© Reuters. U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, Iceland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, meet to discuss how to help Ukraine defend itself
(Reuters) – The European Union vowed to increase pressure on Moscow “until Ukraine is liberated” as it adopted a tenth package of sanctions on Russia on Saturday.
DIPLOMACY AND SANCTIONS
* Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he held a long conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Friday, the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of its neighbour.
* French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday he will visit China in early April, in part to seek Chinese help with ending Russia’s invasion.
* China called on Friday for a comprehensive ceasefire and gradual de-escalation in a 12-point paper. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy welcomed some elements of the Chinese proposal but said only the country where a war is being fought should be the initiator of a peace plan.
* U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday he saw nothing in the Chinese plan “that would be beneficial to anyone other than Russia”.
* The United States marked the anniversary of the invasion with $2 billion in weaponry for Kyiv and new sanctions against Russia aimed at undermining Moscow’s ability to wage war.
* Russia has halted supplies of oil to Poland via the Druzhba pipeline, Daniel Obajtek, chief executive officer of Polish refiner PKN Orlen, said on Saturday.
* Ukraine’s military said on Friday that Russia had doubled the number of ships on active duty in the Black Sea and predicted this could be a preparation for more missile strikes.
* Russia said its forces continued to attack in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on Friday, killing up to 240 Ukrainian soldiers over the past 24 hours.
* Reuters could not immediately confirm battlefield claims.
* “This is how it began on Feb. 24, 2022,” Zelenskiy said on Friday. “The longest day of our lives. The most difficult day in our recent history. We woke up early and haven’t slept since.”
* Ukrainians honoured their dead and vowed to fight on, while Russia said it was making battlefield gains in the east as its invasion entered a second year on Friday with no end in sight.
* In Moscow, there was a mixture of defiance and some sadness but no major public events to mark the anniversary.
* TIMELINE- Major developments since Russia’s invasion
* Ukraine’s Zelenskiy has defied Putin against the odds
* Putin, secure in power, has set the stage for long war
* A year on, Ukraine and its government have not just survived. They’ve fought back.
* Toughened by war’s scars, Kyiv presses on
* Graphics of a year of war in the markets: How the dollar, energy and food prices swirled
* Russian economy holds up but the road back to prosperity may be long
* Moscow’s decades-old gas ties with Europe lie in ruins
* Top brands pull out of Russia, but goods easy to find
* Can U.S. support for Ukraine last?
* External backers pour billions into Ukraine
* How has China stood by ‘no limits’ partner Russia?
* A year into war, older refugees running out of hope
* Life and death in Mariupol – a survivor’s tale of war
* Family mourns Bucha victim who became symbol of war
Learn more about the Ukraine war. Listen to a special episode of the Reuters World News Podcast.