Turkey said that civilian massacres have stalled ceasefire talks. A senior advisor to Turkey’s President predicted, “Maybe in a week or two we will see some movement again.” He added that Russia likely wants sanctions relief to be part of a ceasefire agreement.
Lithuania and Latvia will reopen their embassies in Kyiv. Austria expelled four Russian diplomats, while Luxembourg expelled one.
The Commerce Department issued orders denying export privileges for three Russian airlines – Aeroflot, Azur Air, and UTair – due to export control violations. A former Commerce Department official predicts that China will violate export controls, but it will be up to the U.S. to catch and enforce it.
Congress finally sent legislation revoking permanent normal trade relations from Russia and Belarus to President Joe Biden’s desk. The House and Senate also both passed a Russian oil import ban. The Senate passed a bill to revive lend-lease for Ukraine.
Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced a discussion draft of legislation to disallow Foreign Tax Credits and other tax benefits for companies that pay taxes to the Russian government. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Bruce Westerman (R-AR) introduced legislation to ban imports of timber and other forest products from Russian and Belarus.
The European Parliament voted 513-22 to call for “an immediate full embargo on Russian imports of oil, coal, nuclear fuel, and gas.”
Belarus said it will pay its foreign debts in Belarusian rubles because it cannot settle debts in dollars or euros due to sanctions. This would be a “default scenario,” according to an executive at Toronto Dominion Bank.
The EU’s announced coal import ban has Russia seeking Asian buyers. Shell idled two LNG vessels that it had chartered from a Russian company.
The UN General Assembly voted 93-24 (with 58 abstentions) to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council.
Russia’s chief spokesperson said that Russia has “suffered significant losses” in Ukraine, a rare acknowledgement from the government. The mayor of the southern city of Dnipro, which has a population of almost 1 million, urged residents to evacuate immediately. Ukraine and Russia reportedly agreed to 10 humanitarian corridors today as Russia struck a railway corridor in eastern Ukraine that’s a key junction to evacuate citizens from the area.
Ukraine is pleading with the international community for more weapons as it prepares for an offensive in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, who was in Brussels, Belgium meeting with NATO Foreign Ministers, said his agenda had three items on it: “weapons, weapons, and weapons.” He also said he was very specific about what was needed and when. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the U.S. is open to providing “larger, more sophisticated” weapons, as well as training to use them.
Germany’s foreign intelligence service claims that it has intercepted radio communications of Russian soldiers discussing civilian killings in Ukraine, to the point reportedly that it can link some to specific people who were found killed. Amnesty International says that Russia’s military has “extrajudicially executed civilians in Ukraine in apparent war crimes.”