Tag Archives: Europe

Europe Isn’t Really Worried About Putin

Europe Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – February 26, 2015) [Chart here http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-02-26/europe-isn-t-really-worried-about-putin?cmpid=yhoo] For all the alarmist rhetoric about Russian barbarians at the gate, NATO countries are reluctant to put their money where their mouth is. Only the countries closest to Russia’s borders are increasing their military spending this year, while other, bigger ones are making cuts. Regardless of what […]

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TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO: Remarks by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs: “Unity in Challenging Times: Building on Transatlantic Resolve”

Victoria Nuland file photo

State Department transcript [of prepared remarks – click here for PDF of uncorrected transcript including Q&A]  Remarks by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs: “Unity in Challenging Times: Building on Transatlantic Resolve” Brookings Institution Washington, DC January 27, 2015 As prepared View more details on Brookings.edu Thanks, Fiona, for that introduction and thanks to Brookings for […]

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Interfax: Terrorism in Europe rooted in Middle East policy – diplomat

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 18 (Interfax) – The ongoing surge of terrorism in Europe is rooted in the European policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department on New Threats and Challenges Ilya Rogachev said. “This is a consequence of the policy, including that of the Europeans, in the Middle East and North Africa,” he […]

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Business New Europe: Putin’s vision – building a Greater Europe by 2050

Europe Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – February 13, 2015) The situation in the heart of Europe looks pretty bleak at the moment. A shaky ceasefire deal is supposed to take effect on February 15, but many of the substantive elements of a deal that would allow all sides to walk back from a […]

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From a Munich in Moscow to a Munich in Minsk — How Europe has Come to Putin’s Aid

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 12, 2015) In the 1930s, Hitler pursued a simple policy: he simply said one thing and did another. Putin has innovated: he not only lies but uses forces to do his bidding for which no one holds him responsible and thus has the chance to be accepted by some in the […]

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Business New Europe: NATO ramps up presence in Eastern Europe

NATO meeting file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – February 6, 2015) Nato has agreed to establish a new rapid reaction force, boost its troops in Poland and Romania, and establish six command and control centres in Central and Southeast Europe as part of the alliance’s response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine. According to Nato’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Gazprom throws down the gauntlet to Europe over gas supplies via Turkey

Gas Facility file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – January 19, 2015) Russian gas giant Gazprom says Europe must build a new pipeline from Turkey if it wants to secure energy supplies via its new route that cuts out Ukraine. Russia had been intending to supply gas to Europe that bypassed Ukraine through South Stream, which was to […]

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Business New Europe: It’s time for a new pan-European Security treaty

Europe Map

(Business New Europe PERSPECTIVE – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – January 13, 2015) We are in the middle of the worst political crisis since the end of the Cold War and there is a very real, albeit still remote, possibility of war in Europe. Without attempting a detailed analysis of how we got here, in the broadest brush […]

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Putin Signs New Military Doctrine: Core Elements Unchanged

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 2 – Roger McDermott – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – January 6, 2015) President Vladimir Putin has introduced a new Military Doctrine in the context of the Ukraine crisis, deteriorating relations with the United States, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as shifts within the international security environment. […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian senator calls for new security architecture in Europe

Europe Map

(RIA Novosti – December 30, 2014) The head of the Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, has called for the start of a dialogue on forming a European security architecture on new principles, without national egoism, RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya) reported on 30 December. “It is in our common interests to […]

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Russia’s Increasing Alienation from West ‘Only Partially’ Result of Putin’s Actions, Bunin and Makarkin Say

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 19, 2014) Many in Moscow and the West believe that Vladimir Putin bears complete responsibility for the breakdown in relations between Russia, on the one hand, and Europe and the United States, on the other, and thus they believe that if he changes course or is replaced, a more positive partnership […]

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Russia’s Cities Becoming Less Moscow- and Russia-Centric, New Studies Find

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 13, 2014) Two studies about how residents of Russia’s cities feel about where they live and identify themselves suggest that the residents of Russian cities away from the core of the country are ever less focused on Moscow as the center of their lives and identify instead either with their own […]

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Interfax: Medvedev: Russia is part of Europe but also eyeing Asia

Eurasia Map

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has disagreed with the opinion that Russia is not part of European civilization. “There is no doubt that Russia is part of Europe and European civilization and there is nothing to add here. I have always said so and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has said so too,” Medvedev said in an […]

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End Of South Stream: Winners & Losers

Black Sea Satellite Photo file image

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – December 02, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin rarely makes an uncalculated gesture or concedes defeat. So his announcement on December 1 that Russian energy giant Gazprom was pulling out of plans to build the South Stream natural gas pipeline to southeastern Europe took many by surprise. Russia had long sought a direct route […]

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Interfax: Russia’s decision not to build South Stream increases Ukrainian gas transport system’s role – Ukrainian minister

Gas Flame file photo

(Interfax – December 3, 2014) The Ukrainian gas transport system’s role has grown with Russia’s decision to stop the construction of the South Stream pipeline, says Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yury Prodan. “Surely, if there is no South Stream, our gas transport system’s role is increasing,” Prodan told journalists in Kiev on Tuesday. Ukraine has objected to the […]

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Interfax: Point of no return in Russia-NATO relations has not been passed – Russian Deputy Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(Interfax – December 1, 2014) Russia does not believe the point of no return has been passed in its relations with NATO and is ready to work with the alliance, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “The point of no return has not been passed. I think it’s in the interests of both sides not to fuel tensions, but to actively […]

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Far-Right Europe Has a Crush on Moscow

Europe Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – November 26, 2014) International headlines have been rife with speculation about Russia’s ties to Europe’s far right in recent days, since news broke that France’s right-wing National Front party had borrowed 9 million euros ($11.2 million) from the Moscow-based First Czech-Russian Bank. Disillusioned with the EU, European far-right parties have redoubled their […]

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Time for change – G20

G20 Australia 2014

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne/IntelliNews – November 17, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the leaders of the western world at the weekend at the G20 summit, the first face-to-face meeting of all the world’s leaders since the Russian annexation of Crimea in March. “At the closing of the evening program of the G20 summit [in Brisbane] […]

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Putin’s Early Departure From G20 Summit a ‘Mistake’

G20 Australia 2014

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – November 17, 2014) President Vladimir Putin made an early departure Sunday from the two-day G20 Summit in Australia, after fielding an abundance of criticism from Western leaders over Russia’s allegedly aggressive role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, a move some observers say will inevitably be interpreted as a symbol of defeat. […]

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Interfax: Former Deputy PM Arbuzov: Ukrainians misled about European integration

Ukraine Map and Flag

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 13 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian authorities are adamant to integrate with the European Union at any cost and do not wish to think about possible consequences, according to former Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov. “Western regions have always adhered to European integration because they are attracted to EU member countries culturally and economically. It is a […]

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RIA Novosti: European Commission Names Main Risks for Russian Economy

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

BRUSSELS, November 4 (RIA Novosti) – The geopolitical tensions over the situation around Ukraine, declining oil prices combined with Russia’s high dependence on energy exports, a weakening ruble and high inflation are among the main risks for the Russian economy, said the European Commission’s (EC) forecast, published Tuesday. “Economic growth in Russia had been on a declining trend for some […]

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RIA Novosti: EU-Russia Sanctions: No One Wants to Show They are Giving in First

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – The anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the European Union will not be scaled back or rescinded in the immediate future. They’re likely to be in effect until mid-March of next year, an EU diplomatic source told RIA Novosti. But as Nigel Kushner, the CEO of W Legal, an international law firm that specializes in sanctions, […]

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NEWSLINK: Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia

Rada File Photo

[“Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia” – Reuters – Richard Balmforth and Timothy Heritage – KIEV, Oct 27, 2014]  Reuters covers Ukrainian legislative elections that favored West-leaning Ukrainian Presidenti Petro Poroshenko: Pro-Western parties will dominate Ukraine’s parliament after an election handed President Petro Poroshenko a mandate to end a separatist conflict and steer the country further out […]

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Business New Europe: Ukrainians elect pro-European parliament

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Slack in Kyiv – October 27, 2014) Ukrainians have elected a pro-European parliament in snap elections on October 26, according to preliminary results. The results show pro-European parties headed by President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk respectively are neck-and-neck for first place, with 20% of votes counted. Both men said they […]

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Playing its own game: Belarus as a peacemaker between Russia and the West

Belarus Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Iskandaryan, special to RBTH – October 20, 2014) Alexander Iskandaryan is a political scientist and director of the Caucasus Institute in Yerevan, Armenia. The leadership in Minsk seems to be taking advantage of the crisis in Ukraine to improve its image Relations between the West and Belarus have taken a curious and […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine Demands Gas Transit Contract With Europe, Refuses to Guarantee Safe Transit

Gas Flame file photo

KIEV, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine will not guarantee uninterrupted transit of Russian gas to Europe via its territory unless it signs a gas transit contract with EU partners, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Thursday. “Ukraine declares that we are a state that guarantees uninterrupted transit of natural gas, but in order to guarantee it, we need to sign […]

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Moscow Times: Ex-Soviet President Gorbachev Says ‘Disunity’ With Russia Weakens Europe

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 16, 2014) Former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev has called on Russia and the West to put an end to their war of words and retaliatory sanctions over Ukraine and discuss a practical solution to the crisis. “How can you conduct a dialogue if you ‘punish’ the people in power who influence politics?” Gorbachev said […]

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Interfax: Europeans may have ancestors in Siberia – Russian Academy of Sciences

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(Interfax – October 14, 2014) A comparison of genomes of ancient Europeans and people living in contemporary countries has shown that a Siberian tribe is an ancestor of modern Europeans, said Olga Posukh, senior research fellow of the human molecular genetics laboratory of the Cytology and Genetics Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian branch. “A certain genetic component of […]

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RIA Novosti: “Less Than Half of Europeans Favor EU Involvement in Ukraine Crisis Settlement: Poll”

EU Map

MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) – Less than half of the population of the United Kingdom, France and Germany think that the European Union should participate in the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis while supporting humanitarian aid deliveries and a peacekeeping mission, with some also suggesting the provision of financial aid for the Kiev government, an ICM poll commissioned by […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia to Develop School Exchange Programs With Europe, Asia: Education Ministry

Eurasia Map

MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is set to develop exchange programs for schoolchildren with countries in Europe and Asia, Deputy Minister of Education Veniamin Kaganov said on Friday. “We have sufficient [student] exchange with many countries. Agreements on cooperation in the educational field are signed with over 70 countries across the world. Quite a few international exchange programs […]

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NATO’s Eastern Countries Fractured Over Response To Russia

NATO meeting file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – September 6, 2014) Czech President Milos Zeman sparked a testy exchange with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt this week at the NATO summit in Wales, declaring that Prague had not yet seen “clear proof” of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. “President Zeman should ask his own people,” Bildt retorted. “I don’t know if the Czech Republic […]

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Business New Europe/RIA Novosti: European Commission to level new sanctions on Friday

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Business New Europe – bne.eu/RIA Novosti – September 3, 2014) The European Commission suggests limiting Russian state-owned companies’ access to European capital markets, as it prepares to possibly impose new tougher sanctions on Russia at a meeting on Friday, September 5. According to agency statements, the new economic sanctions against Russia, proposed by the European commission, include limiting the access […]

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Moscow’s Food War With West Could Hurt Russia Most

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(RFE/RL Explainer – rferl.org – Charles Recknagel – August 21, 2014) Moscow’s sweeping ban on food imports is meant as a slap in the face to Western powers for imposing sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine. But the ban is also causing food prices to rise in Russia, which is a major importer of food and has few immediate supply alternatives. Here are four things to know […]

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Interfax: Russia may theoretically withdraw from ECHR jurisdiction – Putin

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

YALTA. Aug 14 (Interfax) – Russia may theoretically withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) jurisdiction, but the matter is not under consideration now, President Vladimir Putin says. While Putin was meeting with members of State Duma factions in Yalta on Thursday, he was asked whether Russia may withdraw from the ECHR jurisdiction. “In principle, this is surely […]

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Business New Europe: Sanctions “unbearable” for EU, will be cancelled in 3 months

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Danske Bank – August 13, 2014) We analyse the economic and financial impact of the Ukrainian crisis with a special focus on our footprint Nordic markets. We view the situation in Ukraine as far from de-escalating as fighting continues in Donetsk and Lugansk, which we expect to weigh on market sentiments near term. However, […]

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RIA Novosti: Between Justice and European Courts’ Rulings on Russia: a Dangerous Gap

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

(RIA Novosti – Alexander Mercouris – August 9, 2014) There is always going to be a gap between people’s understanding of what is just/unjust and formal court rulings. Law will always strive to catch up with changing societal attitudes to “justice” and “injustice.” But law will always more or less miserably fall behind, unless some “progressive” minds decide to use […]

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Interfax: Naryshkin hopes Europe will understand risk of unwinding sanctions spiral

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 8 (Interfax) – Russia’s response to the anti-Russian measures taken by the West was forced and further unwinding of the “sanctions spiral” is absurd and dangerous, Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said. “As to the measures taken by Russia on the countries that initiated or support anti-Russia sanctions, they are a response aimed at protecting our citizens […]

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

EU Map

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 meetings later in the day. […]

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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 result of the Ukrainian crisis, […]

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EU Claims Right to Reverse Flow as Russia Protests

Gas Flame file photo

(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 dispose of gas bought from […]

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Russia’s crack pipe to Europe

Gas Flame file photo

(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 station near the settlement of […]

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Ukraine, EU sign free trade and association deal in Brussels

Ukraine Map and Flag

(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 of the changing politics in […]

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

EU Map

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, we need to move on […]

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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 the EU gives them certain […]

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

Gas Facility file photo

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 appeared in the media that […]

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

Gas Facility file photo

(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 different than previous disputes in […]

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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 vacillations is a thing of […]

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Gazprom’s EU customers not at risk for now

Gas Flame file photo

(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 to the EU for now, […]

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

Gas Flame file photo

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 the territory of Ukraine, then […]

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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 be in flux, and most […]

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