Will Russia default on its foreign debt for the first time in over 100 years?
17 March 2022 | 5:26 am
The finance ministry has said its ability to make foreign payments has been hampered by sanctions. If Russia is unable to make the payments within a 30-day grace period, it will face its first default on international debt in more than a century.
Gas prices have risen to record levels and gas storage facilities are far from full. With Germany dependant on Russia's gas taps, energy supplies are becoming a powerful political weapon to use against the West.
The US, EU and their allies have been announcing measures designed to isolate and weaken the Russian economy. Since 2014, Vladimir Putin has been taking pre-emptive steps to protect the economy from future sanctions. But Brian O'Toole, a former US Treasury official and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, says that in the face of Western sanctions, "Fortress Russia is gone."
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Friday decried Russia's "recklessness" over the shelling of a nuclear power plant in Ukraine and demanded Moscow stop the war against its neighbour.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said that the success of negotiations depends on Russia approaching them with good faith without dictating ultimatums. He spoke with France 24's Marc Perelman about the situation in the cities of Mariupol and Odessa, the negotiations that will take place on Monday and what Ukraine expects from Europe.
Ukraine has said the humanitarian corridors out of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol and Sumy that lead to Russia and Belarus are "immoral." Meanwhile, negotiators were expected to meet for talks later. Follow DW for the latest.
The war in Ukraine may be keeping Emmanuel Macron off the campaign trail, but the benefit to the French president has been clear: for the first time, a poll over the weekend saw him getting more than 30 percent of votes in the first round. The conflict has given Macron an opportunity to demonstrate his leadership. Meanwhile, candidates from far-right Marine Le Pen to far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon have been stuck defending their past sympathies for Vladimir Putin and their calls to withdraw France from NATO. Andrew Smith, a senior lecturer in contemporary history and politics at the University of Chichester, tells us "it’s going to be a strange campaign".
Negotiators are to sit down later on Monday as fighting continues. Previous talks agreed on humanitarian corridors to allow for the evacuation of civilians, but plans have so far collapsed.
Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets granted an interview to FRANCE 24. Her country is one of the five EU member states that border Russia. Liimets explained why Estonia strongly supports Ukraine’s bid to join the EU. She also warned that "we have to be very cautious" in talks with Russia, adding that "we have to be prepared for long-term instability in Europe" as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak has said Moscow could cut off the flow of natural gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which links the country to Germany, in retaliation for sanctions imposed on its economy over the invasion of Ukraine. This latest threat comes as the United States is considering banning purchases of Russian oil. Novak warned that such a move could push prices as high as $300 a barrel. In early trading on Tuesday, the international benchmark Brent crude was trading at around $125.
As countries open borders to Ukrainians, Britain's policies, which are largely limited to family reunification, seem stingy in comparison. Through Monday, Britain had only issued about 50 visas for displaced Ukrainians.
Once Moscow had launched its invasion of Ukraine, direct routes between Russia and the West became almost impossible to find. A few routes to the EU are still open, as DW Russia correspondent Juri Rescheto discovered.
To justify Russia's war on Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has described the Ukrainian government as Nazis. Not only is the claim totally unfounded, but President Volodymyr Zelensky is himself Jewish and some of his relatives were murdered by the Nazis. Though experts have almost unanimously dismissed the Kremlin's claim, there are real concerns that the war could strengthen neo-Nazi groups both in Russia and Ukraine. Adrien Nonjon, an expert on Ukraine and the far right, joined us for Perspective to tell us more.
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