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Russia Ukraine News Highlights | US President Joe Biden said that his weekend comment in Europe that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” was a moral outrage for his invasion of Ukraine, and that does not reflect any change in American policy with respect to regime change.
As such, Biden refused to apologize for his comments, on which his administration has been having a tough time in explaining over the past few days.
“But I want to make it clear, I wasn’t then nor am I now articulating a policy change. I was expressing the moral outrage that I feel and I make no apologies for it,” he said when asked about his remarks last week in Europe where he had gone to shore up his allies and show solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
“For God’s sake, this man (Putin) cannot remain in power,” Biden had said last week.
Responding to questions, Biden said the escalatory efforts of Putin to continue and engage in carnage… “The kind of behavior of that that makes the whole world say, My God, what is this man doing?” “He (Putin) is going to become a pariah worldwide and who knows what he becomes at home in terms of support,” said the US president.
Pressed by reporters further, Biden said that a regime change is not the American policy. “He should remain in power just like, you know, bad people shouldn’t continue to do bad things. But it doesn’t mean we have a fundamental policy to do anything to take Putin down in any way,” he asserted. Biden noted that when he said that remarks, he was talking to the Russian people. “The last part of the speech was talking to the Russian people telling him what we thought. I was communicating this to not only the Russian people, but the whole world. This just stating a simple fact that this kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable,” he said.
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Russia-Ukraine Crisis LIVE | Russia promises to scale down operations near Kyiv and north Ukraine
Russia promised on Tuesday to scale down military operations around Kyiv and northern Ukraine as a confidence-building step, in the most tangible sign yet of progress towards negotiating an end to the war.
During talks at a palace in Istanbul, Ukraine for its part proposed adopting neutral status in the most detailed formula yet for a potential settlement to the five-week conflict. Moscow's February 24 invasion has been halted on most fronts by strong resistance, with Ukrainians recapturing territory even as civilians are trapped in besieged cities. (Reuters)
Russia-Ukraine Crisis LIVE | Biden discusses Ukraine, Indo-Pacific with Singapore PM
US President Joe Biden discussed Russia's invasion of Ukraine and China's role in the Indo-Pacific with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore at the White House on Tuesday. The two leaders sat down for talks in the Oval Office and were later to deliver remarks in what was described as a joint press statement.
Biden told reporters as he opened the meeting that the United States supports implementing its Indo-Pacific strategy despite the current focus on Europe during the Russia-Ukraine conflict. "Even as we address the crisis in Europe, my administration is strongly supportive of moving rapidly to implement the Indo-Pacific strategy," Biden said. (Reuters)
Russia-Ukraine Crisis LIVE | Sanctioned oligarch Abramovich seen at Russia-Ukraine talks
Soccer club owner. Ally of Vladimir Putin. Sanctioned oligarch. Could diplomatic go-between be added to the resume of Roman Abramovich?
The 55-year-old billionaire has swapped the skybox seat he once proudly occupied at his beloved Chelsea soccer club in Britain for a spot on the sidelines of negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow aimed at ending Russia's bloody war in Ukraine.
The silver-haired oil-and-aluminum tycoon stood in the background Tuesday as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan entered a hall packed with negotiators in a government building adjacent to the 19th century Ottoman palace, Dolmabahce, on the shores of the Bosporus in Istanbul. (AP)
Russia-Ukraine Crisis LIVE | Russia has repeatedly fired hypersonic missiles at Ukraine targets: US general
Russia has repeatedly fired hypersonic missiles at Ukrainian military targets, the top U.S. military commander in Europe, Air Force General Tod Wolters, told a Senate hearing on Tuesday. "Most of those strikes have been designated at specific military targets," Wolters said.
Russia announced on March 19 that it used hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles to destroy a large weapons depot in Ukraine's western Ivano-Frankivsk region. (Reuters)
Russia Ukraine News LIVE Updates | Russia says promised de-escalation falls short of ceasefire
Russia's promise to scale down military operations around Kyiv and northern Ukraine does not represent a ceasefire, Moscow's lead negotiator in talks with Ukraine said on Tuesday. "This is not a ceasefire but this is our aspiration, gradually to reach a de-escalation of the conflict at least on these fronts," Reuters quoted Vladimir Medinsky as saying in an interview with the TASS news agency, referring to the promise to scale down operations near the cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv.
Russia Ukraine News LIVE Updates | Oil drops $6 on positive signals from Russia-Ukraine peace talks
Oil prices dropped on Tuesday, extending losses from the previous day on signs of progress in talks between Russia and Ukraine to end their weeks-long conflict, with prices further pressured by China's new lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Brent crude fell $6.51, or 5.8%, to $105.97 a barrel by 1342 GMT and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down $6.41, or 6%, at $99.55. Both benchmarks lost about 7% on Monday. Ukrainian and Russian negotiators met in Turkey for the first face-to-face talks in nearly three weeks. The top Russian negotiator said the talks were "constructive". Russia promised at the peace talks to scale down its military operations around Kyiv and northern Ukraine, while Ukraine proposed adoption of neutral status but with international guarantees that it would be protected from attack. "Oil prices are under pressure again on expectations from peace talks between Ukraine and Russia, which could lead to an easing of sanctions," said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities.
Russia Ukraine News LIVE Updates | Netherlands extradites 17 Russian intelligence agents
The Netherlands has expelled 17 Russian intelligence agents who were accredited as diplomats, based on information from its own security services, the foreign affairs ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. "The reason for this (decision) is information from the AIVD and MIVD showing that the individuals in question, accredited as diplomats at the Russian representations in the Netherlands, are secretly active as intelligence officers," the ministry said. Dutch foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra said the government was prepared for any retaliation by Moscow. "Experience shows that Russia does not leave such measures unanswered. We cannot speculate on that, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is prepared for various scenarios that may occur in the near future," he said in a statement.
Russia Ukraine News LIVE Updates | Biden, European leaders to discuss Ukraine on Tuesday
U.S. President Joe Biden will talk to the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the White House said. Biden is scheduled to convene the call with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 9:15 a.m. (1315 GMT), it said. The call comes amid peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul on Tuesday in which Moscow promised to scale back its military operations near the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv and Ukraine proposed a neutral status with international security guarantees while maintaining its territory. Biden returned from Europe where he visited with top European leaders in person and attended a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit on the Western response to Russia's more than month-long invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Macron is also scheduled to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.
Russia Ukraine News LIVE Updates | UK detains Russian-owned superyacht in 'warning' to Vladimir Putin
Britain on Tuesday detained a Russian-owned, $50-million superyacht boasting a fresh-water swimming pool, in what it called a "warning" to Moscow of the consequences for invading Ukraine. The impounding of Phi, the first superyacht ever to be held in British waters, comes after the UK sanctioned hundreds of Russian individuals and entities in recent weeks over the Kremlin's war. Authorities held the vessel, which was docked at Canary Wharf in London, after the "combating kleptocracy" unit of the National Crime Agency (NCA) uncovered that its ultimate owner was a Russian businessman. Although the unidentified individual has not been sanctioned by the UK, new powers allow Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to detain ships controlled, chartered or operated by people connected to Russia. On a visit to the wharf, Shapps said the 58.5-metre (192-foot) vessel worth £38 million ($50 million, 45 million euros) was in London for a refit but now "won't be going anywhere". The seizure sent a "clear and stark warning" to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said. "It's just another indication that we will not stand by whilst Putin's cronies are allowed to sail around the world in these kinds of yachts and people in Ukraine are suffering."
Russia Ukraine News LIVE Updates | J&J to suspend supply of personal care products to Russia
Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday it would suspend the supply of its personal care products in Russia, joining a host of other companies that have distanced themselves from Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. The drugmaker said it would continue to supply medicines and medical devices in the region. J&J's consumer health segment sells a range of products for personal use including skin health, beauty and oral care products such as Neutrogena, Aveeno and Listerine. Consumer goods giants such as PepsiCo Inc, Procter & Gamble Co and Nestle SA have said they will retain a presence in Russia to provide basic items for nutrition and hygiene, such as milk and diapers. AbbVie, which owns blockbuster wrinkle treatment Botox, said earlier this month it had temporarily suspended operations for all its aesthetics products in Russia. J&J, along with several other drugmakers such as Eli Lilly and Co and Pfizer, has said it would stop enrollment in clinical trials in Russia. J&J has also said it was stopping enrollments as well as new site openings in Ukraine and Belarus, but was committed to providing essential health products
Russia Ukraine News LIVE Updates | Ruble surges 10% on Ukraine-Russia talks progress
The ruble, which fell sharply following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, surged by more than 10 percent against the dollar on Tuesday following progress in talks between Moscow and Kyiv. The Russian currency stood at 85.42 rubles to the dollar at around 1245 GMT. It had plunged to an unprecedented level of 150 to the greenback in recent weeks.