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”.

Read also:  Political scientist spoke about US involvement in attacks on Russian oil refineries

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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.

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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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Medvedev compared EU promises to Ukraine with building communism

The date of Ukraine's accession to the EU has not been named, but many “unverifiable abstract conditions” have been put forward to Kyiv, said Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council

Fulfilling the conditions for Ukraine's accession to the European Union will take decades, but by then the EU may to comprehend the fate of the USSR, which collapsed without building communism, wrote Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia, in his Telegram channel.

He recalled the CPSU program adopted in 1961, in which citizens were promised life under communism, but this never happened: the USSR collapsed, and the Communist Party was liquidated.

“The situation associated with the onset of world happiness in the Union, reminds me of the incantations made by the European Commission regarding the candidacy for Ukraine,— wrote Medvedev.

He compared the EU promises to the building of communism, since the date of Ukraine's accession has not been named, but many “unverifiable abstract conditions” have been put forward for Kyiv. The Deputy Chairman of the Security Council admitted that the real term for Ukraine's entry into the European Union— middle of the century.

“But the situation can happen the same as with the fate of the USSR. Communism, perhaps, would have come if the Union itself had been preserved. And the Union, unfortunately, died. Do you understand what I'm hinting at? wrote Medvedev. He suggested that the EU might be gone by then.

On June 17, the European Commission recommended granting Ukraine the status of an EU candidate. According to the head of the EC, Ursula von der Leyen, Ukraine has demonstrated “the desire and determination to comply with European values ​​and standards.” Shortly before this, Kyiv was visited by the leaders of the three largest countries of the association— Germany, France and Italy, which also supported granting Ukraine the status of an EU candidate.

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Kyiv applied to join the EU a few days after the start of Russia's special operation. The Ukrainian authorities called for the country to be granted membership under an accelerated procedure. This proposal was supported by Poland, but a number of countries, including the Netherlands, expressed the opinion that Kyiv “is still far away” before joining the EU.

Russia initially did not speak out against Ukraine's integration into the EU. First, the press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that the European Union, unlike NATO— not a military-political bloc, but later stated that Kyiv's movement towards the EU requires special attention against the background of the strengthening of the defense component of the union.

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Dmitry Medvedev

politician, ex-president, deputy head of the Security Council of Russia

September 14, 1965

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Borrell assessed the prospects for Ukraine to obtain the status of an EU candidate

Ukraine has a European culture, and the European Union can expand. Josep Borrell, head of European diplomacy, said this in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche, answering a question about the possibility of granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership.

“Ukraine with its values, culture and history was already preparing to join Europe through reforms before the Russian invasion»,— said Borrell (quote from the website of the official journal of the EU).

The head of European diplomacy recalled that “in Thessaloniki, we promised the Western Balkans a European future.” (The summit at which Brussels began the process of integrating countries into the EU was held in 2003). “Some will succeed [becoming a candidate], others will not. What if we did the same for Ukraine?»,— asked Borrelle a question.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application for EU membership on the fourth day of the Russian military operation, February 28. In May, the country's authorities handed over the completed questionnaire to Brussels, which is a mandatory step in the process of joining the European Union. On July 8, the European Parliament recommended

to the Council of the EU to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate for membership in the association.

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Lavrov ruled out budget losses due to EU oil embargo

According to the Foreign Minister, Russia, on the contrary, expects a significant increase in profits from energy exports, taking into account the price level, which “has been established as a result of Western policy”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ruled out budget losses this year due to restrictions on Russian oil supplies by sea. He stated this to the Bosnian-Serb television and radio company Radio and Television of the Republika Srpska. The interview was published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Given the price level that has been established as a result of the policy of the West, we have no budget losses. On the contrary, this year we will significantly increase the profits received from the export of our energy carriers, — he said.

Lavrov noted that the oil markets are not subject to political “orders”, “whims”. Russia has alternatives to the European market, where it is already increasing supplies.

The next, sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia came into force the day before. It included, among other things, a partial embargo on the supply of Russian oil, which the EU countries could not agree on for about a month. The embargo proposals were blocked by Hungary. She sought to be excluded from the sanctions package of the Druzhba pipeline & mdash; the main source of oil supplies from Russia for her. Ultimately, the supply of raw materials by sea fell under the ban. Countries dependent on Russian oil imports will continue to receive it through the pipeline.

The Kremlin, speaking of a possible embargo from the EU, warned that such a decision would “hit everyone.” According to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, in the event of a ban, world oil prices could jump to $300 per barrel. At the same time, Russia has already begun to redirect flows from west to east, to Asian markets, he reported.

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Biomass energy may soon lose its green label in the EU

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Biomass energy may soon lose its green label in the EU

In Europe, wood pellets fire power plants and home furnaces in what’s become a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry. It’s expanded because the European Union labels pellets as renewable. But environmentalists say that the label is misguided.

The WorldJune 2, 2022 · 11:00 AM EDT

Wood pellets are a successful but controversial type of biomass (plant and wood residue are burned for energy). 

Gerry Hadden/The World

From airplanes to energy here on the ground, there’s an alternative to coal that’s grown in recent years: biomass. That is, plant and wood residue burned for energy.

The most successful — and controversial — of such fuel is the tiny wood pellet. In Europe, pellets fire power plants and home furnaces in what’s become a  multibillion-dollar-a-year industry. It’s expanded because the European Union labels pellets as renewable — a label that environmentalists say is misguided.

Related: Europe’s new liquified gas infrastructure puts climate targets in question

Complaints are loudest from the Baltic states, where pellet makers are felling old-growth forests to feed the demand.

Siim Kuresoo works for a nongovernmental organization called the Estonian Fund for Nature. He describes Estonia’s old-growth forests as magical and a haven for biodiversity.

“You have young trees, old trees really huge in size, compared to managed forests. And lots of bird songs, especially this time of year.”

Siim Kuresoo, Estonian Fund for Nature

“You have young trees, old trees really huge in size, compared to managed forests,” he said. “And lots of bird songs, especially this time of year.”

Estonia’s woodlands are sometimes filled with people, drawn there by ancient pagan beliefs in the animistic nature of the forest. On the autumnal equinox, for example, groups gather to leave offerings around fires and to connect with what they believe to be a higher force.

But the sacred sites for these rituals, and the biodiversity found in Baltic forests, are disappearing as the trees come down.

For over a decade, pellet makers have been cashing in on a lucrative, subsidized, European market for biofuel — felling forests and grinding the trees to dust. The clients are mainly giant power plants. The US is the world’s largest pellets producer. But in Europe, Estonia and its neighbor, Latvia, are the pellet kings.

Related: EU proposes oil ban after bloc’s largest economy drops opposition

In 2020, UK power-giant Drax burned some 85,000 tons of Estonian pellets. Will Gardiner, head of operations for Drax, speaking this year to the UK’s Channel 4, said that they adhere to sustainability guidelines “where the forests are managed in such a way that there’s no damage to biodiversity.”

Drax is one of more than a dozen large power suppliers in Europe that has switched to pellets over the last several years. The industry has expanded from next to nothing after starting in 2009, when the EU classified biomass as renewable. The idea was that residuals, like sawdust or plant cuttings, could be burned for energy. But the EU didn’t differentiate between that waste and living trees themselves. It inadvertently set off a logging and pellet-making boom.

Using pellets instead of coal has allowed power suppliers to collect renewable energy subsidies from Brussels. The industry says that wood is renewable because trees grow back. But the problem, Kuresoo said, is that when you cut down a 100-year-old tree, “It contains carbon from the last 100 years.”

And when you burn the wood, all that carbon goes back into the atmosphere at once, at a time when scientists say it’s critical to reverse emissions.

“The problem with this is that the trees won't grow back as fast as we need them to grow back,” Kuresoo said.

Related: As Germany reckons with Russian energy, this village is caught in the crossroads

The pellet industry points out that it is reforesting. But usually, it’s done plantation-style, with single species of trees evenly dispersed. So, even if forests do eventually grow back, the habitat won’t be the same.

Nils Torvalds is in charge of setting Europe’s renewable energy policies.

His office did not respond to an interview request, but in January, he told European biomass leaders that, while preserving biodiversity is important, pellets do have their place in the transition to clean energy — even if there are trade-offs.

“That’s part of development,” he said. “Even if biodiversity is at risk, well, life is always risky business. And that goes for all of us.”

But now, after more than a decade of enjoying the “renewable” label, biomass is losing political support in Europe.

Dutch member of parliament, Rob Rooken, spoke at a biomass protest in November. He said that burning wood to generate energy was a ridiculous idea.

“At the moment, more than 50% of all wood being cut in Europe is being burned. It’s a scam. We should stop with biomass. It’s that easy.”

Rob Rooken, Dutch member of parliament

“At the moment, more than 50% of all wood being cut in Europe is being burned,” he said. “It’s a scam. We should stop with biomass. It’s that easy.”

Related: Can heat pumps help bring peace to Ukraine?

But it may not be as easy as he's implied. The European Parliament’s environment committee did vote this month to scrap the renewables designation for biomass. But the entire parliament and every EU member state must ratify the change for it to become law.

If that happens, instead of being subsidized, pellets could face an emissions tax, making them more expensive. Ecologists hope that that will lower demand, reducing deforestation in the Baltic states and elsewhere.

German Foreign Minister ruled out “discounts” for Ukraine to join the EU

According to Annalena Burbock, Kyiv will not be able to quickly join the European Union, but Brussels cannot close the door for this country

Brussels should not make any discounts for Ukraine aspiring to the EU, but and cannot slam the door on it, said German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock WDR.

“It's not enough to say 'you are part of Europe', you have to say 'you are part of the EU',” ; she said.

At the same time, Burbock noted that Kyiv would not succeed in quickly joining the European Union, “there can be no discounts.”

Burbock has also previously said that “the European home is, of course, open to Ukraine,” but the EU should not make promises it cannot deliver. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron said that the process of Ukraine's accession to the EU could take many years.

At the end of February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application for the country's accession to the EU, and in mid-April handed over the completed questionnaire to the head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Matti Maasikas. Brussels promised to consider Kyiv's request this summer.

Initially, Russia did not object to Ukraine's membership in the EU, but then changed its position. According to Dmitry Polyansky, the country's deputy permanent representative to the UN, now it is similar to Russia's point of view on NATO promotion: Moscow is seeking a neutral and non-nuclear status of a neighboring state. In “harmlessness” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also doubted Ukraine's accession to the EU.

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The US and the EU imposed new sanctions against Russia: in the lists of Zakharov, Kabaev and Sberbank

Restrictive measures have been introduced against enterprises in the oil, banking, shipbuilding sectors and the media.

Today, June 3, the sixth package of EU sanctions and restrictive measures of the US Department of the Treasury against Russia came into force.

Thus, the US Department of Commerce announced 65 legal entities from Russia, in particular, aircraft and shipbuilding plants .

Including the Main Department of Deep Sea Research of the Ministry of Defense, “Gazprom Neft Shelf”, Central Design Bureau of Marine Engineering “Rubin”, “Aviation Complex named after S. V Ilyushin”, Design Bureau named after A.S. Yakovlev, “Severstal” and Nordgold, TASS clarifies.

The ban is introduced on the purchase of products for “support for military modernization”. Thus, enterprises will not be able to obtain a license for US high technologies, and American enterprises will not receive export licenses if their products can support the Russian military potential.

Caught on the US sanctions list, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the sanctions ” another performance.”

EU sanctions have been imposed on companies in the oil and banking sectors, as well as on the media. The list includes 17 Russian entrepreneurs, measures to limit the supply of oil to Europe from Russia. In particular, sanctions are imposed on the import of fuel by sea.

According to Bloomberg, the ban is introduced 6 months after the entry into force of the document. The remaining measures began to take effect on June 3.

The EU leadership assumes that, together with the measures introduced earlier by Poland and Germany, purchases of Russian fuel, in particular oil, will be reduced by 92% by the end of 2022. Probably, a ban on the supply of oil to Europe via the pipeline will be introduced later.

The services of European companies and organizations to Russian enterprises in the oil industry have already been banned. However, the “Druzhba” Sberbank, Rosselkhozbank and Moscow Credit Bank. And from the media, three will be banned due to “actions in the dissemination of propaganda”.

At the request of Hungary, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia was not included in the black list of persons. But there were Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Grigorenko, Minister of Construction Irek Fayzullin, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov, Minister of Transport Vitaly Savelyev, Maria Zakharova, People's Artist of Russia Sergei Roldugin, as well as former gymnast Alina Kabaeva, who is considered “closely connected” with the Russian president.

Earlier, Topnews wrote that Canada imposed sanctions against Kabaeva and Rosselkhozbank.

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Denmark to hold referendum on joining EU defense policy

Denmark is preparing for a referendum on joining the EU's defense policy after 30 years of not participating in discussions on this topic and military missions of the union.

Mette Frederiksen (center)

Why did Copenhagen need a referendum

On June 1, a referendum will be held in Denmark, in which citizens will decide whether it needs to join the defense policy of the European Union. Polling stations will open at eight in the morning and will work until eight in the evening, preliminary results will be announced on the same day.

The decision to hold a referendum was announced by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in early March, when the five leading parliamentary parties reached an agreement to change the country's security policy and presented an agreement called the National Compromise on Danish Security Policy. In addition to the need to hold a referendum on the country's participation in EU security policy, it contains provisions such as bringing defense spending to 2% of GDP (now it is 1.44%), urgent defense investment of $ 1 billion and “permitting” on the budget deficit, which will arise as a result of increased military spending.

“The world has changed in the last ten days. There was Europe until February 24 (the start date of the Russian special operation in Ukraine. — RBC). And there is another— after»,— said Frederiksen, announcing this decision of the parliament, and remarked that “Denmark belongs to the heart of Europe without any reservations.”

If the referendum is successful, Denmark will face a reversal in foreign policy. Now the country is a NATO member and participates in alliance operations, but withdraws itself from participation in all EU-led discussions on defense policy and the acquisition of military equipment, as well as from joint military operations of the alliance (in particular, in Africa or Bosnia and Herzegovina). Representatives of Denmark are forced to leave EU meetings if they affect the discussion of security issues.

Denmark— the only member of the European Union that does not participate in the Common Defense and Security Policy (CSDP) and has held this position for 30 years, since the founding of the EU. The reason the country remained autonomous in security matters is that the citizens of Denmark rejected the Maastricht Treaty establishing the EU in a referendum. It was ratified only in 1993, after reaching an agreement that the kingdom retains independence in four areas: currency, citizenship (now this item has lost its relevance), justice, as well as internal affairs and defense.

The Danish authorities have already twice tried to change the situation with the help of referendums, but in 2000 the Danes refused to join the eurozone, and in 2015— from changes in the judicial system.

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Ahead of a third referendum, opinion polls show that a majority of citizens are now in favor of participating in EU defense policy. “For” about 40% are ready to vote, «against»— 30%, another 30% have not yet decided on a decision. The Danish publication Altinget notes that the bias in favor of a revision of Copenhagen's policy does not mean that the results of the referendum are a foregone conclusion, because in 2000 and 2015, according to public opinion polls, the Danes were ready to support the changes, but voted against them.

In March, the European Union approved for the first time a defense strategy called the Strategic Compass. The EU countries have decided to create a 5,000-strong rapid reaction force that will be ready to respond to “different types of crises.” EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell then announced the need for European countries to be able to speak the language of force.

How the special operation in Ukraine changed the defense policy of Europe

Denmark is not the only EU country that has decided to revise its defense policy after Russia launched a special operation in Ukraine. Already on February 27, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that in the coming years defense spending would reach 2% of the country's GDP and the creation of a special fund of €100 billion to rearm the Bundeswehr. On May 30, a coalition of three German ruling parties, together with an opposition bloc from the Christian Democratic and Christian Social Unions, agreed on the foundation's legal framework. It is assumed that in order to create it, it will be necessary to change the Basic Law of Germany (to amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany, two-thirds of the deputies of the Bundestag must vote “for”).

According to the Financial Times, Germany's decision to increase defense spending could also affect Denmark's position on this issue. The newspaper quotes Christian Christensen, deputy head of the Center for Military Studies at the University of Copenhagen, as saying the referendum “is an attempt to be prepared for a more assertive German position in EU defense and security policy.”

Of course, Danish public opinion was also affected by the decision of two other EU members, Finland and Sweden, which for years adhered to a policy of not joining military alliances, to join NATO. Their applications, submitted in mid-May to the leadership of the alliance, have so far been blocked by Turkey (according to NATO rules, all its members must ratify the agreement on the accession of new countries), which put forward its conditions to Helsinki and Stockholm. As Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Anadolu agency, the republic has submitted its demands to Finland and Sweden in writing and is waiting for a response. The Minister expressed the opinion that the conditions put forward are not impracticable. Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that in order to join the bloc, the two states would have to refuse support for Kurdish groups that Ankara considers terrorist, provide security guarantees and lift the embargo on arms exports imposed in 2019 due to Turkey's military operation in Syria against the Kurds.

Russia has repeatedly criticized the decision of Finland and Sweden to join NATO, as well as the general increase in EU and NATO defense spending. Russia's permanent representative to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said on May 31 about the degradation of the EU. “We observe that the European Union, which was originally conceived as an economic union with a political component gradually gaining weight, in fact, is now degrading to the level of an auxiliary military bloc,” — he said on the air of the Russia 24 TV channel.

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Germany says EU unity over sanctions against Russia is ‘collapsing’

The summit of the EU countries, where new sanctions against Russia will be discussed, will be held from May 30 to 31. According to the head of the German Finance Ministry, EU unity on sanctions against Moscow on the eve of the summit “begins to crumble”

Robert Habek

EU unity regarding sanctions against Russia “begins to crumble”; ahead of the summit, which will discuss the oil embargo and plans to reduce dependence on Russian energy. This was stated by the head of the German Ministry of Economics Robert Habeck, reports Reuters.

According to him, after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, “we saw what can happen when Europe is united.” “In view of tomorrow's summit, let's hope that this will continue. But this unity is already beginning to crumble, — he said.

Habek urged Germany to speak at the summit “with one voice” and not abstain from voting due to disagreements within the country's ruling coalition. He called for similar unity in other EU states.

Since the end of February, Russian companies, banks and citizens have been subject to Western sanctions: officials, parliamentarians, public figures, heads of state companies and journalists. In the last— the fifth package of sanctions— The EU has also banned coal imports and restricted freight.

Since May, the European Commission has been working on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. Initially, it was planned to include a ban on the purchase of all Russian oil— both raw and purified, said the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. However, the package of measures could not be agreed upon, including due to the position of Hungary, which did not agree to abandon Russian oil.

On May 29, Bloomberg reported that the EU may provide for the exclusion of supplies via the Druzhba oil pipeline; from the sanctions package. “Such a compromise would buy Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban time to agree on the technical details of a gradual halt to pipeline supplies to his country,” publication indicated.

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In response to Western sanctions, the Russian authorities announced retaliatory measures, and the government developed and adopted a large-scale package of measures to support the economy. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak previously warned that the rejection of Russian hydrocarbons threatens to collapse the gas and oil markets, since Russia is their largest supplier.

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Reuters learned that the EU could not agree on an oil embargo

According to an EU official, EU-discussed sanctions imply a ban on Russian oil supplies by sea until the end of the year, but provide an exception for oil via the Druzhba pipeline

On the eve of the EU summit, the EU governments did not were able to reach an agreement on the oil embargo against Russia. This was reported to Reuters by an EU official.

According to him, the sanctions being discussed by the EU include a ban on the supply of Russian oil by sea until the end of the year, but provide for an exception for oil supplied via the Russian Druzhba pipeline. The interlocutor of the agency indicated that discussions would continue tomorrow.

According to Bloomberg sources, it was Hungary that refused to support the compromise, despite the exception for the Druzhba oil pipeline. At the same time, an EU representative told the agency that a deal with Budapest “is still possible in the coming days.”

Oil pipeline “Friendship” was built in the 1960s. It follows from Samara to Mozyr (Gomel region of Belarus), after which it is divided into two branches— north and south. The first goes through the territory of Belarus, Poland, Germany, Latvia and Lithuania, the second— on the territory of Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia. The total length of pipelines— 8900 km.

A TASS source said that the EU summit will also discuss the legalization of the confiscation of Russian assets in the jurisdiction of the European Union.

The EU authorities are preparing the sixth package of sanctions against Russia since May. Previously, it was supposed to include a complete ban on the import of Russian oil to the EU. New sanctions must be agreed upon by all countries— members of the union, however, Slovakia and Hungary, in particular, opposed the oil embargo, and the latter blocked the consideration of the issue of sanctions during the vote on May 8.

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Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said his country would like the ban not to apply to crude oil imports via pipelines. The Hungarian Foreign Ministry also pointed out that 85% of all gas consumed in Hungary and 65% of oil are supplied from Russia, which “cannot be replaced overnight.” Brussels has crossed a red line with the embargo proposal, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said, and it will take years to rebuild the country's energy sector.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, speaking about the possible refusal of the EU from Russian oil, warned that this decision would “hit everyone”. According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, in the event of a ban, world oil prices could jump to $300 per barrel. If this happens, Russia will expand sea supplies, despite the fact that the country has already begun to redirect flows from west to east, to Asian markets, he noted.

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Turkish experts predicted possible compromises on NATO

Although Turkey has blocked Finland and Sweden from joining NATO, Turkish experts interviewed by RBC consider a compromise possible, but warn that negotiations may drag on for a long time

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Why Turkey objects to Finland and Sweden in NATO

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on May 23 that NATO needs to take specific measures to remove Ankara's objections to Finland and Sweden joining the alliance. “We have not received adequate support from NATO partners in the fight against terrorism. We expect NATO to take concrete steps to address concerns [over Sweden and Finland joining the alliance], rather than make useless statements,— he said (quote from The Daily Sabah).

Finland and Sweden filed formal applications for NATO membership on May 18, which all 30 countries of the alliance must approve. Erdogan said the same day that Ankara could not support the aspirations of Helsinki and Stockholm.

Later, he put forward three conditions under which he would withdraw objections, namely:

  • Helsinki and Stockholm stop supporting Kurdish groups designated as terrorist groups in Turkey;
  • providing clear security guarantees;
  • the lifting of export bans (both pretender countries imposed an arms embargo on Turkey in 2019 after another Turkish operation against the Kurds in Syria).

Turkey's position did not come as a surprise: between Ankara on the one hand, Stockholm and Helsinki— on the other hand, there are long-standing contradictions, said Torgul Ismail, head of the department of political science and international relations at Syutchu University Imam Kahramanmarash in Ankara, in a conversation with RBC. “These two states openly support terrorist organizations, the PKK; (PKK) and related Kurdish organizations in Syria and Iraq. In addition, both states once imposed sanctions against Turkey in terms of arms sales to it. So this misunderstanding has been around for a long time. Now Turkey has the opportunity, based on its national interests, to make such a decision, — he explained.

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The expert emphasizes that Turkey is aware of the relations of other European countries with the PKK. According to him, the fact that members of the PKK and the Gülen Movement receive a residence permit or citizenship in the EU, is considered by Turkey as a “hostile attitude”; to its security interests. Aslan recalled that there is also a Kurdish representation in Moscow, which, in his opinion, could become a problem for bilateral relations between Russia and Turkey.

The Valdai Club expert, Professor of International Relations at the Middle East Technical University of Turkey, Huseyin Bagci, believes that Erdogan's decision on Finland and Sweden is not related to Russia's position on NATO expansion. “First of all, this is an internal question,” & mdash; he emphasized. “Turkey would like to receive written guarantees that the PKK and the Syrian People’s Protection Units (YPG) will not be active in northern Syria, nor in Finland and Sweden, which will be very difficult to implement: they can simply change their names and continue their activities,” — Baggi told RBC.

What is the status of the PKK in the EU and the US

“PKK” (PKK) is recognized as a terrorist organization in Turkey, the United States, the European Union (Sweden and Finland are members of it). The US State Department designated the PKK as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997. The European Union first recognized the organization as a terrorist organization in 2002, but then in 2008 the European Court of Justice ruled that the EU did not provide sufficient justification for classifying the PKK as a terrorist organization. Nevertheless, Brussels did not change its position on the PKK. In 2018, the organization again won a trial for wrongful listing as a terrorist organization, but the EU again upheld its decision.

What can be a compromise

In the end, Turkey, which has been a member of NATO since 1952, will agree to Finland and Sweden joining the alliance, Baggi is sure. “Turkey has a veto and will try to delay, as far as possible, Sweden and Finland joining the alliance, so the negotiations may take a long time. But in the long run, Turkey will not be able to prevent the membership of these countries in NATO. Six months, a year, two years? Let's see, — says the expert. If Erdogan is not re-elected in next year's elections, then this process will go much faster, he stipulates. If Erdogan remains in power, then perhaps he will try to use the same scheme that was previously used to resolve the dispute between Greece and North Macedonia. “It took ten years just for North Macedonia to change its name and be able to apply,” — reminded Baggi.

In June 2018, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev put an end to the dispute and signed an agreement according to which Macedonia received a new name— Republic of North Macedonia. In return, the Greek authorities stopped blocking Skopje's attempts to join NATO and the EU. For the first time, Greece blocked the application of a neighboring country in 2008.

The former name of the republic did not suit Athens, since the toponym “Macedonia” extends geographically, including to the Greek Aegean Macedonia, which supposedly could give the Macedonians a reason to claim rights to Greek territories and cultural heritage. North Macedonia became a member of NATO in 2020.

Compromise is always possible, since NATO expansion does not contradict Turkey's national interests, Ismail is sure. “When Finland and Sweden withdraw their support for the PKK and officially declare it, we will be very close to a compromise. Turkey already had such an experience with Greece, which Ankara supported without looking back, but in the end, Athens does not fulfill its obligations, — he said. In 1980, Ankara, despite unresolved differences over the control of airspace in the Aegean, supported the restoration of full participation of Athens in NATO.

Video

Aslan also believes that Turkey could support the entry Finland and Sweden in NATO on the condition that “these countries will review their policies and respect Turkey's security interests.” “But there must be visible policy changes and concrete steps. If geopolitical and security considerations push these states to take advantage of Alliance guarantees, they must sacrifice their “hobbies” to for the sake of vital interests»,— he concluded.

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Nebenzya suspected the EU of accumulating grain instead of exporting to poor countries

Thus, Ukraine can “pay off” with Western countries for the supply of weapons, the permanent representative believes. In March, US President Joe Biden said that Washington, along with its allies, is looking for a way to get grain out of there

European countries can accumulate exported grain in their storage facilities, and not transfer it to poor countries, said Vasily Nebenzya, Russian Ambassador to the UN at a meeting of the Security Council of the world organization on the topic of conflicts and food security.

“A logical question arises: where do these deliveries [of Ukrainian grain] go? How do they relate to food security in the world? We have reasonable suspicions that the grain is not going to the needs of the starving global South, but is being pumped into the granaries of European countries, — said the diplomat, admitting that this is how Ukraine “pays” with the West for arms supplies (TASS quote).

The global food crisis began long before the events in Ukraine, its main reasons were “an abrupt transition to green energy imposed on the whole world instead of a well-thought-out smooth energy transition, as well as the frank politicization of energy cooperation by a number of countries,” the permanent representative believes. The world community began “recklessly” refuse to participate in energy projects, which caused a sharp increase in energy prices, the diplomat said.

Euractiv announced the approaching limit of EU sanctions against Russia

On the eve of the foreign ministers of the EU countries were unable to agree on the sixth package of sanctions due to disagreements about the oil embargo. According to the source of the publication, it is difficult to imagine what restrictions could be included in the seventh package .jpg” alt=”Euractiv announces imminent limit of EU sanctions against Russia” />

The European Union is approaching the limit of sanctions against Russia, the adoption of the seventh package would be extremely difficult, a diplomatic source in Brussels told Euractiv.

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“We are very close to reaching the limit. What could be in the seventh package?»— the interlocutor of the edition asked a question. According to him, now there is a “mess with Russian oil”, the import of which the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen proposed to ban under the sixth package. “Imagine what will happen when they propose to ban gas? ..” — continued the source.

According to him, the foreign ministers at the meeting the day before took a “step back” when discussing new sanctions. On May 16, EU foreign ministers failed to agree on a sixth package of sanctions. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said he did not know how long it would take to agree on new restrictions, including an embargo on Russian oil. Hungary has repeatedly spoken out against such a measure: its authorities refuse to approve the package if it contains a ban on oil imports from Russia. Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic also raised concerns about the embargo, according to Reuters.

An Euractiv source noted that no one, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, “wants to take things to the EU summit.” The diplomat suggested that progress can be expected after May 18, when the REPowerEU strategy to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels will be announced. As part of this strategy, Hungary, as Politico wrote, will be able to receive financial compensation for the refusal of oil from Russia.

The EU introduced the first package of anti-Russian sanctions on February 23, after Moscow recognized the independence of the DNR and LNR. It included personal restrictions on 351 State Duma deputies and another 27 individuals and legal entities. Brussels approved the next four packages after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The measures affected import and export, business, industry, the Central Bank and banks, Russian politicians, journalists and the military.

The Russian authorities call the sanctions illegitimate. President Vladimir Putin warned the European Union in May of “intractable consequences” continued sanctions pressure on Russia. He cited “short-sighted, overblown political ambitions” as the reason for the restrictions. and “Russophobia”. According to Putin, Western countries “hit their own national interests, their own economies, the well-being of their citizens,” while Russia is “confidently coping with external challenges.”

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CNN learned about the development of US and EU routes for the export of Ukrainian grain

According to the TV channel, Western countries are considering the possibility of exporting wheat and corn from Ukraine by rail and aircraft

The US authorities, together with European partners, are working on ways to export wheat and corn from Ukraine in order to further deliveries to global markets, CNN reports, citing sources.

According to the channel, the administration of US President Joe Biden began to work on this issue with European allies after the blockade of the Ukrainian port by the Russian Navy. The interlocutors of CNN specified that the States are considering, among other things, the possibility of exporting grain by rail and by plane.

At the same time, according to sources, the development of scenarios will not include Russia's position on this issue. “There is still a long way to go before any deal is reached. There are many factors, many things that can influence the course of these discussions, — one source said.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Russia is the world's largest exporter of wheat, and Ukraine ranks fifth. Together they provide 19% of the world's supply of barley, 14%— wheat and 4%— corn.

After the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, wheat prices jumped to record levels. Bloomberg attributed the jump in prices to fears that military operations in Ukraine would lead to a shortage of this cereal on the market. The fighting has cut off more than a quarter of global wheat exports, according to the agency.

In April, the Russian Ministry of Defense suspended the passage of foreign warships and other government vessels in three areas of the Black Sea for six months, from April 24 to October 31. We are talking about an elongated section of the water area along the coast of Crimea (approximately from Sevastopol to Gurzuf), a rectangular area off the coast of the Kerch Peninsula (abeam of the Opuk Nature Reserve), as well as a small area of ​​the sea near the western tip of Crimea.

On Against this background, Biden announced the search for an opportunity to export 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine. The US president explained the need to export grain with record food prices in the world. According to him, the return of Ukrainian grain to the world market should help reduce prices

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The Wall Street Journal, citing informed diplomatic sources, previously wrote that UN Secretary General António Guterres proposed easing restrictions on export of Russian and Belarusian potash fertilizers in exchange for the passage of ships with grain from Ukrainian ports. According to the sources of the newspaper, the UN Secretary General is negotiating with Russia, Turkey and other countries, and Ankara has already agreed to participate in the clearance of the Black Sea.

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Bloomberg learned about the EU plan to buy gas from Russia without violating sanctions

Importers will have to declare the fulfillment of all obligations to Russia after paying for gas in euros or dollars, the EC plan says, writes Bloomberg, further actions are unacceptable. Poland did not see clarity in the plan

The European Commission has prepared a plan for the purchase of Russian gas, which will allow importers to comply with Moscow's conditions without violating sanctions. In particular, European companies will have to indicate that they consider their obligations fulfilled after payment in dollars or euros in accordance with the contracts, Bloomberg writes, citing sources.

The EC informed the European governments about this at a closed meeting. Once the importers have made payment in euros or dollars and declared that they have fulfilled their obligations, Russia should not require them to take any further action regarding the payment.

Bloomberg interlocutors added that the European Commission decided not to prevent companies from opening an account with Gazprombank in US or European currency, but did not specify its attitude towards opening a ruble account.

Bloomberg sources indicated that European countries were divided in assessing the new recommendations of the European Commission. Germany, Hungary, France and Italy generally approved of the plan, but the Polish representatives felt that it did not bring legal clarity, calling for discussion of this topic by EU ambassadors. The rest of the countries, the agency’s interlocutors added, noted the absence of specific instructions on opening a ruble account.

German companies have already approved the European Commission’s plan, one Bloomberg source added.

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Moscow's requirements oblige buyers from the list of “unfriendly countries” open two accounts in Gazprombank— currency and ruble. After the payment is received on the first account in dollars or the Eurobank independently converts the funds on the Moscow Exchange, after which it credits rubles to the second account.

The European Commission called for not fulfilling the requirements of Russia, noting that this would be regarded as a violation of the laws imposed against countries of sanctions. Bloomberg notes that these warnings were made verbally without being fixed in documents.

Bulgaria and Poland at the end of April refused to comply with the conditions of Moscow, Gazprom; then suspended gas supplies to these countries. At the same time, a number of European companies noted that they would continue to buy gas from Russia even if they opened an account with Gazprombank. “We will pay the invoice amount, which will continue to be denominated in euros, to accounts with Gazprombank in accordance with the planned procedure,” explained in German VNG.

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Mordashov challenged the decision to impose sanctions against him in the EU court

Aleksey Mordashov filed a lawsuit with the EU Court, challenging the imposition of sanctions against him. The lawsuit was filed on May 6. Bloomberg notes that its review could take years. The representative of Alexei Mordashov called the sanctions unlawful EU decision to impose sanctions against him” />

Alexey Mordashov

Owner of Severstal Alexei Mordashov challenged the imposition of EU sanctions against him in the EU court. The record of the filing of the lawsuit is contained in the electronic database of the court in Luxembourg, Bloomberg wrote about the lawsuit.

A representative of the businessman confirmed to RBC that the businessman filed a lawsuit with the European Court earlier in May to challenge the EU sanctions against him. “Sanctions against A.A. Mordashov are illegal and unlawful. Therefore, we will protect our interests by all available legal means, — said the interlocutor of RBC.

Bloomberg notes that litigation with the EU over sanctions could take years.

The European Union announced sanctions against Mordashov on February 28. Businessmen Mikhail Fridman, Alisher Usmanov, Pyotr Aven, Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, Secretary of the General Council and First Vice Speaker of the Federation Council Andrei Turchak, as well as a number of other officials, businessmen and public figures were also on the European sanctions list.

On the same day, the press service of Mordashov gave RBC a comment from the entrepreneur, in which he stated that he did not understand the reasons for such a step. “I am far from politics and all my life I created economic value for the companies in which I worked in Russia and abroad,” — he said then.

The businessman added that for a long time he had been developing economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation with European countries.

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On March 4, it became known about the change in the ownership structure of Mordashov's stake in Europe's largest travel concern TUI AG. Prior to this, the Russian businessman owned 34% through Unifirm Ltd, which was associated with him. In March, it transferred 4.1% of TUI AG to the Russian Severgroup LLC, owned by Mordashov, leaving 29.9% behind. On March 18, it became known from a disclosure statement on the London Stock Exchange that Mordashov had transferred a 29.9% stake in TUI Group to his wife Marina.

On May 11, a Bloomberg source reported that Mordashov had sold his stake in the National Media Group (NMG). An RBC source close to Mordashov confirmed that he left the NMG capital a few months ago. Bloomberg estimated Mordashov's share in the media company at $30 million. NMG was also mentioned among the justifications for EU sanctions. Among its assets— Channel One, REN TV, Channel Five, STS and St. Petersburg 78.ru. Brussels believes that the TV channels belonging to the NMG “actively support the policy of the Russian authorities to destabilize Ukraine.”

Since the end of February, many countries have begun to introduce or tighten sanctions against Russian officials, parliamentarians, companies, representatives of the leadership and members of their families.

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FT learned the cost of the EU’s refusal from Russian energy carriers

An accelerated EU withdrawal from Russian energy sources will cost an additional €195 billion An accelerated transition to clean energy sources and, accordingly, a faster withdrawal of Russian energy supplies will cost the EU an extra €195 billion, the European Commission has calculated

The EU will need spend an additional €195 billion over the next five years to phase out Russian energy and accelerate the energy transition to cleaner energy sources, according to The Financial Times, citing European Commission calculations.

The document contains proposals for a “rapid reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels by accelerating the transition to clean energy sources and joining forces to create a more sustainable energy system, as well as a true Energy Union».

In particular, the EC considers it necessary to accelerate the reduction of energy consumption by 2030— immediately by 13%, and not by 9%, as previously suggested. In addition, it is necessary to accelerate the introduction of clean energy, so that by 2030 it covers 45% of all energy consumption (the previous goal is 40%).

The European Commission project also involves a more active installation of solar panels— with their number doubling from today's level by 2028, as well as the increased use of heat pumps, geothermal and solar thermal energy. They believe that it is necessary to accelerate the installation of wind farms.

The document also proposes to expand the use of hydrogen and biomethane.

EC proposals may be revised before the date of publication— May 18.

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The EU has decided to accelerate the abandonment of Russian energy sources, in particular oil and gas, against the backdrop of an operation in Ukraine. At the end of March, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell suggested that European countries would be able to refuse Russian gas within two years.

The head of the European department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Alfred Kammer, argued that European countries will be able to do without Russian gas for six months, a longer refusal of supplies is fraught with a significant impact on the economy. According to IMF forecasts, a complete cessation of gas supplies from Russia could cost the EU economy 3% of GDP.

As for the refusal of oil supplies, The Wall Street Journal reported that, as part of the sixth sanctions package now being prepared, the EU intends to abandon purchases of oil from Russia within six months, oil products— by the end of the year.

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Kyiv handed over to the EU the last part of the questionnaire for joining the union

Ukraine has submitted the second part of the questionnaire for EU accession. It includes about 2,000 questions and concerns the implementation of EU legal norms in Ukraine. Zelensky handed over the first part of the questionnaire on April 18

Ukraine handed over to the European Union the second part of the questionnaire, which had to be completed in order to apply for EU membership, said Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olga Stefanishyna in interview with ZN.UA.

“The questionnaire should be transferred to the European Union today through official channels,”— said Stefanishina.

The questionnaire includes almost 370 questions on 40 pages and consists of two parts. The questions of the first part concern the political and economic system of Ukraine, namely the independence of the judiciary, the fight against corruption and respect for human rights, as well as the business climate, the level of privatization and the degree of state intervention in the economy. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky handed over the answers to the first part to Matti Maasikas, head of the EU Delegation in Kyiv, on April 18.

The second part of the questionnaire includes about 2,000 questions on 240 pages and deals with what legal norms and rules of European legislation are in force in Ukraine. In particular, we are talking about the rules regarding the freedom of movement of goods, taxation systems, environmental issues and climate change.

On May 9, Zelensky showed the completed second part of the questionnaire during a video conference with the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. “Thank you for the clear signals of support on this important journey for us,” wrote the President in Telegram.

Ukraine applied for EU membership on 28 February. The head of the European Commission announced the EU plans to consider Ukraine's application for membership in the union this summer and carry out the procedure in an accelerated mode. On May 1, Stefanyshina said that Kyiv expects to receive the status of an EU candidate by June 2022.

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In March, Reuters reported that there was no consensus in the European Union on a possible membership of Ukraine. At the same time, eight EU countries— Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia— supported the idea of ​​accelerated accession of Ukraine to the union.

Then the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that there was no accelerated process of joining the European Union. Croatian Minister Andrej Plenković noted that “no one entered the European Union overnight.”

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed doubt that it was possible to open the EU accession procedure for the country , “at war”. Later, he said that the process of accepting Ukraine into the union could take several decades. Then he proposed the creation of a new “European political community”, which would include Ukraine.

The Kremlin said that the European Union is not a military-political bloc, unlike NATO, so the question of Ukraine's membership in the EU ” ;lies in another plane. Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev expressed doubt that Kyiv will join the European Union without NATO membership. “There is one hitch: the experience of recent years with Montenegro and Macedonia shows that entry into the EU takes place only through NATO,” — Medvedev believes.

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Bloomberg learned about the EU plan to reject the ban on the transportation of Russian oil

The main role in the decision to abandon the ban on the transportation of Russian oil by EU vessels was played by the lack of a common position among the G7 countries, writes

The European Union intends to soften the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, in particular to abandon the proposed ban on the transportation of Russian oil to third countries by EU ships, Bloomberg writes citing sources.

At the same time, the ban on insurance of ships with Russian oil is still being discussed and will be a serious obstacle to exports, if approved, according to sources.

The lack of a common position among the G7 countries played a major role in the decision to abandon the ban on the transportation of Russian oil by European ships. Thus, Greece, whose economy is largely dependent on shipping, acted to exclude this provision from the sanctions package, the agency reported.

However, according to sources, the remaining provisions in the package will still significantly complicate Moscow’s position, since the to provide insurance will cover most of the world's fleet of oil tankers carrying Russian oil.

The day before, Bloomberg reported that EU permanent representatives met to discuss new sanctions against Russia, but did not reach an agreement.

The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said earlier that the sixth package of sanctions should include the rejection of Russian oil by the end 2022 and the disconnection of a number of banks from SWIFT. Bloomberg and Reuters also reported that Brussels is proposing to ban European courts from providing services related to the transportation of Russian oil to third countries.

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In order for the package to be accepted, all 27 EU countries must agree on it. As the agency wrote, the meeting participants failed to get Hungary's consent to a ban on Russian oil imports, while Greece and Cyprus have not yet supported restrictions on oil transportation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pointed out that the European Union does not have a single positions on the adoption of part of the sanctions against Russia. He urged the EU to take a unified position.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on May 6 that Budapest would not allow the EU to impose an embargo on Russian oil, as this would undermine the security of the country's energy supply and its economy .

According to him, the country is ready to defend its economic achievements until the EU plan to impose an embargo on oil from Russia “collapses”.

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France allowed the introduction of the EU embargo on Russian oil “this week”

State Secretary of the French Foreign Ministry Clement Bon allowed the EU embargo on Russian oil until May 15 Secretary of State for European Affairs of the French Foreign Ministry Clement Bon said that the EU could take a decision on the embargo on Russian oil as early as this week. Today Emmanuel Macron will speak with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban France allowed the EU to impose an embargo on Russian oil “this week” />

The European Union may decide on an embargo on Russian oil this week, Clément Bon, Secretary of State for European Affairs of the French Foreign Ministry, said on the LCI TV channel. the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which provides, in particular, a ban on the supply of crude oil, will appear in the coming days. Bon noted that “the rejection of Russian oil will be sensitive for a number of countries due to their heavy dependence on its supplies.”

>

Bon added that several European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, are set to speak with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban later today. Budapest opposes phasing out Russian oil, believing it would undermine the security of the country's energy supply and its economy. Von der Leyen has previously said she has made progress in talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on sanctions and energy security.

According to the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Union intends to refuse the supply of Russian crude oil within six months, and the import of refined products— by the end of 2022. Bloomberg and Reuters wrote that the European Union proposed to ban European courts and companies from providing services related to the transportation of Russian oil, including in the field of insurance.

On May 4, Reuters reported that the ambassadors of the EU countries had not reached an agreement on the embargo, according to the source of the agency, concerns about oil restrictions were expressed by Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Bloomberg noted that a Hungarian representative objected to the embargo, while Greece, Malta and Cyprus raised the issue of banning oil transportation between third countries, saying that this move would help competitors from Europe.

According to Bloomberg, on May 6, the European Union offered to give The Czech Republic has until June 2024 to give up Russian oil, while Hungary and Slovakia— until December 31, 2024.

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Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto spoke that Budapest would not vote for the sixth package in its current form, specifying that the country would like the ban not to apply to imports of crude oil through pipelines. countries.

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El País learned about the idea of ​​the EU to require members of the union to share gas

According to the publication, in the event of a cessation of gas supplies from Russia, Brussels will require EU members who have alternative sources of supplies to share fuel with the most affected states

On May 18, the European Commission plans to approve a plan in the event of a possible cut in gas supplies from Russia, which, among other things, includes a requirement for EU members to share their gas with countries most affected by the cut. This is reported by the Spanish newspaper El País, citing sources.

According to the publication, Brussels insists that in the event of an emergency with gas, those countries that have alternative suppliers will have to share with the most affected states.

The European authorities will also require energy rationing, which will start with the industrial sector, so that companies in less affected countries do not have a competitive advantage over companies in more affected countries, the publication specifies.

In addition, according to El País, Brussels intends to use the gas supply regulation in force since 2017 in order to guarantee sufficient gas supply to households and social services in all countries of the community.

According to the forecasts of the European Commission, in the event of a complete cessation of Russian gas supplies, the measures provided for in the regulation will have to be taken by almost all EU partners. At the same time, the EC believes that out of 155 billion cubic meters. m of gas that comes annually from Russia, two-thirds can be replaced in the future.

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Since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, many Western countries, including the EU and the US, have imposed or tightened sanctions against Moscow. The restrictions, among other things, affected large financial and industrial companies, members of the Russian government, as well as the reserves of the Central Bank. At the same time, the sanctions did not affect the import of Russian oil and gas.

Russia provides approximately 40% of Europe's need for gas imports. On March 23, President Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian side would give up “all compromised currencies” in gas payments. and will accept payment for it from unfriendly countries (in this list, all EU countries, the USA, Great Britain and other states) in rubles. The new requirement came into effect on April 1.

Many EU countries have previously announced their refusal to pay for the supply of energy resources under the new scheme. The European Commission believes that the new payment scheme is contrary to the European sanctions regime.

Poland and Bulgaria also refused to pay for gas in rubles, which is why Gazprom suspended deliveries to these countries. French Minister of Environmental Transformation Barbara Pompili called Russia's actions a breach of contracts. European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson urged the EU countries to prepare a plan of action in the event of a cessation of supplies from Russia.

In mid-March, Deputy Head of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic said that the EU would need 50 & ndash; 60 billion cubic meters to replace supplies from Russia. m of natural gas from other sources.

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EU proposes oil ban after bloc’s largest economy drops opposition

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>EU proposes oil ban after bloc’s largest economy drops opposition

Germany has now been able to slash its dependence on Russian oil since the war in Ukraine started in February. But Hungary and Slovakia — still heavily reliant on Russian oil — still oppose the deal.

The WorldMay 5, 2022 · 2:15 PM EDT

A train passes by Republika Power Plant in town of Pernik, Bulgaria, April 21, 2022. The only nuclear power plant, generating over a third of Bulgaria’s electricity, runs on uranium from Russia.

Valentina Petrova/AP

The European Union is proposing a ban on Russian oil imports with its sixth set of sanctions. The decision is being discussed by EU leaders in Brussels this week.

“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin must pay a high price for his brutal aggression,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday when introducing the package.

If the new sanctions are approved by all 27 member states, Europe would stop buying crude oil from Russia within six months and refined products by the end of the year, to allow countries to find alternate sources in an “orderly” transition, von der Leyen said. 

“It will not be easy, because some member states are strongly dependent on Russian oil. But we simply have to do it.”

Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission President

“It will not be easy, because some member states are strongly dependent on Russian oil,” von der Leyen said. “But we simply have to do it.”

About 60% of Russia’s oil exports go to Europe.

Hungary and Slovakia, which get about 60% and 90%, respectively, of their imported oil from Russia, according to the International Energy Agency, have said they do not support an embargo and will push for an extension to the timeline.

Related: As Germany reckons with Russian energy, this village is caught in the crossroads

The proposed ban comes after Germany dropped its opposition to the move. Europe’s largest economy has reduced its dependence on Russian oil from about a third of its supplies before the war to about 12% today.

In an interview with German public broadcaster ZDF this week, Robert Habeck, minister of economy and climate protection, said that Germany would not stand in the way of an embargo.

He acknowledged that prices will go up if Russian oil supplies are shut off “and that is the price that we can and must bear. But it no longer means that the entire economy will collapse.”

Most of the remaining Russian oil flowing to Germany goes to a refinery near the border with Poland that supplies Berlin. The refinery is owned by Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, to refine Russian oil. And it supplies the vast majority of Berlin’s gas stations.

Related: 'Their lives collided with war': Ukrainian refugees in Poland open their own schools

“We have a problem here that we’re trying to solve,” Michael Kellner, who represents Berlin in the German Parliament, said on German TV earlier this week. “Namely, that we have put critical infrastructure into Russian hands.”

The German government is now pushing a proposed law that would allow it to take temporary control of key energy infrastructure. If the refinery were taken out of Russian hands, Kellner said, oil could be shipped to a port in Rostock to meet about 60% of the refinery’s demand. Poland, too, has said it will help, he added.

However Berlin resolves this problem, prices at the gas pump are likely to rise higher.

The price of crude oil jumped 3% on Wednesday with the news of the EU’s planned embargo.

Back in March, gasoline shot up to $9 a gallon in Germany, though it’s ticked down a bit since.

Those costs have been the most visible impact of the war so far for many Germans, including Fabien Neumann, an optician who lives in western Germany. 

 “I have to pay much more for [gas for] my car,” she said.

Related: ‘Home is home’: Ukrainians in Poland consider options as Russia’s war enters new phase 

But, she said she thinks that rising gas prices from an oil embargo would be worth it.

“I think we have to stop Putin, so I think everyone has to pay a little bit more for stopping the war.”

Fabien Neumann, optician, western Germany

“I think we have to stop Putin, so I think everyone has to pay a little bit more for stopping the war.”

Officials in Ukraine have been calling for a full embargo on Russian energy for weeks.

Moscow rakes in $850 million a day in natural gas and oil sales to Europe.

Related: At the mouth of the Black Sea, a ship spotter watches for clues amid Ukraine war

But some Ukrainians who have lived through the horrors of the war are skeptical that an embargo would force Putin to change course. 

Ielyzaveta Abrosimova fled from Kharkiv with her family in early March and is now living in northeastern Germany.

“There are so many sanctions already made,” she said. “The whole world is shouting, Ukraine is crying and shouting. And unfortunately, it goes on. Personally, [Putin] doesn’t feel that pressure, no matter what you stop.”

The EU’s latest sanctions on Russia would also include penalties targeting Russian military officers, its largest bank and three Russian broadcasters.

Bloomberg learned about the EU’s intention to impose sanctions against Kabaeva

According to the agency, the sanctions list has not yet been approved and can be agreed, presumably, on May 6 /756517780688941.jpg” alt=”Bloomberg learned about the EU's intention to impose sanctions against Kabaeva” />

Alina Kabaeva

The European Union intends to impose sanctions on the Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics Alina Kabaeva. This is reported by Bloomberg, citing sources and the relevant document at the disposal of the agency.

The new package of sanctions may still undergo changes until the approval of the countries— community members. EU ambassadors are expected to meet on the morning of May 6 to discuss and possibly approve the sixth round of sanctions, the agency said.

Kabaeva twice became the absolute world champion in rhythmic gymnastics and five times— the absolute champion of Europe, won the gold of the Olympics in the individual all-around. She was a State Duma deputy of the fifth and sixth convocations. Since September 2014— Chairman of the Board of Directors of the holding “National Media Group”. Since 2016, he has been the head of the Board of Directors of ZAO Sport-Express.

Since the end of February, many Western countries, including the EU and the US, have imposed new sanctions against Russia. The European Union, in particular, has already imposed five packages of sanctions against Moscow, including restrictions against Russian financial and industrial organizations, Central Bank reserves, restrictions on the import or transit of coal and other solid fossil fuels, as well as personally against President Putin and his inner circle. .

The preparation of the sixth package of sanctions in mid-April was announced by the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The head of European Union diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said in early May that the sixth package of sanctions would include restrictions on several more banks, which were planned to be disconnected from SWIFT. The sanctions will also affect oil imports.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz previously admitted that sanctions against Russia could be lifted only after agreement with Ukraine. “We can and are going to lift our sanctions only in agreement with Ukraine. I think many in the Kremlin have not realized this yet. For Russia, this has devastating consequences, — he said.

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Volodin invited countries to leave the EU in order to maintain sovereignty

If the EU countries want to preserve their sovereignty, they need to leave the union, the speaker of the State Duma said. This is how he reacted to the proposal of the European Parliament to make decisions not by unanimity, but by a qualified majority ” alt=” Volodin suggested that countries leave the EU in order to maintain sovereignty” />

Viacheslav Volodin

State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, commenting in his Telegram on the decision of the European Parliament to reform the European Union, said that “European unity is collapsing.”

“If the states that are part of the EU today want to preserve sovereignty and defend the interests of their citizens, they have only one way left— exit from the European Union»,— he thinks.

According to Volodin, the European Parliament approved, among other things, the initiative to abolish the principle of joint decision-making, “in other words, it is proposed to abandon the right of veto of EU members.” The speaker of the State Duma believes that the opinions of individual states and their citizens will not be taken into account, and this will lead to the fact that “millions of Europeans will be deprived of the right to vote.”

Resolution on deep reform of the EU in question, the European Parliament adopted on 4 May. The document was adopted as a result of public consultations with residents of European countries during the year as part of the conference “The Future of Europe”.

In the document following the results of this conference, in particular, it is proposed to abolish the principle of unanimous adoption of the most important decisions. “All issues decided by unanimity must be decided by a qualified majority of votes (two-thirds or three-quarters of those present. — RBC). The exceptions will be the issues of admission of new members to the EU and changes in the fundamental principles of the EU, — says the document.

According to MEPs, the unanimous decision-making mechanism “makes it difficult to reach an agreement.” At the same time, they proposed to ensure a “fair calculation of the weight of votes” in order to protect the interests of small countries.

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Orban says EU has crossed a red line over oil embargo

The Hungarian prime minister compared the ban on the supply of Russian oil to “an atomic bomb that they want to drop on the Hungarian economy”, and demanded a five-year delay from Brussels embargo

Viktor Orban

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Speaking about the EU's intention to impose an embargo on Russian oil, he said that Brussels had crossed a red line. He said this in an interview with radio Kossuth, his words are quoted by the portal 24.hu.

The head of government compared the ban on the supply of Russian raw materials to “an atomic bomb that they want to drop on the Hungarian economy.” It will take “years” to rebuild the country's energy sector, he pointed out.

Orban, in his own words, was still ready to agree to the first five packages of sanctions against Russia, but restrictive measures affecting energy , considers already a “red line” for Hungary.

“They [the EU countries] have crossed that red line, [the ban on the supply of] coal may not affect Hungary. But they continue. You must stop here, — said the prime minister.

Orban demands from the EU a five-year delay in the embargo, and not the year that the EU is ready to grant, Bloomberg reports, citing him.

Earlier Orban, speaking about his country's dependence on the supply of Russian energy resources, pointed out that, for example, Germany, Austria and Bulgaria are “in the same shoes with Hungary.” If oil and gas do not come from Russia, the question arises of the existence of the Hungarian economy, he noted.

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A gradual ban on the import of Russian oil is expected to be included in the sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia. They want to make an exception for Hungary and Slovakia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic are counting on the same.

As the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen reported, the EU intends to refuse the supply of Russian crude oil within six months, and the import of petroleum products— by the end of the year.

The press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, speaking about the possible refusal of the EU from Russian oil, warned that this decision would “hit everyone”. At the same time, the United States, which had previously refused supplies, according to him, will remain on its own and “will feel much better than the Europeans.”

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Zelensky offered the EU to restore Ukraine by dividing it into regions

The President of Ukraine assessed the country's losses during the hostilities.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during a speech at an international donor conference for Ukraine, made a loud statement about assistance.

According to the Ukrainian leader, he proposes that the EU countries divide countries into regions and provide assistance to the victims and the economy according to this principle.

Zelensky explained that Kyiv is preparing a large-scale plan to restore Ukraine and needs patronage from the international community.

The head of Ukraine said that such a decision by the EU countries could be of historical significance.

“Such a patronage project can create a new and historic example of interaction and partnership between countries”, he said.

According to “MK”, Zelensky believes that Western investments in Ukraine can lead to the stability of the entire region, as well as the center and east of Europe. Because in this way they will help the return to the country of refugees who have flooded neighboring states.

The second thing the president said is the need for Kyiv to quickly move Ukraine into the EU, which can take advantage of the status of an EU candidate.

>

According to TASS, at a summit of executive directors hosted by The Wall Street Journal, Zelensky announced Ukraine's need for $600 billion to restore “infrastructural facilities, residential areas, enterprises.”

Thus, according to him, the country can restore everything that was destroyed.

“Start companies in Ukraine and you will gain access to a market of more than 40 million, the largest in Europe”, &#8211 ; he said.

Meanwhile, a week earlier, Zelensky estimated the country's losses at $550 billion, of which up to $7 billion would have to be invested monthly in the ruined economy.

At the same time, according to “MK”, VEB of Ukraine announced that 6 wagons with Belarusian fertilizers would be alienated in favor of the state. The cost of the goods is $6.8 million.

Earlier, Topnews wrote that Zelensky's office threatened a counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which is scheduled for July this year.

Источник topnews.ru