Ukraine Latest: Zelenskiy Speaks With JPMorgan on Reconstruction

(Bloomberg) – Russia launched its biggest spate of missile attacks on Ukraine this year, a day after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ended a visit to European capitals where he was scouting for more weapons to repel Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

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Romania has fought back a claim by Ukraine’s supreme commander that two Russian cruise missiles entered the NATO member’s airspace, while Moldova summoned the Russian ambassador after the projectiles passed through its territory.

Moscow’s plan to cut oil production by 500,000 barrels a day — which pushed oil prices to their biggest weekly rise in four months — shows the extent to which Putin is willing to weaponize energy, a White House official has said. President Joe Biden will travel to Poland to mark a year of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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

Important Developments

  • Wheat rises as Russia launches new missile strikes on Ukraine
  • Oil rises for best week since October on supply cuts in Russia
  • Russian expectant mothers flock to Argentina in search of security, passports
  • Romania says no Russian missile has crossed airspace after Kiev claims
  • Bank of Russia is biased Hawkish with a more likely rate hike in 2023

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On the floor

Russian forces continued their offensive towards Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Novopavlivka, the General Staff said on Facebook. On Friday, the Ukrainian army repelled Russian attacks near three settlements in the Luhansk region and four settlements in the Donetsk region. The Ukrainian Air Force carried out 12 strikes on Russian positions and 4 strikes on positions of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems. The Odessa region was hit twice overnight by Russian missiles, the city council said. Bombs were also dropped on Snake Island by two Su-24M jets. Two Oniks anti-ship cruise missiles were launched from the Crimea and hit the coast in the Odessa region without casualties.

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(All times CET)

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Zelenskyy focuses on reconstruction at JPMorgan summit (10:45 a.m.)

Ukraine needs foreign investment to diversify and decentralize its energy system and make it less vulnerable to Russian attacks, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at an investment summit organized by JPMorgan.

Zelenskyi met with three senior investment bank officials in Kyiv and spoke at the conference via video link, according to a post on the president’s website.

Zelenskyy urged private investors to consider Ukraine’s IT and agricultural technology industries. He said the war has increased intolerance of corruption in Ukrainian society and his government will strengthen.

Russia Likely to Turn to Convict Labor in Defenses, Britain Says (8am)

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Russia’s regular military is likely to have used the vast majority of reservists called up under last year’s “partial mobilisation”, the UK MoD has said.

That leaves Russia “with the difficult choice of either further dismantling its forces, reducing targets, or engaging in some further form of mobilization,” Britain said on Twitter.

In addition, the country’s defense industry “most likely relies on forced labor to meet wartime production needs,” the UK said.

Serbian President warns of “major escalation” (7:00 a.m.)

In a TV interview on Friday evening, Aleksandar Vucic predicted a “major escalation” of the Russian invasion in the next five to six months.

“So far this is almost nothing compared to what is to come,” the Serbian President told Prva TV in Belgrade. “In five to six months they will try to de-escalate, but in the next five to six months there will be the most violent conflict.”

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At this point, “it is not clear who will win in Ukraine,” he said.

Putin arms energy with oil production cut: White House

Russia’s plan to cut its oil production by 500,000 barrels a day next month shows the extent to which President Vladimir Putin is willing to weaponize resources like energy, said John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council.

Putin’s move comes as no surprise following a decision by the G-7 and the European Union to impose price caps on Russian oil and oil products, Kirby said. The US will continue to work with allies and partners, including those in OPEC, he added, saying he has no meaningful talks at this time.

Oil posted its biggest weekly gain in four months after Russia heeded its threat to cut production in response to Western energy sanctions.

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Russia launches more drone strikes (8:30 p.m.)

Russia launched another wave of attacks by Iranian-made drones targeting southern and central regions including Odessa and Mykolaiv, Ukrainian officials said.

Mykolaiv regional governor Vitaliy Kim said Ukrainian troops shot down three Shahed drones and the Odessa governor said air defenses shot down four of the planes trying to attack energy infrastructure. Warning sirens could also be heard in Kiev.

Wagner founder sees 2-year effort to control Donbass (8:15 p.m.)

Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Russian military company Wagner, which plays a key role in the fighting in Ukraine, said it will take up to two years for Russian forces to take control of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.

In a rare interview with a pro-Kremlin video blogger, Prigozhin was asked what he thought the goal of Putin’s war was and how long it would last. “Everyone has a different perspective on special operations,” he said. “As far as I understand, we need to take the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, and in principle everyone will be happy with that.”

Prigozhin also said that Wagner has stopped recruiting prisoners to send to the front, although he added that the Defense Ministry is now hiring them.

Ukraine says it shot down 61 cruise missiles (1:22 p.m.)

Russia shot down 71 cruise missiles, up to 35 S-300 missiles and seven drones, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, told Telegram on Friday. Cruise missiles were fired from strategic bombers and from ships in the Black Sea. Ukrainian forces shot down 61 cruise missiles and five drones, he said.

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Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal previously said on Telegram that high-voltage infrastructure had been damaged in the western, central and eastern regions of the country, leading to disruptions in electricity supplies.

Romania says ‘air target’ was never in its airspace (12:30 p.m.)

Romania’s defense ministry said it detected an “air target, most likely a cruise missile launched from a Russian warship in the Black Sea” early Friday, but the projectile “never entered” its airspace. The missiles were never closer than 35 kilometers (22 miles) to the north-eastern Romanian border, sources said.

The “target” flew over Ukraine, then over Moldova, “after which it reentered Ukrainian space without entering Romanian airspace,” the NATO member said in a statement.

Romania said it diverted two MiG jets to the north of the country to increase “response capabilities”, but once the situation was clarified the jets resumed their original mission.


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