LIVE: G7, Biden Want to End Russia’s ‘Most Favored Status,’ Ban Imports Like Seafood, Vodka, Diamonds
Day 15 of this enhanced invasion of Ukraine? Russia is intent on destroying as many Ukrainian cities as possible. It’s Grozny and Syria all over again.
But I’m seeing the West dive deep into McCarthyism…except McCarthy found sympathizers and Communists in his search. Now everyone suspected of Russian ties or blood has become an enemy.
Biden Wants to End Normal Trading Relations With Russia
Congress needs to revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” status to make it official. The rest of the G7 want to do the same thing:
Revoking Russia’s “most favored nation” status will allow for increased tariffs on imports from the country in addition to the crushing sanctions already imposed as a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But it must be done by Congress. Biden highlighted bipartisan support for the move in a Friday announcement in conjunction with other G7 and European Union leader.
“Putin is an aggressor, he is the aggressor, and Putin must pay the price,” Biden said.
The G7 will also seek to cut off Russia from organizations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Biden said.
Russia Wants to Have Complete Operational Control of Zaporizhzhia
Russia is in charge of Zaporizhzhiathe, the largest nuclear power plant. Now they want to make sure they have complete operational control of it:
Russian officials have attempted to enter and take full operational control of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the head of Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom said today.
Energoatom chief Petro Kotin said Russian forces had told the plant’s Ukrainian staff that the plant now belonged to Russian state nuclear company Rosatom after its capture last week.
Ten officials from Rosatom, including two senior engineers, then unsuccessfully attempted to enter the plant and take control of operations, he said in a televised interview.
“On the territory (of the plant) there are around 500 Russian soldiers with automatic weapons … our staff are in an extremely bad psychological state,” Kotin said.
Europe Still Receiving Russian Gas
Nord Stream 2 died but Nord Stream 1 still works:
Russia continued to send pipeline gas into Germany via Nord Stream 1 and Poland and into Slovakia via Ukraine at broadly unchanged levels, pipeline operator data showed on Friday morning.
Flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline which crosses the Baltic Sea to Germany were steady at 73,553,544 kWh/h, operator data showed.
On the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which traverses Belarus and Poland, westward flows into Germany at the Mallnow border point stood at 8,073,389 kilowatt hours per hour (kWh/h), data from operator Gascade showed, slightly higher than on Thursday.
The pipeline usually accounts for about 15% of Russia’s supply of gas to Europe but had been operating in reverse mode at Mallnow from Dec. 21, which helped drive up European gas prices.
Westward flows restarted on Feb. 25, intermittently at first and continuously since the evening of March 8.
Troops Disperse Around Kyiv
It looks like Russian troops dispersed around Kyiv, but it could be a way for them to regroup:
Moscow’s military advances have sparked fears the capital Kyiv could soon be surrounded.
Russian forces were encircling at least four major Ukrainian cities on Thursday and armoured vehicles rolled up to Kyiv’s north-eastern edge, where suburbs including Irpin and Bucha have endured days of heavy bombardment.
Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said half the population had fled, adding that the city “has been transformed into a fortress”.
“Every street, every building, every checkpoint has been fortified,” he said.
Facebook Allowing People Call for Violence Against Russians, Death Threats to Putin
This is madness. Absolute madness. We all have to remember that Putin hides Russians from the real world. He feeds them propaganda left and right, telling them what he wants them to hear.
Facebook’s action is no better than Putin:
Meta Platforms (FB.O) will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy.
The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in countries including Russia, Ukraine and Poland, according to internal emails to its content moderators.
“As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’ We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement.
The calls for the leaders’ deaths will be allowed unless they contain other targets or have two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method, one email said, in a recent change to the company’s rules on violence and incitement.
The temporary policy changes on calls for violence to Russian soldiers apply to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine, according to one email.
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