Wednesday, March 22

Ukraine Update: Civilian Safety Corridor to Open in Mariupol

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(Bloomberg) — Evacuations will start Saturday from the Black Sea port city of Mariupol after a humanitarian corridor is opened. The United Nations Security Council will meet Monday to discuss the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. The French and Mexican missions to the UN are seeking the Council’s approval of a resolution calling for unhindered humanitarian access in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday blasted NATO as “weak” for refusing to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine as Russia steps up its attacks. In Brussels, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. and allies are providing “extensive” support for Ukraine, but have a responsibility to ensure the war doesn’t spread. 


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U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a vocal critic of Wall Street, said banks are “undermining” sanctions on Russia by loading up on the nation’s corporate debt and looking to buy assets on the cheap. President Joe Biden has no intention of calling Russia’s Vladimir Putin, his spokeswoman said.  

Key Developments

Russia Accused of Nuclear Terrorism as World Looks on AghastGermany Faces Reckoning for Relying on Putin for Cheap EnergyRussia Energy Chaos Triggers the Biggest Market Shock in DecadesWhite House Considering Ban on Russian Oil Imports to U.S.Samsung Suspends Shipments of Phones, Chips to RussiaNATO Won’t Risk Broader Russia War With a Ukraine No-Fly Zone

All times CET:

Russia Agrees on Safety Corridors From Two Cities (7:26 a.m.)


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Russia’s military said humanitarian corridors are being set up from 10 a.m. Moscow time to allow civilians to leave Mariupol on the Black Sea and Volnovakha, about 40 miles (65 km) north, Interfax reported, citing the Defense Ministry.

Ukraine confirmed the agreement on the corridors, including a ceasefire to let people exit, said Davyd Arakhamiya, a senior member of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s party and part of the negotiating team from Ukraine.

Musk’s Starlink Won’t Block Russian News Sources (6:15 a.m.)

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite service won’t block Russian news sources “unless at gunpoint,” Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said in a tweet Saturday. Musk said that some governments had instructed Starlink to do so, specifying that it wasn’t Ukraine. Earlier this week, Ukraine’s digital transformation minister thanked Musk after his SpaceX satellite dishes arrived in the country to keep its internet communication operating amid Russia’s invasion.


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Starbucks Makes Donations From Russia Business (4:01 a.m.)

Starbucks Corp. said it is donating royalties from its Russian business to humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine, as international brands face increasing pressure to close stores and suspend operations in the wake of last week’s invasion. The Seattle-based coffee chain has 130 stores in Russia, which are owned and operated by a partner, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said in a statement Friday.  

Airbnb Guests Book Ukraine Rooms to Help Out (3:45 a.m.)

Airbnb Inc. said it accepted almost $2 million in bookings in Ukraine from people who have no intention of staying in the accommodation and just want to get money into the hands of the war-torn citizens there.


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Some 61,000 nights were booked in Ukraine on March 2-3, according to a tweet by Airbnb Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky. Users in the U.S., U.K. and Canada accounted for nearly three-quarters of total reservations, the company said, adding that it has temporarily waived guest and host fees on bookings in Ukraine.

Warning on Second Nuclear Plant (2:43 a.m.)

Russian troops were within 20 miles from a second Ukrainian nuclear plant, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Security Council Friday, without naming the facility. “Putin must stop this madness and he must stop it now. Cooler heads must prevail,” she said. 

The southern Ukrainian facility near Yuzhnoukrainsk is the country’s second largest plant, according to BloombergNEF.


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UN Security Council to Meet Monday (2:18 a.m.)

The United Nations Security Council will meet Monday to discuss the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. The French and Mexican missions to the UN are seeking the Council’s approval of a resolution calling for unhindered humanitarian access in Ukraine.

“The world demands that Russia abide by international humanitarian law, which prohibits intentionally targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, and allow humanitarian agencies full and secure access to people in need of aid,” U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Security Council during a meeting on Friday.

Samsung Halts Shipments of Phones, Chips to Russia (12:22 a.m.)

Samsung Electronics Co. said it had suspended product shipments to Russia, joining a growing list of companies from Apple Inc. to Microsoft Corp. that are halting sales and services in the country following its invasion of Ukraine last week. 


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Exports of all Samsung products ranging from chips to smartphones and consumer electronics have been suspended, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

Bloomberg News, BBC Suspend Reporting in Russia (11:24 p.m.)

Bloomberg News will temporarily suspend the work of its journalists inside Russia after President Vladimir Putin signed legislation that criminalizes independent reporting in the country. 

“We have with great regret decided to temporarily suspend our news gathering inside Russia,” Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait said Friday. “The change to the criminal code, which seems designed to turn any independent reporter into a criminal purely by association, makes it impossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism inside the country.” 


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Britain’s national broadcaster, the BBC, announced a similar measure earlier. 

Zelenskiy Slams ‘Weak’ NATO Over No-Fly Zone (10:59 p.m.)

In a video address to the nation, Zelenskiy laid into NATO for declining to impose a no-fly zone over the country to counter Russian air power, as Ukraine’s leaders have urged. He accused the alliance of failing to make use of its powerful weapons, and said that “all the people who die after this day will die because of you.”

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said earlier Friday that the “painful decision” not to comply with Ukraine’s request has been taken because doing so would risk drawing more countries into a wider war.

White House Says Biden Has ‘No Intention’ of Chat With Putin (9:20 p.m.)


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U.S. President Joe Biden has “no intention at this moment” of speaking directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.

Putin “is in the middle of an escalatory war in a sovereign foreign country,” Psaki told reporters in response to a question about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s requests for the two leaders to speak.

Though Biden has no plans to speak to Putin, the U.S. remains open to diplomatic engagement with Russia, she added. 

Blinken Warns Situation in Ukraine Will Worsen (9:03 p.m.)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the humanitarian situation in Ukraine will likely continue to deteriorate, an assessment “unfortunately based on everything we know about President Putin’s methods when it comes to seeking to subjugate another country.” 


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Blinken, speaking to journalists in Brussels after meetings with his NATO and G-7 counterparts, cited previous Russian wars in Chechnya, Georgia and Ukraine as evidence.

Blinken also said the strength of the global pushback against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion demonstrated that “we see the tide of democracy rising to the moment” after years of democratic recession, driven in part by Kremlin policies.  

White House Considering Ban on Russian Oil Imports to U.S. (8:27 p.m.)

The Biden administration is weighing a ban on U.S. imports of Russian crude oil as Congress races toward passing such a restriction to punish the Kremlin for its invasion of Ukraine.

Conversations are taking place within the administration and with the U.S. oil and gas industry on the impact such a move would have on American consumers and the global supply, according to people familiar with the matter.


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S&P to Remove All Stocks Listed, Domiciled in Russia (7:31 p.m.)

S&P Dow Jones Indices said it will remove all stocks listed and/or domiciled in Russia including ADRs/GDRs from its standard equity indices at a price of zero, effective prior to the open on March 9.

The company will also reclassify Russia to a standalone category from emerging markets effective the same day, the latest move in efforts to isolate the country from global finance over the war. 

Russian Watchdog Blocks Facebook (7:17 p.m.)

Facebook was blocked in Russia by the country’s communications regulator, Interfax reported, the latest sign of Moscow’s pushback on news sources not sanctioned by the government. 

Facebook was banned in retaliation for its freezing of accounts of RT, Sputnik and RIA Novosti and other media, communications regulator Roskomnadzor said in a statement.


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Two liberal broadcasters, Ekho Moskvy and TV Rain, went off air Thursday under pressure from prosecutors, while the websites of the BBC, Deutsche Welle and Meduza, an independent news group, weren’t accessible Friday.

What We Know About Ukraine’s Shelled Nuclear Plant: QuickTake  

Russian Slide to Rival 1998 Default, JPMorgan Says (12:33 p.m.)

The Russian economy’s slump from crushing sanctions following its war on Ukraine could rival the fallout from the country’s 1998 default, JPMorgan Chase economists said in a note to clients.

The “peak-to-trough” collapse in Russia’s GDP is now expected to be about 11%, they said. “Russia’s export earnings will be disrupted, and capital outflows will likely be immediate despite its large current-account surplus,” they said. “Imports and GDP will collapse.”

JPMorgan Warns Russia Headed for 1998-Like ‘Collapse’ in Economy

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.



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