(Bloomberg) — Restrictions by the U.S. and its allies have led to a fall in more than half of Russia’s imports of high-tech goods and parts, hurting its manufacturing and military sectors, a Biden administration official said.
Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told global policy makers it would cost $600 billion for his country to rebuild. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said it might be possible to get Russia to foot part of that bill, adding Europe should be “careful” about a ban on Russian oil that could hurt the world economy.
The U.S. Justice Department has been assisting Ukrainian prosecutors in gathering evidence for possible war crimes cases after several nations have accused Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces of committing atrocities against civilians — something the Kremlin denies.
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Poland Seeks EU Support to Help Ukraine Refugees (8:37 a.m.)
Poland has asked the European Commission to use the money from seized Russian reserves and assets to help finance aid for Ukrainian refugees, Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski told Rzeczpospolita newspaper.
The country’s prime minister wrote to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last week, estimating the cost of aid this year at 11 billion euros ($11.97 billion), or as much as 24 billion were the situation in Ukraine to worsen, according to the paper.
About 2.8 million people have arrived in Poland from Ukraine since Feb. 24, although some have started to cross back.
Russia Looking to Repair Inoperable Equipment, U.K. Says (8:30 a.m.)
Heavy shelling and fighting continues in the eastern Donbas as Russia pushes toward settlements including Buhayikva, Barvinkove, Lyman and Popasna, the U.K. said in an intelligence update.
After heavy losses during its initial invasion, Moscow has resorted to moving inoperable equipment back to Russia for repairs, the U.K. said.
Australia Sanctions Russian Senators, Putin’s Daughters (7:32 a.m.)
Australia has imposed financial sanctions and travel bans on the adult daughters of President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, following similar moves by the U.S. and the U.K. earlier this month.
Also sanctioned were the 144 Russian senators who supported Putin by approving the “illegitimate” recognition of independence in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, Australia’s foreign ministry said.
Marise Payne, minister for foreign affairs, said Australia will continue to impose costs on Moscow and those who “bear responsibility for Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked aggression in Ukraine or hold levers of influence.”
Wheat Eyes Longest Losing Run Since November (5:10 a.m.)
Grains extended losses in Chicago as U.S. exports slumped and Russian shipments continued to flow through ports. Wheat futures fell as much as 0.9% to head for a fourth day of declines, which would be the longest losing streak since November.
Prices remain almost 40% higher this year as the war in Ukraine stokes concern about fieldwork and plantings for its next harvest.
Read more: Wheat Eyes Longest Losing Run Since November as U.S. Sales Slide
U.S. Warns China of Support for Russia (2:25 a.m.)
A senior U.S. diplomat again warned China of sanctions if it offers “material support” for Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, while also pledging to help India end its dependence on Russian weapons.
China wasn’t helping the situation in Ukraine by doing things like amplifying Russian disinformation campaigns, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said at an event in Brussels. She said she hoped Beijing will learn the “right lessons” from Russia’s war, including that it can’t separate the U.S. from its allies.
Russia’s High-Tech Imports Fall, U.S. Says (2:10 a.m.)
Actions by the U.S. and its allies to restrict Russia’s access to high-tech imports and parts has seen those shipments fall by more than 50%, frustrating the nation’s manufacturing and servicing efforts, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said.
“The Russian military is struggling to find spare parts for their tanks, for their satellites, for their rocket-mounting systems,” Raimondo told reporters in Washington.
Garland Says Aiding War Crimes Inquiry (12:40 a.m.)
Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters the Justice Department was assisting the prosecutor general of Ukraine in preparing potential war crimes cases.
“We are helping in the collection of evidence and preservation of evidence related to possible war crimes,” Garland said.
White House Names Ukraine Aid Coordinator (12:04 a.m.)
The White House named retired three-star general Terry Wolff to the National Security Council to help coordinate the security assistance the U.S. and allies are providing to Ukraine, a senior administration official said Thursday. The announcement comes a week after a bipartisan group of senators urged the president to name a coordinator.
U.S. Streamlines Procedures for Ukrainian Refugees (11:07 p.m.)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security unveiled a streamlined process for Ukrainians with U.S. connections to come to the country under humanitarian parole. The temporary immigration status allows individuals to live and work in the U.S. for two years.
Applicants must be Ukrainian nationals who lived in Ukraine as of Feb. 11, have U.S. sponsors, get vaccinations, and undergo security vetting. Immigration officials will then consider their applications on a case-by-case basis, the DHS said. The Biden administration last month committed to taking in up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
Russia Suspended From Observer Status at OAS (10:38 p.m.)
Russia was suspended as an observer at the Organization of American States, a move the U.S. said showed that OAS member states “do not stand on the sidelines in the face of the Russian government’s violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses.” The vote was 25 in favor, zero against and eight abstentions.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman earlier said she believed Russia, which was suspended from the United Nations Human Rights Council this month, would face similar action in other international organizations.
Yellen Warns Europe to Be ‘Careful’ With Russia Oil Ban (10:02 p.m.)
Yellen said Europe should be “careful” about imposing an outright ban on Russian oil, warning that the could hurt European and other economies without inflicting as much impact on Russia as hoped.
The U.S. treasury secretary also said that she expects efforts will be made to get Russia to help pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine, adding that any move to deploy confiscated Russian assets for that purpose would need to be considered carefully.
Ukraine Puts Rebuilding Price Tag at $600 Billion (9:48 p.m.)
Rebuilding Ukraine after the Russian invasion will cost $600 billion, the nation’s prime minister told the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings in Washington. He asked IMF members to donate 10% of their reserve assets received from the institution to support the effort.
In the short term, Ukraine needs $4 billion to $5 billion per month in funding, Shmyhal said at a roundtable aimed at rallying support for the country. In the longer term, the nation needs a recovery strategy similar to the Marshall Plan for Europe after World War II, he said.
Ukraine Prime Minister Meets With Biden (7:07 p.m.)
Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal met with Biden before the U.S. president announced additional military aid and, separately, Shmyhal spoke with Yellen and Blinken.
Russia Bans Zuckerberg, Others in Symbolic Move (6:59 p.m.)
Russia barred entry to Meta Platform Inc’s Mark Zuckerberg and 28 other Americans, a symbolic retaliation for U.S. sanctions against its top officials and business figures.
The latest Russian “stop list” includes U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris alongside White House, Pentagon and State Department officials and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
Zhovkva Says It’s Premature to Say Russia Took Mariupol (6:02 p.m.)
Ukraine’s deputy chief of staff, Ihor Zhovkva, said that even though Russia controls major parts of the port city of Mariupol that’s been under siege since March 1, the Ukrainian army is still there.
“Most of them as well as many civilians are blocked at the Azov steel plant,” Zhovkva said in an interview with Bloomberg. Ukraine offered to exchange Russian wounded soldiers for those Mariupol civilians and soldiers who are wounded, he said, adding that “we have not received any answer.”
Poland to Extend Support for Refugees (5:07 p.m.)
Poland will extend state support, initially planned for two months, for families and hotels hosting Ukrainian refugees by another 60 days. The government estimates that 600,000 Ukrainians are still benefiting from the program. The aid, amounting to 40 zloty ($9.38) for each person per day, is expected to cost the state $1.9 billion.
Biden Unveils $1.3 Billion in Arms, Aid (4:31 p.m.)
President Biden said the U.S. is sending Ukraine another $1.3 billion in arms and economic aid, and that he’ll ask Congress to authorize further assistance as Russia steps up its attacks in the country’s east.
The money adds to $2.4 billion in U.S. aid already authorized for the fiscal year, much of it weaponry. Of the new package, $800 million will go toward arms. “We’re in a critical window now of time where they’re going to set the stage for the next phase of this war,” Biden said.