Turkey Blocks Sanctioned Goods on Way to Russia

(Bloomberg) – Turkey abruptly halted the transit of sanctioned goods to Russia this month as the European Union and the US pressured their allies to support measures imposed over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin became the latest international leader to visit Kiev and accompanied President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the funeral of a soldier killed in Bakhmut.

Zelenskyy had earlier called for sanctions against Russia’s nuclear industry after he accused the Kremlin of attacking Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Thursday’s rocket fire.

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Important Developments

  • Turkey links Swedish anti-terrorist law with NATO membership approval

  • Britain suspects Russians are using British firms to launder war profits

  • NATO’s call for arms gives hope to the city that armed the enemy

(All times CET)

Ukraine urges EU to extend trade benefits expiring in June (1:34 p.m.)

The measures suspending tariffs on Ukrainian exports have been in place since June last year, and the European Commission last month proposed a one-year extension.

“We need to convince Ukrainian companies that the EU market will be open for them, not only during the war but also after it,” Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko told reporters ahead of a meeting with EU trade ministers in Sweden. “What we need to get now is confirmation from the EU that they will definitely extend the autonomous trade measures.”

Turkey blocks sanctioned transit of goods to Russia (1:29 p.m.)

According to a senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the Turkish government ordered the transit of sanctioned goods through Turkey to be halted from March 1.

The country has emerged over the past year as one of the havens for Russian wealth and a hub for sourcing goods. Turkey’s exports to Russia increased to $9.3 billion in 2022 from $5.8 billion the year before.

Kremlin Erases Putin’s Diary for G-20 Summit in India (1:20 p.m.)

Right now, the Kremlin is planning for Putin to attend September’s G-20 summit, having skipped the last two, but no final decision has been made, according to people familiar with the planning.

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India has formally invited Putin to the summit and the Kremlin has accepted. Last year, under pressure from the US and its allies over the war, Putin dropped plans to attend a gathering in Indonesia and sent Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in his place.

READ ALSO: Kremlin Erases Putin’s Diary For G-20 Summit As Isolation Eases

Finland’s Marin visits Kyiv (12:45 p.m.)

Finns Sanna Marin and Zelenskiy laid flowers at a memorial to fallen troops and attended the memorial service for a soldier killed in Bakhmut.

Latvia to deliver cars confiscated from drunk drivers (12:40 p.m.)

Cars seized by Latvian authorities in connection with drunk driving are being shipped to Ukraine in the latest act of solidarity by one of the government’s staunchest EU supporters in Kiev.

Authorities in the Baltic country, which began confiscating cars from drink-driving drivers in November, transported eight vehicles this week, the state tax agency said. They are used for the Ukrainian military and hospitals. Up to 200 more are waiting to be transported, it said.

US envoy urges Orban to turn away from Russia (12:30 p.m.)

The US ambassador to Hungary said Prime Minister Viktor Orban has reached a crossroads and that “now is the time” to turn away from Russia and solidify the country’s ties with its Western allies. “Hungary has reached an important moment in determining its future path,” Ambassador David Pressman said in a statement.

The remark, unusually direct for a sitting US ambassador, about the international politics of a NATO partner increases the pressure on Orban to end his more than decade-long efforts to strengthen ties with Russia. On Thursday, Orban said that after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Hungary may have to “think hard about its cozy relationship with Moscow.”

Russia Sends Captured Weapons to Iran : CNN (12:15 p.m.)

Russia has shipped arms and equipment, sent to Ukraine by US and NATO allies and captured on the battlefield, to Iran for reverse engineering, CNN reported, citing people familiar with the matter whom it did not identify by name.

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The Kremlin believes that supplying Iran with the weapons – which include anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons – will embolden the regime in Tehran to continue supporting its war against Ukraine, CNN quoted People as saying.

Russia Blacklists 144 Baltic Public Figures (10am)

Russia said it had sanctioned 144 public figures from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, including ministers, lawmakers and journalists, in response to what the foreign ministry in Moscow called “active lobbying” against Russia and “interference in our internal affairs”. designated.

The 144 people are not only helping to arm Ukraine, but are also involved in “destroying” Soviet-era monuments, “persecuting” Russian-speaking citizens, “rewriting history” and “glorifying Nazism,” it said ministry in a statement. It did not identify her by name.

US Sanctions on Chinese Aerospace Companies (9:10 am)

The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on five Chinese companies and one person accused of supplying aerospace components to an Iranian maker of drones that were sold to Russia and used in oil tanker attacks.

“Iran is directly implicated in Ukraine’s civilian casualties resulting from Russia’s deployment of Iranian UAVs in Ukraine,” Brian Nelson, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement, using an acronym for unmanned aerial vehicle.

Turkey links Swedish anti-terror law with NATO bid (9am)

Turkey linked Sweden’s forthcoming anti-terror law to ratification of its NATO entry and pushed against a July deadline set by allies for the completion of enlargement.

Talks between Turkey, Sweden and Finland had resumed on Thursday in a bid to break the impasse that has been holding back the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s expansion since the two Nordic countries were invited to join in June.

Russian tycoons unload Alfa Bank stake (9:00 a.m.)

Russian billionaires Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven have reached an agreement to divest their stakes in Alfa-Bank, the country’s largest private lender, in a bid to ease European sanctions.

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Under the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, the two would sell their stakes for 178 billion rubles ($2.3 billion) to longtime partner Andrei Kosogov, who has not been sanctioned, according to people familiar with the situation. It wasn’t immediately clear where Kosogov, a minor manager who had the smallest stake in the bank before the other partners in the war were sanctioned, would get the money.

Putin congratulates Xi (8am)

According to the Tass news agency, Russian President China congratulated Xi Jinping on his re-appointment to a third term as president.

Putin said in a telegram that he was sure Russia and China would increase their cooperation in certain areas, Tass reported.

Six Ukrainians Killed in Latest Strikes: Zelenskyy (7am)

In his evening address, Zelenskyy said Russia’s “massive” rocket fire killed six Ukrainians on Thursday. It also led to temporary power, heat and water blackouts in some regions and cities, with Kharkiv to the east and Zhytomyr to the west of Kiev facing “the most difficult situation,” he added.

According to a morning update on Facebook, Ukraine’s General Staff said its forces shot down 34 of the 95 rockets fired over the past day. That was a lower percentage than usual because Russia’s recent attacks involved a new mix of sophisticated weaponry that largely eluded air defenses.

UK investigates links to Russian money laundering (3:40am)

According to people familiar with the matter, the British government suspects that Russian nationals have exploited lax controls on the business register to launder war profits stolen from Ukraine.

British law enforcement have in recent years identified a large number of bogus companies set up by nationals from a number of countries in the UK, likely for the purpose of money laundering or tax evasion, the people said, asking not to be named if it was about confidential matters.

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