Sanctions against Putin’s daughters, IMF account
(Bloomberg) — The European Union and the United Kingdom have announced sanctions against the daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv and promised more sanctions against Russia and financial aid to Ukraine. The UK and Germany have vowed to send more weapons.
The International Monetary Fund is planning a new account to support Ukraine’s economy, through which Canada has offered to disburse C$1 billion ($795 million).
(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian sanctions dashboard.)
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Every hour CET:
Russia’s Foreign Currency Rating Downgraded to SD by S&P (3:03 a.m.)
S&P lowered the unsolicited credit ratings of Russia’s long-term and short-term currency issuers to Selective Default of CC/C.
“The foreign currency downgrade follows our understanding that the Russian government made coupon and principal payments on its 2022 and 2042 US dollar ruble-denominated Eurobonds when those payments were due on April 4, 2022.” , said S&P.
The IMF creates a new account to help Ukraine (00:15)
The International Monetary Fund is establishing a new account to give donor countries a safe way to provide support to stabilize Ukraine’s economy after the Russian invasion.
The account would receive donor loan or grant resources in reserve currency or special drawing rights, the IMF’s reserve assets, and disburse support from Ukraine’s account to the fund, the institution said. .
Ukrainian corn and wheat exports set to plunge further (10:57 p.m.)
According to the US Department of Agriculture, grain exports from Ukraine are expected to decline further as shipping routes are blocked following the Russian invasion.
The USDA cut its forecast for corn exports by 4.5 million tonnes and wheat exports by 1 million tonnes, in the latest update to its closely watched supply and demand estimates. world agriculture. The shortages will likely exacerbate food crisis risks in countries that rely on Ukraine and Russia for imports.
EU formalizes sanctions against Deripaska and Putin’s daughters (9:07 p.m.)
The European Union has announced sanctions against 217 people and 18 entities, including the adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum tycoon.
Deripaska, who has been under US sanctions since 2018, owns an industrial conglomerate that includes a major supplier of military equipment to Russia.
Moscow Shuts Down Human Rights Watch and Amnesty Branches (8:27 p.m.)
The Russian offices of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have been ordered to close, a decision that Amnesty’s secretary general has promised not to halt his organization’s work.
“The authorities are deeply mistaken if they think that by closing our office in Moscow they will stop our work of documenting and exposing human rights violations,” Secretary General Agnès Callamard said in a statement. “We will redouble our efforts to expose Russia’s gross human rights abuses, both at home and abroad.”
Russian government officials did not immediately respond to questions about the closures. Both groups criticized Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Human Rights Watch on Thursday applauded the United Nations’ decision to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council.
Von der Leyen says Ukraine belongs to the “European family” (7:58 p.m.)
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met Zelenskiy in Kyiv after seeing the devastation and the bodies of war victims in Bucha and promised more support – including “continued sanctions” – from members of the EU against Moscow.
“I am here with you in Kyiv today to tell you that Europe is on your side,” she said, adding that the EU would accelerate the second half of a €600 financial aid package. million euros ($650 million). Von der Leyen also handed Zelenskiy a folder with a questionnaire which she described as an “important step towards EU membership”.
The Austrian leader will meet Zelenskiy in Kyiv (7:40 p.m.)
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer will meet Zelenskiy in kyiv on Saturday, the latest European leader to visit the country attacked by Russian troops.
Nehammer will meet Zelenskiy, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko. He will also visit the town of Bucha as evidence emerges of the systematic murder of civilians by Russian soldiers stationed there after the February 24 invasion.
About 1,000 sailors trapped during combat shifts (6:59 p.m.)
According to the International Maritime Organization, up to 1,000 sailors are trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol and on more than 100 ships in the Sea of Azov.
“In addition to the dangers from the shelling, many ships affected are now short of food, fuel, fresh water and other vital supplies,” IMO and International Labor Organization leaders said in a statement. a joint letter. “The situation for seafarers in many countries is becoming increasingly untenable, posing serious risks to their health and well-being.”
US Deploys Patriot Missile System to Slovakia (6:14 p.m.)
President Joe Biden announced the deployment of a Patriot missile defense system to Slovakia after the NATO member said it was sending one of its S-300 air defense systems to Ukraine. “I have directed my administration to continue to spare no effort to identify and provide the Ukrainian military with the advanced weaponry capabilities it needs,” Biden said.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the Patriot Battery will be manned by US forces and is expected to arrive in the coming days. The duration of the deployment has not been fixed, he said, adding that “we continue to consult with the Slovak government on more permanent air defense solutions”.
Germany and UK to supply more weapons to Ukraine (5:27 p.m.)
Germany and Britain have vowed to send more weapons to Ukraine and work together to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin, downplaying differences over imposing tougher sanctions on Moscow.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK will send an additional 100 million pounds ($130 million) worth of military equipment. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany would continue deliveries to Kyiv, without specifying types or quantities.
Medvedev says sanctions qualify as act of aggression (4:29 p.m.)
Sanctions can be called in certain circumstances an act of aggression and give Russia the right to defend itself, deputy head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said on his Telegram channel. He called these measures a Western “hybrid war” against Russia.
EU officials visit Bucha atrocities site (4:24 p.m.)
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal visited the town of Bucha, near kyiv, where Russian forces are believed to have killed hundreds of civilians. He showed the site to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger.
“We will never forgive the enemy for these crimes,” Shmyhal said on Twitter. “We are working with our European partners to stop the aggressor as soon as possible.”
Russia does not notify families of war dead, ABC says (3:45 p.m.)
Moscow does not notify many Russian families when its soldiers are killed in the war against Ukraine, ABC News reported, citing a senior US official whom it did not identify.
The official told ABC that mobile crematoria are being used to burn the bodies of some Russian soldiers. The losses of Russian troops in Ukraine were estimated by NATO at the end of March at between 7,000 and 15,000, with the number of seriously injured approximately double.
Russian oil is not on the agenda of EU foreign ministers (3:25 p.m.)
A ban on oil supplies from Russia will not be officially on the agenda at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers on Monday, according to an EU official.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will not put an oil ban on the table for the session in Luxembourg, the official said. Some member states are pushing for new measures on Russian energy and oil imports in particular, including an escrow account to freeze extra profits generated by rising oil prices since the start of the war.
Ministers are expected to accept a proposal by Borrell to increase the European Peace Facility, used to finance arms supplies to Ukraine, by an additional 500 million euros ($542 million) for a total of 1, 5 billion euros.
Germany accepts financial aid for businesses (2:43 p.m.)
Germany’s ruling coalition has agreed a financial aid package for businesses suffering the fallout from the war, which includes loan guarantees worth up to 100 billion euros ($109 billion).
The loans would be made available through the state development bank KfW and are intended to help companies such as energy companies which have become overburdened with collateral requirements amid soaring gas prices and electricity.
EU leaders condemn rocket attack (2:39 p.m.)
European Commission foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, expected in Kyiv for meetings with Ukrainian officials, also tweeted his condemnation.
EU Freezes $32 Billion in Russian Assets (1:10 p.m.)
European Union countries have frozen some 29.5 billion euros ($32.1 billion) in assets linked to Russian and Belarusian individuals and entities since the bloc adopted its first sanctions against the invasion Russian from Ukraine.
The frozen assets include boats, helicopters, real estate and works of art valued at almost 6.7 billion euros. In addition, the EU blocked around 196 billion euros worth of transactions, he added.
Russia Offers Surprise Rate Cut (11:02 a.m.)
The Bank of Russia announced a surprise cut in its key rate on Friday, reversing some of the sharp increase it made after the invasion of Ukraine as the ruble rallied.
The central bank cut the rate from 20% to 17% and said further cuts could be made at future meetings if conditions allow.
UK sanctions Putin and Lavrov’s daughters (11:09)
The UK has sanctioned Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova and Maria Vladimirovna Vorontsova, daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Yekaterina Sergeyevna Vinokurova, daughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
The three will be subject to travel bans and asset freezes, the UK said in a statement that cited the “lavish lifestyles of the Kremlin’s inner circle”.
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