EU asks to activate temporary protection for Ukrainians
There are about 836 thousand refugees who fled the conflict. Von der Leyen declares: “Those who flee from Putin’s bombs are welcome”. The Commission proposes to activate the directive for immediate assistance to Ukrainian refugees. They will be granted a residence permit and access to education and the labor market. The EU executive presented some guidelines for a better management of humanitarian aid at the borders.
Ukraine accession to the EU
On Tuesday, March 1, the European Parliament discussed a text addressed to the EU institutions in order to “work towards granting Ukraine the status of candidate country for accession to the EU” after the official request made by Zelensky. The text was approved with 637 votes in favor, 13 against and 26 abstentions. Ursula von der Leyen declared: “Ukraine is one of us and we want it in the Union”. Josep Borrell, EU High Representative, pulled the brakes: “Ukraine has a clear European perspective but now we have to counter the aggression. Now it is not on the agenda because we have to provide an answer for the next few hours, not for the next few years”.
Swift: EU stop to 7 Russian banks, Gazprombank and Sberbank out of the list
As of March 12, it will be prohibited to provide financial messaging services to any legal person, entity or body established in Russia whose ownership rights are directly or indirectly held for more than 50% by a major Russian bank. It will be prohibited to sell, supply, transfer or export euro banknotes to any entity in Russia, including the Russian government and central bank.
EU Sanctions on Russia Today and Sputnik in the EU
On Tuesday, March 1, the European Council introduced additional restrictive measures on Russia. The EU will suspend the broadcasting activities of Sputnik and Russia Today in or to the EU until Russian attacks cease. Borrell commented on the closing of the Russian media spigot as follows: “Systematic manipulation of information and the disinformation of the Kremlin is being applied as an operational tool in the attack on Ukraine. It is a significant and direct threat to the public order and security of the Union.”
Negotiations: Zelensky relaunches dialogue, then warns Europe
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister, declares that no concessions will be made on issues of principle such as the sovereignty of Kiev on its territory. These statements refer to the negotiations between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations, which began today at around 4 p.m. in the Belarusian region of Brest. In the meantime, Zelensky made himself available for talks with Putin on the need to stop the war. The Ukrainian President went on to call on Western countries to step up their support, stressing that if Ukraine fell, Russia would have a clear path back “to the Berlin wall”.
Kharkiv, credits: Ansa
Ukraine – Lamorgese: very high numbers of refugees, EU solidarity needed
Luciana Lamorgese, the Italian Home Secretary hopes for the approval of the directive on the temporary protection of refugees. Moreover, she has expressed the need for a precise path and procedure to be followed by those who will arrive in European countries after the expiry of the 90-day visa.
Ukraine – Di Maio: activated ICJ on war crimes
Di Maio, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has signed the activation procedure of the International Court of Justice along with other countries. The aim of this procedure is to identify the existence of possible war crimes in Ukraine.
Ukraine – Scholz: NATO will not intervene militarily
“We will not intervene militarily and this also applies to NATO: it won’t and neither will others. In this situation it would be wrong,” said Scholz in Jerusalem during his visit regarding the war in Ukraine. According to the German chancellor, the correct decision is to “support” the country in terms of “financial aid and material goods.” “The sanctions have already shown the first effects,” he added.
Ukraine – Johnson: Putin miscalculated
During question time in Westminster, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has declared that Putin “has miscalculated” and “underestimated the extraordinary strength” of the Ukrainian people. He also assured that the UK and NATO will continue to provide full support to Kiev with financial, military and humanitarian aid for the relocation of refugees.
Ukraine – Morawiecki: request to the EU embargo on Russian coal
At the end of a meeting on Tuesday with the President of the European Council Charles Michel, Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki said that “Poland strongly supports broader sanctions on Moscow. Blocking oil, gas and coal from Russia is also part of these sanctions.” “Once again I call on the European Commission to decide on an embargo on Russian coal,” he added.
Ukraine – Macron: defending the European energy independence
On the second of March, President Macron in his speech said that he will increase defense investments decided in 2017. France as well as the EU can no longer depend on Russian gas. Therefore, he decided to develop renewable energies and build new nuclear reactors, and also to defend a strategy of European energy independence. Therefore, on March 10 and 11, a summit is meeting in Versailles to decide on these issues.
Ukraine: at least 400 volunteers in the country for the “international” legion
The ‘international legion’ of anti-Russian volunteers hoped for by Zelensky has already found in Sweden about 400 citizens willing to fight. Following the official communication of the Kiev authorities on the modalities of enlistment, the citizens will submit the request to the Ukrainian diplomatic representation in their country.
Ukraine – Sanchez: “Spain will send weapons to Kiev”.
Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez announced that “Spain will also send offensive weapons to the resistance of Ukraine”. During his speech he harshly attacked Putin, claiming that “he despises democracy and does not want Europe to become stronger. But we are united as never before. The strength of the European Union is at stake.”
Wizz Air supports Ukrainian refugees, 100 thousand free seats
The Hungarian airline Wizz Air offers to Ukrainian refugees 100 thousand free seats on all flights in Europe departing from countries bordering Ukraine for the month of March. A note explains the intent, which is to help refugees to reach their final destination, with larger planes and extra flights. “Our hearts are with the Ukrainian people during this crisis,” says CEO Varadi.
Croatian leadership supports granting Ukraine candidate status in the EU
On Tuesday, March 1, Croatian government spokesman Marko Milić said that Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and the Croatian government strongly support granting Ukraine candidate status in the EU.
Premier Fiala: from Ukraine already about 20 thousand refugees
The Czech Premier Petr Fiala told the Chamber of Deputies that more than 20 thousand refugees have already arrived from Ukraine, warning parliamentarians that the number is bound to increase. Already almost 67 thousand people have entered the territory of neighboring Slovakia. The government is working on legislation to facilitate the access of Ukrainian citizens to the Czech labor market and on assistance centers where to register the arriving refugees in order to provide them with health support and career guidance.
President Iohannis: EU dependence on Russian gas must end
In a meeting with Ursula Von Der Leyen, the Romanian President says that the EU’s dependence on Russian gas must end. It is therefore necessary to find a short term approach to guarantee the energy supply of all member states of the Union, and medium and long term approaches to ensure that prices do not suffocate the economy.
AFRICA AND MIDDLE EAST
Tear gas doesn’t stop Sudanese protesters
A week ago, the military government that controls Sudan did not hesitate to use tear gas and deafening grenades against the huge crowd of protesters gathered in the streets of Khartoum against the military junta. Many were wounded, while in nearby Omdurman, a protester was killed with a gunshot to the head.
Burkina-Faso under military leadership for three years
The military coup of last January has been legitimized by a national conference in Burkina-Faso: the junta led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba will remain in power for the next three years. This is the fourth coup d’état in West Africa, following the one in Guinea and the two in Mali.
Israel – Palestine
First visit of Scholz as Chancellor in Israel
On Tuesday, the newly appointed Chancellor Olaf Scholz was the guest of his Israeli counterpart, Naftali Bennet. The German after visiting Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, focused on discussing the ongoing negotiations in Vienna on the Iranian nuclear issue and the Ukraine crisis.
Iran says “no” to Western ultimatums
Tehran firmly responds to rumors that the United States has set a deadline for the nuclear negotiations taking place in Vienna. Saeed Khatibzadeh, Iran’s foreign minister, said he will not accept any deadline from Westerners. The negotiations are expected to serve to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran, the P5+1 (the five members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany) and the European Union.
Ukraine: Putin to Macron, “condition negotiation Kiev demilitarized and neutral”.
A new telephone conversation was held today between Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin reports that during the conversation they “detailed the fundamental approach and conditions in the framework of negotiations with representatives of Kiev” and that “it was confirmed that, first of all, we are talking about demilitarization and neutral status of Ukraine so that a threat to Russia can never emanate from its territory”.
Second part of negotiations. Zakharova: “Russia willing to negotiate”
While a second round of talks is underway in Belarus’ Belovezhskaya Pushcha Forest, Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said that Russia “is willing to continue negotiating with Ukraine to avoid further bloodshed”.
Turkey’s no to international sanctions against Russia
Turkey has called the conflict in Ukraine “a nightmare that has become reality”, but emphasizes the “no” to sanctions against Russia, seen as unnecessary and counterproductive. At the moment, the Ankara government has limited itself to the full application of the Montreux Convention, which, in time of war, prevents ships of the belligerents from transiting through the straits. Four Russian ships have therefore been prevented from entering the Black Sea through the Dardanelles Strait.
New EU sanctions against the country
On Wednesday March 2, the French EU presidency gave green light to a new package of sanctions against Belarus by the ambassadors of the 27 EU member States. The sanctions are aimed against political and military figures in Minsk and sectors such as steel and timber.
Taliban shows “concern” over civilian casualties in Ukraine
Since the beginning of the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the Islamic Emirate has expressed concern over civilian casualties in the Kabul statement, calling for restraint from both and to resolve the problem through “dialogue and peaceful means”. It also urged greater attention to safeguarding the lives of Afghan students and migrants who reached Ukraine after the Taliban seized power last August.
China will not join sanctions against Russia
China has criticized the economic sanctions on Russia, considering them illegal and one-sided. In fact, it has expressed its willingness not to join the sanctions against Russia that have been led by the West. In recent years, China and Russia have become close trading partners. This statement highlights the intention to continue to maintain normal economic and trade exchanges with the parties concerned.
Ukraine – Kishida: open doors to refugees, 100 mln USd of aid allocated
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, announced that Japan will allocate 100 million dollars in humanitarian aid intended for neighboring countries that will accept Ukrainian refugees. He also announced that they will accept Ukrainian refugees from third countries.
Biden to the nation: “Premeditated war, Putin thought he was dividing us”.
On the night of last March 2 came Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address. The American President called Vladimir Putin a “dictator” who “will pay a high price” for the invasion of Ukraine. He also announced the closure of U.S. airspace to Russian airlines.
Biden on historical UN votes: “shows Putin’s isolations”
“I congratulate the member states of the United Nations for holding this historic session. The vote lays bare Putin’s isolation”. These are the words of Biden on the resolution adopted by the UN Extraordinary Assembly which, by an overwhelming majority, deplored Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “The world”, Biden stressed, “is rejecting Russia’s lies. Moscow is responsible for the devastating human rights violations and international humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. There is no room for excuses or equivocation”.
No to economic sanctions on Russia
On Tuesday, March 1, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Mexico will not impose economic sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Obrador criticized Russian state-sponsored “media censorship” by social media companies: “we want to have good relations with all governments in the world”. The Mexican government’s position stands in contrast to multiple international sanctions.
Colombia decriminalizes abortion in the first 24 weeks
Since 2006, abortion in Colombia has been allowed in cases of rape, when the woman’s life is at risk or if pregnancy is not viable. A ruling by Colombia’s Constitutional Court decrminalized abortions in any case within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. Colombian pro-choice groups called it “a historic achievement”.
Colombia condemns Russian actions
Colombia, a major ally of the US and NATO, denounces Russia’s actions. President Ivàm Duque stated on twitter: “Colombia rejects categorically Russia’s attacks on Ukraine. These events threaten Ukraine’s sovereignty and put the lives of thousands of people at risk, in an indisputable law and the United Nations Charter.
Ukraine – Bolsonaro: the country will remain neutral
President Jair Bolsonaro said that Brazil will remain neutral on the Russian invasion. “We will help according to our possibilities”, he declared, “we want peace, but we do not want to attract consequences here”. The far-right head of State recalled that Brazil “depends a lot” on Russian fertilizers.
Protests for and against Russia in the country
Many protests and demonstrations against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have appeared in Brazil. In Sao Paulo demonstrators, mostly of Ukrainian origin, have demonstrated against the government of Vladimir Putin, while in Rio de Janeiro they are divided between those who support and those who condemn Moscow’s military offensive.