Tass and Interfax report talks between the delegations of Kiev and Moscow have begun in a secret location on the border between Ukraine and Belarus with a firm Ukrainian foreign ministry commitment that “Ukraine will not capitulate and does not intend to give up even a millimetre of its territory in the negotiations with Russia”. Ukraine accepted the invitation made by Russia without preconditions. However, President Volodymyr Zelensky said, he did not believe much in the outcome of the meeting.
Zelensky calls for Ukraine to join the EU immediately
Ukraine is asking for “immediate” membership in the EU. In a new video, President Zelensky says, “We are addressing the EU about Ukraine’s immediate accession through a new special procedure,” adding that “our goal is to be together with all Europeans and, above all, to be equal. I am sure it is right. I am sure it is possible.”
Kiev preparing EU membership application
“The Ukrainian government is preparing the official request to join the EU, EU Council President Charles Micel said in an interview with European media. This means that the Commission will have to take an official position following receipt of the request and “this also means that they will have to take a stand. “I think the debate will take place very soon,” he said.
Central Bank of Russia raises rate to 20%
The Central Bank of Russia raises the reference rate to 20%. The Russian Central Bank has motivated the decision with the drastic “change in external conditions”, saying the increase in rates was necessary to make deposits more attractive. The governor of the Russian bank is issuing a statement later in the afternoon.
Rouble trading starts 3 hours late
The Moscow Stock Exchange started trading on the money market three hours late. According to Bloomberg, the Russian Central Bank is still considering whether to open other markets later. Spreads on the rouble have increased eightfold, with market makers from Sydney to Hong Kong holding back. The currency was reported to be down 28% in offshore trading as sanctions imposed on Russia and its central bank, including the selective exclusion of banks from the Swift payment circuit. increased concern over ripple effects.
500,000 refugees have fled Ukraine
More than 500,000 refugees have fled from Ukraine to neighboring countries, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, said via twitter.
Moscow responds to the flight ban
“Moscow will respond to the ban on flights by Russian airlines in a symmetrical way, but taking into account its own interests,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, told TASS. “Of course, there will be a response, which will be guided by the principle of reciprocity, and our interests will certainly be at the forefront,” he added.
Di Maio in Algiers for EU energy security
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has arrived in Algiers for talks on energy security. He tweeted, “Just arrived in Algiers to meet my counterpart and the highest Algerian officials. We will discuss the strengthening of bilateral cooperation, in particular to address European energy security needs, in light of the conflict in Ukraine.”