After a perfunctory debate, the presidents and prime ministers quickly approved sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and some of Russia’s biggest banks. Talk of barring Russia from the global financial messaging system known as SWIFT, however, stalled amid skepticism on the part of Scholz and the leaders of Austria, Italy and Cyprus, according to officials familiar with the deliberations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive negotiations.Then Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky dialed into the meeting via teleconference with a bracing appeal that left some of the world-weary politicians with watery eyes. In just five minutes, Zelensky — speaking from the battlefield of Kyiv — pleaded with European leaders for an honest assessment of his country’s ambition to join the European Union and for genuine help in its fight with the Russian invaders. Ukraine needed its neighbors to step up with food, ammunition, fuel, sanctions, all of it.
“It was extremely, extremely emotional,” said a European official briefed on the call. “He was essentially saying, ‘Look, we are here dying for European ideals.’” Before ending the video call, Zelensky told the gathering matter-of-factly that it might be the last time they saw him alive, according to a senior European official who was present.
Today we’re talking to Ian Bremmer, President of Eurasia Group, about what’s unfolding in Ukraine. Needless to say, we’re not experts in geopolitics so it will be nice to hear from someone who is. We’ll do our best to synthesize the flood of information that’s come out over the last 72 hours to help make sense of what this might mean for the global economy and your portfolios.
I know this is obvious, but I feel the need to say it anyway; Lives are being lost. Families are being destroyed. None of us can imagine what it’s like to be an innocent civilian of Ukraine or Russia right now. I’m typing this from the safety of my keyboard. But I’m going to continue to look at what this means for the economy and markets because that’s my job. Along with everyone else, I hope this gets better before it gets worse.
This is a thread to keep track of the economic fallout from this weekend's announced economic penalties for Putin and Russia.
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— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) February 28, 2022
"Brent’s six-month backwardation has climbed to more than $11 per barrel, the highest since September–October 1990 following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait… consistent with a market expected to be severely under-supplied with a further depletion of inventories." — @JKempEnergy
— Cardiff Garcia (@CardiffGarcia) February 28, 2022
— Marc Rubinstein (@MarcRuby) February 26, 2022