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EU member states will decide on the confiscation of the assets of the Russians, who are currently frozen, based on their criminal law. Brussels intends to determine how to send them to the restoration of Ukraine
The possibility of further confiscation of the assets of Russians in Europe will depend on the criminal law of the state where they are, said the Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis at the press conference.
As Dombrovskis pointed out, the EU should consider “how to use Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine.”
“With regard to private assets, now a special working group of the European Commission is coordinating the work of the countries — EU members to identify the assets of persons under sanctions, to freeze them and to make further decisions on their possible further confiscation. This must be in accordance with the criminal law of the state in which the assets are located,— he said.
Speaking of the assets of the Bank of Russia, Dombrovskis indicated that they are “currently frozen.”
He said that the EU must first “legal due diligence” and then decide on the next steps. On this issue, Brussels will work with partners, including the US and Canada, who are “working in the same direction,” added the deputy head of the European Commission.
Earlier, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell advocated the seizure of frozen Russian assets and their transfer to Ukraine. He considered this option “full of logic.”
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Bloomberg at the end of April reported that the European Union froze Russian assets worth €35 billion. Among European countries, France is in the lead, which blocked assets worth €23.5 billion, €22.8 billion of which are associated with the Central Bank. Belgium has frozen €10 billion, this is also due to the disconnection of seven Russian banks from SWIFT, the agency specified.
Earlier on May 18, US Treasury Secretary may confiscate the assets of the Russian Central Bank, since this is impossible from a legal point of view. The United States and partners froze the reserves of the Bank of Russia for $300 billion, the US and Russian Treasury Departments reported. “I think, quite naturally <…>, we will turn to Russia to help pay at least part of the cost,” — Yellen said.
In the Kremlin, the possibility of seizing Russian assets in favor of Ukraine was considered “illegal and egregious” and “virtually outright theft.” The head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, noted that the regulator would challenge the freezing of Russian reserves in the courts.
French Foreign Ministry: NATO and the EU are not at war with Russia and do not want this NATO does not want a war with Russia, the French Foreign Ministry is sure. They believe that Moscow is expelling diplomats for “false reasons.” Previously, Lavrov said that Western countries have declared a “total hybrid war” on Russia ” alt=”The French Foreign Ministry said that NATO and the EU do not want to fight with Russia” />
The French Foreign Ministry
Despite the help of Paris to Kyiv, France is not at war with Russia, neither would like to in NATO, not in the European Union, French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Clair Legendre told BFMTV.
“We are not at war with Russia, the EU is not at war with Russia, NATO is not at war with Russia. And we don't want to do that,— Legendre said.
Commenting on Russia's decision to expel 34 French diplomats, she said that Paris condemned the move because it saw “absolutely no reason” for it, and Moscow attributed it to “completely false reasons.”
“A month ago, we ourselves deported people from the Russian embassy who had diplomatic status, but, in our opinion, they acted for purposes contrary to our national security,” — emphasized the representative of the French Foreign Ministry.
At the same time, French President Emmanuel Macron will maintain a channel of dialogue with Moscow, Legendre added, explaining what is important for the issue of a ceasefire in Ukraine.
The unwillingness of a direct clash with Russia was previously stated by American and European politicians and leaders. Even before the start of the Russian special operation, NATO and the United States indicated that under no circumstances would they send their troops to Ukraine, since this threatened a war with Russia. According to American President Joe Biden, the fighting in Ukraine does not require the direct participation of Washington, the White House said that they insist on a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
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In Moscow, it was pointed out that the supply of weapons by Western countries to Ukraine in the context of the ongoing special operation is close to the state of “proxy war”; with Russia. “If NATO, in fact, goes to war with Russia through a proxy and arms this proxy, then in war as in war,” — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned at the end of April.
In mid-May, the minister added that the West had declared an all-out hybrid war on Russia, and the Russian side was accepting the challenge. “It is difficult to predict how long this will all last, but it is clear that the consequences will be felt by everyone without exception,” — appreciated Lavrov.
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According to the TV channel, Western countries are considering the possibility of exporting wheat and corn from Ukraine by rail and aircraft
The US authorities, together with European partners, are working on ways to export wheat and corn from Ukraine in order to further deliveries to global markets, CNN reports, citing sources.
According to the channel, the administration of US President Joe Biden began to work on this issue with European allies after the blockade of the Ukrainian port by the Russian Navy. The interlocutors of CNN specified that the States are considering, among other things, the possibility of exporting grain by rail and by plane.
At the same time, according to sources, the development of scenarios will not include Russia's position on this issue. “There is still a long way to go before any deal is reached. There are many factors, many things that can influence the course of these discussions, — one source said.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Russia is the world's largest exporter of wheat, and Ukraine ranks fifth. Together they provide 19% of the world's supply of barley, 14%— wheat and 4%— corn.
After the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, wheat prices jumped to record levels. Bloomberg attributed the jump in prices to fears that military operations in Ukraine would lead to a shortage of this cereal on the market. The fighting has cut off more than a quarter of global wheat exports, according to the agency.
In April, the Russian Ministry of Defense suspended the passage of foreign warships and other government vessels in three areas of the Black Sea for six months, from April 24 to October 31. We are talking about an elongated section of the water area along the coast of Crimea (approximately from Sevastopol to Gurzuf), a rectangular area off the coast of the Kerch Peninsula (abeam of the Opuk Nature Reserve), as well as a small area of the sea near the western tip of Crimea.
On Against this background, Biden announced the search for an opportunity to export 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine. The US president explained the need to export grain with record food prices in the world. According to him, the return of Ukrainian grain to the world market should help reduce prices
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The Wall Street Journal, citing informed diplomatic sources, previously wrote that UN Secretary General António Guterres proposed easing restrictions on export of Russian and Belarusian potash fertilizers in exchange for the passage of ships with grain from Ukrainian ports. According to the sources of the newspaper, the UN Secretary General is negotiating with Russia, Turkey and other countries, and Ankara has already agreed to participate in the clearance of the Black Sea.
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On the eve of the foreign ministers of the EU countries were unable to agree on the sixth package of sanctions due to disagreements about the oil embargo. According to the source of the publication, it is difficult to imagine what restrictions could be included in the seventh package .jpg” alt=”Euractiv announces imminent limit of EU sanctions against Russia” />
The European Union is approaching the limit of sanctions against Russia, the adoption of the seventh package would be extremely difficult, a diplomatic source in Brussels told Euractiv.
“We are very close to reaching the limit. What could be in the seventh package?»— the interlocutor of the edition asked a question. According to him, now there is a “mess with Russian oil”, the import of which the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen proposed to ban under the sixth package. “Imagine what will happen when they propose to ban gas? ..” — continued the source.
According to him, the foreign ministers at the meeting the day before took a “step back” when discussing new sanctions. On May 16, EU foreign ministers failed to agree on a sixth package of sanctions. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said he did not know how long it would take to agree on new restrictions, including an embargo on Russian oil. Hungary has repeatedly spoken out against such a measure: its authorities refuse to approve the package if it contains a ban on oil imports from Russia. Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic also raised concerns about the embargo, according to Reuters.
An Euractiv source noted that no one, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, “wants to take things to the EU summit.” The diplomat suggested that progress can be expected after May 18, when the REPowerEU strategy to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels will be announced. As part of this strategy, Hungary, as Politico wrote, will be able to receive financial compensation for the refusal of oil from Russia.
The EU introduced the first package of anti-Russian sanctions on February 23, after Moscow recognized the independence of the DNR and LNR. It included personal restrictions on 351 State Duma deputies and another 27 individuals and legal entities. Brussels approved the next four packages after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The measures affected import and export, business, industry, the Central Bank and banks, Russian politicians, journalists and the military.
The Russian authorities call the sanctions illegitimate. President Vladimir Putin warned the European Union in May of “intractable consequences” continued sanctions pressure on Russia. He cited “short-sighted, overblown political ambitions” as the reason for the restrictions. and “Russophobia”. According to Putin, Western countries “hit their own national interests, their own economies, the well-being of their citizens,” while Russia is “confidently coping with external challenges.”
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Importers will have to declare the fulfillment of all obligations to Russia after paying for gas in euros or dollars, the EC plan says, writes Bloomberg, further actions are unacceptable. Poland did not see clarity in the plan
The European Commission has prepared a plan for the purchase of Russian gas, which will allow importers to comply with Moscow's conditions without violating sanctions. In particular, European companies will have to indicate that they consider their obligations fulfilled after payment in dollars or euros in accordance with the contracts, Bloomberg writes, citing sources.
The EC informed the European governments about this at a closed meeting. Once the importers have made payment in euros or dollars and declared that they have fulfilled their obligations, Russia should not require them to take any further action regarding the payment.
Bloomberg interlocutors added that the European Commission decided not to prevent companies from opening an account with Gazprombank in US or European currency, but did not specify its attitude towards opening a ruble account.
Bloomberg sources indicated that European countries were divided in assessing the new recommendations of the European Commission. Germany, Hungary, France and Italy generally approved of the plan, but the Polish representatives felt that it did not bring legal clarity, calling for discussion of this topic by EU ambassadors. The rest of the countries, the agency’s interlocutors added, noted the absence of specific instructions on opening a ruble account.
German companies have already approved the European Commission’s plan, one Bloomberg source added.
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Moscow's requirements oblige buyers from the list of “unfriendly countries” open two accounts in Gazprombank— currency and ruble. After the payment is received on the first account in dollars or the Eurobank independently converts the funds on the Moscow Exchange, after which it credits rubles to the second account.
The European Commission called for not fulfilling the requirements of Russia, noting that this would be regarded as a violation of the laws imposed against countries of sanctions. Bloomberg notes that these warnings were made verbally without being fixed in documents.
Bulgaria and Poland at the end of April refused to comply with the conditions of Moscow, Gazprom; then suspended gas supplies to these countries. At the same time, a number of European companies noted that they would continue to buy gas from Russia even if they opened an account with Gazprombank. “We will pay the invoice amount, which will continue to be denominated in euros, to accounts with Gazprombank in accordance with the planned procedure,” explained in German VNG.
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Several European Union countries have announced the need to consider postponing a ban on Russian oil imports, Bloomberg writes, citing EU diplomats.
According to the agency, the delay is due to the willingness of countries to continue working on the rest of the proposed package of sanctions in the event that Hungary does not support the embargo. However, there are also parties in the EU who believe that such actions can be perceived as a sign of weakness, Bloomberg notes.
It is planned that countries will reach an agreement on a full package of anti-Russian sanctions by the meeting EU Foreign Ministers, which will take place on May 16.
Reuters reported on May 4 that EU ambassadors were unable to reach an agreement on the embargo. Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic expressed concerns about oil restrictions, according to the agency's source. Bloomberg noted that the embargo was objected to by a representative of Hungary, while Greece, Malta and Cyprus raised the issue of a ban on oil transportation between third countries, saying that this move would help competitors from Europe.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, in turn, said that Budapest would not vote for the sixth package in its current form, specifying that the country would like the ban not to apply to the import of crude oil through pipelines. At the same time, the lava of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, reported that she had made progress in negotiations with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on sanctions and energy security.
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The Kremlin previously pointed out that the topic of Ukraine's accession to the EU “lies on a different plane” than membership in NATO. Now, according to Dmitry Polyansky, Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Moscow's position has changed alt=”Russia announced a change of position on the issue of Ukraine's accession to the EU” />
Russia's position on Kyiv's desire to join the EU has changed, now it is similar to the position on Ukraine's accession to NATO. This was stated by Deputy Ambassador to the UN Dmitry Polyansky in an interview with UnHerd.
So, in response to a journalist's question about Russia's position on Ukraine's accession to the EU, Polyansky said that the position changed after the statement of the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, that “this war must be won on the battlefields.”
According to him, Russia's position on Ukraine has also changed after the increase in arms transfers from the EU, which “became more like NATO.”
Borrell tweeted April 9 : “This war must be won on the battlefield.”
On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, naming its goals the protection of the population from “genocide”, “denazification”; and “demilitarization”. President Vladimir Putin called this operation a necessary measure. He stressed that the occupation of the country is not included in Moscow's plans.
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After the outbreak of the conflict, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application for the country's accession to the European Union and invited Brussels “immediately” start this process under the accelerated procedure. Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, in particular, supported Ukraine's early entry into the EU.
Also, Russia and Ukraine have already held several rounds of peace talks. For Moscow, the key topic of these negotiations & mdash; the return of Ukraine to a neutral status, that is, the refusal of the country's entry into NATO.
On March 29, the head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, said that Kyiv proposed to include in the agreement with Russia the wording that Moscow would not be against Ukraine's entry into the European Union. The press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, said that the topic of Ukraine's accession to the EU “lies on a different plane.” In turn, Kyiv stated that it was ready to discuss the issue of a neutral status along with the issue of providing security guarantees to Ukraine.
During an informal European Union summit in Versailles on March 11, European leaders said that a quick entry of Ukraine into the EU is impossible. At the same time, French President Emmanuel Macron noted that “to close the door” in front of Ukraine and say “never” It would be unfair.
At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna said earlier that Ukraine could receive the status of a candidate member of the European Union by June 2022.
Ukraine's desire to join the EU has been officially enshrined in the country's Constitution since 2019.
In 2014, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law on the abolition of Ukraine's non-bloc status, enshrined in the law “On the Fundamentals of Domestic and Foreign Policy”. Last summer, a new strategy for the country's foreign policy was adopted. This strategy, according to Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, excludes the non-bloc status of the state, since one of the directions of foreign policy in accordance with the document is the desire for membership in the EU and NATO.
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According to the Russian president, the sanctions will lead to insurmountable consequences for the EU countries and their residents, and will also cause a global crisis. Russia, on the other hand, is “confidently coping with external challenges”
An accelerated EU withdrawal from Russian energy sources will cost an additional €195 billion An accelerated transition to clean energy sources and, accordingly, a faster withdrawal of Russian energy supplies will cost the EU an extra €195 billion, the European Commission has calculated
The EU will need spend an additional €195 billion over the next five years to phase out Russian energy and accelerate the energy transition to cleaner energy sources, according to The Financial Times, citing European Commission calculations.
The document contains proposals for a “rapid reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels by accelerating the transition to clean energy sources and joining forces to create a more sustainable energy system, as well as a true Energy Union».
In particular, the EC considers it necessary to accelerate the reduction of energy consumption by 2030— immediately by 13%, and not by 9%, as previously suggested. In addition, it is necessary to accelerate the introduction of clean energy, so that by 2030 it covers 45% of all energy consumption (the previous goal is 40%).
The European Commission project also involves a more active installation of solar panels— with their number doubling from today's level by 2028, as well as the increased use of heat pumps, geothermal and solar thermal energy. They believe that it is necessary to accelerate the installation of wind farms.
The document also proposes to expand the use of hydrogen and biomethane.
EC proposals may be revised before the date of publication— May 18.
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The EU has decided to accelerate the abandonment of Russian energy sources, in particular oil and gas, against the backdrop of an operation in Ukraine. At the end of March, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell suggested that European countries would be able to refuse Russian gas within two years.
The head of the European department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Alfred Kammer, argued that European countries will be able to do without Russian gas for six months, a longer refusal of supplies is fraught with a significant impact on the economy. According to IMF forecasts, a complete cessation of gas supplies from Russia could cost the EU economy 3% of GDP.
As for the refusal of oil supplies, The Wall Street Journal reported that, as part of the sixth sanctions package now being prepared, the EU intends to abandon purchases of oil from Russia within six months, oil products— by the end of the year.
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Aleksey Mordashov filed a lawsuit with the EU Court, challenging the imposition of sanctions against him. The lawsuit was filed on May 6. Bloomberg notes that its review could take years. The representative of Alexei Mordashov called the sanctions unlawful EU decision to impose sanctions against him” />
Owner of Severstal Alexei Mordashov challenged the imposition of EU sanctions against him in the EU court. The record of the filing of the lawsuit is contained in the electronic database of the court in Luxembourg, Bloomberg wrote about the lawsuit.
A representative of the businessman confirmed to RBC that the businessman filed a lawsuit with the European Court earlier in May to challenge the EU sanctions against him. “Sanctions against A.A. Mordashov are illegal and unlawful. Therefore, we will protect our interests by all available legal means, — said the interlocutor of RBC.
Bloomberg notes that litigation with the EU over sanctions could take years.
The European Union announced sanctions against Mordashov on February 28. Businessmen Mikhail Fridman, Alisher Usmanov, Pyotr Aven, Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, Secretary of the General Council and First Vice Speaker of the Federation Council Andrei Turchak, as well as a number of other officials, businessmen and public figures were also on the European sanctions list.
On the same day, the press service of Mordashov gave RBC a comment from the entrepreneur, in which he stated that he did not understand the reasons for such a step. “I am far from politics and all my life I created economic value for the companies in which I worked in Russia and abroad,” — he said then.
The businessman added that for a long time he had been developing economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation with European countries.
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On March 4, it became known about the change in the ownership structure of Mordashov's stake in Europe's largest travel concern TUI AG. Prior to this, the Russian businessman owned 34% through Unifirm Ltd, which was associated with him. In March, it transferred 4.1% of TUI AG to the Russian Severgroup LLC, owned by Mordashov, leaving 29.9% behind. On March 18, it became known from a disclosure statement on the London Stock Exchange that Mordashov had transferred a 29.9% stake in TUI Group to his wife Marina.
On May 11, a Bloomberg source reported that Mordashov had sold his stake in the National Media Group (NMG). An RBC source close to Mordashov confirmed that he left the NMG capital a few months ago. Bloomberg estimated Mordashov's share in the media company at $30 million. NMG was also mentioned among the justifications for EU sanctions. Among its assets— Channel One, REN TV, Channel Five, STS and St. Petersburg 78.ru. Brussels believes that the TV channels belonging to the NMG “actively support the policy of the Russian authorities to destabilize Ukraine.”
Since the end of February, many countries have begun to introduce or tighten sanctions against Russian officials, parliamentarians, companies, representatives of the leadership and members of their families.
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Politico learned about the development in the EU of the possibility of confiscation of assets of Russians
Politico: the EU is preparing a bill on the confiscation of assets frozen due to sanctions A legal norm that would make circumventing sanctions against Russia a criminal offense could be submitted within two weeks. It will also allow the confiscation of the assets of Russians and companies from Russia frozen due to sanctions jpg” alt=”Politico learned about the development in the EU of the possibility of confiscation of the assets of Russians” />
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In the European Union, within two weeks, they can develop and submit a legal norm that will make it possible to consider circumvention of sanctions a crime and confiscate assets frozen due to sanctions, including Russians. This was reported by the European edition of Politico, citing two sources.
“The European Commission will present a bill that will help the EU confiscate frozen assets as part of the sanctions campaign against Russia. The proposal will be submitted within two weeks, it will make it a crime in the European Union to circumvent sanctions and provide legal grounds for the confiscation of assets,— writes the publication.
Sanction evasion is not now a criminal offense in all EU countries. As Politico's interlocutors noted, the initiative “is aimed at harmonizing the legal confusion.” In order to gain the force of law in all EU countries, the proposal must be supported by all countries— members of the union, as well as the majority of members of the European Parliament.
“This rule will expand the legal possibilities for the confiscation of assets without a lawsuit and a court decision. While sanctions allow the assets of Russian oligarchs to be frozen, it is currently more difficult to confiscate them without trial and sentence, on a permanent basis,— the interlocutors of the publication note.
At the same time, according to Politico sources, the question of how to deal with the confiscated assets will be decided by the EU countries. “The discussion about whether these funds were sent to Ukraine continues,” — said one of the newspaper's interlocutors.
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Many countries, as well as the European Union, began to tighten and expand sanctions against Russia from the end of February in response to the start of a military operation in Ukraine. The restrictions included, among other things, freezing the assets of Russians, organizations and Russian companies that were included in the sanctions lists. Also, Western countries have frozen, according to the Ministry of Finance, about half of Russia's gold and foreign exchange reserves— about $300 billion
At the end of March, Bloomberg reported that EU authorities were discussing the possibility of transferring frozen Russian assets in the EU to Ukraine. Citing a source, the agency wrote that the initiative was “at a very early stage”; development, no decision has been made yet.
In early April, the European Union announced that at that time the EU countries had frozen Russian assets in the amount of €29.5 billion, including not only accounts, but also property: ships, helicopters, works of art, real estate. In addition, about €196 billion in bank transactions was blocked.
April 11, Europol, together with Eurojust and the EU external border security agency Frontex, launched Operation Oscar. to search for Russian assets subject to sanctions and identify cases of circumvention of restrictions.
In Ukraine, they announced their intention to make claims on Russian assets frozen in the West in order to spend them on the restoration of the country. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Kyiv is negotiating the withdrawal of Russia's frozen gold and foreign exchange reserves with the United States and other “partners”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky estimated the cost of restoring the country after the Russian special operation at $600 billion.
At the end of April, the US House of Representatives passed a law that allows seized Russian assets to be used to support Ukraine. In particular, we are talking about the assets of foreigners received by the owners thanks to the support of the Russian authorities.
The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said on May 9 that Brussels should consider confiscating assets and transferring them to Ukraine. He cited “billions of dollars” worth of US seized assets as an example. from the Central Bank of Afghanistan, which, according to him, will later be used to compensate victims of terrorism and for humanitarian assistance to the country. The diplomat noted that “it was logical” consider similar steps with Russia's frozen reserves.
The Kremlin called the freezing of assets of Russian businessmen and companies a “robbery”. “These are absolutely honest legal entrepreneurs. They were robbed. They got robbed like they did in the Wild West with a Smith & Wesson robbed travelers»,— said the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov.
The head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, previously stated that the Russian side would challenge the freezing of gold and foreign exchange reserves and was already preparing lawsuits. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Western countries of actually stealing Russian gold and foreign exchange reserves.
In response to the decision to confiscate assets, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin proposed to confiscate assets in Russia from businesses from unfriendly countries. According to him, the authorities of the countries that announced their intention to seize Russian assets are “engaged in theft.”
Borrell said “the Russians will not accept” the EU as a mediator in negotiations with Ukraine Russia will object to the EU mediating negotiations with Ukraine, the UN would be best suited for this role, but Turkey is now doing a “good job”, said Borrell. He explained this by Ankara's good ties with Moscow and Kyiv
Moscow will be against EU mediation in negotiations between Russia and Ukraine for a peaceful settlement of the conflict, this “will not be accepted by the Russians,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
China also does not fit the role, as it is “leaning towards Russia,” he continued, and Turkey, thanks to good ties with both sides, is doing a “good job” on the issue of negotiations.
“Best , of course, [the mediator] would be the United Nations,— concluded Borrell (TASS quote).
The head of European diplomacy added that the EU sees its task now & mdash; to help Ukraine sit down at the negotiating table “from a position of strength”, this issue will be discussed at the G7 meeting; (G7: US, Germany, France, Italy, UK, Canada, Japan) on Thursday 12 May. European countries will continue to supply Kyiv with weapons along with attempts to weaken the Russian economy, but the EU does not want a war with Russia, he explained.
Borrell also noted that the process of phasing out gas imports from Russia will take a slightly longer period of time, due to the lack of terminals for receiving liquefied natural gas and the fact that not every country is able to immediately impose a gas embargo.
“U countries like Hungary have objective reasons when they say that they have no shores for oil tankers and pipelines. We need a solution that suits everyone»,— he emphasized.
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After the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, Moscow and Kyiv held several rounds of face-to-face negotiations, the dialogue continued in a remote format. Russia and Ukraine achieved the greatest progress on March 29 at the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul. There, Kyiv proposed creating a new security system for Ukraine instead of joining NATO, demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops with security guarantees from Russia, the United States, Germany, Israel, Poland, China and other states.
“We managed to achieve [ at the talks in Istanbul] quite a serious breakthrough. Our Ukrainian colleagues did not associate security requirements with such a concept as the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine,— praised by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Then, according to Moscow, a “deadlock” arose in the negotiations with Kyiv, while negotiations in a remote format continue.
In the United States in early May, they did not see prospects for a successful dialogue on Ukraine in the near future The statement was made by the head of national intelligence, Avril Haynes, at a congressional hearing. “Both Russia and Ukraine believe they can continue to achieve military success,” — she explained, adding that there is a risk of escalation of the conflict and “greater unpredictability”.
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Deputy official representative of the UN Secretary General Farhan Haq said that the decision of the European Union not to invite Russia to participate in the donor conference Syria “Brussels-6” is regrettable.
“The Russian Federation is a member of the United Nations and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, as well as a key partner,” he recalled.
At the same time, Haq noted that the UN could not influence the decision of the EU, since it is not one of the co-organizers of the Brussels conference this year. The EU has decided not to invite the Russian Federation and contact them to find out the reason,” he said
The decision has been postponed for now. At the same time, according to the interlocutors of the agency, the ban on European companies from insuring oil tankers carrying Russian oil is still part of the planned sanctions
The ban on the transportation of Russian oil is no longer included in the new package of European Union (EU) sanctions being developed against Russia. This was reported by the DPA agency, citing diplomatic sources in the EU.
According to the agency, in order to make a decision to include this provision in the sanctions package, further coordination is required at the international level, including agreement within the G7. (G7). At the same time, Greece, Cyprus and Malta oppose this measure, as they fear that it could unilaterally put their shipping companies at a disadvantage.
However, according to DPA interlocutors, the ban on European companies to insurance for oil tankers carrying Russian oil is still part of the planned sanctions against Russia.
The day before, on May 9, Bloomberg also reported on the EU plan to soften the sixth package of sanctions and reject the ban on the transportation of Russian oil. The lack of a unified position among the G7 countries played a major role in the decision to abandon this ban, the agency's sources specified.
Since the beginning of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, the EU has already introduced five packages of sanctions that affected Russian companies, banks, government officials, and assets of the Central Bank. However, the EU has not been able to resolve the issue of a ban on the import of Russian oil since March, fearing a lack of oil reserves and rising prices for it.
In early May, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the sixth package of EU sanctions should include phasing out Russian oil by the end of 2022 and cutting off a number of banks from SWIFT. Bloomberg and Reuters also reported that Brussels is proposing to ban European courts from providing services related to the transportation of Russian oil to third countries.
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The press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, speaking about the possible refusal of the EU from Russian oil, warned that this decision would “hit everyone.” . At the same time, the United States, which had previously refused supplies, according to him, will remain on its own and “will feel much better than the Europeans.”
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State Secretary of the French Foreign Ministry Clement Bon allowed the EU embargo on Russian oil until May 15 Secretary of State for European Affairs of the French Foreign Ministry Clement Bon said that the EU could take a decision on the embargo on Russian oil as early as this week. Today Emmanuel Macron will speak with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban France allowed the EU to impose an embargo on Russian oil “this week” />
The European Union may decide on an embargo on Russian oil this week, Clément Bon, Secretary of State for European Affairs of the French Foreign Ministry, said on the LCI TV channel. the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which provides, in particular, a ban on the supply of crude oil, will appear in the coming days. Bon noted that “the rejection of Russian oil will be sensitive for a number of countries due to their heavy dependence on its supplies.”
Bon added that several European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, are set to speak with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban later today. Budapest opposes phasing out Russian oil, believing it would undermine the security of the country's energy supply and its economy. Von der Leyen has previously said she has made progress in talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on sanctions and energy security.
According to the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Union intends to refuse the supply of Russian crude oil within six months, and the import of refined products— by the end of 2022. Bloomberg and Reuters wrote that the European Union proposed to ban European courts and companies from providing services related to the transportation of Russian oil, including in the field of insurance.
On May 4, Reuters reported that the ambassadors of the EU countries had not reached an agreement on the embargo, according to the source of the agency, concerns about oil restrictions were expressed by Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Bloomberg noted that a Hungarian representative objected to the embargo, while Greece, Malta and Cyprus raised the issue of banning oil transportation between third countries, saying that this move would help competitors from Europe.
According to Bloomberg, on May 6, the European Union offered to give The Czech Republic has until June 2024 to give up Russian oil, while Hungary and Slovakia— until December 31, 2024.
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Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto spoke that Budapest would not vote for the sixth package in its current form, specifying that the country would like the ban not to apply to imports of crude oil through pipelines. countries.
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Ukraine has submitted the second part of the questionnaire for EU accession. It includes about 2,000 questions and concerns the implementation of EU legal norms in Ukraine. Zelensky handed over the first part of the questionnaire on April 18
Ukraine handed over to the European Union the second part of the questionnaire, which had to be completed in order to apply for EU membership, said Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olga Stefanishyna in interview with ZN.UA.
“The questionnaire should be transferred to the European Union today through official channels,”— said Stefanishina.
The questionnaire includes almost 370 questions on 40 pages and consists of two parts. The questions of the first part concern the political and economic system of Ukraine, namely the independence of the judiciary, the fight against corruption and respect for human rights, as well as the business climate, the level of privatization and the degree of state intervention in the economy. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky handed over the answers to the first part to Matti Maasikas, head of the EU Delegation in Kyiv, on April 18.
The second part of the questionnaire includes about 2,000 questions on 240 pages and deals with what legal norms and rules of European legislation are in force in Ukraine. In particular, we are talking about the rules regarding the freedom of movement of goods, taxation systems, environmental issues and climate change.
On May 9, Zelensky showed the completed second part of the questionnaire during a video conference with the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. “Thank you for the clear signals of support on this important journey for us,” wrote the President in Telegram.
Ukraine applied for EU membership on 28 February. The head of the European Commission announced the EU plans to consider Ukraine's application for membership in the union this summer and carry out the procedure in an accelerated mode. On May 1, Stefanyshina said that Kyiv expects to receive the status of an EU candidate by June 2022.
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In March, Reuters reported that there was no consensus in the European Union on a possible membership of Ukraine. At the same time, eight EU countries— Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia— supported the idea of accelerated accession of Ukraine to the union.
Then the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that there was no accelerated process of joining the European Union. Croatian Minister Andrej Plenković noted that “no one entered the European Union overnight.”
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed doubt that it was possible to open the EU accession procedure for the country , “at war”. Later, he said that the process of accepting Ukraine into the union could take several decades. Then he proposed the creation of a new “European political community”, which would include Ukraine.
The Kremlin said that the European Union is not a military-political bloc, unlike NATO, so the question of Ukraine's membership in the EU ” ;lies in another plane. Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev expressed doubt that Kyiv will join the European Union without NATO membership. “There is one hitch: the experience of recent years with Montenegro and Macedonia shows that entry into the EU takes place only through NATO,” — Medvedev believes.
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The main role in the decision to abandon the ban on the transportation of Russian oil by EU vessels was played by the lack of a common position among the G7 countries, writes
The European Union intends to soften the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, in particular to abandon the proposed ban on the transportation of Russian oil to third countries by EU ships, Bloomberg writes citing sources.
At the same time, the ban on insurance of ships with Russian oil is still being discussed and will be a serious obstacle to exports, if approved, according to sources.
The lack of a common position among the G7 countries played a major role in the decision to abandon the ban on the transportation of Russian oil by European ships. Thus, Greece, whose economy is largely dependent on shipping, acted to exclude this provision from the sanctions package, the agency reported.
However, according to sources, the remaining provisions in the package will still significantly complicate Moscow’s position, since the to provide insurance will cover most of the world's fleet of oil tankers carrying Russian oil.
The day before, Bloomberg reported that EU permanent representatives met to discuss new sanctions against Russia, but did not reach an agreement.
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said earlier that the sixth package of sanctions should include the rejection of Russian oil by the end 2022 and the disconnection of a number of banks from SWIFT. Bloomberg and Reuters also reported that Brussels is proposing to ban European courts from providing services related to the transportation of Russian oil to third countries.
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In order for the package to be accepted, all 27 EU countries must agree on it. As the agency wrote, the meeting participants failed to get Hungary's consent to a ban on Russian oil imports, while Greece and Cyprus have not yet supported restrictions on oil transportation.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pointed out that the European Union does not have a single positions on the adoption of part of the sanctions against Russia. He urged the EU to take a unified position.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on May 6 that Budapest would not allow the EU to impose an embargo on Russian oil, as this would undermine the security of the country's energy supply and its economy .
According to him, the country is ready to defend its economic achievements until the EU plan to impose an embargo on oil from Russia “collapses”.
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Erdogan believes that the European Union, which has been “influenced by the short-term policy” of the member countries, needs to focus on common goals. The situation in Ukraine is a tragedy and at the same time a warning for the EU, he said alt=”Erdogan invited the European Union to 'write a new history for itself'” />
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
In recent years, the European Union has moved away from its fundamental principles and “was influenced by a short-term policy”; countries— members of the association, according to a statement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, timed to coincide with Europe Day.
Europe Day is celebrated on May 9, this date was chosen to commemorate the Schuman Declaration, which is considered one of the founding documents of the European Union. On May 9, 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed to European countries to unite the metallurgical, iron ore and coal mining industries. The result was the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the forerunner of the EU.
According to Erdogan, the ideas at the heart of the Schuman Declaration allowed the countries of Europe to “put aside their differences and animosities.” and unite, but now the EU has moved away from its stated goals. The Turkish President believes that the EU needs to “write a new history for itself” against the background of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
Situation in Ukraine— it is a tragedy that is unfolding “in the center of Europe before the eyes of the whole world”, which is also a warning to the EU, Erdogan said. The aftermath of the fighting on Ukrainian soil has confirmed that Turkey “is of strategic importance to the EU”, in particular in the areas of energy, security, supply chains and migration, he said.
“What is needed now is solidarity, cooperation <…> as in the times when the foundations of European integration were being laid,— added the Turkish president.
Turkey has been celebrating Europe Day since 1999, when the country received the status of a candidate for EU membership. Negotiations on Turkey's accession to the association began in 2005.
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In May 2021, MEPs said that relations between Ankara and Brussels had reached a “historic low” as Turkey “is increasingly distancing itself from the values and standards of the EU.” The deputies proposed to consider the possibility of suspending negotiations on the country's accession to the European Union. The Turkish Foreign Ministry considered the resolution of the European Parliament biased and indicated that the document “has no legal force.”
The day before, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that against the backdrop of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Europe “is facing shadows past that we thought we had long since left behind. She stressed that Brussels supports Kyiv and expressed confidence that the EU will cope with the challenge.
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French President Macron: Ukraine's accession to the EU may take years The leader of France proposed the creation of a new “European political community”, which will include Ukraine /v6_top_pics/media/img/3/31/756521012545313.jpg” alt=”Macron said that Ukraine's accession to the EU will take years” />
The process of Ukraine's accession to the EU may take several years, even decades. This was stated by French President Emmanuel Macron, BFMTV reports.
“We all know that the process of joining the EU can take many years and even several decades. <…> Let's be honest, the European Union cannot be the only means of structuring the European continent,— said the French leader.
Macron proposed the creation of a new “European political community” that would include Ukraine. “Ukraine, thanks to its struggle and its courage, is already the heart of our union,” — he stressed.
The President of France also supported the idea of the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to amend the EU treaties and, if necessary, abandon the unified vote of 27 member states on key issues.
Ursula von der Leyen said earlier that the EU countries support Ukraine's aspirations to join the EU. At the same time, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that this topic is not on the agenda now.
Eight EU countries— Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia— supported the idea of accelerated accession of Ukraine to the Union.
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Nevertheless, Croatian Minister Andriy Plenkovic said that a quick entry of Ukraine into the European Union is impossible. “No one entered the European Union overnight”, — he noted. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte reminded that there is no fast-track process for this.
Macron doubted that it was possible to open a membership procedure with a country that is “at war”.
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, in turn, said that he opposes Ukraine's accession to the EU, and called, showing flexibility, to find other ways to strengthen cooperation between Brussels and Kyiv. In Ukraine, Schallenberg's statements were considered “short-sighted” and “not in the interests of Europe.”
Ukraine signed an association agreement with the EU in 2014. The refusal to sign the document by ex-president Viktor Yanukovych caused mass protests, which subsequently led to a change of power in Ukraine.
Ukraine's aspiration to the EU has been officially enshrined in the country's Constitution since 2019.
In At the end of February, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application for the country's accession to the EU. In mid-April, he handed over the completed questionnaire to the head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Matti Maasikas.
Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanyshina said that Ukraine could receive the status of a candidate member of the European Union by June 2022.
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The European Commission plans to make a number of concessions to agree on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia, reports Reuters with citing sources.
Thus, according to the agency, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic may be given additional time to abandon Russian oil. They will be promised subsidies for infrastructure reconstruction.
The EU is also going to lift the ban on the transportation of Russian oil by European tankers. This was opposed, in particular, by Greece, Cyprus and Malta. However, European financial companies will still be banned from financing and insuring the transportation of Russian energy carriers.
Also, the EU has not yet decided on a ban on real estate transactions for Russians who do not have citizenship of the countries of the European Economic Area or a residence permit. Cyprus opposes this ban.
Borrell: Russia's frozen reserves in the EU should be directed to the restoration of Ukraine According to Borrell, the EU countries should follow the example of the United States in relation to the Central Bank of Afghanistan and withdraw Russia's frozen reserves, so that these funds would later be used to restore Ukraine
European Union (EU) countries should consider withdrawing Russia's frozen foreign exchange reserves to help pay for the cost of rebuilding Ukraine after the conflict. This was stated in an interview with the Financial Times by the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell.
Borrell cited “billions of dollars” of assets seized by the United States as an example. from the central bank of Afghanistan, which, according to him, will later be used to compensate victims of terrorism and for humanitarian assistance to the country. The diplomat noted that “it was logical” consider similar steps with Russia's frozen reserves.
“I would be very much in favor of it, because it [the initiative] is full of logic <…> Someone needs to explain to me why this [reserve withdrawal] is good for Afghan money and bad for Russian money,” — said the head of European diplomacy.
In his opinion, the question of how to pay for the restoration of Ukraine is one of the key political issues for the EU, given the “incredible amount of money” that is needed. He also expressed the hope that the discussion about “war compensation” will come from Russia.
As of April 1, 2022, the volume of Russia's international reserves amounted to $606.5 billion. The Ministry of Finance previously reported that after the start of the Russian special operation, Western countries froze about half of Russia's gold and foreign exchange reserves (about $300 billion). At the same time, assets in Chinese yuan, monetary gold stored in Russia (as of February 1, about $132 billion), cash reserves and special drawing rights (SDR, about $24 billion) in the IMF remain legally out of reach for sanctions.
The head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, said on April 19 that the Russian side would challenge the freezing of gold and foreign exchange reserves and was already preparing lawsuits. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Western countries of actually stealing Russian gold and foreign exchange reserves. “When, after the start of a special military operation in Ukraine, our Western“ friends ” stole more than $300 billion from us, in fact they stole what they themselves paid for gas. In other words, they have been using our gas for free all these years, — the Minister emphasized.
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What is the difference between American and European migration programs for receiving migrants from Ukraine
Ukrainians continue to leave their homes and rush to the West in search of a better life. They are ready to accept refugees abroad, at least in words. A lot of concrete steps have also been taken, the main Western players already have programs to help internally displaced persons. Only now they often work “with a creak” and, as expected, are most effective where they are least bureaucratized. We looked at how North America and Europe are coping with one of the biggest migration crises of recent years.
How the EU suddenly consolidated
It's no secret that the declared unity of the European Union often remains at the level of high-profile statements, but the EU bureaucratic machine, forced to take into account the opinions of all 27 member countries of the association, takes fundamental decisions with difficulty. But in the case of Ukrainian refugees, the efficiency and coherence of the work of the “common European home” amazed even the skeptics.
On March 3, that is, just a week after the start of the Russian special operation, the European Union adopted the so-called Interim Directive on the protection of residents of Ukraine. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson called the document “historic” and in the context of the situation, this does not sound like an exaggeration.
The members of the association were not only able to agree in a short time, but also agreed on extremely soft requirements for the settlers. The word “temporary” in the characteristics of the directive should not confuse. It is really designed for one year, however, during this period, Ukrainians and foreigners legally residing in Ukraine will be able to live in the EU, study, work, receive medical care – exactly the same as the local population. The main thing is that either a Ukrainian passport, if any, or evidence of the impossibility of leaving home (in the case of foreign citizens) is enough for this. With regard to the one-year limit, this condition is also flexible: the duration of the directive can be extended by a total of three years if instability persists in Ukraine, that is, conditions are not safe for those wishing to return there.
Among the leaders in the reception of Ukrainian refugees, of which more than 4 million arrived in the EU in general (Brussels in February proceeded from expectations of 7 million people for the whole of 2022), first of all, neighboring countries: Poland, Romania, Hungary, Moldova. Only on Polish territory, the number of Ukrainians who have arrived since the beginning of the Russian special operation is estimated at three million. Romania has accepted a little less than a million refugees, the rest of the countries are significantly behind in these indicators.
However, it must be taken into account: freedom of movement in the EU means that not everyone who fled, for example, to Poland, will remain there. In the conditions of a powerful influx of people from Ukraine, the population of the host EU member states is not always satisfied with the “replenishment”. Stories are heard everywhere about how uncultured some of the refugees behave, believing that “everyone owes everything” to them as victims. A double-edged sword: citizens of the European Union countries sometimes provoke conflicts themselves, attacking the “come in large numbers”. In this sense, the EU directive, of course, still has to play its role, because one of its goals is to evenly distribute migration flows throughout the EU.
Often, migrants not only move further along the continent, but even leave it altogether, especially since they also have asylum programs across the English Channel and across the ocean. But their effectiveness varies greatly.
Sex traffic and work for food
The UK, which left the European Union, did not face the difficulties that its former partners on the continent, solving the problem of refugees. London does not need to negotiate with anyone, which is why the program to help immigrants was adopted quite quickly, back in February.
Michael Gove, the British Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government, then promised “thousands of places” for Ukrainian migrants, which immediately drew criticism – the United Kingdom did not do much in terms of numbers in previous migration crises. It is not clear where the official planned to get the funds that Britain, which had left the EU and weakened by the pandemic, had spent.
The final program, called “Houses for Ukraine”, actually left the fate of the refugees at the mercy of themselves and the so-called sponsors.
According to the scheme, at least one of three criteria must be met in order to receive asylum. Facilitated conditions for entry are received by citizens of Ukraine, but not by third countries (even if they lived legally on Ukrainian territory). In the absence of the required nationality, it is necessary that one of the parents (for those under 18 years of age), or a husband/wife, or a common-law partner with whom the applicant has been in a relationship for at least two years, live on British soil. This person must also be of Ukrainian origin. The third option is the presence of a sponsor, that is, a person or organization ready to take on the maintenance of a refugee.
Since March, more than 200 thousand applications have been received from potential “guardians”, from the side of immigrants – about 40 thousand. Satisfied, however, a little more than three thousand petitions, but the fate of those who are lucky is not known for certain: the presence of a sponsor does not eliminate the need to apply for a visa, which has always been difficult in the UK. Among those who managed to enter the country, alarm is heard. Some refugees were not offered the living conditions that were promised, they tried to force them to work for food. And this cannot be attributed to fastidiousness and deceived high expectations. Human rights activists sent a warning letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, stating that potential sponsors may have criminal intentions: to use immigrants for the slave trade, sexual exploitation, etc. The head of government listened, promising to strengthen control over the implementation of the sponsorship scheme.
For more than two months in the UK, less than 50 thousand people received entry visas (some of them due to Ukrainian citizenship and the presence of relatives) and not all of them have refugee status.
The problem is not only the lack of transparency and bureaucracy of the British program, but also the lack of resources. It was not without reason that the idea of a “migrant offshore” was proposed in London, that is, sending asylum seekers to processing centers in Rwanda. After processing the dossier in Africa, in case of a positive verdict, the settlers will be able to enter British territory.
The deal with Rwanda caused even more criticism than the sponsorship scheme, and human rights activists sent a preliminary letter to the Ministry of Internal Affairs addressed to the Minister of Internal Affairs Priti Patel. It states that the “offshore” program raises questions from the point of view of legality. Now Patel, who initiated the deal, may face the need to give explanations already in court.
The Land of the Maple Leaf and the Trident
Canada has long been known for having a large Ukrainian community on its territory. The Maple Leaf Country is, in principle, one of the most popular migration destinations for residents of the post-Soviet space. Bordering on land only with the United States, the state cannot count on a large influx of Americans, who are sometimes condescending towards their neighbors and are trying to embody the “American place” in their homeland. But immigrants from the countries of the former USSR rush to Canada willingly.
In more than three million Canadian Alberta, Ukrainians make up about 10% of the city's population. In the capital of the country, Ottawa, the share is smaller, but significant – almost 3%, that is, about 22 thousand people, and in total there are almost one and a half million Ukrainians in Canada.
It is not surprising that with the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, the Canadian direction has become highly sought after by refugees who rely on relatively easy entry due to the presence of a large community and immediate relatives.
The calculation turned out to be correct. Without exchanging for specific indicators, the Canadian authorities on March 17 announced their readiness to accept an unlimited number of immigrants. And they eased the conditions for those applying for refugee status.
The Canadian Facilitated Entry Program applies to holders of Ukrainian passports, citizens of third countries legally residing in Ukraine, and those whose close relatives already reside in the North American country. If at least one of these conditions is met, applications from applicants are considered on a priority basis (for example, a maximum of two weeks is allotted for studying an online application), and if successful, an entry document is issued with a validity period of up to 10 years. The only significant limitation is the need to renew the visa every three years. To do this, however, you will only need to confirm your status or inform about its change: a person is registered as having a work permit in Canada, a student or just a guest.
From the beginning of the CUAET (Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel) program on March 17 until the end of April, more than 181 thousand applications were received, about 71 thousand received approval – a serious indicator, given the remoteness of Canada, proving, as in the case of the EU, that clear conditions of entry without excessive red tape is the key to efficiency. But on the Canadian and European Union programs, loyalty to refugees striving for the West ends, giving way to the “red ribbon”.
American approach: belated and inefficient
In the United States, it is customary to call red tape (in English red tape) bureaucratic red tape, the purpose of which is not to solve the problem, but to drag it out as much as possible with any intelligible answer. This is exactly what the American administration did for a long time, despite the fact that back in March, President Joe Biden said: the United States is ready to accept up to one hundred thousand refugees from Ukraine.
The measures that followed immediately affected only those already living in the United States, allowing them to remain in the country even after the expiration of their visa. For asylum seekers, the situation has not fundamentally changed. As a result, thousands of people gathered at the checkpoints on the border with Mexico, waiting for the consideration of visa applications and permission to enter. Quite a few people are “stuck” in continental Europe, waiting for constantly postponed interviews at diplomatic missions. The US Migration Service appealed to existing acts that facilitate migration. For Ukrainians, this is the Lotenberg amendment, which allowed simplified entry for representatives of various minorities. It was through it that many Ukrainian Catholics arrived in the United States.
Human rights activists, however, criticized all aspects of Biden's policy, recalling that the White House is trying to respond to a new challenge with old and therefore far from effective measures, and the president is forced was to give up.
At the end of April, Biden nevertheless announced a holistic program to support Ukrainian refugees. dubbed “Unity for Ukraine”, it is essentially very similar to the British “House for Ukraine” scheme. Both initiatives are based on the principle of sponsorship. mindful of the claims against London, Washington immediately placed emphasis on a thorough check of both asylum seekers and potential sponsors. The host party is not limited in how many “wards” they wish to support, but for this they will have to prove their financial viability. In addition, applicants will be given the opportunity to obtain a work permit. However, even if the asylum seeker guarantees that he can work and provide for himself, he must first secure sponsorship.
All this, again, does not eliminate the need to obtain a visa, but with a sponsorship scheme, applications will be considered faster. Filling in online forms opened on April 25. From the beginning of the program, an attempt by Ukrainians who are at land entry points at the Mexican border without a valid visa or without prior permission will be denied entry – they must apply online, according to representatives of the US Customs and Border Protection.
So far, the US Department has not provided statistics on the number of online questionnaires. But the data from the Mexican border is disappointing – from 50 to 100 people arrive there daily, including people from Ukraine. Despite the warning, they expect to be able to pass “on a first come, first served basis”. Giorgi Mikaberidze, 19, who is in Mexico, told The Guardian that he arrived in the country on April 25 – when online applications began – and found that the border with the United States was closed. According to him, the American authorities have extremely poorly informed the relevant services about the new entry conditions, and now he and others like him are in limbo. “We want to go to America, because we are already here, some don’t even have money to return,” Mikaberidze stressed. Of course, now these people are allowed to apply via the Internet, but during the consideration of applications you will have to find at least a roof over your head.
Like the British program, the American one has already become the subject of criticism from both human rights activists and official law enforcement agencies. thus, their representatives note, the principle of de facto sponsorship can contribute to illegal migration. For example, a low-income Ukrainian family negotiates with wealthier neighbors to sponsor their relative. When a refugee enters American territory, he settles in the house of his relatives, fictitious sponsors receive some kind of one-time “thank you”, and then the migrant gradually changes his status of stay in the country on a related basis. Such schemes and the like have been taken into account by law enforcement officers, but a mechanism to combat them has not yet been developed. How many people entered the United States under the “Together for Ukraine” program has not yet been officially reported, and relatively little time has passed since the beginning of the action.
In total, several thousand Ukrainians arrived on American territory during the Russian special operation, but the overwhelming majority are based on previously received documents. It is significant that less than a thousand Ukrainians have received refugee status in the United States since last fall. In the spring of 2022, there were only a few dozen of them. And this continues to fuel reasonable speculation that Washington is not eager to take in settlers, gently trying to leave them to Europe or Canada.
El País reported on the EU's idea to oblige wealthy states to share gas with the most affected member countries. Medvedev believes that if the EU introduces such a procedure, then “there is not far from food cards”
Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said that the “ghost of communism” has again entered Europe after the European Commission, according to El País, decided to offer EU members to share gas in the event of a cessation of fuel supplies from Russia. He wrote about this in his Telegram channel.
“Fat Europeans, provided with gas from various sources, are going to be forced to share with the poor, but proud, who do not want to pay Russia in rubles for our fuel. Well, well done, worthy heirs of the two Charles— Marx and Kautsky, — said Medvedev (Kautsky, Marxist theorist, editor of the fourth volume of Capital).
He admitted that the countries — EU members can simultaneously introduce energy rationing, and said that after that “food cards are not far away.”
The EU requirement to share its gas with the most affected countries can be introduced if Russia will decide to stop supplying gas to Europe. This requirement may become one of the points of the plan of the European Commission, which is going to be approved on May 18, the Spanish newspaper wrote. According to this idea, those countries that have alternative suppliers will have to share.
The European authorities will also require energy rationing, which will start with the industrial sector, so that companies in less affected countries do not have a competitive advantage over those in more affected states, El País clarifies.
To ensure sufficient supply of gas to households and social services of all EU countries, Brussels, according to the newspaper, is going to use the gas supply regulation in force since 2017.
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At the same time, the EC believes that out of 155 billion cubic meters. m of gas that comes annually from Russia, two-thirds can be replaced in the future.
Since the start of the military operation in Ukraine, the EU, the United States and other countries began to impose sanctions against Russia, however they have not yet touched on oil and gas imports. On March 23, President Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian side would give up “all compromised currencies” in gas payments. and will accept payment for it from unfriendly countries (in this list, all EU countries, the USA, Great Britain and other states) in rubles.
The European Commission said that the new payment scheme is contrary to the European sanctions regime. Many EU countries refused to pay for gas in rubles. “Gazprom” has already suspended deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria.
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Bloomberg: EU ambassadors did not agree on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia because of Hungary The reason was the reluctance of Hungary to support the ban on Russian oil imports, agency sources say. Brussels proposed to refuse supplies by the end of 2022, but the oil embargo must be agreed upon by all EU countries /756520169869666.jpg” alt=”Bloomberg learned that the EU ambassadors did not agree on a package of sanctions against Russia” />
EU permanent representatives met on May 8 to discuss new sanctions against Russia, but did not reach an agreement, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the meeting. Negotiations will resume in the coming days.
The European Union is developing the sixth package of sanctions related to the conflict in Ukraine. The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that it is planned to include the refusal of Russian oil by the end of 2022, as well as the disconnection of a number of banks (including Sberbank) from SWIFT. In addition, Bloomberg and Reuters reported that Brussels is proposing to ban European courts and companies from providing services related to the transportation of Russian oil to third countries.
In order for the package to be adopted, all 27 EU countries must agree on it, but, according to Bloomberg, the meeting participants failed to get Hungary's consent to a ban on Russian oil imports. In addition, Greece and Cyprus have not yet agreed to restrictions on oil transportation, the agency's interlocutors say.
Hungary has previously stated that it will not support the abandonment of Russian oil. On May 6, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that Budapest would not allow the EU to impose an embargo on Russian oil, so as not to “destroy the results of the many years of efforts of the Hungarian people.” EU members failed to agree on sanctions. On May 4, Reuters reported that at one of the meetings, in addition to Hungary, concerns about such restrictions were expressed by Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Bloomberg wrote about the doubts of Greece, Malta and Cyprus regarding the transportation ban on the same day.
According to the agency, the EU, as a compromise, proposed extending the deadline for refusing Russian oil until the end of 2024 for Hungary and Slovakia and until June of the same year for the Czech Republic.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the European Union to “take a unified position” regarding anti-Russian sanctions.
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According to the publication, in the event of a cessation of gas supplies from Russia, Brussels will require EU members who have alternative sources of supplies to share fuel with the most affected states
On May 18, the European Commission plans to approve a plan in the event of a possible cut in gas supplies from Russia, which, among other things, includes a requirement for EU members to share their gas with countries most affected by the cut. This is reported by the Spanish newspaper El País, citing sources.
According to the publication, Brussels insists that in the event of an emergency with gas, those countries that have alternative suppliers will have to share with the most affected states.
The European authorities will also require energy rationing, which will start with the industrial sector, so that companies in less affected countries do not have a competitive advantage over companies in more affected countries, the publication specifies.
In addition, according to El País, Brussels intends to use the gas supply regulation in force since 2017 in order to guarantee sufficient gas supply to households and social services in all countries of the community.
According to the forecasts of the European Commission, in the event of a complete cessation of Russian gas supplies, the measures provided for in the regulation will have to be taken by almost all EU partners. At the same time, the EC believes that out of 155 billion cubic meters. m of gas that comes annually from Russia, two-thirds can be replaced in the future.
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Since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, many Western countries, including the EU and the US, have imposed or tightened sanctions against Moscow. The restrictions, among other things, affected large financial and industrial companies, members of the Russian government, as well as the reserves of the Central Bank. At the same time, the sanctions did not affect the import of Russian oil and gas.
Russia provides approximately 40% of Europe's need for gas imports. On March 23, President Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian side would give up “all compromised currencies” in gas payments. and will accept payment for it from unfriendly countries (in this list, all EU countries, the USA, Great Britain and other states) in rubles. The new requirement came into effect on April 1.
Many EU countries have previously announced their refusal to pay for the supply of energy resources under the new scheme. The European Commission believes that the new payment scheme is contrary to the European sanctions regime.
Poland and Bulgaria also refused to pay for gas in rubles, which is why Gazprom suspended deliveries to these countries. French Minister of Environmental Transformation Barbara Pompili called Russia's actions a breach of contracts. European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson urged the EU countries to prepare a plan of action in the event of a cessation of supplies from Russia.
In mid-March, Deputy Head of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic said that the EU would need 50 & ndash; 60 billion cubic meters to replace supplies from Russia. m of natural gas from other sources.
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Hungary intends to defend its economic achievements until the EU plan to impose an embargo on oil from Russia “collapses”, said the head of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry Peter Szijjártó
Hungary will not allow the EU to impose an embargo on Russian oil, because it will undermine the security of the country's energy supply and its economy, said the head of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, Peter Szijjarto.
“Of course, we will not allow this, because we cannot allow anyone to destroy the results of the long-term efforts of the Hungarian people, our selfless work.” ,— Quoted by Szijjártó Index.
According to him, the Hungarian government is doing everything possible to protect the country's economic achievements until the EU plan to impose an embargo on Russian oil “collapses”.
Szijjártó said that the authorities Hungary sees the results of the recent parliamentary elections as confirmation of the correctness of the economic policy strategy of the last 20 years. Party of Viktor Orban «FIDES— Hungarian Civil Union in partnership with the Christian Democrats, won the elections in April with a majority, and Orban will again lead the Hungarian government.
The Hungarian economy, despite the pandemic, showed the best results in history in 2021, Szijjártó said. “To the shame of the European Union, we are at the forefront of the EU economy and we have one of the fastest growing economies on the continent,” — he said.
The European Union has been discussing the possibility of sanctions against the Russian energy sector since the beginning of the special operation in Ukraine. So far, Brussels has imposed restrictions only on the supply of Russian coal. The countries of the union are also discussing various options for an oil embargo against Moscow, but so far they have not been able to reach a consensus.
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Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic express fears about the consequences of such a decision, while Hungary strongly opposes it. The head of government of the last— Viktor Orban— said that the oil embargo against Russia is comparable to “an atomic bomb that they want to drop on the Hungarian economy.”
Now a ban on oil supplies from Russia is being discussed in the EU at the level of representatives of member countries. At the same time, the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that if they fail to agree on a ban on Russian oil by the end of the week, that is, by May 8, then further discussion of this topic will go to the level of EU foreign ministers.
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If the EU countries want to preserve their sovereignty, they need to leave the union, the speaker of the State Duma said. This is how he reacted to the proposal of the European Parliament to make decisions not by unanimity, but by a qualified majority ” alt=” Volodin suggested that countries leave the EU in order to maintain sovereignty” />
State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, commenting in his Telegram on the decision of the European Parliament to reform the European Union, said that “European unity is collapsing.”
“If the states that are part of the EU today want to preserve sovereignty and defend the interests of their citizens, they have only one way left— exit from the European Union»,— he thinks.
According to Volodin, the European Parliament approved, among other things, the initiative to abolish the principle of joint decision-making, “in other words, it is proposed to abandon the right of veto of EU members.” The speaker of the State Duma believes that the opinions of individual states and their citizens will not be taken into account, and this will lead to the fact that “millions of Europeans will be deprived of the right to vote.”
Resolution on deep reform of the EU in question, the European Parliament adopted on 4 May. The document was adopted as a result of public consultations with residents of European countries during the year as part of the conference “The Future of Europe”.
In the document following the results of this conference, in particular, it is proposed to abolish the principle of unanimous adoption of the most important decisions. “All issues decided by unanimity must be decided by a qualified majority of votes (two-thirds or three-quarters of those present. — RBC). The exceptions will be the issues of admission of new members to the EU and changes in the fundamental principles of the EU, — says the document.
According to MEPs, the unanimous decision-making mechanism “makes it difficult to reach an agreement.” At the same time, they proposed to ensure a “fair calculation of the weight of votes” in order to protect the interests of small countries.
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The Hungarian prime minister compared the ban on the supply of Russian oil to “an atomic bomb that they want to drop on the Hungarian economy”, and demanded a five-year delay from Brussels embargo
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Speaking about the EU's intention to impose an embargo on Russian oil, he said that Brussels had crossed a red line. He said this in an interview with radio Kossuth, his words are quoted by the portal 24.hu.
The head of government compared the ban on the supply of Russian raw materials to “an atomic bomb that they want to drop on the Hungarian economy.” It will take “years” to rebuild the country's energy sector, he pointed out.
Orban, in his own words, was still ready to agree to the first five packages of sanctions against Russia, but restrictive measures affecting energy , considers already a “red line” for Hungary.
“They [the EU countries] have crossed that red line, [the ban on the supply of] coal may not affect Hungary. But they continue. You must stop here, — said the prime minister.
Orban demands from the EU a five-year delay in the embargo, and not the year that the EU is ready to grant, Bloomberg reports, citing him.
Earlier Orban, speaking about his country's dependence on the supply of Russian energy resources, pointed out that, for example, Germany, Austria and Bulgaria are “in the same shoes with Hungary.” If oil and gas do not come from Russia, the question arises of the existence of the Hungarian economy, he noted.
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A gradual ban on the import of Russian oil is expected to be included in the sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia. They want to make an exception for Hungary and Slovakia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic are counting on the same.
As the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen reported, the EU intends to refuse the supply of Russian crude oil within six months, and the import of petroleum products— by the end of the year.
The press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, speaking about the possible refusal of the EU from Russian oil, warned that this decision would “hit everyone”. At the same time, the United States, which had previously refused supplies, according to him, will remain on its own and “will feel much better than the Europeans.”
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The President of Ukraine assessed the country's losses during the hostilities.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during a speech at an international donor conference for Ukraine, made a loud statement about assistance.
According to the Ukrainian leader, he proposes that the EU countries divide countries into regions and provide assistance to the victims and the economy according to this principle.
Zelensky explained that Kyiv is preparing a large-scale plan to restore Ukraine and needs patronage from the international community.
The head of Ukraine said that such a decision by the EU countries could be of historical significance.
“Such a patronage project can create a new and historic example of interaction and partnership between countries”, he said.
According to “MK”, Zelensky believes that Western investments in Ukraine can lead to the stability of the entire region, as well as the center and east of Europe. Because in this way they will help the return to the country of refugees who have flooded neighboring states.
The second thing the president said is the need for Kyiv to quickly move Ukraine into the EU, which can take advantage of the status of an EU candidate.
According to TASS, at a summit of executive directors hosted by The Wall Street Journal, Zelensky announced Ukraine's need for $600 billion to restore “infrastructural facilities, residential areas, enterprises.”
Thus, according to him, the country can restore everything that was destroyed.
“Start companies in Ukraine and you will gain access to a market of more than 40 million, the largest in Europe”, – ; he said.
Meanwhile, a week earlier, Zelensky estimated the country's losses at $550 billion, of which up to $7 billion would have to be invested monthly in the ruined economy.
At the same time, according to “MK”, VEB of Ukraine announced that 6 wagons with Belarusian fertilizers would be alienated in favor of the state. The cost of the goods is $6.8 million.
Earlier, Topnews wrote that Zelensky's office threatened a counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which is scheduled for July this year.
According to the agency, the sanctions list has not yet been approved and can be agreed, presumably, on May 6 /756517780688941.jpg” alt=”Bloomberg learned about the EU's intention to impose sanctions against Kabaeva” />
The European Union intends to impose sanctions on the Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics Alina Kabaeva. This is reported by Bloomberg, citing sources and the relevant document at the disposal of the agency.
The new package of sanctions may still undergo changes until the approval of the countries— community members. EU ambassadors are expected to meet on the morning of May 6 to discuss and possibly approve the sixth round of sanctions, the agency said.
Kabaeva twice became the absolute world champion in rhythmic gymnastics and five times— the absolute champion of Europe, won the gold of the Olympics in the individual all-around. She was a State Duma deputy of the fifth and sixth convocations. Since September 2014— Chairman of the Board of Directors of the holding “National Media Group”. Since 2016, he has been the head of the Board of Directors of ZAO Sport-Express.
Since the end of February, many Western countries, including the EU and the US, have imposed new sanctions against Russia. The European Union, in particular, has already imposed five packages of sanctions against Moscow, including restrictions against Russian financial and industrial organizations, Central Bank reserves, restrictions on the import or transit of coal and other solid fossil fuels, as well as personally against President Putin and his inner circle. .
The preparation of the sixth package of sanctions in mid-April was announced by the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The head of European Union diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said in early May that the sixth package of sanctions would include restrictions on several more banks, which were planned to be disconnected from SWIFT. The sanctions will also affect oil imports.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz previously admitted that sanctions against Russia could be lifted only after agreement with Ukraine. “We can and are going to lift our sanctions only in agreement with Ukraine. I think many in the Kremlin have not realized this yet. For Russia, this has devastating consequences, — he said.
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