FirstFT: Biden says Putin ‘will pay the price’ for invading Ukraine

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Joe Biden says Vladimir Putin will ‘pay the price’ for his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine while praising Ukrainian resilience and Western unity in the face of Europe’s worst security crisis since World War II .

The US president said the Russian “dictator” had miscalculated the West’s resolve by announcing tougher measures to further isolate Russia from the global economy, including shutting down its flights from US airspace.

“When the history of this era is written, Putin’s war on Ukraine will have weakened Russia and strengthened the rest of the world,” Biden said in a State of the Union address that was applauded by lawmakers on both sides of Congress.

The first part of the speech was devoted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Biden spent the rest of the time touting his domestic policies ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Meanwhile, in Kharkiv, a Russian missile struck a police headquarters this morning as the aerial bombardment of Ukraine’s second largest city continued. The regional governor said at least 21 people had been killed and 112 injured in the past 24 hours.

In Kyiv, residential areas to the east and west of the city were shelled overnight as a full-scale siege of Ukraine’s two largest cities now appeared to be underway.

The human cost of war is rising rapidly. According to the UN, 660,000 people have already fled Ukraine as the number of civilian casualties rises and Europe faces its biggest refugee crisis this century.

In other developments:

  • Energy: Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil markets, jumped to over $112 a barrel and European natural gas prices hit a record high. US oil major ExxonMobil said it would pull out of a major oil and gas project and stop investing in Russia, following in the footsteps of BP, Shell and Norway’s Equinor.

  • Business: Apple has suspended sales of its products in Russia and Boeing has said it will halt major operations as the exodus of Western companies from the country increases.

  • China: Beijing signaled it was ready to play a role in seeking a ceasefire in Ukraine as it “lamented” the outbreak of conflict in its most vocal comments to date on the war.

  • Cryptocurrency: Trading between the Russian ruble and crypto assets such as bitcoin and tether has doubled since the onslaught on Ukraine began, leading Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister to appeal to crypto exchanges to block trades. transactions from Russia.

  • Opinion: A war of choice against the children of a peaceful democracy is not something we can afford to forget, writes Martin Wolf.

Follow the latest developments on our live blog and you can also follow the conflict in the maps. Register to receive the essential newsletter from my colleague Valentina Pop, Europe Express, for the latest analyzes and reactions.

Thanks for reading FirstFT Americas and here’s the rest of the news from the day — Gordon

1. Ericsson’s Iraq crisis worsens The world’s largest telecoms equipment maker says the US Justice Department told it disclosures about its internal Iraq investigation were ‘insufficient’ ahead of a $1 billion settlement in 2019 for corruption .

2. Credit Suisse asks investors to destroy documents Credit Suisse has asked investors to destroy documents relating to the yachts and private jets of its wealthiest clients, in a bid to prevent the leak of information about a bank unit that provided loans to oligarchs who were then sanctioned.

3. Palantir technology to help reduce NHS elective care backlog Palantir, the controversial data analytics group best known for its ties to the defense and security industries, is rolling out software to the UK’s NHS to help reduce the backlog of 6 million patients in waiting for elective care.

4. Macron’s re-election chances boosted by war in Ukraine Emmanuel Macron is expected to confirm this week that he will be a candidate in next month’s French presidential election, with polls and political commentators suggesting the war in Ukraine has further cemented his status as a favourite.

5. Target offers a bullish outlook The Minneapolis-based retailer expects lower-to-mid-single-digit revenue growth in fiscal 2022, compared to analyst expectations of around 2.2%, and said chain bottlenecks of supply would gradually decrease.

The day ahead

OPEC+ meeting Saudi Arabia and others are expected to stick to planned supply increases when the oil cartel meets today. The meeting comes a day after the United States and other major energy-consuming countries agreed to tap 60 million barrels of oil from their emergency stockpiles to address fears of stockpiles depletion. The Energy Source bulletin contains more information on the impact of the war in Ukraine on the world’s oil supply.

Testimony of Jay Powell The Federal Reserve Chairman testifies before Congress in what will likely be his last public remarks on monetary policy before the U.S. central bank begins raising interest rates to tackle decades-high inflation. In addition, the Fed publishes its latest economic outlook.

Tariff Ruling Canada The Bank of Canada will make an interest rate decision, analysts expect a rise of 25 basis points as the central bank becomes more decisive in withdrawing stimulus policy. (fitch ratings)

What else we read

Political risks revive commodity markets The Russian invasion of Ukraine has driven up the prices of everything from oil to wheat and aluminum, and highlighted the threat of raw materials becoming a weapon of foreign policy. And the political risks keep mounting.

Will Japan bet on esports? Gambling in Japan is only legal for a select group of activities. But a debate over esports comes from technology and the pandemic conspiring to transform the way entertainment is consumed.

Is paternity leave the key to professional equality? It is traditionally the mothers who have to take time off work to take care of the children. But over the past two years, the pandemic has accelerated a huge shift towards many more fathers wanting to take an active role in family life.

Travel

Can you be an explorer in the 21st century? For Benedict Allen, a lifetime of travel hasn’t been about planting flags and staking claims, but about leaving his own culture behind.

Benedict Allen participating in a voodoo ritual in Haiti in 2004 © Benedict Allen

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