Kyiv to declare state of emergency

  • Ukraine to declare nationwide state of emergency as fears of war rise.
  • Kyiv advises nationals to leave Russia and slaps sanctions on hundreds of Russians over Moscow’s recognition of ‘republics‘ in eastern Ukraine.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country’s interests are “non-negotiable” but that the Kremlin remains open to diplomacy.
  • Washington says Russia’s moves in Donbas signal the beginning of an “invasion” of Ukraine.

  • Nord Stream 2 halted: What you should know

    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has put the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on ice in response to Russia’s moves in eastern Ukraine.

    Ukraine to mobilise reserve forces

    Ukraine’s military has put the country’s more than 200,000 reservist forces on notice that they will be mobilised as tensions with Russia escalate.

    “Reservists aged 18 to 60 will be called up,” Ukrainian Ground Forces said in a Facebook message.

    “The call will start today. The maximum service life is one year,” the military unit added.

    Ukraine to impose state of emergency, top security official says

    Ukraine is set to impose a state of emergency on all of its territory, apart from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions where such a measure has already been in place since 2014, the country’s top security official says.

    Oleksiy Danilov said that the measure would initially last for 30 days. It could be extended for another 30 days if required, he added.

    The state of emergency must be formally approved by Ukraine’s parliament. A vote is expected to take place in the coming days.

    Putin ‘tightening the screws on Ukraine’

    Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith, reporting from Moscow, says Putin is “continuing to tighten the screws on Ukraine”.

    “He [Putin] says the two states that they have now recognised [the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics] are being recognised on embassy levels and Russia says it is also evacuating its diplomatic staff from Ukraine to protect their lives,” he said.

    “Putin has also praised the battle-readiness of Russian troops,” Smith added.

    Russia’s FSB says it foiled ‘act of terrorism’ in annexed Crimea: Report

    Russia’s FSB security service claims it has foiled “an act of terrorism” in annexed Crimea and arrested six Russian citizens it said were supporters of a Ukrainian extremist group, the RIA Novosti news agency reports.

    The FSB said it had also seized components for making explosive devices, RIA reported. The agency was expected to publish more details later.

    Moscow seized Crimea from Ukraine in early 2014.

    Ukraine’s parliament votes to give permission for civilians to carry firearms

    Ukraine’s parliament has voted to approve a draft law that gives permission to Ukrainians to carry firearms and act in self-defence.

    “The adoption of this law is fully in the interests of the state and society,” the authors of the draft law said in a note, adding that the law was needed due to “existing threats and dangers for the citizens of Ukraine”.

    Blinken cancels meeting with Russia’s Lavrov

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has cancelled a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that was planned for Thursday.

    Announcing the move, Blinken said he was still committed to diplomacy “if Moscow’s approach changes”. He added that he would do anything he could “to avert … an all-out assault on all of Ukraine, including its capital”.

    Germany can do without Russian gas, minister says

    Germany can meet its energy needs without Russian gas, the country’s economy minister has said.

    Robert Habeck replied “yes, it can”, when asked on public radio if Europe’s largest economy could do without deliveries from Russia following Berlin’s decision to put the Nord Stream 2 project on pause.

    Moscow is currently the largest supplier of natural gas to Germany.

    Ukrainian lawmakers approve sweeping sanctions on hundreds of Russians

    Ukraine’s parliament has approved imposing sanctions on 351 Russians, including lawmakers who supported the recognition of the independence of separatist-controlled territories and the use of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine.

    The sanctions restrict almost all possible types of activities, in particular a ban on entry into Ukraine, and prohibit access to assets, capital, property and licenses for business.

    Ukraine’s security council was due to impose the sanctions after the vote.

    Ukraine urges citizens to leave Russia

    Ukraine’s foreign ministry has warned the country’s nationals not to visit Russia and urged its citizens already there to leave the country.

    “The foreign ministry recommends that citizens of Ukraine refrain from any trips to the Russian Federation, and those who are in this country to leave its territory immediately,” the ministry said in a newly-issued travel advisory.

    UK to stop Russia selling sovereign debt in London

    The United Kingdom will stop Russia selling sovereign debt in London, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss says.

    “We’ve been very clear that we’re going to limit Russian access to British markets,” Truss told Sky. “We’re going to stop the Russian government with raising sovereign debt in the United Kingdom.

    “There will be even more tough sanctions on key oligarchs, on key organisations in Russia, limiting Russia’s access to the financial markets, if there is a full scale invasion of Ukraine.”

    To limit sovereign debt sales in London, the UK would need additional legislation, according to Western officials. Clearing transactions would also be affected.

    What sanctions have been imposed on Russia?

    Several countries have moved to impose new sanctions on Russia in response to its recognition of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine and ordering of troops into the territories.

    China says sanctions never the best solution

    Beijing has never thought sanctions are the best way to solve problems, China’s foreign ministry says.

    China hopes relevant parties can try to resolve their issues through dialogue and remain calm and exercise restraint, ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing.

    Chunying had been asked if the Asian nation would join Western countries in sanctioning Russia.

    Ukraine says one soldier killed in separatist shelling

    The Ukrainian military says one soldier has been killed and six others wounded in shelling by pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine in the past 24 hours as ceasefire violations remain at a high level.

    The military said on its Facebook page it had recorded 96 incidents of shelling by separatists over the past 24 hours compared with 84 a day earlier. It said separatist forces used heavy artillery, mortars and Grad rocket systems.

    Pakistan PM to visit Moscow

    Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will embark on a two-day visit to Moscow on Wednesday for a high-level visit that will focus on regional security and a major gas pipeline deal.

    Khan is due to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, Putin’s office said in a statement.

    A Pakistani foreign ministry statement said that the Putin-Khan summit-level talks will cover “major regional and international issues, including Islamophobia and [the] situation in Afghanistan”.

    Notably absent from official statements around the visit has been any mention of the crisis in Ukraine. In an interview with Russian television station Russia Today, Khan said that he did not believe there was a military solution to the conflict in Ukraine and said that he hoped matters would be resolved through mediation.

    Putin: Russia’s interests ‘non-negotiable’

    Putin says Moscow is ready to look for “diplomatic solutions” to the crisis but has stressed that Russia’s interests are “non-negotiable”.

    “Our country is always open for direct and honest dialogue, for the search for diplomatic solutions to the most complex problems,” he said in a video address to mark the Defender of the Fatherland Day, a public holiday in Russia.

    But he added that “the interests of Russia, the security of our citizens, are non-negotiable for us.”

    Putin spoke after parliament’s upper house, the Federation Council, on Tuesday gave him unanimous approval to deploy “peacekeepers” to two breakaway Ukrainian regions now recognised by Moscow as independent, and potentially into other parts of Ukraine.

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