War in the neighborhood: IPN updates

Global economy in a bad state

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the global economy faces its “biggest test since the Second World War,” with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine compounding the residual economic effects of Covid-19 crisis, dragging down growth and driving inflation to multi-decade highs.

In order to address the growing fragmentation, the IMF has firstly called for governments to lower trade barriers to alleviate shortages and reduce the prices of food and other commodities, while diversifying exports to improve economic resilience.

“Not only countries but also companies need to diversify imports—to secure supply chains and preserve the tremendous benefits to business of global integration,” Georgieva said.

New York City is under a state of emergency as the formula shortage in the nation has parents struggling to find ways to feed their babies. Mayor Eric Adams signed the executive order on Sunday to prevent price gouging for formula in the city.

The shortage is being caused by the voluntary recall and temporary closure of a facility by Abbott Nutrition, one of the largest formula providers in the country. Production has since resumed at the plant, but it is expected to take weeks before that supply hits the market.

President Volodymyr Zelensky at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday proposed creating an organization of food exporting countries to insure the world from future hunger. “It is too late to respond to hunger when it has already arrived, so it is necessary to act preventively,” the Ukrainian leader said.

Ukraine’s granaries full with wheat. World afraid of famine

The Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis proposed a plan for a maritime coalition “of the willing” to lift the Russian blockade of the Black Sea on Ukrainian grain exports during talks with the U.K. Foreign Secretary, the Guardian reported. “We must show vulnerable countries we are prepared to take the steps needed to feed the world,” he said.

Russia so far ignored pleas to end the Black Sea blockade preventing Ukraine from shipping most of its grain to international markets. His plan would require demining parts of the Black Sea to ensure safe passage, as well as the consent of Turkey, which is guarding the entrance to the Black Sea.


Peace talks have stagnated

Ukraine ruled out agreeing to a ceasefire with Russia and said Kyiv would not accept any deal with Moscow that involved ceding territory. Acknowledging that Kyiv’s stance on the war was becoming more uncompromising, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said making concessions would backfire on Ukraine because Russia would hit back harder after any break in fighting.

“The war will not stop (after any concessions). It will just be put on pause for some time,” he told Reuters in an interview in the heavily guarded presidential office, where some of the windows and corridors are protected by sandbags.

Challenges for Azovstal defenders continue

Information on the number and personal data of the Ukrainian military personnel withdrawn from Azovstal, which the International Committee of the Red Cross has, will remain confidential and will not be made public.

Mirella Khodeyb, a representative of the organization, said that this information is confidential. “Our priority is to check the conditions of detention and treatment of prisoners of war, prevent disappearance and maintain their connection with their families. But we will not publish lists or names of people we have visited or those we will visit in the future,” the ICRC spokeswoman said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said after the meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group that the Czech Republic agreed to send “substantial support” to Ukraine, including a recent donation of attack helicopters, tanks and rocket systems. Poland, Greece, Norway, and Italy will send artillery systems and ammunition.

Denmark announced earlier on Monday its decision to supply Ukraine with a Harpoon anti-ship launcher and associated missiles. Roughly 20 nations have pledged to provide Ukraine with new arms shipments to help it defend against Russia’s assault.

Zelensky, a leader worthy of bravery and resilience of people of Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made it to the list of 100 most influential people of Time Magazine for the year 2022. Zelensky, who has become the face of Ukrainian resistance against Russian invasion, has been named in the list for the first time.

President Zelensky’s description has been written by U.S. President Joe Biden. “In President Zelensky, the people of Ukraine have a leader worthy of their bravery and resilience, as citizens across the country - shopkeepers and soldiers, tailors and truck drivers - fight for their homes and their freedom. Each time we speak, I hear in President Zelensky’s voice the relentless determination of a man who believes profoundly in his duty to his people, and lives up daily to the solemn responsibility of leading his nation through this dark and difficult hour,” said Joe Biden.

Letter Z crosses out all hopes...

Russia’s counselor to the United Nations in Geneva has resigned, the most senior diplomat to defect since his country’s invasion of Ukraine began in February, according to an exclusive report by UN Watch.

 “For twenty years of my diplomatic career I have seen different turns of our foreign policy, but never have I been so ashamed of my country as on February 24 of this year. The aggressive war unleashed by Putin against Ukraine, and in fact against the entire Western world, is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia, with a bold letter Z crossing out all hopes and prospects for a prosperous free society in our country,” Boris Bondarev wrote in a statement shared with diplomats in Geneva.

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