Monday, March 13, 2023
Chinese President Xi Jinping could wade deeper than before into Ukraine diplomacy as soon as next week, staging both his first trip to Russia and his first talks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy since Moscow's invasion.
Xi plans to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for the first time since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper, citing people familiar with the matter, said the call was likely to take place after Xi's visit to Moscow next week.
A senior Russian lawmaker introduced a bill to push back the age of conscription to compulsory military service to 21-30 years from the current 18-27 years.
Negotiations began between U.N. officials and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin on a possible extension to a deal allowing the safe export of grain from Ukraine's Black Sea ports, the Russian diplomatic mission in Geneva said.
A patchwork of fixes and increased crop plantings around the world to counter the impact of war in Ukraine on global grain supplies are not enough to ward off further risks of disruption.
The Kremlin, asked about reports that India is abiding by a price cap on Russian oil exports imposed by Western countries, said it will be guided its own contacts with India, rather than by news reports.
Russia's industry ministry said it was expanding its list of brands that can be imported without the trademark owner's permission to include IKEA and American toy manufacturers Hasbro HAS.O and Mattel MAT.O.
The situation in Bakhmut was difficult, the commander of Ukrainian ground forces said, though adding that his troops were repelling all Russian attempts to capture it.
The head of Russia's Wagner mercenary group, which has led the assault on Bakhmut, said on Sunday the situation in the mining town was "tough, very tough ... But we are advancing and we will be advancing".
The Wagner chief said his army would begin to reboot once Bakhmut was captured. "In particular, we will start recruiting new people from the regions," Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a clip posted on Telegram channels associated with Wagner.
"Because they are at war, so they flocked to Bali," Bali Governor I Wayan Koster said in explaining his decision to seek the cancellation of a visa-on-arrival policy for Russian and Ukrainian nationals after tourists were found working illegally.