Putin and Lukashenko to hold talks in Moscow on Friday
From CNN's Sarah Dean
Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow on Friday, the Belarusian state news agency Belta reports.
Lukashenko and Putin will discuss topical issues of bilateral relations, the development of cooperation of the Union State of Russia and Belarus, economic cooperation under sanctions pressure, as well as the situation in the region and Ukraine, according to Belta.
Belarus is an ally of Russia and is being used as a launch point for Russian troops into Ukraine.
10:02 a.m. ET, March 10, 2022
UK "very concerned" about Russia's potential use of chemical weapons, foreign secretary says
From CNN's Amy Cassidy
The United Kingdom is “very concerned” about the potential of Russia using chemical weapons in Ukraine, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told CNN on Thursday.
Truss said it would be a “grave mistake on the part of Russia, adding to the grave mistakes that have already been made by Putin.”
Her comments come after the White House warned Wednesday that Russia could use chemical weapons in Ukraine or manufacture a "false flag" operation that uses them.
“We’ve seen Russia use these weapons before in fields of conflict,” Truss continued, echoing White House press secretary Jen Psaki Wednesday, who noted Russia’s “track record” and slammed false claims from Russia that the US is developing chemical weapons in Ukraine.
Asked if it would be helpful if the US went further with their language, Truss replied, “we are working with our allies, including the United States, on this issue.”
11:23 a.m. ET, March 10, 2022
US vice president pledges support to Ukrainian refugees in meeting
From CNN's Betsy Klein
US Vice President Kamala Harris visited with a group of Ukrainian refugees during her trip to Warsaw, Poland, for a discussion about their experiences, saying Thursday that their conversation would help inform how the US can best support those leaving Ukraine.
“The conversation we will have this afternoon will help inform me, the President of the United States and the American people about what you have experienced so that we can best support you and your families,” Harris said.
She continued, “You’ve been through so much. And the people at this table represent over a million people who must be seen, their story must be known, so that we as a community of people around the world can support you.”
Harris met with seven people who have fled Russian aggression from Ukraine, including a Ukrainian advocate for persons with disabilities, a Moroccan university student, a professional film producer from Odessa, a Senegalese community leader and teacher, a LGBTQIA+ rights activist from Kyiv, and a Ukrainian energy expert and her young adult daughter, according to a White House official.
She thanked the group for "your willingness, your courage and your time.”
“We are here to support you, and you are not alone … We around the world are watching,” she said.
The United Nations estimates that at least two million people have fled Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.
The White House is calling the group "displaced persons” instead of “refugees” because some may still desire to return to Ukraine.
9:57 a.m. ET, March 10, 2022
House-passed ban on Russian energy imports faces stiff odds of passing Senate
They say the bill will likely need to undergo some changes before it can pass the Senate and the bill is on the backburner to the must-pass government funding bill.
While most lawmakers agree that Congress should take further action to ban energy imports from Russia as it wages war against Ukraine, the nuances of how to structure such a proposal and differences among members about how much to stymie Russian involvement in the World Trade Organization is likely to bog down any fast-track. Members of the Finance Committee, including Chair Ron Wyden, have made clear they want to see the House version strengthened back to the original version that was agreed to with Republicans.
Amending the House bill back to its previous form is likely take time and could come with additional pushback from the White House that would need to be overcome.
It’s always possible Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could ask for unanimous consent to fast track this, but sources say there would likely be objections from both Republicans and Democrats on the current version of the bill.
9:39 a.m. ET, March 10, 2022
Russia suspended from the Bank for International Settlements
From CNN’s Matt Egan
The Bank for International Settlements — which effectively serves as the central bank of central banks — has suspended Russia’s central bank following the invasion of Ukraine.
“The Bank for International Settlements is following international sanctions against the Central Bank of Russia, as applicable, and will not be an avenue for sanctions to be circumvented,” a BIS spokesperson told CNN on Thursday in a statement. “The access of the Central Bank of Russia to all BIS services, meetings and other BIS activities, has been suspended.”
The suspension comes after Western powers, led by the United States and European Union, imposed punishing sanctions on Russia and its central bank.
Founded in 1930, the BIS is owned by 63 central banks, including the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. The BIS says on its website its mission is to support central bank monetary policy and financial stability through international cooperation and to “act as a bank for central banks.”
9:31 a.m. ET, March 10, 2022
Goldman Sachs is getting out of Russia, spokesperson says
From CNN’s Matt Egan
Goldman Sachs is exiting Russia, becoming the first major Wall Street bank to announce plans to do so after the invasion of Ukraine.
“Goldman Sachs is winding down its business in Russia in compliance with regulatory and licensing requirements,” a Goldman Sachs spokesperson told CNN on Thursday.
The decision by Wall Street’s most influential firm to get out of Russia deals another financial blow to Moscow. News of Goldman’s exit from Russia was previously reported by Bloomberg News.
“We are focused on supporting our clients across the globe in managing or closing out pre-existing obligations in the market and ensuring the wellbeing of our people,” the Goldman Sachs spokesperson said.
It’s not immediately clear how many people Goldman Sachs employs in Russia nor how much money the firm makes there.
Citigroup confirmed on Wednesday that it is continuing its previously announced efforts to exit its consumer business in Russia. Citi said it is operating that consumer business “on a more limited basis given current circumstances and obligations.”
Citi said it is supporting corporate clients in Russia, including many American and European multinational corporations, as they suspend or unwind their business there.
9:29 a.m. ET, March 10, 2022
Russia bans technology and equipment from being taken out of the country until 2023
From CNN's Chris Liakos
Following economic sanctions by the West, the Russian government has set a list of goods and equipment previously imported into Russia from abroad that are prohibited from being transferred out of the country until the end of the year, the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers announced on Thursday.
According to the official statement published on the government’s website, the list includes over 200 items, including “technological, telecommunications, medical equipment, vehicles, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment” as well as “railway cars and locomotives, containers, turbines, metal and stone processing machines, monitors, projectors, consoles and panels.”
"The export of these goods is temporarily limited to all foreign countries, with the exception of the states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Abkhazia, and South Ossetia,” the statement said.
This decision comes after a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.
In addition, the Russian government temporarily restricted the export of certain types of timber from Russia in states that have committed unfriendly actions, according to the issued list.
The restrictions will remain in effect until the end of 2022. "This measure is necessary to ensure stability in the Russian market," the message read.
9:20 a.m. ET, March 10, 2022
Ukrainian foreign minister considers options for country's future security
From CNN's Tim Lister in Kyiv
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the government in Kyiv was open to creative thinking about the future security status of the country.
Speaking after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Turkey on Thursday, Kuleba said: "It's written in our constitution to eventually join NATO as a full member and enjoy security guarantees. But we understand this is not going to happen in the blink of an eye or the foreseeable future."
He added that Ukraine is aware NATO is not ready to act collectively to stop the war and to protect civilians in Ukraine from Russian attacks
This poses a question," said Kuleba. "How to assure the security of Ukraine between now and eventual membership in NATO."
Kuleba added: "If we could reach an agreement where a similar system of guarantees as envisaged by the North Atlantic Charter could be granted to Ukraine by the permanent members of UN Security Council, including Russia," as well as by Ukraine's neighbors, "this is something we are ready to discuss. Ukraine exists in a security vacuum and we have to think creatively on how to address this issue."
Kuleba's meeting with Lavrov on Thursday ended without an agreement between the two sides on evacuation corridors out of besieged areas, nor on a ceasefire in Ukraine.
After the meeting, Kuleba said Russia was not prepared to negotiate on his top goals of arranging an evacuation route away from the city of Mariupol, which has endured deadly airstrikes this week.
According to Kuleba, a “broad narrative Lavrov conveyed today was they [Russia] will continue their aggression until we surrender.” He said he hopes Lavrov will follow up on the humanitarian issues in Ukraine by “reaching out to his colleagues in charge who can make decisions.”
9:18 a.m. ET, March 10, 2022
Estonia bans tourist visas for Russian citizens for duration of Ukrainian invasion
From Teele Rebane in Hong Kong
Estonia will not be issuing tourist visas for Russian citizens looking to enter the country for the duration of the Ukrainian invasion, the Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets said Thursday in Tallinn.
“Estonia is no longer issuing new C and D category (tourist) visas to Russian citizens. The ban will last for as long as Russian continues waging war against Ukraine,” she said. “We are actively working to ensure that our deterrence measures in this region are stronger than they have been so far, because the situation in Europe and in security has changed dramatically and will probably never return to Feb. 23.”
Exceptions will be made for people with family in Estonia and for humanitarian or medical reasons, she added.
There has been a higher number of Russian citizens than usual entering Estonia since the invasion. According to the Estonian Foreign Ministry and Border Guard, more than 12,000 Russian citizens have crossed the land border with Estonia in the past two weeks, which is 2,200 people more than the average over that period before the Russian invasion of Ukraine two weeks ago.