For the first time in five years Standard & Poor’s has cut Russia’s credit rating to 'BBB-', just above junk status. It warns the tension in Ukraine and 'significant' capital outflow could mean another downgrade. Moscow says it is ‘politically motivated’.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has threatened Russia with more sanctions, blaming it for the escalation of violence in Ukraine. The military offensive by Kiev's interim government in the country's east was, however, not mentioned.
Moscow has an obligation to protect Russians in Ukraine, Duma's International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexey Pushkov told RT. Russia would like to deescalate tensions, yet the US keeps intervening in Ukraine’s domestic affairs.
If Kiev does not immediately stop military operations against popular protest, Russia will call for an urgent UNSC meeting and in the worst case scenario reserves the right to deploy armed forces to stop bloodshed, UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said.
Russia’s Gazprom, the world’s biggest natural gas producer, has sent a $11.4 billion bill to Ukraine’s Naftogaz. The money is for the two thirds of the gas it failed to use under its 2009 take-or-pay contract .
Pictures presented by Washington and Kiev as evidence of Russia's involvement in Ukraine, and published on Monday by the New York Times, were unverified and in fact contradicted the claims they were to support.
Eastern Ukrainians enraged by the Kiev military operation have used an RT video report to tell first-hand details of a Ukrainian army attack in Slavyansk. The Ukrainian troops raided a checkpoint and took all the food and medicine, they said.
Sanctions against Russia will backfire and actually benefit the economy, President Vladimir Putin has said. His comments follow US President Obama’s threat that the White House has prepared a third round of sanctions.
If Kiev authorities have started to use force against the civilian population, this is a serious crime, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. Taking this action makes them a “junta” and may affect their relations with other countries, he added.