The State Department says U.S. citizens should consider leaving Russia immediately
With a growing number of Western airlines announcing they will halt service to Russia, the U.S. State Department is urging U.S. citizens to leave the country immediately or risk being stuck there.
"An increasing number of airlines are cancelling flights into and out of Russia, and numerous countries have closed their airspace to Russian airlines. U.S. citizens should consider departing Russia immediately via commercial options still available," the State Department said.
The bulletin followed the announcement by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen earlier Sunday that the EU would close the airspace above its members states to Russian-owned, Russian-registered or Russian-controlled aircraft.
Prior to Sunday's announcement, the State Department had already issued a Level 4 "Do Not Travel" advisory for Russia.
Separately on Sunday, two of the world's largest delivery giants, UPS and FedEx, similarly announced on Sunday that they were halting service to Russia.
Russia faces sporting fallout over invasion of Ukraine
In 2018, Russian football basked in international sporting acclaim – hosting a World Cup that was admired off the pitch and was successful on it as the national team reached the quarter-finals for the first time in post-Soviet history.
However, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, European football clubs are now cutting ties with Russian companies, sporting organisations are moving events out of the country, and players and fans around the world are sending messages of support for Ukraine.
As long as the war continues, there are likely to be more consequences for Russian sport, both in the short and long terms.
On Saturday, Poland and Sweden announced their refusal to play Russia in March’s final playoff qualifiers for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Polish President Andrzej Duda agreed with the decision, writing on social media: “You don’t play with bandits!”
Two top Russian billionaires speak out against war
Russian billionaires Mikhail Fridman and Oleg Deripaska have become two of the country’s first leading businesspeople to speak out against Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Fridman, who is one of Russia’s richest men, controls private equity firm LetterOne and was a founder of Alfa Bank, Russia’s largest private bank. In a letter to his employees he called for an end to the “bloodshed”.
Ukrainian-born Fridman sent an email to staff at LetterOne, first reported by the Financial Times, in which he wrote that “war can never be the answer”.
Describing his Ukrainian roots in Lviv, where his parents still live, he wrote: “I have also spent much of my life as a citizen of Russia, building and growing businesses. I am deeply attached to Ukrainian and Russian peoples and see the current conflict as a tragedy for them both.”
Brisbane flood: warning up to 15,000 properties could be inundated as river reaches peak
Queensland authorities estimate up to 15,000 properties could be affected by flood waters as the Brisbane River reached its likely peak on Monday morning, inundating low-lying areas in the city’s central business district.
Heavy rain lasting more than three days unabated in Brisbane eased at midnight on Monday, removing some of the strain that had choked suburban floodways and dumped unprecedented volumes into dams.
Eight people have now died in flood waters since last week and three are still missing.
On Sunday afternoon a 59-year-old man was swept away while attempting to cross a flooded road on foot at Taigum, in Brisbane’s outer north.
Republican Tom Cotton refuses four times to condemn Trump on Ukraine
The Republican senator Tom Cotton refused four times on Sunday to condemn or even comment on Donald Trump’s repeated praise for Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who ordered the invasion of Ukraine.
“If you want to know what Donald Trump thinks about Vladimir Putin or any other topic,” Cotton told ABC’s This Week, “I’d encourage you to invite him on your show. I don’t speak on behalf of other politicians. They can speak for themselves.”
The former president’s views are clear. Trump has repeatedly praised Putin and though at CPAC on Saturday he condemned the invasion, he again called the Russian leader “smart”.
Cotton, from Arkansas, is a military veteran and foreign policy hawk with reputed presidential ambitions from the hard Republican right.
China willing to work with U.S. on Build Back Better World initiative
BEIJING, Feb 28 (Reuters) - China is willing to work with the United States on a G7-led global infrastructure plan and welcomes Washington to join its Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday.
The Group of Seven (G7) richest democracies, consisting of United States and its allies, proposed the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative in June to help developing countries meet infrastructure needs, as they sought to counter China's growing influence.
"We are also willing to consider coordinating with the U.S. 'Build Back Better World' initiative to provide the world with more high-quality public goods," Wang said in a video message at an event for the 50th anniversary of the Shanghai Communique, which marked the normalising of relations between United States and China.
He said China is also open to the United States participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Global Development Initiative, a call by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September for all countries to work towards sustainable development.
BP quits Russia in up to $25 billion hit after Ukraine invasion
LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - BP is abandoning its stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft in an abrupt and costly end to three decades of operating in the energy-rich country, marking the most significant move yet by a Western company in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
Rosneft accounts for around half of BP's oil and gas reserves and a third of its production and divesting the 19.75% stake will result in charges of up to $25 billion, the British company said, without saying how it plans to extricate itself.
"I have been deeply shocked and saddened by the situation unfolding in Ukraine and my heart goes out to everyone affected. It has caused us to fundamentally rethink bp's position with Rosneft," BP Chief Executive Bernard Looney said.
The rapid retreat represents a dramatic exit for BP, the biggest foreign investor in Russia, and puts the spotlight on other Western companies with operations in the country.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will likely ratchet American food prices even higher, experts say
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could push U.S. food prices even higher, as the region is one of the world’s largest producers of wheat and some vegetable oils. And the disruptions could drag on for months or even years, as crop production in the area could be halted and take a long time to restart.
This new inflation shock comes at a time when global markets remain extremely strained because of pandemic-related disruptions. The price changes impacted commodity prices in recent days and could flow through to higher costs at grocery stores and restaurants soon.
Grocery manufacturers are concerned that, while the vast majority of ingredients and materials for American products are sourced domestically, the economic effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be global, according to Katie Denis, vice president of communications and research for the industry organization Consumer Brands Association.