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UPDATE: G7 to Monitor Russian Transactions in Cryptocurrencies

  • Representation of bitcoin with an image of Moscow in the background.

    Representation of bitcoin with an image of Moscow in the background. | Photo: Twitter/ @24NewsHD

Published 2 March 2022

This intergovernmental organization is made up of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

On Feb. 25, President Vladimir Putin ordered the deployment of a special military operation to protect the Russian-speaking population of the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. Below are the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine conflict as they unfold.


Russia and Ukraine Await New Round of Negotiations

March 2

G7 countries will monitor Russian transactions in cryptocurrencies. Germany's Finance Minister Christian Lindner announced that the Group of Seven (G7) is looking for ways to prevent people or companies sanctioned by the West from using cryptocurrencies to circumvent the measures implemented.

The G7 is an intergovernmental organization made up of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

Georgia to apply for EU membership. On Wednesday, the ruling Georgian Dream Party chairman Irakli Kobakhidze announced that his country will officially apply for the European Union (EU) membership on Thursday. Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has already been preparing the application for EU candidate status.

“Given a general political context and a new reality, the application for EU candidate status will be officially submitted to the EU structures on behalf of the Georgian government,” Kobakhidze said.

Georgia is located at the intersection of Europe and Asia. This former Soviet republic lies on the coast of the Black Sea and is bordered by Russia, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. It joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1994.

The European Union seeks to restrict Belarus' foreign trade. Arguing that Minsk is helping the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the European Council (EC) decided to sanction over 70 percent of Belarusian exports. Trade restrictions will apply to items such as tobacco, minerals, bituminous substances, certain hydrocarbons, potash, wood, cement, steel, and rubber.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) requires Russia to cease military operations. With the favorable vote of 141 out of 193 countries, the UNGA approved a resolution demanding Russia to "immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all its military forces" from Ukraine.

The resolution also condemns Russia's decision to increase the alertness of its nuclear forces. Five countries voted against that resolution and 35 nations abstained, including China.

Russia hopes the talks will define conditions for the Ukainian demilitarization. During an interview with Al-Jazeera on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed that his country will seek the demilitarization of Ukraine during the talks to take place in Belarus on Thursday.

"Crimea is part of Russia. The Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics should be recognized within the borders of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. There is a need for demilitarization and there should be settings for it, which are yet to be agreed on. No weapons that can threaten Russia's security should remain there," Lavrov pointed out, as reported by TASS.

Russian Defense Ministry publishes data on casualties. Military authorities announced that 498 Russian servicemen have been killed and 1,597 soldiers have been wounded since the special operation in Ukraine began on February 24.

"The declared goals of the operation are the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, as well as defense of the Donbass republics," they also mentioned, as reported by Sputnik.

The talks between Russia and Ukraine are postponed for a few hours. According to information from Russia Today (RT), the second round of talks between Ukrainian and Russian delegates will take place on the morning of Thursday, February 3, instead of Wednesday night. And this is because the Ukrainian delegates will arrive in Belarus tomorrow.

Luxembourg Minister regrets having spoken of physically eliminating Putin. On Wednesday, Luxembourg Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Asselborn apologized for expressing his desire to have Russian President Vladimir Putin "physically" eliminated.

"It would be all we could ever want for him, for him to really be physically eliminated, for this to stop," he said in a live interview on the local public radio 100.7 radio.

Shortly thereafter, Asselborn sent out a statement stating, "My reaction to whether a 'solution' could be found was that the Ukrainian war can only be stopped if Putin's actions can be stopped. I can't see it any other way. The words 'physically eliminate' just rolled off my tongue."

The U.S. will investigate Russian businessmen. The U.S. Justice Department will prosecute those whom Washington calls "corrupt Russian oligarchs" and anyone who violates the sanctions adopted against Moscow.

The European Union (EU) increased its black list of sanctions. The EU official newspaper of published a list of 22 senior commanders of the Belarusian armed forces who will be subject to sanctions for allegedly supporting Russian military operations in Ukraine.

WHO wants to set a safe corridor for health supply. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) reiterated the "urgent need" to establish a safe corridor to facilitate the arrival of health material in Ukraine. The WTO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that the first shipment of health material has already left Dubai and will arrive in Poland on Thursday. This material could cover the needs of around 150,000 people.

The WHO used US$5.2 million from its emergency fund to provide aid to the Ukrainian population. However, another US$45 million will be needed for the next three months.

Russian Troops Control Kherson City. The Russian soldiers have completely taken Kherson, the EFE agency holds based on testimonies. Previously, the Russian Defense Ministry also stated that its troops had taken control of Kherson, a city located along the Dnieper River and on the shores of the Black Sea.

"There are Russian armored vehicles on every corner," a witness told EFE, adding that "everyone in Kherson needs help: medicine and food."

Moldova receives the first international aid package for refugees. Moldavia's Interior Minister Ana Revenco announced that her country received tents, beds, pillows and food for some 51,000 Ukrainian refugees who have remained in Moldovan territory since February 24. 

This announcement coincides with the visit to Chisinau -the capital of Moldova- of the EU's High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell, who is traveling accompanied by the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi.

Russia conducts military operations in Kharkiv and Mariupol pending negotiations. Russian troops carry out military operations in the cities of Kharkov and Mariupol on Wednesday, waiting to see if a new negotiating round is confirmed for today, for which Moscow says it is ready and Ukraine does not confirm. According to the Ukrainian authorities, four people were killed and nine citizens were injured in Kharkov, where explosions were reported in the central area 1.5 kilometers from Freedom Square.

In the early morning, Russia launched airborne troops that seized the train station and the river port. Meanwhile, fighting continues between Ukrainian and Russian forces for control of Mariupol. Hours earlier, the pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk claimed to have blocked this city, on the shores of the Sea of ​​Azov, according to the militia's representative, Eduard Basurin.

Russian troops also control Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine with about 300,000 inhabitants and located on the Dnieper River and the Black Sea.

Number of Ukrainian refugees increases by 160,000 in the last 24 hours. The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine for neighboring countries rose further to almost 836,000 people as of March 1, according to a census by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. This is a jump of almost 160,000 people compared to the figure of 677,000 advanced on March 1 by the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, during an emergency appeal to finance humanitarian aid for the country and the people who fled from the battles.

Russia ratifies opposition to nuclear weapons in Ukraine. On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that his country would not allow Ukraine to obtain nuclear weapons. According to the Russian diplomat, Ukraine would be following Washington's instructions and "playing the clock" in the negotiations with Russia. Lavrov also warned that a third world war would be nuclear and destructive.

Ukrainian shelling continues in Donetsk. The buildings of the Municipal Hospital No. 21, School No. 71, and the Delfin sports center were damaged during the Ukrainian army's shelling in the Kuibyshevskyi district of Donetsk, according to the city's mayor, Alexey Kulemzin. No victims were recorded.


Sergey Lavrov
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