President Zelenskyy of Ukraine has stated that Russia’s invasion of his country is becoming a nightmare. Meanwhile, Moscow warned on Monday that a Western boycott on Russian oil imports might more than treble the price to $300 per barrel and lead to the closing of the key gas pipeline to Germany, as discussions on Ukraine stalled despite efforts to agree on civilians’ safe passage.
“A rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak warned, adding that the price might more than quadruple to nearly $300 per barrel if it is rejected. President Joe Biden of the United States had a video conference call with the leaders of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom to enlist their support for the ban. But, if necessary, the US is willing to press on without European allies, according to two people familiar with the situation. The continent’s energy supply is highly reliant on Russian energy. Last month, Germany halted the certification of Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.
“We have every right to take a matching decision and impose an embargo on gas pumping through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline,” said Novak. As retaliation for the attack on Ukraine, Russia’s economy, banking system, and currency have all been subjected to severe sanctions. The country will be removed from all of JPMorgan’s fixed income indexes, according to the bank’s latest announcement on Monday.
Since the war began on February 24, more than 1.7 million Ukrainians have fled to Central Europe, according to the UN refugee agency. Russia refers to its efforts in Ukraine as a “special operation,” claiming that they are not intended to take territory but rather to damage Ukraine’s military capabilities and catch those it considers to be dangerous nationalists. A Ukrainian negotiator indicated that after the third attempt to stop the killing in Belarus, things remained substantially unchanged, despite little progress on logistics for the evacuation of civilians. “At this time, there are no major improvements in the situation,” Mykhailo Podolyak stated.
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The talks, according to Russian negotiator Vladimir Medinsky, were “not simple.” “We’re hoping that these corridors will finally work starting tomorrow,” he said. According to Interfax, Russia has offered two channels within Ukraine. A spokeswoman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has described escape routes to Russia and Belarus, a close ally, as “absolutely immoral.” According to Russian negotiator Leonid Slutsky, the fourth round of discussions would be held soon. Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said late Monday that “our president is not afraid of anything, including a direct meeting with Putin.”
Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, told Reuters that if Ukraine stopped fighting, revised its constitution to declare neutrality, and recognized Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the independence of regions held by Russian-backed separatists, Moscow would suspend operations. Emmanuel Macron, who spoke with Putin several times in the run-up to the invasion, said there was no impediment to a breakthrough. “I don’t think that in the coming days and weeks, there will be a real negotiated solution”, he said.