++ Russia “fights for its sovereignty”, says Putin ++ | D.W. | 03.16.2022

All updates in Central European Time (CET).

15:00 | Putin says Russia is ‘fighting for its sovereignty’

Moscow will not allow Ukraine to become a “platform” from which Russia is threatened, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. He said that, with the invasion of Ukraine, “Russia is fighting for its sovereignty.” AFP

14:20 | Zelensky compares the Russian invasion to Pearl Harbor and 9/11

Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenskiy compared the war in Ukraine to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US. During a remote appearance before a US Congressional Committee, Zelenskiy appealed for US help in the context of the invasion Russian to Ukraine. AFP

13:26 | German firm suspends gas purchases from Gazprom

The German energy company E.ON announced on Wednesday the suspension of new gas purchases from the Russian state consortium Gazprom due to the war in Ukraine, according to the president of its board of directors, Leonhard Birnbaum. Birnbaum explained that among his suppliers there are European companies that have bought from Gazprom and that “due to the war in Ukraine we have suspended the purchase of new quantities from these companies.” EFE

13:37 | Berlinale rejects general boycott of Russian artists

The Berlinale today spoke out against the widespread boycott of Russian filmmakers and artists for Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which it “strongly” condemned, while expressing its solidarity with the Ukrainian people. “The Berlinale is clearly against a generalized boycott of cultural works based on their origin, because this would also suppress many critical voices. And the world needs these critical voices,” writes the Berlin International Film Festival in a release. EFE

13:06 | More than 47,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Italy

More than 47,000 people, fleeing the war in Ukraine, have arrived in Italy after the Russian invasion, the Italian Government reported today after a meeting of several of its ministers with Civil Protection leaders to study reception measures before the arrival of massive Ukrainian refugees. To date, 47,153 Ukrainians have arrived in Italy, of whom 24,032 are women, 19,069 minors and 4,052 men, according to data provided today by government sources. Italy is the country that concentrates the largest number of migrants from Ukraine in the European Union (EU), with about 236,000. EFE

12:39 | Japan announces new sanctions against Russia

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida today announced the imposition of new sanctions against Russia, including a ban on exports of luxury goods and limitations on other goods, in addition to withdrawing Moscow’s status as a preferential trade partner. Kishida detailed today the latest rounds of punitive measures that his government has decided to apply to Moscow, some of which had already been announced in recent days in line with the commitment reached by the G7 countries last week. EFE

12:15 | Influx of Ukrainians overwhelms asylum centers in Switzerland

The reception centers in Switzerland, which has so far registered 6,482 refugees from Ukraine, are already overwhelmed by asylum applications, although the Central European country estimates that it will receive up to 60,000 people from that country, national RTS television said today. According to the Secretary of State for Migration, of the 6,482 registered refugees, 3,642 are housed in the aforementioned asylum centers (with a current capacity of around 5,000 people) and 2,840 are housed in private homes. EFE

12:06 | Ukraine rejects Russia’s proposal on neutrality

Ukraine asks for “security guarantees” against Russia and rejects the idea of ​​adopting a “neutrality” that takes Sweden or Austria as a model, the Ukrainian presidency announced on Wednesday. “Ukraine is in a direct war with Russia. Therefore, the model can only be ‘Ukrainian’ and only with a base of solid security guarantees,” said negotiator Mikhail Podoliak, AFP

11:35 a.m. | Russia advocates the model of neutrality for Ukraine

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators are currently discussing a compromise for Ukraine’s neutrality modeled on Sweden and Austria, the Kremlin said on Wednesday. “Indeed, it is the option that is currently being negotiated and could be considered a compromise,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said on Wednesday. AFP

10:26 | IEA warns of possible “global oil crisis”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday that it feared a strong “shock” on global oil supply following sanctions imposed on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, while lowering its demand forecast for 2022. The prospect of large-scale disruptions to Russian production threatens to create a global oil supply crisis,” the agency, which advises developed countries on energy policy, wrote in its monthly report. AFP

10:00 | Lavrov sees “close” agreement with Ukraine on security guarantees

Russian Foreign Minister Seguei Lavrov assured on Wednesday that “it is close” to obtaining an agreement on security guarantees with Ukraine, Russian agencies report. “There are a number of formulations of agreements with Ukraine on the status of neutrality and security guarantees that are about to be achieved,” Lavrov said, the Russian Interfax agency reported. EFE

9:44 | Russia strikes civilian targets in Zaporizhia, says Ukraine

The Russian Army attacked civilian targets for the first time on Wednesday in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia, in the south of the country, Oleksandr Starukh, military officer of the administration of the region of the same name, reported on his Telegram account. In Zaporizhia is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe that is currently controlled, along with Chernobyl, by Russian troops, who invaded the country on February 24. According to preliminary data, no personal injuries have been reported, he said. EFE

9:19 | Brent oil price opens higher

The price of a barrel of Brent oil for delivery in May was trading this morning, around 8:00 GMT, on the London futures market at $102.66, 3.57% more than at the end of the previous session.
North Sea crude, a benchmark in Europe, started the day on the International Exchange Futures above $100 despite ending the previous session at $99.12. EFE

9:18 | Joseph Stiglitz calls for Europe to stop buying Russian gas

The speed and intensity of the economic and financial sanctions decided against Russia will make them effective, but Europe must stop buying Russian oil and gas, Nobel laureate in economics Joseph Stiglitz said in an interview with AFP. “The capacity [de Rusia] to wage war (…) will be altered” by the repercussions on its economy of the sanctions, considered the economist on the sidelines of a conference on “the future of Europe” in Paris. “They lost significant amounts of military equipment (. ..) and will have to replace it. But do they have the industrial and financial capacity? It is debatable.” One of the main elements of the sanctions’ potential success is “the speed with which they were imposed.” AFP

8:27 | Ukraine: the war leaves 500,000 million USD in damage

The Ukrainian government already estimates the damage caused so far by the war launched by Russia on February 24 at 565,000 million dollars, an amount that kyiv hopes to receive both from Moscow and from the help of its partners to rebuild the country after the conflict. reported Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. In statements collected today by the Ucrinform news agency, Shmyhal assured that this amount is a preliminary estimate of reconstruction. EFE

8:16 | Strong explosions shake kyiv

Loud explosions were heard in the early hours of Wednesday in kyiv, followed by columns of black smoke in the sky, the AFP agency found. Around 0600 hours (0500 GMT) at least three loud explosions were heard in western kyiv, where a 36-hour curfew is in force. After the explosions, thick plumes of black smoke were seen in the sky over the city, just like the day before, when Russian strikes hit several residential buildings. The local authorities did not report on the events and the press was not authorized to circulate due to the curfew. AFP

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++ Russia “fights for its sovereignty”, says Putin ++ | D.W. | 03.16.2022