Georgia faces a rocky road to EU membership

class=”MuiTypography-root-142 MuiTypography-h1-147″>Georgia faces a rocky road to EU membership

Georgia was once considered a favorite among countries seeking EU membership. But in recent years, the country’s majority Georgian Dream party has faced accusations of failing to improve the judiciary, protecting LGBTQ rights and of decreasing press freedoms.

The WorldMarch 10, 2023 · 1:15 PM EST

Protesters wave a Georgian national and EU flags as they rally against a draft law aimed at curbing the influence of "foreign agents" near the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia, Thursday, March 9, 2023. 

Zurab Tsertsvadze/AP

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, this week to protest a proposed law that would designate organizations that receive a certain amount of funding from abroad as “foreign agents.”

Riot police used water cannons and tear gas to break up the crowds.

Critics of the legislation in Georgia argue that the law is modeled after a similar one in Russia that has made it harder for human rights organizations and independent media to operate. Lawmakers from the ruling Georgian Dream party have since announced they will not pursue passing the law, to appease the protesters, but a fierce debate about Georgia’s future continues.

Many feared this legislation would impede the country's aspirations for membership in the European Union. And Georgian Dream, the dominant political party, has been seen as not friendly enough to the West or harsh enough with Russia.

Protesters shout slogans during a rally against a draft law aimed at curbing the influence of "foreign agents" near the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia, Friday, March 10, 2023. 


Shakh Aivazov/AP

Last summer, Ukraine and Moldova both received offers to officially become candidates for EU membership. But Georgia, which also applied for it, was given a list of tasks to complete in order to continue with the process, such as decreasing political polarization and limiting the influence of oligarchs.

The delay in advancement in the process has been a huge disappointment for Georgians, who overwhelmingly support EU membership.

“Europe represents stability and progress, that’s why we want to join the EU,” said 65-year-old Bidzina Tsurtsumia, who works at a small amusement park in Tbilisi.

Tsurtsumia said that joining the EU would mean becoming part of a more multicultural world and gaining distance from the Soviet era.

Georgia was once considered a favorite among countries seeking EU membership. But in recent years, the country’s majority Georgian Dream party has faced accusations of failing to improve the judiciaryprotect the rights of LGBTQ people and of decreasing press freedoms.

A woman holds a poster during a rally against a draft law aimed at curbing the influence of "foreign agents" near the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia, Thursday, March 9, 2023. 


Zurab Tsertsvadze/AP

“This is not the direction that a country that wants to be liberal and democratic should go,” said Sonja Schiffers, director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Tbsili, a think-tank associated with the German Green Party.

Georgia gets relatively good rankings from organizations like Transparency International on issues like corruption. But, Schiffers said, the problem is that, unlike Ukraine, Georgia’s government has stalled efforts to strengthen its democracy.

The ruling party’s rhetoric has detracted from aspirations to join the EU. Recently, some members of Georgian Dream have been openly hostile to American and EU officials. And other politicians formerly associated with Georgian Dream are accused of spreading anti-Western conspiracy theories.

“We have a government which argues against the West, so it's a tragic moment,” said Giga Bokeria, leader of the opposition party European Georgia.

Bokeria hopes that Georgia will gain EU membership, because it would make the country more secure at a time when Russia is invading its neighbors.

“We need a government at this historic stage who would be banging on the doors in Washington and Brussels, explaining why both morally and pragmatically Georgia should become part of the Western security architecture,” Bokeria said.

But many leading Georgian Dream members say the party has taken significant steps to become closer to the West, at times making sacrifices like sending Georgian troops to Afghanistan to collaborate with the US and NATO.

“Unfortunately, the West has demonstrated hesitancy in coming closer to Georgia, rather than the other way around,” said Giorgi Khelashvili, a Georgian Dream politician and the deputy chair of the foreign relations committee.

Demonstrators gather with Georgian national and EU flags during a pro-EU and anti-government rally against in front of the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi, Georgia, on July 3, 2022.


Shakh Aivazov/File/AP

Georgian Dream has also come under fire for not taking a harsh enough stance on Moscow since Russia invaded Ukraine. But politicians like Khelashvili say those criticisms are unfair.

“When you have a nuclear superpower next to you, which is threatening and menacing you incessantly, how can we risk the livelihood and lives of our population just by challenging Russia?” Khelashvili said.

But some Georgians believe that not taking a strong position against Russia’s actions in Ukraine could become a national security issue. Russia currently has defacto control of roughly 20% of Georgia’s territory.

“The problem is that Georgia cannot sit in two chairs at the same time,” said Korneli Kakachia, think-tank director of the Georgian Institute of Politics, referring to the government’s position of trying to appease both the West and Russia.

But Georgian Dream’s political messaging doesn’t turn off all Georgians.

“We’re not opposed to Russia, we just want to have relations with a peaceful Russia that’s more like nations elsewhere in Europe,” Tsurtsumia said back at the amusement park.

There, a European Union flag flutters behind Georgia’s flag — a common sight in Tbilisi, as a symbol of Georgians’ European identity and membership in the Council of Europe, a human rights organization.

The EU flag is so ubiquitous that one could easily assume the country is already part of the EU.

Georgia is still under consideration to become an EU member. But unless the government firmly embraces the West, Georgia’s path to the EU will be much more complicated.

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Poland has taken in more Ukrainian refugees than any other EU country. Local mayors say they’re running out of money. 

class=”MuiTypography-root-225 MuiTypography-h1-230″>Poland has taken in more Ukrainian refugees than any other EU country. Local mayors say they’re running out of money. 

Poland has taken in nearly 1.5 million Ukrainians since the war began. Local mayors say they’re now running out of money to support refugees. And the vast network of volunteers that turned up in the early months of the invasion say that they’re running out of energy, too.

The WorldNovember 1, 2022 · 1:00 PM EDT

People walk past banners with aid infomation for Ukrainians who fled the war in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 5,2022. 

Omar Marques/The World

As Europe braces for the arrival of more Ukrainian refugees this winter, many question if the continent will be prepared. 

In Poland, which has taken in more Ukrainian refugees than any other EU country — 1.5 million — some are saying the answer is no as resources quickly dry up.

“We need much bigger funding for refugees,” Rafal Trzaskowski, the mayor of Warsaw, said during a press conference last month.

Mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski speaks to the press after meeting a Taiwan official who donated 1 million USD to help Ukrainian refugees staying in Warsaw in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 5,2022. 


Omar Marques/The World

Warsaw, which according to the city government has accepted 170,000 Ukrainian refugees since February, has already spent $80 million to help Ukrainians resettle. Under the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD), registered Ukrainians can access the labor market, free health care and the Polish school system and receive many of the same social benefits entitled to Polish citizens.

But as funding runs out, so have a number of services such as free public transport for Ukrainian refugees and subsidies for people hosting them.

Trzaskowski and other mayors across Poland have been calling on the central government for more financial assistance, but say old political games are getting in the way.

People walk past a banner with information for Ukrainians who fled the war at the Zachodnia bus station in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 5,2022. 


Omar Marques/The World

Notably, Trzaskowski has accused the far-right central government of taking money away from larger cities like his, which are run by more liberal opposition parties.

“So, paradoxically, in times of crisis, instead of giving us money, the government actually focuses on taking money away from us,” Trzaskowski said, adding, “It seems that the government doesn't have a strategy on helping refugees.”

Ukrainian vollunteers inform Ukrainiand in front of an aid tent for displaced Ukrainians who fled the Russian invasion of Ukraine next to the Zachodnia bus station in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 5,2022. 


Omar Marques/The World

Bartosz Grodecki, a member of the central government who works on the budget for refugees in Poland, refutes that claim. He argues that towns already have enough money, and that the central government has already pledged $3.4 billion in aid for this year.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's portrait hangs among aid information papers next to baby cars inside an aid tent for displaced Ukrainians who fled the Russian invasion of Ukraine next to the Zachodnia bus station in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 5,2022. 


Omar Marques/The World

While he agreed there could be more funding, he said that money should be coming from an EU level.

“We have welcomed the most number of refugees [of any EU country] … which is why we should be financially covered by the European Commission,” Grodecki said.

Bartosz Grodecki, undersecretary of state of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration of the Republic of Poland, poses for a portrait at his office in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 4, 2022. 


Omar Marques/The World

While the EU sent an additional $144.6 million earlier this month to help Poland respond to Ukrainian refugees, the interior minister criticized the amount as small compared to what the country needs.

Indeed, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED) estimates that Poland will have spent $8.4 billion responding to Ukrainian refugees by the end of this year, more than any other EU country.

Much of that support has been coming from individuals. The Polish Economic Institute estimates that private citizens spent as much as $2.1 billion helping Ukrainians in the first three months of the war alone.

People walk past electronic displays with Ukraine flag colours in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 3,2022. 


Omar Marques/The World

But with Poland’s inflation rate at 17.2% in September and a looming winter energy crisis, that funding source may also be running low.

Then, there’s the vast network of people who volunteered in the early days of the war but are now experiencing “refugee fatigue.”

“People are tired,” said Helen Krajewska, who works with the Warsaw-based, nongovernmental organization Polish Humanitarian Action.

She said that what people need now is support.

Helena Krajewska, press officer of Polish Humanitarian action (PAH) poses for a portrait in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 4,2022. 


Omar Marques/The World

“Not only financial support, but even support from just normal people to say that we are all in this together because help is not a sprint, it's a marathon.”

Ksawery Nałęcz-Jawecki, a 32-year-old who works in advertising, knows what the marathon feels like.

In March, he and a few friends set up a volunteer food kitchen outside one of Warsaw’s largest train stations.

Ksawery Nalecz-Jawecki is a Polish activist who independently created an aid point for Ukrainians who fled the war. He poses for a portrait in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 3, 2022. 


Omar Marques/The World

“During the busiest period, we were serving around 10,000 people a day,” Nalecz-Jawecki said.

The Polish government then stepped in to provide funding, which helped them serve more than half a million people total.

But that funding ran out in early July, forcing the operation to shut down entirely.

Nalecz-Jawecki said that part of it is understandable.

People line up to pick a free SIM card from the PLAY telecommunication company for Ukrainians who fled the war at the Zachodnia bus station in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 5,2022. 


Omar Marques/The World

For now, there are still fewer Ukrainians coming into Poland compared to the start of the war.

But with winter around the corner, and Russia’s recent barrage of missile strikes targeting key infrastructure and civilians, analysts expect those numbers to rise again.

Nalecz-Jawecki said that he’d be ready to start up his operation again.

“It’s an easy decision,” he said. “When someone is in need or in pain, it’s easy to find the strength to help.”

His only hope is that those with the potential to help fund such an operation will feel the same way.  

Related: Poland is feeling the pinch after cutting Russian energy imports

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Count me in!Related ContentWar in Ukraine expedites Poland's move to destroy Soviet-era monumentsPutin's war in Ukraine through a historical lensRussian dissident remains in prison on trumped-up chargesAs war rages on in Ukraine, some ethnic Russians in Latvia say they feel marginalized

Russia will not appoint a new permanent representative to the EU in the near future

Moscow does not intend to appoint a new permanent representative to the EU in the near future after the departure of Vladimir Chizhov and will be represented at the level of charge d'affaires, RBC learned 9/71/756644707963719.jpg 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi) ” >

Russia will not appoint a new permanent representative to the EU in the near future

Russia's permanent mission to the EU will be headed by a charge d'affaires, Moscow does not intend to appoint a new permanent representative after Vladimir Chizhov's departure, two sources familiar with the discussion told RBC. “In the near future, Russia does not intend to appoint a new permanent representative and will be represented in Brussels at the level of charge d'affaires. The issue is suspended indefinitely»,— one of them told RBC.

Another RBC source familiar with the discussion of the issue said that such an appointment is not planned in the near future.

The press service of the Russian permanent mission to the EU told RBC that “the timing of the appointment of a new permanent representative depends on many internal and external factors.” “At the same time, it is obvious that the activity of any Russian foreign agency implies the presence of its head, appointed by presidential decree. Until that time, Russia will be represented in EU Brussels at the level of Acting Permanent Representative,— added in the Russian diplomatic mission.

The permanent mission noted that they had repeatedly heard that the EU was in favor of maintaining channels of political dialogue. “However, in the current and future work in this area, the confrontational statements of the European Union, including those made by its leaders within and on the margins of the session of the UN General Assembly in New York, also have to be taken into account,” — concluded in permanent representation.

In turn, the official representative of the EU Foreign Service, Peter Stano, told RBC that he could not publicly comment on the process of issuing agremans and nominating permanent representatives. “We also do not comment on what steps the partners are taking in this regard and when they request (agrement) from us,” — he explained.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told reporters on Thursday that Russia has not yet asked the EU for a new envoy.

RBC sent a request to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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The new EU Ambassador to Russia, Roland Galyarag, presented copies of his credentials to Grushko on September 27, after which he was able to start working as head of the EU diplomatic mission. The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova on September 15 on the air of the Soloviev Live TV channel stated that Galyarag was already in Moscow. Stano also spoke about this to RBC. However, the diplomat did not participate in the ceremony of presenting his credentials to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which took place in the Kremlin Palace on September 20.

Vladimir Chizhov has served as Russia's Permanent Representative to the European Union since 2005. On September 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin released him from his duties by decree. Chizhov, 68, said earlier. “I am no longer comfortable acting as a living monument to the strategic partnership between Russia and the EU,” — the diplomat told reporters on 12 September. He noted that during his “farewell visits” told his European colleagues that “burning bridges is much easier than rebuilding them later.”

As early as July 25, he became a candidate for the post of senator from Karelia. On September 11, elections of the head of the region were held in the republic, according to the law, during registration, candidates propose their three candidates for the post of senator. Chizhov was a candidate for senators from the executive branch of the current head of Karelia, Artur Parfenchikov, who won the election. On September 27, Chizhov was appointed a senator.

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The largest oil trader spoke about the US plan to replace Russian oil in the EU

Russia will have to sell oil in other markets at a discount, says Vitol's director. The EU plans to introduce a ceiling on commodity prices ) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

The United States will supply Europe with more than 1 million barrels of oil per day. oil to replace Russian crude. This was stated by the director of the Swiss-Dutch company Vitol, which is the world's largest oil trader, Russell Hardy on the sidelines of the 38th Asia-Pacific Oil Conference, Reuters reports.

According to Hardy, they will look for a “home” for Russian raw materials outside the US, UK and EU. “[Oil] will go farther and farther and find other markets, while it will have to be sold at a discount,” — says the director of the company.

In May, the European Union agreed to a ban on sea shipments of Russian oil, but the embargo did not affect the export of raw materials through pipelines, through which EU members, including Hungary, Germany and Poland, received about a third of the oil. Due to the decision of Poland and Germany to refuse any form of Russian oil supplies (by sea and pipelines), by the end of the year it will only enter the EU through the southern part of the Druzhba pipeline, which accounts for 10% of the total volume of oil purchased by the European Union from Russia, said the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The embargo is due to take effect in December. It will concern raw materials in their pure form and mixtures— so-called blends. If Russian and non-Russian oil is mixed in the batch, then it will be completely banned. However, if the supplier can clearly show which part of the batch is not produced in Russia, this part will be allowed on the European market.

Later, on September 23, the Financial Times, citing sources, reported that the eighth package of EU sanctions in response to partial mobilization and referendums in Donbass would include provisions for a ceiling on Russian oil prices. Bloomberg, citing sources, claimed that a decision could be made within a few weeks. The Russian authorities have repeatedly said that the country will stop supplying oil to those states that impose a price ceiling. The head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, noted that this would lead to an increase in world prices for raw materials.

In late March, President Joe Biden announced his intention to release a record amount of crude oil— 180 million barrels— within six months to combat rising fuel prices and market disruptions. According to the plan, the US sells about 1 million barrels. oil per day. By September 16, strategic crude oil reserves in the United States fell to 427.2 million barrels, followed from a report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The Wall Street Journal wrote that this figure was the lowest since 1984.

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Putin dismissed Chizhov from the post of permanent representative to the EU

Vladimir Chizhov has been Russia's representative to the EU since 2005. Against the backdrop of deteriorating relations with the West, he announced the “completion of the business trip” (max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Vladimir Chizhov

Russian President Vladimir Putin by his decree released Vladimir Chizhov from the post of Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Union. The document was published on the website of legal acts.

“Release Chizhov Vladimir Alekseevich from the duties of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community in Brussels, the Kingdom of Belgium”, — says the document.

On plans for retiring and “completing a business trip” Chizhov, 68, said earlier. “I am no longer comfortable acting as a living monument to the strategic partnership between Russia and the EU,” — the diplomat told reporters on 12 September. He noted that during his “farewell visits” told his European colleagues that “burning bridges is much easier than rebuilding them later.”

As early as July 25, he became a candidate for the post of senator from Karelia. On September 11, elections of the head of the region were held in the republic, according to the law, during registration, candidates propose their three candidates for the post of senator. Chizhov was a candidate for senator from the executive branch of the current head of Karelia, Artur Parfenchikov, who won the election.

Chizhov has been Russia's permanent representative to the EU since 2005. He is a graduate of MGIMO. He began his diplomatic career in 1976. He worked in the central office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as in the embassies of the USSR and Russia in Greece and Cyprus. He held senior positions in various departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: he was Russia's special representative for the Cyprus settlement and the Balkans, director of the department for pan-European cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from 2002 to 2005 he was deputy minister of foreign affairs.

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Understanding the mailing


Finnish Foreign Minister allowed a complete EU ban on issuing visas to Russians

Finnish Foreign Minister: EU may completely ban visas to Russians If the EU decides to completely ban tourist visas, then European countries, including Finland, should have another type of visa in reserve, for example, for journalists and civil activists, the country's Foreign Ministry noted

The European Union may completely ban the issuance of tourist visas to Russians. This was stated by Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto in an interview with Helsingin sanomat.

“If the EU decides to completely ban tourist visas— which I think is quite possible in the EU,— then the EU countries, including Finland, must have a different type of visa— for example, for critical journalists, civil society activists or opposition representatives, — he said.

A ban on issuing visas to Russians would require a common EU position, Haavisto said, noting that Helsinki would be fine if the EU enforced the restrictions everywhere, which in turn would have a legal basis.

“Now we are waiting for EU policy. We are ready to tighten the measures, — assured the head of the Finnish Foreign Ministry.

Poland and the Baltic states consider every Russian as a security threat, for Finland it would be “a very dramatic interpretation,” he said. However, if the Finnish security authorities— Armed forces, police or border guards— saw a threat in the citizens of Russia, then Helsinki would have taken a similar decision.

“We in the Foreign Office cannot come to such an interpretation if the security agencies do not have such a point of view,” — emphasized Haavisto.

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On August 16, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that from the beginning of September, Helsinki would reduce the number of applications for tourist visas from Russians by ten times. The total number of visa applications registered by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be halved— instead of 1 thousand applications, the agency will accept 500, of which 400 will be given to those who apply for a visa due to family ties, study or work.

The Finnish government has instructed to prepare proposals for a national humanitarian visa for journalists or civilians. activists.

Haavisto assured that Finland does not intend to cancel the Schengen tourist visas already issued to Russians.

The head of the consular service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jussi Tanner, in turn, 12 September announced that the country does not intend to completely refuse entry for Russian citizens. “There will be no total ban in Finland, as in the Baltics and Poland. There will also be no quick changes in visa practice,»— he said.

In the Kremlin, commenting on the discussion of a possible ban on issuing visas to Russians, they expressed the hope that “opponents will retain at least a small amount of sober thinking.” If the measures are nevertheless introduced, Russia will respond to them, they added there.

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FT learned about US and EU plans to put pressure on Turkey over Mir cards

FT: The US and the EU will put pressure on Turkish banks that have connected to the Mir system The EU intends to send a delegation to Turkey amid fears of circumventing sanctions against Russia, the newspaper writes. There are now many partners of Russia in Turkey – only some of the banks are not ready to serve Mir cards, the head of the NSPK said /756632212900866.png 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

The United States and the European Union are stepping up pressure on Turkey to enforce sanctions against Russia. This is reported by The Financial Times, citing two sources.

According to the publication, Washington is focusing on Turkish banks that have connected to the Russian payment system “Mir”.

Brussels is also preparing a delegation to express their concerns to Turkish officials directly.

General Director of the National Payment Card System (NSPK) Vladimir Komlev, in turn, said that the cards of the Mir payment system, the failure of which was previously reported in Turkey, continue to function as before.

“Nothing bad has happened in Turkey, the work is going absolutely normal. Wherever the maps “Mir” were accepted, they are accepted, & mdash; he emphasized (quote from TASS).

According to Komlev, the Russian side contacted the Turkish partners, and they confirmed that there were no reasons to worry. There are many partners in Turkey now, some of the banks were not always ready to serve the cards of Russian banks that fell under sanctions before. “But these are just some of the banks,” — Komlev added.

Read on RBC Pro Pro x The Economist Brazilian JBS outperformed Nestlé and PepsiCo. Why investors are wary of it a wave of “quiet layoffs”. What will it lead to in Russia? Erdogan, after talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Sochi, mentioned the topic of using Russian Mir cards in Turkey.

“There is also a card” World ” Russia. Now five of our banks are working on it. There are also very serious developments here,»,— said the Turkish leader.

After that, The Financial Times reported that Western authorities are increasingly concerned about deepening economic cooperation between Russia and Turkey and the growing risk of secondary sanctions against Ankara if it help Moscow circumvent the restrictions.

One of the European officials said that the EU is monitoring the cooperation between Moscow and Ankara “more and more closely”. “We are trying to get the Turks to pay attention to our concerns,” — stressed the source.

Turkish Deputy Finance Minister Nynus Elitash on August 21 assured the United States that official Ankara would not allow sanctions to be circumvented by any person or institution in Turkey.

In early March, Turkey refused to join sanctions against Russia, explaining this decision by the unwillingness to “burn bridges”, despite the support of Ukraine.

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EU finance ministers approve €5bn aid to Kyiv

This is the second part of the €9 billion loan promised in May. €1 billion has already been sent to Kyiv, the remaining €3 billion was promised to be issued “as soon as possible.” In total, according to the EC, Kyiv and the World Bank, the restoration of Ukraine will take $ 349 billion ” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

EU finance ministers approved allocation of assistance to Kyiv for €5 billion

EU finance ministers have agreed to additionally allocate <5 billion euros in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine, Deputy Head of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said on Twitter.

“EU ministers are ready <…> provide [Ukraine] €5 billion in loans— macro-financial assistance package [for a total amount] €9 billion»,— he wrote.

On September 7, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced plans to provide Ukraine with an additional €5 billion in the form of a loan on Twitter. “The situation in Ukraine requires our full support. Today, the European Commission proposes to allocate additional macro-financial assistance to the country in the amount of €5 billion»,— she wrote. However, after the initiative was put forward, it had to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the countries— members of the EU.

The allocated €5 billion are included in the package of macro-financial assistance, which the EC announced back in May. Of the promised €9 billion, it has already allocated €1 billion and €5 billion, respectively, the remaining €3 billion the European Commission promised to send to Kyiv “as soon as possible”.

The European Commission, together with Kyiv and World Bank experts, have calculated that $349 billion will be required to restore Ukraine.

After the start of the Russian military operation, the EU allocated several aid packages to Ukraine. Humanitarian assistance from EU institutions in mid-June, according to the estimates of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, exceeded $1.3 billion, financial— $11.6 billion, and the military— $ 2.1 billion. At the same time, additional packages were allocated by individual European countries. Von der Leyen on September 7 estimated total aid at €10 billion

At the end of July, Timofey Mylovanov, adviser to the head of the presidential office, said that Ukraine would need from $30 billion to $100 billion annually to fully recover from the special operation, of which $20-30 billion to support macroeconomics and so much— to support the army. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky at the end of August estimated the total cost at $600-800 billion. Prime Minister Denys Shmygal offered to finance the restoration at the expense of confiscated Russian assets. The European Union also said that they are looking for a way to use them for this purpose.

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Putin’s ultimatum forced the EU to back down

Restrictions on Russian gas prices will not be introduced.

InoSMI found out about the reaction of the European Union to the warning of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Russian President warned that he would suspend gas supplies if a decision was made to limit gas prices.

As Tom writes Rice for The Telegraph, after Putin's warning, the EU decided not to impose a ceiling on gas prices.

The expert found that at a meeting of the European Union, ministers asked the European Commission to create a plan to mitigate the crisis in the energy markets.

The observer confirmed that Europe is experiencing an acute crisis due to a sharp rise in energy prices and their shortage.

“Ministers in Brussels are urgently trying to prepare for a harsh winter,” – said in the material.

The EU Ministerial Meeting was held on Friday, September 9th. The heads of ministries discussed additional measures to reduce tensions in the world.

Including the option of the obligation of consumers to reduce electricity consumption during peak hours, to introduce limits on the income of companies that produce electricity at low costs and receive excess profits for due to high prices.

Earlier, Vladimir Putin reminded that the West is not in a position to dictate its terms to Moscow and impose price limits on Russian energy resources.

“Cold, freeze , wolf tail. The West is not in a position to dictate its terms to Russia, let them come to their senses”, – advised Vladimir Putin.

Putin also promised not to close himself off from Europe and said that Russia would not impose visa restrictions

As Topnews wrote earlier, Hungary delivered an ultimatum to the EU countries and demanded that sanctions be lifted from Russian entrepreneurs. In response, Budapest promised to stop stopping anti-Russian restrictions.

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The Czech Republic declared Hungary “on the edge of the abyss” and allowed its exit from the EU

Minister for European Affairs Mikulas Beck stressed that Budapest disagrees with Brussels on many issues and, against this background, “came to the edge of the abyss.” Now he needs to decide whether to jump or not, he noted

Mikulas Beck

Hungary's position on various issues, including sanctions against Russia, often differs from the position of the EU, said in an interview with radio station Český rozhlas Plus Minister for European Affairs of the Czech Republic Mikulas Beck. He admitted that this could lead to Hungary leaving the European Union.

“In the European Union, negotiations are often difficult. <…>But Hungary, in my opinion, has come a long way to the edge of some kind of abyss, and now she has to decide whether to turn back or take a chance and jump, the consequences of which I do not want to speculate on,— concluded the minister. He added that under the “jump” the country's theoretical exit from the EU is implied.

Beck stressed that he will have a lot of work to do in the coming months to keep Budapest “on European track”; (The Czech Republic currently holds the EU Council Presidency).

The Czech minister also noted that the positive signal is that Hungary has temporarily abandoned its demand to remove three Russian businessmen from the European sanctions list— Alisher Usmanov, Petr Aven and Viktor Rashnikov. Budapest's request was reported earlier in the week by the Politico newspaper, citing sources. According to her, this infuriated the representatives of the EU. Later, the publication wrote that Budapest temporarily abandoned its demand after negotiations with the Czech Republic. The EU sanctions list should be extended until September 15.

In recent years, Hungary has repeatedly found itself in opposition to Brussels, including because of the law adopted in the country to limit LGBT propaganda and withdraw frequency from the opposition radio stations. The latest reason for disagreement was the EU sanctions policy towards Russia. Hungary did not support the restrictions, and also warned that they would primarily turn against the countries — members of the European Union.

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“In the end, Europe will be on the side of the losers in this war due to economic problems. We recommended to stop the sanctions process,— Balazs Orbán, a senior adviser to the Hungarian Prime Minister, said in June.

In August, including because of Hungary, EU foreign ministers failed to reach a consensus on a visa ban for Russians. Instead, it was decided to turn to a softer measure— suspension of the simplified visa regime. Budapest also opposes sanctions against oil and gas supplies from Russia. “There is no European security of supply without Russian sources of energy”, — Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto stated.

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FT learns of EU readiness to suspend visa agreement with Russia

This idea is going to be supported by the foreign ministers of the EU countries at a meeting next week. If the visa facilitation agreement is suspended, it will be more difficult, longer and more expensive for Russians to obtain Schengen visas 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the countries The EU will support the idea to suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia, writes the Financial Times.

Three EU officials involved in the talks on the topic told the newspaper that political support for such a decision would be expressed during a two-day meeting starting in Prague on Tuesday. If the decision to suspend the current agreement is eventually made, Russians applying for visas from countries— EU members, more documents will have to be collected, their processing will take longer, and the cost of filing an application will increase.

“It is inappropriate when Russian tourists walk around our cities, along our shores” ;,— said one of the newspaper's interlocutors.

He stressed that European countries are “in an exceptional situation” that “requires exceptional steps.” “We want to go beyond the visa facilitation suspension,” — the source added, specifying that more serious steps in this direction could be made by the end of the year.

However, there is still no consensus in the EU on what additional measures that will lead to the reduction or suspension of visas for Russian citizens, Brussels can take, as well as what to do with respect to Belarus, writes FT.

The agreement between Russia and the European Community on visa facilitation for citizens of the Russian Federation and the European Union was ratified by Russia in March 2007. It entered into force on June 1 of the same year. It covers the issuance of visas for stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. The document does not regulate issues such as refusal to issue a visa, recognition of travel documents, proof of sufficient means of subsistence, refusal to enter the country or expulsion from it.

The agreement also establishes a single fee for issuing visas— €35. It rises to €70 if the visa application is submitted less than three days before the expected date of departure. The parties to the agreement are given 10 calendar days to make a decision on issuing a visa, however, if there is a need for additional study of the application, the period can be extended up to 30 working days. In urgent cases, the time for issuing a visa can be reduced to three days.

Each of the parties to the agreement may suspend its operation in whole or in part “for reasons of protecting national security, public order or public health.” The other party must be notified at least 48 hours in advance. The agreement terminates 90 days after receipt of the relevant written notice from the initiator of the suspension.

After the start of the operation in Ukraine, Russia twice— in April and May— suspended certain clauses of the agreement in response to “unfriendly actions”; EU countries, as well as a number of others, such as Iceland and Liechtenstein. These points concerned the simplified entry of members of official delegations and journalists, the issuance of multiple entry visas for members of governments and parliaments, constitutional and supreme courts, employees of diplomatic missions and consulates, exemption from visa fees for members of official delegations, etc.

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Complete Suspension the operation of a simplified visa regime between the EU and Russia was proposed by the Czech Republic. The country considered it necessary to completely abolish the issuance of short-term visas for Russians, however, faced with the resistance of some countries— EU members, proposed an alternative. Among those who opposed a complete ban were Germany, Austria and a number of southern European countries, wrote Bloomberg.

Brussels, for its part, also pointed out that the complete abolition of extradition visas are not provided for in the visa code of the union, since there are always categories of citizens who must receive visas, & mdash; for example, journalists or those who leave the country for fear of political persecution.

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Borrell doubted the decision of the EU on a complete ban on the issuance of visas to Russians

Borrell: the ban on the issuance of Schengen visas for all Russians will be deprived of support in the EU The question of the ban on the issuance of visas to Russians will be discussed at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Prague. According to Borrell, the ministers are unlikely to agree on a complete ban, but they will discuss exceptions for certain categories of citizens jpg 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Estonia proposes EU to introduce new sanctions against Russia

Estonia invited the EC to strengthen sanctions against Russia and restrictions on SWIFT In particular, Tallinn proposes to introduce additional restrictions on the use of SWIFT system by Russian banks. Estonia sent its proposals to the European Commission

Estonia proposed the EU to introduce new sanctions against Russia

Urmas Reinsalu

Estonia submitted “concrete proposals” to the European Commission; on the eighth package of sanctions against Russia, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said in an interview with Welt.

The proposals are about “energy, trade and further restrictions on [the use of the international interbank system] SWIFT, as well as putting even more people and institutions on the list of sanctions,” the minister said. In his opinion, the sanctions already imposed against Russia are effective, but they are not enough.

«We also need to supply more weapons to Ukraine— Reinsalu added. He called Estonia “the leader in per capita military aid to Ukraine.”

In response to the special operation in Ukraine, the European Union has already introduced seven packages of sanctions against Russia, the latest of them— 22 July. The restrictions affected banks, Russian oil imports, industry, sea and air transport.

Earlier in August, Reinsalu announced that Tallinn would offer Brussels to introduce the eighth package of measures. He proposed expanding sanctions in the areas of energy and trade and restrictions on companies and individuals. According to the head of the Foreign Ministry, Estonia is also trying to reach a political consensus on the issue of Schengen visas— since August 18, the country itself has banned the entry of Russians who had previously issued such a document.

Now, for the first time, Estonia has voiced a proposal for new restrictions on SWIFT. As part of the sanctions already imposed against Russia in response to the special operation in Ukraine, several Russian banks (including Sberbank, VTB, Otkritie, MKB, Rosselkhozbank) were disconnected from the international system. Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau previously proposed disconnecting all Russian and Belarusian banks from SWIFT.

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The Zaporizhzhya State Administration warned of an energy crisis in the EU due to the shelling of the ZNPP

Member of the State Administration of Zaporizhia Rogov: Ukrainian shelling of the ZNPP threatens to disrupt the supply of electricity to the EU “(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

The Zaporizhzhya State Administration warned of an energy crisis in the EU due to the shelling of the ZNPP

Due to the shelling of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, it may be stopped, which will lead to a violation of the energy balance in Ukraine, threatening to disrupt the supply of electricity to the EU countries. About this “RIA Novosti” said Vladimir Rogov, a member of the main council of the administration of the Zaporozhye region.

, this will affect the supply of electricity to the EU countries. Ukraine from the country— electricity exporter will turn into an importing country, — he said.

Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant— Europe's largest nuclear power plant in terms of installed capacity and the third largest in the world. The Zaporozhye NPP accounts for six out of 15 operating nuclear power units in Ukraine. The capture of the Zaporizhzhya NPP under the control of the Russian Ministry of Defense was announced on February 28. Formally, the station is still under the control of Ukrenergoatom.

Russian troops control the southern and central parts of the Zaporozhye region— this is more than half of its territory. Among the major cities located in this zone, & mdash; Berdyansk, Melitopol, Vasilyevka, Energodar (Zaporozhye NPP is located there). The regional center is under the control of Ukraine.


In July and August, the Russian and Ukrainian sides repeatedly accused each other of shelling the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. In particular, on August 11, at least three shells fell near the storage of radioactive isotopes, they said in the military-civilian administration of the region, formed in the majority of Zaporozhye occupied by Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the G7 countries (G7: US, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, UK and Japan) called on Moscow to demilitarize the area around the station and return it to Kyiv's control. Russia's permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, responded by saying that the creation of a demilitarized zone around the ZNPP would make the plant more vulnerable. The Russian Foreign Ministry called the idea of ​​creating such a zone unacceptable.

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At the same time, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said that he would welcome the permanent presence of IAEA experts at the Zaporozhye NPP. At a meeting on August 24, he stressed: Russia hopes that the delegation will be able to visit the nuclear plant “as soon as possible.”

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How Russians can get into the EU if the land border is closed

The Schengen countries bordering Russia can unilaterally ban Russian tourists from entering their territory. RBC figured out when it is still possible to cross the border and how to get to Europe in general media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

As holders of tourist Schengen visas will be able to enter Europe

On Tuesday, August 23, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis announced that countries bordering Russia may close entry for Russian tourists— unless the European Union agrees on a pan-European entry ban for its citizens. “I have spoken to the ministers of all these countries… I don't see much political difference. Russian tourists should not be in the EU», — Reuters quotes Landsbergis.

In addition to Lithuania, Russia borders on Latvia, Estonia, Poland (through the Kaliningrad region), Finland and Norway in the northwest.

All of these states except Norway (due to the remoteness of the Russian-Norwegian border from major cities) faced a significant increase in the number of land border crossings by Russians after the termination of air traffic between Russia and the European Union. The authorities of four countries have already announced a reduction in the number of visas issued to Russians or restrictions on their entry into their territory.

If Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Lithuania (the border also with the Kaliningrad region) and Finland close the entry for Russians— holders of Schengen tourist visas, it will be almost impossible to get into the EU by land. In this case, the only option — entry through the border with Norway, that is, in fact, this means a trip to Murmansk. Entry to these countries through Belarus will also be impossible.

However, holders of tourist visas will still be able to enter the Schengen area by air transit to the selected European country. Among the countries in which a transplant is possible, Turkey, Serbia, the United Arab Emirates, Armenia and Qatar are the most popular. Although it will be possible to fly to the Schengen countries, which will continue to receive Russians, in transit through any country open to Russian citizens. Of course, this will cost more than the overland route.

Who continues to issue tourist Schengen visas to Russians

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Two-thirds of the Schengen countries continue to issue tourist visas to Russians. The exceptions are Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Poland, the Netherlands, Malta, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia; From September 1, Finland will significantly reduce the volume of issuance of tourist visas, while Slovakia issues them only in case of emergency. Norway has significantly increased the processing time for visa applications due to technical problems, Slovenia accepts documents only if there are air tickets to the country. Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Greece and other destinations popular with Russian tourists issue visas as before, but due to increased demand, it is not possible to make an appointment to submit documents through visa centers for the next dates.

Against the ban on the issuance of visas to the Russians was expressed by Germany, Portugal, Hungary and Greece. In Poland, they said that such a measure is not supported in France and the Netherlands. The European Commission also spoke about the impossibility of completely stopping the issuance of visas to Russians, noting that it is necessary to retain the right to enter for humanitarian reasons.

What other types of visas can Russians get

In the event of a pan-European ban on the issuance of tourist visas to Russians or the abolition of existing ones, a number of short-term category C visas, which are issued for humanitarian reasons, will probably remain. These include treatment, visiting close relatives (both Russians living in Europe and EU citizens), participation in cultural, educational and sporting events, and journalistic activities. Such a visa can be both single and multiple with a stay of no more than 90 days within six months. Depending on the type of visa, a certain set of documents is required. In the case of a visa for treatment, documentary confirmation from the host clinic is required, and for visiting relatives— their official invitation.

EU members, with the exception of individual states, have not stopped issuing national category D visas for work, study, reunification with relatives and the so-called humanitarian visas, which are granted for political reasons. Diplomats and members of their families will also continue to receive visas. A national visa allows its holder to stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days within six months and gives the right to work. Traditionally, it requires more documents for registration, including a language certificate. Processing times may also be longer than for a short-stay visa. A complete list of documents for obtaining visas of categories C and D is available on the websites of European embassies and consulates or visa centers that accept documents from Russians.

Citizens of Russia— holders of visas of the listed categories in the event of a ban on entry into the Schengen area through the territory of the Baltic countries, Poland and Finland for the purpose of tourism, will probably be able to continue to cross the land border. The same rules apply to those Russians who have a residence permit in the EU countries.

In Poland, which has not lifted the restrictions on tourist travel for Russians introduced since the start of the pandemic, there are exceptions for holders of national visas and certain categories of citizens. Estonia, which has banned entry on Schengen tourist visas issued by its consular service and which intends to ban entry on visas issued in other countries of the agreement, also continues to allow Russians traveling for humanitarian purposes.

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FT reports EU concerns over Russia-Turkey rapprochement

The West is increasingly concerned about the rapprochement between Russia and Turkey in trade and energy spheres, Ankara is urged to pay attention to this concern, writes FT. The day before, Putin and Erdogan agreed to pay for Russian gas in rubles ” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Western authorities are increasingly concerned about deepening economic cooperation between Russia and Turkey and the growing risk of secondary sanctions against Ankara if it helps Moscow bypass the restrictions. This is reported by the Financial Times, citing six sources among Western officials.

The newspaper calls the statement of Russian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, made after a meeting on Friday, August 4, in Sochi. They declared their readiness to expand cooperation in trade and energy spheres.

One of the European officials said that the EU is monitoring the cooperation between Moscow and Ankara “more and more closely.” In his opinion, Turkey is increasingly becoming a platform for trade with Russia. Another assessed Ankara's actions towards Moscow as “very opportunistic”. “We are trying to get the Turks to pay attention to our concerns,” — he emphasized.

Western countries may call on businesses to leave the Turkish market or reduce their presence in it if official Ankara sticks to the agreement with Moscow announced on August 4, one of the senior Western officials interviewed by the Financial Times said. According to the publication, if Western companies and banks comply, this could cause economic damage to Turkey in the amount of $ 800 billion. According to the FT source, such a measure can be approved “in light of the risk that will be created due to Turkey's expansion of its relations with Russia.” ;.

However, other Western officials interviewed by the newspaper did not agree that such a decision could be made. They noted the lack of clarity on how the mechanism of restrictions against Turkey would work from a practical and legal point of view, and also “would such a move be a good idea,” writes the FT.

“There are very significant economic interests [of Western business in Turkey] that are likely to conflict with such malevolent activities,” emphasized one of the interlocutors of the newspaper. At the same time, he noted that excluding “any negative actions” it is impossible in case of “too close proximity” Russia and Turkey. According to him, secondary sanctions against Turkey will be a difficult decision for the EU against the backdrop of disagreements among member countries, but a number of countries can take restrictive measures on their own.

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We are talking about the talks between the presidents of Russia and Turkey, which took place in Sochi 5th of August. The meeting lasted about four hours. According to the adopted statement, part of the payment for Russian gas supplies to Turkey will be converted into rubles. Puti and Erdogan also advocated the full implementation of the agreement on grain exports, including the supply of Russian food and fertilizers to the world market, agreed to defend the sovereignty of Libya and the territorial integrity of Syria.

“We agreed with Putin on payment in rubles [on trade in natural gas]. We hope that this will bring financial benefits to both countries,— Erdogan then said. He added that over the start of using the MIR card; there are five Turkish banks. “There are also very serious developments here,” — emphasized the President of Turkey

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The Foreign Ministry announced the frozen US and EU dialogue with Moscow on anti-terror

Russian Foreign Ministry: The US and the EU have frozen the dialogue with Moscow on combating terrorism According to the director of the Foreign Ministry department Vladimir Tarabrin, cooperation between Russia, the EU and the US in the field of counterterrorism is actually frozen. He pointed out that today “we need such a dialogue no more than Westerners” type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Director of the Department for New Challenges and Threats Russian Foreign Ministry Vladimir Tarabrin

The United States and EU countries, under far-fetched pretexts, froze the dialogue with Moscow on the fight against terrorism, said in an interview with RIA Novosti Director of the Department for New Challenges and Threats of the Russian Foreign Ministry Vladimir Tarabrin.

“Cooperation between Russia and the United States in the field of anti-terror is now virtually frozen,”— he said.

Tarabrine recalled that Washington “under false pretenses” unilaterally decided to suspend the profile meetings within the framework of the dialogue under the auspices of the foreign ministries of Russia and the United States, which were held in 2018-2019 in Vienna. “A similar situation has developed with the European Union through its fault,” — he added.

“For our part, we proceed from the fact that we need such a dialogue no more than Westerners, and if someone is not ready for it due to their own phobias and distorted ideas about its equal basis , then this is no longer our problem,»— underlined Tarabrin.

After the start of the military operation in Ukraine, Western countries have already introduced several packages of sanctions against Moscow, and the US Senate also called on the State Department to include Russia in the list of countries— sponsors of terrorism. Now the list of sponsors of terrorism in the United States includes four countries— Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Syria.

Being on the list means strict restrictions on interaction with this state, a ban on the export of defense goods, control over the export of dual-use products, financial and other restrictions— these measures are included in the list of anti-Russian sanctions. In addition, sanctions are envisaged against other states that maintain trade relations with a sponsor of terrorism.

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July 28, the Senate passed a resolution with an appeal to the head of the US State Department, Anthony Blinken, to include Russia in the list of such states. The document mentions military operations in Ukraine, as well as the “brute force” that Russia used “against civilians during the Second Chechen War”; and Moscow's support for “separatists in acts of brutality against Ukrainian civilians in the Donbass” and some other reasons.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that Moscow would not leave such an “idiotic” measure unanswered. In the Kremlin “very negatively” assessed the potential consequences of such a move, noting, however, that it would be difficult to spoil relations between the United States and Russia even more.

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Le Monde announced the exhaustion of the EU sanctions against Russia

Europe has reached the limit on sanctions, the seventh package was an adjustment and clarification of earlier decisions, an unnamed diplomat said. According to him, individual countries want to increase sanctions, but the discussion will lead to disagreements jpg” alt=”Le Monde announced the exhaustion of the EU's sanctions against Russia” />

The last, seventh package of EU sanctions against Russia is mainly a correction of the already introduced restrictions and an increase in their effectiveness, European countries are close to exhaustion opportunities in the sanctions policy, writes Le Monde, citing a source in diplomatic circles.

“We've come to the end of what we could do,” — said the diplomat.

According to him, the countries— EU members do not intend to voluntarily deprive themselves of Russian gas supplies. Despite the fact that Poland and the Baltic countries are in favor of such a step, they do not want to bring it up for discussion, since then disagreements within the EU would become obvious, an unnamed interlocutor of the publication said.

We are talking about the sanctions package that the European Union adopted in the middle of last week— 21 July. It provided for a ban on “direct and indirect imports, purchases or transfers of gold, which is the most significant Russian export after energy resources”, the entry of Russian-flagged ships into sea locks (for example, in Rotterdam and Amsterdam), and also introduced restrictive measures against 48 people. Among them: Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, actors Vladimir Mashkov and Sergei Bezrukov, Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov.

After that, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the connection between the sanctions and the increase in prices for hydrocarbons and agro-industrial products. Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova considered that “the consequences of the EU sanctions exercises” will be detrimental to a number of segments of the global economy and security.

The European Union, however, is confident in the effectiveness of sanctions, and this will become apparent in the medium and long term, said the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell. The European Commission emphasized that international sanctions undermine the Russian economy, and the country's default is only a “matter of time”.

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At the same time, both in Russia and in the West, statements have been made more than once about the reached limit of possibilities for sanctions against official Moscow. In particular, Borrell expressed this opinion in mid-March. He said: “With regard to financial sanctions, of course, you can always go further, but we have already reached the limits of what we can do. We did everything we could.”

In early June, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin announced that “the arsenal of means to curb the development of our country” had been exhausted. He claimed this after the adoption of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia by the European Union, in which the oil embargo was approved.

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Named the approximate composition of the seventh package of EU sanctions against Russia

Photo: Liliya Sharlovskaya

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said that the EU does not plan to introduce restrictions as part of the seventh package of sanctions against Russia for gas supplies from the Russian Federation. According to him, this decision was made due to the fact that a number of European countries are heavily dependent on Russian energy sources.

“What is problematic is to include energy in these sanctions,” he said.

Fiala noted that it is important to observe the principle that sanctions should have a greater effect on Russia than on the European countries that impose them.

According to the prime minister, the seventh package will include a ban on the import of Russian gold, as well as the list of dual-use goods prohibited for import into the Russian Federation will be expanded. In addition, the introduction of new personal sanctions is expected.


Political scientist told whether it is possible to reduce the number of EU member states

Contradictions may take place within the EU

MEPs have previously expressed support for the initiative of the EP Civil Liberties Committee and demanded to deprive Hungary of money due to the fact that the country does not correspond to European values. Nikolai Topornin, Associate Professor of the Department of European Law at MGIMO, Director of the Center for European Information, believes that such contradictions – normal practice for the European Union and no one is going to be excluded from it at all.


In an interview with, Topornin explained that the EU has claims against Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz – Hungarian Civil Union party, since it is believed that it does not allow the opposition to develop, takes away the media and controls appointments to different posts. However, as the expert noted, no one questions the results of the elections in Hungary, although Orban's party won the recent parliamentary elections.

According to Topornin, there may be claims within the European Union, especially considering that Hungary pursues a different international policy than many EU members. The specialist noted that someone may not like Hungary itself, someone may not like its “flirting” with Russia or an independent point of view on many issues, but this is a normal political process within the Union.

The political scientist emphasized that, despite disputes, no country raises the issue of leaving the EU, and contradictions may arise due to the fact that all states within the Union retain their system of power, constitutional system and sovereignty. However, as Topornin noted, most of the contradictions are resolved positively, and this is a “working process” within which solutions are found that suit everyone.

If the decision is not political, then the case is considered by the Luxembourg court, the verdict of which cannot be appealed, the expert explained. Topornin recalled that the EU had already tried to punish Hungary and Poland for violating migration rules, which they refused to implement, but now no one remembers this anymore.

Moreover, the political scientist noted that There may be more EU countries than Hungary. The expert explains this by the fact that in Poland the judicial system is being reformed so that the Supreme Court is dependent on the executive branch, which does not meet any standards of the Union. Topornin stressed that the documents spelled out the need to preserve the independence and objectivity of the judiciary, so the EU court in Luxembourg is now considering this case, and it will later determine how serious Poland's violation of the rules is.

Read also: The political scientist named the terms of the agreements between Russia and the EU on transit to Kaliningrad


WSJ learns about EU work to strengthen control over sanctions against Russia

EU governments are discussing measures to close loopholes to circumvent sanctions and improve data exchange between EU countries

The European Union is working to enforce all six rounds of sanctions against Russia as the bloc of 27 countries “seeks to increase economic pressure on the Kremlin”; in connection with the military operation in Ukraine, writes The Wall Street Journal.

European sanctions officials believe the economic measures are working, the newspaper writes. However, European governments, according to the publication, are discussing new measures that could close loopholes, tighten enforcement of sanctions and improve data exchange between EU countries.

As the WSJ notes, at the heart of the EU's problem lies a division of power between Brussels, which sets the policy of sanctions, and national ministries, supervisory authorities and industry groups, which need to interpret and apply restrictive measures. There is no single unit in the European Union that can penalize sanctions violations like the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury. The EU authorities also have limited powers to investigate violations, the newspaper notes.

Now the most problematic area of ​​application of European sanctions— it is a job to identify and freeze assets belonging to “Russian oligarchs associated with Russian President Vladimir Putin,” writes the WSJ. According to the EU authorities, the assets of sanctioned Russians in the amount of more than $14 billion have been frozen in member countries of the association, while Brussels admits that they could “lose much more.”

Since the end of February, the United States, Great Britain, the EU states and a number of other countries have begun to tighten sanctions against Russia due to hostilities in Ukraine. During these months, several packages of restrictions were introduced that affected Russian companies associated with the defense and energy sectors, banks, transport companies, parliamentarians, officials, businessmen and journalists, as well as family members of those affected by the sanctions.

In May, the European Commission proposed to treat sanctions circumvention as a crime against the European Union. The EC considers serious violations:

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  • direct or indirect participation in bypassing restrictions, including including by hiding assets;
  • failing to freeze the funds of individuals on the sanctions list;
  • engaging in the import or export of prohibited goods.

The Russian authorities consider the sanctions illegal and promise to answer them. Countries that have introduced measures do not understand the scale of the impact of restrictions on their own economies, said the head of the Ministry of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov. The Kremlin said that Russia is able to “succeed” with the Western world, even though the USSR did not succeed in its time

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Borrell rejects EU plans to fight Russia

The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, rejected plans to fight with Russia The European Union will not fight with Russia in response to a military operation in Ukraine, Borrell said. He considered the sanctions against Russia quite effective, which will only increase in the near future. jpg” alt=”Borrell rejected EU plans to fight Russia” />

Josep Borrell

The European Union has no plans to fight Russia, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said in an interview with the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri.

“The EU does not want war with Russia, and economic sanctions are central to its response to aggression (military action in Ukraine.— RBC). These measures have already begun to operate and will be intensified in the coming months,— said the diplomat.

According to him, sanctions against Russia are already affecting the country's military-industrial complex. They limit the production of such missiles as the Iskander. and X101, Borrell said. He considered such sanctions to be of decisive importance in the context of military operations in Ukraine.

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24. Kyiv introduced martial law. Representatives of 141 countries in the UN General Assembly condemned the actions of the Russian authorities, demanded a ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops.

In response to Russia's actions, Western countries, including members of the European Union, have imposed unprecedented sanctions against Russian companies, banks, the Central Bank, officials, imports and exports of a number of goods. As a result, Russia ranked first in the world in terms of the number of sanctions imposed. The Kremlin called them illegal and accused the West of unleashing the conflict by supplying weapons to Ukraine.

In the third month of hostilities, Borrell called on the European Union to make great efforts to defend itself and create a unified armed force. He later stated that Europe must learn to use the language of force— be able to respond to threats, but not necessarily with the help of military equipment.

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In mid-June, the head of European diplomacy said that coexistence with Russia would be very difficult after its actions in Ukraine, but the EU must continue to talk with the Russian authorities.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov then called Borrell's statements “out of the ordinary”; and pointed to the serious reversal in politics that Western countries have been conducting since the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine.

The minister later accused the EU and NATO of forming a coalition for the war with Russia. He saw “aggressive ideological underpinnings”, primarily Russophobic, in the changes in the European Union.

Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized that “sanctions obsession” The European Union will lead to dire consequences for the Europeans themselves. He said that the EU has lost political sovereignty, and politicians began to live in isolation from reality. Putin predicted the organization's degradation and change of elites.

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Borrell spoke about the difficulties of the EU due to the rejection of Russian energy

The EU's decisions are gradually freeing it from energy dependence on Russia, which “has long influenced its political choices,” Borrell said. At the same time, he acknowledged that the EU is facing “serious difficulties” jpg” alt=”Borrell announced the difficulties of the EU due to the refusal of Russian energy sources” />

Josep Borrell

The rapid exit from energy dependence from Russia creates serious difficulties for many EU countries and various fields of activity, said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

He recalled that in early June, the EU adopted the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which provides for a 90% reduction in Russian oil imports by the end of this year. In addition, the EU is also “rapidly reducing gas imports”, and these decisions are gradually “freeing it from dependence, which has long influenced our political choices,” Borrell said.

“Of course, such a rapid exit from dependence on Russian energy sources also creates serious difficulties for many EU countries and various fields of activity. But this is the price we have to pay to protect our democracy and international law, and we are taking the necessary measures to solve these problems in solidarity, — said the head of European diplomacy.

Since the end of February, when Russia recognized the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics and launched a special military operation in Ukraine, the European Union, along with the United States, Great Britain and a number of other countries, has imposed several packages of sanctions against it. The sixth package was adopted in early June. It included a partial oil embargo. The ban applies to sea shipments and applies not only to oil in its pure form, but also to mixtures— so-called blends.

Against the backdrop of sanctions against Russia, annual inflation in the euro area reached a record 8.6% in June. Most of all in the eurozone energy has risen in price— by 41.9% in annual terms.

The Russian authorities have repeatedly called the restrictive measures announced against the country illegal and promised to respond to them. In particular, against the backdrop of a freeze of almost half of the Central Bank's gold and foreign exchange reserves abroad, President Vladimir Putin converted payments for Russian gas into rubles. Speaking about the rise in prices in Europe, he noted that it was not the actions of Russia in Ukraine that led to it, but the systemic mistakes of the United States and the European Union in economic policy.

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From shooting to entering the EU market: how Pridnestrovie appeared and lives

In September 1990, the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic was proclaimed on a part of the Moldavian SSR. Why she decided to separate and what she came to for more than 30 years of independence – in the RBC video


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Political scientist told why the EU is going to expel Ukrainian men

This is an indicator of who these people are for Europeans

The head of the military-civilian administration of the Kherson region, Kyrylo Stremousov, said on June 21 that the EU is considering the option of expelling Ukrainian men of military age in the form of assistance for APU. Political scientist, head of the BaltNews news agency Andrei Starikov believes that the possible decision of the European Union says two things.

Photo: Global Look Press

On the air of the press conference of the media group «Patriot» Starikov noted that the desire of Washington and Brussels to fight against Russia “to the last Ukrainian” is not a figure of speech. According to the expert, the possible expulsion of people from the EU primarily indicates a shortage of fighters capable of resisting the Russian Armed Forces.

The political scientist noted that “the last Ukrainian is already on the horizon”, namely the one who will be ready to defend the criminal regime of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Starikov stressed that there are not enough people, so mobilization is needed, which will not be limited to the territories of the “former Ukraine”, but will also affect the Baltic countries and Poland, where there are quite a lot of men of military age.

According to the expert, it is not worth harbor illusions about protection from the European Union. The political scientist is convinced that for direct or indirect support of the criminal authorities in Kyiv, one will either have to pay with their lives or participate in the confrontation that Kyiv started, and the West, in turn, supported.

In addition, the political scientist noted that the actions of the European authorities show their true attitude towards Ukraine and its inhabitants, to whom they promised protection. According to Starikov, someone went to the West to take refuge there, and now they are being deprived of temporary shelter and they want to be thrown “into the meat grinder.” The expert believes that this is done out of desperation and understanding of the real picture of the battle, gigantic losses in eastern Ukraine, as well as the lack of command and control from the decision-making center.

In conclusion, Starikov added that the Kyiv regime will go to any lengths to demonstrate to the collective West the intention to go all the way in the confrontation with Russia. According to him, statements about the planned expulsion of Ukrainian men from the EU are an indicator of who these people are for Europeans. In addition, the political scientist clarified that the fatigue of the Europeans themselves from the situation is superimposed on this, since they do not need either refugees or the consequences of their “adventure”.

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Peskov sharply appreciated the receipt by Ukraine and Moldova of EU candidacy

“The more they show themselves to be anti-Russian, the more Europe will like it”

Dmitry Peskov commented on Ukraine and Moldova getting the status of a candidate for EU membership.

Photo: Global Look Press

According to him, these are “internal European affairs”, it is important for Russia that these decisions “do not bring more problems” and “did not lead to the deterioration of our relations with the EU”, which are “already very complex and there is nothing to spoil there”.

Peskov said that everything is clear with the behavior of Ukraine on this track. As for Moldova, in his opinion, she “wants to become a European more than the Europeans themselves” and “goes out of her way.”

For some reason, the Moldovan authorities associate the European status with “anti-Russian”: the more they show themselves in this, the more they will like the EU, continued Peskov. “We wouldn't want that to happen,” he said.

Peskov recalled that when he came to work at the Russian Embassy in Turkey 20 years ago, Turkey had just become a candidate for EU membership. “She also nurtured hope and was ready to give up a lot in order to get out of the gray zone and become an organic part of the EU at the junction of Europe and Asia. But we see that Turkey has not moved further than this candidacy,” the Kremlin speaker recalled. At the same time, he stressed that at the same time, Turkey “became a sovereign independent country.”

“So there are possible nuances here,” Peskov concluded.


The head of the EC urged the EU countries not to return to dirty fuel

Earlier, the governments of Germany and the Netherlands announced the resumption of work of coal stations due to the risk of a shortage of gas. Von der Leyen urged EU countries to develop renewable energy and not return to dirty fuel jpg” alt=”EC head urged EU countries not to return to dirty fuel” />

European countries should use the energy crisis as an excuse to “move forward” on the development of renewable energy, and not fall back to dirty fuel. This was stated in an interview with the Financial Times by the head of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen.

“We must make sure that we use this crisis to move forward, and not roll back to dirty fossil fuels. <…> This is a subtle line, and it is still unclear whether we will turn in the right direction, — she said.

According to her, now the EU needs to focus on “massive investment in renewable energy.”

In mid-June, Gazprom announced a reduction in gas pumping through Nord Stream 1; due to the delay in the repair of Siemens units (it decided to leave the Russian market in mid-May). The company explained that the turbines are under repair in Canada, their export from there is difficult due to sanctions. The volume of deliveries decreased to 100 million cubic meters. m per day with a planned volume of 167 million cubic meters. m. June 15 at Gazprom reported that the volume of pumping will decrease to 67 million cubic meters. m.

A number of European companies have already confirmed the reduction in Russian gas supplies. So, in the Italian Eni they said that Gazprom notified her of a 15% reduction in volumes. Later, the German concern Uniper (the largest importer of gas from Russia to Germany) reported that it had received less than 25% of gas volumes. The Austrian energy company OMV and the French Engie faced a similar problem.

After that, the German authorities decided to increase the load on coal-fired power plants and reduce the use of gas in industry in order to increase fuel supplies for the winter period. “Gas consumption must continue to fall, so more gas must be stored in storage, otherwise it will be very difficult in winter,” — German Energy Minister Robert Habeck spoke.

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Due to the risk of gas shortages, the Netherlands Cabinet also decided to lift the restriction on the operation of coal-fired power plants for the period from 2022 to 2024. “The cabinet will soon propose additional measures to reduce CO2 emissions and offset emissions from coal-fired power plants,” — clarified the Minister for Climate and Energy Policy of the Netherlands Rob Jetten.

Reuters reported that the authorities of Italy, Denmark and Austria also thought about the resumption of work of coal-fired power plants in the country.

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