FirstFT: Ukraine and Russia explore neutrality plan


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Ukraine and Russia have made significant progress on a peace plan that includes a ceasefire and a Russian withdrawal if kyiv declares neutrality and agrees to armed forces limits, according to five people briefed on the talks.

The 15-point plan would involve kyiv giving up its ambitions to join NATO and promising not to host foreign military bases or weapons in exchange for protecting allies such as the US, UK and Turkey, the people said.

However, the nature of Western guarantees for Ukraine’s security could prove to be an obstacle to any deal, as could the status of the country’s territories seized by Russia and its proxies in 2014.

It came as Joe Biden approved the delivery of US weapons systems to kyiv, including sophisticated armed drones, after Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded for increased military support to defend against the invasion. Russian.

Biden then called Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” for the first time.

The latest news from the Ukrainian war:

Follow our live blog and updated Maps for the latest news on the conflict. Send your comments on this newsletter to [email protected] Now for the rest of today’s news – Jennifer

1. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe returns to the UK Dual British-Iranian citizenship has returned after being held by Tehran nearly six years ago, which could boost Western diplomatic efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

2. Fed announces first rate hike since 2018 The US Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point in what officials have flagged as one of several hikes this year. Hikes are expected at the remaining six political meetings. The US stock market rebounded in response.

3. Oaktree Capital is preparing an offer for Chelsea The US asset manager is preparing the offer as the race to buy one of Europe’s biggest soccer clubs heats up after Roman Abramovich’s decades-long ownership ended.

4. The number of independent retailers in the UK is growing The number of independent retail businesses on high streets increased for the first time in five years in 2021, although chain stores have reduced their presence.

5. Lloyd’s of London imposes its biggest fine ever Underwriting group Atrium has been hit with a £1million fine for behavior including ‘systematic bullying’ and sexual harassment at an annual ‘boys night out’.

Summary of coronavirus

The day ahead

BoE decision on interest rates The Bank of England is set to tighten monetary policy to pre-Covid levels as it battles soaring inflation. In other economic data, Europe will release inflation figures for February.

UK online security bill details The government will unveil measures to tackle a range of online misdeeds, from bullying and fraud to child abuse, in a bid to force big tech companies to control their networks.

Turkish Foreign Minister in Kyiv Mevlut Cavusoglu will travel to the Ukrainian capital after meeting his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov yesterday in a bid to help broker a peace deal between the two sides.

NATO winter exercises The 23-member alliance plus Finland and Sweden will begin winter defensive exercises with around 30,000 troops in Norway during the Cold Response 2022 event to showcase NATO’s firepower.

What else we read and watch

How did an Amazon warehouse change the life of a city? Ten years after her groundbreaking investigation into the retail giant, Sarah O’Connor returns to a small British Midlands town called Rugeley – where a new economy was growing on top of the old – to find out what had changed. .

Will older investors ever embrace crypto? Wealthy millennials prefer cryptocurrencies, while few of their older peers hold them. This is starting to change as established institutions offer more access to digital currencies. But they must overcome security concerns.

Video: Will older investors ever embrace crypto?

Math skills oil the wheels of financial literacy The greatest service we could do for future financial literacy is to embed math skills in today’s students, writes Hilary Cooper. This article is the last part of the FT’s Financial Education and Inclusion Campaign.

Boris Johnson’s frustrated vision for Britain The British Prime Minister is often described as a lucky politician when it comes to his survival. Another view, however, is that his premiership was quite unlucky, hit by two huge existential crises, writes Robert Shrimsley.

The truth about fasting Proponents of intermittent fasting, a health practice that involves extending the time intervals between meals, say it makes you sharper and slows aging. Why has it become normal to starve ourselves for periods of time? And when does it become dangerous?

Art

A sculpture that sold for £5,200 at auction in 2002 turned out to be a lost work by Italian master Antonio Canova, commissioned by a British Prime Minister. He is now valued at between £5m and £8m.

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