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Tag Archive for Europe

RIA Novosti: Russia Hopes for Positive Outcome of Three-Way Talks on Ukraine’s EU Association – Minister

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BRUSSELS, July 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia hopes that a three-party ministerial meeting to discuss Ukraine’s association with the European Union will produce a positive outcome, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Friday. Ulyukayev, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klymkin and European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht will meet for three-party talks and bilateral

Concern in Russia as foreign tourist numbers slump

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Viktor Kuzmin, special to RBTH – July 3, 2014) Tourist operators in Russia have expressed alarm at a substantial drop in the number of foreign visitors coming to the country in 2014. Key figures in the tourist industry speculate that the fall in tourist numbers may be a

EU Claims Right to Reverse Flow as Russia Protests

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(The Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com - July 4, 2014) EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger on Thursday asserted European companies’ right to sell Russian gas back to Ukraine, flying in the face of warnings from Russian energy giant Gazprom as tensions continue to build over energy policy. Energy companies in the EU have an “absolute right to

Russia’s crack pipe to Europe

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Nicholas Watson, Ben Aris, Tim Gosling, Rob Whitford – June 30, 2014) The growing confrontation between Russia and the West ranges across many fronts, none more significant than in an area of rural northwest Bulgaria, where in October workers began welding pipes that will feed a natural gas compressor

Ukraine, EU sign free trade and association deal in Brussels

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Tim Ash of Standard Chartered – June 27, 2014) This is a landmark agreement for Ukraine, and will be transformational. Poroshenko has indicated that Ukraine aims for EU membership, but this is a long run goal – likely 10-15 years away, if then. Ukraine is realistic, and understanding

RIA Novosti: Candidate Status for Ukraine Difficult to Predict – EU Commissioner

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BRUSSELS, June 27 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s chances of attaining candidate status for membership in the European Union are hard to predict, Stefan Fuele, EU Commissioner for Enlargement said. “We are not at the stage when we could even speculate about the candidate status. We just signed the association agreement, it needs to be ratified,

RIA Novosti: Ukraine, Moldova to Lose Billions over EU Association Deals

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, June 26 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine and Moldova’s struggling economies could face multi-billion-dollar losses after signing association agreements with the European Union, Russian experts warn. “Countries that sign this association [deal] agree to fall in line with all EU directives, standards and technical regulations – and this is at their own expense. Even if

RIA Novosti: Russia-EU Gas Transit Through Ukraine Compliant With Contract – Gazprom

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MOSCOW, June 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s EU-bound gas flows through Ukraine comply with transit contraparameters, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Monday. “The transit of Russian gas through Ukraine is flowing according to contract parameters with a volume over the last 24 hours of around 205 million cubic meters,” Kupriyanov said. Earlier on Monday, reports

Why This Russian-Ukrainian ‘Gas War’ Is Different From The Others

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(RFE/RL – Claire Bigg – June 17, 2014) Russia has halted gas supplies to Ukraine — a major escalation of a dispute in which Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom is demanding that Kyiv settle its huge gas debt. But in many ways, what many have dubbed the third “gas war” between the two countries is

Ukrainian ‘Black Hole’ Weighs Heavy On European Business in Russia

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – June 18, 2014) Politics took front stage at the flagship conference of the Association of European Business, or AEB, on Tuesday, where foreign companies with committed interests in Russia grappled with the economic fallout of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. Business as something relatively immune to political

Gazprom’s EU customers not at risk for now

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(Business New Europe – bne.ru – Teneo Intelligence – June 17, 2014) Following the failure of negotiations on natural gas pricing and debt between Russia and Ukraine last weekend, Russian company Gazprom reduced supply volumes to Ukraine, the main transit country for gas delivered to Gazprom’s EU customers. However, Gazprom continues to deliver contracted amounts

RIA Novosti: Europe Ready to Consider Opal Pipeline For Future Gas Supplies – Gazprom

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MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti) – If Ukraine disrupts Russian gas transit via its territory, the European Commission is ready to negotiate increased deliveries through the Opal pipeline, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Monday. “We have discussed this issue with the European Commission. It is now as follows: if we record problems with transit via

Borderlands: The View Beyond Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Stratfor.com - George Friedman - June 10, 2014)  Editor’s Note: This is the final installment in George Friedman’s recent series written during his journey from the Baltics, through Central and Eastern Europe and then east to Turkey and Azerbaijan. I traveled between Poland and Azerbaijan during a rare period when the forces that shape Europe appear to

NEWSLINK: Russian gas keeps flowing to Ukraine as deadline passes

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["Russian gas keeps flowing to Ukraine as deadline passes" - Reuters - June 10, 2014] Reuters reports that Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and the EU have remained stable, despite the passing of a deadline over disputed Ukrainian gas bills.  Meanwhile, the European Commission continues to broker related negotiations. Natural gas supplies to Ukraine and the European Union

NATO cold shoulder over EuroPRO prompts Russia to find answers

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Viktor Litovkin, special to RBTH – June 10, 2014) The Russian Ministry of Defense has issued a statement questioning Western policy on the development of a European missile defense system (EuroPRO). Russia’s comments came in response to the refusal by the organizers of the 10th International Conference on

Moscow Times: Putin to Take Center Stage Among Western Leaders in Normandy

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 5, 2014) As diplomatic tensions reached a boiling point over Russia’s annexation of Crimea, President Vladimir Putin was rejected in March as host of the Group of Eight summit in Sochi, while his country was excluded altogether from the group of leading industrialized nations. But Putin’s

Russia getting support from European Commission in Ukraine gas talks – Novak

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(Interfax – June 2, 2014) The European Commission has effectively supported the Russian position in the second and third round of talks on payment of Ukraine’s gas debt to Russia, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television. “I consider that the European Commission has behaved quite constructively at these and

Interfax: ODIHR/OSCE praises Ukrainian election, awaits vote counting completion before June 7

File Photo of OSCE Banners

KYIV. May 26 (Interfax) – The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (ODIHR/OSCE) has praised the way the voting process was organized in Ukraine and hopes the vote counting will be completed before June 7. We shall stay here until all the results have been

Medinsky the Media Magnet

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – May 19, 2014) Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky received an honorary fellowship on Thursday a few days late and not quite as planned. The institution doing the honors was Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy, but a planned ceremony in Italy on May 12 was junked at

RIA Novosti: Russia Needs to Rethink EU, NATO Ties – Lavrov

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MOSCOW, May 19 (RIA Novosti) – Relations between Russia, the European Union and NATO need to be fundamentally reconsidered, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday. “We will discuss international affairs, including the European situation, on what is happening in the interrelations between Russia and the EU, what is happening in the NATO-Russia Council in

Gazprom Sees Little Risk Of Disruption To European Energy Supply

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(Oilprice.com – Daniel J. Graeber – May 14, 2014) Russian gas monopoly Gazprom says that despite the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine, the risk to disruption of European energy supplies is “insignificant” because demand is expected to be low during the spring and summer months. In its quarterly report, the company said, “At the moment due

RIA Novosti: EU Embargo on Russian Gas Would be Catastrophic for Eastern Europe – Nexant

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WASHINGTON, May 14 (RIA Novosti) – A complete European embargo on Russian gas imports would lead to an energy catastrophe in eastern European countries, an expert from San-Francisco based Nexant told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. Bulgaria, Macedonia, Slovakia, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina could be completely cut off by Western countries if they no longer serve

Why The Russia-Ukraine Gas Dispute Is Making Europe Worried

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Charles Recknagel – May 7, 2014) The European Union gets about one-third of its natural gas from Russia, and about half of that gas arrives in Europe via pipelines passing through Ukraine. Moscow is threatening to cut off natural-gas deliveries to Ukraine unless Kyiv promptly pays its outstanding bills. And that means the EU could

OSCE officers held in Slovyansk were treated well – head of Ukrainian group of OSCE military mission

File Photo of OSCE Banners

KYIV. May 3 (Interfax) – The OSCE military inspectors held in Slovyansk were treated well and their captors tried to find out what tasks they were fulfilling in the eastern regions of Ukraine, Colonel Ihor Turanskiy, the head of the Ukrainian group of the OSCE military mission and the head of the Verification Department of

The Geneva Agreement – On Paper And On the Ground

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(RFE/RL – April 18, 2014) Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the European Union have reached an agreement in Geneva on a series of steps to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine. We take a look at the key points in the agreement and the steps taken — or not taken — thus far to implement them.

Betrayal of Ukraine in Geneva ‘Worse than Munich,’ Illarionov Says

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 18, 2014) What the US, the EU and Ukraine itself agreed to in Geneva is “worse than Munich” because Kyiv joined in giving international sanction to actions of the Russian aggressor and opening the way for the transformation of the internal arrangements of Ukraine regardless of

RIA Novosti: Moscow Dismisses Russia’s Alleged Threats to Invade Ukraine, Europe as Nonsense

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti) – Statements that Russia allegedly threatens Ukraine and Europe with a military invasion are “nonsense,” Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told Rossiya24 TV channel Wednesday. “All the horror stories that Russia will take over Ukraine today and tomorrow the Russian troops will reach the English Channel, Bordeaux and the Cote

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Why giving up Russian gas is not an option for the EU

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Tatyana Zykova, special to RBTH - April 10, 2014) Despite talk in Europe of reducing dependence on Russian fuel and promises of help from the U.S., for the foreseeable future Russia remains the only country that can supply the EU with an increasing supply of cheap gas. The European

Culture Ministry Affirms ‘Russia is not Europe’

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – April 8, 2014) A state commission working on a much-discussed report titled “Foundations of State Cultural Politics” will release their findings in two weeks, presidential advisor Vladimir Tolstoi announced last week, adding that the basic formula of the report could be summarized as “Russia is not

Over half of Ukrainians aspire to sign EU-Ukraine Association Agreement – poll

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KYIV. April 8 (Interfax) – Most Ukrainian citizens would like the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including establishing a free trade zone, to be signed as quickly as possible but stances as to when this should be done differ. According to the poll held by the Rating sociological group, the results of which Interfax obtained on Tuesday,

Ukraine Says Russian Gas Transit to Europe Under Threat

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BRUSSELS, April 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s set price on gas for Ukraine is unfairly high and is creating a threat of transiting Russian gas to Europe, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said Tuesday. “In this situation, the threat of cutting gas deliveries to Ukraine arises, as well as the threat of cutting transit gas

Gas Replaces Weapons in New Russia-West Standoff

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – April 8, 2014) As the worst standoff since the Cold War emerges, energy and economic diplomacy are the tools the West applies to contain Russia, expecting them to be more effective than military confrontation. Business executives and energy industry analysts, however, were doubtful that these tools had

RIA Novosti: EU Could Lose 1 Trillion Euros From Further Sanctions Against Moscow – Russian Official

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti) – EU financial losses if broad economic sanctions are imposed against Russia could reach a trillion euros, according to Sergei Glazyev, an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “It’s an open question who would sustain greater losses from the sanctions,” Glazyev told the Russian RT TV channel in an interview

RIA Novosti: Opinion: Council of Europe Parliament Softening Stance on Crimean Reunification

File Photo of Council of Europe Headquarters Building with Flags in Front

MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) seems to be gradually softening its stance toward Crimea’s reunification with Russia, the head of the Russian delegation to the assembly told journalists Friday. “There’s been a certain shift in the attitudes of political groups. Some national delegations feel there’s

RIA Novosti: Europe Lacks Realistic Alternative to Russian Energy Supplies – Analyst

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MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s natural gas supplies to the European Union have no practical alternative, a senior energy analyst at the Colorado-based IHS company said Thusday. “The EU’s reliance on Russia to meet approximately 30 percent of its total gas demand means that there is no realistic alternative to European dependence on

Interfax: Europe can’t easily turn back on Russian energy resources – minister

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MOSCOW. April 4 (Interfax) – It would be difficult for Europe to give up Russian energy resources, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with TV channel Rossiya 24. He recalled that statements have been made about reducing the dependence on Russia in future. “And such work is being done in the European Union,

The Hague Declaration

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – For Immediate Release – March 24, 2014) 1. We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission met in The Hague to reaffirm our support for

From Estonia to Azerbaijan: American Strategy After Ukraine

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Stratfor.com – Geopolitical Weekly – George Friedman – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 – 03:08) As I discussed last week, the fundamental problem that Ukraine poses for Russia, beyond a long-term geographical threat, is a crisis in internal legitimacy. Russian President Vladimir Putin has spent his time in power rebuilding the authority of the Russian state within

Ukraine-EU Pact Signals Step Towards NATO – Russian Ministry Source

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MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti) – The signing of a political pact between Ukraine and the European Union is a hasty step which points to the prospect of closer military ties between Kiev and NATO, a Russian foreign ministry source said Monday. “The political provisions of the association deal pave the way for further entrenchment

Russia says close to agreement on OSCE monitors for Ukraine

File Photo of OSCE Banners

Reuters reports on statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe is close to reaching an arrangement to send observers to Ukraine: ‘We have already practically agreed a draft decision’ on an observer mission, Lavrov told President Vladimir Putin in televised remarks, adding that observers would be

Mistakes in some arguments given for Russia’s action [re: Ukraine]

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Subject:  Mistakes in some arguments given for Russia’s action Date:     Fri, 14 Mar 2014 From:   Ira Straus IRASTRAUS@aol.com Mistakes in some arguments given for Russia’s action By Ira Straus U.S. Coordinator Committee on Eastern Europe and Russia in NATO A. The imagined NATO threat It is argued that the EU association agreement was a step

Statement of G-7 Leaders on Ukraine

File Photo of G8 Heads of State Outdoors in 2013

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – For Immediate Release – March 12, 2014) We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, call on the Russian Federation to cease all efforts to

UKRAINE ONLINE POLL: What would be Ukraine’s best course to follow?

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[poll originally posted in late 2013] We would like to hear your opinion about unfolding events in Ukraine and welcome your participation in the following poll. Visitors can vote for up to three choices, and generally can vote once each day.  There also as an option to “fill in the blank.” After you have made

Gazprom Captures Largest-Ever Share of European Gas Market

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 19, 2014) State-owned gas giant Gazprom captured its largest-ever share of the European and Turkish gas market last year, supplying 30 percent of the continent’s needs, as compared to 26 percent in 2012. The Russian export monopoly sent 162.7 billion cubic meters of gas westward in 2013, and beat

Report on EU Corruption Could Spur Russian Recrimination

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – February 5, 2014) A report declaring that not a single member of the European Union is corruption-free will likely be taken as political vindication in Russia, a representative from Transparency International Russia said. The report, which was released by the European Commission on Monday and examined corruption

What integration with the EU means for Putin

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Stanislav Tkachenko, special to RBTH – February 4, 2014) The Russian president’s proposal to establish a free trade zone between the EU, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus – made at the recent EU-Russia summit – signals a major shift in Russian foreign policy. Stanislav Tkachenko is the head of

Interfax: Moscow concerned by EU demand to bring South Stream agreements in line with Third Energy Package – Lavrov

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Interfax – February 3, 2014) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has expressed concern over statements by European Union representatives that inter-governmental agreements between Russia and South Stream project participants should be brought in line with the requirements of the Third Energy Package. “We are bewildered and concerned by Brussels’ statements about the need to review

No decisions, but progress at EU-Russia summit

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolay Surkov, RBTH – January 29, 2014) Two sides move towards new partnership agreement despite low expectations for recent meeting. Despite pessimistic forecasts going into the latest EU-Russia summit, the two sides were able to discuss their differences, and demonstrated their willingness to pursue further dialogue on key

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Russia-EU Summit

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(Kremlin.ru – January 28, 2014) Vladimir Putin took part in the Russia-EU summit meeting. The Russian President had a private meeting with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. The meeting was at the EU’s initiative. The meeting continued in a working lunch format with participation by the delegations’

PACE Threatens European Magnitsky Act

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – January 29, 2014) The Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe, or PACE, voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to approve a resolution critical of Russia for its handling of the investigation into the death of Sergei Magnitsky, over the fierce objections of Russian lawmakers present for the vote.

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