Last on Russian-Ukrainian war:
United Nations – The two major bodies in the UN on Monday will hold separate meetings on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Meetings of the General Assembly of 193 countries and a more powerful 15-member Security Council reflect widespread calls for a ceasefire and escalating concerns for millions of Ukrainians at war.
On Sunday, the Security Council gave the green light to the first extraordinary session of the General Assembly in decades. This will give all UN members the opportunity to speak out about the war and vote for a resolution that, according to US Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield, “will hold Russia accountable for its unprotected actions and violations of the UN Charter.”
French Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere has announced a meeting of the Security Council on the humanitarian consequences of the Russian invasion, a meeting sought by French President Emmanuel Macron to ensure the delivery of aid to people in need in Ukraine.
Both meetings are taking place after Russia’s veto on a Security Council resolution demanding that Moscow immediately stop attacking Ukraine and withdraw all troops. Friday’s vote was 11-1, with China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstaining.
TOKYO – The ruble fell almost 26% against the US dollar after Western countries moved to block Russian banks from the global payment system SWIFT.
On Monday at the beginning of Monday the ruble traded at a record low of 105.27 per dollar, compared to 84 per dollar on Friday at the end.
Last weekend, Japan joined steps by the United States and other Western countries to impose additional sanctions on Russia.
Restrictions on Russia’s central bank are aimed at accessing more than $ 600 billion in Kremlin reserves. They prevent Russia from supporting the ruble as it depreciates.
The sanctions announced earlier have brought the Russian currency to its lowest level against the dollar in history.
MANILA, Philippines – Southeast Asian countries have expressed deep concern over military action in Ukraine and called for dialogue, but did not condemn the Russian invasion, despite calls for a tougher stance against Moscow’s aggression.
The Southeast Asian Foreign Ministers issued a statement Monday urging “all stakeholders to exercise maximum restraint and make every effort to engage in dialogue through all channels” before the situation gets out of hand.
“It is the responsibility of all parties to uphold the principles of mutual respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and equal rights of all peoples,” the regional bloc said.
ASEAN prioritizes consensus among its 10 members and conservatively draws on global issues. The bloc participates with Russia in annual political talks, security and economic talks as a key dialogue partner.
WASHINGTON – A senior U.S. intelligence official said Belarus was expected to send troops to Ukraine as early as Monday to fight alongside Russian forces that invaded Ukraine last week.
Belarus supports Russia’s military efforts, but has not yet taken a direct part in the conflict.
The American official is directly aware of the current assessments of American intelligence and says that the decision of the Belarusian leader to further involve Belarus in the war depends on the talks between Russia and Ukraine, which will take place in the coming days. The official spoke anonymously to discuss confidential information.
Russian forces have faced strong opposition from Ukraine’s defenders, and U.S. officials say they believe the invasion was more difficult and slower than the Kremlin had suggested, though that could change as Moscow adapts.
CLEVELAND – Russia has apparently made Facebook largely unfit for use by leading Russian telecommunications providers amid growing friction between Moscow and the social networking platform.
London-based online monitoring NetBlocks reports that Facebook’s network of content distribution servers on Sunday was so severely limited that “content no longer loads or loads very slowly, making the platforms unusable”.
Russia’s telecoms regulator Raskomnadzor on Friday announced plans to “partially restrict” access to Facebook. On the same day, the head of Facebook’s security policy said that the company forbids Russian state media to advertise or otherwise make a profit on its platform anywhere in the world.
Facebook says it has also refused the Kremlin’s request not to investigate the facts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on a platform for users in Russia.
NetBlocks reported earlier that access to Twitter was similarly restricted on Saturday. It came a day after Twitter announced it was temporarily suspending advertising in both Ukraine and Russia.
Restrictions on Twitter and Facebook can be circumvented inside Russia using VPN software, as users in China do.
BERLIN – The United Nations Nuclear Security Agency says the missiles hit a radioactive waste landfill in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, but there were no reports of damage to buildings or signs of release of radioactive material.
In a statement Sunday evening, Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Ukrainian authorities had informed his office of the night strike. According to him, his office expects to receive the results of radioactive monitoring on the spot soon.
The report came a day after an electric transformer was damaged at a similar disposal in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
Such facilities typically contain low-level radioactive materials such as hospital and industrial waste, but Grossi says the two incidents underscore “very real risk”. He says that in the event of damage to facilities, it could have “potentially serious consequences for human health and the environment.”
CANBERRA, Australia – Australia will provide Ukraine with lethal military equipment to help Ukrainians resist the Russian invasion.
A statement from the Australian government on Monday did not specify what materials it could send. The move follows Friday’s offer of non-lethal military equipment, medical supplies and a $ 3 million contribution to NATO’s trust fund to support the besieged country.
Australia has imposed sanctions on more than 350 Russians since Thursday, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Australia has also imposed sanctions on 13 individuals and legal entities in Belarus, including Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin. Belarus supports Russia in its war with Ukraine.
TARANTA – Canada’s two largest media companies are abandoning cable TV RT.
Rogers spokesman Andrew Garras said Russia Today would no longer be available on its channels from Monday.
Bell Media also removes RT.
Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez praises the action. He says RT is a propaganda department of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime that spreads misinformation.
FRANKFURT, Germany – A subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned Sberbank, which is based in Austria, has been found likely to go bankrupt following the flight of depositors due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The European Central Bank said early Monday that the bank had 13.6 billion euros late last year, but it experienced a “significant outflow of deposits” due to “geopolitical tensions.”
The ECB says Sberbank Europe AG, headquartered in Vienna, “will probably not be able to pay its debts or other obligations as they repay.” The bank is a subsidiary of the Russian Sberbank, the majority shareholder of which is the Russian government.
The European Banking Regulatory Council separately said it had imposed a ban on the payment of money owed to the bank and a limit on how much depositors can withdraw. Further steps may include restructuring or liquidating the bank.
Sberbank Europe has 185 branches.
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