Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday the alliance was deploying parts of its combat-ready response force and would continue to send weapons to Ukraine, including air defences, while saying that Russia was trying to topple the Ukrainian government. “We see rhetoric, the messages, which is strongly indicating that the aim is to remove the democratically elected government in Kyiv,” he told a news conference following a virtual meeting of NATO leaders.
Serbia will not impose sanctions against Moscow, president says
Serbia respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity and considers Russia’s military action against it to be “wrong,” but will not impose sanctions against Moscow, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday. Serbia, led by Vucic, is performing a delicate balancing act between its European aspirations, partnership with NATO and its centuries-old religious, ethnic and political alliance with Russia.
U.S. to impose sanctions on Russia’s Putin over invasion of Ukraine
The White House on Friday said the United States would impose sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as Washington looks to ramp up pressure on Moscow following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The rare but not unprecedented U.S. move to impose sanctions on a head of state would come just a day after Russian forces invaded Ukraine, assaulting by land, sea and air in the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two.
Russia vetoed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution on Friday that would have deplored Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, while China abstained from the vote – a move western countries view as a win for showing Russia’s international isolation. The United Arab Emirates and India also abstained from the vote on the U.S.-drafted text. The remaining 11 council members voted in favor. The draft resolution is now expected to be taken up by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly.
Russia to restrict Facebook access for ‘censoring’ its media
Moscow said on Friday it was partially limiting access to Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook, accusing it of “censoring” Russian media, the latest in a series of steps against U.S. social media giants and announced a day after Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia has been trying to exert tighter control over the internet and big tech for years, something critics say threatens individual and corporate freedom, and is part of a wider crackdown against outspoken opponents of the Kremlin.
Analysis-Putin’s end-game? Split Ukraine and install ‘tame’ leadership, analysts say
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine looks designed to take Kyiv and create a land corridor south to the Black Sea, splitting the country into two, military analysts and former officials said, echoing the view of Ukraine’s generals. President Vladimir Putin may still seek some form of control over the entire country, they said, as he strives to stop Ukraine ever joining NATO. He is also not guaranteed victory. A senior U.S. defence official said on Friday that Russia was facing more resistance than it expected, not least in its advance on Kyiv.
EU states agreed to freeze any European assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister on Friday, as Ukraine’s leader pleaded for faster and more forceful sanctions to punish Russia’s invasion of his country. The move against Putin and his top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov, came as envoys of the EU’s 27 member states agreed on a new wave of measures – their second this week – to hit Russia’s elite and thwart operations of 70% of the country’s banking system.
The Russian and Ukrainian governments on Friday signalled an openness to negotiations even as authorities in Kyiv urged citizens to help defend the capital from advancing Russian forces in the worst European security crisis in decades.
Ukraine and Russia will consult in coming hours on a time and place for talks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s spokesman Sergii Nykyforov said on social media, offering the first glimmer of hope for diplomacy since the invasion began.
Ukraine and Russia are discussing place and time for talks -Zelenskiy’s spokesman
Ukraine and Russia are discussing a place and time for talks, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s spokesman said on social media on Friday. “Ukraine was and remains ready to talk about a ceasefire and peace,” spokesman Sergii Nykyforov added.
The U.S. Treasury on Friday issued a new general license allowing international aid organizations and private firms to conduct commercial and financial transactions with Afghan government institutions. The new license represents a shift in U.S. policy that had impeded ordinary commerce with Afghan government agencies headed by U.S. sanctioned Taliban and Haqqani Network leaders since the Islamists seized power in August as U.S.-led forces withdrew.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)