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Lavrov, at UN, pledges ‘total protection’ to any territory annexed by Russia By Reuters

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© Reuters. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York City, US, September 24, 2022. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo/File Photo

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Written by Michelle Nichols, Humira Pamuk and Daphne Psaledakis

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Russia’s top diplomat said on Saturday that regions in Ukraine where referendums are held in widespread mockery would be under Russia’s “total protection” if Moscow annexed them, amid fears Russia could further escalate the conflict and even use nuclear energy. arms.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, addressing the UN General Assembly and world media in New York, attempted to justify Russia’s invasion of its neighbor in February, repeating Moscow’s false claims that the elected government in Kyiv was installed illegally, filled with neo-Nazis and oppressed Russians. loudspeakers in the east of the country.

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On Friday, Russia began referendums in four regions of eastern Ukraine with the aim of annexing the territories it seized by force. Kyiv said residents were forced to vote and not allowed to leave the regions during the four-day vote, which Western countries described as a hoax designed to justify the escalation of the seven-month-old war.

“After those referendums, Russia will, of course, respect the expression of the will of those people who for many years suffered from the abuses of the neo-Nazi regime,” Lavrov said at a press conference after addressing the assembly.

Asked whether Russia had reasons to use nuclear weapons to defend the areas annexed by Ukraine, Lavrov said that Russian territory, including the territories “further provided for” in the Russian constitution in the future, are “subject to full state protection.”

“All laws, doctrines, concepts and strategies of the Russian Federation are applicable to all of its territories,” he said, also referring specifically to Russia’s doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons.

The comments came after a frank warning on Thursday from former President Dmitry Medvedev, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, that any weapons in Moscow’s arsenal, including strategic nuclear weapons, could be used to defend Russia’s incorporated territories.

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Russia accuses the United States and others of being parties to the conflict because they send weapons to help Ukraine defend itself. The possible annexation of Ukrainian territory raises the question of how Russia will respond to the use of Western weapons in those areas.

Ukraine has requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council on the referendums, calling for “Russia to be held accountable for its further attempts to change Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders in violation of the UN Charter,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said on Twitter (NYSE). 🙂 Later on Saturday.

packing

Putin on Wednesday ordered the country’s first mobilization since World War II, an announcement that saw some Russian men rush to the border, as traffic surges at border crossings with Finland and Georgia and airfares from Moscow skyrocket.

When asked on Saturday why so many Russians left the country, Lavrov referred to the right to freedom of movement.

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Putin launched a large-scale invasion after he complained that the US-led expansion of NATO since the collapse of the Soviet Union was a threat to Russia.

Asked if he could anticipate future talks with the United States to make Russia feel more secure about what it calls NATO creep, Lavrov said it was the West that halted previous discussions. His US counterpart, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, cut off talks on the eve of the invasion, saying that the movement of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border was a “total rejection of diplomacy”.

“We do not say no to contacts. And when proposals come to this sense, we agree. If our partners want to meet quietly so that no one finds out, it is okay because it is always better to talk than not to talk,” Lavrov said. “But in the current situation, Russia simply will not take the first step.”

Lavrov sought to portray opposition to the Russian war in Ukraine as limited to Washington and the countries under its influence. Russia has been trying to overcome its international isolation since nearly three-quarters of the General Assembly voted to rebuke Moscow in March.

China, Russia’s strategic partner, has remained neutral, criticizing Western sanctions against Russia, but stopping short of endorsing or assisting in the military campaign. And in a surprising admission, Putin said last week that Chinese leader Xi Jinping had concerns about Ukraine.

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Asked if Russia was under any pressure from China to end the war, Lavrov said: “You can tell readers, listeners and viewers that I avoided answering your question.”

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MicroStrategy is at its lowest level since 2020 after the sales were revealed

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(Bloomberg) — Shares of MicroStrategy touched their lowest level since August 2020 after the enterprise software company, which in recent years has been known as the largest buyer of bitcoin, revealed its first sale of the token.

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The stock fell 1.1 percent to $136.63 on Thursday, down 75 percent this year. Bitcoin rose less than 1% to around $16,590 and is believed to have fallen 64% since the start of the year.

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In a filing on Wednesday, MicroStrategy said it acquired approximately 2,395 Bitcoin between the beginning of November and December 21 through its subsidiary MacroStrategy, and paid out approximately $42.8 million in cash. It then sold 704 of the tokens on Dec. 22 for a total of about $11.8 million, citing tax purposes, before buying another 810 of them two days later.

Matt Malley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. Step down as CEO. This news means they don’t seem to want to do that anytime soon.”

Overall, MicroStrategy held about 132,500 bitcoins worth over $4 billion USD as of December 27th. The company paid an average purchase price of $30,397 per bitcoin.

“Given MicroStrategy’s $2.4 billion in leverage, we believe the company may have a lot of leverage over Bitcoin, and may face some liquidity risk,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thiel wrote in a note on Wednesday. Thill has an “underperform” rating on the stock and a price target of $110.

Over the years of the pandemic, MicroStrategy has become well known for its Bitcoin takeovers, largely led by Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor stepped down from that role and now serves as CEO at the company and continues to lead its bitcoin strategy.

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MicroStrategy was trading around $120 before Saylor first announced the company’s Bitcoin purchases in 2020. The stock reached an all-time high of $1,315 in February 2021.

(Updates to include the stock’s closing price in the second paragraph.)

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Bankman-Fried May File Petition in New York Federal Court Next Week Before Judge Louis Kaplan By Cointelegraph

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear in court on the afternoon of January 3 to enter a lawsuit over two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy against him related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to Reuters. mentioned on December 28, citing court records. Bankman-Fried will appear before District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Judge Kaplan was appointed to hear the case on December 27 after the original judge in the case, Ronnie Abrams, Resigned herself because of connections between FTX and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner. The company provided advisory services to FTX in 2021.