Tag Archives: GAS

The US Threatens Sanctions on Companies Completing Nord Stream 2

The US State Department recalled the possibility of applying sanctions against companies that are involved in the completion of the construction of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

“As the president noted, Nord Stream 2 is a bad project for Germany, Ukraine, and our partners and allies in Central and Eastern Europe. The State Department is monitoring efforts to complete the construction of Nord Stream 2 and evaluating information about companies that seem are involved in the project, “Secretary of State Antony Blinken said March 18.

He noted that the previous US administrations were of the opinion that this is a geopolitical project of the Russian Federation, the purpose of which is to divide Europe and weaken European energy security.

“The sanctions legislation passed by Congress in 2019 and expanded in 2020 has significant bipartisan majority support. The Biden administration is committed to enforcing this legislation.

The State Department warns that any company involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 risks being subject to US sanctions and must immediately stop working on the pipeline, “said Antony Blinken.

The construction of the Russian gas pipeline is in its final stages, but with new US sanctions, chances are that the project will never be completed, despite the fact that Germany does not want to abandon it.

At least 18 European companies have ended their participation in the Nord Stream 2 project or are in the process of withdrawing from it due to the threat of US sanctions.

On February 24, it became known that Wintershall Dea, one of the five companies participating in the project, had stopped its funding.

According to German media reports, the German government and parliamentary factions of the ruling coalition are considering four options for the further development of events with the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline against the backdrop of the threat of US sanctions.

EU freezes plans for sanctions against Turkey due to improving relations

The European Union has frozen plans to include the leadership of the Turkish oil corporation in the sanctions list.

It is reported by Reuters with reference to four EU diplomats.

In December, EU leaders proposed an asset freeze and entry bar for Turkish oil corporation officials for Turkey’s “unauthorized drilling activities” to explore for natural gas in disputed waters in the eastern Mediterranean.

The EU also agreed to consider tougher economic sanctions at the March 25-26 summit.

But the more constructive tone of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s support for reconciliation, and the first direct talks between old enemies Turkey and Greece over the past five years have helped change the mood.

The new administration of US President Joe Biden also called on Brussels not to impose sanctions at a time when Turkey, a NATO ally and an EU candidate country, is more willing to compromise, European and American diplomats said.

“Work on additional blacklists of Turkish persons has stopped and we are no longer talking about economic sanctions,” said one EU diplomat.

A second EU diplomat said the work “never really started” and a third said that “the diplomatic path has priority.”

The EU Foreign Service declined to comment on the information about the sanctions.

Police disperse BLM activists in Belgium with water cannons and tear gas

In Belgium, police dispersed Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists participating in protests against “police violence” with water cannons and tear gas. This is reported by the RTBF TV channel.

During the clashes in the city of Liege, 11 policemen were injured and several dozen people were detained. In social networks, there were videos of skirmishes between law enforcement officers and residents of the city.

The authorities note that the participants of the rally staged pogroms. The protesters smashed McDonald’s in the city center and cars parked near it, smashed several transport stops, smashed shops and cars. Activists also broke windows in the police station and the city hall of Liege.

The protest actions in Belgium began after a video of the detention of a young girl of African descent by law enforcement officers “with the use of force” was distributed on the Internet.

In January, it was reported that the Black Olives Matter (BLM) movement was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. A similar initiative was made by a member of the Norwegian Parliament, Petter Eide. According to him, the movement has become an integral part of the “global struggle against racial discrimination” and has been able to attract interest in this topic around the world.

Estonia imposes severe restrictions due to coronavirus

The more aggressive British strain of coronavirus is more prevalent in Estonia than predicted.

The Estonian government at an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday approved the introduction of large-scale restrictions from March 11 to April 11 in connection with the spread of coronavirus. On Tuesday, March 9, Delfi reports.

“The latest data show that the more aggressive ‘British’ strain of the coronavirus is more prevalent in Estonia than predicted. Our medical system is in crisis,” said Prime Minister Kaya Kallas.

According to her, the situation is especially critical in Tallinn and Northern Estonia, but the situation is “alarming” throughout Estonia.

“The government has decided to introduce additional restrictions, the purpose of which is to reduce to a minimum contact between people. This is the only way to get out of this crisis. It depends on the behavior of each of us how quickly we will succeed, “the prime minister stressed.

So, to prevent the spread of coronavirus in public spaces outdoors, the country is introducing a restriction on movement according to the 2 + 2 principle, which means that up to two people can move together, who must keep a distance of two meters from others.

The government strongly recommended that children should not be taken to kindergarten unless absolutely necessary. Distance learning is being introduced in schools, including for primary school students, which was not the case before.

Since March 11, sports, training, youth work, education, and hobby activities, additional education, and professional development have been prohibited on the premises. Sports competitions, as well as sports and events promoting an active lifestyle, public events in the field of culture, entertainment, are prohibited, SPA, swimming pools, baths are closed.

Stores are also closing, with the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies, telecommunications firms, opticians, pet stores, and gas stations. It will be forbidden to eat and drink in the cafes at the gas stations.

For catering establishments, only takeaway food sales are allowed.

According to the Health Board, the two-week cumulative incidence in Estonia has doubled since 17 February. On March 7, it exceeded 1,300 cases per 100,000 inhabitants – one of the highest rates in the European Union.

Let us remind you that the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine was administered to the President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid.

It was also reported that Estonia has run out of COVID vaccines, while the country’s epidemic is reaching record highs.

Chaos in Myanmar: shooting to kill, dozens killed

Since the beginning of February, more than 50 people have become victims of the brutal suppression of protests by opponents of the coup in Myanmar: 38 people died on Wednesday, according to the UN special envoy for Myanmar. Protesters and observers say police have broken up the protesters more violently.

“The major cities in the country are like Tiananmen Square,” Yangon Archbishop Cardinal Charles Maung Bo tweeted, comparing it to the 1989 crackdown on student protests in Beijing.

UN Secretary General’s special envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner-Burgener called Wednesday the “bloodiest” day for the country since the military coup in early February.

Observers, protesters, and journalists have noted that police actions have become more aggressive since the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by the military-appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar. According to the country’s state media, he “exchanged views on regional and international issues.”

ASEAN foreign ministers unanimously called on the military government of Myanmar to stop firing at protesters but did not agree on the release of the country’s civilian leaders, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Vin Myin. Only four of ASEAN’s ten member countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore — have called for freedom and the restoration of a democratically elected government, Reuters reported.

However, 10 countries participating in the regional group have a tradition of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. A statement following the meeting was made by the representative of Brunei, the ASEAN Chairman in 2021, calling for an end to the violence and the start of negotiations with a view to reaching a peaceful settlement. This was not a joint statement by the group.

Demonstrations organized by the Civil Disobedience Movement are taking place in many major cities in Myanmar. Among the dead and wounded on Wednesday in the cities of Mandalay and Monica, there are many with bullet wounds to the chest and head, according to the BBC’s Southeast Asia correspondent, suggesting that soldiers and police were shooting to kill.

On the same day, in the country’s largest city, Yangon, the police gathered residents of one of the districts, lined them up, forcing them to put their hands on their heads, and took them away in trucks. A protest leader in Mingyan told Reuters that the police first fired tear gas and flash bangs and then fired live ammunition.

“They didn’t send water cannons at us to disperse, they just opened fire,” he says. Two teenagers were killed in Mingyan, the Press Trust of India reported.

[adinserter block=”1″]

The UN Security Council is expected to hold a closed meeting on the situation in Myanmar on Friday, March 5. Great Britain asked for a meeting. Coordinating UN actions will be difficult, however, as the two permanent members of the Security Council, China, and Russia, will almost certainly exercise veto power. Some countries have introduced or are considering imposing their own sanctions on Myanmar.

Police actions show that the military government is ignoring calls for a peaceful resolution of the situation. The military forces that have seized power in the country are going to suppress the movement of civil disobedience in order to achieve recognition of legitimacy by the international community.

Protesters over the past month have used a variety of resistance tactics, from traditional marches to musical performances outside foreign embassies, from strikes to building barricades and blocking roads. One of the protests even involved elephants with their drivers. In recent days, protesters have used smoke grenades and fire extinguishers to prevent police from seeing where to shoot.

“We will continue to fight for those who died. We will win,” a protest activist told Reuters in an interview.