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UKRAINE UPDATES | Kremlin says Ukraine conflict will end when West takes Russia seriously

11 March 2022 - 06:30 By TimesLIVE
Women and children who have fled war-town Ukraine walk to board a train to transport them to Przemysl main train station after crossing the Polish Ukrainian border crossing on March 10, 2022 in Medyka, Poland.
Women and children who have fled war-town Ukraine walk to board a train to transport them to Przemysl main train station after crossing the Polish Ukrainian border crossing on March 10, 2022 in Medyka, Poland.
Image: Omar Marques/Getty Images

March 11 2022 - 19:05

‘Is this how Madiba would have reacted to Russia’s aggression?’ Ukrainian ambassador asks Ramaphosa

Ukraine ambassador to SA Liubov Abravitova says Russia’s legacy of assistance in the fight against apartheid is being used to turn a blind eye to atrocities in her home country.

Abravitova addressed the Cape Town Press Club on the war being waged by Russia against Ukraine, and SA’s response.

She said Ukraine was under heavy shelling from Russian forces.

“I hope this is what President [Vladimir] Putin explained to the president of SA, his excellence President Cyril Ramaphosa, to gain ‘an understanding of the situation that was unfolding between Russia and Ukraine’,” she said.

March 11 2022 - 18:05

France's Scor says its exposure to Russia and Ukraine is limited

French reinsurer Scor on Friday said it expected the direct consequences of Russia' invasion of Ukraine to be limited and not impact the group's fundamentals.

"Overall, Scor's exposure to Russia and Ukraine is limited," the group said as it stressed the geopolitical situation and the humanitarian and global impacts of the crisis in Ukraine.

The French company said it was closely monitoring the crisis impact on its activity and ensuring that all its employees and their families in the region were safe.

Scor's Investor Day, initially planned for March 29, will be rescheduled due to the war and will take place by the end of July 2022, it added in a statement.

-Reuters

March 11 2022 - 15:30

WATCH | McDonald's, Starbucks and Pepsi among companies in corporate boycott of Russia

The war in Ukraine has entered a third week with Russia beginning to feel the force of financial sanctions. 

The US and EU have called for Russia's "most favoured nation" status to be revoked.

Stripping Russia of the status would result in increased import tariffs and quotas for its exports. 

March 11 2022 - 14:35

Kremlin says Ukraine conflict will end when West takes Russia seriously

The Kremlin said on Friday that the conflict in Ukraine would end when the West took action over Russia's repeatedly raised concerns about the killing of civilians in eastern Ukraine and NATO enlargement eastwards.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked by reporters how the crisis could end, set out Russia's position and said he believed that Ukraine was discussing Moscow's demands with the United States and other allies.

"Russia formulated concrete demands to Ukraine to resolve those questions. As far as we understand, those demands are being discussed by the Ukrainians with their advisers, primarily the United States and European Union countries," he said.

"Lets hope. That needs to be done. Then it will all end," Peskov said.

Russian officials do not use the word "invasion" and say Western media have failed to report on what they cast as the "genocide" of Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine. The West has repeatedly dismissed such concerns.

President Vladimir Putin says the "special military operation" in Ukraine is essential to ensure Russian security after the United States enlarged the membership of NATO up to Russia's borders and supported pro-Western leaders in Kyiv.

Ukraine says it is fighting for its existence while the United States, and its European and Asian allies have condemned the Russian invasion. China has called for calm.

"We over the past eight years have repeatedly tried to ask our Western colleagues to put pressure on Kyiv - and to force Kyiv - to stop killing its people on Donbass and to fulfil the Minsk agreements," Peskov said.

"Also, for the past several decades, our country has repeatedly raised how we feel in danger after you moved your military infracture in our direction. We don't like it and we feel in danger and we can't close our eyes to it: so why are you doing it? There were no answers."

"We need to find a resolution to these two questions. Russia formulated concrete demands to Ukraine to resolve those questions," Peskov said.

-Reuters

March 11 2022 - 12:51

Russians are not real Russians if ashamed of Ukraine conflict - Kremlin

Russians who say they are ashamed of the country's "special military operation" in Ukraine are not real Russians, the Kremlin said on Friday.

"A real Russian is never ashamed to be Russian," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked about a slogan "ashamed to be Russian" that some had repeated both inside and outside Russia.

"If someone says such things then they are just not Russian," Peskov said.

Peskov said anti-Russian feelings were running dangerously high in the West and said he hoped Western leaders would stop stoking such Russophobia.

-Reuters

March 11 2022 - 12:30

SA to mediate in Russia-Ukraine conflict: 4 other times SA was asked to intervene, and how it went

SA has been asked to mediate in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who said the request was discussed in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

March 11 2022 - 11:44

Russia looking at sourcing aircraft spare part supplies from Asia -Ifax

Russia is working on sourcing spare parts for aircraft from China and other Asian countries and has not yet decided whether to buy foreign airplanes leased by Russian airlines, Interfax cited the transport ministry as saying on Friday.

The ministry said more than 700 airplanes of Russian airlines are currently registered abroad, Interfax reported.

-Reuters

March 11 2022 - 11:05

Deutsche Bank faces questions over plan to stay in Russia

Deutsche Bank faced criticism on Friday for its continued ties to Russia after saying that leaving would go against its values, as other banks cut links with the country.

Germany's largest bank has dug in its heels amid pressure to sever ties after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, arguing that it needs to support multinationals doing business in Russia.

"We are often asked why we are not withdrawing completely from Russia.

The answer is that this would go against our values," Chief Executive Christian Sewing said in a note to Deutsche Bank staff on Thursday.

Bill Browder, an investor who has spent years campaigning to expose corruption, said that Deutsche Bank staying in Russia "is completely at odds with the international business community and will create backlash, lost reputation and business in the West."

"I would be surprised if they are able to maintain this position as the situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate," Browder told Reuters.

The debate comes as Deutsche Bank disclosed in its annual report that it paid Sewing 8.8 million euros ($9.68 million) in 2021, a 20% increase from a year earlier.

Overall, the lender paid 14% more, or 2.1 billion euros, in bonuses for 2021, rewarding staff for the bank's most profitable year in a decade. 

Reuters

March 11 2022 - 11:00

Belgian PM : Would be a mistake to close the EU's door to Ukraine

Ukraine must respect all the necessary procedural steps before it can become member of the European Union but closing the door on the country would be a mistake, Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Friday.

"A EU membership process requires a lot of reforms and it's logical that would go step by step, otherwise we'll have countries that will become members of the EU without being ready for it", he said as he arrived for the second day of a meeting with his European counterparts at Versailles.

"But on the other hand, it would be a big mistake to close the door to countries, like Ukraine, who feel threatened. We should consistently keep working with them", he said.

"We could invite them to summits without them having any decision power (...) the Commission is working in creative ways in that respect. But to become member, you have to respect the process", De Croo added.

Reuters

March 11 2022 - 10:18

US to keep Russian sanctions amid Iran talks

Iran and the United States were at loggerheads over reviving the 2015 nuclear deal after Tehran suggested there were new obstacles and Washington said hard issues remained

March 11 2022 - 09:53

Russian restaurant in NYC targeted over Ukraine

Vlada von Shats is the co-owner of the Russian Samovar, a restaurant in Manhattan's theater district serving up blini, Chicken Kiev, and flights of infused vodkas. Some people, outraged over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, are taking their anger out on her restaurant

March 11 2022 - 09:48

SA investors face quandary over offshore exposure

A major easing of foreign exchange controls presents SA money managers with the dilemma of whether to move more money offshore.

An amendment to prudential rules announced in last month’s budget enables pension and mutual funds to invest 45% of their assets abroad, up from 30% previously. That’s the largest adjustment yet made to the offshore limit, and gives local investors the chance to “fundamentally” rebalance their portfolios, said Izak Odendaal, an investment strategist at Old Mutual Wealth in Cape Town.

March 11 2022 - 09:45

Facebook allows Ukraine war posts urging violence against invading Russians, Putin

Meta Platforms will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy. 

The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for the deaths of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, according to internal emails to its content moderators.

“As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders’. We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians," a Meta spokesperson said.

March 11 2022 - 08:54

US, G7 allies to move to strip Russia of 'most favoured nation' status — sources

The US, together with the Group of Seven nations and the European Union, will move on Friday to revoke Russia's “most favoured nation” status over its invasion of Ukraine, multiple people familiar with the situation told Reuters.

President Joe Biden will announce the plans at the White House at 10:15am. EST (1515 GMT), said one of the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The White House said Biden would announce “actions to continue to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine”, but gave no details.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.

March 11 2022 - 08:10

‘You want to put us in a problem. Leave Putin alone’ — SA weighs in on Ramaphosa’s call with Russian president

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s phone discussion with Russian President Vladimir Putin has sparked fierce debate, with many questioning the call for SA to mediate in the conflict between that country and Ukraine.

Ramaphosa confirmed on Thursday evening that he had spoken to Putin to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and said he had pushed for “mediation”.

“Thanking His Excellency President Vladimir Putin for taking my call today so I could gain an understanding of the situation unfolding between Russia and Ukraine.

“I outlined our position on the conflict as well as our belief that the conflict should be resolved through mediation and negotiation between the parties and — if need be — with the help of agencies that can help bring a solution to the conflict.”

March 11 2022 - 08:08

Shipping companies ask crew to abandon ships stuck in Ukraine

Some shipowners have begun to ask crew to abandon their ships stuck off the coast of Ukraine, as Russia’s invasion of its neighbour reached the end of its second week.

M.T. Maritime has evacuated 22 Filipino seafarers from its oil-products tanker MTM Rio Grande, leaving the vessel unmanned and moored at Nika-Tera port in Ukraine, the company said in an emailed reply to queries. The crew are currently in Romania waiting for a flight back to the Philippines, it said.

March 11 2022 - 07:44

Air strikes in Ukraine's Dnipro kill one, emergency services say

Three air strikes early on Friday in Ukraine's central city of Dnipro killed at least one person, state emergency services said, adding that the strikes were close to a kindergarten and an apartment building.

The strikes came amid preparations by the United States, together with the Group of Seven nations and the European Union, to revoke Russia's "most favored nation" status over its invasion of Ukraine.

On Sunday, Ukraine had warned that Russia was mustering forces to encircle Dnipro, home to about one million people before the invasion started.

Reuters

March 11 2022 - 07:30

World leaders call for war crimes probe against Russia

A day after a Russian strike on a maternity hospital in Mariupol sparked widespread condemnation, Vice President Kamala Harris called for an international war crimes investigation into the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

March 11 2022 - 07:00

MAKHUDU SEFARA | Sorry but it’s true: what could’ve been a no-fly zone is a no-friend zone

For a while, I thought the most painful thing about any war, including the one taking place in Ukraine, is how children and the elderly are affected. 

We saw, in the last three weeks, images of children being helped by Ukrainian soldiers to escape Kyiv and other cities, oblivious to how the transmogrification under way will affect their lives forever. We watched too as pensioners were uprooted.

What could be worse than fleeing to another country in your twilight years, when your back, knees, liver and eyes are as close to dysfunction as, well, your life savings? And to boot, your bank gets bombed, as well as everything else around you. Truth is war can make your heart stop literally and figuratively. 

March 11 2022 - 06:30

Ex-Chernobyl workers fear another 'catastrophe'

Former Chernobyl plant engineers, Halyna and Valeriy, had to evacuate their home in Pripyat when a reactor exploded in 1986, triggering the world's worst nuclear accident. Now, the Ukrainian couple fear a huge nuclear catastrophe could happen again.

March 11 2022 - 06:00

Putin warns that Russia will emerge stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the Western sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine would prove to be self-defeating and Moscow would continue to meet its contractual energy obligations.

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