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Putin alerts his Nuclear Forces; Zelensky agrees to meet Russians on Belarus border

Putin alerts his Nuclear Forces; Zelensky agrees to meet Russians on Belarus border

A package of EU sanctions closely coordinated with the White House will target Russia’s ability to fund its invasion of Ukraine through Europe’s financial markets.

The news: The EU’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, said the first strike from Brussels would “hurt Russia, and it will hurt a lot” as the 27 European member states announced an agreement on a range of punitive measures against Moscow.

  • According to EU officials, further punitive measures could be agreed upon by western allies at a G7 meeting, which is to be held later this week, depending on Russia’s behavior.
  • Till now many countries and EU have sanctioned huge withdrawals on Russia and in  favor of Ukraine. Trying to suppress the cruel decision of Putin, these sanctions aim to provide a healthy emotion for Ukraine as well as the whole world. 

United States Sanctions: The US department of the Treasury said it has sanctioned two of Russia’s largest banks – state backed Sberbank and VTB Bank. The list includes sanctions on major financial institutions like Otkritie, Sovcombank and Novikkombank along with some senior executives. The US has imposed sanctions on 13 major Russian enterprises and entities. 

Japan Sanctions: The Japanese PM said in a news conference that Tokyo would take aim at Russian financial institutions and individuals with the sanctions, as well as halt the exports of military goods such as semiconductors to Russia. 

UK Sanctions: The British government said it would impose an asset freeze on major Russian banks, including state owned VTB, its second biggest bank. With that it will also stop major Russian companies from raising finance in the UK. 

Britain will also ban Russian flagship airline Aeroflot from landing in the UK. Suspend dual export licenses to russia and ban exports of high tech parts of extractive industry. 

Canada Sanctions: Canada announced sanctions against Russia targeting 62 individuals and entities, including members of the elite and major banks, and canceled all the export permits of Russia. 

Czech Republic Sanctions: They have banned Russian airlines from flying to the central European country and are considering further steps against Russia. 

Taiwan Sanctions: The country will impose sanctions on Russia, the government said, with the world’s largest contract chipmaker saying it would comply with all export control rules. 

New Zealand Sanctions: New zealand imposed targeted travel bans on Russia and prohibited trade to its military and security forces. 

Australia Sanctions: PM Scott Morrison said that the new sanctions will be placed against “Oligarchs whose economic weight is of strategic significance to Moscow ” and more than 300 members of the Russian parliament who voted to authorize sending Russian troops into Ukraine. 

What’s going on: Looking at the huge disapproval by so many nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered another move that would shock the world and will again force the people to believe that Putin is an absolute madman. 

  • Amid the rise in sanctions by the West, Putin has now ordered his nuclear forces to be on high alert. 
  • Russia, just like the U.S., has thousands of nuclear warheads under its arsenal. By this decision,  Putin now has raised the global stakes of the conflict to a far deadlier level.
  • Putin said on Sunday that the leading NATO powers have made some “aggressive statements” against Russia, which according to him has forced them to put the Nuclear Deterioration Forces in a “special regime of combat duty”. 
  • Following which, now Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy agreed to meet with the Russians on the border of Belarus. He will be meeting them without any preconditions. 
  • For instance, one should know that the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko is an ally of Putin and that his country let the Russian troops gather prior to the attack on Ukraine. 

What are they saying: According to Zelenskyy, Lukanshenko “has taken responsibility for ensuring that all planes, helicopters and missiles stationed on Belarusian border will remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation’s travel, talks and return”. 

  • Zelenskyy even doubts that the meeting would produce results, but still wants to give it an attempt “ so that no citizen of Ukraine would have any doubt that I, as president, did not try to stop the war when there was a small chance”. 
  • According to a senior EU official “We still have quite a huge package in reserve if need be, and that would be a political discussion with leaders across the Atlantic and with our UK friends. We have a G7 on Thursday. So that will be also discussed if we need to scale up intensity depending on the development on the grounds.”
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