GENEVA – The World Trade Organization is predicting that trade in goods will grow much less this year than ever before, saying the prospects for the global economy have darkened since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The Geneva-based World Trade Organization on Tuesday pointed to a number of uncertainties in its forecast over the next two years as Russian and Ukrainian exports of commodities such as food, oil and fertilizers are under threat from war. It also cited the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic – particularly from the lockdown in China.
Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela described a “double whammy” from the conflict and the coronavirus. He said the war has caused “extreme human suffering” in the region and its effects have spread around the world, especially in poor countries.
The World Trade Organization said its projections for world trade take into account factors such as the impact of the war, sanctions on Russia, and lower trade worldwide and lower demand from consumer confidence. It said world trade volume is expected to grow 3% this year, down from a forecast of 4.7% before the start of the war.
Major Developments in the Russo-Ukraine War:
– Mayor: In Mariupol, Ukraine, the death toll of 10,000 people may increase.
— ‘It’s Not the End’: Children Survived by Bucha’s Terror
– Russian war exacerbates fertilizer crisis, jeopardizes food supply
— Czechs provide free shooting training for local Ukrainians
— Visit here for more coverage
MOSCOW: The Russian military says it has targeted Ukraine’s arsenal with long-range cruise missiles.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday that the army used air- and sea-launched missiles to destroy an ammunition depot and a reinforced hangar for warplanes in Starokostiantyiv in the Khmelnitsky region.
Konashenkov said another attack destroyed a Ukrainian ammunition depot in Hvrylivka near Kyiv.
NICOSIA, Cyprus – The head of Cyprus’ Orthodox Christian Church has “relentlessly” condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying it is a call for Russian President Vladimir Putin to “destroy a country, to destroy it to kill it”. For” there is no justification.
Archbishop Chrysostomos II told state broadcaster CyBC on Tuesday that the invasion is “an unacceptable situation” and that Putin’s actions have “no logic.” The archbishop said he was distraught that people were being killed and questioned whether the Russian leader was “on his mind.”
The archbishop said he would be “the first to go into a defensive war and give blessings”, but the “arrogance, if not folly” of the Russian leadership “knows no bounds.”
Chrysostomos also questioned Putin’s adoption of Orthodox Christianity, including the sincerity of his visit to the place where Christians believe Jesus Christ was baptized.
KYIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian police say they have opened a war crime investigation after a 64-year-old man was killed in an area left behind by Russian forces recently.
An unidentified local man was driving near the village of Krasne in northern Ukraine on Monday and pulled over his car to greet acquaintances when it hit an anti-tank mine on the side of the road, police said.
Ukrainian authorities have issued repeated warnings of mines and explosive traps in areas where Russian troops are operating.
BERLIN – German officials say more than 330,000 refugees from Ukraine have entered Germany so far.
The Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that the German federal police had recorded 335,578 people entering since Russia’s invasion began on February 24. Among those who have arrived are women and children in large numbers.
The actual number of refugees in Germany may be higher, however, as there are no strict controls on the country’s eastern border and Ukrainian citizens can stay in the EU for up to 90 days without a visa. Officials say an unknown number has gone to other European countries as well.
The United Nations refugee agency on Tuesday put the total number of people fleeing 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 Russian military action in Ukraine is aimed at ensuring Russia’s security and vows to achieve its goals.
Speaking on Tuesday at a tour of the Vostochny space launch facility in Russia’s Far East, Putin alleged that Ukraine had been turned into an “anti-Russian bridgehead” where “the sprouts of nationalism and neo-Nazism were being cultivated.” ” Ukraine and its Western allies have dismissed such claims as a cover for aggression.
Putin confirmed 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 that the purpose of the campaign was to “ensure Russia’s own security”.
Putin argued that “we had no other choice” and added 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 tour of the Vostochny space launch facility in Russia’s Far East, Putin said on Tuesday that Russia has no intention of isolating itself and said foreign powers would not succeed in isolating it.
He added that “in today’s world it is certainly impossible to isolate anyone, especially in a vast country like Russia.”
Putin said that “we will work with our partners who want to cooperate.”
Putin’s visit to Vostochny is his first known visit outside Moscow since Russia launched military action in Ukraine on February 24. Putin visited the space facilities with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
VILNIUS, Lithuania — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged the European Union to impose economic sanctions against Russia, arguing that the Russian political and military leadership thinks it will continue to invade Ukraine because of signals from some European countries. could.
Zelensky told lawmakers in Lithuania, a former Soviet republic that is now a member of the European Union and NATO, that “they know they will go without punishment because Europe still prioritizes continued cooperation, trade, trade as usual.” is.”
He said through an interpreter that he urges sanctions on all Russian banks and calls on Europe to “get rid of their oil”.
In the latest of a series of addresses by video link to parliaments in Europe and beyond, Zelensky said that “Europe must win this war. And we will win it together.” The 141-seat Semas assembly was voted as blue and yellow Ukrainian and yellow. Was decorated with green-red Lithuanian flags.
Helsinki – Telecommunications network and 5G technology supplier Nokia says it will pull out of the Russian market because of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“From the early days of the invasion of Ukraine, it has been clear to Nokia that it will not be possible to continue our presence in Russia,” Finland-based company Espoo said on Tuesday.
Nokia said in the past weeks it has suspended deliveries, halted new business and moved research and development activities out of Russia.
The company said Russia accounted for less than 2% of Nokia’s sales in 2021, and the decision to exit will have no impact on its financial outlook this year.
It said that “as we move out, we will aim to provide the support needed to maintain the network and are applying for the relevant licenses to enable this support in compliance with current restrictions.”
A spokesman for Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has denied the use of chemical weapons to overthrow Ukrainian troops in the port city of Mariupol.
Eduard Basurin was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying on Tuesday that separatist forces “have not used any chemical weapons in Mariupol.”
His statement on Russian state TV on Monday followed Basurin’s statement that separatists would use “chemical troops” against Ukrainian soldiers hiding in reinforced positions at a huge steel factory in Mariupol “to smoke them out of there.” “
A Ukrainian unit defending Mariupol claimed without evidence that a drone had dropped a poisonous substance on its position. This indicated that there were no serious injuries.
Tokyo: Japan’s cabinet has approved additional sanctions against Moscow. These include a freeze on assets of nearly 400 individuals, including two daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as a ban on new investments and vodka imports.
The new sanctions approved on Tuesday include a freeze on the assets of 398 Russian individuals, including the wife and daughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Japan has now confiscated the assets of more than 500 Russian individuals and organizations.
Japan’s new measures include freezing the assets of major banks such as Sberbank and Alfa Bank, as well as 28 other Russian organizations linked to military businesses. For banks, this measure will be effective from May 12.
Japan will ban fresh investment and Russian imports, including vodka, wine, wood and auto parts, from next week.
Tuesday’s approval is part of a list of sanctions announced last Friday by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who proposed a phase-out of Russian coal and other fossil fuel imports.
LONDON – A senior British official says “all possible options are on the table” for the West’s response if Russian forces use chemical weapons in Ukraine.
Armed Forces Minister James Happi said on Tuesday that neither the UK nor the Ukrainian governments have confirmed reports that a chemical weapon may have been used in the besieged city of Mariupol.
Happy told Sky News that “there are weapons that should not be used, and if they are used people will be held accountable.”
He added: “I think it’s useful to maintain some ambiguity … exactly what the response will be, but let’s be clear, if they are used at all then President Putin should know that all possible options are on the table. That’s how the West can respond.”
Britain’s defense ministry says Russia is redeploying its forces to pressure eastern Ukraine and fighting is expected to intensify over the next two to three weeks. It said Russian forces were withdrawing from Belarus to redeploy in support of operations in eastern Ukraine.
KIAMBU COUNTY, Kenya — Russia’s war in Ukraine has pushed up fertilizer prices that were already high, making scarce supplies even more difficult for farmers to find, especially in developing countries.
High fertilizer prices are making the world’s food supply more expensive and less abundant, as farmers skimp on nutrients for their crops and yield lower yields.
While the ripples will be felt by grocery shoppers in rich countries, the pressure on the food supply will be hit hardest by households in poor countries. The fertilizer crisis threatens to further limit food supplies around the world, already hampered by disruptions in vital grain shipments from Russia and Ukraine.