Ukraine Update: New Round of Talks; U.S-China Officials to Meet

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Negotiators from Russia and Ukraine are set to hold further talks Monday, after a weekend where Moscow increased its aerial attacks on western areas closer to Ukraine’s border with Poland.

Officials in Ukraine reported shelling overnight of a residential building in northern Kyiv, with rocket attacks on villages in the area also continuing.

The U.S. and China plan to hold their first high-level, in-person talks since Russia’s invasion. It comes as U.S. officials said Moscow in the early days of the war asked Beijing for military ​equipment, which they said raised concerns that China ​could undercut Ukrainian forces’ defense efforts.

Key Developments

  • Mariupol’s Steel Mills Are a War Zone as Staff Huddle in Bunkers

  • Companies Leaving Russia Don’t Know If and When They’ll Return

  • U.S. Says Russia Made Unusual Request for Chinese Aid on Ukraine

  • How War in Ukraine Is Tearing Apart the Global Food System

All times CET:

Talks Between Russia and Ukraine to Continue Monday (7:44 a.m.)

The negotiations will take place by video link, and come amid cautious hints of progress from both sides. The focus has been on securing a more substantial cease-fire, with limited success so far in getting more than brief pauses in fighting to allow for humanitarian corridors.

The Monday session will sum up the preliminary results of the talks, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff, said on Twitter. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the talks, Tass reported.

Tate Museum Cuts Ties with Russian Billionaires: FT (5:23 a.m.)

The London-based Tate cut links with Russian billionaires Viktor Vekselberg and Petr Aven after they were sanctioned by the U.S. and EU, the Financial Times reported, citing the gallery.

Akzo Nobel’s Russian Operations Could Fold in Weeks (5:12 a.m.)

Dutch paintmaker Akzo Nobel NV expects its Russian operations to collapse in weeks, Chief Executive Officer Thierry Vanlancker told the Financial Times.

Russian operations represent about 2% of the firm’s revenue but have been affected by supply chain interruptions and financial strains on customers in Russia, the newspaper reported.

U.K. Facing Inflation, Recession Over War, Says Report (5:05 a.m.)

War in Ukraine risks a second spike in U.K. inflation this fall and increases the likelihood of a recession, according to the Resolution Foundation.

Price growth could exceed 8%, four times the Bank of England’s target, the London-based group warned in a report. For poorer households, which spend more on food and energy, inflation could reach over 10%. That would mean the typical family income could drop 4% in real terms in the coming financial year, about 1,000 pounds ($1,304).

Gold Falls for a Second Day (4:43 a.m.)

Gold declined for a second day as investors weighed a likely U.S. interest-rate increase and developments in the war in Ukraine.

Traders are bracing for higher borrowing costs, which would weigh on non-interest bearing bullion. The Federal Reserve is expected to begin tightening on Wednesday with a 25-basis-point move to curb inflation stoked by surging commodity costs amid supply-chain disruptions due to the war.

Australia To Sanction 33 Russian Oligarchs (2:57 a.m.)

Australian announced fresh sanctions on 33 Russian oligarchs, prominent businesspeople and their immediate family members. Those targeted include Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.

Ukraine Envoy Calls China-Russia Ties ‘Toxic’ (2:17 a.m.)

Ukraine’s ambassador to Japan said China’s response to any Russian request for military assistance was an important question.

Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Television, Sergiy Korsunsky added that China’s ties with Russia would have “toxic” consequences for its image and economy, and said he hoped China would be “smart enough” to understand that.

Power Line Restored at Chernobyl Site (10:15 p.m.)

Ukraine says it restored a power line to the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Sunday, four days after grid electricity to the Russian-controlled site was lost, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement.

The outage forced radioactive waste management sites and other operations at the site of the 1986 reactor disaster to run on generators, raising concern about safety.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian regulators say repairs and maintenance of safety equipment at Chernobyl have halted as the 211 technical personnel and guards suffer from exhaustion after being stuck there since the day before Russian forces entered the site on Feb. 24, according to the IAEA.

Russia Asking China for Military Aid, U.S. Official Says (9 p.m.)

The U.S. official did not specify what kind of equipment Moscow had requested. Russia currently sells far more arms to China than it buys, although Beijing’s rapid modernization of its military has seen it producing more advanced weapons in recent years.

The official declined to say how the administration knows these details. White House spokespeople declined to comment.

It’s unclear if China would respond positively to any such request. Beijing has stopped short of condemning Russia for its actions in Ukraine but also called repeatedly for negotiations toward a cease-fire and a resolution of the conflict. When Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, China stayed officially neutral.

Beijing usually takes the view that such actions by other countries are their own affairs as long as it does not impinge on its own interests. Providing Russia with weapons specifically to use against Ukraine would risk that veneer of neutrality, in a year when President Xi Jinping is eager for stability at home as he seeks an unprecedented third term.

EU Discussing Sanctions on Chelsea’s Abramovich (8:31 p.m.)

The EU is discussing sanctioning the owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, along with more than a dozen other prominent Russians, according to documents seen by Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter.

The list — which still needs to be approved by EU governments and could change before that happens — also includes Tigran Khudaverdyan, the executive director and deputy CEO of Yandex NV, a Russian internet search engine, and Victor Rashnikov, who owns Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel PJSC, one of Russia’s biggest steelmakers.

Diplomats aim to finalize the sanctions package, which includes limits on trade in luxury goods and steel, as early as Monday.

Latvia Calls for U.S. Troops in Baltics (7:30 p.m.)

Latvian President Egils Levits called for a permanent U.S. troop presence in the Baltics, calling it a test of American leadership.

NATO has four multinational battalion-size units in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland on a rotating basis. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week the U.S. hasn’t decided whether to permanently base troops in the Baltics.

EL-Erian Says War Effect to Spur U.S. Inflation Higher (6:17 p.m.)

Allianz SE’s Mohamed El-Erian said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the economic fallout from Russia’s invasion is likely to include a further pickup in U.S. inflation, estimating that the rate will peak at “very close or above 10%” before retreating.

El-Erian also is president of Queens’ College, Cambridge, and a Bloomberg contributor.

IMF Head Says Russian Default No Longer ‘Improbable Event’ (5:05 p.m.)

A Russian sovereign default is no longer improbable, though it’s unlikely to trigger a global financial crisis, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.

“In terms of servicing debt obligations, I can say that no longer we think of Russian default as improbable event,” Georgieva said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program.

No Change to Calculus on No-Fly Zone, Sullivan Says (4:19 p.m.)

The U.S. hasn’t changed its calculus about a no-fly zone, despite the Russian strike on a military training facility near the Polish border or efforts to try to destroy supply lines, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“What we will do is increase and intensify our efforts to supply the Ukrainian defenders with the weapons and security assistance they need to defend themselves,” he said, adding that the U.S. is coordinating with allies on additional spending on military assistance.

Russia said Saturday it considers convoys of Western military aid “legitimate targets.”

U.S. Journalist Killed in Shooting Near Kyiv (4:09 p.m.)

An American journalist and filmmaker was shot and killed Sunday covering the war in Ukraine in what may be the first foreign journalist killed in the conflict, according to multiple media and government reports. Brent Renaud, an award-winning filmmaker who’d covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was shot in Irpin, north of the capital of Kyiv.

Senior U.S. and China Officials to Meet Monday (3:49 p.m.)

Talks in Rome will be the first high-level, in-person talks since the war started. The Biden administration is seeking to enlist China to use its influence on Russia, its ally, to end the crisis. So far Beijing has declined to condemn Moscow for its actions, even as it calls for negotiations to sustain a cease-fire.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will meet with China’s top diplomat and Politburo member Yang Jiechi in an effort to “maintain open lines of communication,” according to an NSC statement. The impact on regional and global security from the war will be on the agenda, according to a person familiar with the conversation.

U.S. Warns China on Aid to Sanctions-Hit Russia (2:51 p.m.)

Sullivan said on CNN the U.S. has warned China against helping Russia evade sanctions and is watching the extent to which it provides “material support or economic support” to Russia.

“We will not stand by and allow any country to compensate Russia for its losses from the economic sanctions,” Sullivan said. Large-scale sanctions evasion or providing support that allows Russia to “backfill” will have “consequences,” he said, without elaborating.

U.K. to Streamline Ukrainian Refugee Intake After Criticism

In-person visa applications will be scrapped in favor of online ones. Local authorities will receive 10,000 pounds ($13,000) per refugee to cover costs, while households that commit to hosting Ukrainians for at least six months will get 350 pounds a month, cabinet member Michael Gove told BBC TV.

The government is also considering using the assets of sanctioned Russians to help meet the cost of supporting Ukrainian refugees in the U.K.

Lviv Mayor Calls on U.S. Peers to Help (2:35 p.m.)

The mayor of Lviv in far western Ukraine addressed U.S. mayors on Sunday, urging them to push for more aid to Ukraine and a no fly zone.

“If you continue influencing your government, if you continue providing assistance, it will accelerate our victory,” Mayor Andriy Ivanovych Sadovyi told the National League of Cities’ conference in Washington. He said the world is witnessing a contest between autocracy and democracy.

Sadovyi called for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, a move U.S. policymakers have ruled out because it would put NATO forces in direct confrontation with Russia. His remarks were followed by a standing ovation among city leaders from across the U.S.

Russian Negotiator Says Talks Could Lead to Documents (2:51 p.m.)

The respective delegations have made some progress in talks to stop the war, according to Leonid Slutsky, a senior Russian lawmaker and one of his country’s negotiators, the Interfax news agency reported.

“According to my personal expectations, this progress can elevate in a few coming days into a mutual position of both delegations and signing of documents,” Slutsky said. He didn’t elaborate on what documents may emerge; there have been a variety of ideas put forward on the potential grounds for a cease-fire, even as Russia’s bombardment of Ukraine expands westward.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff, Mykailo Podolyak, said on Telegram that Russia has advanced from making ultimatums to listening carefully. “There is a dialogue,” he said.

Biden Aide Warns Russia on NATO Encroachment (2:12 p.m.)

Even inadvertent Russian fire onto NATO territory would trigger a response by the military alliance, said White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said. Russia in the past few days has bombed targets increasingly close to Ukraine’s border with NATO member Poland.

“All I will say is if Russia attacks, fires upon, takes a shot at NATO territory, the NATO alliance would respond to that,” Sullivan told CBS’s “Face the Nation” when asked about how the alliance would view an “errant shot” on a member country.

Ukraine Continues Mass Evacuations (1:45 p.m.)

Ukraine opened ten humanitarian corridors on Sunday, some to evacuate people from dangerous locations around Kyiv and six in Ukraine’s east, including the a route into besieged Mariupol. Evacuation from Velyka Dymerka to Brovary in the Kyiv region was successfully completed, officials said.

Almost 125,000 people have been moved to safety via the humanitarian corridors so far, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in video statement. “Mariupol is key task today. Our humanitarian convoy is two hours from Mariupol, only 80 kilometers,” he said. A convoy with 100,000 tonnes of food, water and medications is on the way to Mariupol.

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