Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Biden to prohibit trade, investment with Ukraine breakaway regions -White House
President Joe Biden will issue an executive order soon that will prohibit economic activity between U.S. individuals and the two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized as independent entities on Monday, the White House said. Putin’s recognition of the rebel-held areas could pave the way for Moscow to send military forces into the two regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – and argue that it is intervening as an ally to protect them against Ukraine.
Putin vents Ukraine grievances as justification for recognising Donbass
President Vladimir Putin signed decrees on Monday to recognise two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine as independent statelets, defying Western warnings that such a step would be illegal and would kill off peace negotiations. He signed the documents after delivering an astonishing verbal attack on Ukraine in an televised speech lasting nearly an hour, in which he said neo-Nazis were on the rise, oligarchic clans were rife and called Ukraine a U.S. colony with a puppet regime.
British Prime Minister Boris on Monday said he would end all coronavirus restrictions in England including mandatory self-isolation for people with COVID-19 and free testing, drawing scepticism from some scientists and political opponents.
Johnson’s “living with COVID” plan has sparked alarm that it is premature and will leave the country vulnerable to new viral variants, but the government says it has provided more testing than most other countries, and must now curb the cost.
U.S. President Joe Biden’s agreement in principle to meet President Vladimir Putin may be off after Russia declared two breakaway regions of Ukraine as independent on Monday, and the United States will announce further measures, likely sanctions-related, on Tuesday, a senior administration official said. The official, speaking to reporters on a conference call, said the United States would continue to pursue diplomacy with Moscow over Ukraine “until the tanks roll.”
Britain vowed to impose sanctions on Russia, which it warned could invade Ukraine imminently, condemning President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine as a breach of international law. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered defensive support in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, saying while a diplomatic solution should be pursued until the last possible second, the situation was deteriorating.
The United States, Britain and France have asked the U.N. Security Council to meet later on Monday on Ukraine after Russia recognized two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities, diplomats said. Council members Albania, Ireland, Norway and Mexico also support the 15-member body meeting on Monday, diplomats said. Russia, as current president of the Security Council, is responsible for scheduling the meeting.
About 60 killed in blast at informal gold mine -Burkina Faso state TV
About 60 people were killed and dozens more wounded on Monday in an explosion at an informal gold mining site in southwest Burkina Faso, state television reported, citing local officials. The cause of the explosion in Poni province was not yet known, Poni’s high commissioner Antoine Douamba told state television.
U.N. chief believes Russia has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres believes Russia has violated the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine by recognizing two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities on Monday, a U.N. spokesman said. “The United Nations, in line with the relevant General Assembly resolutions, remains fully supportive of the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
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.
Libyan PM pushes summer election amid parliament bid to oust him
Libya’s interim prime minister on Monday announced a plan for elections in the summer as he seeks to stay in office despite a push by parliament to dislodge him in favour of a new government. Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, who heads the Government of National Unity (GNU) in the west of the country, repeated his vow to step down only after a national vote, defying the eastern-based parliament’s designation of former interior minister Fathi Bashagha to replace him as prime minister.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)