Top news of the day, March 17
Russia’s unrecognized International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Putin
The Pre-trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) not recognized by Russia on Friday, March 17, issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and children’s ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova in connection with the events in Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry explained that ICC decisions are “legally void”. “Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and does not bear obligations under it. Russia does not cooperate with this body, and possible “recipes” for arrest coming from the International Court will be legally null and void for us,” said the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova.
Turkey begins ratification process for Finland’s NATO membership bid
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the country’s parliament has begun the process of ratifying Finland’s application to join the North Atlantic Alliance. head of state notedthat Ankara saw “sincere and decisive steps on the part of Helsinki to fulfill the obligations” taken before Turkey to join NATO.
India introduced a restriction on the stay of Russian tourists
The Indian authorities have imposed restrictions on the stay of Russian tourists in the country. Maximum duration stays can now not exceed 180 days in any one calendar year. The period of continuous stay in India for Russian citizens on electronic tourist visas should not exceed 90 days.
Putin replaced the head of the Smolensk region
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree appointing Vasily Anokhin as Acting Governor of the Smolensk Region. The relevant document has been published writes TASS. By the same decree, Aleksey Ostrovsky, who had been in charge of the region since 2012, was dismissed from the post of head of the region.
Xi Jinping to pay a state visit to Russia on March 20-22
At the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, on March 20-22, 2023, Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Russia. During policy negotiations discuss topical issues of further development of relations between Russia and China, as well as strategic interaction between the two countries.
The Central Bank of the Russian Federation has kept the key rate at 7.5%
The Central Bank of Russia kept the key rate at 7.5% per annum for the fourth time in a row. The regulator noted that the current price growth rates remain moderate, including in terms of sustainable components. “Inflation expectations of the population have declined significantly, but remain at an elevated level, as are the price expectations of enterprises. Operational data indicate a continuing recovery in business and consumer activity,” – told at the Bank of Russia.
LNG supplies from Russia to China hit a record in 2022
Last year, China increased its oil purchases from Russia by 8%, while liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments reached a record. This was announced by the Ambassador of China to the Russian Federation Zhang Hanhui. He noted that in 2022, China purchased 86.25 million tons of oil from the Russian side. The volume of LNG supplies from Russia, in turn, amounted to over 6.5 million tons. As for the annual volume of deliveries via the eastern branch of the Sino-Russian gas pipeline, it has reached a record high of 11.5 billion cubic meters, Hanhui said.