After a barrage of pro-war headlines earlier on Sunday...
- U.S. WARNS THAT RUSSIA MAY TARGET MULTIPLE CITIES IN UKRAINE
... and this...
- ALL INDICATIONS RUSSIA 'ON BRINK' OF INVADING UKRAINE: BLINKEN
... and a tweet just before 8pm ET from NBC's Howard Fineman, quoting CBS "superb reporter" David Martin that "Putin has just ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine in its entirety, with reserve units following to run an occupation"...
David Martin of @CBSNews, a superb reporter I’ve known for decades and worked with at the original Newsweek for many years—and whom I trust totally—says #Putin has just ordered #Russian forces to invade #Ukraine in its entirety, with reserve units following to run an occupation.— howardfineman (@howardfineman) February 21, 2022
... futures - which had opened down substantially from Friday's already depressed level - soared just before 800pm ET (almost exactly as the CBS tweet hit), after reports that the ongoing talks to halt escalation in Ukraine were successful, and that late on Sunday French President Emmanuel Macron has convinced President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet at a summit to discuss the security situation in Ukraine. Here's more from Reuters:
US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed in principle to a summit over Ukraine, the office of French President Emmanuel Macron said, provided Russia does not invade its neighbor.
In a statement released early Monday, the Elysee Palace said Macron had pitched both leaders on a summit over "security and strategic stability in Europe.”
"Presidents Biden and Putin have both accepted the principle of such a summit," the statement said, before adding that such a meeting would be impossible if Russia invaded Ukraine as Western nations fear it plans to.
The White House did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
The announcement - released after a volley of phone calls between Macron and leaders on both sides of the Atlantic - comes after a week of heightened tensions spurred by Russia's military buildup up and down the Ukrainian border.
Naturally, Biden - who is likely asleep by now - is scrambling to take full credit for the Macron-brokered summit, and the White House confirmed that President Biden has agreed to the meeting with Vladimir Putin, brokered by France, if Russia doesn't invade Ukraine, while adding the usual disclaimer that "Russia appears to be continuing preparations for a full-scale assaults on Ukraine very soon."
Would the US really be agreeing to a summit like this if it honestly expected Russia to invade Ukraine? Obviously, the summit will be moot if a large-scale incursion were to occur, but it's not like algos can read nuance.
As for the broken record that an invasion is imminent, even the president of El Salvador is now openly mocking the dismal failure that is US intelligence (we can't wait for an AP hit piece declaring the bitcoin-friendly leader to be serving Russian propaganda).
These “commanders” are getting 4 attack orders a week?— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) February 21, 2022
The Biden administration is loosing all the credibility it has left.
And yet, a new supposed order that didn’t happen.
Weird strategy. https://t.co/1PZMiOQTAT
The bottom line:
And just like that, Putin gets a White House summit without removing a single soldier from the border— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 21, 2022
Meanwhile Biden will try to walk away claiming ‘victory’ that even his yes-men won’t believe
In any case, after sliding in early Sunday trading, US equity futures stepped off the ledge and jumped as much as 55 points on news of the upcoming summit...
... with safe havens such as gold and Treasuries sliding, as the invasion clock is once again reset back to square one.