EconomyFirstFT: US to send longer-range rockets to Ukraine

FirstFT: US to send longer-range rockets to Ukraine


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The Biden administration is to provide Ukraine with long-range rocket systems and precision ammunition as part of a $40bn assistance package as the invaded country fights a resurgent Russian army.

The formal announcement will come later today and include $700mn worth of new military assistance including the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (Himars) and ammunition with a range of up to 80km.

The package will also include sophisticated radars, Javelin missiles and anti-armour weapons, senior administration officials said.

The new aid is part of a broader package of military, economic and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine that was approved by the Senate earlier this month.

Moscow assessed the new US aid package “extremely negatively,” Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov told state news agency RIA Novosti.

But as the conflict nears its 100th day, President Joe Biden argues in a New York Times op-ed that Ukraine needs more advanced weaponry to “more precisely strike key targets” on the battlefield.

Ukraine has been calling on its allies to supply it with longer-range missiles to halt the advance of Russian troops in the east of the country where Moscow has made gains in recent days, especially around the city of Sievierodonetsk.

The Zelensky government has grown increasingly alarmed at delays to weapon deliveries, particularly from the US and Germany and questioned the resolve of its western allies in the face of Russian aggression.

Kyiv has pressed Washington to send weapons with an even longer range than the ones announced today.

More news on Ukraine

Thanks for reading and here is the rest of the day’s news — Gordon

1. Police raid German asset manager over greenwashing claims The chief executive of Germany’s top asset manager, DWS Group, has resigned hours after the company’s offices in Frankfurt were raided by police over allegations of greenwashing. BaFin launched an investigation into DWS last year, following a similar probe by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

2. Shanghai reopens after two-month lockdown Commuters, traffic and joggers returned to the streets of Shanghai today after a strict 65-day Covid-19 lockdown in China’s financial capital began to ease. The restrictions were imposed on March 28 and were supposed to last for eight days but were extended and included the whole city of 25m people.

Commuters return to Shanghai’s subway after a strict two-month lockdown that prevented most residents from leaving their homes © Bloomberg

3. US Supreme Court blocks Texas social media ‘censorship’ law The Supreme Court yesterday froze a censorship law in Texas known as HB20 that would have prohibited platforms such as Facebook and Twitter from taking down content including misinformation and extremism.

4. EY’s US boss quits after clashing with global chief Kelly Grier, the first woman to lead EY in the US, has quit the Big Four accounting firm after a power struggle with its global boss. Her departure highlights tensions between the group’s competing fiefdoms as it considers a radical plan to break itself up.

5. Elliott to sell AC Milan to RedBird for €1.2bn Elliott Management has agreed to sell AC Milan to the US investment group led by former Goldman Sachs banker Gerry Cardinale, according to people close to the club. The deal caps a turnaround at the Italian football club, which won Italy’s top league this season, and ends Elliott’s four-year foray into the business of sport. For more on business sports news sign up to Scoreboard.

The day ahead

Joe Biden to hold baby formula roundtable The president will hold a virtual meeting with the leading manufacturers of baby formula amid nationwide shortages. He will be joined by health and human services secretary Xavier Becerra and surgeon-general Vivek Murthy as well as the leaders of manufacturers including ByHeart, Bubs Australia, Reckitt, Perrigo and Gerber.

Denmark holds EU security referendum Danes will vote on whether to axe the country’s 30-year-old opt-out from the EU’s security and defence policies, in the latest potential huge policy change in northern Europe following Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine. Separately, US secretary of state Antony Blinken will meet Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, who is on a multiday visit to the US.

Fed Beige Book The Federal Reserve publishes its report on economic conditions, a day after President Joe Biden said he would respect the “independence” of the US central bank after a meeting with Fed chair Jay Powell. US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen, meanwhile, conceded she was “wrong” last year about the threat posed by rising inflation.

Monetary policy Bank of Canada policymakers are expected to increase the country’s benchmark borrowing rate 0.5 percentage points to 1.5 per cent in an attempt to rein-in inflation. The bank in April raised interest rates by half a percentage point, the first time in more than two decades it tightened monetary policy with an increase of that magnitude.

Economic data Job openings are expected to have dipped to 11.4mn in April, based on economists’ prediction for the US Department of Labor’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (Jolts) report. Private payroll figures from data processor ADP are also due this morning ahead of the monthly non-farm payrolls report on Friday.

US earnings GameStop, the video game store that rose to prominence during the meme stock rally last year, reports earnings after the bell. Pet products company Chewy, Calvin Klein-owner PVH Corporation and Hewlett Packard Enterprise also deliver quarterly results this afternoon.

Annual meetings Alphabet, parent company of Google, hosts its annual meeting and shareholders will vote on 10 proposals covering pay equity, sustainability and human rights.

US removes UK metals tariffs Washington will scrap Trump-era tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and aluminium exports, replacing them with quotas. In return, London will suspend extra taxes on US products such as bourbon and Levi’s jeans.

What else we’re reading

Twelve propositions on the state of the world How do we make sense of the world? Time spent in Davos last week crystallised Martin Wolf’s answers in the form of 12 projections covering the top economic, geopolitical, social and technological issues facing society.

Martin Wolf on the state of the world
Martin Wolf: ‘We in the west have to manage profound changes and lethal conflicts at a time of division and disillusionment’ © James Ferguson

Tech experts urge Washington to resist crypto industry’s influence Harvard lecturer Bruce Schneier, former Microsoft engineer Miguel de Icaza and principal engineer at Google Cloud Kelsey Hightower, are among 26 leading computer scientists and academics who are urging US lawmakers to crack down on the burgeoning cryptocurrencies industry.

Sifting through the stock market wreckage How should investors navigate the equities market wreckage? The answer is as simple as it is complex, writes Maike Currie: stock by stock. Some argue that the real story playing out in markets is not about value versus growth, but rather between cyclicals and defensives.

Can Africa grow without fossil fuels? Not every country in the continent is endowed with renewable energy reserves. As the developed world demands emissions cuts, African leaders are asking whether poor countries can achieve high living standards without intensive use of fossil fuels.

NSO’s cash dilemma Faced with a cash crunch so severe that the Israeli manufacturer of cyberweapon Pegasus could miss its payroll, Shalev Hulio had a startling suggestion. The foul-mouthed chief executive asked: why not start selling again to risky clients? To his audience, the idea was alarming, but that wasn’t all. Read the inside story here.

Fashion

The newly named HTSI rounds up the best of summer style for men, modelled naturally on the beach.

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