Latest news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

The European Union commissioner said the Russian invasion sent “shock waves” around the world

World prices of some grains have risen since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian war, with both countries contributing a large proportion of the world supply of some such commodities as wheat.

Vincent Mundy | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President and European Commissioner for Trade for the European Commission, told CNBC on Wednesday.

Speaking to CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, which focused on Ukraine’s plight as the Russian invasion continues, as well as the global fallout from the war, Dombrovskis said the EU needed to act urgently to sever its energy ties with Russia. .

The invasion prompted the European Union to scramble to reduce its dependence on Russian gas supplies despite the lack of agreement so far on an EU embargo on oil and gas from Russia.

“We urgently need to move away from our dependence on Russian fossil fuels,” Dombrovskis said.

Holly Eliat

Russia claims that it is ready to create corridors for ships leaving Ukraine with food

A cargo ship loaded with Ukrainian corn leaves for Germany from Chornomorsk, Odessa region, southern Ukraine.

Yuli Zozulia | Future Publishing | Getty Images

A Russian official has reportedly said that Moscow is ready to provide humanitarian corridor for ships carrying food to leave Ukraine, in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions.

“We are always ready for dialogue with everyone who strives for peace, for a peaceful solution to all problems,” the official Internax news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko as saying.

“We have repeatedly talked about this issue that solving the food problem requires a comprehensive approach, including lifting the sanctions restrictions that were imposed on Russian exports and financial transactions,” he said.

Rudenko claimed that Russia is ready to provide the necessary humanitarian passage.

On Tuesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen accused Russia of “weaponizing” food supplies in Ukraine by blocking exports of essential products from the country, such as wheat and cooking oil. Global food prices rose as a result of the decline in exports. Russia denies it is using food to pressure Ukraine’s allies to ease sanctions.

Andrios Torsa, a Central and Eastern Europe consultant at Teneo Intelligence, said in a note Wednesday that “there are no easy ways to unblock food exports through Ukraine’s Black Sea ports,” and that alternative export routes via land and rivers would require time and investment to crack. Infrastructure and bureaucratic bottlenecks.

“The war will significantly reduce Ukraine’s food production and exports for the foreseeable future,” Torsa said.

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Holly Eliat

The president said Malawi is feeling the impact of the war in Ukraine

Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has said that rising food, fuel and fertilizer prices – largely caused by the war in Ukraine – are having an impact on the African economy.

“We still have to work together to find solutions” to end the war, he said.

– Holly Eliat

CEO says switching from Russian gas will be ‘really painful’ for Germany

Covestro CEO Markus Steilmann told CNBC at the World Economic Forum that a shift away from Russian gas would be, in the short term at least, “really painful for the industry” in Germany.

“There is very little chance of making up [for that shift]It will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs – that’s my personal belief – and really undermine the context of German industry.”

He said that the German industry needed to be supported by an energy transition away from Russian gas, adding that “what we need to do, with full force, is the transition to renewable energies” and the development of this sector in Germany.

Holly Eliat

Russia is running a historic debt default as the US blocks dollar payments

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via video link in Moscow, Russia on May 13, 2022. Sputnik / Mikhail Metzl / Kremlin via Reuters Attention Editors – This image is provided by a third party.

Michael Metzel | Sputnik | via Reuters

The United States finished a A decisive exemption that allowed Moscow to pay off its foreign debt For foreign investors in US dollars through US and international banks, Likely to force Russia to default.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had allowed dollar payments on a case-by-case basis, enabling Russia to service its foreign debt thus far, despite draining its accumulated foreign exchange reserves. The Office of Foreign Assets Control announced in a bulletin on Tuesday The exemption will expire at 12:01 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

Russia has a flood of debt-servicing deadlines coming this year, notably $400 million in interest payments due in late June.

Adam Solowsky, a partner in the Financial Industry Group at global law firm Reed Smith, told CNBC Friday that Moscow will likely argue that it is not in default because repayment has become impossible, despite the availability of funds.

Solovsky said the situation was entering “unknown territory” and that Russia and the United States were likely to discuss a period of “protracted litigation.”

Read more about this story here.

British retailer Marks & Spencer pulls out of Russia

British retailer Marks and Spencer It announced it was pulling out of Russia, becoming the latest in a long line of companies to do so.

The food and apparel retailer halted shipments to Russia in March, and said on Wednesday it would exit its concession there, at a cost of 31 million pounds ($39 million).

In its latest earnings update, M&S said it started the current year 2022-23 from a lower profit base.

“The business is now in a much better position and has an encouraging start to the year. However, due to increased cost pressures and consumer uncertainty, we do not currently expect to progress from this lower earnings base in 2022-23,” she added.

Holly Eliat

An official says the extent of the EU’s involvement in Ukraine’s reconstruction is uncertain

A senior official told CNBC that the EU should support Ukraine in its reconstruction, but said the degree to which the union would bear the bill for Ukraine’s eventual rebuilding is largely unknown.

“It has to be a European commitment, because Ukraine is in Europe and they want to enter the European Union and we consider them in our family so Europe cannot say that reconstruction is a matter of other global players,” Paolo Gentiloni, the European Commission’s economics commissioner, told CNBC on Wednesday.

“How are we going to deal with this issue? This is an open question, but it is not the question at the moment. The issue at the moment is Ukraine’s support because the fact that this resistance succeeds is crucial to our future,” he said.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine dominated the agenda of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as political and business leaders warned that the war already had far-reaching consequences for global food supplies and geopolitical stability.

Holly Eliat

George Soros says civilization may not survive Putin’s war in Ukraine

Liberal billionaire George Soros said: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine It can be considered the starting point of World War III.

At his annual dinner at the center of the World Economic Forum on Tuesday evening, Soros said the course of history has changed dramatically since the last event in Davos, Switzerland.

“Russia invaded Ukraine. This shook Europe to the core,” he told the audience.

“The European Union was created to prevent such a thing from happening. Even when the fighting stops, as it must in the end, the situation will never return to the previous one. Indeed, the Russian invasion may be the beginning of the third world war and our civilization may not survive it.”

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Read the full story here: Soros says civilization may not survive Putin’s war in Ukraine, warns of global depression

– Matt Clinch

Zelensky says that Russia puts everything it has on the Donbass

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a joint press conference, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 28, 2022.

Valentin Ogirenko | Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia is using everything at its disposal to fight over four cities in the eastern Donbass region.

“The situation in Donbass now is very difficult,” Zelensky said in his nightly address to the nation. “Practically speaking, the entire force of the Russian army, no matter what they have left, is thrown into the attack there. Lyman, Popasna, Severodonetsk, Slavyansk – the occupiers want to destroy everything there.”

The Ukrainian army is resisting, Zelensky said, but “it will take much more time and effort for our people to overcome their advantage in the amount of equipment and weapons.”

He told the Ukrainians they should be proud that they prevented Russia for three months in a war that many in Russia and the West expected would last three days.

– News agency

NATO chief warns Russia that an attack on one ally ‘will lead to a full response from the entire alliance’

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a press conference ahead of the Alliance Defense Ministers’ meeting at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on March 15, 2022.

Kenzo Tripuillard | AFP | Getty Images

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that while the 30-member military alliance did not send troops to Ukraine, a Russian attack “on a NATO ally would result in a full response from the entire alliance”.

“This is deterrence. The purpose is not to provoke conflict but to prevent conflict and maintain peace,” Stoltenberg said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Stoltenberg said that since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, NATO has increased its military presence in the alliance’s eastern parts.

“Now we have 40,000 soldiers in NATO command. We have more naval and air capabilities, especially in the eastern part of the alliance, and we have 100,000 soldiers on high alert,” he said. “This is to send a very clear message to Moscow and not leave room for miscalculation or misunderstanding,” he added.

– Amanda Macias

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