March 18, 2023 Ukraine and the World – Against russia’s Aggression. Sanctions in Action
The Chamber of Preliminary Proceedings of the Second International Criminal Court in The Hague has issued international arrest warrants for russian president vladimir putin, as well as the commissioner for children's rights maria lvova-belova. On the basis of the appeals of the Prosecutor's Office of February 22, 2023, the Chamber recognized that there are sufficient grounds to believe that each suspect is responsible for a war crime in the form of unlawful deportation of the population (children) and unlawful transfer of the population (children) from the occupied territories of Ukraine to the russian federation, to the detriment of Ukrainian children”, the ICC press release reads.
The Swiss Federal Assembly has approved a draft law that will enshrine in the country's legislation responsibility for the crime of aggression and allow punishment for it on Swiss territory. The crime of aggression is defined as “invasion or attempt to establish political and military control over another sovereign state”, as well as the blockade of ports or coasts in violation of the UN Charter. Hours before the vote, the UN investigative body said it had “reasonable grounds” to conclude that russia's invasion of Ukraine and its attacks on the Armed Forces of Ukraine qualified as acts of aggression. The draft law brings Swiss legislation closer to compliance with the amendments adopted to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The European Court of Human Rights granted Lithuania's request to join Ukraine's lawsuit against russia regarding the rf's military aggression and human rights violations. “russia must bear responsibility for the massacres and injuries of the Ukrainian people, the destruction of houses and other public infrastructure. It will also have to pay for all the damage it has caused”, said Minister of Justice of Lithuania Evelina Dobrowolska.
Austria has announced its joining the group of states working to establish a Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine. The group already includes 33 countries.
The government of Slovakia has approved the transfer of 13 MiG-29 aircrafts to Ukraine, Prime Minister of Slovakia Eduard Heger said. “Slovak government has approved sending 13 MiG-29s and the Kub air defense system to Ukraine. Promises must be kept and when Zelenskyy asked for more weapons, including fighter jets, I said that we would do our best”, he pointed out.
“During the meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group, I reaffirmed Belgium's commitment to continue to support Ukraine, inter alia, through the EUMAM training mission. We will allocate up to 100 Belgian military instructors and continue to study all the possibilities of support”, said the country's Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder.
Belgium will transfer to Ukraine 240 units of Volvo Cargo, Volvo Shelter, Volvo Fassi and Volvo Manumat military trucks, as well as available spare parts for them.
The United States will soon announce a new package of military assistance to Ukraine.
The 16th Mechanized Division of the Polish Army, located in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, a region bordering on kaliningrad region of russia, will receive this year a squadron of the high-mobility artillery rocket system HIMARS, said Polish Minister of National Defense Mariusz Blaszczak.. “The US Congress has approved our order for another 500 HIMARS systems. It is very important that the Polish Army is equipped with weapons that work well at the front, that work well in the war, which are in the hands of Ukrainians a very effective weapon that stops the russian invasion. Because we are well aware that since putin decided to restore the empire of evil, he is attacking his neighbors”, stressed the Minister of Defense of Poland.
The European Union intends to transfer to Ukraine the second tranche of macro-financial assistance worth 1.5 billion euros from an assistance package worth 18 billion euros next week, said Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland hórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir stressed that russia's expulsion from the Council of Europe took place in response to its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. “In this way, the Council of Europe has clearly demonstrated its commitment to the Charter and support for Ukraine”, she emphasized.
Latvia supports the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union in 2023, while joining the North Atlantic Alliance, Riga believes, should be discussed after Kyiv's victory in the war.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs decided to add to the list of undesirable persons another 35 russian citizens who supported russia's aggression against Ukraine. The “black list” includes nadezhda babkina and aleksandr marshal, TV presenters kudryavtseva, baranovskaya, ostashko, actors polina agureeva, kirill kuznetsov, stanislav starovoytov, political scientists evgeniy satanovsky, gevorg mirzayan, rostislav ishchenko, dmitry yevstafiev, journalists shakhnazarov and vityazeva.
The Prosecutor General's Office of Latvia has issued a warning to the russian union of Latvia (RSL) party. The party no longer holds protests, but some publications related to the RSL had clear pro-kremlin motives, justified violations of international law, and spread misinformation. If within a year after receiving the warning, the party commits new violations, according to the law on political parties, the court will be able to decide on its closure.
“Putin has obviously lost the energy battle he started and his blackmail didn't work”, said President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar is convinced that appeasement of russian president putin will not make him stop the war against Ukraine.
UN human rights experts have accused belarus of systematic violations, including repression of protesters and dissidents that could be equated with crimes against humanity, according to a document issued by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The report is based on interviews with 207 victims and witnesses and analysis of more than 2,500 pieces of evidence, including photographs, videos, medical and court records.
Turkey will no longer serve the Airbus and Boeing aircrafts used by russian and belarusian companies. The relevant decision was made by the Turkish Ministry of Customs and Trade. Restrictions, including aircraft refueling, were imposed on aeroflot, azur air, pegas fly, s7 airlines, utair, yamal and rossia. Servicing in Turkey have been canceled for planes that are at least a quarter composed of parts made in the United States, as well as for private, cargo, commercial and charter aircrafts. From now on, russian aircrafts will have to land for refueling in Sochi.
Due to the new requirements for shipments to russia related to international sanctions, the Lithuanian state postal service Lietuvos pastas has stopped the delivery of parcels with goods to the rf.
GooglePlay has removed the mobile applications of the banks levobierezhny, primorye and uralsib, which fell under EU sanctions.
Brands Zara and Bershka close 269 out of their 514 shops in the rf.
Germany refused to accept the stage of the World Cup in rapier fencing among women due to the admission of russian and belarusian athletes to it.
The adjusted profit of the russian aluminum company rusal at the end of 2022 was $ 726 million, which is by 52.8% lower than in 2021. rusal reported a decrease in the production of bauxite by 18 % (up to 12.32 million tons) and alumina by 28.3 % (5.95 million tons). At the same time, the company stressed that extreme increases in prices for energy carriers and raw materials, along with the “strengthening of the ruble” and complication of logistics, have led to an increase in the cost of aluminum production by 31.8%, to $ 2190 per ton.
In tyumen region, the khanty-mansiysk and yamal-nenets autonomous districts, which are the main oil and gas producing regions of russia, electricity consumption has been significantly reduced since March, which indicates a decrease in oil production.
Official statistics on electricity consumption has been classified since last autumn. On March 2, minister of energy shulginov said that energy consumption in russia had increased by 1.3 % since the beginning of 2023. At the same time, according to available information, total energy savings occur in many regions of the rf: temporarily occupied by russia Crimea and Sevastopol reduced consumption by 11%, kursk region – by 7%, vologda region and mordovia – by 6%, the krasnodar territory – by 5%, belgorod, novosibirsk, astrakhan and ulyanovsk regions – by 4 %.
russian president putin’s administration has formulated the preliminary “ideological attitudes” of the 2024 presidential campaign, according to which the russian dictator will be positioned as a “guardian of traditional values”. The “conservative isolation ideology” for the new presidential campaign “began to be worked out” even before the war began, at the end of 2021. At that time, the kremlin argued that the topic of “anti-Western conservatism” should gradually supplant the promotion of the ideas of the “russian world” in the rhetoric of officials and propagandists. They were going to sell to voters the image of russia as a “state in itself”, preserving traditions and interacting relatively little with the outside world. To date, these developments have been corrected: the theme of the “russian world”, to which many countries of the former USSR allegedly belong, should become part of the concept of “state in itself”. Besides, one of the ideological foundations of the campaign will be the development of the project “russia’s dna”. This project, designed to study the “russian worldview”, is being carried out by the kremlin's political bloc together with the educational society “Znania”. The organizers of the project themselves do not explain what the “russian worldview” is about. At a closed seminar on discussing the presidential campaign, it was also determined that putin should surpass his own results of 2018 – then he received 76.69 % of the vote for turnouts of 67.54 % (in the 2012 elections, these figures were 63.6 % of the vote for turnouts of 65.34 %).
In orenburg region and the republic mari el, military enlistment offices began sending summons to the population, allegedly “to clarify the data”.
Six sanatoria in the city of sochi have been obliged to treat the wounded occupiers in Ukraine.
The GDP of belarus at the end of January-February 2023 amounted to 30.25 billion rubles in current prices. It decreased by 3.6% compared to the same period last year.
Fulfilling aleksandr lukashenko’s demands regarding “cleansing”, the ministry of internal affairs of belarus has reported that over the past week about 100 people have been brought to administrative responsibility, more than 20 criminal cases have been opened. It is mainly about “spreading information on the Internet with direct calls for extremist activities or their propaganda”.