Timeframe: March 26th to April 1st, 2022
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power”
Senior U.S. officials intensified attempts to clarify President Joe Biden’s call for the removal of Vladimir Putin following criticism that the U.S. president is further inflaming tension with Russia. French President Emmanuel Macron and the U.K. government distanced themselves from Biden’s comment, which capped a speech in Warsaw to rally support for Ukraine against Russia. “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden said. Watch his speech here. Meanwhile, Chinese companies and government officials are rushing to find out how to comply with U.S. sanctions on Russia; Russian tankers are increasingly concealing their movements, and the country is facing a deep two-year recession.
Russian TV figures sanctioned by the UK
A Russian TV anchor and the managing director of state-backed news channel RT are among the latest figures to be sanctioned by the UK government.
2. Economics & Business
Germany and Austria take step towards gas rationing
Russia had demanded “unfriendly” countries pay for its gas in roubles from 31 March, but the EU, which mainly pays in euros, rejected the idea.
But Germany and Austria have taken the first steps toward gas rationing. Germany urged consumers and companies to reduce consumption in anticipation of possible shortages, while Austria said it was tightening its monitoring of the gas market.
UK Retail sales fall in February as Covid restrictions ease
UK retail sales fell by 0.3% in February as online sales fell and stormy weather deterred some shoppers.
Falls in alcohol and tobacco sales may have been linked to increased confidence in going out to pubs and restaurants, the Office for National Statistics said.
Ukraine conflict: Russia to allow unauthorized imports from the West
The West’s response to Russia’s war has prompted a surge in inflation.
The prime minister said until now goods could not be sold in Russia without the trademark owner’s authorization.
The aim of letting retailers import products without the companies’ permission, he explained, was to saturate the market so that people had fast access to necessary goods, guaranteeing supply despite the “unfriendly actions of foreign politicians”.
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