Zelenskiy Says Half of Ukraine’s Economy not Working (2:30 p.m.)
“Almost half of our economy and our economic system is not operational,” Zelenskiy said during an event in Milan, Italy, blaming the economic devastation on Russia’s invasion. Speaking virtually to the conference, Zelenskiy said it’s not possible to have a “normal economic life” in Ukraine.
“Just imagine what would it mean if half of Italian economy would be blocked,” he said, calling again for richer nations to send more weapons to Ukraine and warning that the war may trigger a global food crisis.
Ukraine to Parade Broken Russian Tanks Across Europe (1:36 p.m.)
Ukraine is planning to tour an exhibition of destroyed Russian military vehicles across Europe, as it strives to maintain public attention on the conflict. The exhibition will launch in Warsaw before moving on to Berlin, Paris, Madrid and Lisbon, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said.
Ukraine claims Russia lost some 1,477 tanks and 3,588 armored vehicles since the invasion began in February. Some of the missiles, burnt Russian tanks and other military vehicles are currently being displayed in downtown Kyiv.
Russia Demands Lithuania Unblock Kaliningrad (1:05 p.m.)
The Foreign Ministry in Moscow summoned Lithuania’s envoy to declare its “strong protest” over the Baltic country’s ban on the rail transport of a large number of goods to Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.
Lithuania announced it would stop the transit of steel and other goods made from iron ore to Kaliningrad in accordance with EU sanctions. Russia demanded Vilnius immediately rescind the order and said it “reserves the right to act to protect its national interests.”
Lithuania responded by summoning an official from Russia’s embassy and rejecting the accusations it’s blocking transit of unsanctioned goods and passengers across its territory to Kaliningrad.
ECB Sees Ukraine Refugees Lifting Workforce (10:44 a.m.)
Refugees fleeing the war could boost the euro area’s active labor force by up to 1.3 million people, the European Central Bank predicts.
“Back-of-an-envelope” calculations point to an jump of 0.2% to 0.8% over the medium term, the institution said in an economic bulletin published Monday — corresponding to between 0.3 million and 1.3 million workers.
Refugee Rations Cut as War Worsens Hunger (10:43 a.m.)
The World Food Programme is cutting food rations for refugees by as much as half, as it faces a hunger crisis worsened by the war in Ukraine and funding constraints.
“We are being forced to make the heart-breaking decision to cut food rations for refugees who rely on us for their survival,” WFP Executive Director David Beasley said Monday in a statement.
Food prices are near a record high after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sharply reduced Kyiv’s key exports of grain and vegetable oil, adding to price pressures from logistics snarl-ups and a rebound in demand after the pandemic.
Borrell: Blocking Ukraine Grain a ‘War Crime’ (9:38 a.m.)
The EU’s foreign policy chief slammed Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian grain exports as a “real war crime” and said UN efforts to get supplies out of the country were advancing.
Borrell said EU sanctions were not to blame for soaring grain prices as Russian food and fertilizer fell were not subject to penalties. “I hope nobody will be able to resist the pressure of the international community,” he said. “One cannot imagine that millions of tons of wheat remain blocked in Ukraine while in the rest of the world people are suffering from hunger.”
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna echoed those concerns, calling on Russia to stop “playing with hunger in the world, to stop its blockade of Ukrainian ports and to stop destroying Ukrainian cereal infrastructure.”
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