FirstFT: talks between Russia and Ukraine fail

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Russia rejected Ukraine’s proposals for a temporary ceasefire and humanitarian aid for the beleaguered city of Mariupol in high-level talks that made little progress yesterday.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov met in the Turkish city of Antalya in the most significant interaction between Kyiv and Moscow since Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion .

The talks coincided with deteriorating conditions in Mariupol. Residents live in dire conditions after basic services including electricity, heat and water were destroyed by Russian bombing.

More than half of Ukraine’s economy has shut down and infrastructure assets worth $100 billion have been destroyed since the start of the war, according to the president’s chief economic adviser Volodymyr Zelensky.

Follow our live blog for the latest news from Ukraine and our updated maps for a visual guide to the conflict.

Learn more about Ukraine

1. The ECB reduces its stimulus plan The European Central Bank has scaled back its bond-buying stimulus package in response to war-driven inflation in Ukraine, while giving itself more flexibility on the timing of a possible interest rate hike this year.

2. A new British armored vehicle jeopardizes the overhaul of the army Continuing delays to the £5.5billion Ajax armored vehicle program risk undermining the planned restructuring of the British military, according to a parliamentary spending watchdog report. The body also warned that the Ministry of Defense risked spending more than it could afford on new weapons and equipment.

3. Pierre Andurand records spectacular gains Andurand is among several hedge fund managers who have posted strong gains in recent weeks as fears of global supply disruptions pushed commodity prices to their highest level in 14 years.

4. US inflation hit a new 40-year high in February Consumer price growth approached 8% last month before a spike in energy prices following the invasion of Ukraine, increasing pressure on the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy. Check out our global inflation tracker here.

5. Modi’s BJP scores victory in Indian state elections Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party has triumphed in state elections in Indiaasserting its dominance of the country’s politics as the rival Congress party floundered.

Summary of coronavirus

The coming days

Second anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic It has been two years since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. Anjana Ahuja asks, when can we declare it finished?

British economic figures The main data releases are retrospective, with January gross domestic product, trade and industrial production figures due. Germany also has consumer price index data for February.

US wants to limit North Korean weapons A Biden administration official said the Treasury Department “would announce further actions to help prevent [North Korea] to access foreign items and technologies that allow it to advance its prohibited weapons program. The statement comes after two recent missile tests demonstrated an ability to send warheads farther than previous launches.

33rd anniversary of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee is about to publish his annual letter on the state of his invention and his vision for the future.

Elections Left winger Gabriel Boric, 36, will be sworn in today as Chile’s youngest leader. Turkmenistan will hold snap presidential elections tomorrow after incumbent President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov resigns. On Sunday, Colombians will vote in the legislative elections and Mali will hold its first round of legislative and presidential elections.

What else we read and watch

WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann on his next steps After a fall as spectacular as his rise, the charismatic salesman is back. This time, he plans to found start-ups, finance others and create a new real estate empire.

The metals market needs to be redesigned The snafu that emerged from the London Metal Exchange’s decision to suspend nickel trading on Tuesday after a 250% price spike showed that financial strains tend to reveal regulatory complacency and failure, writes Helen Thomas.

The Big NFT Sale Internet collectibles ranging from cartoon monkeys to artistic doodles have plunged in value as real-world conflict and a broader cryptocurrency crash begins to unfold one of the biggest speculative frenzies. Has the digital craze reached its peak?

Evergrande: the end of the real estate boom in China The rapid expansion of the country’s real estate sector was fueled by a large migration from farms to cities – and backed by cheap credit. The FT tells the story of Evergrande, the world’s most indebted property developer, which is now on the brink of collapse.

Video: Evergrande: The end of China’s property boom

FT Business Books: March Edition From creating more connected teams to digital transformation, our Work & Careers team has selected the best titles of the month in the world of professional publishing.


Cat-skiing uses modified tracked groomers (also called ski bashers) to transport skiers to the top of slopes as an alternative to fixed lifts and cable cars. Can it take off in Eastern Europe? It is gaining popularity in Kosovo.

Cat-skiing is increasingly popular in Kosovo © Tristan Kennedy

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