Highest-level talks since Russia's assault on Ukraine began two weeks ago yield no progress while Kiev braces for an onslaught amid civilian evacuations.

Evacuation of civilians from Ukraine's Irpin and Bucha towns continue, in Kiev capital, Ukraine, on March 10, 2022.
Evacuation of civilians from Ukraine's Irpin and Bucha towns continue, in Kiev capital, Ukraine, on March 10, 2022. (AA)

Thursday, March 10, 2022

UNSC to convene at Russia's request

The United Nations Security Council will convene on Friday at Russia's request, diplomats said, to discuss what Moscow claims are "the military biological activities of the US on the territory of Ukraine."

The United States has dismissed Russian claims as "laughable," warning Moscow may be preparing to use chemical or biological weapons.

"This is all an obvious ploy by Russia to try to justify its further premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine." White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

Zelensky accuses Russia of 'attack' on humanitarian corridor in Mariupol

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has said around 100,000 people had evacuated the country's cities in two days but accused Russian forces of targeting a humanitarian corridor in the city of Mariupol.

Zelensky said he decided to send a convoy of trucks into the besieged port city with food, water and medicine but "the occupiers launched a tank attack exactly where this corridor was supposed to be."

The Ukrainian leader said that, of the around 100,000 people who had been able to leave other Ukrainian cities via humanitarian corridors over the past two days, some 40,000 had fled on Thursday alone. 

Ukraine: Russia hits nuclear research institute in Kharkiv city

Russian forces shelled a nuclear research institute in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, setting buildings on fire, said Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's Interior Ministry.

A shell hit a building where there is equipment that could release radiation if it were damaged, Gerashchenko said. According to the president’s office, there has been no change in the background radiation.

The shelling caused a fire, but firefighters were able to put it out. Russian forces have already taken over two nuclear power plants in Ukraine, raising concerns about the security of the nuclear facilities.

Ukraine withdrawing hundreds of peacekeepers from UN missions 

The United Nations has received official notification from Ukraine that it intends to withdraw all 308 military and police personnel serving in six UN peacekeeping missions, along with eight Russian-built Mi-8 helicopters currently in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the withdrawal includes about 250 troops from the DRC as well as 36 staff officers and experts and 22 police officers.

The Ukrainians are also serving in five other peacekeeping operations in Mali, Cyprus, Abyei and South Sudan, and Kosovo and its request appear to be aimed at beefing up its military and helicopters in the conflict with Russia.

Over 400,000 people evacuated from Ukraine battle zones

Over 400,000 civilians have so far been evacuated in Ukraine, mostly from active battle zones, interior minister Denys Monastyrsky said on national television on Thursday.

"They have been evacuated primarily from areas where there is ongoing combat," he said.

More than 80,000 people were evacuated from areas surrounding Kiev and Sumy over the past two days, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a video posted on the Telegram messaging app.

UK: Russian advance in Ukraine slowed by using forces to encircle cities

Russia has been committing an increasing number of its forces to encircling key cities in Ukraine, slowing its advance through the country, Britain's defence ministry said.

"Due to strong Ukrainian resistance, Russian forces are committing an increased number of their deployed forces to encircle key cities," the ministry said in an intelligence update posted on Twitter.

"This will reduce the number of forces available to continue their advance and will further slow Russian progress," it added.

The defence ministry also said protests against Russia have been reported throughout the week in Russian-held cities, with 400 protestors reportedly detained by Moscow's forces in Kherson on Wednesday.

IAEA to present ideas on nuclear safety to Russia, Ukraine

The UN nuclear watchdog will present ideas to Ukraine and Russia in the coming hours on how to ensure the safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine and a meeting is likely "very soon," its chief Rafael Grossi has said.

"I am quite encouraged on one important thing: Ukraine and the Russian Federation want to work with us and agreed to work with us," Grossi told a news conference after a trip to Türkiye where he met Russia and Ukraine's foreign ministers separately.

Meanwhile, the Russian defence ministry agreed to allow a Ukrainian repair team to access power lines in the area around the Chernobyl nuclear power station, Interfax news agency said.

Russia will open evacuation corridors from Ukraine every day

The Russian defence ministry has said it would open humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of Ukrainians to Russia at 10 am Moscow time (0700 GMT) everyday, Interfax news agency reports.

The Ukrainian government rejected a similar offer from Moscow earlier in the conflict. 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said Russian proposals to create humanitarian corridors from Ukraine to Russia were "absurd."

Turkish, Azerbaijani leaders discuss Russia-Ukraine conflict

Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev met in the Turkish capital Ankara and discussed bilateral relations as well as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. 

During their meeting, the two leaders also expressed their views on contribution of their countries'' cooperation to energy security of Europe, according to a statement by Türkiye's Communications Directorate.

Russian central bank to keep stock market closed on Friday

Russia's stock market will not open on Friday, the central bank has said, keeping trading largely suspended since the beginning of last week after the West rolled out economic sanctions against Russia over its attacks on Ukraine.

The foreign exchange, money market and repo market will open for trading at 10 am local Moscow time (0700 GMT), it said.

Russia bans car, airplane exports until end-2022

The Russian government has banned exports of cars, airplanes and drones until the end of this year, the Russian TASS news agency said.

Earlier, the country said it will suspend exports of wheat, meslin, rye, barley and corn to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) until August 31 in a move to secure its home market with enough food.

Russia will also ban sugar exports to third countries until August 31 but some exceptions would be possible for the EEU countries, the economy ministry said.

EEU members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia itself.

G7 calls on oil, gas producers to boost deliveries

The G7 club of the most industrialised nations has urged big energy-producing countries to boost deliveries to blunt the impact of Russia's attacks on Ukraine on prices.

"We call on oil and gas producing countries to act in a responsible manner and to examine their ability to increase deliveries to international markets particularly where production is not meeting full capacity noting that OPEC has a key role to play," G7 energy ministers said in a joint statement.

They added it was "necessary to consider effective measures in order to stop the increase in the gas price".

Erdogan, Biden discuss Russia's attacks in Ukraine

Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his US counterpart Joe Biden have held a phone conversation discussing several issues, including Russia's attacks in Ukraine.

During the phone talk, the two leaders discussed bilateral ties as well as the Russia-Ukraine crisis, according to a statement by Türkiye's Communications Directorate.

It is important that Türkiye is in a facilitator position in search for a solution, in case the Russia-Ukraine crisis deepens further, Erdogan told Biden.

Stellantis suspends export of cars to Russia

Stellantis has said in a statement that it suspended all exports of cars to Russia as well as all imports from Russia.

"All Stellantis exportation of cars to Russia and importation from Russia are suspended," the firm said in a statement sent by mail to Reuters news agency.

Stellantis, the world's Number 4 carmaker, owns a plant in Kaluga, Russia, in partnership with Mitsubishi, where it makes vans.

Goldman Sachs winding down business in Russia

Goldman Sachs has said it is winding down its business in Russia in compliance with regulatory and licensing requirements.

"We are focused on supporting our clients across the globe in managing or closing out pre-existing obligations in the market and ensuring the wellbeing of our people," the New York-based company said in a statement.

Goldman Sachs is the first major American financial services firm on Wall Street that announced it is winding down operations in Russia.

Hospitality giant IHG halts investments in Russia

Global hospitality firm IHG has suspended future investments, development activity and new hotel openings in Russia.

"We are also closing our corporate office in Moscow but will continue to support our colleagues," the Holiday-inn parent company said in a statement.

IHG is working with its hotel owners in countries neighbouring Ukraine to offer refugees temporary accommodation.

Sony’s PlayStation suspends sales in Russia

Sony's PlayStation division has announced it is suspending all software and hardware shipments to Russia.

"We have suspended all software and hardware shipments, the launch of Gran Turismo 7, and operations of the PlayStation Store in Russia," said the video game unit in a statement.

The company will also be donating $2 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Save the Children to support humanitarian aid in and around Ukraine.

Over 12,000 people evacuated from Ukraine's Sumy region

More than 12,000 civilians have been evacuated from Ukraine's northeastern Sumy region by car or bus, state emergencies service said in a statement.

Meanwhile, not a single civilian was able to leave Mariupol as Russian forces failed to respect a temporary ceasefire to allow evacuations, Ukraine's Deputy Prime MinisterIryna Vereshchuk said on national television.

EU leaders: No membership fast track exists for Ukraine 

European Union leaders have told Ukraine there was no fast way for the country to join the bloc, dousing Kiev's hopes as it faces an onslaught from Russian forces.

"There is no such thing as a fast track," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said as he arrived for an EU summit at the Versailles Palace in France, reflecting the position of several member states.

"I want to focus on what can we do for (Ukrainian President) Volodymyr Zelenskyy tonight, tomorrow, and EU accession of Ukraine is something for the long term, if at all," he added.

French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking ahead of a summit of European leaders in France, said he thought it was unrealistic to engage in membership negotiations with a country under attack.

Russia to pay external debt in roubles if forex accounts remain blocked

Russia will service its external obligations in roubles if foreign exchange accounts of the central bank and the government remain blocked by the western sanctions.

Russian obligations towards foreign investors would be fulfilled in any case, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov was quoted as saying by TASS news agency.

Russia: Mariupol hospital attack staged by Ukraine

The Russian army has claimed  that an attack on a children's hospital in Mariupol, which killed three, was a "staged provocation" by Ukraine.

"The Russian aviation carried out absolutely no missions to hit targets on the ground in the Mariupol area," Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said. 

"The airstrike that allegedly took place is a completely staged provocation to maintain anti-Russian hype for a Western audience," he said.

Macron slams  'disgraceful' bombing of Ukraine hospital 

Russia's bombing of a maternity hospital in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol was "a disgraceful act of war," French President Emmanuel Macron has said.

France condemned the attack "in the firmest possible terms", Macron told reporters as EU leaders gathered outside Paris to discuss their response to the conflict, saying "the clear objective was to kill civilians, especially women and children".

Macron also said the European Union countries needed to agree on the pace at which the bloc could wean itself off Russian fossil fuels.

Trudeau: Putin chose to specifically target civilians

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Russian President Vladimir Putin will "lose the war" in Ukraine.

"Vladimir Putin has made a terrible mistake. He's going to lose this war... because the ferocity and strength and resolve of the Ukrainian people defending their territory is inspiring us all," Trudeau told reporters in Warsaw.

Trudeau said Putin had made a choice to "specifically target civilians" and any further targeting of civilians in Ukraine is going to be met with the "severest of responses."

"Putin's callous disregard for human life is absolutely unacceptable. It is very clear that he has made the choice to specifically target civilians now," he added.

US: Further Russia sanctions possible amid atrocities

Amid signs Russia has ramped up attacks on Ukrainian civilians, the United States and its European allies could impose additional penalties on Moscow, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said.

"The atrocities that they're committing against civilians seem to be intensifying, so it's certainly appropriate for us to be working with our allies to consider further sanctions," Yellen said.

But sanctions taken to date have "devastated" the Russian economy, she said.

Putin: Sanctions could push up global food prices

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia would ultimately emerge stronger and more independent after overcoming the difficulties caused by what he called the West's illegitimate sanctions.

He said the sanctions on Moscow for its actions in Ukraine could send global food prices soaring.  

"Russia and Belarus are some of the biggest suppliers of mineral fertilisers," Putin said at a televised government meeting. 

"If they continue to create problems for the financing and logistics of the delivery of our goods, then prices will rise and this will affect the final product, food products," he added.

Western Union suspends operations in Russia, Belarus

Western Union has suspended operations in Russia and Belarus, joining a growing number of businesses that have pulled out from the region following Moscow's attacks on Ukraine.

"We join the international community in expressing sincere hope for a diplomatic and peaceful resolution," the global money transfer service company said in a statement.

"Meanwhile, our priorities remain the well-being and safety of our employees as well as continuing to support the people of Ukraine, including the growing number of refugees seeking safety," it added.

Bank for International Settlements suspends Russian central bank

The Bank for International Settlements, considered the central bank of central banks, has announced that it was suspending the Bank of Russia.

"The BIS is following international sanctions against the central bank of Russia, as applicable, and will not be an avenue for sanctions to be circumvented," the institution told AFP news agency.

"The access of the central bank of Russia to all BIS services, meetings and other BIS activities has been suspended."

UK to simplify Ukraine refugee process amid outcry

Britain has said it will simplify its much-criticised visa process for refugees fleeing Russia's attacks in Ukraine from next week.

"From Tuesday, I can announce that Ukrainians with passports will no longer need to go to a visa application centre to give their biometrics before they come to the UK," Home Secretary Priti Patel told parliament.

Patel said that she had received "assurances on security matters" which enabled her to make changes to the Ukrainian family scheme.

UNICEF: Over one million children become refugees 

Almost half of of some 2.3 million people who fled Russia’s attacks on Ukraine are children, UNICEF says, confirming at least 37 child fatalities in 15 days.

Most of the children crossed into Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova, and Romania with their families, according to the UN children's agency.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian parliament official said at least 71 children have been killed in Ukraine since Russia began its attacks on February 24.

"From the start of the Russian invasion and up to 11:00 am (0900 GMT) on March 10, 71 children have been killed and more than 100 wounded," Lyudmyla Denisova, parliament's point person on human rights, wrote in a Telegram message.

Western officials accuse Russia of 'war crimes' 

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has accused Russia of "war crimes", a day after a shocking attack on a children's hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

Wednesday's airstrike hit a maternity and children's hospital in the besieged southern port city, killing two adults and a child, city officials said, updating a previous figure of 17 people wounded.

"They are attacking civil society in an indiscriminate manner, therefore clearly violating human rights and more than likely committing war crimes," Sanchez said during a visit to a Ukrainian refugee centre near Madrid.

US Vice President Kamala Harris, on a visit to Ukraine's neighbour Poland, backed calls for an international war-crimes investigation.

Ukraine: Half of Kiev population fled

Half the population of Kiev has fled since the Russian attacks began, its mayor Vitali Klitschko said, as Moscow's forces press ever closer to the Ukrainian capital. 

"A little less than two million people have currently left. However, Kiev has been transformed into a fortress. Every street, every building, every checkpoint has been fortified," he told Ukraine television. 

An AFP news agency team saw plumes of smoke rise over the village of Skybyn, just a few hundred metres past the last checkpoint marking Kiev's northeastern city limits.

CEOs of Russian energy giants targeted by UK sanctions

The UK has announced sanctions against seven oligarchs, including Igor Sechin, the CEO of Rosneft, and Alexei Miller, the CEO of Russia’s energy giant Gazprom.

A full asset freeze and travel bans were introduced on seven of Russia’s wealthiest and most influential oligarchs in a bid to isolate Putin and those closely associated with the Kremlin.

The oligarchs, who have a collective net worth of around $20 billion, "will have their assets in the UK frozen, they are banned from traveling here and no UK citizen or company may do business with them," Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.

ECB signals longer wait before interest rate rises

The European Central Bank has signalled that it may give itself a little more time before rising interest rates, as tensions in Ukraine and surging inflation cloud the economic outlook.

In its latest policy announcement, the ECB dropped its usual mention of raising rates "shortly after" the end of stimulus bond-buying schemes, saying instead that rate adjustments would now come "some time after" the end of asset purchases.

Russia bans export of hundreds of products after sanctions

Russia has announced an export ban on more than 200 types of foreign products and equipment until the end of 2022, as part of Moscow's response to sanctions imposed over the Ukraine conflict.

"The list includes technological, communication and medical equipment, vehicles, agricultural machinery and electrical equipment — more than 200 types of goods in total," according to an order signed by Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

This comes as former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow for talks on ending the attacks in Ukraine, political news website Politico reported.

Head of Ukraine’s gas transit operator demands Russian troops leave gas facilities

Sergiy Makogon, the head of Ukraine’s gas transit operator, has demanded that Russian troops leave the territory of two gas compressor stations which he said they have occupied in eastern Ukraine.

Makogon said on live television that, since occupying the Novopskov and Kupiansk stations, the troops had been questioning staff about their operations.

Russia accuses US of funding biological weapons research in Ukraine

Russia has accused the United States of funding research into the development of biological weapons in Ukraine.

Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a televised briefing that "the purpose of this — and other Pentagon-funded biological research in Ukraine — was to establish a mechanism for the stealthy spread of deadly pathogens."

Konashenkov claimed the ministry had obtained documents detailing US military-biological activities in Ukraine, including on the transfer of Ukrainians' biomaterial abroad.

Russia and Ukraine agree to seek solution to humanitarian situation

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said that he agreed with Russian side to continue efforts to seek solution to humanitarian situation on the ground, following talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Türkiye.

Kuleba added that no progress was made on ceasefire as Russia's Lavrov was not authorised to discuss the matter. 

"I want to repeat that Ukraine has not surrendered, does not surrender, and will not surrender," Kuleba told reporters after the meeting.

The high-level tripartite meeting between foreign ministers of Türkiye, Ukraine and Russia happened on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Türkiye and lasted for more than an hour. 

Türkiye stressed that humanitarian corridors in Ukraine should be kept open without any obstacles, said Foreign Minister Cavusoglu, adding that war has no winner, and losers are innocent civilians. 

Lavrov slams dangerous arms deliveries to Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that President Vladimir Putin is not refusing to hold a meeting with Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy but some preparatory work needs to be done. 

Following his meeting with Turkish and Ukrainian foreign ministers in Antalya, Lavrov claimed Zelenskyy suggested meeting to "show off," not to address problems. 

"Foreign colleagues including the EU, who send weapons to Ukraine, encourage mercenaries," Lavrov said, adding they "will be responsible for their actions".

He said Russia will cope with sanctions in such a way that it will never depend on Westerners. 

"We will take such measures so we will never face a similar situation again," he added.

NATO chief to meet Turkish president, foreign minister

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will meet Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday.

Stoltenberg will visit Antalya on the Mediterranean coast of Türkiye, NATO announced in a press statement.

He will hold talks with Erdogan and Cavusoglu, and participate in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, the statement added.

The Antalya Diplomacy Forum is a high-level event of political leaders, diplomats, foreign policy experts, and academics.

Critical 3-way talks kick off with Russia, Ukraine in Antalya

The foreign ministers of Türkiye, Ukraine, and Russia have met in to reach a lasting peace as the Russia-Ukraine conflict enters its 15th day. 

The high-level tripartite meeting began at 1100 AM local (0800 GMT) in the Turkish city of Antalya on the sidelines of Antalya Diplomacy Forum.

Prior to the meeting on Wednesday, Ukrainian Minister Dmytro Kuleba on social media voiced hope for "talks in good faith, not from a propaganda perspective, but really with the task of finding a solution on how to end the war waged by Russia."

Child among three killed in attack on Mariupol hospital: officials

At least three people were killed, including a young girl, in an attack on a children's hospital in Mariupol in southern Ukraine, local officials said. 

"Three people were killed, including a female child, in yesterday's attack on a children's and maternity hospital in Ukraine's besieged Mariupol, according to updated figures this morning," the city council said on its Telegram channel.

Officials had previously given a toll of 17 injured, including doctors, in the attack. 

Moscow: Claiming Russia bombed children's hospital is 'fake news'

Russia said a Ukrainian claim that it bombed a children's hospital in Mariupol was "fake news" because the building was a former maternity hospital that had long been taken over by troops.

"That’s how fake news is born," Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia's first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said on Twitter.

Polyanskiy said Russia had warned on March 7 that the hospital had been turned into a military object from which Ukrainians were firing.

Beijing: US spreading disinformation about China on Ukraine for own benefit

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the US criticises China's position on Ukraine to 'seek space for the plot of simultaneously suppressing China and Russia.'

According to China's CCTV, Lijian made the remarks in response to the media report that the two New York Times articles about China's so-called prior knowledge of Russia's military operation against Ukraine were both made-to-order; and the director behind all this is a US official.

"The US has been disseminating disinformation about China on the Ukraine issue, with the attempt to shift blame, stoke confrontation and profit from the issue," Zhao said. "The practice is despicable and malicious."

Russia urges US to explain purpose of biological labs in Ukraine

The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that Washington must explain to the international community the purpose of US-funded biological laboratories in Ukraine.

"We remember for how many years and with what bloody results the United States searched for various types of chemical, biological, bacteriological weapons and so on all over the world, actually occupying lands and killing people," the ministry's spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, according to Xinhua News Agency.

She said that Kiev has recently begun erasing traces of these biological programmes. 

Kiev accuses Moscow of genocide after bombing of children's hospital

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of carrying out genocide after Ukrainian officials said Russian aircraft bombed a children's hospital on Wednesday, burying patients in rubble despite a ceasefire deal for people to flee the besieged city of Mariupol. 

The attack, which authorities said injured women in labour and left children in the wreckage, underscored US warnings that the biggest assault on a European state since 1945 could become increasingly attritional after Russia's early failures.

The White House condemned the hospital bombing as a "barbaric use of military force to go after innocent civilians".

House approves ban on Russian oil to US, bolstering Biden

The House overwhelmingly approved legislation that would ban Russian oil imports to the United States, an effort to put into law the restrictions announced by President Joe Biden in response to the escalating military offensive in Ukraine.

Going further than Biden's import ban on Russian oil, the bill making its way through Congress would also encourage a review of Russia's status in the World Trade Organization and signal US support for sanctions on Russian officials over human rights violations, as the US works to economically isolate Moscow.

Lawmakers in both parties have been eager to act, willing to risk higher gas prices at home in order to support Ukraine with a show of US bipartisanship. The legislation was approved Wednesday, 414-17, and now goes to the Senate. 

Germany in a quandary over Russian energy

Germany has rejected a complete ban on Russian gas and oil imports over Russia invading Ukraine, but voices are growing louder for Berlin to ditch its economic imperative to take a moral stand.

After the United States and Britain imposed a ban on Russian oil, pressure has mounted on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government and other G7 members to follow suit.

A group of climate activists, academics, authors and scientists published an open letter to the German government on Wednesday demanding a complete ban on Russian energy, reasoning that "we are all financing this war".

UN delegation discusses humanitarian situation in Ukraine with Russian side

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin hosted a UN delegation to discuss the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. 

The delegation, led by Ramesh Rajasingham, acting assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and deputy emergency relief coordinator at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), had conversations on the humanitarian aspects of the situation in Ukraine as well as in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Moscow officially recognised Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, followed by the start of a military operation in Ukraine on February 24.

US House votes to rush $13.6 billion to Ukraine

US lawmakers have advanced aid totalling almost $14 billion for Ukraine as part of a giant blueprint to fund federal agencies and avoid a damaging government shutdown at home.

"The brave, freedom-loving people of Ukraine and our allies in the region will receive urgently needed investments to fight Vladimir Putin and the Russians' illegal and immoral invasion," Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement.

The move comes in response to Russian incursion, which is entering its third week.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies