Russia’s economic decline deepens; Putin warns Moscow could pull out of grain deal again

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Ukraine’s First Lady urges West to provide more weapons before winter

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Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska on Wednesday called on Western leaders to offer more military aid as the country continues to defend itself against an attack from Russia.

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Zelenska urged the international community not to tire of war, saying that the Allies should fight the aggressor together.

“I understand that these are outside the duties of the First Ladies, but we are already out of normal protocol because of the war., Zelenska told CNBC’s Karen Tso, according to a translation.

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“Ukraine needs more weapons, more military support,” she said, especially for air defense missiles.

— Karen Gilchrist

Russia’s economic fall deepens in September

Russia’s monthly economic slowdown continued into September and GDP declined 5% year over year, according to the latest data from Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development. Reported by state news agency Interfax.

Economic output fell by 4% year-on-year in August and 4.3% in July, following a slump in September.

According to the ministry, the decline in Russia’s GDP in the third quarter of 2022 was 4.4% year-on-year, after a 4.1% decline in the second quarter and 3.5% growth in the first quarter.

Russia has been laboring under the weight of international sanctions on key sectors, businesses and individuals for months following its invasion of Ukraine, although it was subject to other economic sanctions before the war for other reasons, including alleged US election interference, cyber attacks. and included its annexes. Crimea in 2014

Inflation remains high at 12.9% in October, with Russian consumers facing a substantial cost of living, although it is gradually declining after the central bank raised interest rates to cope with the price hike. (Inflation in August was 14.3%).

Russia has asserted that its economy is capable of overcoming the challenges posed by sanctions and, as a major oil and gas exporter, exports of those goods generate revenue streams for economic partners in Asia, particularly India and China. able to maintain.

Nevertheless, Western agencies such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the IMF and the World Bank It is expected that Russia’s economic fallout this year will be significant, Between them, he has estimated that Russia’s GDP could fall at least 5.5% in the best-case scenario to about 9% in the worst-case scenario.

Interfax reported that Russia’s ministry has projected that Russia’s economic output will decline by 2.9% in 2022 and 0.8% in 2023, before increasing by 2.6% in 2024 and 2025.

— Holly Eliot

Russian military leaders reportedly considering using strategic nooks in Ukraine

CNBC’s Shep Smith looks at reports that Russian military leaders recently discussed the possibility of using a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine.

Putin confirms restart of Black Sea Grains Initiative, but says Russia may backtrack again

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that despite Russia’s withdrawal in the Black Sea Grains Initiative, Ukraine reserves the “right to withdraw” from the deal if its guarantees are not met.

Russia suspended its participation in the grain deal over the weekend after Ukraine claimed a drone strike on its Black Sea fleet in Crimea. Ukraine did not claim responsibility for the attack, which some Ukrainian officials blamed on Russian soldiers mishandling their weapons.

“We have sought assurances and guarantees from Ukraine that nothing like this will happen in the future,” Putin said in a meeting with the permanent members of the Russian Security Council.

“I have instructed the Defense Ministry to restore its full participation in this work,” he said. “At the same time, Russia reserves the right to withdraw from these agreements if these guarantees are breached by Ukraine.”

At the start of the war, Russia relied on its Black Sea Fleet to launch missiles deep into Ukraine, but the fleet returned to a defensive position after a series of embarrassing attacks this spring by Ukrainian forces.

Before last weekend’s drone strike, analysts noted that Russia is already laying the groundwork for rhetoric to withdraw from the deal, before reversing course this week.

Grain is vital to feeding populations in some of the world’s poorest countries, and a return to a complete blockade could bring famine to millions of people in Asia and the Middle East.

If Russia withdraws from the deal in the future, Putin is committed to distributing “the full amount” of grain “free” from Ukraine to the poorest countries.

— Rocio Fabro

Agricultural shipments from Ukraine continue as grain deals reopen

Video Credits: Buraq Kara | Getty Images

Bulk carrier Asal Tia is shown crossing Turkey’s Bosphorus Strait on Wednesday carrying 39,000 metric tons of sunflower meal from Ukraine. The ship is heading towards China.

Russia on Tuesday joined a deal to secure passage of grain shipments from Ukraine, which Russia invaded in February. Russia has severely disrupted Ukraine’s agricultural production and was blocking outgoing ships before the deal. The deal was signed by Turkey and the United Nations.

The Kremlin said Ukraine had abandoned the deal over the weekend after attacking warships from its Black Sea Fleet. But the loaded cargo sailed anyway and Moscow rejoined the deal on Wednesday.

Ukraine is one of the world’s largest grain exporters, with Asia, Africa and the countries dependent on its food shipments.

— Ted Kempo

Turkey’s Erdogan tells Zelensky to increase diplomatic effort to end war

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call to step up diplomatic efforts to end the war.

“President Erdogan said that based on an understanding that would lead to the full restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, diplomatic efforts should be stepped up to end the war with an appropriate solution,” Turkey’s Presidential Official Reads a post from Twitter account.

Erdogan also stressed the importance of Ukrainian and Russian grain exports, underscoring the importance of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. In the same call, Zelensky thanked Erdogan for his “active participation in preserving the grain deal” in a Telegram post.

Turkey played a key role in brokering a UN-backed deal in July and ending Russia’s suspension of the deal this week.

— Rocio Fabro

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:

Russia resumes its participation in the grain export deal; Ukraine’s energy infrastructure ‘severely damaged’

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