Photo: Tennyson Donyéa/WHYY
Saturday’s Coverage: A China Peace Initiative?
Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1635 GMT:
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has welcomed the Saudi Foreign Minister in Kyiv.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.
This is the first official visit of the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Ukraine since the establishment of diplomatic relations. pic.twitter.com/tYJgF8undz
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) February 26, 2023
UPDATE 0736 GMT:
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has criticized China’s position paper on the war in Ukraine.
“From my perspective, there is no recognizable line that says: Russian troops must also withdraw,” Scholz said of the 12-point proposal.
During a visit to India, Scholz said the condemnation of the increased risk of nuclear weapons is “remarkably correct”. However, there can be no “dictated Russian-style peace”.
Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said, “When I hear reports – and I don’t know whether they are true – according to which China may be planning to supply kamikaze drones to Russia while at the same time presenting a peace plan, then I suggest we judge China by its actions and not its words.”
US President Joe Biden has reiterated his initial response that the Chinese initiative is “not rational” as a resolution of the Russian invasion:
Biden on ABC on China's peace plan: "I've seen nothing [that] would indicate there's something that would be beneficial to anyone other than Russia … the idea that China is gonna be negotiating the outcome of a war that's a totally unjust war for Ukraine is just not rational" pic.twitter.com/inp3cOWbkZ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 26, 2023
UPDATE, 0731 GMT:
The latest Russian attacks on the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine have killed three civilians and injured four.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has welcomed new sanctions over Vladimir Putin’s invasion, saying they “will continue to be introduced so that nothing remains of the potential of Russian aggression”.
Late Friday the European Union has approved its 10th set of sanctions, restricting exports on any goods that can enable Russia’s military.
“Together, the EU member states have imposed the most forceful and far-reaching sanctions ever to help Ukraine win the war,” the Swedish presidency announced. “The EU stands united with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. We will keep supporting Ukraine, for as long as it takes.”
Canada also announced further sanctions, citing 129 Russian individuals — including Ministers and employees of Putin’s administration — and 63 entities.
In addition to the export restrictions, the EU also punished entities supporting the war, spreading propaganda or delivering drones used by Russia. More Russian banks are cut off from the international transactions system; and trade between the EU and Russia will be reduced by more than 10 billion euros ($10.58 billion).
The EU cited 121 individuals and entities, including 96 Russian entities and seven Iranian manufacturers of attack drones.
Agreement was finally reached at 10 p.m., fulfilling the pledge of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that they would be announced on the first anniversary of Putin’s invasion.
Poland objected that there were too many exemptions on imports of Russian rubber and that transition periods were too long.
In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy hailed the “powerful” measures “against the defense industry and the financial sector of the terrorist state, against the propagandists who drowned Russian society in lies and are trying to spread their lies to the whole world.”
He assured that the Kremlin’s outlets “definitely won’t succeed”.
But the President called on the international community to go farther with restrictions on the Russian State nuclear agency Rosatom and “all those involved in the missile program and nuclear blackmail of the terrorist state”.
He elaborated, “The partners – the United States, the UK – have already made relevant steps. We expect the appropriate steps from the European Union.”
The 10th 🇪🇺 sanctions package targets russian military industry, propaganda & financial system. The pressure on russian aggressor must increase: we expect decisive steps against Rosatom & russian nuclear industry, more pressure on military & banking.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 25, 2023