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Home中国Ukraine latest: Moscow Exchange suspends Swiss franc trading after new sanctions

Ukraine latest: Moscow Exchange suspends Swiss franc trading after new sanctions

The Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on Feb. 24 continues, with casualties mounting on both sides.

Ukrainian forces are putting up resistance in the east, where the focus of the war has shifted, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy regularly calls on the world to do more to help. Governments around the globe have imposed heavy sanctions against Moscow but have stopped short of direct intervention for fear of sparking a wider conflict.

Meanwhile, rising geopolitical risk and volatile energy and financial markets are rocking Asia.

For all our coverage, visit our Ukraine war page.

Read our in-depth coverage:

Ukraine spillover dominates discussion at Singapore security summit

China, India and Turkey to siphon more Russian oil ahead of EU ban

Turkey becomes magnet for Russians and Ukrainians alike

Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea demands a global response

Entries include material from wire services and other sources.

Note: Nikkei Asia on March 5 decided to temporarily suspend its reporting from Russia until further information becomes available regarding the scope of the revised criminal code.

Here are the latest developments:

Tuesday, June 14 (Tokyo time)

4:30 p.m. The Moscow Exchange says it will suspend trading of the Swiss franc against the ruble and the dollar from Tuesday after Switzerland adopted new EU sanctions against Russia. “The suspension of operations is due to difficulties conducting settlements in Swiss francs faced by market participants and the financial sector in connection with the restrictive measures imposed by Switzerland on June 10,” the Moscow Exchange said in a statement. Switzerland, which is not a member of the European Union, updated its sanctions package last Friday to match the EU’s latest restrictions against businesses, banks and individuals from Russia and Belarus.

8:44 a.m. Russian forces cut off the last routes for evacuating citizens from the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk, a Ukrainian official said, as the Kremlin pushed for victory in the Donbas region. The last bridge to the city was destroyed, trapping any remaining civilians and making it impossible to deliver humanitarian supplies, said regional governor Sergei Gaidai, adding that some 70% of the city was under Russian control. Ukraine has issued increasingly urgent calls for more Western heavy weapons to help defend Sievierodonetsk, which Kyiv says could hold the key to the battle for the eastern Donbas region and the course of the war, now in its fourth month.

5:09 a.m. The main goal of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is to protect the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, the Kremlin said after Denis Pushilin, the leader of the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk region of Ukraine, asked for additional forces from Moscow. Pushilin said earlier on Monday, “All necessary forces, including the allied ones, including the forces of the Russian Federation, will be involved in order to counter the enemy.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Russia’s RIA state news agency as saying, “In general, the protection of the republics is the main goal of the special military operation.”

A road sign apparently damaged by cluster munition is seen amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

  © Reuters

1:00 a.m. Russia’s relentless shelling of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv with cluster munitions and scatterable land mines amounts to a war crime that indiscriminately killed hundreds of civilians, Amnesty International says. Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv was under near-constant bombardment from the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 until Ukrainian forces pushed the Russians away from the city in May. Ukraine has said 606 civilians were killed there and 600,000 evacuated. Amnesty said that it had found during a 14-day investigation in April and early May evidence that Russia had used cluster munitions and scatterable mines in Kharkiv.

12:30 a.m. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says it is still possible for Sweden and Finland to overcome Turkey’s concerns over terrorism and arms sales “within a reasonable time” to advance their applications for membership in the alliance. Stoltenberg tells the Financial Times that Turkey’s opposition to the two countries membership bids was unexpected. “Earlier in the process, we had no reasons to believe there would be any problems,” he says. “The Turkish concerns are not new.” Turkey “is an important ally, and when an ally raises security concerns, we have to address them,” Stoltenberg adds.

Monday, June 13 (Tokyo time)

6:00 p.m. An industrial zone where about 500 civilians are sheltering is under heavy artillery fire from Russian forces, the regional governor says. Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine that includes Sievierodonetsk, says on Facebook that Russian forces control about 70% of the city and fighting there is fierce.

11:30 a.m. Business sentiment among major Japanese companies in the April-June period was negative for the second consecutive quarter as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drove oil prices higher, government data shows. The confidence index covering firms capitalized at 1 billion yen ($7.4 million) or more logged minus 0.9, compared with minus 7.5 in the January-March period, dragged down by a plunge in auto-related manufacturers at minus 25.4, according to the joint survey by the Finance Ministry and Cabinet Office. The sector was hit by a decrease in production due to parts supply shortages. The figures are calculated by subtracting the percentage of firms reporting worsening conditions from those seeing improvements.

9:40 a.m. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says Turkey has “legitimate concerns” over terrorism and other issues that need to be taken seriously. Turkey has accused Finland and Sweden of supporting Kurdish militants and says it will not back the Nordic nations’ NATO bid until they change their policies. Speaking at a joint news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Stoltenberg stressed that “no other NATO ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey” and pointed to its strategic geographic location with neighbors like Iraq and Syria.

1:56 a.m. Russian forces have blown up a bridge linking the embattled Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk to another city across the river, cutting off a possible evacuation route for civilians, local officials say. Sievierodonetsk has become the epicenter of the battle for control over Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

For earlier updates, click here.

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