Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki called on Europe to switch to coal energy

Photo: pixabay.com

Poland calls on Europe to switch to coal energy, this issue will be raised at the summit in Brussels. Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters about this after arriving at the summit.

“Today we will raise issues related to the new launch of coal energy. It is clear that such countries as Germany, Austria and even the Netherlands, on the principles of emergency plans, are returning to coal energy,” he said.

The Prime Minister added that Poland retained its coal energy and intends to increase production in the country coal. Morawiecki called this a prerequisite for the security outlook for the autumn and winter.

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Experts explain the revival of neo-Nazism in Europe by an ideological vacuum

Governments “want to make Russophobia legal”

Eighty-one years ago, Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union, and the Great Patriotic War began. After its end, the world tried to forget Nazism like a bad dream, making efforts to ensure that such a tragedy did not arise again. However, now, in 2022, the issue of the revival of Nazism has become very acute. An international videoconference “Current events through the prism of history. Why Neo-Nazism Exists and How to Fight It”, which featured public and political figures from the USA, Serbia, Greece, Poland, China, Italy and others.

Photo: Global Look Press

Speaking at the conference, Serbian political scientist Stevan Gajic noted that the revival of Nazism is associated with the so-called “ideological vacuum”. After the collapse of the USSR, the former republics faced the lack of a clear ideology, which was taken advantage of by the governments and elites of the West, who began to sponsor and in every possible way develop nationalists and radicals in the countries bordering Russia. A museum dedicated specifically to the “Soviet occupation” was opened in Poland, and only a small part of it told about the atrocities of the Nazis from Germany. The propaganda of anti-communism gradually transformed into anti-Russian sentiments that swept the countries of Eastern Europe.

In the absence of ideology, the inhabitants of Eastern Europe were increasingly saturated with the spirit of nihilism, which we now see in the actions of the military from Ukraine – they are ready to sacrifice not only themselves, but also peaceful, innocent citizens for their own purposes. Members of the “Friends of Crimea” clubs from all over the world compared them with suicide bombers who destroy buildings with civilians at the cost of their lives.

After the delivery of “Azovstal” it was found that the soldiers protecting him were strewn with Nazi symbols. Photos of the military from the Azov regiment have been circulating on the Internet for a long time; with Nazi flags. Until now, few people believed that Nazism could really be revived, especially in the country of the former Soviet republic, which was just fighting this infection. Neo-Nazism appeared in Ukraine a long time ago, but only now it has opened up to the world, people have seen with their own eyes that these are really Nazis, and not just citizens who want to protect their country.

However, neo-Nazism – The problem is not only Eastern European countries. We see this in the US, UK, France and other countries. “All Russophobia, which has seized the world with renewed vigor after the start of the special operation, is nothing but neo-Nazism,” – conference participants came to the conclusion. Only for the inhabitants of these countries, propaganda exposes Russophobia as a normal and even necessary phenomenon.

Patrick Poppel, member of the Association of Friends of Crimea from Austria and General Secretary of the Suvorov Institute, said: “The world does not support racism against Arabs, Asians and blacks , but if you hate Russians – it means you will be respected, if not – you will be canceled.

Members of the “Friends of Crimea” clubs from all over the world spoke about oppression, persecution and even repression. Andrey Romanchuk, a member of the Friends of Crimea association, secretary of the Russian Cultural and Educational Society in Poland, said that they want to deprive Russians of the title of minority so that the law “on national and ethnic minorities” does not apply to them. Roughly speaking, the Polish government wants to make Russophobia legal. Russians have already been banned from public activities, publishing books and speaking on radio and television. Andrei Romanchuk said that they were kicked out of their rented premises in Bialystok, citing the fact that they support Russia's actions.

The representative of the club from the USA, documentary filmmaker Regis Tremblay, said the following at the conference: “Our films and videos on YouTube are being deleted and blocked. People who are not indifferent to our activities are simply afraid to help openly, because they are afraid of persecution. He is engaged in telling American viewers about the Donbass, Russia and Crimea.

The founder and CEO of the Center for Geostrategic Studies in Belgrade, Dragana Trifkovic, said that Serbia is being pressured by the American authorities to adopt a package of sanctions against Russia. Refugees from Ukraine stage demonstrations in Belgrade with Ukrainian flags and demand support.

Governments and elites in unfriendly countries use nationalism and neo-Nazism in Eastern Europe as a fist against Russia, holding it back and putting pressure on it.

The special operation in Ukraine is global in nature and is a great battle for the future of all mankind, said Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea – Permanent Representative of the Republic of Crimea to the President of the Russian Federation Georgy Muradov: “All Russophobia and Western propaganda, which puts in their reports and articles before the word “Russians” obligatory “barbarians” and “aggressors”, could lead to a full-scale war throughout Europe.

Источник www.mk.ru

Desperate goal of Biden’s trip to Europe named: mission failed

U.S. President Wants to Keep 'Ukrainian Coalition Integrity'

U.S. President Joe Biden is heading to Europe later this week in hopes of maintaining the integrity of the Western coalition in support of Ukraine. Observers note that the head of the White House has a more difficult task to solve than the last time the president traveled to the European continent.

Photo: Global Look Press

The Ukrainian conflict continues, “but the mission of President Joe Biden is now very different,” notes Politico. When Biden was last in Europe, just weeks after the events in Ukraine began, his task was to forge a shaky alliance overwhelmed by the onslaught of Russia.

But now Biden is back across the Atlantic for a couple of summits with a new assignment: keep the European continent committed to a common cause, as the conflict could continue for many more months and cause continued global economic tension. In many ways, Biden's job next week will be more challenging, Politico predicts.

The international media is beginning to lose keen interest in the Ukrainian conflict, and the US president is about to convince other Western leaders whose economies have been hit by rising inflation to continue sending money and weapons to Ukraine.

Some of Biden's colleagues have suffered from scandals and defeats, their political position has weakened, writes Politico (suffice it to recall the bad outcome for Macron in the parliamentary elections in France and Johnson's “Pyrrhic victory” following the vote of confidence). And Biden himself is seeing his poll ratings plummet as spending rises, and the United States is nervously awaiting a Supreme Court ruling that could overturn abortion rights and turn the tide while the president handles foreign affairs.

“Now he has a tougher job because of all the economic issues, but there is still support,” says former US ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor. “For now, the Europeans are gritting their teeth and staying the course, even though they have bigger oil and natural gas problems than we do.”

“But the way to save the union is to pave the way forward, the way to success,” Taylor insists. “That's what a president should do.”

Biden will have two stops in Europe after the presidential Air Force One takes off from Andrews Air Force Base on Saturday: first in Germany for the G-7 summit. ), and then to a meeting of NATO leaders in Spain.

Biden has received high marks — even from some Republicans — for his handling of the Ukraine crisis, but White House aides have come to terms with the reality that it probably won't help in the midterm vote this fall, as inflation and other issues are likely to prevail.

Advisors say Biden will use European trip to push allies to stay on course, saying Ukraine needs to be defended not only to deter Russia's advance, but to send a message of united democracies to the world , namely China.

The agenda, according to the White House, aims to show support for Ukraine as it tries to deal with disruptions caused by conflict in the global economy, namely energy and food prices.

Biden plans more once again support Finland's and Sweden's bids for NATO membership, working to assuage Turkey's objections. The White House suggested that the US President would also champion the Global Infrastructure Initiative and hinted that more sanctions could be imposed on Russia.

“He came to power with the specific purpose of resurrecting and strengthening our allies and partnerships around the world, and that is exactly what he did,” said John Kirby of the White House National Security Council. “He raised these partnerships to meet the major challenges of our time.”

A year ago, Biden met with the G7 in Britain and was hailed for heralding a return to “normality” after Donald Trump's tumultuous rule. At the time, Politico notes, Russia, whose president Biden met in Geneva, was seen mostly as a nuisance, a threat that paled in comparison to the challenges posed by China and the fight to vaccinate the world against COVID-19. Everything changed after the start of the Ukrainian crisis.

When Biden visited Brussels and Poland this March, he pushed Europe to balance the moral and geopolitical imperative to act on behalf of Ukraine, along with fears of a further escalation of the conflict and the economic costs of imposing an aggressive sanctions regime against Russia, writes Politico.

Despite the fact that the West has imposed a whole series of punitive sanctions against Russia, it has not achieved its goals. Moreover, as the conflict in Ukraine continues, “tensions have begun to emerge among the allies,” acknowledges Politico.

While Washington has authorized tens of billions of dollars in funding for Ukraine, there are questions about whether some countries, notably Germany, have contributed their fair share to Kyiv. The blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports has contributed to a sharp rise in food prices, exacerbating the pandemic-induced inflation that has gripped much of the world. And sanctions against Russia, as well as bans on part of its energy sector, led to a sharp increase in gas prices.

Some in Europe have tried to push Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the negotiating table, believing that a brokered resolution could save lives and stabilize the economy. But Zelenskiy has refused any territorial concessions.

Biden himself, as Politico notes, will arrive in Europe politically weaker than during his last trip in March, his approval rating eroded by inflation as Democrats fear defeat in the interim elections in November.

Some of Biden's closest allies have recently suffered political setbacks – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson narrowly survived a no-confidence vote and French President Macron suffered a crushing defeat in Parliament – which could complicate their resolve.

“Despite the fact that Since the French president has significant influence on foreign policy issues, his weakened stance is likely to lead to a more cautious stance, said Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a professor at Georgetown University. This is “bad news for the United States as Washington is counting on Europe to take on more geopolitical responsibility.”

In recent weeks, many Western leaders have made surprise visits to Ukraine, and rumors have circulated in Washington that Biden will do the same while in Europe. But this week, the White House downplayed that possibility, citing the incredible security efforts required for a president to visit a conflict zone safely. Far more likely, the aides suggested, is that the clandestine visit could take place at a later time.

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The head of the IEA invited Europe to prepare for a complete shutdown of gas by Russia

Russia's decision to cut gas supplies to European countries may be a harbinger of further cuts, as Moscow hopes to gain “leverage” in this way, says the head of the International Energy Agency

Europe must immediately prepare for a complete cessation of Russian gas exports this winter, says Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA). He said this in an interview with the Financial Times (FT).

“Europe must be prepared for the fact that Russian gas will be completely cut off,” — Birol said. “The closer we get to winter, the more we understand Russia's intentions. I believe the shutdown [of gas] is intended to keep Europe from filling up storage facilities and to increase Russia's leverage during the winter months,” — added the head of the IEA.

According to him, the organization invites European governments to take measures to reduce domestic demand for gas to support the operation of aging nuclear power plants.

The IEA was one of the first authorities last year to publicly accuse Russia of manipulating gas prices in Europe, indicates FT.

In the fall of 2021, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, accused Russia of not providing additional gas supplies to the EU in excess of contractual obligations, which contributes to rising prices. At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly emphasized that it is fulfilling its obligations under contracts and is not involved in the growth of world gas prices. The EU even conducted an antimonopoly investigation against Gazprom, however, as a result, it concluded that the rise in prices was the result of a number of factors, including & mdash; growing demand for gas in the world.

After the start of the special operation in Ukraine, European countries imposed several packages of sanctions against Russia, including against the banking and energy sectors of the economy. Also, European countries decided to refuse gas supplies via the completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany, and decided to diversify supplies by purchasing liquefied natural gas.

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In mid-June, Gazprom announced that it would reduce supplies to Germany via the operating Nord Stream 1 pipeline; due to a delay in the repair of units for the compressor station in Vyborg. This repair was to be carried out by Siemens, which closed its business in Russia, and a broken unit can be repaired only in Canada, which, in turn, banned the maintenance and repair of Russian equipment under sanctions.

Nord Stream-1» decreased from 167 million cubic meters. m per day up to 100 million cubic meters. m per day, and then was reduced by another third— up to 67 million cubic meters per day. This decision was considered politically motivated in Germany.

Due to the reduction in gas supplies, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark have introduced the first level of emergency warning for gas. This regime implies close monitoring of the situation so that the governments of countries can quickly make decisions if it worsens. Berlin also decided to increase the load on coal stations in order to fill gas storage facilities by 80% by October.

The Netherlands has decided to remove restrictions on the operation of coal-fired power plants for electricity generation without the use of gas (previously they operated at 35% capacity). Denmark also expects a significant deterioration in the gas supply situation, the government of the country has prepared an action plan for the winter period, which provides for the use of emergency gas supplies and the complete or partial cessation of gas supplies to the country's largest gas consuming companies for a limited period.

The European Commission said that against the background of the refusal of energy carriers from Russia, the European Union will need to increase coal consumption for some time. The EC admits that this is not in line with the “green” agenda, but Brussels has no choice.

According to the consulting company ICIS, Europe managed to reduce its dependence on Russian gas to about 20% of its total supply after the start of the special operation in Ukraine from about 40% before, indicates F.T. However, the possibilities of diversifying supplies are almost exhausted, according to ICIS.

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Barcelona is one of Europe’s loudest cities. It’s trying to turn down the volume.

class=”MuiTypography-root-126 MuiTypography-h1-131″>Barcelona is one of Europe's loudest cities. It's trying to turn down the volume.

Around 60 million adults in European cities are exposed to noise that's harmful to health. 

The WorldJune 10, 2022 · 5:00 PM EDT

Some noisy-weary residents of Barcelona, Spain, turn to silent yoga for peace of mind, at Silenci Barcelona.

Gerry Hadden/The World

Be careful of what you listen to: Researchers say that stress caused by sustained, loud noise can shorten your life. 

In Europe, the World Health Organization says that noise contributes to some 16,000 deaths each year. Now, some of the loudest cities, such as Barcelona, are trying to turn the volume down.

Researcher Sasha Komenko said that it’s important to distinguish between sound — say, pleasant music or birdsong — and noise. The latter, such as the sustained rumble of traffic, has been labeled a silent killer.

Related: Refugees find a welcome in Catalan Guissona’s ‘Little Ukraine’

Traffic clogs many of Barcelona’s downtown streets. Researchers say vehicle noise is the most dangerous acoustic contamination, causing stress that can damage  people’s long term health.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

“Because, I think we don’t perceive that it acts on our health,” Komenko said. “But when you work on these things, it makes you more aware.”

Komenko studies noise at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health. Her team has compiled noise data from nearly 700 cities in Europe. She said that analysis suggests that around 60 million adults in European cities are exposed to noise that's harmful to health.

“We base ourselves on the recommendations of the World Health Organization,” she said. “And they recommend that noise pollution does not exceed 53 decibels in a 24-hour period.”

Barcelona’s traffic leaves that in the dust. Then, there’s construction noise, music, talkative tourists and the airplanes they fly in on. The cacophony sometimes seems limitless.

“The basic thing is that noise creates a stress response.”

Maria Foraster, researcher

“The basic thing is that noise creates a stress response,” fellow researcher Maria Foraster said.

Skateboarders perform noisy tricks in front of Barcelona’s Modern Art Museum in Barcelona, Spain.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World 

Related: How US sailors kicked off Barcelona's tourism industry in the 1950s

She said that people should be on guard against so-called white noise, or background noise that you sometimes forget is even there.

“White noise, over time, can harden our arteries, or cause hypertension,” she said. “And little by little, this contributes also to changes in metabolism and cardiovascular disease.”

Barcelona’s city government is trying to dampen the racket. The Spanish city is a pioneer in creating urban “superblocks” —  entire sections of downtown revamped for pedestrians.

Cars can’t exceed 7 miles per hour, which dissuades drivers from passing through. Planters and park benches are everywhere.

Ana Lopez, 82, sat on one of them, her cane and grocery bag next to her.

Related: Catalonia pardons women accused of witchcraft 400 years ago

“For pedestrians, this is great,” she said. “Because now we have a place to rest, and you can walk around without stress.”

The city has plans for more superblocks and, possibly, to tax cars entering the city from elsewhere. This summer, the mayor’s installing experimental sound traps, like radar for noise, to identify vehicles exceeding noise limits.

The tourists have returned to iconic Rambla, in downtown Barcelona, Spain, and have brought with them the steady din of conversation and partying.

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World

In the meantime, though, the noise drones on — often, well above those 53 decibels where health concerns start.

The endless din drives some people to what might just be the quietest place in town: a meditation center called Silenci, or Silence, Barcelona.

On a recent evening, a dozen men and women took a silent yoga class.

Silenci owner Susana Lopez said that some 8,000 people have come through her doors in the last few years looking for peace.

Related: Residents remember their losses as they rebuild from La Palma's volcanic eruption

“We try to be an oasis within the city,” she said. “The folks who come in suffer from anxiety, stress, insomnia.”

Lopez encourages people to find inner silence, to deal with the outside cacophony. In the meantime, though, there are always earplugs.

Orban says gas embargo will destroy Europe’s economy

Orban noted that he would defend this position in the EU debate on the next package of anti-Russian sanctions. He urged to focus on a peaceful settlement, and not on sanctions, since they do not have an impact on Russia

The imposition of an embargo on Russian gas imports will destroy the European economy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in an interview with Kossuth Radio.

He stressed that he would defend this thesis in Brussels during the debate on anti-Russian sanctions. The emphasis is on a peaceful settlement, and not on tightening sanctions, which do not have a tangible impact on Russia, the prime minister said.

Russia— the largest gas supplier in the EU, accounting for 40% of supplies.

Since the beginning of the Russian operation in Ukraine, the European Union has already introduced several packages of sanctions against Moscow. In the last, sixth package, the EU included an embargo on the import of Russian oil and oil products. At the same time, the embargo did not affect the supply of gas and Russian crude oil through the Druzhba pipeline. Hungary managed to free itself from the obligation to comply with the European embargo on Russian oil imports, but the relief will be temporary, the Hungarian prime minister noted. The EU obliged the countries withdrawn from it to find other energy suppliers.

At the same time, the European Union is considering a phased plan for phasing out Russian energy sources, including gas, which was presented in mid-May by the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. It involves saving electricity for consumers, replacing supplies from Russia with gas from other reliable suppliers, and accelerating the transition to clean renewable energy. In the latter case, the EC proposes to increase the share of renewable energy in the total structure of its sources from 40 to 45%.

At the same time, von der Leyen drew attention to the fact that the European Union has already taken measures to reduce dependence on Russian gas and reduced its share in imports from 40% in 2021 to 26% in 2022.

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Hungary imports from Russia 85% of the gas that enters the country through Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia. Earlier, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó warned of the possible destruction of the national economy if Russian gas were to be cut off. In turn, Orban warned against rash sanctions against Russia and compared them to an atomic bomb.

In response to European sanctions, Russia obliged unfriendly countries (all EU countries, the USA, Great Britain and others) to pay for gas in rubles. To do this, they must open accounts with Gazprombank. Payment is made in euros, and the bank converts the currency into rubles.

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The Council of Europe announced the debt of Russia for €74 million in compensation to the ECtHR

Russia withdrew from the Council of Europe in mid-March, and the State Duma will pass laws within a week that will allow not to comply with the decisions of the ECtHR. According to the Council, Russia owes about €74 million in fair compensation under the decisions of the ECtHR jpg” alt=”Council of Europe announced Russia's debt of €74 million in ECtHR compensation” />

Russia owes about €74 million in fair compensation according to decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) without taking into account a record €1.9 billion in favor of former Yukos shareholders, the Kommersant newspaper was told. at the press office of the Council of Europe.

The total number of Russian cases before the ECtHR (since the accession of our country to the European Convention on Human Rights) was 3395. The total amount awarded by the court to applicants against Russia amounted to €2.02 billion.

This figure includes about €1.9 billion in the Yukos Oil Company v. Russia case, which Russia did not pay. Excluding this case, the amount of payments awarded amounted to €148 million, of which €74 million have been paid so far, the press service explained.

At the same time, fair compensation has not been paid in more than 800 individual cases, as well as in the case of “Georgia v. Russia”, concerning the arrest, detention and deportation of Georgian citizens from Russia in 2006-2007. The amount of compensation awarded in this case amounted to €10 million, the Council of Europe added.

Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin of the ECtHR Yuri Berestnev told Kommersant that Russia may not recognize these decisions of the ECtHR, but there is a risk of trying to “pay” these funds from frozen Russian assets. At the same time, according to him, the amount of debt of €74 million should be considered rather conditional.

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On March 15, the Russian Foreign Ministry notified the Council of Europe of its decision to withdraw from the organization. The head of the Russian delegation to PACE, Petr Tolstoy, then said that Russia left the Council of Europe of its own free will, the decision was “weighted and considered.” The next day, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted to exclude Russia. The ECHR stated that it would continue to consider allegations of violations of rights by Russia that occurred before September 16, 2022.

In addition, Russia announced its intention to denounce the European Convention on Human Rights. The country will cease to be a party to the document from 16 September. Also, the State Duma will adopt laws within a week that will allow not to execute the decisions of the ECHR, said the speaker of the lower house of parliament Vyacheslav Volodin.

As Sergey Stepashin, chairman of the Russian Bar Association, said in early June, an alternative option is currently being developed in Russia European Court of Human Rights. The working group headed by Stepashin will include representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Investigative Committee, the presidential administration, it will be formed before the end of June.

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Lavrov announced the emergence of “new poor” in Europe and the fall in living standards

Foreign Minister Lavrov: Inflation is growing in Europe and “new poor” appear European countries are facing a deterioration in living standards and rising inflation, an increase in the number of poor people, Lavrov said. He accused the German authorities of sending money to Ukraine instead of supporting their citizens

In European countries, inflation is rising, living standards are deteriorating, and economic growth is slowing down, and some Europeans are threatened with poverty & mdash; even the concept of “new poor” has appeared, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Larov said in an interview with the Bosnian-Serb television and radio company Radio and Television of the Republika Srpska. (RTRS).

“In Europe, living standards are deteriorating, inflation is rising, and growth is slowing down. There was even the concept of “new poor”. People are suffering from upcoming problems, including rising prices. Poverty threatens many,— he said.

At the same time, the minister noted, the authorities are sending tens of billions of dollars and euros to purchase weapons for Ukraine.

“Germany announced that it was important for them not to support the Germans in difficult periods of rising prices, but to allocate $100 billion for militarization of their country,— added by Lavrov.

In March, after the start of Russia's military operation in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed by Europe against companies, banks, the Central Bank, imports and exports, inflation in the eurozone reached 7.5% on an annualized basis, Eurostat reported. This value has become the highest since the introduction of the euro. This happened despite the European Central Bank's inflation target of 2%.

At that time, the growth of consumer prices in the euro area beat records for the fifth month in a row. The largest price increase in March was recorded by Eurostat for energy products (44.7%, in February – 32%), food, alcohol and tobacco (5 vs. 4.2% in February), services (2.7 vs. 2.5% in February). The highest rate of inflation was in Lithuania— 15.6%, and the lowest in Malta— 4.6%.

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The biggest jump in prices occurred in Estonia, where consumer prices increased by 19% in a year. Among the leaders in this indicator are: Lithuania— 16.8%. Bulgaria— 14.4%, Czech Republic— 14.2%, Romania— 13.8%, Latvia— 13%, Poland— 12.4%, Slovakia— 11.7%. In Germany, inflation in annual terms reached 7.9% in May, the Federal Statistical Office reported. For the country, this figure was a record for 50 years.

On June 4, the head of the Bruegel think tank, Guntram Wolf, predicted that due to the ban on oil imports from Russia, which the European Union introduced as part of of the sixth package of sanctions, inflation in Europe will continue to rise, this will hit European consumers and businesses.

Meanwhile, in Russia, inflation due to military actions in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions rose to 17.7% in May , but by the middle of the month it slowed down to 17.5%, the Ministry of Economic Development pointed out.

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The Ministry of Defense announced the destruction of T-72 tanks from Europe on the outskirts of Kyiv

View of the building of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

On the outskirts of Kyiv, T-72 tanks and other armored vehicles that arrived in Ukraine from Eastern Europe were destroyed, Russian aircraft hit them with long-range high-precision missiles, reported in the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

Military equipment was placed in the buildings of the car repair enterprise, specified in the ministry.

The material is being supplemented.

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TASS learned about the interest of the security forces in Chubais’ “hidden accounts” in Europe

According to the source of the agency, we are talking about several billion in foreign currency, “possibly obtained illegally”

Anatoly Chubais

Russian security officials will check information about the accounts of the former head of Rosnano who left Russia, hidden in European banks and former presidential aide Anatoly Chubais. This was reported by TASS with reference to sources in law enforcement agencies.

“Power structures will check information about hidden accounts of Chubais, which may be in European banks,” — said the interlocutor of the agency.

According to him, the amount of foreign currency in these accounts can reach several billion. In the interests of the investigation, the sources did not specify in which particular banks “impressive amounts may be stored, possibly obtained illegally.”

On March 23, Bloomberg, citing sources, reported that Chubais, who after Rosnano served as special representative of the president, resigned from his post and left the country. RBC sources stated that Chubais left for Istanbul, but, according to one of the interlocutors, “he was going to return”; in Russia. The Kremlin later confirmed that Chubais resigned of his own accord. Later it became known that he also left the board of directors of AFK Sistema. and resigned from the board of directors of the Elektrozavod company.

At the end of April, TASS, citing a source close to Chubais, said that the politician was in Europe and did not plan to return to Russia, including to testify as a victim in the case of the theft of property from him for 70 million rubles. As the source of the agency pointed out, Chubais left Russia on a private plane, first he was in Turkey, and then he went to Italy, where he has property.

In turn, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin could not and did not want to follow the fate of Chubais. “We have neither the ability nor the desire to follow the fate of Chubais. It is known that he is abroad, he does not work for us, — said Peskov.

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Earlier, RBC announced the appeal of the new head of Rosnano Sergei Kulikov to the Prosecutor General's Office with a request to conduct an audit of the company's work for 2010-2020, when it was headed by Chubais. In his letter, the head of the state corporation announced the costly attracted financing, which could cause damage to the company by 28 billion rubles. Kulikov also spoke about non-payment of “Rosnano” in 2017–2018 dividends to the government for 1.1 billion rubles.

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The Pentagon announced the rotation of US troops in Europe

10.5 thousand troops will return to the United States, while the other 10.5 thousand will go to bases in Europe. The Pentagon spokesman stressed that American soldiers are not sent there to participate in hostilities in Ukraine

The United States plans to rotate the military contingent in Europe in the near future, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at a briefing. Washington continues its course to strengthen the defensive capabilities on the eastern flank of NATO against the backdrop of events in Ukraine, he explained.

“For this reason, Secretary [of Defense Lloyd] Austin has ordered the dispatch of approximately 10,500 troops in the coming months to replace the previously sent army units that serve in the European zone, — told Kirby.— This is a one-on-one replacement of military units. Thus, the total number of American soldiers stationed in Europe will remain the same— about 100,000. Replacements will be carried out gradually over the summer.

Kirby stressed that the newly arrived military “won't fight in Ukraine” and the deployment of troops is not permanent.

In April, US Charge d'Affaires in Estonia Brian Roraff said that Washington allows the deployment of troops in Europe not only on a rotational basis, but also on a permanent basis.

Army Chief of Staff James McConville said at the end of March that the United States would not increase its military presence in Europe to the level of the Cold War (350 thousand).

The American authorities emphasize that US troops are in the region to protect allies for NATO, and not for the war with Russia and participation in hostilities in Ukraine.

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

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Europe’s new liquified gas infrastructure puts climate targets in question

In a race to stop buying Russian natural gas, European countries are building new infrastructure that many fear could lead to a fossil-fuel “lock-in.” Germany houses six of the nearly dozen liquified natural gas import facilities across Europe.

The WorldMay 12, 2022 · 2:15 PM EDT

Port cranes load a climate friendly LNG, liquefied natural gas, powered container ship at the import and export harbor in Hamburg, Germany, March 19, 2022.

Martin Meissner/AP/File photo

In a quest to wean off of Russian natural gas, European countries are racing to build new infrastructure to be able to accept liquified gas from producers further afield.

Analysts are tracking nearly a dozen liquified natural gas (LNG) import facilities across Europe that have been proposed since the beginning of the war in Ukraine — with Germany alone housing six of them.

“This is the scenario that will make us independent,” German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck said, while in the North Sea port town of Wilhelmshaven last week, where he went to sign lease agreements for four new floating natural gas storage facilities.

Gas produced in places like Qatar and the US can be cooled and shipped to these floating facilities, then regassified and distributed into Germany’s network.

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

Before the war in Ukraine started, Germany got more than half of its gas from Russia. It’s knocked that down to about a third in the past few months, but says the new liquefied natural gas infrastructure is necessary to meet its energy needs in the medium-term. 

During his visit to Wilhelmshaven, Habeck said the first two floating facilities will start operating up by the beginning of next year, providing about a quarter of the gas that Germany got from Russia before the war, with the rest coming online by May 2023. The government is also planning two permanent facilities to import LNG.

But the plans are not without controversy. 

Germany aims to become carbon neutral in 2045, a goal that was enshrined into law last summer. And many environmentalists fear that this new infrastructure will lock-in use of fossil fuels longer than necessary.

“We need to get rid of fossil fuels and we should not build new fossil infrastructure. We see it as moral and economic and ecological madness.”

Reinhard Knof, operates statewide environmental group in Schleswig-Holstein

“We need to get rid of fossil fuels and we should not build new fossil infrastructure,” said Reinhard Knof, who runs a statewide environmental group in Schleswig-Holstein, where one of the floating terminals and a permanent LNG facility. More than half-funded by the federal government is planned in the town of Brunsbüttel.

“We see it as moral and economic and ecological madness,” Knof said, while standing on a tall earthen dike near the mouth of the Elbe River, at an industrial port where the terminal will be built.

Reinhard Knof near the site of the planned natural gas terminal in Brunsbüttel, Germany.

Credit:

Carolyn Beeler/The World

Knof was quoting UN Secretary General Antoinio Guterres, who said last month that “investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”

The move came after the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report found that using only existing and previously planned fossil fuel infrastructure for the rest of its lifespan would put the most ambitious Paris climate agreement target of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius out of reach.

New investments, Guterres said, “will soon be stranded assets, a blot on the landscape and a blight on investment portfolios.”

The German government says natural gas will be phased out in the medium-term, and new gas infrastructure will be built to eventually switch over to handle hydrogen fuel.

Related: Germans turn down the heat, drive less and take cold showers to use less Russian energy

Hydrogen produced by renewable energy is considered a small but important, low-emissions energy source for hard-to-decarbonize industries and transport sectors.

It’s not yet clear how much this kind of retrofit would cost, or how quickly it could happen. 

Already, Reuters has reported that Qatar is balking at Germany’s desire to sign shorter-term contracts for LNG.

For us,this seems to be kind of a fossil trap,” said Constantin Zerger, head of energy and climate protection at Environmental Action Germany.

“We are building a new fossil infrastructure in Germany, which is connected to fossil infrastructure overseas, which is connected to new extraction projects. And this will all add up to additional greenhouse gas emissions all around the world.”

Constantin Zerger, head of energy and climate protection at Environmental Action Germany

“We are building a new fossil infrastructure in Germany, which is connected to fossil infrastructure overseas, which is connected to new extraction projects,” Zerger said. “And this will all add up to additional greenhouse gas emissions all around the world.”

The White House has pledged to more than double LNG exports from the US to Europe by 2030.

And planned gas liquefaction projects have been moving forward faster than they were before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, said S&P Global Commodity Insights natural gas analyst Jack Winters.

 “There has been a lot of activity that has picked up,” he said.

Related: A massive security flaw exposed in Germany — then a criminal investigation

Winters said that in the next five years, capacity for liquifying natural gas in the US will jump 60%. 

“You would need a production increase from the US producers to be able to feed this … LNG export capacity expected to come online,” he said.

This all brings Constantin Zerger to say something surprising for an environmental activist — that it might be better for Germany to keep burning coal a bit longer than planned, than to spur this kind of natural gas development. 

“We will have coal, which is from an environmental point of view, of course, terrible. But it might buy us some time to get the renewables in place."

Constantin Zerger, head of energy and climate protection at Environmental Action Germany

“We will have coal, which is from an environmental point of view, of course, terrible. But it might buy us some time to get the renewables in place. And this might be a better option than building new LNG terminals,” he said, citing a concern over a fossil-fuel “lock-in” with expensive and long-lived infrastructure.

Germany already missed its greenhouse gas reduction targets last year, and the economy and climate minister Robert Habeck has said that it’s likely to also miss them this year and next. But, he insists, the new gas infrastructure doesn’t put the country’s longer-term targets at risk. 

The mayor of Brunsbüttel, the North Sea town where both a floating and permanent facility are planned, supports the new infrastructure and the jobs and revenue it will bring to his town. 

But he acknowledges that Germany is in a tough spot with conflicting goals, as it tries to transition away from Russian energy.

Related: 'We are not alone': Volunteers provide critical support for Germans struggling in the aftermath of deadly flood

“It’s indescribably difficult,” Martin Schmedtje said. But he also believes the new natural gas terminal is necessary to keep the German economy growing, and give nearby chemical companies time to transition to renewable energy. 

“We need this terminal,” he said, voicing an opinion that’s grown widely across Europe since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

How Eurovision helps define Europe’s boundaries (and why Ukraine will likely win)

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>How Eurovision helps define Europe’s boundaries (and why Ukraine will likely win)

Politics have never been that far away from the Eurovision Song Contest. Since its inception, the annual event has reflected the political culture and geopolitical realities of Europe.

The ConversationMay 11, 2022 · 4:45 PM EDT

Could Ukraine’s entry be heading for Eurovision success? 

Maxim Fesenko/eurovision.tv

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest — an annual celebration of pop music in which nations compete to win the votes of judges and the public — takes place on May 14 in Turin, Italy. And Ukraine is overwhelmingly the favorite to win.

While the latest odds first and foremost reflect the widespread sympathy throughout Europe for besieged Ukraine, it certainly helps that the Ukrainian entry, Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania,” hits the right notes when it comes to Eurovision. Combining traditional folk sounds with modern hip-hop, the song is sentimental and upbeat at the same time.

Originally penned as an ode to the lead singer’s mother, “Stefania” has since become an anthem for the nation at war.

Sung entirely in Ukrainian, it showcases historical costumes and traditional instruments in a firm stamp of Ukrainian identity, while also effectively merging a melodic chorus with the global rhythms of hip-hop. Overall, the song reflects something of Ukraine’s resilient attitude in the face of Russian aggression as well as its pro-Western cultural leanings. Indeed, one member of Kalush Orchestra declared: “Our country will not only win the war, but also win the Eurovision.”

Russia was intent on competing this year as well. In February, however, the European Broadcasting Union, the organization behind Eurovision, banned Russia from the competition, under mounting pressure from other participating countries over the invasion of Ukraine.

I have long studied Eurovision as a cultural and political event. If Ukraine does win, I believe it will continue Eurovision’s ongoing legacy of marking the boundaries of the liberal West. Despite the popular and ephemeral nature of its songs, the event has, since its inception, reflected the political culture and geopolitical realities of Europe.

They had a dream

Founded in 1956 by the European Broadcasting Union, the Eurovision Song Contest is the longest continuously running televised international musical competition in the world, with an enormous audience of roughly 200 million people. Will Farrell’s 2020 Eurovision spoof “Story of Fire Saga” and a recent NBC spinoff of the actual event, the American Song Contest, hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, have piqued interest in the U.S.

Over the years, Eurovision has expanded from a small group of six Western European nations to over 40 competitors from all over Europe, plus Israel and Australia.

It has grown roughly in tandem with other European and European-focused organizations, such as the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Like those economic and strategic blocs, Eurovision expanded into the Mediterranean in the 1960s and ‘70s, and to Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Over the decades, the contest has pushed and readjusted the boundaries of “Europe,” both geographically and ideologically.

Knowing me, knowing EU

Eurovision’s definition of Europe’s geographical boundaries may not be intuitive for many viewers. The European Broadcasting Union follows the 1932 Madrid conference of the International Radiotelegraph Union, which set the eastern and southern boundaries of the “European Region” at the 40th meridian east and the 30th parallel north, “so as to include the Western part of the U.S.S.R. and the territories bordering the Mediterranean.”

Israel and indeed all countries bordering on the Mediterranean are thereby eligible to participate. Adjustments were made in 2007 on those boundaries to allow the nations of the Caucasus to participate.

Australia’s inclusion is a different matter, going back to 2015, when the European Broadcasting Union invited the country, on the basis of its unusually strong fan base, to join for a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the competition. The Australians arrived with such energy and enthusiasm that they’ve stayed ever since.

The ever-increasing number of participating countries has expanded and stretched the understanding of which countries belong to Europe as a cultural entity.

More complex and nuanced is the ideological and political meaning of “Europe.” The European Broadcasting Union’s stated “core values” include democracy, pluralism, diversity, inclusion and freedom of expression.

But those values have at times rubbed up against the political realities of countries within the geographical boundaries of Europe.

When Spain hosted the contest in 1969, Austria boycotted on account of Spanish dictator Gen. Francisco Franco’s fascist politics. Spain hosted because it had won the year before with Massiel’s “La La La”; the winning nation has usually hosted the following year’s competition since 1958.

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! a song without politics

The European Broadcasting Union tries to hold to the ideal of a purely musical competition without political overtones, but some countries have tried to insert sly political critiques into their entries.

In 2009, Georgia attempted to protest Russia’s 2008 invasion of its country with the song “We Don’t Want to Put In” – a play on the then-Russian Prime Minister’s name. But organizers rejected the song as too obviously political.

On the other side of the political spectrum, the European Broadcasting Union rejected Belarus’ 2021 entry, “Ya Nauchu Tebya (I’ll Teach You)” by the band Galasy ZMesta, for its overt condemnation of that country’s pro-democracy protesters.

In recent years, the contest’s strong association with the LGBTQ community has seen a backlash from conservative governments. Turkey’s departure from the contest in 2013 came as its interest in joining the European Union waned. While Turkey had multiple reasons for leaving, the head of Turkish Radio and Television objected specifically to the prominence of queer performers like Austria’s Conchita Wurst, who won in 2014 with “Rise like a Phoenix” as a gay bearded drag queen. In 2020, Hungary also withdrew from the competition; Andras Benscik, a commentator on a pro-government television station, likened the contest to a “homosexual flotilla.”

The winner takes it all

Success in the Eurovision Song Contest has often come as countries move toward the liberal, inclusive, pluralistic, democratic ideals of Europe. Spain’s victories in the late 1960s, for example, preceded the relative loosening of societal restrictions in the final years of the Franco era. Turkey’s victory in 2003 came at the height of that country’s campaign to join the European Union.

Most notably, the countries of Eastern Europe, which started competing in the 1990s, embraced the contest as symbol of Western freedom. After Estonia became the first former Soviet Republic to win in 2001, Prime Minister Mart Laar announced, “We are no longer knocking at Europe’s door. We are walking through it singing.”

Ukraine fits into this pattern perfectly. Entering the competition in 2003, it won the very next year in 2004 with Ruslana’s fiery leather-clad performances of “Wild Dances.” In 2005, Ukraine sent GreenJolly, which performed “Razom Nas Bahato (Together We Are Many),” a celebration of the Orange Revolution. More recently, Ukraine was victorious in 2016 with Jamala’s “1944,” an elegiac meditation on former Russian dictator Josef Stalin’s forced removal of the Tatars from Crimea.

The historical reference allowed Ukraine to circumvent the European Broadcasting Union’s prohibition on politics by claiming to investigate and commemorate an event from the past, while also obviously protesting Russia’s 2014 invasion and annexation of Crimea.

Facing Russian aggression once again, it looks like Ukraine has a good chance of winning Eurovision in 2022. According to oddsmakers, as of May 4, 2022, it had a 43% chance of winning.

Assuming Ukraine does well or even wins, the Song Contest will reconfirm and reestablish the boundaries of liberal Western Europe.

Robert Deam Tobin is the Henry J Leir chair in language, literature and culture at Clark University. This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit, independent news organization dedicated to unlocking the knowledge of experts for the public good.

Serbia to convene Security Council over Kosovo’s bid to join the Council of Europe

Kosovo's intention to apply for membership in the Council of Europe violates the UN Security Council resolution and other agreements, Vučić said. Earlier, he promised that Belgrade would immediately respond to Pristina's actions and “show its teeth” .jpg” alt=”Serbia will convene the Security Council because of Kosovo's application to join the Council of Europe” />

Aleksandar Vucic

Serbia will convene a meeting of the country's Security Council in connection with the application of partially recognized Kosovo to join the Council of Europe, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said.

The intention to apply for membership in the Council of Europe was confirmed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, Donika Gerwalla-Schwarz, Vučić told reporters after a dinner organized in Brussels for the leaders of the Western Balkans by the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borel.

“I said that this violation of not only the principles of international public law, but also the norms of some agreements, including UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Washington Accords (an agreement on the normalization of economic relations between Serbia and Kosovo, concluded in Washington in 2020.— RBC)»,— quotes Serbian President Dnevnik.rs.

“We will start to react politically. If someone thinks they can blackmail us and break Serbia <…>, it won't be so easy»,— he added.

On May 6, Vučić promised that Belgrade would give an answer the same day it learned that Pristina had officially applied for membership in the Council of Europe. In the words of the Serbian leader, “the reaction will be much stronger than they think”: “Believe me, we will show you our teeth.” On the same day, the Kosovo news agency RTK reported that an “influential European country”, whose name was not given, was ready to send an invitation to Pristina to the Council of Europe.

In March, the European Stability Initiative think tank called on Kosovo to apply for CE membership after Russia announced its decision to withdraw from the organization, writes Euractiv. The center believes that the republic has every chance of joining the Council of Europe, given that 34 out of 46 of its members recognize the independence of Kosovo.

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Kosovo— member of the World Bank, IMF, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Olympic Committee; a partially recognized republic is not a member of the UN, WTO and other international organizations.

Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, before that it was an autonomous republic within Serbia. Kosovo has been recognized by most EU countries and more than a hundred countries— UN members. Serbia, China, Iran and a number of other countries do not recognize Kosovo as a separate state. Russia also does not recognize Kosovo as a separate state, there is a Russian diplomatic office in Pristina, which is a division of the embassy in Belgrade.

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The Foreign Ministry said they do not plan to close Russian embassies in Europe

Russia does not intend to voluntarily close diplomatic missions in European countries, said Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, RIA Novosti reports.

“This is not in our tradition. Therefore, we believe that the work of diplomatic missions is important, — he answered a question about such a possibility against the backdrop of Western sanctions.

At the same time, Grushko emphasized that Moscow did not start a “diplomatic war, a campaign of expulsions.”

The material is being supplemented .

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Summer month May. Vilfand about the upcoming summer, crop prospects and floods

Weekly “Argumenty i Fakty” No. 18. With entry into cash. Will ATMs dispense money? 04/05/2022

Scientific Director of the Hydrometeorological Center, Honored Meteorologist of Russia Roman Vilfand told Arguments and Facts where the early fires came from, what to expect from floods and special operations.

“AiF”: — Roman Mendelevich, what will the summer be like?

Roman Vilfand: — Let me remind you that such long-term forecasts — It's definitely a thankless task. But still I will say that so far we predict a comfortable summer in temperate latitudes with temperatures near and above normal. There will be frequent periods of hot, dry weather followed by periods of heavy rainfall.

— The fires started early this year , and Does mean more burns than usual?

— The situation with fire danger in a number of regions is not at all simple. This year, a high fire danger was already predicted in advance in the Asian part of the country and in some other regions. The fire danger is especially strong in the east of the Stavropol Territory, things are slightly better in Dagestan, in the Irkutsk region, in the Transbaikalia. The threat of fires in the Amur region, in Buryatia, in the south of the Khabarovsk Territory, in fact, in the entire Asian part of the country. In all these regions, there was little snow in winter, it melted very quickly, there is traditionally little precipitation, and this year it has fallen even less than the norm. Therefore, the soil is parched and the conditions for a fire hazard exist. But the reason is not only in the prevailing natural conditions. People also, alas, “help.” Because many people still have an opinion about the incredible benefits of last year's grass, this dry grass burns. That if      the reason forest is often purely natural, then in landscape fires, then there     fields, man is always to blame.

By the way, in almost the entire European part of the country, the situation is completely different. Here the soil is well moistened, because the winter was snowy. That that even if there is hot weather without rain, capillary moisture will come from highly moistened soil, and there are no prerequisites for fires here.

&mdash ; There was a lot of snow, but floods passed without consequences?

In the center, in the west, in the south of European Russia, the floods have almost passed. But at the same time, in the dangerous flood level is predicted in                     This year, the soil was very weakly frozen, and in many regions in the center of European Russia, in the Moscow region, it did not freeze at all, it was thawed. And  this contributed to the fact that the melted snow is absorbed into the soil, does not leave along the catchment area of ​​the riverbed, as is the case with a large depth of soil freezing.

Therefore, there were no significant flood conditions. But in April a lot of snow fell, in Moscow the snow depth was 21 cm, for example, and the soil was no longer able to absorb additional moisture. That's why the  water is now rising in parts of the rivers.

And in the north, the flood is still ahead. It is predicted in May of a normal, moderate level. A difficult situation is predicted in the great Siberian rivers: both the Lena and  Yenisei. But that's yet to come. We  will warn of the possibility of potentially dangerous situations.

— Snowywinter gives hopefor a good harvest this year?

— There are winter and spring crops. Winter crops overwintered very well, winter even contributed to the fact that in many regions where not very good conditions were observed even during the sowing autumn, they improved. Winter crops give 45-50% of the total gross harvest. Since the soil moisture is good, it means that the sowing of spring crops will also be quite successful. So, as they say, the  harvest prospects are good.

— There are fewer planes flying over Europe, is it good for the environment?

— Aircraft pollution is not the most serious. The main problem — is the use of fuel. And now, when environmental issues in the world have somewhat moved aside, it can be stated that this year will not be the best for combating the consequences of climate warming.

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Medvedev said that Ukraine “sits on the neck” of Europe

Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Medvedev: Ukraine “sits on the neck” of European sponsors Medvedev also warned the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and other countries after the Hungarian Prime Minister Orban was included in the Peacemaker database as an “anti-Ukrainian propagandist.” “Beware. You, too, are under suspicion! — he noted

Chinese expert predicted war throughout Europe due to the prolongation of the Ukrainian conflict

An expert in the field of strategic weapons from China, Song Zhongping, said that a war could soon begin, in which the whole of Europe would be drawn.

Photo: pixabay.com

An expert in the field of strategic weapons from China, Song Zhongping, in an interview with the Global Times, said that a war could soon begin, in which all of Europe would be drawn. It can happen if the parties to the military conflict in Ukraine are delayed with a military solution to the current crisis.

“Russia has made it clear that it cannot lose. Therefore, in the event that both sides of the conflict continue to maintain brutality, the whole of Europe can become a battlefield. Such actions can lead to great disasters for Europe and the whole world,” Zhongping said.

He added that at the moment, America has already made Ukraine a member of NATO. This happened thanks to the great support from the United States, in particular – the supply of various weapons.

Earlier it was reported that the representative of the People's Liberation Army of China Shi K protested to the American side because of the passage of the missile destroyer USS Sampson through the Taiwan Strait .

Источник www.mk.ru

Poland to send mobile anti-Russian billboards across Europe

Photo: pixabay.com

At the personal request of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, mobile billboards will be sent to Western European cities as part of the campaign Stop Russia Now.

As Kommersant reported, Morawiecki himself will travel to Germany and other countries to remind him of the situation in Ukraine every hour. Promotions will be supported in social networks. The billboards will be sent to Austria, France and Italy.

Earlier it became known that since the beginning of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, Poland has supplied arms worth $1.6 billion to the republic.

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The IMF called the deadline for the refusal of Russian gas without consequences for Europe

Europe should prepare for a possible cessation of gas supplies, save it and fill storage, says the head of the European Department of the IMF, Alfred Kammer /3/56/756506637673563.jpg” alt=”The IMF called the term for the refusal of Russian gas without consequences for Europe” />

European countries will be able to do without Russian gas for six months, but after that their economies will face serious consequences, Alfred Kammer, head of the European department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told AFP. He urged European countries to reduce gas consumption in order to build up stocks in UGS facilities.

“During the first six months, Europe can cope with such shutdown (with the help of) alternative sources (and) use of stocks of existing storage facilities”,— Cummer said (RFI radio quote).

If the withdrawal of Russian gas continues for a longer time, for example, until next winter, Europe will face a significant impact of such a decision on its economy, he added. The International Monetary Fund predicts that a complete shutdown of gas supplies from Russia could cost the EU economy 3% of GDP, depending on how severe next winter is.

The Dutch government announced on April 22 that it plans to by the end of the year to stop the consumption of Russian gas. The Dutch authorities are planning to do this with the help of energy saving, more environmentally friendly policies and significant imports from different countries.

“In this way, the Netherlands will be able to fully save or replace the Russian share of its gas by the end of the year,” — cites a Reuters government statement.

The share of gas in the energy sector of the Netherlands is 44%, Russia's share in its supplies to the country— about 15%, the agency writes, citing government data.

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At the same time, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said that Prague cannot refuse gas from Russia at the moment.

“For the Czech Republic, this would be practically impossible or extremely difficult at the moment. As for our dependence on Russian gas, it is over 90%. But we will do our best to get rid of it as soon as possible,— said Fiala in an interview with Prazsky denik newspaper.

Since the beginning of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, the EU countries have been discussing the possibility of reducing dependence on Russian energy carriers. A number of countries, including those heavily dependent on such supplies— Germany, Austria and Hungary oppose the embargo. The Baltic countries have already announced that they will no longer buy gas from Russia.

Russia is the EU's largest supplier, providing 40% of gas, more than a quarter of oil imports and almost half of all coal supplies. So far, Brussels has decided to reduce only coal imports from Russia by imposing appropriate sanctions.

The US and the EU are now negotiating various options for limiting Russian oil imports, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the discussion. Washington fears that a full oil embargo could drive up prices and “increase the Kremlin's revenue.” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier that such a decision could deal a strong blow to the European economy without having a similar effect on the Russian one.

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Europe is ready to pay for Russian gas in rubles

The countries of the Old World are trying to cope with the shortage of energy resources

The EU members confirmed the possibility of paying for the supply of “blue fuel” from our country in Russian currency. Thus, the states of the continent actually agreed with the ultimatum of Vladimir Putin, who shifted the Western coalition to re-register the payment for hydrocarbon supplies into rubles. True, the recalculation system will turn out to be quite cunning: money for the export of energy resources will go to special accounts that allow the supplier to purchase specific, but far from needed products.

Photo: Pixabay.com.

Paying for Russian gas in rubles is a violation of EU sanctions. This decision, according to Reuters, was made by the European Commission. True, at the same time, the top representatives of the diplomacy of the Old World made a reservation: gas deals with Russia do not exclude a scheme of transactions by which buyers will be able to pay for energy resources in dollars or euros to the accounts of Russian financial organizations “for subsequent conversion into rubles under existing contracts.”

In other words, European consumers of Russian energy resources have secured a legal cut blanche for themselves: on the one hand, most Western countries, coupled with the fifth package of anti-Russian sanctions, cannot afford to pay for gas imports from our country, which provides from 30% to 100% of the fuel consumption of the countries of the Old World , directly in rubles; on the other hand, the Europeans allowed themselves conditional disregard for this ultimatum.

For understanding, it is necessary to explain that after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine and the imposition of additional sanctions against our country by the West, including the freezing of Western accounts of Russian state banks, President Vladimir Putin demanded that foreign contractors pay for the supply of energy resources, oil and gas, in rubles. Such castling should help support the national currency and slow down domestic inflation.

“At first, the transition to rubles in payments for Russian gas exports was categorically not approved by the governments of the countries of the Old World. Then some states, such as Serbia and Slovakia, offered to find a compromise. Despite the loud statements of European officials, the transition to a new financial scheme is quite possible. The European energy ball is mainly run not by political demagogues, but by large commercial organizations interested in the ultimate profit. No one is going to wait for the final completion of political disagreements between Russian suppliers and Western officials: it is beneficial for both parties to purchase Russian pipeline raw materials,” said Sergey Severov, investment strategist at Arikapital Management Company.

At the same time, as stressed by the financial expert Mikhail Belyaev, the transfer of funds for the supply of energy resources to formal bank accounts is fraught with new restrictions. “Europe will not allow paying with “fuel” money the requests of the Russian industry for new, modern technologies, software, components for the automotive industry. The choice for imports from Russia may be limited to the “formal office”, which is far from being in the first place in demand in the ordinary life of Russians. Russia will have to import jeans and sneakers for oil and gas billions, which Europeans can resell through Asian manufacturers. Russia needs to achieve a shift in real imports, and correspondent accounts, which will have billions of dollars that cannot be spent on economic development, will again turn out to be ballast, ”the MK interlocutor believes.

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Political scientist Satanovsky: an unbeaten generation has come to power in Europe

Photo source: video screenshot.

It has become fashionable in Europe to revise the results of the Second World War, whitewash the ideology of Nazism and present the Third Reich as the forerunner of the current “United Europe”. This happens because an unbeaten generation has come to power on the continent.

As political scientist Yevgeny Satanovsky clarified in his TG channel, it did not fight, did not rebuild destroyed Europe after the war. For the most part, they are self-confident and pompous to the extreme petty bureaucrats and party functionaries.

“Russia is a native and primitive country for them, which they do not hide. That is why they behave the way they do. So, on the one hand, Ukraine must fight until victory over the Russians (!), For which she will receive all the weapons she needs. On the other hand, we must show mercy and compassion to the local Nazis and foreign mercenaries fighting in their ranks, allowing them to escape through humanitarian corridors,” the expert wrote.

Moscow is allegedly obliged to negotiate with European officials according to their rules. When this does not happen, they begin to resent. Satanovsky mockingly noted that these people, with a heightened sense of their own importance and personal superiority, are not able to understand that they are not the ultimate truth for everyone.

It's hard to get used to, but you have to. After all, this is just the beginning, Satanovsky concluded.

See also: “Satanovsky commented on Scholz’s intention to prevent Russia from winning in Ukraine”

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Medvedev accused Europe of “trying to pocket” paintings from Russia

The Deputy Head of the Security Council called the countries of Europe, because of whose position the return of paintings from Russian collections is delayed, “banal thieves”

Dmitry Medvedev

Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev accused Europe of trying to appropriate paintings from Russian collections that are delayed or unable to return to the country due to the difficulties caused by the sanctions.

“What is characteristic: Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Shostakovich and Pushkin are anathematized by many Europeans with clinical pleasure. But material values ​​temporarily located abroad are quite ready to be pocketed with the help of formal delays. <…> Well done Europeans, simply handsome & hellip; Well, or banal thieves, from which side to look, & mdash; wrote Medvedev in Telegram.

According to him, “the bureaucracy of the European Union impudently forced Finland under far-fetched” sanctions ” prepositions» to detain at the border the paintings of the Hermitage, the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum, exhibited in Italy and Japan. Medvedev noted that “colossal efforts” succeeded in persuading the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs to back down and issue permission to transport the paintings to Russia.

Also, the deputy head of the Security Council noted, “neither shaky nor rolled” the process of returning to Russia the paintings exhibited by the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris as part of the display of the collection of the Morozov brothers.

“This is a good lesson for the whole world for the future. If you do not want your property to be under arrest, in the third decade of the 21st century, you cannot take the word of the authorities of European countries. Their letters of guarantee are not worth the paper they are printed on. <…> And I recommend that representatives of the degenerate European establishment still watch the film “Alexander Nevsky” and listen to the final cantata. It will help to better understand: do not anger the Russians, return someone else's, so that in the end you will not be under the ice of Lake Peipsi again, — Medvedev noted.

Read on RBC Pro Pro Anti-crisis measures for business: what the owner should do right now Instructions Pro Hunt for a system administrator: how the crisis affects the hiring of IT staff and vacation Instructions Pro Without VHI or without bonuses: what companies should give up first of all Articles Pro The world is waiting for a decade-long commodity supercycle. And that's why Articles Pro It won't be possible to wait it out: how Russian business will change in two or three yearsHe stated that Russia would not shut itself off from the world in response. “We have a busy agenda with the countries of the CIS, BRICS, Latin America and Africa. In these states, there are billions of adequately minded people who value us, love and wait for us, — he added.

On April 4, Special Presidential Envoy for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi announced the detention of paintings from Russian museums, including those from the Hermitage, in Finland. According to him, the exhibits got stuck at customs. He attributed the delay to bureaucratic procedures. At the same time, the Finnish Customs confirmed that three consignments of goods “falling under EU sanctions” were detained at the Vaalimaa checkpoint from 2 to 4 April.

In addition to paintings from the Hermitage, we are also talking about exhibits from the museum-reserves “Tsarskoe Selo”, “Pavlovsk”; and “Gatchina”, the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Museum of the East and the Pushkin Museum. They were presented at two exhibitions in Italy (in Milan and Udine) and at the Chiba Museum in Japan.

On April 7, the Russian Foreign Ministry protested to Finnish Ambassador Antti Helanter. After that, the Finnish customs officers requested an explanation from the European Commission (EC). The EC said that paintings that participated in European exhibitions are not subject to restrictions. Ultimately, the Finnish Foreign Ministry allowed the work to be returned to Russia.

On 9 April, the Hermitage announced that the paintings had arrived in Russia. Among them are the works of Antonio Canova, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Vigée Lebrun, the painting “The Tolstoy Family in Venice”; Giulio Carlini, the press service of the museum specified.

At the same time, the French Ministry of Culture reported that two paintings from the collection of the brothers Mikhail and Ivan Morozov, which were on display at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, will remain in France. According to Le Monde, the first canvas belongs to businessman Peter Aven, who fell under EU sanctions. The publication clarifies that we are talking about the painting “Self-portrait in gray” Peter Konchalovsky. Second job— portrait of Margarita Morozova Valentin Serov— belongs to the Dnepropetrovsk Museum of Fine Arts in Ukraine.

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The number of Ukrainians in Europe has increased by 4 times

Photo: Global Look Press

At the end of 2020, 1.35 million citizens of Ukraine lived in the EU. They were third in number after Moroccans and Turks.

According to Eurostat, most Ukrainians with a residence permit lived in the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania and Estonia. Least of all – in Romania, France, the Netherlands and Ireland.

In 2013-2020, citizens of Ukraine received 4.3 million primary residence permits. Of these, 3.5 million – for a short period. Most likely, they participated in seasonal work.

In 2010-2020, 184,000 Ukrainians received European citizenship. They preferred Germany, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic and Italy.

Now, according to the UN, the total number of refugees from the republic has reached 4,441,663 people. Most settled in the Czech Republic, Germany, Bulgaria and Italy. But the absolute majority preferred Poland. According to some reports, the population of Krakow alone has grown by 2%.

The British authorities admitted that they were not ready to receive such a large number of refugees from Ukraine. London has already made it easier to apply for participation in the “Houses for Ukraine” program. But experts believe that it will be in the hands of human traffickers.

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The Chinese Foreign Ministry explained the crisis in Ukraine by the imbalance of security in Europe

The reason for the crisis in Ukraine was an imbalance in the European security system, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. He said this during a telephone conversation with the French President's diplomatic adviser Emmanuel Bonn.

According to the minister, it is necessary to create a new system, which will be based on the principle of indivisibility of security. In this way, “long-term stability” can be achieved; in Europe, he said.

Wang Yi said that Beijing is supporting Paris in its desire to “adhere to European strategic independence and put the fate of Europe in the hands of the Europeans themselves.” “At the same time, we believe that the return of the Cold War mentality cannot be allowed. Mankind has entered the 21st century, the interests of all countries are interdependent,— the minister said.

The Foreign Minister added that Beijing is counting on an early cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and is in favor of facilitating peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv. However, one cannot call for negotiations and at the same time “continuously supply a large number of advanced weapons and equipment”; Ukraine, as well as to impose unilateral sanctions against Russia, since such actions contribute to the escalation of the conflict, the diplomat is sure.

The material is being supplemented

in blocking conditions

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The Foreign Ministry urged Europe “not to play with fire” in the issue of the blockade of Kaliningrad

The Kaliningrad region exists in the form of an enclave and is separated from the rest of Russia. The day before, the Minister of Defense of Latvia Artis Pabriks proposed to close the borders to all the Baltic countries =”The Foreign Ministry urged Europe “not to play with fire” on the issue of blockade of Kaliningrad” />

Russia expects that European countries will not play with fire on the issue of a possible blockade of the Kaliningrad region by blocking the borders, said the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Grushko, reports TASS.

“I very much hope that common sense in Europe will not allow any games to be played around Kaliningrad. <…> I think many people understand that this is playing with fire,— he said.

China hinted Europe should be more ‘independent’ over Ukraine

Xi Jinping criticized the position of the European Union

China refused to submit to pressure from the European Union, demanding from Beijing a tougher response to Russia's actions in Ukraine. During a virtual “candid” summit with the EU, Chinese leaders said they would pursue a resolution to the Ukrainian crisis “in their own way.”

China has promised the European Union that it will seek peace in Ukraine while resisting pressure from Brussels to take a tougher stance on Russia.

At the first China-EU summit in two years, the prime minister China's Li Keqiang told EU leaders that Beijing would pursue peace “its own way,” while President Xi Jinping, who has a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, expressed hope that the EU would take an “independent” approach, hinting at close Europe's ties to the United States, notes Al Jazeera.

The EU demanded from Beijing during the virtual summit that China does not allow Moscow to circumvent Western sanctions imposed in connection with the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

At the end of the summit, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the leaders of both The parties “exchanged completely opposite views” on many issues, but expressed hope that China would use its influence as a major power and a permanent member of the UN Security Council to persuade Russia to stop hostilities.

European Council President Charles Michel made similar remarks at a joint briefing with Ursula von der Leyen after the first Sino-European summit since December 30, 2020. According to him, “any attempt to circumvent sanctions or provide assistance to Russia” will prolong the conflict.

China is forging closer security and economic ties with Russia and refuses to condemn Russia's “special military operation” in Ukraine. At the same time, Al Jazeera recalls, Beijing has repeatedly criticized what it calls illegal and unilateral Western sanctions. A few weeks before the outbreak of the Ukrainian conflict on February 24, China and Russia announced a “borderless” strategic partnership.

Xi Jinping told EU leaders that the root cause of the Ukraine crisis “was regional security tensions in Europe” and that “the fundamental solution was to take into account the legitimate security interests of all parties involved,” according to the state-run Global Times newspaper. Premier Li Keqiang said that China always strives for peace and advances negotiations, and is willing to continue to play a constructive role in the international community, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

The Chinese leader said during the summit that the fundamental solution is to take into account the legitimate security interests of all relevant parties. Xi Jinping also pointed out that China and the EU need to commit to keeping the situation under control, preventing the spread of the crisis, and most importantly, keeping the system, rules and fundamentals of the world economy stable in order to build public confidence.

President Xi's proposals on the Ukraine crisis are pragmatic and rational, and take into account long-term considerations, Chinese media say Since the crisis has already occurred, the key point should not be to emotionally blame each other, but to offer practical solutions, Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Relations of China Renmin University. Preventing the spread of regional conflict also shows that the West should not just impose sanctions, but also cut its losses, Wang said, warning that too many sanctions could lead to economic stagnation, inflation and even a debt crisis in Europe.

Before the PRC-EU meeting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian warned that China “does not approve of solving problems through sanctions, and we are even more opposed to unilateral sanctions and long-sleeved jurisdictions that have no basis in international law.”

Zhao said that when it comes to Ukraine, Beijing will not be forced to “choose a side or stick to a simplistic friend-or-foe approach.” We must, in particular, resist Cold War thinking and block confrontation.”

The Chinese diplomat also portrayed the US as the aggressor. “As the originator and main instigator of the Ukraine crisis, the United States has led NATO to participate in five rounds of eastward expansion over the past two decades since 1999,” he said, adding that NATO membership has almost doubled from 16 to 30 countries, pushing “ Russia against the wall step by step.”

Michel and von der Leyen described the tone of the summit with Chinese leaders as “open and frank”.

China is concerned that the EU is following the example of the United States and adopts a tougher foreign policy. In 2019, the EU abruptly shifted from its usual mild diplomatic language to calling China a systemic rival.

The EU has also joined the US and UK in sanctioning Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang and repression in Hong Kong. In response, Beijing froze the implementation of the already concluded investment agreement between the EU and China. It also suspended imports from Lithuania after Taiwan opened a de facto embassy in Vilnius, angering Beijing, Al Jazeera notes.

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Peskov commented on the lack of confirmation of payment for gas in rubles by Europe

Photo: Video frame

Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Gazprom had received the appropriate directive and would now negotiate with buyers of Russian gas on the topic of converting settlements into rubles. The Kremlin has no information about which countries agreed with the “rubleification” scheme proposed by Vladimir Putin and which refused.

“You need to contact the company for details,” he said.

Answering the question whether the lack of confirmation from European countries on payment for gas in rubles means an immediate stop to supplies, Peskov said “ no, it doesn't.”

“It doesn't follow from the decree,” he pointed out.

The Kremlin speaker explained that the payment for those deliveries that are going on now should be made in the second half of April – early May.

Now Gazprom is working with European buyers, explaining to them how the new payment scheme will work.

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Gazprom is considering the option of stopping gas supplies to Europe

Commersant, citing its sources, said that Gazprom could stop gas supplies to Europe.

Photo: pixabay.com

Commersant, citing its sources, said that Gazprom could stop gas supplies to Europe.

According to the sources of the publication, Gazprom is considering the possibility of completely stopping the supply of blue fuel to “unfriendly countries”. Now experts are evaluating the consequences of such a decision.

Recall that Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the Central Bank, the government and Gazprom to work out and organize mutual settlements for gas with countries that have imposed sanctions in rubles.

Analyst FG “Finam” Andrey Maslov in an interview with the agency “Prime” said that at the moment a complete rejection of the dollar in international settlements is practically unrealistic. Even North Korea cannot afford such a step.

He specified that at the same time, countries began to discuss trade for national currencies much more often. Some even transfer small volumes of transactions to it.

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Der Spiegel: Sanctions against Russia lead to a split in Europe

Photo: pixabay.com

The longer the sanctions against Russia remain in place, the more noticeable the split within Europe, said a columnist for the German edition Der Spiegel Markus Becker in his article.

The author noted that the recent EU summit was supposed to show the unity of the member countries of the union, but in the end it turned out that the European leaders could not reach a consensus on the entry of Ukraine and new sanctions against the Russian Federation.

Becker pointed out that the more people die and the more sanctions against Russia hit the EU itself, “the more cracks there are on the European front.” He added that after long discussions at the summit, it was only decided that Ukraine must go through all the procedures for membership in the European Union, no preferences that the countries of Eastern Europe asked for are planned to be provided yet. A proposal to cut off Russian energy supplies was also rejected.

The EU fears that tougher sanctions will lead to even higher fuel prices, writes Becker. Greece, Spain and Italy proposed to limit energy prices, but Germany and the Netherlands rejected this proposal. In addition, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, proposed doubling assistance to Ukraine for the purchase of weapons, but this initiative was not reflected in the declaration following the summit.

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