Recent developments on Russian-Ukrainian war:
SINGAPORE – Singapore has announced sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, becoming one of the few governments in Southeast Asia to do so.
“The sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of all countries, large and small, must be respected,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The tiny city-state has imposed controls on the export or transhipment of military or dual-use goods that are considered “strategic goods”. It says the sanctions are aimed at limiting Russia’s ability to wage war and engage in “cyber-aggression.”
The regional commercial center also stated that it would ban all financial institutions from doing business with four Russian banks: VTB Bank, Bank of Russia, Promsvyazbank and Vnesheconombank Development and Foreign Economic Bank Corporation. The companies that exist in the relationship with the four must freeze their assets, the report said.
The decree also prohibits the provision of financial services or allows the financing of the Russian central bank, the Russian government and legal entities owned or controlled by them.
The United Nations – UN Security Council on Monday will hold an open meeting on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine in connection with the intensification of Russia’s offensive.
The United States and Albania have requested a meeting to brief the head of the UN Humanitarian Service, Martin Griffiths, and Catherine Russell, executive director of the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF), diplomats said on Friday.
At the request of France and Mexico, the council will hold closed consultations on a draft resolution on the humanitarian situation of millions of Ukrainians, led by the two countries, diplomats said on condition of anonymity because talks on the meeting were closed.
On March 1, the United Nations made an emergency call for $ 1.7 billion to respond to the growing humanitarian needs of both those who fled Ukraine and those who remained in the country. He immediately received promises of $ 1.5 billion and called for the quick conversion of these promises into cash.
The UN estimates that 12 million people staying in Ukraine and 4 million fleeing to neighboring countries will need humanitarian assistance in the coming months.
KIV, Ukraine – The US Embassy in Ukraine calls Russia’s attack on nuclear power plants a war crime.
“Attacking the nuclear power plant is a war crime,” the embassy said in a statement. “Putin’s shelling of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant makes his reign of terror one step further.”
Russian troops seized the plant on Friday as a result of an attack that set it on fire and briefly sparked fears of a nuclear disaster. The fire was extinguished, there was no radiation.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky called Russia’s actions “nuclear terrorism” and appealed to the UN Security Council to take action to protect Ukraine’s endangered nuclear facilities.
The Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal appealed to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the EU to send representatives to all five Ukrainian nuclear power plants. “It’s a matter of security for the whole world,” he said in a night video.
HONOLULU – The Hawaiian House of Representatives voted 47 to 1 in favor of a resolution condemning Russia’s attacks on Ukraine and supporting US economic sanctions against Russia.
“Ukraine is struggling to enjoy the same basic rights that Americans are promised at birth: freedom of speech, security in a democratic society, and equal protection under the law,” said Democrat MP Patrick Pihan Branco.
Many lawmakers wore blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag on Friday to show their support for the country in battle.
Democrat Dale Kabayashi voted against the measure.
“I have simply not seen such resolutions condemning us for our military aggression as the United States,” Kabayashi said.
The owner of an oil refinery in Hawaii decided separately suspend purchases of Russian oil, which in recent years accounted for a third of oil consumed on the islands. Par Hawaii plans to meet the state’s fuel needs from other sources, primarily from North and South America, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
KIU, Ukraine – The head of the Security Council of Ukraine called on Russia to create humanitarian corridors so that children, women and the elderly can avoid fighting.
Alexei Danilov said that more than 840 children were wounded in the war on Friday. The day before, the Ukrainian government named 28 dead among children.
He spoke on the eve of the last talks between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations scheduled for this weekend.
“The issue of humanitarian corridors is a question № 1,” Danilov said on Ukrainian television. “Children, women, the elderly – what are they doing here?”
Russian troops have surrounded and blocked several major cities in the south, including Mariupol, in an attempt to cut off Ukraine from the Black and Azov Seas.
Ukrainian officials have turned to the Red Cross for help in organizing the corridors, describing the situation in the blocked cities as “close to disaster.”
WASHINGTON – President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky will talk to US senators during a video conference on Saturday morning, said a man familiar with the invitation of the Ukrainian Embassy.
All senators were invited to the call, according to the man, who demanded anonymity to discuss the private invitation. The meeting will be the first conversation between lawmakers and the President of Ukraine since Russia’s invasion of his country.
The call comes when Congress is considering a $ 10 billion emergency funding request, with the money going to humanitarian aid and security needs in a war-torn country. Approval may come as early as next week.
BERN, Switzerland. The Swiss financial regulator is taking steps to protect the creditors of a commercial bank associated with one of Russia’s largest creditors.
The Swiss Financial Markets Authority (FINMA) said on Friday that Zurich-based Sberbank AG was “under threat of liquidity problems” as a result of sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
To protect creditors, FINMA postponed the bank’s deposit obligations for 60 days and prohibited the creditor from making payments or transactions that were “not necessary for its activities as a bank.”
Sberbank, which specializes in financing trade in goods and has about 70 business customers, is cutting back on business and has decided not to start a new business, according to FINMA.
The regulator also said it would monitor the bank’s financial stability to ensure equal treatment of creditors.
Sberbank AG is an indirect subsidiary of Sberbank of Russia, which is one of the two largest state-owned banks in the country.
The Russian bank was one of those who last week imposed tough U.S. sanctions aimed at restricting their business internationally, and over the weekend it was banned from the international payment system SWIFT.
Follow the coverage of AP tensions between Russia and Ukraine at /hub/russia-ukraine
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