford ended cooperation with Perm. On March 6, Finland’s Rovaniemi froze ties with Murmansk. Earlier, on March 3, Tallinn ended the partnership with Moscow and St. Petersburg, Gdansk with St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad, while Warsaw with Moscow, St. Petersburg, Grozny, Nizhny Novgorod and Smolensk. Smolensk deputies told Kommersant they do not regret the situation.

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