Evening Update Wednesday 2 March 2022

President Macron will speak on French television at 8.00 this evening regarding the war in Ukraine. It follows a commitment made by the President to keep the French informed which he made during a speech last Thursday. The announcement of the address by the Elysees did not give any further details. It comes after a defence council meeting was held this morning.

The Var prefecture has been in touch with the mayors of the department to identify accommodation and support for Ukrainian families  fleeing the war. The Prefecture said that at the moment it is difficult to determine the number who will arrive in the department. A page dedicated to the Ukrainian crisis has been created on the website of the Var prefecture, www.var.gouv.fr  The page will be regularly updated and at the moment contains information from the Ministry of the Interior for Ukrainian nationals who wish to access French territory and/or to stay there. Meanwhile, the Alpes-Maritimes has announced that it can repatriate and house 1,000 Ukrainian refugees. A special website will go live tomorrow giving more details.

130 Ukranian refugees are expected to arrive shortly in Marseille. Reports say they will travel from Poland by coach and will arrive on Friday. A recently formed Ukraine solidarity association is aiming to initially house them with local hosts.

Former French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira has withdrawn from the Presidential race. She said that it was "obvious" that her campaign would not get the 500 sposorships required to stand in the election.

A group of over 250 elected officials from the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Region have jointly expressed their support for Emmanuel Macron in the Presidential election at a forum today. They include the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi and the President of the PACA region Renaud Muselier. President Macron hasn't yet announced his candidacy but is expected to do so before the deadline on Friday.

There’s some good news for hayfever sufferers in Monaco. A new pollen monitoring network has been put in place in the Principality, which makes it possible to assess the daily allergic risk. Three pollen sensors have been deployed on the roofs of the Jardins d'Apolline, on the Quai Antoine 1er and on the roof of the Ecole Saint-Charles. The measurements, which are correlated with meteorological data, make it possible to monitor specific allergens in addition to the risk of pollen allergy.

 

BUSINESS

Airbus has joined rival Boeing on a growing list of major international businesses cutting ties with Russia. The plane maker said it had stopped support and supply of spare parts for Russia's aviation industry.

Energy prices have risen again today, with Brent crude rising to over 110 dollars per barrel earlier today. Consultancy Energy Aspects, quoted by the Financial Times, estimated that 70% of Russian crude was struggling to find buyers as western energy companies are effectively self-sanctioning by refusing to do business with Russia or are facing sharply rising costs in doing so.

Natural gas prices also rose strongly amid fears that the war in Ukraine could lead to a reduction in supplies to Europe. Russian energy company Gazprom said that it was still sending gas to Europe in line with customer requests.

Inflation in the Eurozone has hit a record high. Annual inflation in the bloc is expected to be 5.8% in February, up from 5.1% in January according to an initial estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in February at 31.7% followed by food, alcohol & tobacco at 4.1%.

 

SPORT

Winter Olympics... The International Paralympic Committee has said that athletes from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to compete as neutrals at the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing. It said that the two countries "will compete under the Paralympic flag and not be included in the medal table". The opening ceremony of the games takes place on Friday.

Motorsports... Russian drivers have been banned from competing in the UK by Motorsport UK. The national authority for motorsport said that it will refuse to recognise licences of Russian competitors until further notice.

Football.. There are 3 FA Cup 5th round games tonight. Luton play Chelsea, Southampton play West Ham and Liverpool host Norwich

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