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Stockholm and Helsinki, which previously adhered to a policy of military neutrality, officially announced their intention to become members of NATO on 15 May. The day before, President Vladimir Putin said that he did not see this as a threat
The United States forced Sweden and Finland to join NATO, and this “frees hands” Russia to respond. This was stated by the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, speaking on the air of the Soloviev Live program.
“Washington, under pressure, forcing these countries, which have pursued a neutral policy of not joining military blocs for many decades, forcing them to change its strategic direction and course, untied our hands,»,— said Zakharova.
“It is not their [Finland and Sweden] peoples who are actually doing this, but their political forces,”— she added.
The two Scandinavian countries officially announced on May 15 their intention to join NATO, although they had previously adhered to neutrality, explaining that they see a threat from Russia. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said that the policy of neutrality will be useful in the future.
Commenting on the decision of Sweden and Finland, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia has no problems with these countries, but the expansion of military infrastructure in these territories “will cause a backlash.” According to Putin, NATO is expanding “completely artificially in the foreign policy interests of the United States.” The President also emphasized that the actions of the Scandinavian states could aggravate “an already difficult situation in the field of international security.”
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10.5 thousand troops will return to the United States, while the other 10.5 thousand will go to bases in Europe. The Pentagon spokesman stressed that American soldiers are not sent there to participate in hostilities in Ukraine
The United States plans to rotate the military contingent in Europe in the near future, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at a briefing. Washington continues its course to strengthen the defensive capabilities on the eastern flank of NATO against the backdrop of events in Ukraine, he explained.
“For this reason, Secretary [of Defense Lloyd] Austin has ordered the dispatch of approximately 10,500 troops in the coming months to replace the previously sent army units that serve in the European zone, — told Kirby.— This is a one-on-one replacement of military units. Thus, the total number of American soldiers stationed in Europe will remain the same— about 100,000. Replacements will be carried out gradually over the summer.
Kirby stressed that the newly arrived military “won't fight in Ukraine” and the deployment of troops is not permanent.
In April, US Charge d'Affaires in Estonia Brian Roraff said that Washington allows the deployment of troops in Europe not only on a rotational basis, but also on a permanent basis.
Army Chief of Staff James McConville said at the end of March that the United States would not increase its military presence in Europe to the level of the Cold War (350 thousand).
The American authorities emphasize that US troops are in the region to protect allies for NATO, and not for the war with Russia and participation in hostilities in Ukraine.
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“MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Europe’s new liquified gas infrastructure puts climate targets in question
In a race to stop buying Russian natural gas, European countries are building new infrastructure that many fear could lead to a fossil-fuel “lock-in.” Germany houses six of the nearly dozen liquified natural gas import facilities across Europe.
The WorldMay 12, 2022 · 2:15 PM EDT
Port cranes load a climate friendly LNG, liquefied natural gas, powered container ship at the import and export harbor in Hamburg, Germany, March 19, 2022.
Martin Meissner/AP/File photo
In a quest to wean off of Russian natural gas, European countries are racing to build new infrastructure to be able to accept liquified gas from producers further afield.
Analysts are tracking nearly a dozen liquified natural gas (LNG) import facilities across Europe that have been proposed since the beginning of the war in Ukraine — with Germany alone housing six of them.
“This is the scenario that will make us independent,” German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck said, while in the North Sea port town of Wilhelmshaven last week, where he went to sign lease agreements for four new floating natural gas storage facilities.
Gas produced in places like Qatar and the US can be cooled and shipped to these floating facilities, then regassified and distributed into Germany’s network.
Before the war in Ukraine started, Germany got more than half of its gas from Russia. It’s knocked that down to about a third in the past few months, but says the new liquefied natural gas infrastructure is necessary to meet its energy needs in the medium-term.
During his visit to Wilhelmshaven, Habeck said the first two floating facilities will start operating up by the beginning of next year, providing about a quarter of the gas that Germany got from Russia before the war, with the rest coming online by May 2023. The government is also planning two permanent facilities to import LNG.
But the plans are not without controversy.
Germany aims to become carbon neutral in 2045, a goal that was enshrined into law last summer. And many environmentalists fear that this new infrastructure will lock-in use of fossil fuels longer than necessary.
“We need to get rid of fossil fuels and we should not build new fossil infrastructure. We see it as moral and economic and ecological madness.”
Reinhard Knof, operates statewide environmental group in Schleswig-Holstein
“We need to get rid of fossil fuels and we should not build new fossil infrastructure,” said Reinhard Knof, who runs a statewide environmental group in Schleswig-Holstein, where one of the floating terminals and a permanent LNG facility. More than half-funded by the federal government is planned in the town of Brunsbüttel.
“We see it as moral and economic and ecological madness,” Knof said, while standing on a tall earthen dike near the mouth of the Elbe River, at an industrial port where the terminal will be built.
Reinhard Knof near the site of the planned natural gas terminal in Brunsbüttel, Germany.
Carolyn Beeler/The World
Knof was quoting UN Secretary General Antoinio Guterres, who said last month that “investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”
The move came after the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report found that using only existing and previously planned fossil fuel infrastructure for the rest of its lifespan would put the most ambitious Paris climate agreement target of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius out of reach.
New investments, Guterres said, “will soon be stranded assets, a blot on the landscape and a blight on investment portfolios.”
The German government says natural gas will be phased out in the medium-term, and new gas infrastructure will be built to eventually switch over to handle hydrogen fuel.
Hydrogen produced by renewable energy is considered a small but important, low-emissions energy source for hard-to-decarbonize industries and transport sectors.
It’s not yet clear how much this kind of retrofit would cost, or how quickly it could happen.
Already, Reuters has reported that Qatar is balking at Germany’s desire to sign shorter-term contracts for LNG.
“For us,this seems to be kind of a fossil trap,” said Constantin Zerger, head of energy and climate protection at Environmental Action Germany.
“We are building a new fossil infrastructure in Germany, which is connected to fossil infrastructure overseas, which is connected to new extraction projects. And this will all add up to additional greenhouse gas emissions all around the world.”
Constantin Zerger, head of energy and climate protection at Environmental Action Germany
“We are building a new fossil infrastructure in Germany, which is connected to fossil infrastructure overseas, which is connected to new extraction projects,” Zerger said. “And this will all add up to additional greenhouse gas emissions all around the world.”
The White House has pledged to more than double LNG exports from the US to Europe by 2030.
And planned gas liquefaction projects have been moving forward faster than they were before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, said S&P Global Commodity Insights natural gas analyst Jack Winters.
“There has been a lot of activity that has picked up,” he said.
Winters said that in the next five years, capacity for liquifying natural gas in the US will jump 60%.
“You would need a production increase from the US producers to be able to feed this … LNG export capacity expected to come online,” he said.
This all brings Constantin Zerger to say something surprising for an environmental activist — that it might be better for Germany to keep burning coal a bit longer than planned, than to spur this kind of natural gas development.
“We will have coal, which is from an environmental point of view, of course, terrible. But it might buy us some time to get the renewables in place."
Constantin Zerger, head of energy and climate protection at Environmental Action Germany
“We will have coal, which is from an environmental point of view, of course, terrible. But it might buy us some time to get the renewables in place. And this might be a better option than building new LNG terminals,” he said, citing a concern over a fossil-fuel “lock-in” with expensive and long-lived infrastructure.
Germany already missed its greenhouse gas reduction targets last year, and the economy and climate minister Robert Habeck has said that it’s likely to also miss them this year and next. But, he insists, the new gas infrastructure doesn’t put the country’s longer-term targets at risk.
The mayor of Brunsbüttel, the North Sea town where both a floating and permanent facility are planned, supports the new infrastructure and the jobs and revenue it will bring to his town.
But he acknowledges that Germany is in a tough spot with conflicting goals, as it tries to transition away from Russian energy.
“It’s indescribably difficult,” Martin Schmedtje said. But he also believes the new natural gas terminal is necessary to keep the German economy growing, and give nearby chemical companies time to transition to renewable energy.
“We need this terminal,” he said, voicing an opinion that’s grown widely across Europe since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.
Against this background, it became known that several subsidiaries of Gazprom in Germany stopped receiving gas from Russia.
According to the American media, 20 accounts of European companies have already been opened with Gazprombank.
With their help, Russian gas consumers intend to pay for blue fuel in rubles.
According to Bloomberg quoting informed sources, the same number of European companies that previously opened accounts with Gazprombank joined the 10 European companies that had previously opened accounts with Gazprombank.
In addition, 14 more companies requested the necessary data in order to open accounts with Gazprombank in the future.
It is reported that such companies will pay for gas from Russia in foreign currency.
The names of 20 companies that opened accounts with Gazprombank are not specified.
Against this background, it is reported that several subsidiaries former daughter “Gazprom” Gazprom Germania GmbH does not receive gas after the imposition of sanctions against Western companies in Russia.
According to the German Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habek, the market is able to compensate for the shortage of gas from Russia, and Germany found an alternative supplier. At the same time, he did not specify the details, TASS writes.
Earlier, TopNews wrote that Gazprombank did not accept payments for gas in rubles for Austria and Germany. According to media reports, ruble payments from Gazprom Germania were rejected.
Kosovo's intention to apply for membership in the Council of Europe violates the UN Security Council resolution and other agreements, Vučić said. Earlier, he promised that Belgrade would immediately respond to Pristina's actions and “show its teeth” .jpg” alt=”Serbia will convene the Security Council because of Kosovo's application to join the Council of Europe” />
Serbia will convene a meeting of the country's Security Council in connection with the application of partially recognized Kosovo to join the Council of Europe, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said.
The intention to apply for membership in the Council of Europe was confirmed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, Donika Gerwalla-Schwarz, Vučić told reporters after a dinner organized in Brussels for the leaders of the Western Balkans by the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borel.
“I said that this violation of not only the principles of international public law, but also the norms of some agreements, including UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Washington Accords (an agreement on the normalization of economic relations between Serbia and Kosovo, concluded in Washington in 2020.— RBC)»,— quotes Serbian President Dnevnik.rs.
“We will start to react politically. If someone thinks they can blackmail us and break Serbia <…>, it won't be so easy»,— he added.
On May 6, Vučić promised that Belgrade would give an answer the same day it learned that Pristina had officially applied for membership in the Council of Europe. In the words of the Serbian leader, “the reaction will be much stronger than they think”: “Believe me, we will show you our teeth.” On the same day, the Kosovo news agency RTK reported that an “influential European country”, whose name was not given, was ready to send an invitation to Pristina to the Council of Europe.
In March, the European Stability Initiative think tank called on Kosovo to apply for CE membership after Russia announced its decision to withdraw from the organization, writes Euractiv. The center believes that the republic has every chance of joining the Council of Europe, given that 34 out of 46 of its members recognize the independence of Kosovo.
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Kosovo— member of the World Bank, IMF, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Olympic Committee; a partially recognized republic is not a member of the UN, WTO and other international organizations.
Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, before that it was an autonomous republic within Serbia. Kosovo has been recognized by most EU countries and more than a hundred countries— UN members. Serbia, China, Iran and a number of other countries do not recognize Kosovo as a separate state. Russia also does not recognize Kosovo as a separate state, there is a Russian diplomatic office in Pristina, which is a division of the embassy in Belgrade.
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“MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>How Eurovision helps define Europe’s boundaries (and why Ukraine will likely win)
Politics have never been that far away from the Eurovision Song Contest. Since its inception, the annual event has reflected the political culture and geopolitical realities of Europe.
The ConversationMay 11, 2022 · 4:45 PM EDT
Could Ukraine’s entry be heading for Eurovision success?
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest — an annual celebration of pop music in which nations compete to win the votes of judges and the public — takes place on May 14 in Turin, Italy. And Ukraine is overwhelmingly the favorite to win.
While the latest odds first and foremost reflect the widespread sympathy throughout Europe for besieged Ukraine, it certainly helps that the Ukrainian entry, Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania,” hits the right notes when it comes to Eurovision. Combining traditional folk sounds with modern hip-hop, the song is sentimental and upbeat at the same time.
Originally penned as an ode to the lead singer’s mother, “Stefania” has since become an anthem for the nation at war.
Sung entirely in Ukrainian, it showcases historical costumes and traditional instruments in a firm stamp of Ukrainian identity, while also effectively merging a melodic chorus with the global rhythms of hip-hop. Overall, the song reflects something of Ukraine’s resilient attitude in the face of Russian aggression as well as its pro-Western cultural leanings. Indeed, one member of Kalush Orchestra declared: “Our country will not only win the war, but also win the Eurovision.”
Russia was intent on competing this year as well. In February, however, the European Broadcasting Union, the organization behind Eurovision, banned Russia from the competition, under mounting pressure from other participating countries over the invasion of Ukraine.
I have long studied Eurovision as a cultural and political event. If Ukraine does win, I believe it will continue Eurovision’s ongoing legacy of marking the boundaries of the liberal West. Despite the popular and ephemeral nature of its songs, the event has, since its inception, reflected the political culture and geopolitical realities of Europe.
They had a dream
Founded in 1956 by the European Broadcasting Union, the Eurovision Song Contest is the longest continuously running televised international musical competition in the world, with an enormous audience of roughly 200 million people. Will Farrell’s 2020 Eurovision spoof “Story of Fire Saga” and a recent NBC spinoff of the actual event, the American Song Contest, hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, have piqued interest in the U.S.
Over the years, Eurovision has expanded from a small group of six Western European nations to over 40 competitors from all over Europe, plus Israel and Australia.
It has grown roughly in tandem with other European and European-focused organizations, such as the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Like those economic and strategic blocs, Eurovision expanded into the Mediterranean in the 1960s and ‘70s, and to Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Over the decades, the contest has pushed and readjusted the boundaries of “Europe,” both geographically and ideologically.
Knowing me, knowing EU
Eurovision’s definition of Europe’s geographical boundaries may not be intuitive for many viewers. The European Broadcasting Union follows the 1932 Madrid conference of the International Radiotelegraph Union, which set the eastern and southern boundaries of the “European Region” at the 40th meridian east and the 30th parallel north, “so as to include the Western part of the U.S.S.R. and the territories bordering the Mediterranean.”
Israel and indeed all countries bordering on the Mediterranean are thereby eligible to participate. Adjustments were made in 2007 on those boundaries to allow the nations of the Caucasus to participate.
Australia’s inclusion is a different matter, going back to 2015, when the European Broadcasting Union invited the country, on the basis of its unusually strong fan base, to join for a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the competition. The Australians arrived with such energy and enthusiasm that they’ve stayed ever since.
The ever-increasing number of participating countries has expanded and stretched the understanding of which countries belong to Europe as a cultural entity.
More complex and nuanced is the ideological and political meaning of “Europe.” The European Broadcasting Union’s stated “core values” include democracy, pluralism, diversity, inclusion and freedom of expression.
But those values have at times rubbed up against the political realities of countries within the geographical boundaries of Europe.
When Spain hosted the contest in 1969, Austria boycotted on account of Spanish dictator Gen. Francisco Franco’s fascist politics. Spain hosted because it had won the year before with Massiel’s “La La La”; the winning nation has usually hosted the following year’s competition since 1958.
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! a song without politics
The European Broadcasting Union tries to hold to the ideal of a purely musical competition without political overtones, but some countries have tried to insert sly political critiques into their entries.
In 2009, Georgia attempted to protest Russia’s 2008 invasion of its country with the song “We Don’t Want to Put In” – a play on the then-Russian Prime Minister’s name. But organizers rejected the song as too obviously political.
On the other side of the political spectrum, the European Broadcasting Union rejected Belarus’ 2021 entry, “Ya Nauchu Tebya (I’ll Teach You)” by the band Galasy ZMesta, for its overt condemnation of that country’s pro-democracy protesters.
In recent years, the contest’s strong association with the LGBTQ community has seen a backlash from conservative governments. Turkey’s departure from the contest in 2013 came as its interest in joining the European Union waned. While Turkey had multiple reasons for leaving, the head of Turkish Radio and Television objected specifically to the prominence of queer performers like Austria’s Conchita Wurst, who won in 2014 with “Rise like a Phoenix” as a gay bearded drag queen. In 2020, Hungary also withdrew from the competition; Andras Benscik, a commentator on a pro-government television station, likened the contest to a “homosexual flotilla.”
The winner takes it all
Success in the Eurovision Song Contest has often come as countries move toward the liberal, inclusive, pluralistic, democratic ideals of Europe. Spain’s victories in the late 1960s, for example, preceded the relative loosening of societal restrictions in the final years of the Franco era. Turkey’s victory in 2003 came at the height of that country’s campaign to join the European Union.
Most notably, the countries of Eastern Europe, which started competing in the 1990s, embraced the contest as symbol of Western freedom. After Estonia became the first former Soviet Republic to win in 2001, Prime Minister Mart Laar announced, “We are no longer knocking at Europe’s door. We are walking through it singing.”
Ukraine fits into this pattern perfectly. Entering the competition in 2003, it won the very next year in 2004 with Ruslana’s fiery leather-clad performances of “Wild Dances.” In 2005, Ukraine sent GreenJolly, which performed “Razom Nas Bahato (Together We Are Many),” a celebration of the Orange Revolution. More recently, Ukraine was victorious in 2016 with Jamala’s “1944,” an elegiac meditation on former Russian dictator Josef Stalin’s forced removal of the Tatars from Crimea.
The historical reference allowed Ukraine to circumvent the European Broadcasting Union’s prohibition on politics by claiming to investigate and commemorate an event from the past, while also obviously protesting Russia’s 2014 invasion and annexation of Crimea.
Facing Russian aggression once again, it looks like Ukraine has a good chance of winning Eurovision in 2022. According to oddsmakers, as of May 4, 2022, it had a 43% chance of winning.
Assuming Ukraine does well or even wins, the Song Contest will reconfirm and reestablish the boundaries of liberal Western Europe.
Robert Deam Tobin is the Henry J Leir chair in language, literature and culture at Clark University. This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit, independent news organization dedicated to unlocking the knowledge of experts for the public good.
The West, in turn, constantly talks about the need to “defeat Russia,” said the Foreign Minister, who is visiting Oman
Russia does not wants war in Europe— it is “The West constantly insists that <…> Russia must be defeated,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Oman.
According to him, the end of the military operation in Ukraine will stop Western attempts to undermine international law and promote a unipolar world. “The era of colonialism is a thing of the past— it must be acknowledged,— stressed the Foreign Minister.
Lavrov arrived in Muscat after a visit to Algeria. The minister held talks with the foreign ministers of both countries.
Russia launched a special operation on “demilitarization and denazification” Ukraine and protecting the population of Donbass from “genocide” 24 February. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared martial law and severed diplomatic relations with Moscow.
Western countries condemned Moscow and supported Kyiv, many of them provided Ukraine with humanitarian and military assistance, but none announced that they were sending their soldiers to the war zone— on the contrary, the United States and other countries declare their unwillingness to enter into a conflict. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised on May 8 that NATO would not become a party to the conflict in Ukraine. Putin at the Victory Parade on May 9 called for preventing a global war.
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The UK Foreign Office said the Russian-backed cyberattack affected Viasat's operations in Ukraine, but also disrupted the Internet in Central Europe. Russia has previously denied involvement in cyberattacks
Russia has been behind a series of cyber attacks since the start of a military special operation in Ukraine, the EU, UK, US and other allies believe.
“The most recent the attack on the communications company Viasat in Ukraine had a wider impact across the continent, disrupting wind farms and Internet users in Central Europe,— said the British Foreign Office.
According to the UK National Cyber Security Centre, Russian military intelligence may be involved in the attack on Ukrainian government websites on January 13 and the deployment of Whispergate malware, as well as in the cyber attack on Viasat on February 24.
The US State Department said that Washington supports Kyiv, strengthening the country's cyber defense. Thus, the FBI provides direct support to law enforcement agencies in Ukraine, including informing Ukrainian partners about the “cyber operations of the Russian special services.”
Also, the FBI, the State Department and other US government agencies provided assistance to Ukraine in the purchase of equipment and software to support network protection.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided more than 6.7 thousand emergency communication devices, including satellite phones and data terminals, government officials and critical infrastructure operators in key sectors such as energy and telecommunications.
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The US government has worked closely with Ukrainian ministries until February of this year to ensure Ukraine's cyber resilience, including by providing more than $40 million in aid since 2017.
In mid-January, hackers attacked at least 70 Ukrainian websites, including the portals of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Sports and other departments of Ukraine. On the pages of departments, unknown people posted messages in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish. They urged Ukrainians to “be afraid and expect the worst.” The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine stated that Russia was involved in the cyber attack.
After that, on February 13, representatives of the White House, US intelligence, the US Department of Homeland Security and other US agencies discussed preparations for repelling cyber attacks in Ukraine, CNN reported quoting sources in the US administration.
The Russian embassy in the United States said that Moscow categorically rejects accusations from the administration of US President Joe Biden of involvement in cyber attacks on Ukrainian government websites.
« ;Russia has nothing to do with the mentioned events and, in principle, has never carried out and does not conduct “malicious” operations in the virtual space»,— assured in the diplomatic mission.
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Russia does not intend to voluntarily close diplomatic missions in European countries, said Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, RIA Novosti reports.
“This is not in our tradition. Therefore, we believe that the work of diplomatic missions is important, — he answered a question about such a possibility against the backdrop of Western sanctions.
At the same time, Grushko emphasized that Moscow did not start a “diplomatic war, a campaign of expulsions.”
The material is being supplemented .
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Photo: Video still
The EU needs to regain its food independence and reassess its production strategy. This was stated by French President Emmanuel Macron.
According to the head of the French state, this reassessment is necessary against the backdrop of events in Ukraine. Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, led, according to Macron, to the destabilization of food supplies.
To ensure Europe's food sovereignty, Macron said, EU countries need to reassess their production strategy. He made this conclusion while speaking at a conference on the future of Europe. This event was held in Strasbourg at the European Parliament.
The Russian military also intercepted three Ukrainian Tochka-U ballistic missiles and nine Smerch multiple rocket launchers in the Kharkiv region, Konashenkov said
View of the building of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
Russian aviation struck at a railway station in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine and destroyed a large batch of weapons from the United States and Europe, said Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
“As a result of the strikes, up to 280 nationalists were killed, 48 pieces of weapons and military equipment were disabled.” ,— he claims.
At the request of Roskomnadzor, RBC provides data on the details of the military operation in Ukraine based on information from Russian official sources.
According to him, Russian air defense systems intercepted three Ukrainian Tochka-U missiles overnight. and nine rockets of the Smerch multiple launch rocket system over the city of Izyum in the Kharkiv region. The military also shot down nine Ukrainian drones over the Kharkiv and Kherson regions, as well as over the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic.
In addition, the Russian Aerospace Forces hit five areas of concentration of manpower and military equipment, as well as an ammunition depot in the DPR.
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The United States, the EU and other countries began to supply weapons to Ukraine even before the start of the Russian military operation. The Russian side stated that it could consider shipments of foreign weapons on the territory of the country as its legitimate military goals, and called on the United States and NATO to stop deliveries to Kyiv.
Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, for his part, noted that the Western weapons cannot “stop the advance” and will not prevent Russia from achieving the goals of the special operation.
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The publication reports on measures within the sixth package of EU sanctions.
The international publication Bloomberg, which refers to the draft proposal of the European Commission, reports that the EC intends to ban any transactions of both individuals and legal entities of the Russian Federation with real estate in the EU.
In addition, according to the media , it is planned to introduce a ban on the transfer of property, the rights to which cannot be delegated to residents and companies registered in Russia.
They will also not be able to sell and acquire real estate, which is located on the territory of the EU countries, in the property,
The same applies to actions with “parts of collective investments”, which are banned.
All measures will be included in the sixth package of sanctions, which may be introduced by the EU this week.
As Topnews wrote earlier, the EU intends to expand restrictive measures against Russia.
According to the head of the European Committee Ursula von der Leyen, it is planned to phase out Russian oil completely.
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Weekly “Argumenty i Fakty” No. 18. With entry into cash. Will ATMs dispense money? 04/05/2022
Scientific Director of the Hydrometeorological Center, Honored Meteorologist of Russia Roman Vilfand told Arguments and Facts where the early fires came from, what to expect from floods and special operations.
“AiF”: — Roman Mendelevich, what will the summer be like?
Roman Vilfand: — Let me remind you that such long-term forecasts — It's definitely a thankless task. But still I will say that so far we predict a comfortable summer in temperate latitudes with temperatures near and above normal. There will be frequent periods of hot, dry weather followed by periods of heavy rainfall.
— The fires started early this year , and Does mean more burns than usual?
— The situation with fire danger in a number of regions is not at all simple. This year, a high fire danger was already predicted in advance in the Asian part of the country and in some other regions. The fire danger is especially strong in the east of the Stavropol Territory, things are slightly better in Dagestan, in the Irkutsk region, in the Transbaikalia. The threat of fires in the Amur region, in Buryatia, in the south of the Khabarovsk Territory, in fact, in the entire Asian part of the country. In all these regions, there was little snow in winter, it melted very quickly, there is traditionally little precipitation, and this year it has fallen even less than the norm. Therefore, the soil is parched and the conditions for a fire hazard exist. But the reason is not only in the prevailing natural conditions. People also, alas, “help.” Because many people still have an opinion about the incredible benefits of last year's grass, this dry grass burns. That if the reason forest is often purely natural, then in landscape fires, then there fields, man is always to blame.
By the way, in almost the entire European part of the country, the situation is completely different. Here the soil is well moistened, because the winter was snowy. That that even if there is hot weather without rain, capillary moisture will come from highly moistened soil, and there are no prerequisites for fires here.
&mdash ; There was a lot of snow, but floods passed without consequences?
In the center, in the west, in the south of European Russia, the floods have almost passed. But at the same time, in the dangerous flood level is predicted in This year, the soil was very weakly frozen, and in many regions in the center of European Russia, in the Moscow region, it did not freeze at all, it was thawed. And this contributed to the fact that the melted snow is absorbed into the soil, does not leave along the catchment area of the riverbed, as is the case with a large depth of soil freezing.
Therefore, there were no significant flood conditions. But in April a lot of snow fell, in Moscow the snow depth was 21 cm, for example, and the soil was no longer able to absorb additional moisture. That's why the water is now rising in parts of the rivers.
And in the north, the flood is still ahead. It is predicted in May of a normal, moderate level. A difficult situation is predicted in the great Siberian rivers: both the Lena and Yenisei. But that's yet to come. We will warn of the possibility of potentially dangerous situations.
— Snowywinter gives hopefor a good harvest this year?
— There are winter and spring crops. Winter crops overwintered very well, winter even contributed to the fact that in many regions where not very good conditions were observed even during the sowing autumn, they improved. Winter crops give 45-50% of the total gross harvest. Since the soil moisture is good, it means that the sowing of spring crops will also be quite successful. So, as they say, the harvest prospects are good.
— There are fewer planes flying over Europe, is it good for the environment?
— Aircraft pollution is not the most serious. The main problem — is the use of fuel. And now, when environmental issues in the world have somewhat moved aside, it can be stated that this year will not be the best for combating the consequences of climate warming.
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US General Christopher Cavoli has been appointed the new commander of NATO forces in Europe. This was announced by the head of the US Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, CNN reports.
In his new position, Cavoli will replace Tod Walters, who served in this post for three years. Cavoli's appointment to the post was signed by US President Joe Biden with NATO approval.
According to CNN, approximately 100,000 NATO troops from all services deployed in Europe will be under Cavoli's leadership when he officially takes office.
Cavoli was born to an Italian-American family, his father was a US Army officer. Raised in Rome, he joined the US Army in 1987. Currently he is the commander of the US Army in Europe and Africa. He holds an MA in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University. Fluent in Russian, Italian and French.
Against the backdrop of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on April 10 that the alliance is working on plans to send permanent and full-scale military forces to the eastern borders to protect against a possible attack from Moscow. NATO is now “in the midst of a fundamental transformation,” he explained. As part of this process, the forces of the alliance on its eastern borders will be strengthened so that they can “repel an attempt to invade the territory of member states, such as Estonia or Latvia,” Stoltenberg pointed out.
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In addition, after the start of a special operation in Ukraine, the authorities of Sweden and Finland announced their desire to apply for membership in the alliance. The Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, citing sources in the ruling party, indicated that Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson plans to apply in early June. In early April, Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin said that Helsinki would decide the issue of joining NATO within nine weeks.
Russia has repeatedly opposed NATO expansion. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the Swedish and Finnish authorities should be aware of the consequences of accession for “bilateral relations and the European security architecture in general, which is now in a state of crisis.” Also in Russia, NATO was accused of “combat management”; in Ukraine.
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Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Medvedev: Ukraine “sits on the neck” of European sponsors Medvedev also warned the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and other countries after the Hungarian Prime Minister Orban was included in the Peacemaker database as an “anti-Ukrainian propagandist.” “Beware. You, too, are under suspicion! — he noted
Kyiv would like to receive gas from Europe and supply its own electricity there, which is generated in large volumes. At the end of February, Ukrenergo asked residents of the country not to save electricity because of its surplus
Ukraine can help European countries with electricity supplies, in exchange the country expects to receive financial assistance or gas, relevant discussions among the competent departments have already are underway, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an interview with Polish journalists. The video was published in his Telegram channel.
“We will be happy to give the opportunity not to depend on Russia and to provide electric energy, and, on the other hand, we can, on mutual friendly relations, receive an insufficient amount of gas for us, for example, from Europe. Give electricity— get gas»,— said the Ukrainian leader.
As examples of potential recipients of Ukrainian electricity, Zelensky named Greece, Moldova and Romania, noting that many countries could become them.
According to him, in Ukraine “a very large” generation of electricity at nuclear power plants, the issue of its supply to European countries is already being worked out. “Our ministers and all the relevant leaders of various oil and gas companies began to communicate,” — said the President of Ukraine, noting that as long as hostilities continue and the associated difficulties persist, this issue will not develop quickly.
“We have a financial deficit today. Today we have somewhere €5-7 billion per month. This is something that is not enough just for wages. And so we also need the generation of this money,»,— Zelensky emphasized.
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On the night of February 24, Ukrenergo announced the complete disconnection of Ukraine from the Russian and Belarusian energy systems. This happened as part of the tests of our own power system, isolated from the systems of Russia and Belarus, the purpose of which was to prepare for synchronization with the ENTSO-E power system of Europe.
Four days later, on February 28, Ukrenergo urged Ukrainians to consume more electricity and not save, explaining that since the beginning of the Russian special operation, the level of consumption has fallen by 27%, because of which “three nuclear power units and two conventional ones have stopped working.” In addition, the energy company pointed out that twice as much coal had accumulated in the warehouses of the TPP than a year earlier— 733 thousand tons against 376 thousand tons.
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German Chancellor Scholz wrote in an article that “Vladimir Putin's actions are directed against everything that constitutes democracy.” Medvedev considered his material “mediocre” and added that such an approach would not help him go down in history
Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev called “mediocre” article by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for Welt.
“The article is mediocre, the slogans are the same: we have democracy, and Putin and the Russians are to blame for everything <…> I wrote so that the SPD [Social Democratic Party of Germany] would not be suspected of sympathizing with Russia. And the rating itself is falling and inflation is prohibitive. Therefore, the Russians are to blame, of course,»— he wrote in Telegram.
According to Medvedev, such an approach will not help Scholz go down in history and become better than the “beloved by the Germans” former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“The caliber of Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt or Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle is a thing of the past. Europe is shrinking»,— concluded the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia.
Earlier, Scholz published an article in the newspaper Welt, in which he stated that “Vladimir Putin's actions are directed against everything that constitutes democracy.”
In his opinion, the Russian side “opposes freedom, equality before the law, self-determination, human dignity”, while the democratic countries of the world, according to Scholz, are now united.
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At the end of March, Medvedev stated that relations between Russia and Western countries are currently worse than during the Cold War period, since at that time the Western countries “did not try with such a degree of fury to bring the situation in the Soviet Union to the boiling point».
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Photo: Still from video
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky proposed to European countries a scheme for exchanging electricity for gas. His words were heard in an interview with a Polish TV channel.
Zelensky explained this by the fact that a large amount of electricity is produced in Ukraine, which will allow European countries not to depend on Russia.
The Ukrainian leader cited Greece as an example , Moldova and Romania as countries that can receive electricity in exchange for gas.
Details of Russian gas supplies to European countries have become known.
The American edition of Bloomberg reports that at least 10 companies from Europe purchasing Russian natural gas have opened accounts to pay for blue fuel in rubles.
According to the agency, four companies paid for Russian gas in rubles.
In its material, the publication refers to a source close to “Gazprom”.
The next gas payments are expected on May 15.
According to media reports, Poland and Bulgaria are left without gas, which was called blackmail in the European Union.
Austria initially decided to pay in rubles, and then announced that it was paying in euros through opening an account with “Gazprombank&# 8221;.
Recall that at the end of March, Russian President Vladimir Putin determined a new procedure for paying for gas.
“Unfriendly” buyers are ordered to make payments in Russian rubles.
Under the new scheme, such countries will transfer funds to “Gazprombank” in foreign currency, and he will acquire rubles on the stock exchange, and then transfer them to accounts in rubles. Then they will pay for blue fuel.
According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, buyers will continue to pay in euros, as specified in the contracts, but the final payment will go to “Gazprom” in rubles.
Earlier, TopNews wrote that “Gazprom” warned Bulgaria about the cessation of gas supplies.
Access to blue fuel, as expected, will end on April 27.
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An expert in the field of strategic weapons from China, Song Zhongping, said that a war could soon begin, in which the whole of Europe would be drawn.
An expert in the field of strategic weapons from China, Song Zhongping, in an interview with the Global Times, said that a war could soon begin, in which all of Europe would be drawn. It can happen if the parties to the military conflict in Ukraine are delayed with a military solution to the current crisis.
“Russia has made it clear that it cannot lose. Therefore, in the event that both sides of the conflict continue to maintain brutality, the whole of Europe can become a battlefield. Such actions can lead to great disasters for Europe and the whole world,” Zhongping said.
He added that at the moment, America has already made Ukraine a member of NATO. This happened thanks to the great support from the United States, in particular – the supply of various weapons.
Earlier it was reported that the representative of the People's Liberation Army of China Shi K protested to the American side because of the passage of the missile destroyer USS Sampson through the Taiwan Strait .
At the personal request of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, mobile billboards will be sent to Western European cities as part of the campaign Stop Russia Now.
As Kommersant reported, Morawiecki himself will travel to Germany and other countries to remind him of the situation in Ukraine every hour. Promotions will be supported in social networks. The billboards will be sent to Austria, France and Italy.
Earlier it became known that since the beginning of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, Poland has supplied arms worth $1.6 billion to the republic.
Photo source: video screenshot.
It has become fashionable in Europe to revise the results of the Second World War, whitewash the ideology of Nazism and present the Third Reich as the forerunner of the current “United Europe”. This happens because an unbeaten generation has come to power on the continent.
As political scientist Yevgeny Satanovsky clarified in his TG channel, it did not fight, did not rebuild destroyed Europe after the war. For the most part, they are self-confident and pompous to the extreme petty bureaucrats and party functionaries.
“Russia is a native and primitive country for them, which they do not hide. That is why they behave the way they do. So, on the one hand, Ukraine must fight until victory over the Russians (!), For which she will receive all the weapons she needs. On the other hand, we must show mercy and compassion to the local Nazis and foreign mercenaries fighting in their ranks, allowing them to escape through humanitarian corridors,” the expert wrote.
Moscow is allegedly obliged to negotiate with European officials according to their rules. When this does not happen, they begin to resent. Satanovsky mockingly noted that these people, with a heightened sense of their own importance and personal superiority, are not able to understand that they are not the ultimate truth for everyone.
It's hard to get used to, but you have to. After all, this is just the beginning, Satanovsky concluded.
See also: “Satanovsky commented on Scholz’s intention to prevent Russia from winning in Ukraine”
Europe should prepare for a possible cessation of gas supplies, save it and fill storage, says the head of the European Department of the IMF, Alfred Kammer /3/56/756506637673563.jpg” alt=”The IMF called the term for the refusal of Russian gas without consequences for Europe” />
European countries will be able to do without Russian gas for six months, but after that their economies will face serious consequences, Alfred Kammer, head of the European department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told AFP. He urged European countries to reduce gas consumption in order to build up stocks in UGS facilities.
“During the first six months, Europe can cope with such shutdown (with the help of) alternative sources (and) use of stocks of existing storage facilities”,— Cummer said (RFI radio quote).
If the withdrawal of Russian gas continues for a longer time, for example, until next winter, Europe will face a significant impact of such a decision on its economy, he added. The International Monetary Fund predicts that a complete shutdown of gas supplies from Russia could cost the EU economy 3% of GDP, depending on how severe next winter is.
The Dutch government announced on April 22 that it plans to by the end of the year to stop the consumption of Russian gas. The Dutch authorities are planning to do this with the help of energy saving, more environmentally friendly policies and significant imports from different countries.
“In this way, the Netherlands will be able to fully save or replace the Russian share of its gas by the end of the year,” — cites a Reuters government statement.
The share of gas in the energy sector of the Netherlands is 44%, Russia's share in its supplies to the country— about 15%, the agency writes, citing government data.
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At the same time, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said that Prague cannot refuse gas from Russia at the moment.
“For the Czech Republic, this would be practically impossible or extremely difficult at the moment. As for our dependence on Russian gas, it is over 90%. But we will do our best to get rid of it as soon as possible,— said Fiala in an interview with Prazsky denik newspaper.
Since the beginning of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, the EU countries have been discussing the possibility of reducing dependence on Russian energy carriers. A number of countries, including those heavily dependent on such supplies— Germany, Austria and Hungary oppose the embargo. The Baltic countries have already announced that they will no longer buy gas from Russia.
Russia is the EU's largest supplier, providing 40% of gas, more than a quarter of oil imports and almost half of all coal supplies. So far, Brussels has decided to reduce only coal imports from Russia by imposing appropriate sanctions.
The US and the EU are now negotiating various options for limiting Russian oil imports, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the discussion. Washington fears that a full oil embargo could drive up prices and “increase the Kremlin's revenue.” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier that such a decision could deal a strong blow to the European economy without having a similar effect on the Russian one.
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The countries of the Old World are trying to cope with the shortage of energy resources
The EU members confirmed the possibility of paying for the supply of “blue fuel” from our country in Russian currency. Thus, the states of the continent actually agreed with the ultimatum of Vladimir Putin, who shifted the Western coalition to re-register the payment for hydrocarbon supplies into rubles. True, the recalculation system will turn out to be quite cunning: money for the export of energy resources will go to special accounts that allow the supplier to purchase specific, but far from needed products.
Paying for Russian gas in rubles is a violation of EU sanctions. This decision, according to Reuters, was made by the European Commission. True, at the same time, the top representatives of the diplomacy of the Old World made a reservation: gas deals with Russia do not exclude a scheme of transactions by which buyers will be able to pay for energy resources in dollars or euros to the accounts of Russian financial organizations “for subsequent conversion into rubles under existing contracts.”
In other words, European consumers of Russian energy resources have secured a legal cut blanche for themselves: on the one hand, most Western countries, coupled with the fifth package of anti-Russian sanctions, cannot afford to pay for gas imports from our country, which provides from 30% to 100% of the fuel consumption of the countries of the Old World , directly in rubles; on the other hand, the Europeans allowed themselves conditional disregard for this ultimatum.
For understanding, it is necessary to explain that after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine and the imposition of additional sanctions against our country by the West, including the freezing of Western accounts of Russian state banks, President Vladimir Putin demanded that foreign contractors pay for the supply of energy resources, oil and gas, in rubles. Such castling should help support the national currency and slow down domestic inflation.
“At first, the transition to rubles in payments for Russian gas exports was categorically not approved by the governments of the countries of the Old World. Then some states, such as Serbia and Slovakia, offered to find a compromise. Despite the loud statements of European officials, the transition to a new financial scheme is quite possible. The European energy ball is mainly run not by political demagogues, but by large commercial organizations interested in the ultimate profit. No one is going to wait for the final completion of political disagreements between Russian suppliers and Western officials: it is beneficial for both parties to purchase Russian pipeline raw materials,” said Sergey Severov, investment strategist at Arikapital Management Company.
At the same time, as stressed by the financial expert Mikhail Belyaev, the transfer of funds for the supply of energy resources to formal bank accounts is fraught with new restrictions. “Europe will not allow paying with “fuel” money the requests of the Russian industry for new, modern technologies, software, components for the automotive industry. The choice for imports from Russia may be limited to the “formal office”, which is far from being in the first place in demand in the ordinary life of Russians. Russia will have to import jeans and sneakers for oil and gas billions, which Europeans can resell through Asian manufacturers. Russia needs to achieve a shift in real imports, and correspondent accounts, which will have billions of dollars that cannot be spent on economic development, will again turn out to be ballast, ”the MK interlocutor believes.
Photo: Gennady Cherkasov
Head of the European Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Alfred Kammer called the period during which Europe will be able to do without of Russian gas during its complete shutdown.
“Within the next six months,” the France Press agency reports Kammer.
At the same time, he noted that if the shutdown lasted until winter or longer, then it would have “significant negative consequences” for the European economy.
He advised to look for alternative sources of supply, and the population to learn to reduce energy consumption so that gas could be accumulated and mitigate the effect of it possible shutdown.
Sanctions against Russia are illegal, European countries will have to compensate for the damage they have caused to the country's economy, Vyacheslav Volodin believes. According to him, it's only “a matter of time”
The damage caused by the sanctions of European countries to the Russian economy will have to be compensated, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin believes. He wrote about it in Telegram.
According to him, European countries that are still thinking about paying for Russian gas in rubles should remember that sanctions against Russia are illegal. “We will return to this topic later and consider the damage that you have done to our economy. You will have to compensate anyway. How and when— a matter of time»,— said the speaker of the State Duma.
Volodin also pointed out that Russia has somewhere to redirect energy supplies. “Especially as partners you are nothing. You constantly steal gas reserves, actually taking money from the country's budget, which means from our citizens. Emphasize that you will look for other suppliers in the future. Thus, put an end to long-term relationships,»,— he added.
In late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that involves the introduction of a new scheme for gas payments with European countries. This scheme involves the obligatory opening of a ruble account in a Russian bank, from which energy supplies must be paid from April 1.
The decision was made after the United States and the European Union imposed sanctions against Russia due to Russia's special operation in Ukraine, which imply the freezing of gold and foreign exchange reserves and restrictions on transactions in dollars and euros. If energy buyers do not comply with the requirement to open ruble accounts, then Russia will consider this “a default on the part of the buyer with all the ensuing consequences,” the president said.
The G7 countries said they consider the requirement to pay in rubles for Russian gas supplies unacceptable. In particular, they said that Moscow's demand violates the rules of existing contracts, the leaders of France, Germany, as well as Alfred Stern, director of the Austrian OMV, one of the main partners of Gazprom; in Europe.
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Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov on April 18 refused to disclose which countries nevertheless agreed buy gas for rubles.
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Plot World History with Andrey Sidorchik
For eight years from 2014 to 2022, European countries did not make real efforts to peacefully resolve the crisis in Ukraine within the framework of the Minsk agreements. But now an incredible amount of teachings and threats against Russia is flying.
“Did they defeat us too?”
In particular, the Europeans decided to teach the Russians the correct understanding of the terms “Nazism”; and “genocide”. «This war is not a fight against Nazism, it is a lie», — French President Emmanuel Macron announced in one of his speeches.
Legend has it that the representatives of the Wehrmacht, who arrived at the ceremony of signing the unconditional surrender, were surprised to see the French. “Did these guys also defeat us?” — the losers asked rudely.
Regrettably for the French, there was a lot of truth in this surprise. On May 15, 1940, French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud telephoned Winston Churchill in London, declaring: “We have been defeated… They are rushing into the gap with tanks and armored vehicles.” Churchill tried to calm Reynaud, but he kept repeating like a clockwork: “No, we are beaten, we lost the battle.”
On June 22, 1940, the Compiegne Armistice was signed, according to which 60 percent of the country's territory, including Paris and the entire Atlantic coast, became the occupation zone of Germany. The French army was to disarm and hand over heavy weapons to the German troops. It was envisaged to maintain minimal formations to maintain order, the number of which was to be determined by Germany and Italy. The French navy was to be demobilized and placed in ports under the supervision of the occupying forces. France was also entrusted with the obligation to maintain German troops on its territory. France handed over to the Reich all German prisoners of war, while French soldiers had to remain in POW camps until the end of hostilities in Western Europe. In addition, France was obliged to extradite to the Reich the citizens of Germany who were on its territory, who were indicated by the German command.
“Legion of French volunteers against Bolshevism”
The so-called Vichy France has become a real satellite of the Third Reich. In the Soviet years in our country they preferred to talk about the Normandie squadron — Neman» and the resistance movement, without specifying that the number of those French who supported Hitler in the period from 1940 to 1944 was dozens of times greater than the number of those who fought Nazism.
According to the NKVD of the USSR, a total of 23,136 French were in Soviet captivity. We are talking about those who directly participated in the battles against the Red Army.
There is no question of any bondage. Immediately after the German attack on the USSR, on the initiative of a number of French political parties and with the approval of the authorities of the Third Reich, the Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism was formed. As part of the Wehrmacht, it was called the 638th Infantry Regiment, but, curiously, its fighters fought … under the banner of France.
Another noteworthy fact for “French pride” — The 638th Infantry Regiment was the only foreign unit in the Wehrmacht that advanced on Moscow in 1941.
morale, but the level of their combat training is low. The sergeants, in general, are not bad, but they do not show activity, since the senior staff does not show efficiency. The officers are not capable of much and were clearly recruited on a purely political basis.
Due to heavy losses, the “Legion against Bolshevism” taken to the rear for retraining and reorganization.
Punishers and SS men: the dark pages of the “Gallic roosters”
Can you fall even lower? Can. After retraining and replenishment in 1942, the French battalions were placed at the disposal of the Wehrmacht security divisions on the territory of the Byelorussian SSR. Modern Parisian historians write that the formations were used for “anti-partisan actions”, but it would be more correct to call it otherwise — French soldiers played the role of punishers.
Belarusian partisans, however, did not breed politeness, sending immigrants from French lands to the other world as diligently as all other Nazis and their accomplices.
In the summer of 1944, the Legion Against Bolshevism, completely worn out by losses, poured into the new division — 7th SS Grenadier Brigade Charlemagne.
In general, the French were recruited into the SS on an individual basis from 1942, and from 1943 recruitment points in France operated under the auspices of the government in Vichy. In August 1943, a French SS regiment was created, and in the fall of 1944, a whole brigade of French SS men was recruited. In February 1945, Charlemagne was reorganized into an SS division.
And here again the historical parallels: according to the documents, for the first time the French SS battalion collided with the Red Army during the fighting … near Lvov. Here the Nazis noted the special zeal and combat effectiveness of the French, but it cost them very dearly — in a month of fighting in the summer of 1944, the French SS battalion lost up to 90 percent of its personnel killed and wounded. did not let up.
The Iron Cross and the absence of regret: the career of the French Hauptsturmführer Fehne
Historical fact — in the last days of the defense of Berlin in the Reichstag area, a combined hodgepodge of Finnish, Danish, Norwegian and French SS men fiercely defended, and collaborators showed much more zeal than the Germans themselves.
April 29, 1945, French Hauptsturmführer Henri Joseph Fene received the Iron Cross for valor in the battles for Berlin.
Fene was taken alive, and this is how he recalled it: “We were herded to the damaged Brandenburg Gate, where we stood and looked with a heavy heart at the parade of winners — hundreds and hundreds of tanks adorned with red flags. We were crushed. It was a complete disaster. We were erased, thrown into the abyss of insignificance and impenetrable darkness … When the Russians moved the camp to the east, they decided not to take me with them, and I returned to France. “You will suffer a punishment worthy of traitors!“ Such a poster met me at the border».
Kara, however, turned out to be a kind of — Fene, sentenced to 22 years in prison, was released after three and a half years. Moreover, he claimed that they met him as a hero: “On the day of my release, the entire administration of the prison gathered, and they offered me champagne. The town priest arrived in his little “Citroen” and waited for me at the gate. They were all sincerely glad to see me free.
In France, they “understood and forgave” me. earlier than in Ukraine
Fenet lived until 2002, regularly held meetings with French colleagues at Charlemagne, at which the SS men proudly posed with the Iron Crosses received from the Third Reich. The Hauptsturmführer willingly gave interviews to the media, in which he stated that he did not regret anything, and he was not ashamed of anything at all.
The truth is that the justification and rehabilitation of French collaborators, including the SS, began much earlier than in Ukraine. But it was furnished with the elegance inherent in the French, and it’s not so noticeable to us from the outside.
Deputy head of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev commented on the statement of the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who expressed her opinion about the inevitability of a default Russia. Medvedev outlined his vision of the situation and criticism of von der Leyen on the social network, starting the post with the phrase “semantic hallucinations.”
“European aunt Ursula began to actively issue texts …” – writes Medvedev.
According to him, “their main meaning is no longer about suffering”, the resolution of the situation in Ukraine and the like, but about the collapse of the Russian economy.
“Here what is the deep strategy of the European Union, the secret intention of the masochists, – continues Medvedev. – Only two obvious points. Russia's default may turn into Europe's default…"
Medvedev believes that “Europe's default” can be simultaneously “moral” and “material” that “the EU's financial system is not entirely stable” and that “people's trust is falling.” He recalled the period of his presidency: “And it didn't shake so much even in the memorable 2008, and then it was very difficult.”
The second “moment” according to Medvedev – “wait for the powerful gratitude of ordinary Europeans for hyperinflation”, also “for the lack of elementary products” and “for the influx of refugees.” The latter, the author of the post believes, will start riots.
"On the streets of well-groomed European cities, – writes Medvedev, – smelly bonfires from tires will burn in honor of the heroes of Maidan and Velikoï Overcome €Europe!"
Earlier, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that Western sanctions greatly affect the stability of the Russian economy and Russia's default is only a “matter of time”
The EU countries will most likely not find a reasonable replacement for Russian energy resources, since the United States will not be able to quickly increase supplies to the required level, and South American and South African fuels are more expensive
European countries are unlikely to be able to find a “reasonable replacement” for Russian energy resources with the help of supplies from other exporters due to lack of infrastructure, high cost and logistical problems, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak wrote in an article for the Energy Policy magazine.
American producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) have been claiming a significant share of the European market for several years, Novak said. At the end of March, the US and the EU agreed to supply at least 15 billion cubic meters. m of gas during this year, US gas exports to Europe are expected to grow, the vice premier continued.
However, just last year, Russia supplied the European Union with ten times more gas— 156 bcm m, he pointed out. According to Novak, European countries will not be able to quickly increase supplies from the United States due to the lack of the necessary infrastructure.
“The cost of liquefied gas is much higher than pipeline gas from Russia. The factor of reliability remains important. We remember how last fall, due to higher prices in the Asian market, Europe missed a significant amount of LNG,— added the Deputy Prime Minister.
The European Union is also exploring the possibility of energy supplies from Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Algeria, Novak continued, recalling that OPEC had warned that it was impossible to replace supplies from Russia . European states may agree on the supply of coal from South Africa and South America, but experts, he said, are skeptical about the ability of these exporters to provide an acceptable price due to high demand and logistics costs.
“Thus, a reasonable alternative to energy sources from Russia hardly exists today. Taking into account Russia's share in the market, it becomes obvious that without Russian energy resources it is impossible to speak of a guarantee of Europe's energy security, — considers the Deputy Prime Minister.
Read on RBC Pro Pro How Fujifilm outperformed its competitors and passed a dozen crises after March 2022 Articles Pro Telecom lost Western equipment. What awaits Russian companies Articles Pro The company has suspended business in Russia. What to Prepare for Its DirectorEuropean comfort and “fate” their industrial enterprises are entirely dependent on the rationality of the decisions of the leaders of European countries, Novak concluded.
The European states have been discussing the possibility of imposing an embargo on energy imports from Russia since the end of February, searching for alternative suppliers. Washington has already imposed a ban on fuel imports from Russia, London plans to take a similar measure by the end of this year. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the embargo would help “end the bullying by the Kremlin”, noting that the process of cutting off supplies from Russia would not be easy and would cause “hard times”.
The embargo on gas and oil from Russia was not included in the fifth and last package of restrictive measures of the European Union to this day, despite the discussion of this decision. At the same time, the new sanctions imply a ban on the purchase and import of Russian coal, hot shale, peat and other solid fossil fuels.
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