FirstFT: Biden steps up Russia warning after Kiev says no attack is ‘minor’

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Ukraine has fight back A “minor incursion” by Russian forces into the country, on the advice of Joe Biden, may not elicit a harsh response from allies, forcing the U.S. president to publicly assure Kiev that any Kremlin attack would trigger severe sanctions.

“We want to remind big powers that there are no small-scale invasions and small powers,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday.

Almost immediately, the White House sought to clarify Biden’s remarks during a news conference Wednesday night. The president suggested that if the Kremlin didn’t have a full-scale invasion, allies could end up “feuding” over sanctions. But after Zelensky was reprimanded and warned in other allied capitals, Biden sought to retract the comments himself, saying any Russian incursion would trigger sweeping sanctions.

“If anything, any massing of Russian forces across the Ukrainian border would be an invasion,” Biden said. “There is no doubt that if [Russian president Vladimir] Putin makes such a choice, and Russia will pay a heavy price. “

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Thank you for reading FirstFT Europe/Africa.Here’s the rest of the news today – Will

1. The Fed debates digital currencies Fed has roll out This is expected to be a heated and important debate, starting with the introduction of a central bank digital currency as it attempts to keep pace with financial innovation and maintain the dollar’s supremacy.

2. Horta-Osório at the European final during London’s Covid breach Antonio Horta-Osorio at the UEFA Europa League final in July the same day He broke Covid-19 rules by watching the men’s tennis final at Wimbledon, according to people with knowledge of his actions. The former Credit Suisse chairman, who resigned over the weekend, brought his family to both events.

3. MPs warn that UK national pension system is ‘not fit for purpose’ The UK’s national pension payment system should be urgent reform To avoid a repeat of the £1bn underpayment scandal, it has accused the Department for Work and Pensions of presiding over a “shameful mess” dating back to 1985, according to the parliamentary spending watchdog.

4. Britishvolt secures £1.7bn funding for North East battery plant The startup wants to build a UK battery factory in Bryce, Raised around £1.7bn Warehouse supplier Tritax and investment group Abrdn will build factories in northeast England. The investment is backed by government grants, believed to be around £100m.

5. U.S. accuses Belarusian officials of piracy over diverted flights The U.S. Department of Justice has charged Last year, four Belarusian government officials engaged in aircraft piracy forced a Ryanair flight to Lithuania to land in Minsk in order to arrest a leading opposition activist.

coronavirus digest

  • Australia Published urgent appeal Foreign backpackers have had to do it after a severe labour shortage forced stores to close and squeeze supplies of fresh fruit and meat.

  • Healthcare leaders warn Back to the office and ending mandatory mask wearing UK take a risk second surge Omicron variant.

  • UK consumer confidence have fall It fell to its lowest level in 11 months on worries about soaring inflation and fuel costs, suggesting rising costs of living could slow a recovery in household spending.

  • FT readers share their experiences Anti-vaxxers get close to them.

register road to recovery, your essential newsletter on business and the economy in a world changed by the pandemic.

future days

Blinken meets Lavrov Secretary of State Anthony Blinken satisfy His Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is in Geneva today, following yesterday’s talks in Berlin with the foreign ministers of Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

WHO Covid update The World Health Organization will host a virtual press conference to provide an update on Covid-19. WHO last week Says countries are “still a ways off” from treating the coronavirus as endemic.

Economic data In the UK, the Office for National Statistics monthly retail data Data for December is out as well as the CBI’s quarterly business confidence figures. The European Commission releases consumer confidence data for January.

What are we still reading and watching

Permian Basin: Oil prices fuel U.S. shale gas Nearly two years after the pandemic sparked the worst oil price slump in history — despite a president’s support for transitioning from fossil fuels — the heart of the U.S. oil industry is Pumping more water than ever, with renewed optimism about the future of the industry.

Kazakhstan crisis challenges Beijing’s non-interference in internal affairs Beijing’s wariness about meddling in other countries’ affairs – the backbone of its foreign policy – is growing conflict Out of the need to protect its growing global interests, it began experimenting with security activities abroad.

Post-Brexit Barriers A year after the end of the Brexit transition period, EU citizens in the UK, British citizens in the EU and those with families in the English Channel are adjusting to their new identities and loss of freedom.Liz Rawlinson Check some obstacles One of the most complex and confusing years for expats to face cross-border migration.

Life and Death on the Dover Immigrant Front On the edge of the strait, those who live and deal with “boat people” are long past the vulgar headlines about the migrant crisis. allow anonymity, Dovorians feel their sympathy most strongly and are very dedicated and inspiring in helping those who cross the border, writes Horatio Clare.

A migrant is taken into the Port of Dover by Border Force workers after being rescued while crossing the English Channel
Whisper, but Dover is doing something extraordinary © Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Collectors, players and leagues profit from sports NFTs By 2022, the market size of sports non-fungible tokens will reach $2 billion. Early collectors, stars and even leagues will benefit.But if the bubble in this new asset class bursts, the average consumer could lose money, warns Sara Germano of FT Scoreboard. Talk to the people behind the craze.


Trying to fix your wireless earbuds won’t go well. Stored in their charging case side by side, it’s estimated that all earbuds sold in 2017 will circle the globe. Neglected by recycling targets, vast quantities of plastic, copper, circuit boards, magnets and batteries join the e-waste trove once they die.So Alexandra Hill Decided To Try To Fix Her Pair – And Fall Out very small, very deep rabbit hole.

Apple iPhone 7 and AirPods
By 2026, ten years after Apple released its first mainstream wireless earbuds, nearly all 750 million AirPods, Samsung Galaxy Buds and other headphones will be obsolete. © Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

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