Kiev Economy – Arena Kiev http://arena-kiev.com/ Fri, 04 Jun 2021 22:02:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://arena-kiev.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default.png Kiev Economy – Arena Kiev http://arena-kiev.com/ 32 32 Kiev creates obstacles to gas transit through Ukraine – Putin – Business & Economy https://arena-kiev.com/kiev-creates-obstacles-to-gas-transit-through-ukraine-putin-business-economy/ https://arena-kiev.com/kiev-creates-obstacles-to-gas-transit-through-ukraine-putin-business-economy/#respond Fri, 04 Jun 2021 18:39:55 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/kiev-creates-obstacles-to-gas-transit-through-ukraine-putin-business-economy/ ST. PETERSBURG, June 4. / TASS /. Russia could pump a lot more gas through Ukraine, but Kiev is creating obstacles to prevent it, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday. “First, we have a contract with Ukraine on the transit of our gas. In the next five years, we will be pumping up to […]]]>


ST. PETERSBURG, June 4. / TASS /. Russia could pump a lot more gas through Ukraine, but Kiev is creating obstacles to prevent it, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

“First, we have a contract with Ukraine on the transit of our gas. In the next five years, we will be pumping up to 40 billion cubic meters per year. At the best times, we were pumping up to $ 200 billion, I think. “he told a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.” If we had normal relations and pumped most of the gas through Ukraine, but that’s bound to be problems. He explained that the problem was Kiev’s monopoly position which allowed it to manage the prices of both Russian gas and its transit.

“The problems are not even political, they are economic. Because a monopoly on gas transit gives rise to the illusion that transit prices could soar, on the one hand, and that the prices Ukraine pays for gas under direct contracts with Russia could be shrunk as much as possible, on the other hand. Monopoly is bad, that’s the problem, ”he said.

Commenting on Kiev’s negative stance on building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the Russian leader said Ukraine’s gas transmission system could be used even after the current transit contract expires. “We are now paying them (Ukraine – TASS) 1.5 billion US dollars per year for gas transit. They could have been paid three, four or even five billion but they destroyed everything with their own hands”, a- he noted. “Europe’s gas supplies could increase by 50 billion [cubic meters] in the next ten years. It is possible to use Ukraine’s gas transportation system in the future, even after our current contract expires. Everything is possible and we are ready for it and we want it, but the goodwill of our Ukrainian partners is necessary. “

Commenting on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s remarks that Ukraine would not be able to maintain its army without the funds it received from the transit of Russian natural gas through its territory, Putin noted that he was not obliged to provide for everyone’s needs. “Do you think we need to feed everyone? We have no obligation to provide food for everyone,” Putin noted, adding that Kiev should think better about how to spend the transit money. gas to improve the country’s economy rather than funding a solution to the conflict in Donbass.

Nord Stream 2 project

Nord Stream 2 is an international project to build a gas pipeline that will cross the bottom of the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast to Germany bypassing transit states, such as Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic countries.

The new 1,230 kilometer pipeline, following essentially the same route as Nord Stream, crosses the economic zones and territorial waters of five countries, namely Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

From the start of construction of the pipeline, Ukraine insisted that it be stopped because it posed a threat to its interests. The situation has not changed even after the signing of a new five-year gas transit contract with Russia in 2019.

Despite repeated statements by project participants about its purely economic nature, the United States imposed sanctions and work on the project was suspended in December 2019. However, pipeline laying was later resumed by Russia , which deployed two pipe-laying vessels – the Academician Chersky and the Fortuna.

At the end of May, US President Joe Biden admitted that construction of the Nord Stream 2 was practically complete and that further sanctions against it would be counterproductive for the country’s relations with Europe.

On Friday, the Russian president told a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that construction of one Nord Stream 2 line is complete and the second will be completed in 1.5 to 2 months.



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Tensions between Washington and Moscow intensify as summit approaches https://arena-kiev.com/tensions-between-washington-and-moscow-intensify-as-summit-approaches/ https://arena-kiev.com/tensions-between-washington-and-moscow-intensify-as-summit-approaches/#respond Fri, 04 Jun 2021 00:56:19 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/tensions-between-washington-and-moscow-intensify-as-summit-approaches/ In the run-up to the June 16 summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, tensions between the two countries continue to mount. Regardless of what emerges from the discussion between the two heads of state later this month, it is clear that Washington is continuing preparations for war against Moscow as […]]]>


In the run-up to the June 16 summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, tensions between the two countries continue to mount. Regardless of what emerges from the discussion between the two heads of state later this month, it is clear that Washington is continuing preparations for war against Moscow as the Kremlin seeks military and economic means to retain power.

In this file photo from March 10, 2011, Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

On Thursday, the Russian government said it was liquidating its dollar holdings in its National Welfare Fund (NWF), a financial reserve built up largely on the basis of the country’s oil wealth, estimated at around $ 186 billion. After losing $ 41 billion in US currency, the NWF will be made up of a combination of euro, yuan and gold.

The move is widely seen as a preventative measure meant to protect the country from the possible imposition of economic sanctions by Washington that target Russia’s ability to conduct financial transactions in US dollars. This follows statements by the head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, that the government is studying the creation of a digital currency, with a similar goal. Already, most trade between Russia and China is not denominated in US dollars.

Moscow is bracing for the prospect of being shut out of the global dollar-denominated financial system as political and military pressure on the Kremlin intensifies.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday that hackers operating from Russian territory were responsible for a recent cyberattack on US meat producer JBS, which owns about a quarter of US beef processing plants. Although it has not released any evidence and admitted that there was no indication that the Russian government was behind the attack, the White House warned that it was “not taking any options off the table, in response terms “.

On the same day, NATO member Turkey announced that it was expelling a whole cohort of Russian specialists working in the country to help it set up a Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft weapon system. Turkish officials said the decision was made after discussions with the United States. Sudan, where Russia was to establish its first African military base, simultaneously announced that it was reviewing its decision to allow the Russian Navy to settle in its Red Sea port.



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Kiev’s persecution of Medvedchuk is a double standard – Kozak – Russia https://arena-kiev.com/kievs-persecution-of-medvedchuk-is-a-double-standard-kozak-russia/ https://arena-kiev.com/kievs-persecution-of-medvedchuk-is-a-double-standard-kozak-russia/#respond Wed, 02 Jun 2021 19:11:44 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/kievs-persecution-of-medvedchuk-is-a-double-standard-kozak-russia/ MOSCOW, June 2. / TASS /. Deputy Chief of the Russian Presidential Staff Dmitry Kozak considers high treason charges against Ukrainian politician, head of the political council of the Opposition Platform – For Life, Viktor Medvedchuk party to be illogical , in the context of the persistence of trade relations between Moscow and Kiev. Asked […]]]>


MOSCOW, June 2. / TASS /. Deputy Chief of the Russian Presidential Staff Dmitry Kozak considers high treason charges against Ukrainian politician, head of the political council of the Opposition Platform – For Life, Viktor Medvedchuk party to be illogical , in the context of the persistence of trade relations between Moscow and Kiev. Asked Wednesday on the Rossiya-24 24h / 24 television news channel, Kozak called the position “duplicity”.

He said that “today’s business turnover, despite the restrictions and mutual sanctions imposed by former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko and incumbent President Vladimir Zelensky, amounts to 11 billion dollars “.

In 2020 alone, Ukraine and its businesses close to Ukrainian authorities imported $ 6.7 billion worth of goods.

“These revenues go to Russia, which according to the Ukrainian parliament law of 2018 is an aggressor country,” Kozak said.

“We get income from it. Our economy is getting stronger. We collect taxes. These taxes are used to maintain our state and solve social and economic problems. It is an open secret that with this money we are providing humanitarian aid. at Donbass, “he said. continued saying. “If this logic is to be followed, everyone who has bought goods and services in Russia should sit next to Medvedchuk.”

Kozak stressed that the decisions in favor of imports from Russia were taken by the current Ukrainian authorities, who “disburse money from the budget for the purchase of the corresponding goods” and “allow the tycoons of large companies close to them to buy these goods in Russia and pay the money here. “

In the first quarter of 2021, this trade turnover, he said, increased in many ways – imports from Russia in value increased by 1.5% and in real terms by 20%.

“Where is the logic? Formally, Ukrainian imports from Russia and payments for them to Russia are precisely the kind of activity in which Medvedchuk himself was involved. It is impossible to explain “said Kozak.

On May 13, a Kiev court placed Medvedchuk under house arrest until July 9. He was charged with high treason and violating the laws and customs of war. The attorney general’s office has released several tapes of what it said were telephone conversations between Medvedchuk and Russian officials, who were discussing the energy supply. Medvedchuk said the audios were fake and dismissed all charges against him as baseless and unproven.

He called the authorities’ actions “an attempt to personally muzzle the Opposition Platform – For Life and the Opposition in General”.



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Could SPIEF be a platform to break the ice between the US and Russia or is it just China? https://arena-kiev.com/could-spief-be-a-platform-to-break-the-ice-between-the-us-and-russia-or-is-it-just-china/ https://arena-kiev.com/could-spief-be-a-platform-to-break-the-ice-between-the-us-and-russia-or-is-it-just-china/#respond Wed, 02 Jun 2021 09:07:15 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/could-spief-be-a-platform-to-break-the-ice-between-the-us-and-russia-or-is-it-just-china/ Recently, Kiev actively discussed the topic of a possible meeting of the heads of Russia and Ukraine – Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky. As has become customary for Ukrainian diplomacy, the topic is presented with a touch of scandal, and the situation itself is presented as an attempt by Moscow to avoid a “concrete” conversation […]]]>


Recently, Kiev actively discussed the topic of a possible meeting of the heads of Russia and Ukraine – Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky. As has become customary for Ukrainian diplomacy, the topic is presented with a touch of scandal, and the situation itself is presented as an attempt by Moscow to avoid a “concrete” conversation with Kiev on the most problematic issues of Ukraine. the bilateral agenda – settlement in Donbass and the subject of Crimea, writes Alexi Ivanov, correspondent in Moscow.

An additional intrigue is the place of such a meeting. Kiev initially suggested that the two presidents meet as close as possible to the dividing line between Ukraine and the Donbass rebels. It is clear that the desired effect was purely propaganda: to demonstrate to Russia that the Donbass is above all “a problem created by Moscow”. The Kremlin reacted in its own way to this proposal, proposing an initiative for Kiev to discuss in Moscow.

“First of all, Ukraine should discuss the conflict in the Donbass region with Russia and only then bilateral relations,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Reznikov said. According to him, this meeting cannot take place in the capital of the “aggressor country”

On April 20, Zelensky suggested that he meet Putin “anywhere in the Ukrainian Donbass where there is a war”. In response, Putin said that if the Ukrainian president wants to discuss the Donbass problem, he must first meet with the heads of the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (RPD and RPL) and only then with the Russian leadership as a third party. nobody. Putin added that the Russian side was ready to discuss relations between the two countries with Ukraine, and suggested that Zelensky come to Moscow for this “at any time that suits him.”

On April 22, DPR and LPR leaders Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik announced that they were ready to meet Zelensky at any time on the contact line in Donbass “for an honest and open conversation”. President of Ukraine Oleksiy Arestovich, however, said that “there will be no negotiations with the so-called LPR, DPR, and there cannot be.” the participation of representatives of the self-proclaimed republics in the discussion of the situation in Donbass will render the negotiations unconstructive.

The exchange of views on a possible meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky continues. This was stated on May 23 by the press secretary to the head of Russia Dmitry Peskov.

The Kremlin spokesman said Russia was only ready to discuss the Crimea issue within the framework of cross-border cooperation between the two countries. “They say: we will discuss Crimea. But if we discuss Crimea in terms of developing cross-border cooperation … You know, Russia has cross-border cooperation in the regions with foreign countries. If in this regard, I’m sure Putin will be ready, but if we discuss anything other than that Crimea is a region of the Russian Federation.

Peskov noted that the Russian Constitution stipulates that it is a criminal offense to speak of the alienation of the territories of the Russian Federation. “Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done, we will continue to exchange views, and we will see what happens. But such an exchange of views is taking place,” he concluded.

The main condition of the meeting between Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin is to discuss issues of official interest to Kiev, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said on May 20. According to him, the date of such an event is not discussed, but Kiev will insist on this content of the meeting.

The coordination of a possible meeting of Ukrainian and Russian presidents, Vladimir Zelensky and Vladimir Putin, is very difficult, it is necessary to discuss the issues of Donbass and Crimea, said the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Dmitry Kuleba.

Earlier, Russian President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that contacts on a hypothetical Putin Zelensky meeting are underway, that there are sketches of possible topics, but the process is not easy.

“In principle, this meeting was born very difficult. At the same time, we confirm that we are ready to speak. The main topic, of course, is the end of the war and peace in Ukraine. We will not meet with Putin in so not to talk about Donbass and Crimea, ”Kuleba told local media.
“We have to talk to Putin, because we understand that decisions in Russia are made by Vladimir Putin – and no one else. But I’m sure if this meeting takes place, the president will stand up for Ukrainian interests firmly. The meeting will take place. when we, Kiev, make sure that at this meeting we can discuss in detail the issues that are essential for us, “he added.

Relations between Moscow and Kiev deteriorated in 2014 after the coup d’état in Kiev that sparked conflict in the Donbass and led to the annexation of Crimea. Ukrainian authorities and Western countries have repeatedly accused Russia of interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs. In January 2015, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a declaration calling Russia an “aggressor country”.

Russia denies the accusations of Kiev and the West and calls them unacceptable. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the internal Ukrainian conflict and that it wants Kiev to overcome the political and economic crisis. Crimea became a Russian region after a referendum held there in March 2014, in which 96.77% of voters in the Republic of Crimea and 95.6% of people in Sevastopol voted to join. Russia. Ukraine still considers Crimea as its territory, but temporarily occupied.

Russian leaders have repeatedly stated that residents of Crimea, democratically, with full respect for international law and the Charter of the United Nations, voted for reunification with Russia. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Crimea issue is finally closed.



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Are the Minsk II Peace Accords worth preserving? https://arena-kiev.com/are-the-minsk-ii-peace-accords-worth-preserving/ https://arena-kiev.com/are-the-minsk-ii-peace-accords-worth-preserving/#respond Tue, 01 Jun 2021 12:34:00 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/are-the-minsk-ii-peace-accords-worth-preserving/ Is a peace plan that seems to be going nowhere better than no peace plan at all? Is it more dangerous to face grim facts or pretend to believe heartwarming fictions? Applied to the Minsk peace process over the Donbass conflict, these seemingly philosophical dilemmas take a weekly toll of blood and treasure. The Minsk […]]]>


Is a peace plan that seems to be going nowhere better than no peace plan at all? Is it more dangerous to face grim facts or pretend to believe heartwarming fictions? Applied to the Minsk peace process over the Donbass conflict, these seemingly philosophical dilemmas take a weekly toll of blood and treasure.

The Minsk peace process does not appear to be in good shape.

Just as it is often said that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire, so it is no longer anchored in Minsk. as Kiev said he can’t trust Lukashenko be an honest broker nor did it keep the peace, nor can it be said to be “treatment”.

Of course, he had his day and his moment. Two of them, in fact. They were, to be frank, never likely to be the basis for a lasting resolution of the conflict, just a means of preventing escalation (especially Russian escalation).

The first Minsk protocol of 2014, then the Minsk II package of 2015 led to short-lived and unequal ceasefires and above all succeeded in preventing Russian escalations that could have triggered a large-scale war. They also provided some small-scale remedies, from prisoner swaps to monitoring by the Organization for Security Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

That was over six years ago, however. In many ways, this means that the role of the OSCE is essentially to provide as complete a daily list as possible of ceasefire violations, arbitrarily closed crossings above the contact line, tanks and heavy weapons spotted near the front line, in violation of the agreement. Much of this has to be collected by remote surveillance and drone. when drones are not interfered with by Russian electronic warfare systems.

Let it go

Last week, the Geostrategy Council, a new think tank devoted to exploring the prospects for a global Britain in a post-Brexit era, published an article in which I put forward a deliberately provocative suggestion, that we must recognize that:

“The problem is, Minsk is not just dead, it is a rotting corpse slumped on the conference table. It not only succeeds in bringing peace to the Donbass, it prevents potential new negotiations,” even an honest conversation about the conflict. “

It is not that I want to see a resumption of hostilities on a large scale: quite the contrary. I don’t think it’s a moribund, six-year-old document that is forcing either side into this toxic conflict.

Instead of the rudimentary collection of militias from 2014-15, Ukraine now has increasingly confident armed forces of more than 250,000 men.

The rebel forces could not prevail against them; frankly, they could not even in the first years of the war, which is why Moscow periodically had to send its regulars to prevent a government victory. At the same time, Russia can still defeat Ukraine on the battlefield, but only if it is prepared to openly show its hand and deploy the scale of the necessary forces – and also accept the substantial losses that this would entail. . It is a balance of terror.

Especially for people on both sides of the contact line, and especially in the pseudo-states. Subjected to arbitrary local rogue states, deprived of their Ukrainian social benefits, facing economic hardship and rising levels of coronavirus, their lives have been held hostage by an illusion illusory a peace process that just goes nowhere.

The problem is that neither side will give in on a fundamental point. Moscow argues that Kiev must grant the rebels special status now that elections have taken place. Kiev denounces these elections as a sham and says that we must first restore its authority over the regions. Neither wants nor can cede ground.

So my suggestion was that it was time to recognize that the Minsk process had run its course. and can, if necessary, block any more meaningful dialogue.

Ukraine, Russia and the pseudo-states cannot be the first to say so, lest they risk being exposed as warmongers and dealbreakers.

In addition, both Germany and France have weighed with all their weight behind Minsk II and still present themselves as its bankrupt guarantors. If they’re not willing to start this conversation I suggested, maybe it could be the UK?

Better than nothing?

The responses, both public and private, were interesting. Some have sought, predictably enough, to paint one side or the other as the villains of peace. It may be satisfying, but it’s exactly the kind of zero-sum politics that perpetuates the current volatile status quo. Others have sought to save the reputation of Paris or Berlin, which is another problem, as both countries are unwilling to admit that they may have done long-term harm in the name of short-term good.

A more thoughtful argument was best illustrated by Russian researcher Sergei Utkin of the Primakov Institute for World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), who considered it a “surprisingly adventurous and potentially disastrous ”. In an exchange we had on Twitter, he argued that

“If negotiations fail in an ongoing conflict, the guns speak (and they can do so much louder than with the current flawed ceasefire). is precious. “

It is a perfectly defensible and honorable position.

To suppress a peace process when there is nothing ready to replace it is a frightening gesture. Yet it also ultimately rests on the assumption that it is Minsk II, and not day-to-day realities on the ground, that is preventing escalation. As fears over the rise of Russian forces in the spring show, it is difficult to take this guarantee for granted.

The problem is, the status quo is too bearable for all players.

Kiev has little real incentive to reintegrate a reluctant population and now War ravaged badlands. Moscow has to subsidize the Donbass, but that’s better than acknowledging defeat and losing what little influence it can have over Ukraine.

Pseudo-state warlords can get rich and avoid trial. And while the West may have the occasional fear, such as with the rise of Russian forces in the spring, it can usually take comfort in the antiseptic language of “frozen conflicts” and unresolved disputes. “

It is undoubtedly a little less tolerable on the ground. Ordinary Ukrainians in pseudo-states face unemployment, hardship and brutal repression when they try to protest or unionize. Water supplies are contaminated and entire industries are dying, which also poses huge challenges for any future reintegration. As Brian Milakovsky has it recently argued in Krytyka,

“Gone are the days when we could let the resolution of economic and infrastructure problems resolve itself naturally when the elusive comprehensive political settlement is negotiated in Minsk, or on any other platform.”

I would note, after all, that all the voices I have heard from inside the Donbass, as well as many in Kiev and Moscow, have admitted that Minsk is both unworkable and beyond repair.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has called to movement, arguing that “we can change the Minsk format, adjust it. Or we can use another format ”, but there seems to be little room for the first, because the disagreement is not on the format but on the objectives and political will.

Instead, something needs to be done to break the blockage. Skip the tired mantra that “Minsk is the only deal on the table” and clear the table instead. There is no reason why prisoner exchanges, family reunification rights, OSCE monitoring and the like cannot be kept apart from a single, comprehensive document. And maybe that would provide an incentive and an opportunity for something new.

But this is one of those cases where the tolerable is the enemy of the best. What may work in Moscow, Paris and Berlin may not work as well in Kiev and being positively oppressive in Donetsk and Luhansk, Perevalsk and Ilovaisk.

The opinions expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the position of the Moscow Times.



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Russia does not plan to shut off gas to Ukraine after completion of Nord Stream 2 pipeline, senior diplomat insists – RT Russia and ex-Soviet Union https://arena-kiev.com/russia-does-not-plan-to-shut-off-gas-to-ukraine-after-completion-of-nord-stream-2-pipeline-senior-diplomat-insists-rt-russia-and-ex-soviet-union/ https://arena-kiev.com/russia-does-not-plan-to-shut-off-gas-to-ukraine-after-completion-of-nord-stream-2-pipeline-senior-diplomat-insists-rt-russia-and-ex-soviet-union/#respond Mon, 31 May 2021 11:17:00 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/russia-does-not-plan-to-shut-off-gas-to-ukraine-after-completion-of-nord-stream-2-pipeline-senior-diplomat-insists-rt-russia-and-ex-soviet-union/ The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has been presented as an essential element of European energy security. But, for his detractors, it could be a dubious Russian ploy to cut Ukraine off from energy. Today, Moscow seeks to allay these fears. Speaking to RIA Novosti in an interview published on Monday, Dmitri Birichevsky, director of […]]]>


The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has been presented as an essential element of European energy security. But, for his detractors, it could be a dubious Russian ploy to cut Ukraine off from energy. Today, Moscow seeks to allay these fears.

Speaking to RIA Novosti in an interview published on Monday, Dmitri Birichevsky, director of economic cooperation at the country’s foreign ministry, said Russia’s fears of shutting off supplies to its neighbor were unfounded . “We do not intend to suspend gas supply via Ukraine”, he said, insisting that “Russia has never used energy or natural resources as a means of pressure or blackmail.”

In April, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Aleksey Reznikov wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the pipeline was an existential threat to his country’s security and economy. He claimed that Moscow had previously “Tried to intimidate Ukraine” by threatening to cut off energy supplies.

READ MORE: Biden says Nord Stream 2 sanctions were lifted because pipeline is nearing completion and fighting it now would be ‘counterproductive’ with allies

This argument found support from former President Donald Trump’s White House officials, with top Washington politicians claiming the project amounted to “Serious threat” to Europe “Energy security and US national security.”



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Ukraine will be ‘irreparably weakened’ if Russia and Germany allow Nord Stream 2 pipeline to be completed, Kiev deputy prime minister warns


However, last week current President Joe Biden said Trump-era sanctions on companies involved in laying the pipeline would be dropped. “I had opposed Nord Stream 2 from the start, but it was almost finished by the time I took office,” the Democratic Party politician told reporters in Washington last Tuesday. “Go ahead and impose sanctions now, I think that’s counterproductive in terms of European relations.” Construction could now be completed as early as September.

Nord Stream 2 will bypass Kiev’s borders, connecting Siberian gas fields to consumers in Western Europe via a conduit under the Baltic Sea, which will settle in Germany. Although Birichevsky insists that it will not be used to cut Ukraine off completely from its supplies, it will likely lead to a substantial drop in Kiev’s income in the long run, as Moscow pays substantial sums for the right to transport gas across the country.



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Bomb report reveals how Ukrainian lobbyists pitted US against EU over new Russia-Germany gas pipeline Nord Stream 2


In 2019, Russian state energy company Gazprom struck a deal to keep the fuel in circulation for another five years, paying around $ 7 billion as part of the deal. The network was built on orders from Moscow in Soviet times, before the breakup of the USSR. While Ukrainian politicians have warned that the country “Risk of losing billions of dollars in public transport revenues”, Birichevsky said no short-term changes were expected. He added that the agreement, which expires in 2024, is still valid and that after it expires, “There will be negotiations between Gazprom and their partners in Ukraine.”

An explosive report released late last year found that lobbyists for Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz, as well as at least one representative of the country’s security council, had actively launched a lobbying campaign in Washington aimed at obtaining US sanctions against its construction. Naftogaz’s Vadim Glamazdin reportedly claimed that further measures being considered by US politicians would be “The last nail in the coffin” for the project. “When these sanctions are finally passed and become law, there will be no practical way to build this pipeline,” he would have added.

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Palestinian UN envoy calls for international action to end Israeli occupation https://arena-kiev.com/palestinian-un-envoy-calls-for-international-action-to-end-israeli-occupation/ https://arena-kiev.com/palestinian-un-envoy-calls-for-international-action-to-end-israeli-occupation/#respond Fri, 28 May 2021 23:13:20 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/palestinian-un-envoy-calls-for-international-action-to-end-israeli-occupation/ ANKARA: Turkey convinced its NATO allies to take a softer official stance after Belarus forced a European airliner through the country’s airspace so it could arrest a dissident journalist, reported Thursday Reuters. Ryanair’s passenger plane was flying from Greece and heading for Lithuania, but Belarus diverted its route to force it to land in Minsk […]]]>


ANKARA: Turkey convinced its NATO allies to take a softer official stance after Belarus forced a European airliner through the country’s airspace so it could arrest a dissident journalist, reported Thursday Reuters.

Ryanair’s passenger plane was flying from Greece and heading for Lithuania, but Belarus diverted its route to force it to land in Minsk on Sunday.

In a two-paragraph statement released by NATO, the alliance condemned the arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich after the forced landing, but it did not result in the punitive sanctions that Poland, Lithuania and Latvia were calling for .

The statement, which did not call for the release of political prisoners in Belarus, contradicts the statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that the incident was “scandalous” and “a hijacking of state”.

Diplomats quoted by Reuters said Ankara could use its NATO influence to solidify its fragile ties with Moscow, a close ally of Belarus, to convince Moscow to allow Russian tourists to come to Turkey during the summer season despite the high risk of coronavirus infections.

Russian tourists prefer Turkey as a top vacation destination, especially the country’s southern provinces more than any other country, with 7 million visitors to the country registered in 2019.

Moscow is expected to revise the month-and-a-half-month ban on flights with Turkey which expires on June 1.

However, on the diplomatic front, Turkey recently angered Russia for its rapprochement with Ukraine.

The Kremlin warned Ankara on May 24 that encouraging Ukrainian “aggressive” actions against Crimea directly violated Russia’s territorial integrity. The Russian Foreign Minister criticized Turkey’s increased cooperation with Kiev, saying it fueled “militarist sentiment” in Ukraine.

Turkey’s alleged diplomatic move to NATO to prevent harsh sanctions against Belarus – likely a ban on Belarusian airlines from flying over EU airspace or preventing Belarusian airlines from using airports of the EU – could also aim to strengthen economic cooperation with Minsk amid the financial difficulties facing the country. during the pandemic.

Some experts, however, have pointed out that this latest move within NATO hints at an attempt to balance the country’s geopolitical goals with economic necessities.

“Turkey is trying to preserve its ‘balance’ between NATO and Russia after signaling in recent weeks that it was more willing to engage in the policy of deterrence towards Russia, as evidenced by its awareness of Ukraine and the sale of drones to Poland. and join NATO’s reinforced air police, ”Karol Wasilewski, an analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs based in Warsaw, told Arab News.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has remained silent on the Reuters report.

However, the Kremlin does not appear to ease its tension with Ankara in a single gesture.

According to Wasilewski, any diplomatic move by Turkey to prevent sanctions against Belarus might calm Russia down a bit, but it will be enough to ease tensions.

“Russia is about to signal to Turkey that its actions will have consequences and this could continue until Turkey shows more clearly that its engagement in NATO will not interfere with its policies towards the Russia, “he said.

He added: “The bottom line is for Turkey to continue its ‘eat a cake and have it too’ policy towards NATO and Russia. Moscow has been fairly tolerant of this policy, because for a long time it had more negative consequences for NATO than for Russia. “

Turkey’s criticism of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity is a source of discontent for the Kremlin.

With Joe Biden’s administration now in the White House in the United States, Wasilewski believes the equation has changed and that Moscow wants to demonstrate to Turkey that this policy is no longer valid, especially if Turkey aims to change its balance in a way that would have more negative consequences for Russia.

For Amanda Paul, senior policy analyst at the Brussels-based European Policy Center (EPC), it is disappointing that Ankara has taken this position, and the decision has frustrated many Alliance members.

“NATO should have given the strongest response to this scandalous incident. Of course, given the state of the Turkish economy these days, Ankara is focused on improving the situation, ”she told Arab News.

When it comes to Belarus, Paul believes Turkey has focused on strengthening economic – and other – ties in recent years.

“In early May, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a phone call with Alexander Lukashenka in which the two reiterated their intention to strengthen relations. This would indicate that the Turkish leadership has no problem dealing with a man whose regime has beaten, and in some cases killed, peaceful protesters and has now hijacked a plane, ”she said.



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Report: Turkey ‘prevented severe NATO sanctions against Belarus’ https://arena-kiev.com/report-turkey-prevented-severe-nato-sanctions-against-belarus/ https://arena-kiev.com/report-turkey-prevented-severe-nato-sanctions-against-belarus/#respond Fri, 28 May 2021 20:08:48 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/report-turkey-prevented-severe-nato-sanctions-against-belarus/ ANKARA: Turkey convinced its NATO allies to take a softer official stance after Belarus forced a European airliner through the country’s airspace so it could arrest a dissident journalist, reported Thursday Reuters. Ryanair’s passenger plane was flying from Greece and heading for Lithuania, but Belarus diverted its route to force it to land in Minsk […]]]>


ANKARA: Turkey convinced its NATO allies to take a softer official stance after Belarus forced a European airliner through the country’s airspace so it could arrest a dissident journalist, reported Thursday Reuters.

Ryanair’s passenger plane was flying from Greece and heading for Lithuania, but Belarus diverted its route to force it to land in Minsk on Sunday.

In a two-paragraph statement released by NATO, the alliance condemned the arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich after the forced landing, but it did not result in the punitive sanctions that Poland, Lithuania and Latvia were calling for .

The statement, which did not call for the release of political prisoners in Belarus, contradicts the statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that the incident was “scandalous” and “a hijacking of state”.

Diplomats quoted by Reuters said Ankara could use its NATO influence to solidify its fragile ties with Moscow, a close ally of Belarus, to convince Moscow to allow Russian tourists to come to Turkey during the summer season despite the high risk of coronavirus infections.

Russian tourists prefer Turkey as a top vacation destination, especially the country’s southern provinces more than any other country, with 7 million visitors to the country registered in 2019.

Moscow is expected to revise the month-and-a-half-month ban on flights with Turkey which expires on June 1.

However, on the diplomatic front, Turkey recently angered Russia for its rapprochement with Ukraine.

The Kremlin warned Ankara on May 24 that encouraging Ukrainian “aggressive” actions against Crimea directly violated Russia’s territorial integrity. The Russian Foreign Minister criticized Turkey’s increased cooperation with Kiev, saying it fueled “militarist sentiment” in Ukraine.

Turkey’s alleged diplomatic move to NATO to prevent harsh sanctions against Belarus – likely a ban on Belarusian airlines from flying over EU airspace or preventing Belarusian airlines from using airports of the EU – could also aim to strengthen economic cooperation with Minsk amid the financial difficulties facing the country. during the pandemic.

Some experts, however, have pointed out that this latest move within NATO hints at an attempt to balance the country’s geopolitical goals with economic necessities.

“Turkey is trying to preserve its ‘balance’ between NATO and Russia after signaling in recent weeks that it was more willing to engage in the policy of deterrence towards Russia, as evidenced by its awareness of Ukraine and the sale of drones to Poland. and join NATO’s reinforced air police, ”Karol Wasilewski, an analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs based in Warsaw, told Arab News.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has remained silent on the Reuters report.

However, the Kremlin does not appear to ease its tension with Ankara in a single gesture.

According to Wasilewski, any diplomatic move by Turkey to prevent sanctions against Belarus might calm Russia down a bit, but it will be enough to ease tensions.

“Russia is about to signal to Turkey that its actions will have consequences and this could continue until Turkey shows more clearly that its engagement in NATO will not interfere with its policies towards the Russia, “he said.

He added: “The bottom line is for Turkey to continue its ‘eat a cake and have it too’ policy towards NATO and Russia. Moscow has been fairly tolerant of this policy, because for a long time it had more negative consequences for NATO than for Russia. “

Turkey’s criticism of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity is a source of discontent for the Kremlin.

With Joe Biden’s administration now in the White House in the United States, Wasilewski believes the equation has changed and that Moscow wants to demonstrate to Turkey that this policy is no longer valid, especially if Turkey aims to change its balance in a way that would have more negative consequences for Russia.

For Amanda Paul, senior policy analyst at the Brussels-based European Policy Center (EPC), it is disappointing that Ankara has taken this position, and the decision has frustrated many Alliance members.

“NATO should have given the strongest response to this scandalous incident. Of course, given the state of the Turkish economy these days, Ankara is focused on improving the situation, ”she told Arab News.

When it comes to Belarus, Paul believes Turkey has focused on strengthening economic – and other – ties in recent years.

“In early May, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a phone call with Alexander Lukashenka in which the two reiterated their intention to strengthen relations. This would indicate that the Turkish leadership has no problem dealing with a man whose regime has beaten, and in some cases killed, peaceful protesters and has now hijacked a plane, ”she said.



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Odd Lots Newsletter: A massive week for a $ 30 trillion industry https://arena-kiev.com/odd-lots-newsletter-a-massive-week-for-a-30-trillion-industry/ https://arena-kiev.com/odd-lots-newsletter-a-massive-week-for-a-30-trillion-industry/#respond Fri, 28 May 2021 14:34:23 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/odd-lots-newsletter-a-massive-week-for-a-30-trillion-industry/ Welcome to the Odd Lots newsletter for subscribers. Every week, Joe weisenthal and Tracy alloway provide insight into what they are tracking in the markets. Here’s what Tracy is watching this week One of the first questions I always ask about ESG is whether it is about investing in good companies, or if it involves […]]]>


Welcome to the Odd Lots newsletter for subscribers. Every week, Joe weisenthal and Tracy alloway provide insight into what they are tracking in the markets.

Here’s what Tracy is watching this week

One of the first questions I always ask about ESG is whether it is about investing in good companies, or if it involves investing in not so good companies and then trying to engage with them to change their behavior? (I asked the question in This week’s episode on the downsides of private investment in the ESG space, with the excellent Daniela Gabor, professor at UWE Bristol).

A lot of people would look at it and say, well, it’s a bit of both. That is true. At the moment there are a lot of ESG funds that invest in fossil fuel companies with the ambition of rewarding their relative good behavior or encouraging more of it. At the same time, there are ESG points of sale that invest exclusively in sustainable energy, completely avoiding fossil fuels.

We don’t talk much about how the first pool of capital often ends up outweighing the second (much smaller) pool of capital, but there really should be.

The controversy over Bitcoin’s green credentials is emerging as the perfect example of this fundamental tension in ESG. Should environmentally conscious people avoid Bitcoin altogether as it wastes a lot of energy? Or should they engage with Bitcoin miners and other promoters to encourage a shift to more renewable energy sources?

Elon Musk of course seems to be heading towards an engagement strategy. After initially announcing that Tesla would stop accepting Bitcoin payments, he then tweeted that he had spoken with Bitcoin mining heads on how they could make the space greener. (Of course, there is quite a conversation to be had on how to to hire with a decentralized network whose main selling point is that it is not controlled by any person or thing. I can’t imagine, for example, that an activist fund would buy a bunch of Bitcoin and then start a proxy fight with Satoshi Nakamoto over the grid’s energy profile)

At the other end of the spectrum, we have China. There, authorities announced a crackdown on cryptocurrency mining, an activity they would see detrimental to their new environmental goals (and likely also threatening a relatively controlled financial system).

So on the one hand we have a policy of engagement (Musk voices his concerns and then tries to resolve the issue) and on the other hand a complete disengagement (as China tries to eradicate the mining). One of those attempts to preserve the business by adapting it to the needs of a carbon-sensitive future, the other attempts to crush it altogether by diverting money from it and hopefully towards something better.

What’s the right approach? Joe suggested this week that most of the discussion depends on the social value you place on the activity. “You hardly ever hear anyone complain about the electricity consumption of refrigerators,” he said. If you can argue that the process of turning electricity and processing power into a tradable asset must be preserved, then the commitment makes sense. If you think it’s not worth it, then you are completely leaving the space and investing in something else.

But you shouldn’t ignore that these two approaches can exist under the same warm, hazy “ESG” mantle, and that they are at odds with each other.

And this is what Joe is watching this week

Tracy wrote above about our discussion with Daniela Gabor on ESG. And I have to say that since then I have been thinking about this episode nonstop. Honestly, this is probably the first time I have had an ESG conversation with someone who has had such an impact on me.

Its basic argument is that there are significant costs to an approach to tackling climate change that relies heavily on providing profitable incentives to private companies.

There were two this week that got me thinking more about private sector ESG and where it is headed. One was the successful activist campaign to secure two seats on the Exxon Mobil board of directors. The best thing to read is Matt Levine’s article, and how it represents a very tangible first step for big shareholders, who talk a lot about green initiatives, to do something with the companies that they own shares of.

The other moment was when I read this article in Bloomberg Green on how there is now up to $ 30 trillion associated with green finance, and the industry is hiring political A-listers to preserve this business.





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Slovakia has been a strong supporter of Ukraine and Ukraine’s European aspirations https://arena-kiev.com/slovakia-has-been-a-strong-supporter-of-ukraine-and-ukraines-european-aspirations/ https://arena-kiev.com/slovakia-has-been-a-strong-supporter-of-ukraine-and-ukraines-european-aspirations/#respond Fri, 28 May 2021 07:32:32 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/slovakia-has-been-a-strong-supporter-of-ukraine-and-ukraines-european-aspirations/ An exclusive interview with Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger for the Interfax-Ukraine news agency Text: Nataliia Pushkaruk – Please let us know your expectations regarding the visit to Ukraine and the main messages you would like to convey to the Ukrainian authorities and society. What intergovernmental agreements should be signed during your stay in Ukraine? […]]]>


An exclusive interview with Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger for the Interfax-Ukraine news agency

Text: Nataliia Pushkaruk

– Please let us know your expectations regarding the visit to Ukraine and the main messages you would like to convey to the Ukrainian authorities and society. What intergovernmental agreements should be signed during your stay in Ukraine?

– I am happy to visit Kiev, the capital of our biggest neighbor. Clear position of the Slovak government – defined in the Manifesto of the Slovak government on support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, support for reforms. We are in favor of deepening mutual cooperation.

– Ukraine has already signed a declaration of support with several EU member states regarding its aspirations to join the EU. What does Slovakia think of Ukraine’s European aspirations and does it plan to sign such a declaration, to officially recognize Ukraine’s aspirations for European integration? What do you think about the likelihood of Ukraine joining the EU in the near future?

– Slovakia has been a strong supporter of Ukraine and its European aspirations of Ukraine. This is one of my main messages today in Kiev. And we are also talking about it in Brussels. The presidential offices of both countries are working on the declaration you mentioned. Ukraine’s aspirations for European integration have already been officially recognized on numerous occasions. For now, it is important to use all the provisions of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine.

– How do you assess Ukraine’s progress towards the EU and NATO? How close is our country to joining these organizations? What government reforms have been successful and still need to be implemented in the near future?

– I am also here today to speak with Ukrainian interlocutors about the reforms. Indeed, the transformation and modernization of the country is a prerequisite for becoming a member of the EU and NATO. The reform process in Ukraine is continuing and Slovakia believes it will be sustainable and successful. Besides, the changes do not concern the EU and NATO, they must be introduced by the Ukrainians themselves to make Ukraine stronger, more resilient, for the benefit of all Ukrainians.

– Recently, Russia withdrew its weapons and military at the Ukrainian border. Despite the statements about the withdrawal, a large number of Russian troops, equipment remains near our border, as well as the threat of provocations by the Russian Federation. What EU help can Ukraine count on in the event of a Russian military attack on Ukraine? Does Slovakia support the imposition of sectoral sanctions against Russia?

– I am informed of the development of the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border and Slovakia condemned the recent Russian military reinforcement. The EU is constantly working in support of Ukraine. The EU has a wide range of tools, including restrictive measures.

– Has Slovakia decided to participate in the Crimean platform? What do you think of this initiative and who will attend its inaugural summit in August from your country?

– Yes, Slovakia will participate in the inaugural summit of the Crimean platform. We will be represented by President Čaputová. The upper level of our representation gives an answer to your question.

– In your opinion, what can stop the completion of Nord Stream 2? Does Slovakia wish to maintain gas transit through Ukraine? In your opinion, how to maintain a certain amount of gas in transit through Ukraine in the event of its completion?

– As for the Nord Stream 2 project, it is not for Slovakia to decide. Slovakia has always been a reliable transit country for Russian gas to the West via the territory of Ukraine and we are really interested in maintaining this gas transit through Ukraine. We believe that the transit contract between Russia and Ukraine will be respected later.

– How do you assess the economic cooperation between Ukraine and Slovakia? What problems do Slovak investors face in Ukraine? What are Ukraine’s expectations regarding the protection of the rights, in particular, of Slovak investors?

– Economic cooperation does not reflect the potential. More work is needed. – There is a need to properly prepare the Joint Commission on Economic, Industrial and Scientific Cooperation and the Bilateral Business Forum in the autumn of 2021. Cooperation in the field of energy will take on greater importance and we must build on it. A friendly and transparent business environment is the basis for more Slovak (foreign) investments in Ukraine.

– Are all the technical questions in the framework of the agreement on the operation of the airport of Uzhhorod agreed and when to expect its resumption? How long is the agreement concluded?

– This is a very technical question. A bilateral agreement on the use of Slovak airspace by Uzhhorod airport will be in force from 5 June. There are still technical measures and procedures to be put in place and you simply cannot cut shortcuts. This is about security and established mechanisms in air transport, not politics. I was informed that the whole process would be completed in September.

– The Ukrainian government has announced that it is negotiating with neighboring countries on entry permits for citizens of our countries bilaterally, until the introduction of a single vaccination passport in the EU. Are Ukraine and Slovakia conducting such negotiations?

– We are very positive about the updated Commission recommendation (from 20 May) which makes it easier, under certain conditions, for travelers from third countries to enter the EU. We believe that with the progress of vaccination and mutual acceptance of vaccination certificates, the situation will improve

– Will Slovakia continue to receive wounded soldiers from Ukraine and children from the East for treatment?

– Since 2014, Slovakia has provided humanitarian and development aid to Ukraine worth around 9.5 million euros. An important part of it was linked to those negatively affected by the conflict in Donbass, including the organization of rehabilitations for the wounded and children. COVID19 has complicated the situation across the board. Once the pandemic is over, we can revisit this issue.



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