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February 22, 2022 / 11:12 PM IST

Russia Ukraine Conflict Highlights | EU members agree on sanctions targeting Moscow, says France

Russia Ukraine Crisis Highlights | Germany froze a new gas pipeline and Britain hit Russian banks with sanctions on Tuesday, as the West responded to Moscow's recognition of two separatist regions in Ukraine and a speech by President Vladimir Putin suggesting more belligerent aims.

Russia Ukraine Crisis Highlights | Vladimir Putin recognises Ukraine separatist regions, sends troops on what Moscow calls peacekeeping mission

Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent on Monday and ordered the Russian army to launch what Moscow called a peacekeeping operation into the area, accelerating a crisis the West fears could unleash a major war.

Putin told Russia's defence ministry to deploy troops

into the two regions to "keep the peace" in a decree issued shortly after announcing recognition for Russian-backed separatists there, drawing U.S. and European condemnation and vows of new sanctions.

It was not immediately clear whether the Russian military action would be regarded by the West as the start of an invasion of Ukraine that the United States and its allies have warned about for weeks since the area was already controlled by Russian-backed separatists and Moscow in practice.

There was no word on the size of the force Putin was dispatching, but the decree said Russia now had the right to build military bases in the breakaway regions and that troops' mission would be to uphold the peace.

In a lengthy televised address packed with grievances against the West, Putin, looking visibly angry, described Ukraine as an integral part of Russia's history and said eastern Ukraine was ancient Russian lands and that he was confident the Russian people would support his decision.

Russian state television showed Putin, joined by Russia-backed separatist leaders, signing a decree recognising the independence of the two Ukrainian breakaway regions -- the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic - along with agreements on cooperation and friendship.

Defying Western warnings against such a move, Putin had announced his decision in phone calls to the leaders of Germany and France earlier, both of whom voiced disappointment, the Kremlin said.

Moscow's action may well torpedo a last-minute bid for a summit with U.S. President Joe Biden to prevent Russia from invading Ukraine. The rouble extended its losses as Putin spoke, at one point sliding beyond 80 per dollar.

Biden will issue an executive order soon prohibiting "new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in" the two breakaway regions, the White House said. It will "also provide authority to impose sanctions on any person determined to operate in those areas of Ukraine," White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Psaki said measures being rolled out in response to Putin's decree were separate from sanctions the United States and its allies have been readying if Russia invades Ukraine.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the executive order "is designed to prevent Russia from profiting off of this blatant violation of international law."

The U.N. Security Council will meet publicly on Ukraine at 9 p.m. EST Monday (0200 GMT on Tuesday), a Russian diplomat said, following a request by the United States, the United Kingdom and France.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said European Union countries have agreed to impose a limited set of sanctions "targeting those who are responsible" for Russia's recognition of the rebel regions.

British foreign minister Liz Truss said in a Twitter post that on Tuesday the government will announce new sanctions on Russia in response to Putin's decision.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia of continuing to fuel the conflict in eastern Ukraine and "trying to stage a pretext" for a further invasion. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

In his address, Putin delved into history as far back as the Ottoman empire and as recent as the tensions over NATO's eastward expansion - a major irritant for Moscow in the present crisis.

With his decision, Putin brushed off Western warnings that such a step would be illegal, kill off peace negotiations and trigger sanctions.

"I deem it necessary to make a decision that should have been made a long time ago - to immediately recognise the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic," Putin said.

He said earlier that "if Ukraine was to join NATO it would serve as a direct threat to the security of Russia."
  • February 22, 2022 / 11:09 PM IST

    The live blog session has concluded. For more news, views and updates, stay tuned with Moneycontrol.com.

  • February 22, 2022 / 11:09 PM IST

     Russia-Ukraine Conflict LIVE Updates | EU members agree on sanctions targeting Moscow, says French foreign minister

    France's foreign minister says European Union nations unanimously agreed on a set of sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, Associated Press reported. According to reports, the sanctions will target the Russian lawmakers who have supported the contentious decision to recognise two pro-Russia Ukraine regions as 'independent' entitites. Earlier, Britain announced a seperate set of sanctions targeting Moscow's financial institutions.

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  • February 22, 2022 / 10:11 PM IST

    Russia Ukraine Conflict LIVE Updates | Dollar dips in choppy trade caused by Ukraine uncertainty

    The US dollar was slightly lower against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday in choppy trade, getting whipsawed by developments in Ukraine a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized two breakaway regions in the country and ordered troops to the area.

    The euro rose versus the dollar, after earlier touching its lowest level since Feb. 14, buoyed in part by the hope for talks and economic data that showed business morale in Germany improved in February across all sectors to its highest since August.

    The dollar index fell 0.134%, with the euro up 0.21% to $1.1334.

    "Putin is running the show here, but the markets are not responding as if they are really fearful that what happened is an irredeemable escalation that is going to end up with the kind of sanctions that wreck economies, or at least will wreck the global recovery," said Joseph Trevisani, senior analyst at FXStreet.com in New York. (Reuters)

  • February 22, 2022 / 09:02 PM IST

    Russia Ukraine Crisis LIVE Updates | Rajasthan govt, in coordination with Centre, will help students from state return from Ukraine: CM 

    In view of the situation in Ukraine, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Tuesday that the Rajasthan government, in coordination with the Centre and the Ukrainian Embassy, will help students of the state return. Gehlot tweeted, "Concerned about Rajasthani students residing in Ukraine in view of the current situation prevailing there." He said that students, who want to return, the state government in coordination with the embassy and the government of India will do everything possible to bring them back. A large number of family members of medical students living in Ukraine had demanded their safe return in view of the conditions there.

  • February 22, 2022 / 08:20 PM IST

    Russia Ukraine Crisis LIVE Updates | White House now calling Russian moves on Ukraine an invasion, sets stage for strong sanctions

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  • February 22, 2022 / 08:19 PM IST

    Russia Ukraine Crisis LIVE Updates | Germany blocks opening of pipeline as West responds to Russian moves in Ukraine

    Germany froze a new gas pipeline and Britain hit Russian banks with sanctions on Tuesday, as the West responded to Moscow's recognition of two separatist regions in Ukraine and a speech by President Vladimir Putin suggesting more belligerent aims. Russia's parliament approved treaties with the two breakaway regions in Ukraine's east, a day after Putin announced he was recognising the independence of enclaves controlled by Russian-backed fighters since 2014. The prospect of a disruption to energy supplies and fears of war, stoked by reports of shelling and movements of unmarked tanks in the city of Donetsk, rattled international markets and sent oil prices surging to their highest level since 2014. Germany is Russia's biggest customer for natural gas, and the decision by Chancellor Olaf Scholz to halt the Nord Stream 2 pipeline -- built but still not opened -- was widely seen as one of the strongest measures Europe could take.

  • February 22, 2022 / 08:01 PM IST

    Russia Ukraine Crisis LIVE Updates |  Where will Vladimir Putin stop?

    Now that Russian President Vladimir Putin has recognised the independence of separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine and ordered in "peacekeeping" troops, the big question is: where will he stop? Western countries have been warning for weeks that Moscow may be preparing for a possible all-out massed invasion to conquer its neighbour. Russia denies this, and Putin's moves so far have stopped well short of such a scenario. But a televised address by Putin on Monday night - in which he characterised the Ukrainian state and its leaders as illegitimate - added to fears that he may aim to subjugate Ukraine by force.

    Read more here 

  • February 22, 2022 / 07:42 PM IST

    Russia Ukraine Crisis LIVE Updates | With markets affected by the Russia Ukraine crisis, here's what veteran Shankar Sharma advises to new investors

    Amidst the volatility in the Indian markets right now which are adversely impacted by the Russian-Ukraine crisis, ace investor and market veteran Shankar Sharma advises investors to stick on to smallcaps and welcome the valuable lessons the market is teaching us right now. Sharma in conversation with Moneycontrol apprised that whatever the markets are going through right now due to the geopolitical tensions in Russia and Ukraine, it is quite precedented and just like other markets around the world, India will also suffer. He pointed out that whenever 'war' or 'near-war-like' situations arise, three things definitely happen- markets sell-off, treasuries might rally and there's a spike in oil prices. On February 22, International oil prices surged close to $100 a barrel on Tuesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine.

    Read more here

  • February 22, 2022 / 07:39 PM IST

    Russia Ukraine Crisis LIVE Updates | Euro rises as Russia says still open to diplomacy

    The euro rose on Tuesday versus the dollar, after earlier falling to its lowest in more than a week, as traders hoped a war in Ukraine will be avoided after a Kremlin spokesperson said Moscow remained open to diplomacy. Following Russian President Vladimir Putin's orders for the deployment of troops in two breakaway regions in Ukraine, the euro fell to an eight-day low versus the dollar. At 12.50 pm GMT, the euro rose 0.4% to $1.1352 after reports the Kremlin hoped Russia's recognition of two breakaway Ukrainian regions as independent would help restore calm and that Russia would recognise the current boundaries of the breakaway regions. Rising risk aversion amid a gas price surge and worries around a potential war in Ukraine have sent the euro one-month volatility to its highest in 15 months, with the West vowing sanctions in response to Putin's troops in Ukraine.

  • February 22, 2022 / 07:36 PM IST

    Russia Ukraine Crisis LIVE Updates | White House welcomes Nord Stream 2 halt, will announce 'own measures' against Russia

    The White House welcomed Germany's decision to halt the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project meant to deliver Russian gas to Europe and said that US sanctions would be announced Tuesday. President Joe Biden "made clear that if Russia invaded Ukraine, we would act with Germany to ensure Nord Stream 2 does not move forward. We have been in close consultations with Germany overnight and welcome their announcement. We will be following up with our own measures today," Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted.

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  • February 22, 2022 / 07:35 PM IST

    Russia Ukraine Crisis LIVE Updates | Separatist says Russia recognised breakaway republic on territory of wider region

    Russian-backed separatist leader Denis Pushilin said on Tuesday that Moscow formally recognised the breakaway region of Donetsk within the wider boundaries of eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region, much of which is controlled by Ukrainian forces. Speaking on Russian state television, Pushilin said the matter of the territory not controlled by separatists would be resolved later. "The border issue is not simple, it will be resolved later," he said.

  • February 22, 2022 / 07:24 PM IST

    Russia Ukraine Crisis LIVE Updates | Germany says 'ready' to reinforce troops in Lithuania 

    German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht on Tuesday said the EU member was ready to deploy more troops to the Baltic state Lithuania, amid growing fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. "NATO has further raised our common crisis response measures for the NRF (NATO response force) and Germany is also ready to provide additional land, sea, and air forces as reinforcement," she said at Lithuania's Rukla military base where Germany leads the Western defence alliance's multinational battalion there.

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