🌍 Russia and Ukraine meet for talks

🌍 Russia and Ukraine meet for talks

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Here’s what you need to know

Russian and Ukrainian negotiators meet for a fourth time. While Kyiv and other cities are still under attack, and after at least 35 deaths at a military base near the Polish border, more talks began via video conference at 4.30am US eastern time.

Russian prosecutors are reportedly issuing warnings to Western companies. According to the Wall Street Journal, they are threatening to arrest corporate bosses and seize assets.

US officials said Russia is seeking assistance from China. But White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned both sides that “we will not allow that to go forward.”

A US journalist was killed in Ukraine. Award-winning filmmaker Brent Renaud, 50, was producing a documentary about refugees, and was shot dead—allegedly by Russian soldiers—outside Kyiv.

Shenzhen is under lockdown. The Chinese city of 17.5 million—a major tech hub—faces severe restrictions over a covid outbreak. Foxconn’s local plant is among those suspending production.

Elon Musk hinted at price rises for Tesla cars. “Tesla and SpaceX are seeing significant recent inflation pressure in raw materials and logistics,” he tweeted.

What to watch for

Instagram is dark in Russia today. At midnight on Sunday, its service was cut off to the platform’s 80 million Russian users. The ban is pre-emptive: Russia said it would block Instagram—as it has already blocked Facebook and Twitter—because it disagrees with what the platform allows users in Ukraine to post.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook parent company Meta, drew the ire of Russian legislators by deciding to waive its hate speech rules and allowing besieged Ukrainians to share their fury with Russian invaders. Instagram’s sudden absence from Russia is part of two intersecting patterns: On one hand, more Western companies are exiting Russia as Vladimir Putin wages war. On the other, Russians are becoming ever more isolated, bereft of information, and subject to the messaging of a single regime.

What imports will be affected by Russia’s G7 suspension?

On Friday, US president Joe Biden said the Group of Seven industrial nations plans to revoke Russia’s status as a “most favored nation.” The move still has to be approved by Congress, but it sets the stage for the US and other G7 members to rack up more tariffs and trade barriers against Russia.

The countries behind the new measure are huge buyers of Russian products, from oil and gold to fertilizer and fish. Restricting access to those items, particularly in the EU, will put further economic pressure on Russia’s main revenue streams.

Here are G7 countries ranked by the percentage of Russian exports they buy:

A bar chart showing the percentage of Russian exports bought by G7 countries. The Netherlands buys the largest percentage at 7.4%, while Latvia buys the least at 1%.

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