Ukraine Update: Kyiv Seeks Cease-Fire Deal in Russia Talks

Track the latest developments emerging from the Russian attacks on Ukraine.

Ukraine Update: Kyiv Seeks Cease-Fire Deal in Russia Talks
Demonstrators holds flags and signs as they listen to speakers during a rally against Russia's invasion of Ukraine on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg)

Ukraine is striving for a cease-fire agreement in talks with Russian negotiators starting Tuesday in Turkey and sets a “minimum” goal of an improvement in the humanitarian situation that has caused millions to flee their homes in the wake of Moscow’s invasion, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

Russia’s siege of the southern city of Mariupol has killed almost 5,000 people, according to the city’s mayor. Ukraine’s military recaptured the town of Irpin west of the capital from Russian troops, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.

Ukraine Update: Kyiv Seeks Cease-Fire Deal in Russia Talks

President Joe Biden said his weekend remarks that Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, cannot stay in power reflected his “moral outrage,” and didn’t mean the U.S. had adopted a policy of regime change. 

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key Developments

All times CET:

NATO Allies Are Split on Whether They Should Talk to Putin (7:25 a.m.)

With the war now in its second month, a series of dilemmas are coming into sharp focus over which conditions could be deemed acceptable by Ukraine for any accord, especially as regards the security guarantees alliance members might be able to offer Kyiv. 

There are also divergences over what further weapons to send Ukraine, and on the question of whether talking to Putin is helpful or not, according to people familiar with discussions that have taken place in the past week between leaders on both sides of the Atlantic and documents seen by Bloomberg.

France and Germany are of the view a cease-fire should be achieved quickly and then the withdrawal of Russian troops. But other NATO members believe the dialog that Paris and Berlin are pursuing with the Kremlin is counterproductive and could play into Putin’s hands, according to one of the documents.

World’s Longest Passenger Flight to Avoid Russian Skies (7:23 a.m.)

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. plans to reroute its New York-Hong Kong service to avoid Russian airspace, in what would be the world’s longest commercial passenger flight by distance. It will take about 17 hours. 

Several airlines have plotted routes to avoid Russia, mostly between Asia and Europe. Such flight changes are likely to be temporary given the costs carriers face from high oil prices, as well as uncertainty over the accessibility of Russian airspace. 

Ukraine Update: Kyiv Seeks Cease-Fire Deal in Russia Talks

Space Station in Spotlight Over Russia’s War in Ukraine (7:18 a.m.)

With the U.S. and allies imposing sanctions on Russia, will Moscow retaliate by dooming the International Space Station? No one knows, but the possibility is real. “I think this is the biggest threat to the international partnership in its history,” says Ron Garan, a former NASA astronaut who spent five months aboard the station in 2011.

What’s at risk is the largest and most complex international project ever, a $100 billion testament to human ingenuity and cross-border cooperation. The 490-ton assemblage has been inhabited continuously for 21 years, a record in manned spaceflight, and at any given time more than 100 scientific experiments are under way.

Ukraine Update: Kyiv Seeks Cease-Fire Deal in Russia Talks

Stocks Climb Amid Cease-Fire Hopes (5:40 a.m.)

Asian stocks rose Tuesday as a drop in oil and the prospect of more cease-fire talks between Russia and Ukraine helped sentiment. Bets on aggressive U.S. monetary tightening sapped shorter maturity Treasuries. 

Oil extended a slide, taking West Texas Intermediate crude to about $105 a barrel, on concerns that China’s mobility curbs against Covid will sap demand.

Australia Plans First Magnitsky-Style Sanctions (4:08 a.m.)

Australia will target sanctions and place travel bans on nearly 40 Russians who Canberra said were responsible for the corruption that lawyer “Sergei Magnitsky uncovered and those complicit in his subsequent mistreatment and death,” Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement.

Japan meanwhile expanded its export controls currently in effect against Russia to include luxury goods including cars, fur, jewelry, tobacco, cosmetics and artwork. The move will be effective from April 5, the trade ministry said.

U.S. Sees No Sign Asia Firms Flouting Sanctions (4:00 a.m.)

“Major players know that there’s significant risk to their business if they don’t comply because of the various actions we can take,” Matthew Borman, the deputy assistant secretary for export administration at the Department of Commerce, told a teleconference. He cited reports hundreds of companies have stopped engaging in business activities in and with Russia. 

Kyiv Forces Retake Town, Zelenskiy Says (10:35 p.m.)

Ukraine’s military recaptured the town of Irpin west of the capital from Russian troops, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his daily video address.

“Our defenders are pushing forward in the Kyiv region, regaining control over Ukrainian territory”, the president said. He said fighting continues in the area, while the southern port city of Mariupol remains blocked.

Ukraine Update: Kyiv Seeks Cease-Fire Deal in Russia Talks

Ukraine Seeks to Resolve at Least Humanitarian Issues (9:35 p.m.)

Resolving humanitarian issues will be the “minimum” goal for Ukraine’s negotiators in two days of talks with Russia in Istanbul scheduled to begin Tuesday, Kuleba said. The maximum goal is a stable cease-fire agreement, he said.

“We are looking forward to the conversation of the two delegations to see if the Russians will come to these talks ready to really agree on something, or just repeat their demands, which were heard from the very beginning,” Kuleba said. In the latter event, he said, “the sides will disperse in the same way as they arrived.” 

Cyberattack on Ukraine Telecoms Company ‘Neutralized’ (9:10 p.m.)

A major cyberattack against Ukraine’s telecommunications infrastructure has been “neutralized” and service is gradually being restored, said Yurii Shchyhol, head of Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection. 

Officials said Ukrtelecom was temporarily limiting its services to most private users and business clients to prioritize the country’s armed forces. Earlier Monday, the firm NetBlocks reported a “major” disruption across Ukraine, saying connectivity fell to 13% of pre-invasion levels.

Abramovich Suffered Suspected Poisoning in Ukraine Talks (8:26 p.m.)

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and Ukrainian negotiators suffered a suspected poisoning after meetings in Kyiv at the beginning of the month as part of talks to end the war in Ukraine, according to people familiar with the situation.

He and Ukrainians at the talks experienced peeling skin, red eyes, loss of eyesight and headaches, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information wasn’t public. The Wall Street Journal first reported the alleged poisoning.  

Biden Says He Was ‘Expressing My Outrage’ in Putin Ad Lib (8:15 p.m.)

President Joe Biden said he wasn’t announcing a U.S. policy change when he said Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power,” but was expressing his own anger about the invasion of Ukraine.

“I was expressing my outrage, he shouldn’t remain in power, just like bad people shouldn’t continue to do bad things,” Biden said Monday at the White House. “But it doesn’t mean we have a fundamental policy to do anything to take Putin down in any way.”

Ukraine Update: Kyiv Seeks Cease-Fire Deal in Russia Talks

Nuclear Material at Damaged Kharkiv Facility Intact (06:52 p.m.)

Ukraine told the International Atomic Energy Agency that the nuclear material at a damaged facility in Kharkiv remains intact despite the complex coming under renewed fire “a few days ago,” according to an IAEA statement

“Ukraine said the building, its thermal insulation and the experimental hall were damaged, but the neutron source, that contains nuclear material used to generate neutrons for research and isotope production, was not,” according to the statement.

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