Archive for Europe, EU

EU opposes Russian oil and gas sanctions, considers targeting other sectors

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Concorde Capital – July 24, 2014) EU Energy Commissioner GYnther Oettinger opposes sanctions on Russian natural gas and oil but doesn’t rule out sanctions on energy technology and equipment, he told a July 23 press conference in Brussels, as reported by the UNIAN news agency. “I always spoke against

RIA Novosti: Kiev Receives Russia’s Risk Assessment of Ukraine’s EU Association

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BRUSSELS, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev received Moscow’s list of potential risks that Ukraine’s association with the European Union could present to Russia’s economy, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told journalists. “Just yesterday, we received Russia’s perception of the potential risks,” Klimkin said on Tuesday. Ukraine signed the agreement on its association with the

RIA Novosti: Russia to Protect Economy From Risks Posed by Ukraine’s EU Association

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MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow will have to resort to protective measures if Ukraine’s association deal with the European Union poses risks for the Russian economy, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday. «We believe that the risks remain quite serious, especially concerning technical regulations and standards of sanitary and phytosanitary control. That’s

RIA Novosti: Medvedev Says US, EU Companies Clearly Show Intention to Continue Work in Russia

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MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow has received «clear signals» from US and European companies about their intention to continue work in Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday. «We have received quite clear signals that European and American companies are set to continue work with Russian partners. Time is ripe now to use

Russian Billionaires in ‘Horror’ as Putin Risks Isolation

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik, Ilya Arkhipov – July 21, 2014) Russia’s richest businessmen are increasingly frantic that President Vladimir Putin’s policies in Ukraine will lead to crippling sanctions and are too scared of reprisal to say so publicly, billionaires and analysts said. If Putin doesn’t move to end the war in

‘Isolating Russia’ in the Oil and Gas Sector

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(Gordon M. Hahn – gordon-hahn@sbcglobal.net – Analyst and Advisory Board Member, Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation, Chicago, Ill, geostrategicforecasting.com; Analyst, Rus Strategic Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic; Senior Researcher, Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies, Akribis Group, San Jose, Calif.) Since the Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March in the wake of the revolutionary takeover in Kiev in February,

Why Russia won’t start a trade war with Ukraine this time round

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Iana Dreyer of borderlex.eu – July 11, 2014) High-level officials from the EU, Ukraine and Russia are holding a trilateral meeting in Brussels on July 11 to address Russia’s concerns about how the free trade and association pact that Brussels and Kyiv signed in late June might have

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

How Bulgaria’s Bank Run Affects Ukraine’s European Dream

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ian Wishart, Elizabeth Konstantinova – July 3, 2014) Joining the European Union was meant to give Bulgaria a fresh start. Try telling that to Anna Dimitrova. “Bulgaria didn’t gain from the EU as much as it could have, because it’s mismanaged by corrupt politicians,” said Dimitrova, a law student, in central

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 signs off on EU deal at last, but what next?

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Marcus Svedberg and Aivaras Abromavicius of East Capital – July 1, 2014) Marcus Svedberg is Chief Economist, and Aivaras Abromavicius is Partner, of East Capital Ukraine signed an Association Agreement (AA) and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the EU in Brussels on June 27.

Putin lambasts West as violence escalates in Ukraine

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – July 2, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin lambasted the West in a speech to assembled diplomats call on July 1, although he stopped short of making new military threats against Ukraine as Kyiv resumed its antiterrorism operation in the east of the country. The

Russians Suffer from Three Misconceptions about Western Sanctions over Ukraine, Analyst Says

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(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 27, 2014) Russians must recognize that sanctions are “the new economic and political reality” in which they live and overcome three widespread and government-promoted misconceptions about such sanctions if the country is going to be able to cope with them as well as possible, according to

EU Association Agreements Not Seen as Threat to Russian Economy

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – June 27, 2014) With Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova set to sign the economic sections of association agreements with the European Union on Friday, analysts say the deals will have minimal impact on the Russian economy but will further broaden the political schism between Russia and its neighbors.

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,

NEWSLINK: Ukraine Signs Trade Agreement With European Union

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["Ukraine Signs Trade Agreement With European Union" - New York Times - ANDREW HIGGINS and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN - June 27, 2014] The New York Times reports on Ukraine and the European Union reaching a sweeping trade deal, one that had been the original impetus for protests effectively upending the earlier Ukrainian regime of Viktor Yanukovych. Meanwhile, Russia

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

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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

NEWSLINK: Russian lawmakers revoke right to send troops into Ukraine

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["Russian lawmakers revoke right to send troops into Ukraine" - Reuters - June 25, 2014] Reuters covers a vote by Russia’s Parliament to formerly rescind a past authorization of military intervention in Ukraine.  The legislators acted in response to a directive from Russian President Vladimir Putin.  The authorization of force could be reinstated in short order 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

Europe Bracing Itself for Worst-Case Gas Scenario

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – June 18, 2014) In the wake of Russia’s decision to switch Ukraine to prepayment for gas starting Monday, the European Union is planning a new round of negotiations as the danger of supply disruptions to Europe heightens. European officials say, however, that the bloc is currently far

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

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(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

Russia accuses West of “protecting” Ukraine at gas talks

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(Interfax – Moscow, June 15, 2014) Moscow believes that there may be a third power behind Ukraine’s intransigent position in its talks with Russia over gas. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Russian journalists on Sunday [15 June] that the Ukrainian authorities are making use of “impunity because they are being protected by our Western

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

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(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

Russia Sees Underhanded Sanctions in Bulgaria’s Suspension of South Stream

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 10, 2014) Bulgaria’s decision to suspend construction of the Russia-led South Stream pipeline project on its territory, undermining Russia’s efforts to diversify its gas transportation infrastructure to Europe away from Ukraine, is an underhanded economic sanction thrust on Russia by the West, a top Russian diplomat

Leaders Start Two Days of Ukraine Diplomacy With Putin

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – James G. Neuger, Thomas Penny, Kateryna Choursina – June 5, 2014) The U.S. and its allies embarked on two days of contacts with Russian leaders in a bid to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, giving the Kremlin another chance to cut support to pro-Moscow rebels seeking to break up the country.

Negative attitude to U.S., EU reaches its maximum in Russia – poll

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(Interfax – June 5, 2014) The attitude of Russians towards the United States, the European Union and Ukraine is cooling amid the Western sanctions, and Belarus and China are liked much more, Levada Center told Interfax, quoting May poll statistics. Only 18 percent of Russians speak well of the United States now. The numbers stood

Ukraine still harbours doubts about benefits of EU deal

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Iana Dreyer of borderlex.eu- June 4, 2014) Ukraine and the EU are adamant both sides will sign the long-planned free trade and association deal. Yet President-elect Petro Poroshenko sowed confusion soon after his election May 25 when he asked for more time before putting pen to paper, highlighting

RIA Novosti: Opinion: Eurasian Union’s Economic Integration Stronger than EU’s

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WASHINGTON, May 30 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – The Eurasian Economic Union is a better, more realistic step towards economic integration than the European Union, and will be more productive, said Andrew McKillop, a former chief policy analyst at the European Commission Directorate General for Energy. “It is the right decision at the right time,”

Survey Sees Less Risk of Future Economic Sanctions Against Russia

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 30, 2014) The risk that the U.S. and European Union will slap further sanctions on Russia over Ukraine is subsiding, but the threat of a recession still looms over Russia, a Bloomberg poll of economists found. Half of the 32 economists questioned for the poll, released on Tuesday, said

RIA Novosti: Preview: Russia, EU, Ukraine Attempt to Resolve Gas Dispute for Third Time

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MOSCOW, May 30 (RIA Novosti) – Officials from Russia, Ukraine and the EU are set to hold talks in Berlin on Friday, a third attempt to resolve the gas dispute caused by Ukraine’s $4 billion outstanding gas debt. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is also scheduled to meet with EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger on

EU proposed to repay to Gazprom half of Ukraine’s debt for April-May gas supplies as payment deadline nears

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – May 29, 2014) Gazprom, which earlier sent a prepayment bill to Ukraine, will limit gas supplies on June 3 if Kiev does not pay the advance bill for June, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Wednesday at a meeting of President Vladimir Putin with the government, Prime reported. According to

Russia tests waters of WTO dispute settlement with EU complaints

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Jennifer Freedman of Borderlex – May 17, 2014) Less than two years after becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russia has filed two complaints with the dispute settlement body in Geneva that target the EU, Russia’s main trading partner. These complaints concern antidumping duties and

Interfax: Moscow warns U.S. against further sanctions, retaliation will follow – Ryabkov

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MOSCOW. May 23 (Interfax) – If the United States imposes further sanctions against Russia, these will be followed by retaliation, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “We would like to warn the U.S. once again against making hasty decisions in this sphere. Regrettably, the danger remains of additional sanctions being imposed. What we have

Interfax: Putin claims he would sue West over sanctions

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ST. PETERSBURG. May 23 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Western sanctions imposed over Crimea so far concern the people from his close entourage, and that he would have started a legal action if he were in their shoes. “But for now all these sanctions boil down to picking someone close to me

RIA Novosti: Opinion: West Should Think Twice Before Imposing New Sanctions Against Russia

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MOSCOW, May 23 (RIA Novosti) – The West should not rush to impose further sanctions against Russia as they could have an extremely negative effect on the global financial system, Chair of the Government Department at Harvard University Timothy Colton told RIA Novosti. “The West should think twice, think very carefully about extending the sanctions,

Medinsky the Media Magnet

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(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

Welcome to a multipolar world

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(Business New Europe, MOSCOW BLOG – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – May 19, 2014) The shouting match between west and east continues, but the Russian stock market was surging on May 19, a day before Russian President Vladimir Putin was due to arrive in China, where he is expected to sign a string

RIA Novosti: Opinion: EU-Russia Economic Ties Too Important For Threats to Continue

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MOSCOW, May 19 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova – The EU-Russia economic relationship is far too important for the sides to continue talking in the language of sanctions, so the EU is scaling back its rhetoric, Chris Weafer, a founding partner of Macro Advisory, told RIA Novosti Monday. “The bottom line is that the economic relationship

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

Interfax: Georgia can have free trade regime with EU and Russia – Abashidze

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TBILISI. May 14 (Interfax) – Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian prime minister’s special representative on relations with Russia, said he sees no obstacles to Georgia’s having a free trade zone both with the European Union and Russia. “There is no contradiction in Georgia’s having a free trade regime with the European Union and the same privileged

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

U.S. Presses Ukraine to Hold Vote as Russian Seeks Delay

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – May 7, 2014 – Daryna Krasnolutska, Terry Atlas and Ilya Arkhipov) The U.S. and its European allies urged Ukraine to proceed with its May 25 presidential election, rejecting Russia’s calls to postpone the vote as an offensive against separatists in the country’s east and south continued. Russia hasn’t lived up to

RIA Novosti: EU Hardens Position on South Stream Pipeline Over Ukraine Crisis

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MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union has hardened its stance on the construction of the South Stream natural gas pipeline amid the Ukrainian crisis, the EU commissioner for energy said in an interview with the Financial Times Tuesday. “These days, with Ukraine, we are more and more defensive related to Russian pipelines

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