Moscow upping hostilities, says Kyiv

  • Russia has stepped up hostilities ahead of invasion’s one-year mark to deplete Ukrainian units, Ukraine’s military has said.
  • Moldova has dismissed a Russian accusation that Ukraine planned to stage a false-flag operation and invade the breakaway region of Transnistria.

    UN General Assembly voting on draft resolution

    Al Jazeera’s Shihab Rattansi reporting from the United Nations has said that the UN General Assembly is voting on a draft resolution written by the EU and Ukraine.

    “It’s a very simple resolution; they’ve kept it to the basics. The US, the EU and Ukraine want as much unity against Russia as possible. What the resolution says is that it is incontrovertible that the UN charter forbids other countries to invade other countries, and therefore Russia must leave Ukraine immediately,” Rattansi said.

    “We know from previous UN General Assembly resolutions, anything more coercive, anything strongly worded, anything that includes more of the rhetoric we normally hear from the US, the EU and Ukraine, is unlikely to garner huge amounts of support.”

    Ukraine war’s impact on trade not as bad as expected: WTO

    Global trade grew more than expected last year despite the upheaval caused by the Russia-Ukraine war, as badly-affected countries managed to switch suppliers or products, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has said.

    The global trade watchdog had forecast just three percent growth for 2022 as the conflict caused major disruptions to exports including wheat and fuels. However, WTO Chief Economist Ralph Ossa, presenting its latest analysis of the war’s impact on trade, said global trade had “held up well”.

    “We have not seen the worst predictions foreseen at the onset of the war,” he said in a statement. The WTO did not give the figure for last year, saying the data would be available in April.

    Yellen affirms push for stronger Russia sanctions at G20

    The US wants to see tougher and more effectively enforced sanctions against Russia and additional support for Ukraine, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said during meetings of the Group of 20 leading economies in the Indian technology hub of Bengaluru.

    “We are seeking to strengthen sanctions and make sure that we address violations of sanctions,” she said, noting that the Russians were seeking alternative ways to “backfill” parts and equipment to replace and repair weapons damaged in the war.

    “We have deprived them of many channels they can obtain material that is critical for their defense efforts,” Yellen told reporters. “That is a particular focus we have in mind in respect to enforcement of existing sanctions and perhaps with respect to further sanctions.”

    Russian court orders Glencore unit to pay up in Sberbank row

    A Russian arbitration court has said it has ordered a subsidiary of Swiss commodities trader Glencore to pay about $125m to Russian state lender Sberbank amid a row over unpaid oil supplies.

    Sberbank took legal action against Glencore Energy UK Ltd last year after it alleged the company did not pay for two oil consignments supplied by a subsidiary of Sberbank in March due to sanctions.

    Glencore declined to comment on the court’s ruling, which was issued on February 21 but made public on Thursday. Sberbank was not immediately available to comment.

    West is using Ukraine to try to break up Russia, says Russian defence minister

    Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has accused the West of using Ukraine to try to break up Russia, the world’s largest country by territory, but said he thought the purported attempt to do so would fail.

    “Using Ukraine, the collective West is seeking to dismember Russia, to deprive it of its independence. These attempts are doomed to fail,” Shoigu said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies.

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