French President Emmanuel Macron heads to Kyiv on Tuesday after offering Russia "concrete security guarantees" in an effort to dissuade Moscow from invading Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin vows to find compromise in response.
9 am Paris time
Rouble hits four-week high after Putin-Macron talks
The rouble has touched its strongest level in nearly four weeks after last night's talks between Macron and Putin, with investors looking for signs of de-escalation in Moscow's standoff with the West over Ukraine.
At 7:37 am GMT, the rouble was 0.2% stronger against the dollar at 75.34, earlier touching 75.14, its strongest level since January 13. It had gained 0.5 percent to trade at 85.87 versus the euro.
The rouble will likely stay near 75-76 to the greenback for now, Dmitry Polevoy, head of investment at Locko Invest, told Reuters.
"There are signs of optimism regarding Russian geopolitical risk perception this week," said Alfa Bank in a note, pointing to the Macron-Putin meeting and the French leader's scheduled talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy due later today.
8:30 am Paris time
Ukraine to conduct drills with drones, anti-tank missiles
Ukraine's army will conduct military drills from February 10 to February 20 in response to Russian exercises in Belarus near Ukraine's northern border, the country's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said late on Monday.
Reznikov told a local TV channel that Ukrainian soldiers were constantly carrying out various exercises and that from Thursday they will start drilling the use of Bayraktar drones and anti-tank Javelin and NLAW missiles provided by allies.
7:50 am Paris time
Johnson says UK sanctions ready if Russia attacks Ukraine
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said sanctions and other measures will be ready in the event of a Russian attack on Ukraine, and his government will ask parliament for sanctions on Russian individuals and companies.
Writing in The Times on Tuesday, Johnson said Britain is considering deploying Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters and Royal Navy warships to protect southeastern Europe.
Johnson also wrote that Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace will both travel to Moscow soon.
"British sanctions and other measures will be ready for any renewed Russian attack," Johnson wrote.
"The government will ask parliament for new powers to sanction a wider range of Russian individuals and entities, including any company linked to the Russian state or operating in a sector of strategic importance to the Kremlin."
The UK is also preparing to reinforce the British-led NATO battlegroup in Estonia, Johnson said.
"I welcome Germany's statement that Nord Stream 2 would be reconsidered in the event of an incursion," he added.
Biden pledges to help source alternatives to Russian gas
7 am Paris time
Macron heads to Kyiv after Putin compromise vow
Macron's trip to the Ukrainian capital comes after Putin told him Russia would "do everything to find compromises that suit everyone", raising the prospect of a path to de-escalating the volatile situation.
Putin said several proposals put forward by Macron at talks on Monday could form a basis for moving forward on the crisis over Ukraine.
"A number of his ideas, proposals… are possible as a basis for further steps," Putin said after more than five hours of talks at the Kremlin.
He did not provide any details but said the two leaders would speak by phone after Macron meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The French president said he had made proposals of "concrete security guarantees" to Putin.
"There is no security for the Europeans if there is no security for Russia," Macron said.
Watch Macron's and Putin's remarks at the press conference
6:45 am Paris time
Biden says will end Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades Ukraine
US President Joe Biden said late on Monday that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will be stopped if Russia invades Ukraine and stressed unity with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as the West rallies to avert a war in Europe.
At a White House press conference with the new German leader, Biden, a longtime opponent of the decade-old, $11 billion pipeline project to Germany from Russia, said Russian forces crossing into Ukraine would trigger a shutdown.
"If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the … border of Ukraine again, then there will be … no longer a Nord Stream 2. We, we will bring an end to it," Biden said.
Asked how, given the project is in German control, Biden said: "I promise you, we'll be able to do it."
Scholz said the United States and Germany had the same approach to Ukraine, to Russia and to sanctions, but did not directly confirm the Nord Stream 2 plans or mention the pipeline publicly by name over the course of his day-long visit.
Watch Biden's and Scholz's remarks at the press conference
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)