What matters on Wednesday, March 2

Russia bombed a TV tower in Kyiv and rained rockets on Kharkiv yesterday as Moscow intensified its bombardment of Ukrainian urban areas in a shift of tactics after its six-day invasion stalled.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the EU ‘not to let Ukraine down’ and promised that the EU would be stronger with Ukraine. Speaking by a video link at the European Parliament’s plenary session dedicated to the Russian-Ukrainian war, Zelenskyy called on the EU lawmakers to ‘prove you are with us, prove that you won’t let us down, prove that you are European too.’

Another round of peace talks between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations will be held today, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, reiterated his call for a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine. President Erdogan called on both Moscow and Kyiv to ‘make a positive contribution to world peace’ in a joint press conference held with his Kosovar counterpart Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu in the capital Ankara. Turkey and Kosovo signed three cooperation agreements in different fields.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar spoke by phone with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine, according to a statement from the Turkish Defense Ministry. Akar also stressed the urgent need for a cease-fire to improve the humanitarian situation there, including evacuations.

The initial impacts of the U.S. and EU’s economic sanctions have been seen in the Turkish ready-wear industry operating in Ukraine and Russia. 24 Turkish ready wear brands closed their 267 stores and 180 sales points in Ukraine while an uneasy waiting period has begun for the ready wear companies that operate 655 stores and 2,556 sales points in Russia. The United Brands Association (BMD), which is the umbrella organization for the Turkish brands that operate a total of 922 stores in Russia and Ukraine, will hold a meeting about the situation of the stores in the two countries today. “Now, problems related to Russia have increased following the conflict with Ukraine. Transfer of money and goods has stopped. We will assess the situation and prepare a roadmap at the meeting,” said Sinan Oncel, Chairman of the BMD.


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will convene with deputies at AK Party headquarters (11.00 am).

Trade Minister Mehmet Mus will announce foreign trade figures for February (11.30 am).

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will brief parliament about the Russia-Ukraine war (2.00 pm).

The Central Bank will release the foreign exchange (FX) levels and liabilities of non-financial companies (2.30).


>> Ukraine: The first step towards the new international order

Our Foreign Policy Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli examines the new international order in light of the Russia-Ukraine war.

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