Live Updates | The WTO sees that the war weighs on the growth of world trade

GENEVA — The World Trade Organization forecasts trade in goods to grow much less than expected this year, saying the outlook for the world economy has darkened since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The Geneva-based WTO on Tuesday signaled multiple uncertainties in its forecast for the next two years as Russian and Ukrainian exports of items such as food, oil and fertilizer are threatened by war. He also cited the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially from lockdowns in China.

Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala described a “double whammy” from the conflict and the coronavirus. She said the war has caused “immense human suffering” in the region and its effect has spread throughout the world, especially in poorer countries.

The WTO said its projections for world trade take into account factors such as the impact of the war, sanctions on Russia and lower demand around the world due to lower business and consumer confidence. He said the volume of world merchandise trade is expected to grow 3% this year, down from the forecast of 4.7% before the war started.



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MOSCOW – The Russian military says it has targeted Ukrainian arsenals with long-range cruise missiles.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday that the military used air- and sea-launched missiles to destroy an ammunition depot and a reinforced hangar for fighter jets in Starokostiantyniv in the Khmelnytskyi region. .

Konashenkov said another attack destroyed a Ukrainian ammunition depot in Havrylivka, near kyiv.


NICOSIA, Cyprus – The leader of the Orthodox Christian Church of Cyprus “unreservedly” condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and says there is “no justification” for Russian President Vladimir Putin to “destroy a country, raze it to the ground and kill it “.

Archbishop Chrysostomos II told state broadcaster CyBC on Tuesday that the invasion is “an unacceptable situation” and that Putin’s actions “make no sense.” The archbishop said he is distressed that people are being killed and questioned whether the Russian leader is “in his right mind.”

The archbishop added that he would be the “first to go and bless a defensive war,” but the “selfishness, if not stupidity” of Russian leaders “knows no bounds.”

Chrysostomos also questioned Putin’s embrace of Orthodox Christianity, including the sincerity of his trips to the site where Christians believe Jesus Christ was baptized.


KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian police say they have launched a war crimes investigation after a 64-year-old man was killed by a mine left behind in an area from which Russian forces recently withdrew.

Police said the unidentified local man was driving near the northern Ukraine village of Krasne on Monday and had stopped his car to greet acquaintances when he hit an anti-tank mine left on the side of the road.

Ukrainian authorities have issued repeated warnings about mines and booby traps left in areas where Russian troops have been operating.


BERLIN – German authorities say more than 330,000 refugees from Ukraine are known to have entered Germany so far.

The Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that German federal police had recorded the entry of 335,578 people since the Russian invasion began on February 24. Those who arrived are mostly women and children.

However, the actual number of refugees in Germany could be higher, as there are no strict controls on the country’s eastern border and Ukrainian citizens can stay up to 90 days in the European Union without a visa. Authorities say an unknown number have also moved to other European countries.

The UN refugee agency on Tuesday put the total number of people who have fled Ukraine at more than 4.6 million, of whom more than 2.6 million fled at least initially to Poland.


MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin says that Russian military action in Ukraine is aimed at ensuring Russia’s security and promises that its goals will be achieved.

Speaking Tuesday on a visit to the Vostochny space launch facility in Russia’s Far East, Putin charged that Ukraine had become an “anti-Russian bridgehead” where “sprouts of nationalism and neo-Nazism were being cultivated.” Ukraine and its Western allies have dismissed such claims as a cover for aggression.

Putin reaffirmed his claim that the Russian “special military operation” was aimed at protecting people in areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by Moscow-backed rebels. He also said the campaign was also aimed at “ensuring Russia’s own security.”

Putin argued that “we had no choice” and said that “there is no doubt that we will achieve our goals.”


MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country cannot be isolated.

Speaking on a visit to the Vostochny space launch facility in Russia’s Far East, Putin said on Tuesday that Russia has no intention of isolating itself, adding that foreign powers would not succeed in isolating it.

He said that “it is certainly impossible to isolate someone in the world today, especially in a country as big as Russia.”

Putin added that “we will work with those of our partners who want to cooperate.”

Putin’s visit to Vostochny marked his first known trip outside Moscow since Russia launched military action in Ukraine on February 24. Putin toured the space facilities together with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.


VILNIUS, Lithuania — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the European Union to intensify economic sanctions against Russia, arguing that Russian political and military leaders feel they can go ahead with the invasion of Ukraine because of signals from some European nations. .

Zelenskyy told lawmakers in Lithuania, a former Soviet republic that is now a member of the EU and NATO, that they “know they will go unpunished as Europe still prefers continued cooperation, trade and business as usual.”

He said through an interpreter that he is calling for sanctions on all Russian banks and called on Europe to “get rid of its oil.”

In the latest in a series of video link speeches to parliaments in Europe and beyond, Zelenskyy said that “Europe must win this war. And we will win it together.” The 141-seat Seimas assembly was decorated with the blue and yellow flags of Ukraine and the yellow, green, and red flags of Lithuania.


HELSINKI — 5G technology and telecommunications network provider Nokia says it will exit the Russian market due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Espoo, Finland-based company said on Tuesday that “It has been clear to Nokia since the early days of the invasion of Ukraine that it would not be possible to continue our presence in Russia.”

Nokia said it has suspended deliveries, halted new business and moved research and development activities out of Russia in recent weeks.

The company said Russia accounted for less than 2% of Nokia’s sales in 2021 and the decision to leave will have no impact on its financial outlook this year.

He said that “as we go out, we will try to provide the necessary support to maintain the networks and we are applying for the appropriate licenses to enable this support in compliance with the current sanctions.”


A spokesman for Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has denied using chemical weapons to displace Ukrainian troops in the port city of Mariupol.

Eduard Basurin was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying on Tuesday that separatist forces “have not used chemical weapons in Mariupol.”

Basurin’s claim followed his statement Monday on Russian state television that separatists will use “chemical troops” against Ukrainian soldiers holed up in reinforced positions at a giant steel factory in Mariupol “to get them out of there.”

A Ukrainian unit defending Mariupol claimed without providing evidence that a drone had dropped a poisonous substance on their positions. He stated that there were no serious injuries.


TOKYO — Japan’s cabinet has approved additional sanctions against Moscow. They include freezing the assets of almost 400 people, including the two daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as a ban on new investment and vodka imports.

The new sanctions approved on Tuesday include the freezing of assets of 398 Russian people, including the wife and daughter of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Japan has now frozen the assets of more than 500 Russian individuals and organizations.

Japan’s new measures also include freezing the assets of major banks Sberbank and Alfa Bank, as well as 28 other Russian organizations, including those linked to military businesses. The measure for banks will take effect on May 12.

Japan will ban new investments and Russian imports, including vodka, wine, wood and auto parts, starting next week.

Tuesday’s approval covers part of a list of sanctions announced last Friday by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who also proposed phasing out imports of Russian coal and other fossil fuels.


LONDON — A senior British official says “every possible option is on the table” for the West’s response if Russian forces use chemical weapons in Ukraine.

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said on Tuesday that neither the UK nor the Ukrainian government had confirmed reports that a chemical weapon may have been used in the besieged city of Mariupol.

Heappey told Sky News that “there are weapons that just shouldn’t be used, and if they are, people will be held to account.”

He said: “I think it’s useful to maintain some ambiguity … about what exactly the response would be, but let’s be clear, if they are used, then President Putin needs to know that all possible options are on the table in terms of how he might respond. West”.

Britain’s Defense Ministry says Russia is continuing to redeploy its forces to push into eastern Ukraine, with fighting expected to intensify there over the next two to three weeks. It says Russian forces are withdrawing from Belarus to redeploy in support of operations in eastern Ukraine.


KIAMBU COUNTY, Kenya — Russia’s war in Ukraine has pushed up already-high fertilizer prices, made scarce supplies even harder to find and hurt farmers, especially those in the developing world.

Higher fertilizer prices are making the global food supply more expensive and less abundant as farmers skimp on nutrients for their crops and get lower yields.

While grocery shoppers in rich countries will feel the ripples, food supply shortages will hit families in poorer countries harder. Fertilizer shortages threaten to further constrain food supplies around the world, already limited by the disruption of crucial grain shipments from Russia and Ukraine.

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