EU, US, Canada firms still interested in Russia market: Moscow
Russia reveals that many western companies are still eyeing the Russian markets after the West prevented its corporations from operating in Russian territories.
Companies from the European Union, the United States, and Canada are still interested in the Russian market, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.
"We all understand that all of [the foreign companies], of course, are under the gun of ill-wishers from the collective West, who, as we have repeatedly said, threaten and blackmail," Peskov said.
However, he added, all this blackmail could not nullify the Western investors' interests in the Russian market. Many companies from Western countries, the EU, the US, and Canada, still retain their interest in the Russian market.
The Western nations and the 27-nation bloc had forced their companies to suspend their activities in Russia, he stressed, but they "would like to return as soon as possible."
The US and its allies have rolled out comprehensive sanctions on Russia following the breakout of the Ukraine war, including restrictions on the Russian central bank, export control measures, SWIFT cutoff for select banks, and closure of airspace to all Russian flights. Many of their companies have suspended their Russian operations.
Kiev shelling Donbass civilian objects 'barbaric'
Peskov also denounced the increased Ukrainian shelling of civilian targets and facilities in the people's republics of the Donbass, calling the actions of Kiev's forces actions barbaric.
The Ukrainian armed forces shelled the Donetsk People's Republic throughout Monday, including a strike that targeted a city market, which killed there and wounded 18 others.
Ukrainian shells also hit the roof of a maternity hospital in the DPR. In response, the local authorities called on Moscow to up the deployment of Russian forces.
"This is the prerogative of the [Russian] Ministry of Defense because it is connected with the continuation of the special military operation. But here I want to recall one thing that our president spoke about. The main task of the special military operation is to ensure the security and protection of people in Lugansk and Donetsk," Peksov underlined.
"We see absolutely barbaric shelling of civilian objects, barbaric. In recent days, we have witnessed the identification of these shelling."
The head of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Dennis Pushilin said that "Kiev has crossed all limits", adding that "the DPR will seek help from the Russian Federation to counteract shelling of Donetsk by the AFU."
"The enemy is using prohibited methods of warfare", he noted. "An understanding has been reached that all capabilities of the Russian Armed Forces will be used to protect the cities of the DPR."
13 others were injured as a result of shelling in Donetsk's Budennovsky district, while another shelling occurred in the city's Kuibyshevsky and Kirovsky districts.
In some cases, shells of NATO's 155 mm caliber were used in addition to the MLRS, including French shells, likely used with the CAESAR Self-propelled guns.
The long-range artillery and rockets delivered by the United States and the United Kingdom to Ukraine have emboldened Kiev to up its strikes on civilian targets and residential areas in the Donbass republics, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said last week at a Security Council meeting.
"Leaving aside the entirely unconvincing explanations of such an irresponsible step (the West sending the long-range systems to Ukraine), I would like to point out that the Kiev regime has already taken this as carte blanche to continue and intensify the shelling of civilian targets in Donbas, where after a number of recent defeats, the Ukrainian artillery was no longer able to reach," Nebenzia told the UNSC meeting.
US President Biden had claimed that Washington would not provide Kiev with weapons capable of targeting Russian territory after the Pentagon decided to provide High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine due to the nature of the conflict changing to an "artillery duel", as per claims by US diplomats.
The HIMARSs are the centerpiece of a $700 million package unveiled last week, which includes "Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger antiaircraft missiles, powerful artillery and precision rocket systems, radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, Mi-17 helicopters, and ammunition," President Biden said.
Putin has no planned call with Erdogan
Peskov also revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had no phone call planned out with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"So far, president [Putin's] schedule [do not include talks with Erdogan], but conversations with Erdogan appear on the schedule very quickly, as the need arises. There is currently no such agreement," he told reporters.