(Bloomberg) -- Russia appears on track for a far shallower recession than many initially forecast due to rising oil production that has blunted the impact of international sanctions over its war in Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans a candid discussion about the war with his Chinese counterpart during an upcoming summit in Bali. Blinken, however, has no plans to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during the Group of 20 ministerial gathering in Bali this week. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet in Ankara Wednesday with his Somalian counterpart, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, after saying that Turkey was trying to reach a deal in the coming days on the transportation of Ukrainian grain.  

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key Developments

  • Russia’s War-Weary Tech Talent Floods Into Neighboring Georgia
  • Russia Dodges Worst Recession Fears as Oil Eases Sanctions Pain
  • Blinken Plans ‘Candid Exchange’ With China’s Wang on Ukraine War
  • German Energy Giant Uniper Put on Negative Credit Watch by S&P

On the Ground

Russian forces are trying to improve their tactical position on the Slovyansk axis in Donetsk region, the Ukraine General Staff said overnight, adding that Ukrainian troops repelled several attacks there, including close to Bakhmut. Regional Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko has urged people remaining in the eastern Ukrainian towns of Kramatorsk and Slovyansk to evacuate as Russian attacks intensify. Russia also launched an airstrike near Vuhlegirska Thermal Power Plant, and conducted shelling in the direction of Siversk and in Kharkiv region, the military said.

(All times CET)

Russia Dodges Worst Recession Fears (6 a.m.)

Economists from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and other big banks are slashing their outlooks for the drop in output this year to as little as 3.5%, dismissing fears in the first months after the invasion that it could be the deepest in a generation. 

The improving outlook is adding to Kremlin confidence that it can weather the sanctions onslaught from the US and its allies even as leaders in those countries face increasing pressure from surging energy and food prices -- trends the war has worsened. Even so, Russia’s economy is still facing the sharpest contraction since at least 2009. 

Russia’s War-Weary Tech Talent Floods Into Georgia (6 a.m.)

Georgia’s government estimates that 80,000 Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians now reside in the small Caucasus nation of 4 million. Of those, 20,000-25,000 work in IT and software, and about 30,000 are Russian citizens who arrived since the war began. 

As IT specialists, they see little future in Russia as the security services tighten control of the Internet, international sanctions squeeze the economy and foreign companies exit. The exodus comes as Russian tech companies including Internet giant Yandex NV struggle amid deepening censorship, shortages of key equipment, and a backlash in foreign markets.

Russia’s War-Weary Tech Talent Floods Into Neighboring Georgia

China to Strengthen Coordination With Russia (5:34 a.m.)

Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu said while meeting Russian Ambassador Andrey Denisov that Beijing is willing to strengthen strategic coordination and cooperation in various sectors.

China will deepen cooperation with its long-time partner Russia at the UN, G-20, Shanghai Cooperative Organization and BRICS in an effort to build a “more fair and reasonable” global governance system, Ma said, according to a statement from China’s Foreign Ministry. 

Biden warned Chinese President Xi Jinping in a March telephone call of “consequences” should Beijing provide support for Putin’s war, according to the White House readout of the chat. 

Blinken Plans ‘Candid Exchange’ With China’s Wang (1:55 a.m.)

Blinken leaves for Bali on Wednesday to attend a G-20 foreign ministers meeting that’s set to be dominated by the fallout from Russia’s invasion. He will have discussions with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, a top US administration official said. 

“This will be another opportunity, I think, to have a candid exchange on that, and to convey our expectations about what we would expect China to do, and not to do, in the context of Ukraine,” Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink told reporters in Washington. 

Nicholas Burns, the US ambassador to China, this week called on Beijing to stop spreading Russia’s “lies,” in an unusually direct and public rebuke. While China has said it doesn’t support the war and urged talks to end the fighting, top officials and state media have repeatedly blamed the US for provoking Russia by allowing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s expansion. 

Blinken Isn’t Expected to Meet Lavrov at G-20 (12:40 a.m.)

Blinken isn’t expected to meet Lavrov at the G-20, according to State Department spokesman Ned Price. He told reporters “the secretary will be a full and active participant” at the gathering in Indonesia despite Russia’s presence.

The US government is committed to a successful meeting, Price said, but “it cannot be business as usual with Russia.” He predicted that G-20 members would “express no shortage of condemnation for the actions on the part of the Russian Federation” in the Ukraine invasion.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.