With that it's a wrap to the LIVE updates on the war between Russia and Ukraine for tonight. Do join us tomorrow for the top developments as tensions continue to grow between Moscow and the rest of the world. Until then, stay tuned to CNBCTV18.com for more news, views and other updates. Good night!
Russian foreign minister Lavrov may visit India within a week
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is likely to visit India in the next one week and the key focus is expected to be discussions on a payment system for New Delhi's procurement of oil and military hardware from Moscow, people familiar with the developments said on Monday. It would be the highest-level visit from Russia to India after Moscow launched its military offensive against Ukraine on February 24. There has been no official word on the proposed visit either by the Ministry of External Affairs or by the Russian Foreign Ministry. There has been a flurry of high-level visits to India in the last few weeks including by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland and foreign ministers of Austria and Greece. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is scheduled to visit India on Thursday. On Lavrov's proposed visit, the people cited above said the main focus is likely to be a payment system for India's procurement of Russian crude oil and military hardware.
Russian billionaire Abramovich, Ukrainian peace negotiators hit by suspected poisoning: Report
Sanctioned Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and Ukrainian peace negotiators suffered symptoms of suspected poisoning earlier this month after a meeting in Kyiv, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. Abramovich, who accepted a Ukrainian request to help negotiate an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and at least two senior members of the Ukrainian team, were affected, the WSJ report said. Their symptoms included red eyes, constant and painful tearing, and peeling skin on their faces and hands, the WSJ report added. Abramovich and the Ukrainian negotiators, including Crimean Tatar lawmaker Rustem Umerov, have since improved and their lives are not in danger, WSJ reported.
After Carslberg, Heineken join exodus from Russia
Brewing giants Carlsberg and Heineken said on Monday they would quit Russia, joining an exodus of Western companies as pressure grows on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has urged international companies to turn their backs on the Russian market after the launch last month of what Moscow termed a "special military operation" against its neighbour. read more For Carlsberg, the Western brewer most exposed to Russia, the exit would result in a "substantial non-cash impairment charge" this year, it said without providing further details. The company holds a 27% share of the local market through its ownership of the country's biggest brewer, Baltika.
Ukraine intelligence publishes names of 620 alleged Russian agents
Ukraine's military intelligence on Monday published the names and contact details of 620 people it alleged were officers of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) involved in "criminal activities" in Europe. Reuters could not verify the information. Russia did not immediately comment on the list of names. In a post in Russian on its official website, the intelligence arm of the Ukrainian defence ministry listed people it said were FSB employees registered at the agency's headquarters in Moscow. "Employees of the FSB of Russia involved in the criminal activities of the aggressor-state in Europe," it said, without sharing further details on the alleged crimes. It provided the names under a photo of the Moscow headquarters of the FSB, a successor to the Soviet-era KGB security police.
Ukrainian forces retake town of Sumy from Russia, says US official
The United States assesses that Ukrainian forces have retaken the town of Trostyanets, south of Sumy, from Russian forces, a senior U.S. defense official said on Monday. "The Ukrainians are continuing to try to take back ground," the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity. Meanwhile, Ukraine is prepared to declare its neutrality and consider a compromise on contested areas in the country's east, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said ahead of another round of talks set for Tuesday on stopping the fighting. But he said only a face-to-face meeting with Russia's leader can end the war.
Brewer Carlsberg pulls out of Russia over Ukraine war
Danish brewery group Carlsberg said Monday it is pulling out of Russia, hours after its competitor, Dutch brewing giant Heineken, did the same, citing Moscows ongoing war against Ukraine. In a statement, the Copenhagen-based group said it had taken the difficult and immediate decision to seek a full disposal of our business in Russia, which we believe is the right thing to do in the current environment. Carlsberg fully owns Baltika Breweries, one of the largest brewing concerns in Russia and the biggest exporter of Russian beer. The Danish brewer generates around 10% of its sales in Russia, where has about 8,400 staff who will be laid off. The Danish brewer's CEO, Cees t Hart, said that the decision means Carlsberg will have no presence in Russia," and the business in its vast Russian market will no longer be included in Carlsberg's revenue and operating profit. The business will be treated as an asset held for sale until completion of the disposal.
India not considering buying Russian oil in rupee: Minister
India has no plans to pay in rupees for the Russian oil its public sector companies buy, Parliament was informed on Monday. India buys less than one per cent of its total oil imports from Russia. But western sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine have given way to talk of a rupee trade for the oil and gas purchases. "At present, oil public sector undertakings neither have any contract nor is any such proposal under consideration from Russia or any other country for the purchase of crude oil in Indian rupees," Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. He did not elaborate. State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has bought two parcels or shiploads of distressed Russian oil through traders at deep discounts. IOC bought 3 million barrels in each trade through European trader Vitol. Separately, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) bought two million barrels of Russian crude Urals through a trader.
Armenia urges Russia to make Azeri troops leave in Karabakh flare-up
Armenia said on Monday it expected Russia to take action to make Azerbaijan withdraw troops from an area of Nagorno-Karabakh policed by Russian peacekeepers where tensions are rising in a bitter territorial row. Azeri troops in 2020 drove ethnic Armenian forces out of swathes of territory they had controlled since the 1990s in and around Nagorno-Karabakh before Russia brokered a ceasefire and deployed peacekeepers. On Saturday, Moscow said Azerbaijan had breached the agreement by allowing its soldiers into an area of the region near the village of Farrukh, but that Azerbaijan had withdrawn them by Sunday. Armenia's Foreign Ministry called on Monday for an investigation into the actions of Russia's peacekeeping force during the incursion and published two Russian Defence Ministry maps that it said showed Azerbaijan's troops were still present. "We expect Russian peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh to take concrete measures to stop the incursion of Azeri units into the peacekeepers' area of responsibility and the withdrawal of Russian armed forces," it said in a statement.
EU seeks end to golden passport schemes, halt to sales of visas to Russians
The European Commission called on EU governments on Monday to end national programmes to sell citizenship to investors, also known as golden passports schemes, and urged them to suspend the sale of visas to Russians and Belarusians. The move follows a new push from the European Parliament to shrink and regulate the multi-billion-euro citizenship and visa industry which lawmakers consider a security risk. It comes amid concerns that people hit by European Union sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine may be holders of EU golden visas or passports. "Some Russian or Belarusian nationals who are subject to sanctions or are significantly supporting the war in Ukraine might have acquired EU citizenship or privileged access to the EU, including to travel freely in the Schengen area, under these schemes," the European Commission said on Monday.
Some mayors abducted by Russia have died, says Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told The Economist in an interview that some mayors who were abducted from his country have been killed. “(Russians) are kidnapping the mayors of our cities. Some of them we cannot find. Some of them we have already found, and they are dead,” Zelensky said. Earlier, the president had said that his government was "carefully" considering a Russian demand of Ukrainian "neutrality". This has been a bone of contention as high ranking negotiators prepare for a fresh round of peace talks, to end the war that has been ongoing for over a month.
Russia wants deal clarified before talks begin
Russia's foreign minister says the presidents of Russia and Ukraine could meet for talks only after the key elements of a potential deal are negotiated. Sergey Lavrov said Monday that the meeting is necessary once we have clarity regarding solutions on all key issues. Lavrov's comments follow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's statement that he's ready to discuss Ukraine's neutrality and security guarantees with Russian President Vladimir Putin to secure peace without delay. Zelenskyy added that only a face-to-face meeting with Russia's leader could end the war. Russian and Turkish negotiators are set to hold another round of talks in Istanbul, Turkey on Tuesday to try to draft an agreement. Speaking in an online interview with Serbian media, Lavrov alleged that Ukraine only want to imitate talks while Russia needs specific results that would be secured by the countries' leaders.
Joint EU team to probe Ukraine war crimes
European Union judicial coordination agency Eurojust says it has helped Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine to establish a joint investigation team to probe war crimes, crimes against humanity and other crimes committed in Ukraine. The Hague-based agency said Monday that the three nations signed an agreement on Friday establishing the team. Eurojust says it provided legal and technical support. Eurojust says the main aim of the team is to support the gathering of evidence and its swift and secure exchange between partners, as well as the transmission of information and evidence. Eurojust adds that the team will help the three nations cooperate with International Criminal Court prosecution office, which also has opened an investigation in Ukraine. Within the first month of Russia's war against Ukraine, Polish prosecutors said they had collected some 300 witness testimonies from refugees pouring over the border. Joint investigation teams help nations pool resources and knowledge during complex international investigations. The Netherlands and other countries set up such a team to investigate the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.
SriLankan Airlines suspends flights to Moscow
Sri Lanka's national carrier SriLankan Airlines on Monday suspended its flights to Moscow until further notice, citing operational restrictions that are outside of the airline's control following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The airline maintained two weekly flights between Colombo and Moscow. SriLankan Airlines announces the suspension of operations between Sri Lanka and Moscow, Russia with effect from today (March 28) due to operational restrictions that are outside of the airline's control," the airline said in a statement. The restrictions are in the form of international financial and aircraft insurance limits which have been imposed on Russia due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, and directly impact SriLankan Airlines' flight operations to Russia, it said. Accordingly, SriLankan Airlines will cease operations to Moscow until further notice, the statement said. The airline said that it will continue to monitor the situation in Russia, and hopes to restart operations once conditions improve.