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FirstFT: Zelenskyy calls on G7 for air defences after Russian strikes


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Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the G7 countries to speed up supplies of air defence systems after another day of a Russian missile barrage struck civilian and infrastructure targets across Ukraine.

The Ukrainian president’s plea came during a video conference held by the G7 leaders, including US president Joe Biden. Zelenskyy told the group Russia “has fired more than 100 cruise missiles and dozens of various drones” over the past two days, many hitting cities that have been free of attacks for months.

“When Ukraine obtains enough modern and effective surface-to-air defence systems, the key element of Russian terror — missile attacks — will no longer work,” he said.

The second Russian fusillade appeared to be less intense than the nationwide bombings on Monday that left dozens of Ukrainian civilians dead in some of the country’s largest cities.

Russian president Vladimir Putin said strikes this week were ordered “at the defence ministry’s suggestion”, pointing to the newly appointed commander of Moscow’s invasion forces, Sergei Surovikin, a hardline general who has earned nicknames such as “the fierce one” and “General Armageddon”.

Do you think G7 countries should speed up supplies of air missile defence systems for Ukraine? Tell us in our latest poll. Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. — Emily

1. IMF forecasts ‘very painful’ outlook for global economy The IMF has said there is a growing risk that the global economy will slide into recession next year as households and businesses in most countries face “stormy waters”. A confluence of economic headwinds will lower global growth from 3.2 per cent in 2022 to 2.7 per cent next year, the fund predicted.

Bar chart of IMF forecasts for GDP growth in 2023 (%) showing Expectations for growth have been cut across all the major economies

2. Biden to ‘re-evaluate’ Saudi relations, White House says US president Joe Biden is re-evaluating America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia after the Opec+ decision last week to cut oil production, a top White House adviser has said, as tensions between Washington and Riyadh continue to rise.

3. Bailey rules out extending Bank of England intervention Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey dashed pension funds’ hopes, saying the Bank of England would not continue its £65bn bond-buying intervention into next week. Bailey said that although strains had been felt, market conditions in the government bonds “seemed calmer” after it had staged its second emergency intervention in two days.

4. EU cautions Hong Kong on sanctioned Russian superyacht Hong Kong could be helping Russian billionaire Alexei Mordashov who has moored his superyacht in the city’s harbour evade EU sanctions, the bloc’s diplomats in the city warned after the Chinese territory said it would not be taking action against the ship.

5. Uber and Lyft slide after US proposes new gig work rule Shares in the largest gig economy companies in the US tumbled after the Biden administration proposed a rule that would make it more likely that gig workers will be classified as employees instead of independent contractors. Ride-hailing app Uber fell as much as 16.7 per cent, while shares in Lyft and DoorDash hit record lows during trading in New York on Tuesday.

The day ahead

India economic data Monthly industrial production and consumer price index inflation data will be released today. The IMF yesterday projected 6.9 per cent consumer price inflation this year. See how your country compares on rising prices with our inflation tracker. (Hindustan Times, FT)

Israeli officials discuss Lebanon deal Israel’s security cabinet and government will meet today to approve details of the deal with Lebanon over the nations’ maritime border. The country’s parliament will then have 14 days to review it before the deal returns to the government for final approval.

Anniversary of Bali nightclub bombings Today marks the 20 years since the Bali nightclub bombing that killed more than 200 people and injured more than 200 others. The Australian government will host a memorial service today.

Nato meeting The group will host a meeting of western countries supplying arms to Ukraine today.

What else we’re reading

Kishida backs BoJ’s ultra-loose policy despite yen plunge In an interview with the Financial Times, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida said the Bank of Japan needed to maintain its policy until wages rose. Kishida said he would continue to “work closely” with Haruhiko Kuroda, ruling out speculation he would end the BoJ governor’s term prematurely.

China property crisis spoils Communist party’s triumph As China’s Communist party congress meets this weekend to celebrate its achievements over the past five years, economists will be watching for how Beijing plans to confront its most momentous economic challenge: its property crisis. The CCP congress could reveal some clues.

Ben & Jerry’s vs Unilever The ice cream maker’s decision to end its franchise deal in Israel to prevent its product from being sold in occupied Palestinian territories has placed it at odds with its parent company, turning a star acquisition into a legal nightmare for Unilever.

Mind the gap! What women need to know about investing In this Money Clinic Investment Masterclass, Emilie Bellet, founder of VestPod, talks to host FT consumer editor Claer Barrett about how to get started investing, when to start saving for a pension and why some of the myths around women investors are just that.

Most people don’t know what GDP growth is Liz Truss is all about growth in gross domestic product, writes Sarah O’Connor. But the problem is most people don’t know what GDP growth is (let alone care about it) and the market reaction to Truss’s unfunded tax cuts affected things like mortgage rates — which really matter to people.

Fashion

Why are we still obsessed with green? “The fashion industry didn’t invent our desire for green, it just read the room. It is surely not a coincidence that green is the decreed colour of environmentalism, something the fashion industry has an awkward relationship with,” writes Kate Finnigan.

Statement greens continue to dominate on the catwalk and on the street © Valentina Frugiuele/Getty Images

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