Ukraine has filed a complaint at the International Court of Justice over Russia’s invasion. NATO has activated its Response Force for the first time. Germany announced it will send weapons directly to Ukraine in a major shift. The European Union said it is funding arms purchases for the first time and is banning Russian planes from its airspace. In the U.S., President Biden approved the release of an additional $350 million in weapons to Ukraine. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said another $6.4 billion in economic and military aid would be added to an upcoming spending bill. The military reinforcement comes as the U.S., European nations and others expand financial sanctions on Russia, targeting its central bank reserves and cutting key Russian banks off from the SWIFT global financial system. This is Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.
Ursula von der Leyen: “The European Union and its partners are working to cripple Putin’s ability to finance his war machine. … Putin embarked on a path aiming to destroy Ukraine, but what he’s also doing, in fact, is destroying the future of his own country.”
U.K. oil giant BP announced it is offloading its 20% stake, worth $14 billion, in Russian oil giant Rosneft. Google and YouTube have cut ad revenue from Russian state media. The European Union said it will ban the Russian state-backed channels RT and Sputnik. Meanwhile, Russian authorities have restricted or blocked access to Twitter and other social media sites.