• 7:00 a.m.: Xi Jinping leaves Moscow after summit with Putin

Xi Jinping left Moscow after praising with Vladimir Putin the entry into a "new era" of their "special" relationship with the West. The Russian president cautiously supported China's plan to settle the conflict in Ukraine, while accusing Kiev of rejecting it.

The Chinese initiative, which advocates peace talks, includes elements that can "serve as a basis for a peaceful settlement (of the conflict), when they are ready in the West and Kiev," Putin said.

"Right now there are changes, the likes of which we haven't seen for 100 years," Mr. Xi told Mr. Putin through an interpreter after the state dinner as the leaders bid farewell. "And we are the ones driving these changes together." pic.twitter.com/0Q9cGfWLKl

β€” Valerie Hopkins (@VALERIEinNYT) March 21, 2023

  • 6:55 a.m.: Russian Navy repelled drone attack on Sevastopol port

The Russian navy "repelled" a drone attack on Wednesday on the port of Sevastopol in Crimea, a peninsula annexed by Moscow, the city's governor said.

"The Black Sea Fleet has repelled a surface drone attack on Sevastopol," Russian-installed Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Telegram. "They tried to enter our bay, our sailors shot at them with small arms. Air defense also worked," he added.

  • 22:22 p.m.: Ukraine gets $15.6 billion IMF bailout

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that it has reached an agreement with the Ukrainian government to implement an aid package totalling $15.6 billion.

The plan should make it possible to "support the gradual economic recovery while creating the conditions for long-term growth in a context of post-conflict reconstruction and on the way to accession to the European Union (EU)," the IMF said in a statement.

  • 22:15 p.m.: Zelensky hails 'productive' talks with Japanese PM

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed "productive" talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, on a visit to Kiev, praising Tokyo's "very concrete will" to "protect" Ukraine against "Russian terror".

"Given Japan's strength, its leadership in Asia in defending peace and the rules-based international order, as well as its responsibility as the (rotating) chair of the G7, today's talks can have a global outcome," Zelensky said in his daily video message.

With AFP and Reuters

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