These are the key events so far from Monday, March 7. Get all the latest updates here.
Russia to open corridors on March 7
- The Russian military will hold fire and open humanitarian corridors in several Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Kyiv, at 10am Moscow time (07:00 GMT) on Monday, the Interfax news agency reported citing Russia’s defence ministry. The corridors, which will also be facilitated in the cities of Kharkiv, Mariupol and Sumy, are being set up at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron and in view of the current situation in those cities, it added.
- Russian forces have stepped up their shelling of Ukrainian cities in the centre, north and south of the country, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich said. “The latest wave of missile strikes came as darkness fell,” he said on Ukrainian television. Arestovich described a “catastrophic” situation in the Kyiv suburbs of Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin, where efforts to evacuate residents failed. Evacuations also failed in Mariupol in the south and Volnovakha in the east because of the shelling.
- Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said his country will continue trying to mediate between Russia and Ukraine even if success seems unlikely. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to declare a ceasefire in Ukraine, open humanitarian corridors and sign a peace agreement, his office said.
More companies quit operations in Russia
- Global streaming entertainment service Netflix, top accounting firms KPMG and PWC and financial services firm American Express have cut ties with Russia as the conflict with Ukraine escalated. The announcements follow a similar move by a number of other Western companies, including Nike, Ikea, Zara and Hermes, which have closed shops or offices or ceased operations as trade restrictions and supply constraints have added to political pressure for companies to stop business in Russia.
US, European allies discuss banning imports of Russian oil
- The US and European allies are exploring banning imports of Russian oil, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said, and the White House coordinated with key congressional committees moving forward with their own ban. Europe relies on Russia for crude oil and natural gas but has become more open to the idea of banning Russian products in the past 24 hours, a source familiar with the discussions told Reuters news agency. Separately, Japan, which counts Russia as its fifth-biggest supplier of crude oil, is also in discussion with the US and the European Union about possibly banning Russian oil imports.
Russia’s credit rating slips
- Moody’s cut Russia’s credit rating, the second-lowest rung of its rating ladder, citing central bank capital controls that are likely to restrict payments on the country’s foreign debt and lead to default. The credit ratings firm said its decision was “driven by severe concerns around Russia’s willingness and ability to pay its debt obligations”. The central bank last week put a temporary halt on payments and on March 2 said it had barred coupon payments for foreign investors holding rouble-denominated sovereign debt.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies