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Biden says US forces "are not engaged and will not engage in the conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine" - U.S. announces airspace closure for Russian airlines
China says it will try to contribute to de-escalation in Ukraine:
China's Foreign Ministry spoke out in favor of a negotiated solution to the crisis in Ukraine and assured that Beijing will try to contribute to de-escalation.
"China will maintain a constructive role in contributing to the de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Wednesday.
The diplomat welcomed "the start of peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine."
"We are confident that the two sides will continue the dialogue and negotiating process and seek a political solution that takes into account their legitimate security interests," he added.
Nearly 24,000 Ukrainians enter Romania in the last 24 hours
Nearly 24,000 citizens of Ukraine entered Romania in the last 24 hours, and about 18,000 of them already left its territory, the press service of the border police reported.
"In the last 24 hours nationwide 71,364 people entered Romania, 23,862 of them are Ukrainian citizens, 5.6 more than a day earlier," says the report on the police website.
The police specify that 10,449 Ukrainian citizens entered Romania from Ukraine, and 11,524, from Moldova.
During the same period 17,783 Ukrainians left the territory of Romania.
In total, since February 24, more than 113,000 Ukrainians have entered Romania, and 68,000 Ukrainians have already left the country.
Russia continues to supply energy and raw materials, German minister says
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, interviewed by DLF radio station, noted that Russian energy supplies continue and at the same time admitted that they may cease.
Answering the question of what Germany will do if the Russian side stops supplying gas, Habeck said, "We are prepared."
"We are stockpiling in case a worse time comes, but this has not come yet, the Russians continue to supply raw materials all over the world," he added.
Belarus reinforces the protection of its southern and western borders
Belarus strengthened the protection of its southern and western borders due to the worsening of the military-political situation in the region, the Border Committee reported.
"The protection of the southern and western borders has been strengthened in accordance with the instructions given by the President of Belarus (Alexander Lukashenko) because of the deterioration of the military-political situation in the region," the body posted on its Telegram channel.
The note adds that "a set of measures" is being taken to avoid "possible provocations and prevent the entry into the territory of Belarus of sabotage and reconnaissance groups."
According to the text, to strengthen security on the border with Ukraine were mobilized reserves of border groups, as well as units of the Ministry of Defense.
Russia vows tough response to unprecedented sanctions against it.
Russia will respond to Western sanctions over its military operation in Ukraine as it sees fit, acting harshly and thoughtfully, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.
"Because these unfriendly measures are unprecedented, we must act harshly, thoughtfully and clearly," Peskov told reporters, commenting on Russia's response to the Western sanctions.
Russian Troops are now in Kharkov:
This was reported in the Security Service of Ukraine, writing on the Telegram channel of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
According to the Telegram channel "Operational Armed Forces of Ukraine", the attack occurred at the moment when an air alert was announced in the city and the region.
Biden Says US Not Planning To Engage Russian Forces in Ukraine:
President Joe Biden asserted Tuesday that the United States does not plan to engage Russian troops in Ukraine.
"Let me be clear, our forces are not and will not engage in a conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine," Biden assured in his State of the Union address to Congress.
He clarified that the U.S. military "is not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO allies, should (Russian President Vladimir) Putin decide to continue to move westward."
The U.S. announces airspace closure for Russian airlines:
President Joe Biden announced that the United States has banned all Russian aircraft from flying over its airspace.
"Today, I am announcing that, following our allies, for further isolation of Russia, we are closing U.S. airspace to all Russian flights and increasing pressure on their economy," Biden said while speaking to Congress on Tuesday.
As specified in the Department of Transportation statement, the ban extends to all Russia-related aircraft, including charter flights.
World Bank Prepares $3 Billion Package To Support Ukraine
The World Bank is preparing a $3 billion support package for Ukraine in the coming months and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is considering requests for emergency financing from Ukraine, the heads of the two institutions, David Malpass and Kristalina Georgieva, announced Tuesday in a statement.
"Our institutions are working together to support Ukraine on the financing and policy fronts, and are urgently ramping up that support. We have been in daily contact with the authorities on crisis measures.... At the World Bank Group, we are preparing a $3 billion support package over the coming months, starting with a fast-disbursing budget support operation of at least $350 million to be presented to the board for approval this week, followed by $200 million in fast-disbursing support for health and education," the text said.
Meanwhile, the IMF board could consider Ukraine's request for emergency financing through the Rapid Financing Instrument next week, the statement said.
.@DavidMalpassWBG and I are deeply shocked & saddened by the devastating human & economic toll of war in #Ukraine. The IMF team has been in daily contact w/ the ���� authorities & are working on their request for emergency financing for our Board to consider as early as next week.
Turkey hopes Moscow and Kiev will agree on ceasefire during negotiations
Turkey expects Moscow and Kiev to agree on a ceasefire during upcoming negotiations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
On Monday Russia and Ukraine held the first round of negotiations to, according to a Ukrainian presidential aide, discuss the issues of ceasefire and cessation of hostilities on the Ukrainian territory, although they failed to achieve tangible results.
The delegations are scheduled to continue the dialogue after a series of consultations in their respective capitals.
"In the next round they will have enough time to discuss and agree on political issues, but what is relevant now is the ceasefire," Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency.
Commenting on possible sanctions against Russia, the Turkish diplomat made it clear that his country does not plan to join these nor faces any pressure to do so.
Venezuela reiterates willingness to deepen strategic alliance with Russia
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia reiterated Tuesday his country's willingness to deepen the strategic alliance with Russia, after expressing his support for the actions of President Vladimir Putin's government to protect his nation's citizens amid the crisis in Ukraine.
"We support all the efforts of the Government of Russia to provide security to its people, in the face of the aggressions and defamations promoted from Washington, while reaffirming its total willingness to continue developing and deepening the Russia-Venezuela strategic alliance," Plasencia said via Twitter.
The Foreign Minister also referred to the telephone conversation held with Putin by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who expressed his solidarity with Russia's decisive actions in the face of the "destabilizing affronts of the European Union and NATO".
Maduro reiterated to his Russian counterpart the "firm disposition in favor of understanding and dialogue, as a way to preserve peace".