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Ukraine Contradicts Putin, Says “Zero Progress” In Ceasefire Talks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Update(11:56ET): Fresh statements by Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba appear to directly contradict Vladimir Putin's earlier assessment of a "certain positive shift" in ceasefire talks with the Ukrainian delegation. 

Speaking to Bloomberg, Kuleba cited "zero progress in talks" while questioning President Putin's narrative directly."Zero progress in talks… hard for me to understand what kind of progress President Putin is referring to," he said.

He further described that the multiple rounds of talks have thus fear been somewhat futile, as they "don't impact Russia's behavior on the ground." He further stressed that Zelensky's prior offer of Ukraine's "neutrality" on the NATO membership question "must come with security guarantees."

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earlier:

Here is a snapshot of all the latest market-moving news out of Ukraine from the last few hours, courtesy of Newsquawk:

Session Highlights:

  • Russian President Putin says there are certain positive shift in talks with Ukraine
  • US President Biden will speak regarding Russia at 10:15EST/15:15GMT today and will announce actions to continue to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine, according to the White House. US President  Biden also called for an end to Russia's preferred trade status and is to announce a trade push by the G7, US and EU this Friday, which paves the way for higher tariffs on Russian goods.

Discussions/Negotiations

  • EU said it will support Ukraine in pursuing its European path and Austrian Chancellor Nehammer noted that EU leaders see Ukraine as part of the European family, while Netherlands PM Rutte said it may take years for the EU Commission to assess the Ukraine bid.
  • A source close to Turkish President Erdogan says a meeting between Russian President Putin and Ukrainian President Zelensky could become possible in the near future, according to Sky News Arabia.

Energy/Economic Updates

  • US Treasury Secretary Yellen said they can do more regarding sanctions on Russia and she hasn't seen evidence of China assisting Russia with sanctions.
  • White House Press Secretary Psaki said the US supports corporations making decisions about Russia and if Russia seizes companies' assets, it will cause further suffering.
  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba says he had a productive meeting with his Polish counterpart and agreed pressure on Russia must further mount until it ceases its barbaric aggression.
  • Netherlands PM Rutte said the EU is almost finished with the fourth package of sanctions against Russia.
  • Russian Embassy to the US demanded that Washington hold Meta (FB) to account over extremist activities after it permitted calls for violence against Russians, according to Sputnik.
  • Russia is seeking ways to resume stock trading next week with the Bank of Russia and Moscow Exchange in talks on stock trading, according to Vedomosti.
  • Moody's cut Belarus from B3 to Ca; Outlook Negative and downgraded the ratings of 95 Russian corporates.

Defence/Military

  • UN Security Council is to convene on Friday at Russia's request as it seeks to discuss its claims of US biological activities in Ukraine, while US dismissed the claims as laughable and warns Moscow may be preparing to use chemical or biological weapons.
  • UK's PM Johnson said he fears Russia will use chemical weapons in Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian Parliament said Russian forces attacked a Kharkiv institute that contains an experimental nuclear reactor and the neighboring hostel is on fire.
  • US satellite image company Maxar said new images show the large Russian military convoy that was last seen northwest of Kyiv near Antonov Airport has largely dispersed and redeployed, while images showed armored units manoeuvring in and through the surrounding towns close to the airport and that convoy elements further north have repositioned near Lubyanka with artillery howitzers nearby.
  • Russian President Putin agrees to the idea of sending volunteers who want to fight Ukrainian forces in Ukraine, supports sending additional arms to separatists in Donbas.
  • Russia's Defence Minister Shoigu says Russia plans to reinforce its western borders; over 16,000 volunteers from the Middle East are ready to help; proposes handing over the spoils of Ukrainian weapons from tanks, artillery, Stinger missiles and Gafflin to Donetsk and Lugansk forces.

Other

  • Iran Foreign Minister tweeted that a deal is within sight if the US acts realistically and consistently, while it added that no single party can determine an end result with a joint endeavor needed.
  • EU Foreign Affairs Minister Borrell says "a pause in Vienna Talks is needed, due to external factors. A final text is essentially ready and on the table."; subsequently, journalists such as Aslani and Stein suggest that Russia's new demands are blocking the option to sign a deal.
  • Russian Envoy to Iranian talks says the conclusion of the Nuclear Deal does not just depend on Russia; other actors have additional concerns.
  • Saudi Arabia said a petroleum refinery in Riyadh was attacked by a drone on Thursday although the refinery's operations and supplies were unaffected and there were no casualties or injuries.
  • Senior US official said North Korea's recent launches involved an ICBM-capable platform, but did not demonstrate inter-continental ranges and the US concluded they involved a relatively new ICBM system, while US Treasury is to announce new actions on Friday to prevent North Korea from accessing foreign items and technology that would enable it to advance its weapons program.

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