the highlights of Monday 7 March

On the twelfth day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin’s forces continue the siege of the port city of Mariupol, which is still resisting. Kiev remains under Ukrainian control despite heavy bombing. Kharkiv, the second Ukrainian city, has been hit harder and harder by bombs and is now surrounded.

The third round of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations ended with some “Positive Results” on the humanitarian corridors, a member of the Ukrainian delegation announced. Another bell probe on the Russian side: the session didn’t work “met expectations” from Moscow.

Several Ukrainian cities bombed

The front lines have moved little in the past 24 hours. Kiev remains under Ukrainian control, as does Kharkiv (northeast), despite heavy Russian bombing, which notably hit a sports complex of a local university and civilian buildings.

At least 13 people were killed in a bombing raid on Makariv, a town located on one of the main axes leading from the west to Kiev. The bombs hit an industrial bakery where about 30 people were sitting, Ukrainian emergency services said.

Russian missiles fired from the sea also fell on the village of Tuzly, in the Odessa region, a strategic port on the Black Sea, according to the Ukrainian army. The city of Odessa is undoubtedly one of the next goals of the Russians. According to the head of the military administration of the region, Dmitry Jivitsky, new fighting also took place near Sumy, in the northeast. “there are dead”he wrote on Telegram.

The UN lists 406 killed and 801 injured since the start of the war in Ukraine, according to a new balance (in English) released on Monday.

Kiev refuses the humanitarian corridors offered by Moscow to Belarus and Russia

The Russian army has announced the opening of several humanitarian corridors and the imposition of local ceasefires to evacuate civilians from the cities of Kiev, Kharkov (northeast), Mariupol (southeast) and Sumy (northeast). But half of these corridors lead to Russia or Belarus. The Ukrainian government immediately refused these evacuations. Emmanuel Macron denounced “moral and political cynicism” of this proposal from Vladimir Putin.

A third round of Russo-Ukrainian negotiations also took place in Belarus, mainly focusing on humanitarian corridors. They ended up with a pair at the end of the day “Positive Results” Certainly “logistics”, Mykhaïlo Podoliak, member of the Ukrainian delegation, announced on Twitter. But these discussions have not “met expectations” from Moscow, the Russian representative at these talks, Vladimir Medinsky, lamented. “We hope we can take a bigger step forward next time”he added during a press conference.

EU is examining applications from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova

The European Union has started processing membership applications from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, the French Presidency of the Council of the EU has announced. The three countries submitted their request after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The European Commission will have to issue an official opinion and the 27 will then have to decide whether to grant the candidates candidate country status, after long and complex negotiations.

Ukrainian president calls on Europeans to integrate his country “without delay” but there is no emergency procedure. Integration into the EU is a long-term process to bring candidate country legislation closer to European law. For example, it took the European Commission two years to issue its opinion following Romania’s application for accession.

Russia draws up a list of “enemy” countries, including France

The Russian authorities have drawn up a list of countries “violent” to Russia, where Russian individuals and companies can repay their debts in rubles, a currency whose value has fallen by 45% since January. This list of countries includes the countries of the European Union, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Monaco, South Korea, the United States, Switzerland, and Japan.

This text has been prepared in response to a presidential decree of Friday, which in vague terms a “preliminary procedure” pay off debt “against certain foreign creditors”† A debtor can now ask a Russian bank to create a special account in rubles in the name of the foreign creditor and send him a payment in ruble equivalent, at the exchange rate of the central bank of that day.