An unseasonably warm winter in Europe threatens ski resorts, tourism

class=”MuiTypography-root-142 MuiTypography-h1-147″>An unseasonably warm winter in Europe threatens ski resorts, tourism

​​​​​​​Countries across Europe are experiencing unseasonably warm weather this January, causing a headache for ski resorts and broader concern for what it might mean for the year ahead.

The WorldJanuary 6, 2023 · 2:45 PM EST

Much of Le Praz De Lys in the French alps is grassy — and not snowcapped this winter.

Courtesy of Christine Harrison

Christine Harrison has taken to sitting outside, barefoot, on the balcony of her chalet in the French Alps, and soaking up the sunshine.

Harrison, from Liverpool in the UK, has been visiting the French ski resort of Praz De Lys every winter for the past 25 years. The family-friendly resort is located at an altitude of 4,921 feet and boasts 31 miles of Nordic ski slopes for sports enthusiasts.

This year, she said, just finding a slope with snow has been her biggest challenge: “There’s no snow, literally, you can't ski here. There's just grass everywhere.”

Praz de Lys, like numerous ski resorts across the Alps and French Pyrenees, is struggling to cope with the unprecedented warm temperatures this month. Some resorts like A x 3 Domaines, located close to the French border with Andorra, have shut completely.

Others, like Le Gets and Morzine, in the Portes du Soleil area, have closed several of their ski runs.

Harrison said that she, along with her partner and two teenage children, went to Les Contamines that's nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc in search of better skiing conditions earlier this week. At the top of the slopes, Harrison said, they finally found snow but as they descended below 2,000 meters, the rain started to pour down and the ski run quickly turned to slush.

“It was horrible. We managed to do about four hours and it was like, what are we even doing here? It was carnage,” she said.

Le Praz De Lys in the French alps is shown on a more wintry day in 2017. 


Courtesy of Christine Harrison

The conditions are not just challenging for winter sports enthusiasts, but they could prove risky, too.

Klaus Dodds, a professor of geopolitics at Royal Holloway University of London, said skiers and snowboarders will notice that piste (downhill ski trails) and snow conditions become more uncertain in warmer temperatures.

“There's more chance of avalanches, and skiing just becomes more dangerous because snow and ice is less settled,” he said.

Dodds said he isn’t surprised by the rise in temperatures at European ski resorts this winter. After all, he said, several EU countries experienced record-breaking heat waves last summer. Scientists have been warning about this for years, he said.

“We’re not just talking about climate change now, it’s climate breakdown,” Dodds said.

It’s not only winter ski resorts that are seeing unprecedented temperature hikes this month. Cities in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and France have all smashed records for the hottest start to the new year.

Warsaw, Poland, where the mercury usually hovers around freezing at this time of year, clocked up 66 degrees Fahrenheit on Jan. 1. Residents of Bilbao in northern Spain headed to the beach earlier this week as temperatures soared to highs usually seen in midsummer.

Snow loss or ice loss also has implications for water supply, according to Dodds.

Many of Europe's major rivers, such as the River Po in Italy or the Rhine in Germany, are dependent on alpine meltwater to replenish water levels. Low water levels have a negative impact on agriculture and endanger river transport, he said.

Christine Harrison (middle), with daughter Sophie and son Jack are shown at the French ski resort in snowier times in February 2020.


Courtesy of Christine Harrison

Countries like France and Switzerland have also been expressing concern that they will not have enough water to act as coolant for their nuclear power stations, Dodds said.

The high winter temperatures also pose a challenge to communities in alpine towns that are dependent on winter tourism.

Sara Burdon, communications manager at the Morzine tourist office, said local businesses are worried.

“While the summer is an important and very much growing part of the tourism here, the winter is still the main season and the one in which businesses make most of their income,” Burdon said.

For the last few years, the town of Morzine has tried to address the negative impact a ski resort can have on the environment. Ski holidays can produce a large carbon footprint between visitor flights and the use of gas-guzzling equipment like artificial snow machines and ski lifts.

Sara Burdon works in the Morzine tourism office in France said that businesses are worried about the impact of warm winter temperatures on seasonal tourism.


Sam Ingles

Burdon said the town has now installed solar panels on some of the chair lifts, while workers have adopted more sustainable ways of looking after the ski pistes, including using GPS systems to target exactly where artificial snow is required.

Last year, Morzine was awarded the Flocon Vert sustainability award — an environmental honor recognizing green development policies in European ski resorts.

Burdon said that they are still working hard to combat the heavy carbon cost of the flights.

A local environmental charity, Montagne Verte, has created a special train pass called the AlpinExpress Pass, which gives those who arrive by rail cut-price offers on their journey as well as cheaper accommodation and discounts on ski hire.

Burdon said they try to encourage their European visitors to make the journey by train whenever possible.

One silver lining from the unexpected balmy conditions this season has been lower heating bills. Last summer, the German government warned of a possible fuel shortage in the winter along with soaring energy costs — caused by the lack of a gas supply from Russia.

In December, the German economy minister, Robert Habeck, said he is optimistic the country has enough fuel to see it through the winter.

But Dodds pointed out that warmer temperatures have also been responsible for the catastrophic flooding in parts of Europe last year that devastated homes, particularly in Germany. The climate scientist said he believes that governments can still do more to prevent further temperature rises. For starters he said, nations need to stick to the targets laid out in the 2015 Paris Agreement which vowed to prevent global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels this century, and in particular, limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“We’re already 1.2 degrees past, so there’s little wriggle room left before we reach the 1.5 degree limit,” Dodds said. “That’s why we talk about a climate emergency.”

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Europe deliberates if it should keep daylight saving time

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Europe deliberates if it should keep daylight saving time

To save on energy this winter, European nations are trying to decide if it's time to get rid of daylight saving time. But if they make different decisions, it could make keeping track of time across the continent quite chaotic.

The WorldOctober 27, 2022 · 1:15 PM EDT

A woman rides her bicycle toward Broekzijdse Molen windmill as the sun sets between the villages of Abcoude and Driemond, near Amsterdam, Netherlands, Saturday Oct. 29, 2011. The Dutch will switch back from daylight saving time in the night of Saturday Oct. 29 to Sunday Oct. 30. 

Peter Dejong/AP

Europe is looking for any way to save energy this winter, with the war in Ukraine disrupting supplies across the continent.

One idea has been to make daylight saving time permanent. That would require countries not to "fall back" in November. Keeping the afternoon longer would mean that people will also wait longer to turn on their lights in the evening, which would save on electricity.

But ending the semi-annual clock change is trickier than it seems, in part because, while some studies suggest that energy is saved by sticking to the summer schedule, the flip side is that, depending on when people wake up, they could just be turning the lights on earlier in the morning.

In either case, the European Union’s 27 member states may each be free to decide their own way forward. But if they all choose differently, keeping track of time in Europe could become chaotic.

Not as dramatic, though, as this daylight saving spoof movie trailer!

Related: Why sleep experts say it’s time to ditch daylight saving time

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Blinken did not see the risks for Europe due to the leak in Nord Stream

Blinken: Nord Stream leaks won't affect European energy The US received preliminary information that the Nord Stream leaks could be the result of sabotage, but Washington has not yet confirmed this, said the US Secretary of State

Anthony Blinken

Leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipelines will not affect the energy sustainability of Europe, the US and allies “work day by day” over the solution of the problem of energy security of the EU. This was stated by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, reports Bloomberg.

“There are initial reports indicating that this may be the result of an attack or some kind of sabotage, but these are initial reports and we have not yet confirmed this,” Blinken said during a press conference.

He pointed out that such actions are not in anyone's interests.

The White House also said that the United States is ready to provide support to European partners investigating the incident, reports Reuters.

Thus, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Washington would not “guess” on the causes of the leak on the Nord Stream gas pipelines; and Nord Stream 2.

The operator Nord Stream AG recorded a pressure drop in both Nord Stream 1 lines, as well as in one of the Nord Stream 1 lines. “Nord Stream-2” (they run almost parallel) 26 September. In the Nord Stream 2 pipeline a hole was discovered.

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The Danish Maritime Authority has reported a gas leak in the Baltic Sea near the island of Bornholm, which belongs to Denmark and is located near Sweden. Seismologists in Denmark and Sweden recorded powerful explosions in areas where there were leaks from the gas pipeline.

The next day, the operator Nord Stream AG called the destruction of the gas pipeline “unprecedented”; and noted that the timing of the resumption of infrastructure work cannot yet be estimated.

A number of European countries have already regarded what happened as “gross sabotage”. Thus, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called the incident a sabotage that could lead to a further “escalation of the situation we are dealing with in Ukraine.”

Swedish police issued a protocol after the leaks, qualifying the crime as ” ;gross sabotage».

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The Baltic countries have decided to close the Russians travel to Europe

Russia is ready to respond “non-mirror” The three Baltic states decided to close the transit of Russians with Schengen visas through their territory to Europe, and in Russia the introduction of electronic visas for foreigners is again discussed at the highest level

Baltic Barrier

On September 7, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia agreed to introduce a ban for Russians with Schengen visas to enter the European Union through their borders with both Russia and Belarus, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said at a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic and Northern European countries, held in Kaunas (Lithuania). The details of this decision are to be finalized this week, and its implementation is scheduled for mid-September. “Decisions will be made by national governments in accordance with national procedures and will take effect simultaneously,” — Rinkevics promised. It is known that an exception will be made for certain categories of Russian citizens— for humanitarian travelers, for diplomats, for those visiting relatives, and for truck drivers.

Finland, which also became one of the transit countries for Russians traveling to Europe after the cancellation of Russia's flights to the EU, did not join the initiative. As the country's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto explained in Kaunas, Helsinki wants to wait for the official decision of the European Commission on this issue. “There is a problem of a legal nature: how to determine whether the Schengen visas of Russians are valid or not valid now. We control our own visa issuance process, but we need advice from the European Commission on what to do with visas issued by other Schengen countries, — he clarified.

Finland and Estonia have accounted for two-thirds of Russians crossing the border with the EU since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Bloomberg writes, citing data from Frontex. In total, about a million Russian citizens entered the European Union during this time.

On September 6, the European Commission submitted recommendations to suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia. The Committee of Permanent Representatives to the EU (COREPER) was supposed to make the final decision on September 7, this issue was on the agenda of the meeting. On Wednesday, RIA Novosti citing a European source, she said that the committee approved the document, but formally it will be adopted on Friday, September 9, at a ministerial meeting of the EU Council.

The simplified visa regime is expected to be canceled on September 12, after which the visa fee for Russians will increase from €35 to €80, the application processing time— from 10 to 15 days, in some cases up to 45 days (previously the maximum period was 30 days). Applicants will need to provide a larger package of documents for obtaining a Schengen visa (the recommendations do not say which additional documents may be needed). The European Commission also proposed issuing fewer multiple-entry long-term visas. In total, according to the EC, about a million Russians have valid Schengen visas.

The visa facilitation agreement between Russia and the EU was concluded in the spring of 2007. It stipulates the conditions for issuing short-term visas with permission to stay for up to 90 days within 180 days, the cost of issuing visas, a list of documents submitted by applicants.

This agreement was partially suspended on February 28, after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The restrictions affected members of official delegations, the government and parliament, the Constitutional and Supreme Courts, holders of diplomatic passports, as well as entrepreneurs. In May, the European Commission issued clarifications on how the states of the union should act in relation to these categories of Russians. “These categories of persons no longer have privileged access to the EU, they need to provide documentary evidence of the purpose of the trip when obtaining a visa, as well as pay the visa fee in full— €80»,— explained in the EU. The document emphasized that the said measure would not affect ordinary Russians.

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A non-mirror answer

On Wednesday, at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that in the issue of issuing visas to Europeans, Russia will not do anything contrary to its interests and will not impose retaliatory restrictions.

“[Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov will probably be angry with me— he is here in the hall just looking carefully, & mdash; because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs always acts like a mirror: they spat on us— we, too, must respond with a spit, our visas were closed, and we, too, must close visas for everyone,— Putin said.— We are interested in young people coming and studying with us. Why close them? We are interested in business coming here and working with us, despite all the restrictions. And there are a lot of such businessmen who love Russia, come here or want to work here. Here you are, please, let them come and work. Why limit them? The tutors are coming. Let them come and work! What's wrong here? Athletes, artists. Why limit? We will not cut these contacts ourselves.

According to the decree of the Russian President, since May 2022, the visa facilitation regime with the EU has been suspended for a number of categories of citizens of the association and countries belonging to the Schengen area,— European officials, diplomats, journalists, members of national and regional parliaments, governments and courts have lost preferences when processing documents for entry into Russia.

At a meeting of the State Tourism Council, held in Vladivostok the day before, the head of the Federal Tourism Agency Zarina Doguzova asked Putin to return to the issue of issuing electronic visas to foreign tourists. “They (Europeans.— RBC) they don’t want to see us, but we would be glad to see their tourists, and let them spend their money here and get to know our country. Therefore, we ask you to return to the issue of an electronic visa and instruct to consider the possibility of launching this long-awaited mechanism,— she said. Doguzova made a similar call on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in June.

According to the law adopted in July 2020, Russia had to issue electronic visas to citizens of 52 countries, including EU members, from January 2021. However, the start of the law was delayed due to the current entry restrictions against the backdrop of the pandemic, which were lifted only in mid-July 2022. The website of the consular department of the Russian Foreign Ministry indicates that electronic visas to Russia are not currently being issued.

The Association of Tour Operators of Russia, citing statistics from the FSB Border Guard Service, reported that 57.7 thousand foreigners visited Russia in the first quarter of 2022 tourists, and for the same period of pre-pandemic 2019, the country was visited by 6.4 million foreigners.

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Named the country that overtook Russia in gas supplies to Europe

Western media believe that Russia's rival is in no hurry to rush to the EU's aid.

Western media state that in the coming winter Europe could count on gas from Norway, which managed to overtake Russia in terms of the amount of fuel supplied to the EU countries.

However, according to Telegram, Oslo does not intend to sell fuel at low prices or offer a discount to EU countries that are not members of the union.

In 2022, Norway plans to produce 122 billion cubic meters of gas by the end of the year.

According to Minister of Economy Terje Aasland, In a conversation with Reuters, the country will maintain the same level of production until 2030, relying, among other things, on an agreement with the EU on expanding cooperation in the field.

At the same time, Norwegian exports are not threatened by an increase in demand in the domestic market, i.e. to. domestically, Norway relies on electricity from hydroelectric power plants.

Security agreements and an agreement with the EU, as well as large reserves of almost unclaimed gas, make Norway a very reliable supplier, analysts say.

The country still supplies Europe with almost all of its gas (the western part of the continent) and 70% of its oil. 5 pipelines with an annual capacity of 130 billion cubic meters work for this.

Oslo's reluctance to sell gas below the market value, which is breaking records this year, is an obstacle.

According to the Minister of Energy, one must remember a simple the principle of the market: rising prices with a shortage stimulates production growth and guarantees the flow of gas to where it is needed.

Earlier, Topnews wrote that the author of the video in which “Gazprom” scoffs at fuel-poor Europe.


The Kremlin has linked the protests in Europe with the absurd decisions of the authorities

Dmitry Peskov

It is becoming increasingly difficult for people and businesses in Europe to live, and there are more and more questions for the authorities, the situation with the protests that have arisen should be commented on by the leaders of countries that accept “absurd” decision, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, RBC correspondent reports.

“Obviously, life is getting worse for people and companies in Europe, living standards are falling. Questions to the leadership will appear more and more. Let the leaders of those countries that make absurd decisions deal with commenting on this, — he said.

Rallies were held over the weekend in different cities of Europe, at which they demanded that sanctions be lifted from Russia and return directly to energy orders from the country.

The material is being supplemented.

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The Federation Council allowed a “big war in Europe” because of the actions of the Baltic countries

Senator Andrey Klimov: the authorities of the Baltic countries can provoke a “big war” in Europe =”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Andrey Klimov

The actions of the Baltic countries can provoke a “big war” in Europe, Andrey Klimov, deputy chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, wrote on his Telegram channel.

“The Baltic neighbors are clearly doing everything so that we demilitarize them too. Confident— Can. The only problem is that the Baltic political gnomes can still provoke the fourth (from Napoleon to Hitler) big war in Europe, — said the senator.

According to Klimov, then Russia “will not only have to expand the territory of the NMD, but enter into a real war with a dangerous and diverse external aggressor.” He expressed confidence that there are forces and means for this.

“But after 77 years, is it worth it for anyone to start a new war with nuclear-missile Russia, invincible in principle?”,— Klimov noted.

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Member of the Supreme State Administration Rogov predicted problems with electricity for Europe due to the shelling of the Armed Forces of Zaporizhia NPP

/p> Photo: Global Look Press shutdown of the power plant. This threatens to disrupt the supply of electricity to European countries. This was announced by the head of the military-civilian administration (MCA) of the Zaporozhye region Vladimir Rogov.

“If the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is stopped due to constant shelling by Ukrainian militants, the energy balance in Ukraine will be disrupted, and as a result, this will affect the supply of electricity to the EU countries,” Rogov said.

According to him, if the ZNPP stops, then Ukraine will turn “from an electricity exporting country into an importing country.”

The shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine at Energodar and the adjacent territories of the power plant does not stop. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky called on the world community to put forward an ultimatum to Russia in order to withdraw Russian troops from the station.

At the same time, the Russian side has already stated that it is ready to help in the implementation of the IAEA mission at the ZNPP.


Volodin estimated the losses of Europe from restrictions on the entry of Russians at €21 billion

According to the speaker of the State Duma, the Russians “have someone to visit,” since 80% of the world's population does not support sanctions against Moscow. He also called for creating conditions for travel and recreation at home

Vyacheslav Volodin

Europe will lose €21 billion in case of restrictions on the entry of Russians, the speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin believes.

for their own stupidity and ignorance, they punish themselves,»,— he wrote in Telegram.

The parliamentarian urged to create conditions for travel and recreation in Russia. In addition, 80% of the world's population, he said, do not support sanctions against Moscow. “There is someone to go to visit,” & mdash; Volodin added.

In early August, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russians should “live in their own world until they change their philosophy” and urged the West to close the borders to them. “This can only be viewed negatively. Any such proposals have no prospects. Their scent is also not very good,»,— the Kremlin said in response.

After that, the Baltic countries, Poland, the Czech Republic, Finland and some others advocated a ban on issuing visas to Russian tourists. At the end of August, an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers will be held in Prague, where they will discuss visa restrictions, said Anita Hipper, representative of the European Commission.

She previously explained that the EU visa code “does not provide for the possibility of stopping the issuance of such visas”, but each individual country has the right to take certain measures on its own.

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The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, did not support the proposal of some countries to ban the issuance of visas to Russians, calling it “not the best idea.” According to him, the EU should not let oligarchs in, but there are “many Russians who want to flee the country because they don’t want to live in such a situation.”

Estonia has already stopped letting Russians into its previously issued visas. Finland has also announced that it will reduce the number of applications processed per day by a factor of ten from September. Other countries also introduced a number of restrictions.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the initiative of European countries to ban Schengen visas “discriminatory” and did not rule out that European countries could go for it.

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Estonian Prime Minister urged to deprive Russians of the “privilege” to visit Europe

Estonian Prime Minister Kallas urged to deprive Russians of the “privilege” to visit Europe After the events in Ukraine, the EU stopped air traffic with Russia. And while Russians are being issued Schengen visas, the countries with which Russia has open land borders — Finland, Estonia and Latvia — bear the burden, Kallas said

Kaja Kallas

The EU authorities should stop issuing entry visas to Russian tourists, said Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

“Stop issuing tourist visas to Russians. Visiting Europe— it's a privilege, not a human right,” — she wrote on Twitter.

Kallas recalled that after the start of the military operation in Ukraine, the European Union closed air traffic with Russia. “This means that while the countries of the Schengen zone issue visas, the burden falls on the countries neighboring Russia” Finland, Estonia, Latvia, which are the only land entry points. It's time to end tourism from Russia right now, — Prime Minister said.

Estonia has previously called for a ban on the issuance of EU visas to Russians. Foreign Minister of the Republic Urmas Reinsalu proposed to include this measure in the next package of sanctions against Russia. According to him, the EU should “isolate even more” Russia due to the ongoing military operation in Ukraine.

Again, the issue of banning the issuance of visas to Russians Kallas raised after the statement of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The day before, he called on Western countries to close the borders for Russians for a year and impose a complete embargo on the purchase of Russian energy resources. The President believes that these measures will be stronger than previous sanctions and serve as “the only way to influence [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”

By closing the borders, Zelensky said, one can “hold all population” Russia: its citizens must “live in their own world until they change their philosophy.”

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Deputy head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev reacted to Zelensky's words. “The last time Adolf Hitler tried to implement such ideas in relation to an entire nation. Are there any more questions about the nature of Ukrainian power?»— he said.

The European Commission, in turn, ruled out a complete ban on issuing visas to Russians. “There are always groups of people who need to be given visas. These are humanitarian cases, family members [of EU citizens], journalists and dissidents,— noted in it. As explained in the EC, the Brussels sanctions are directed primarily against the Russian authorities and elites, and not against ordinary citizens. The Kremlin promised to respond in case of “emotional decisions” according to Schengen.

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Europe prepared for the conflict between China and the United States: “The worst scenarios come true”

Diplomats say things could spiral out of control

The European Union is bracing for the risk of an escalation in China-U.S. relations as tensions escalate over Taiwan after Beijing warned of “ military response if Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visits the island this week.

The escalating war of words between the US and China over Taiwan “could easily escalate” and is being closely watched in European capitals, according to senior diplomats. As Politico recalls, tensions between the world's two biggest superpowers are rising as Beijing escalates its threats over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's possible visit to Taiwan in the coming days.

From Brussels to Paris, EU officials have been reluctant to comment on the dispute publicly, even as China approaches the risk of a military confrontation with the US. Behind the scenes, however, European diplomats acknowledge that there is a clear danger that the situation could spiral out of control.

Analysts are now urging EU leaders to pay attention and prepare for the trouble ahead.

“ Sometimes the worst-case scenarios come true, says Boris Ruge, vice-chairman of the Munich Security Conference, citing the conflict in Ukraine as an example. “Europeans should prepare for the contingency by supporting Taiwan while remaining in close contact with Beijing and helping to de-escalate.”

Nancy Pelosi announced on Sunday that she was taking a congressional delegation on a tour of Asia. Rumor has it that the shutdown in Taiwan, which prompted Beijing's fierce reaction, was not mentioned in its official timetable, it could still happen.

China insists that Pelosi's visit to Taiwan would be a flagrant violation of the “one China” policy ”, regulating the status of the territory, and a signal of American support for the independence of Taiwan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed his position last week during a tense conversation with Joe Biden. “Those who play with fire will die from it,” Xi Jinping was quoted as saying by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. “There is hope that the US realizes this.” The Chinese Ministry of Defense has warned that “the Chinese military will never sit idly by” if Pelosi's trip to Taiwan goes ahead.

Analysts believe that Xi Jinping will want to show resolute calm at any sign that the US is trying to support Taiwan independence, in part because he is seeking a third term in the party and country this fall.

The UK has offered to arm Taiwan, warning that the West should not make the same mistakes of not standing up for the Taiwanese as it did with Ukraine. German Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock recently described China's stance towards Taiwan as a “global challenge”.

In public, however, most other European capitals were more cautious in their comments. Asked about China's threats of a Chinese military response to Pelosi's visit, the French Foreign Ministry and the EU's foreign policy arm declined to comment.

An EU diplomat said silence should be expected at this stage, given that Taiwan comes first viewed as US interest, but “the reaction will be different if the words translate into action.”

Asked if NATO is worried about tensions, a senior European diplomat replied: “Not yet, but it could easily escalate.” A “worst case scenario” would divert America's attention from Ukraine to tensions with China over Taiwan, a senior diplomat said.

A third senior European diplomat said there was a risk of a clash between Washington and Beijing.

Urmas Paet, vice chairman of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, warns that the escalating conflict in Ukraine has increased the risk of Chinese action against Taiwan “exponentially.”

“The European Union should also be able to monitor China's actions, including including Taiwan,” Paet said, referring to the need for “full cooperation between the EU and the US.”

Until recently, Europe avoided talking about Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of China. The mood of the Europeans further deteriorated when China promised Russia a “borderless partnership” and actually supported the Russian special military operation.

The conflict in Ukraine has prompted European politicians to think about the previously unimaginable consequences of imposing economic sanctions against the world's second largest economy, if Beijing takes a military step against Taiwan.

“In the event of a military invasion, we have made it very clear that the EU, together with the United States and its allies, will take the same or even more serious measures than we have now taken against Russia ”, the new EU Ambassador to China, Jorge Toledo, said earlier.


Express: Gazprom’s new statement caused panic in Europe

Siemens sees no connection between turbine maintenance and gas supplies.

Holding “Gazprom” announced that he was forced to suspend the operation of one of his turbines, namely – Siemens engine at station “Portovaya”. In this regard, pumping fuel through the gas pipeline “Nord Stream” will be reduced to 33 million cubic meters. m per day (20%) already on July 27.

The current supply volume is 67 million cubic meters. meters, and the reason for its decline, according to TASS with reference to the statement & # 8220; Gazprom & # 8221; , was the end of the time between overhauls before overhaul.

As a result, the company's statement led to an increase of 4.2% in fuel prices in Europe – such data was provided by the London Stock Exchange ICE.

A month ago, the Russian supplier announced the suspension of supplies via “Nord Stream” by 40%, explaining this by the fact that the Canadian division of the German Siemens, which repaired its units, did not return them to “Gazprom”, citing anti-Russian sanctions.

The decision was later changed and announced delivery of the German engine. The media reported that in Europe they were afraid of stopping fuel supplies via “SP” when the repair was completed.

Siemens itself explained that they were ready to extend the maintenance and increase its volume if the company was submitted request.

At the moment, according to the British Express, Europe fell into a panic after learning about the halving of the flow. Thus, gas quotes rose, reaching $1,880.

According to columnist Jacob Paul, what is happening with the supply has led to an emergency meeting in Brussels of the heads of energy ministries. The meeting will discuss the EU's plan to save gas, which the European Commission had previously feared.

Siemens said they see no relationship between supply cuts and repairs.

In a conversation with RIA Novosti, a representative of the company said that the turbine, the repair of which in Canada has already been completed, can be delivered to Russia “immediately”. For this “Gazprom” must submit customs documents for importation. Canada also announced its readiness to withdraw from the sanctions restriction the engines that Siemens Energy maintains in Montreal.

The company explained that the maintenance of turbines – a routine procedure and “any future maintenance work can be provided”, and the government of the country allowed them to be exported from Siemens Energy to Germany”.

Regarding the “stumbling turbine&# 8221;, then Germany handed over all documents for export to Russia last week.

The representative of the company said that the Russian company is aware of this, and only “Gazprom” can prepare customs documents as a client and continue the process of importing the engine to Russia.

Earlier, Topnews wrote that “Gazprom” fell by a quarter after the announcement of the refusal to pay dividends.

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Kadyrov announced the compulsion of Russia to start a full-scale war in Europe

Iskander missile system. video frame, source: social networks

Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov pointed out in his telegram channel that Europe is pursuing the goal of forcing the Russian Federation to start a full-scale war.

According to him, “Europe, with its statements and military support” wants “force Russia to switch from a special operation to a full-scale war using all types of weapons along the entire front line.”

Kadyrov also wrote that NATO countries are “naive”, assuming that a possible war would weaken Russia. The head of Chechnya stressed that Russia “throughout its history” was ready for any military action.

At the same time, he turned to the Ukrainians: “It will suit us if Russia is confronted by NATO helmets, but your fathers will be sent instead , husbands, brothers and sons.”

According to Kadyrov, it is precisely the Ukrainians who can prevent the war, who, in his opinion, should “remove the Zelensky noodles of pseudo-patriotism from their ears” and change the government that pushes his citizens to an allegedly heroic death.

The politician also said that Western aid that comes to Ukraine ends up in the pockets of the Kyiv authorities and still does not lead to the results expected by the West.


Europe broils in heat wave that fuels fires in France, Spain

class=”MuiTypography-root-126 MuiTypography-h1-131″>Europe broils in heat wave that fuels fires in France, Spain

The hot weather in the UK was expected to be so severe this week that train operators warned it could warp the rails and some schools set up wading pools to help children cool off. French forecasters also warned of possible record temperatures as swirling hot winds complicated firefighting efforts in the country's southwest.

Associated PressJuly 18, 2022 · 10:15 AM EDT

This photo provided by the fire brigade of the Gironde region (SDIS 33) shows a wildfire near Landiras, southwestern France, July 17, 2022 . Firefighters battled wildfires raging out of control in France and Spain on Sunday as Europe wilted under an unusually extreme heat wave that authorities in Madrid blamed for hundreds of deaths.

SDIS 33 via AP

A heat wave broiling Europe spilled northward Monday to Britainand fueled ferocious wildfires in Spain and France, which evacuated thousands of people and scrambled water-bombing planes and firefighters to battle flames spreading through tinder-dry forests.

Two people were killed in the blazes in Spain that the country's prime minister linked to global warming, saying: “Climate change kills."

In recent days, unusually high temperatures have gripped swaths of Europe, triggering wildfires from Portugal to the Balkan region. Some countries are also experiencing extended droughts. Climate change makes such life-threatening extremes less of a rarity — and has brought heat waves even to places like Britain, which braced for possibly record-breaking temperatures.

The hot weather in the UK was expected to be so severe this week that train operators warned it could warp the rails and some schools set up wading pools to help children cool off.

French forecasters also warned of possible record temperatures as swirling hot winds complicated firefighting efforts in the country's southwest.

“The fire is literally exploding,” said Marc Vermeulen, the regional fire service chief who described tree trunks shattering as flames consumed them, sending burning embers into the air and further spreading the blazes.

“We’re facing extreme and exceptional circumstances,” he said.

Authorities started evacuating more towns, moving another 11,500 people from areas at risk of finding themselves in the path of the fires and their thick clouds of choking smoke. That will take the number of people who have been forced out of their homes in the Gironde region to nearly 28,000 since the wildfires began July 12.

Three additional planes were sent to join six others already fighting the fires, scooping up seawater into their tanks and making repeated runs through dense clouds of smoke, the Interior Ministry said Sunday night.

More than 200 reinforcements headed to join the 1,500-strong force of firefighters battling night and day to contain the blazes in the Gironde, where flames neared prized vineyards and the Arcachon maritime basin famed for its oysters and beaches.

Spain, meanwhile, reported a second fatality in two days as it battled its own blazes. The body of a 69-year-old sheep farmer was found Monday in the same hilly area where a 62-year-old firefighter died a day earlier when he was trapped by flames in the northwestern Zamora province. More than 30 forest fires around Spain have forced the evacuation of thousands of people and blackened 220 square kilometers (85 square miles) of forest and scrub.

Climate scientists say heat waves are more intense, more frequent and longer because of climate change — and coupled with droughts have made wildfires harder to fight. They say climate change will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

“Climate change kills,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Monday during a visit to the Extremadura region, where firefighters tackled three major blazes. “It kills people, it kills our ecosystems and biodiversity."

Teresa Ribera, Spain’s minister for ecological transition, described her country as “literally under fire” as she attended talks on climate change in Berlin.

She warned of “terrifying prospects still for the days to come" — after more than 10 days of temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), cooling only moderately at night.

According to Spain’s Carlos III Institute, which records daily temperature-related fatalities, 237 deaths were attributed to high temperatures from July 10 to 14. That was compared to 25 heat-related deaths the previous week.

The heat wave in Spain is forecast to ease on Tuesday, but the respite will be brief as temperatures rise again on Wednesday, especially in the dry western Extremadura region.

In Britain, officials have issued the first-ever extreme heat warning, and the weather service forecast that the record high of 38.7 C (101.7 F), set in 2019, could be shattered.

“Forty-one isn’t off the cards,” said Met Office CEO Penelope Endersby. “We’ve even got some 43s in the model, but we’re hoping it won’t be as high as that.”

The Balkans region has also seen sporadic wildfires, and is expecting the worst of the heat later this week.

Early on Monday, authorities in Slovenia said firefighters managed to bring one fire under control. Croatia sent a water-dropping plane there to help battle the flames after struggling last week with its own wildfires along the Adriatic Sea coast. A fire in Sibenik forced some people to evacuate their homes but was later extinguished.

In Portugal, much cooler weather Monday helped fire crews make progress against blazes. More than 600 firefighters attended four major fires in northern Portugal.

Right to the body. “Abortion tourism” is forced to develop in Europe and the USA

Abortion tourism has begun in the United States. Recently, a 10-year-old pregnant victim of violence had to travel from Ohio to Indiana to have an abortion, as in her region, abortions are prohibited for more than 6 weeks, and the girl had it for three days more.

Catch to the last carriage

According to The Guardian, six US states — South Dakota, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Alabama — Abortion has been completely banned. Another 12 will soon ban it or impose severe restrictions. Abortion rights are under threat in 12 more states. By some estimates, more than half of the US states will move to ban abortion in the coming months.

In those regions where abortion is still allowed, they are preparing for an influx of patients. For example, Bend, Oregon, has the only family planning clinic that serves the eastern half of the state. They're expecting an influx of women from neighboring Idaho, where a law to ban most abortions is expected to go into effect this summer.

“We've already started recruiting,” — said Joanna Dennis-Cook, manager of Benda Health Center.

It's worth saying that such tourism is quite expensive. You need to pay for both medical services and a many-hour trip with a stay in a hotel. Therefore, some large financial companies support abortion tourism by offering to cover travel expenses.

Mass protests continue against the background of the ban on abortion in the United States.

In an underground way

Recommendations to do “herbal abortions” spread in the American TikTok; against the background of the abolition of the legal right to medical abortion. Girls are advised to drink tea with a specific herb several times a day to terminate a pregnancy. 

Doctors are horrified by such methods, trying to debunk the myths and warn of serious harm to health: vomiting, abdominal pain or liver necrosis. The social network has already reacted to the resonance and started deleting the videos. 

European “tolerance”

In Europe, abortion tourism is especially developed in Poland. Local law prohibits termination of pregnancy. Recently, 37-year-old Savita Halappanavar died because of this. The woman died from an infection caused by the pathology of pregnancy. It happened in a Galway hospital after her requests for an abortion were denied. This is the third known case since the near-total ban went into effect in January 2021. 

Malta — another country in the European Union that completely bans abortion. Recently, local doctors refused to perform an abortion on an American woman who was bleeding. The only chance to survive was a flight for medical care to another country. “I just want to get out of here alive,” — the woman told The Guardian. After several days of waiting, she and her husband Jaywere airlifted from Malta to Spain, where Andrea received the treatment she was denied by the Maltese doctors. A pregnancies that were thought not to be viable were terminated before a potentially fatal infection developed in the woman's body.

In Germany, doctors are not allowed to provide information about abortions. They may claim to have abortions, but they cannot say how or under what conditions. Restrictive rules also apply in the countries of Andorra, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Monaco.

Support for volunteers

In Europe there is an association of volunteers who support abortion (ASN). They explain to which nearest country you can go for the procedure, suggest where to get help. The first to contact the hotline were women from Ireland — a country that has long had strict rules on abortion. Now most of all women from Poland, Malta and Gibraltar are asking for help from ASN, and they are calling from other countries. According to the volunteers, just because abortion is technically legal in the country doesn't mean it's always easy.

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The Prosecutor General’s Office announced the refusal of Europe to extradite criminals to Russia

The number of such cases in March-May reached 43, while in January-February Moscow received only four refusals. The agency condemned the politicization of anti-criminal cooperation and declared Russophobia of an “outrageous level” alt=”The Prosecutor General's Office announced Europe's refusal to extradite criminals to Russia” />

The interaction of the Prosecutor General's Office of Russia on extradition issues with most European countries came to naught after the start of the special operation in Ukraine, Kommersant was told. in the department. They said that in March-May of this year, they received 43 refusals to extradite the requested persons— accused and convicted Russians.

  • Only Germany during this time refused to extradite 13 accused of committing crimes of a general criminal nature. Among them is Mikhail Golikov, who was convicted in 2016 for committing murder and robbery (Articles 105 and 162 of the Criminal Code). He fled abroad after having the remainder of his sentence commuted to forced labor last year. In December 2021, a court in Düsseldorf decided to extradite Golikov, but a month after the start of the special operation in Ukraine, the German Foreign Ministry recognized the extradition as impossible. A similar situation occurred with Adnan Nagaev, who was sentenced to 5.5 years for attempted drug trafficking (Articles 30 and 228.1).
  • The Austrian authorities refused to extradite to Russia the ex-director of the Saransk modeling agency “Lel” Svetlana Titova, who is charged in her homeland with organizing prostitution and involving minors in prostitution (Articles 241 and 240), as well as accused of deliberate bankruptcy (Article 196) and embezzlement (Part 4 of Article 159) of the former co-owner of the Aktis factories ; and “Escort” Vladimir Baziyan. Vienna explained its decision by uncertainty about Russia's observance of the rights of Titova and Baziyan. Yuri Shulgin, accused of creating a criminal community and fraud (Articles 210 and 159).
  • Italy recognized as political the accusation of fraud on an especially large scale, brought by the Russian authorities, against the founder of the Polish Theater in Moscow— to Ukrainian citizen Yevgeny Lavrenchuk.
  • At the end of March, the Czech Republic refused to extradite a citizen named Sergeev, who is accused of a particularly large-scale theft. The Court attributed this to “a change in circumstances following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.”

For comparison, in the first two months of 2022, Moscow received only four refusals, and all of them were related to objective reasons, now many states do not hide the political motivation of their decisions, the department noted.

In addition, the prosecutor's offices of Belgium and Slovakia and Slovenia notified the Russian Prosecutor General's Office of the termination of cooperation in the field of law enforcement assistance.

“Manifestations of Russophobia in a number of Western countries, primarily in the states of the European Union, have reached such an outrageous level that the law enforcement agencies of these countries are ready to refuse cooperation with Russia in favor of international crime,” — said the Attorney General. They believe that such decisions “lead to the avoidance of responsibility of those who committed crimes, including murderers, rapists and thieves,” and the politicization of cooperation between states in this area will benefit “only international crime, an effective rebuff to which is impossible without equal interaction of all countries».

Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24. Its goal is called “demilitarization and denazification” by the authorities; countries. The United States, Great Britain, EU countries and other states condemned Moscow's actions. Ukraine has declared martial law and severed diplomatic relations with Moscow.

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Needle-spiking trend in Europe alarms nightclubbers — especially women

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Needle-spiking trend in Europe alarms nightclubbers — especially women

In southwest France, just about everyone seems to know someone who’s been jabbed by a syringe while out partying at a dance club.

The WorldJuly 7, 2022 · 3:30 PM EDT

A dramatic rise in the number of people drugged against their will in France has young people watching their drinks carefully. But they've no way to protect themselves from the latest trend: needle-spiking, or using syringes to quickly inject so-called date-rape drugs into victims.

Gerry Hadden/The World

Romane Lafraise no longer likes to go out with friends after a celebratory night out at a dance club last month took a devastating turn.  

“I didn't drink alcohol,” the 17-year-old recalled of her night out to celebrate her high school graduation in Bordeaux, France. “I didn't take drugs. I was very, very clean.”

But then, she said, her head went from clear to confused.

“I just didn't feel good at all,” she said. “It was very, very painful in my head. And I just couldn’t understand why.”

Romane Lafraise fainted. Her friends got her home safely. When she changed into her pajamas, she said, she saw a mark on her ribs that she believes was caused by a needle jab. 

In Europe, authorities are warning of a rise in drugging people at nightclubs by needle-spiking — jabbing someone with a syringe. Police, doctors and medico-legal services are working together to support victims. 

Romane Lafraise, 17, and her mother Beatrice Lafraise, at their home outside Bordeaux, France. Romane believes she was "spiked" with a drug-filled syringe at a local nightclub. She became groggy and disoriented but a friend helped her home. French police report hundreds of such cases this year alone. 


Gerry Hadden/The World

“My daughter was so agitated,” Beatrice Lafraise said. 

Her daughter’s pupils dilated, she said, and the jab left a 2-centimeterlong red mark on her skin, with a puncture wound at the center. 

“I don’t dare imagine what might have happened,” she said, “if my daughter had been alone, or with some sicko.”

French police have registered some 300 cases of needle-spiking since March. 

The UK saw its first cases in 2021. Belgium and Spain say it’s on their radar, too. 

Arrests are difficult to make, police say, because catching the perpetrator is so difficult. 

They tend to slip away before the victims — mostly female — become aware of what happened, only to return later under the guise of trying to "help." 

In the meantime, doctors are struggling to understand just how needle-spiking started. 

It is possible to buy hyperthin needles and so-called date rape drugs easily online. But many people that The World spoke to theorize that it's a sadistic mind game, with copycats joining in across the continent. 

Authorities, together with public health officials and the national drug agency, have not determined a motive for the attacks, or whether the victims were injected with drugs, viruses or any substance at all.

The targeted individuals show visible marks of injection, often bruises, and report symptoms like feeling groggy. The ministry official urged caution in assuming a link between the needle pricks and GHB.

In the cases so far that resulted in charges, medical tests did not reveal any signs of harmful substances, including so-called date rape drug GHB, authorities said.

But Dawn Dines, founder of the nonprofit Stamp Out Spiking, which works to combat drink spiking in Britain, told The Washington Post that possible motives could include assault, rape, human trafficking or even personal vendettas, and she called for better education of bar employees, security officials and others involved in the nightlife scene.

All of this has young people — and authorities — on edge. Some people are sharing advice about avoiding getting pricked — as well as unconfirmed rumors — on social media.

France’s Interior Ministry has tweeted a warning: It says, “do you think you’ve been drugged? Go to the police, get a blood test right away.”

The police and most club owners in Bordeaux have remained largely silent on the issue. 

But Lorenzo Moliari, a professional DJ at one of Bordeaux’s busy clubs, said that he knows of at least one incident of needle-spiking. 

“In our club, yeah, it happened one time,” he said, “but there was no drug effect. The girl just felt something. I think it was in the shoulder.”

Moliari has a unique vantage point above the dance floor. He said that ever since he started spinning music 30 years ago, he’s heard about drugging incidents.

“Everywhere, all around the world,” he said. “It’s been like that since Studio 54 in New York in 1978, 1979.” 

Teens in France couldn't go dancing for two years due to COVID-19. Now they're out in force. But the party's been dampened by people drugging drinks in attempts to exploit using "needle-spiking" and young people say they're frightened.


Gerry Hadden/The World

At Barcelona’s largest disco, Razzmatazz, some 3,000 young people groove on various dance floors. There’s always someone who gets too drunk, or too high, said head of security Jaime Ginesta.

When they see people who appear vulnerable leaving with others, Ginessta said, “we take photos of their IDs. We can’t stop someone from leaving the club. But at least we have a record should something go awry.”

Hundreds of young people line up outside the Razzmatazz disco in Barcelona. 


Gerry Hadden/The World

For Bordeaux high school grad Romane Lafraise, the experience left her feeling spooked. It took her about four days to fully recover and lately, she prefers to stay at home. 

She’s also undergoing HIV testing to ensure that the syringe used was not infected.

“We have the right to have fun and to have parties,” Romane Lafraise said.

She said she hopes the needle-spikers will just stop. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Kremlin announced the ability of Russia to guarantee the energy security of Europe

Photo: Mikhail Verny

Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia is capable of guaranteeing Europe's energy security.

He noted that Moscow consistently fulfills all its obligations.

“Russia is still able to guarantee the complete energy security of Europe,” the head of the Kremlin press service stressed, adding that Russia is also able to guarantee “absence of sky-high bills for electricity, heat” that European taxpayers are now receiving.


Russia ceased to participate in the agreements of the Council of Europe

Moscow ceases participation in eight agreements of the Council of Europe, in connection with this, 14 acts and provisions have become invalid. Russia left the Council of Europe in March

Russia ceases participation in eight partial and extended partial agreements of the Council of Europe (CE). The document, signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, dated June 28, was published on the legal information portal.

Thus, Russia withdraws from the Group for International Cooperation on Drugs and Addictions (Group Pompidou, formerly known as the Group for Cooperation in Combating Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking), the European Fund for Supporting Cooperative Film Production and Distribution of Cinematographic and Audiovisual Works. Evrimage» and the European Audiovisual Observatory.

Participation in the partial agreement of 1990 establishing the European Commission for Democracy through Law, and in the partial open agreement of the CE on forecasting, preventing and providing assistance in the event of natural disasters and technological disasters have also been terminated.

In addition, Russia withdrew from the expanded partial agreements on sports, on cultural routes and from the Observatory for the Teaching of History in Europe.

In this regard, 14 acts and provisions have become invalid.

Russia withdrew from the Council of Europe in March, after 26 years of membership. Prior to that, the day after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe limited Russia's rights in this organization and in PACE. On March 14, the CE Parliamentary Assembly notified the Russian delegation of the suspension of its membership in the assembly, later voting for the exclusion of Russia from the CE.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry explained the decision to withdraw from the Council of Europe by the abuse of “their majority” in the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe by the states of the European Union and NATO, which becomes a continuation of the “line of destruction”; this organization.

Later, Vice Speaker of the Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev said that Russia intends to denounce the Charter of the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and four other conventions, as well as a number of documents that do not meet the interests states.

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The Security Council accused the United States of “nurturing the new hyena of Europe” in the face of Poland

The Russian Security Council remembered the words of Churchill, who, speaking about the events before the Second World War, compared Poland with a hyena. Warsaw called the accusations of plans to seize the west of Ukraine against the backdrop of a Russian special operation false alt=”The Security Council accused the United States of “cultivating the new hyena of Europe” represented by Poland” />

The United States is pushing Poland to directly participate in the conflict in Ukraine, in fact “cultivating the new hyena of Europe”, said the Deputy Secretary Russian Security Council Alexander Venediktov in an interview with RIA Novosti.

“[The United States] nods approvingly in response to Warsaw’s absurd fantasies of a new Commonwealth, turns a blind eye to the inhumane and racist statements of the Polish elite, and in every way encourages the growth of nationalist and chauvinist sentiments there. In fact, they are nurturing the new hyena of Europe,»,— said Venediktov.

He recalled that this comparison belongs to the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who spoke about the behavior of Poland before the Second World War.

“Britain, leading France , offers to guarantee the integrity of Poland— that same Poland, which, with the appetite of a hyena, only six months ago joined in the plunder and destruction of the Czechoslovak state, — the prime minister wrote about the events of 1939 (quote from LIFE magazine).

The Russian authorities have repeatedly accused Poland of intending to seize the western part of Ukraine. In March, after Warsaw advocated bringing NATO peacekeepers into the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov admitted that it might aim to set up a headquarters in Lvov and “stay there.” And in April, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergei Naryshkin, said that intelligence had received information about the preparation by the United States and Poland of a plan to establish control over its “historical possessions.” in Ukraine.

According to presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, all the aspirations of Warsaw indicate that she wants to return “to the Commonwealth.” She denied such allegations. “The lie about Poland's alleged plans to attack Western Ukraine has been repeated for several years,” — said Stanislav Zharin, spokesman for the coordinating minister of the Polish special services.

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As they said in Poland, she supports Ukraine in order to prevent the Kremlin from achieving its goal of “restoring the empire.” Russia was also accused of this desire in the United States, to which Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that he did not intend to restore the country within the borders of the Russian Empire, and all statements on this subject were nothing more than speculation and did not correspond to reality.

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The Security Council promised not to close the window to Europe

Russia is not going to close the window to Europe, but will not allow something that could “sneak” into the country through it, said Security Council Deputy Secretary Alexander Venediktov

Russia is not going to close the window to Europe, said in an interview with RIA Novosti Deputy Secretary of the Security Council Alexander Venediktov.

“We will not close the window to Europe, but we will do everything possible so that nothing that can harm Russia gets through this window,” & mdash; said Venediktov.

In his opinion, the only right way for the country— «remain Russia» and not try to classify yourself as one or another region, as history teaches. Russia, the deputy secretary of the Security Council is convinced, “is too vast, unique and many-sided in historical, spiritual, cultural terms to be part of something.”

Venediktov called Peter I a pragmatist who, in addition to Europe, sought to cut a window in other directions, “actively established ties with China, Persia, prepared expeditions to the Pacific coast of America.”

The fact that “no one plans to close anything” was stated in early June by the press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov, answering a question whether Russia was going to close the window to Europe.

The Russian authorities have repeatedly ruled out the possibility of isolating the country. In mid-April, President Vladimir Putin found it impossible to “hard isolate in the modern world” any country, but “such a huge country as Russia, that's for sure.” It is impossible to separate Russia from the economy, politics, trade, despite the “unfriendly, or rather hostile” attempts to do this, the Kremlin assured later.

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As summer travel kicks off in Europe, airline strikes could thwart holiday plans

class=”MuiTypography-root-229 MuiTypography-h1-234″>As summer travel kicks off in Europe, airline strikes could thwart holiday plansThe WorldJune 28, 2022 · 5:30 PM EDT

Ryanair strikers protest unfair working conditions, Barcelona, Spain. 

Gerry Hadden/The World

Ryanair cabin crew members gathered in front of the arrivals area at Barcelona airport on June 24 to protest against unfair labor conditions. 

“They’ve lowered our base salary,” flight attendant Florencia Basenko said. 

“They need to give us back what we had before COVID,” she said, “because travel is back and we’re working as hard as ever.”

As many Europeans pack up for their first summer vacations since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted this month, strikes by airline employees could threaten holiday plans. 

Basenko said Ryanair cabin crew members take home about $12,000 a month and that it’s not enough to live on and cabin crews are demanding raises and better working conditions. 

Friday’s strikers were a small but passionate group of about 15 people. They admit they’re not having much impact on their flights — yet. 

But across Europe, walkouts by crew members of various airlines led to dozens of canceled or delayed flights. 

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary dismissed the strike before it began.

Ryanair in Bordeaux, France, only had one baggage check-in person on June 25, 2022. 


Gerry Hadden/The World

“We think these strikes have no support,” O’Leary told British TV’s Inews. “They’re the last sting of a dying wasp.”

But labor unions say this is just the beginning and that O’Leary may have underestimated their stinging power because worker discontent isn’t confined to Barcelona. 

Strikes are planned all summer long. 

In Bordeaux, in southwest France, Ryanair crews walked out on June 25, along with crews in Belgium, Portugal and Italy. 

The airline in Bordeaux had just one bag-checker working midday on Saturday. 

A line of some 500 travelers stretched across the terminal into the food court.

At the end of the line, Tony Scott and Joe Scott, from London, were trying to stay calm.

“We were anticipating a problem, but we’ll see,” Joe Scott said. 

Ryanair cabin crew members gathered in front of the arrivals area at Barcelona airport on June 24 to protest against unfair labor conditions. 


Gerry Hadden/The World

“You just assume there will be a strike wherever you’re going,” Tony Scott said,  “and then you get stoical about it.”

Fellow traveler Gerald Deschosoix was less poised. He was supposed to present a film at a festival in Italy later that day.

“We’ve been in line for what, about 20 minutes?” he said. “And we haven’t moved at all.” 

For travelers, the delays and chaos will likely worsen as peak tourist season arrives. 

The problem extends beyond strikers and short-staffed airlines. Airports themselves can’t find enough workers for security and baggage handling. 

In terminals across Europe, many staff simply haven’t returned after the long, enforced break caused by COVID-19. 

Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris has 2,000 job vacancies, for example. 

Ryanair workers in Bordeaux, France, demanded raises and better working conditions on June 25, 2022.


Gerry Hadden/The World

Barcelona economist Antonio Nuñez said the pandemic caused people to rethink their lives, and their jobs. To lure them back, he said, airlines must make work more attractive: “There’s no magic formula. The industry needs to raise workers’ wages.” 

But Nuñez added that raising salaries will drive ticket prices up. Add to that today’s record inflation rates and the global spike in fuel prices, and Europe could be seeing the end of Ryanair’s model of cheap, bare-bones flights. 

“We accept that our grocery bills are going up,” Nuñez said. “It will be the same with air travel.”

Europeans will eventually get used to paying more to fly, he said, or they’ll find other ways to travel. But for this summer, unless unions and airlines shake hands fast, vacationers will most likely suffer delays, chaos and cancellations. 

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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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