Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα sanctions. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα sanctions. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τρίτη, Αυγούστου 08, 2017

North Korea threatens physical actions after UN sanctions

North Korea threatens physical actions
North Korea threatened Tuesday to take strategic action and physical action after a new package of sanctions was imposed against the country by the United Nations Security Council on Saturday, which the regime denounced as illegal and a terrorist act.

Δευτέρα, Αυγούστου 07, 2017

North Korea expected to announce position on latest sanctions


North Korea
North Korea is expected to soon make an announcement on its position regarding the latest round of sanctions that passed at the United Nations Security Council.

Tillerson: US to Respond to Russia's Ouster of Diplomats

he asked Lavrov "several clarifying questions"
US Secretary of State said Washington will respond by Sept. 1 to Russia's move to force a major reduction in American diplomatic staff, a move that echoed former President Barack Obama's action to kick out Russian diplomats for Moscow's meddling in the 2016 American election.

Σάββατο, Αυγούστου 05, 2017

U.N. Security Council passes tough new sanctions on North Korea

U.N. Security Council
The United Nations Security Council voted Saturday to enact tough new sanctions on North Korea over its continued pursuit of long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.

UN to Vote Saturday on US-Drafted Resolution to Cut North Korean Exports

The UN’s main body
The UN’s main body will convene at 3:00 p.m. (19:00GMT) in New York to hold talks on "Non-proliferation/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea," according to its daily program.

Russia reserves right to retaliate against new EU sanctions: FM

Russian Foreign Ministry
The European Union (EU)'s decision to expand the sanction list against Russia over the Siemens turbine spat is "deeply regrettable", and Moscow reserves the right to retaliate, Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

Σάββατο, Φεβρουαρίου 21, 2015

Obama to weigh next steps on Ukraine 'in next few days' (John Kerry)

U.S. President Barack Obama will evaluate the next steps in dealing with the conflict in eastern Ukraine in the coming days, including arming Ukrainian forces and sanctions against Moscow, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday.
"In the next few days I anticipate that President Obama will evaluate the choices that are in front of him and will make his decision as to what the next step will be," Kerry told a news conference after meetings with his British counterpart.

"There are serious discussions taking place between us and our European allies as to what those next sanctions steps are to be and when they ought to be implemented," he said.
REUTERS
todayonline.com
21/2/15
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Παρασκευή, Ιανουαρίου 30, 2015

Greece warned against trying to reverse bailout deals

The head of the Eurogroup warned on Friday that Greece could not ignore its international obligations, after a first meeting with the new anti-austerity government that wants to renegotiate its multi-billion-euro bailout...

"Taking unilateral steps or ignoring previous arrangements is not the way forward," Jeroen Dijsselbloem, representing Greece's eurozone creditors, told a news conference after talks with the leftist government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

For his part, new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Greece was willing to broker a deal, but not through the detested "troika" of fiscal auditors representing the country's international lenders.

Varoufakis, a maverick economist, said the government would seek "maximum cooperation" with the EU, the eurozone and the IMF and had already begun talks but would not cooperate with "a committee built on rotten foundations."

Dijsselbloem warned before arriving in Athens that the new Greek government is already setting itself an impossible task, raising expectations it cannot meet.

"If you add up all the promises (made in the election campaign), then the Greek budget will very quickly run totally off course," he said in Amsterdam.

Friday's talks come on the heels of warnings by the European Union and Germany that there was little support for reducing the debt, which the radical new government is hoping to cut in half.

New maverick Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will begin a tour of European capitals next week to press home Greece's case, meeting his British, French and Italian counterparts on Monday and Tuesday. Tsipras will also visit Italy and France next week.

Debt rating agency Fitch said Greece was still likely to reach a deal with its creditors but only after protracted talks damaging to the economy.

"There is a high risk that protracted and difficult negotiations will sap confidence and liquidity from the Greek economy," it said in a note.

Ahead of the meeting, Greek stocks lost another 1.59 percent a day after after plunging on concerns about the first moves of Tsipras's radical new administration to roll back several reforms underpinning the bailout.

European Parliament chief Martin Schulz, the first visiting foreign dignitary to meet Tsipras' government, on Thursday said the prime minister had assured him that Greece would seek "common ground" with its EU peers.

But in an interview late on Thursday, Schulz said Tsipras' coalition alliance with the Independent Greeks, a hardline nationalist party, was "not something good for the country."

"This government will enter into confrontation with the European Union at a time when dialogue is needed," he told SKAI TV.

Elected on Sunday, the new government has already begun to roll back years of austerity measures demanded by the EU and the International Monetary Fund in return for the huge bailout granted to avoid a financial meltdown in 2010, and says it will negotiate to halve the debt.

‘Debt reduction not on radar'

But European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said a reduction of the 315-billion-euro debt linked to the bailout "is not on the radar".

"I don't think there's a majority in the Eurogroup... for a reduction of the debt," he told Germany's ARD television, referring to the eurozone's finance ministers.

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's vice-chancellor and also its economy minister, said he expected Greece to "stick to its commitments" for fiscal and economic reform made in exchange for the bailout.

He was critical of a decision by the new government to scrap the privatisation of the two main ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki, and the biggest Greek power company, decisions which have also drawn a rebuke from China that has a major investment in Piraeus.

  • The Greek central bank said 4.0 billion euros in private deposits had been withdrawn from banks in December.

But Daniele Nouy, head of the European Central Bank's Supervisory Board, said despite the post-election turbulence, Greek lenders were "pretty strong".

First row over Russia statement

Tsipras' government managed to have its first foreign policy row this week after it complained to Brussels over allegedly not being consulted when the EU threatened new sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine.

EU foreign ministers eventually overcame Greece's reluctance and agreed Thursday to extend the sanctions against Russia.

Tsipras' Syriza party has been seen as pro-Russian, with Moscow's ambassador becoming the first foreign official to be received by the prime minister after his election victory. Many party members are former Communists.

Tsipras, who ousted the conservatives of former prime minister Antonis Samaras, has said Greece is no longer prepared to bow to the "politics of submission”, in a clear swipe at its international creditors.

Varoufakis has said the government wants "a pan-European New Deal" to encourage growth and help the continent deal with Greece's crisis.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

http://www.france24.com/en/20150130-greece-warned-against-trying-reverse-bailout-deals/
30/1/15

EU to consider lifting fish import ban on Sri Lanka

The European Commission has offered Sri Lanka assistance to meet the regulatory requirements that would enable an early lifting of ban on fish exports from Sri Lanka to the EU, the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday.

The External Affairs Ministry said the decision was made following talks held between Sri Lanka and the European Commission.

Sri Lanka's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, was in Brussels this week in an attempt to have the ban on Sri Lankan fish imports lifted.

Foreign Minister Samaraweera met Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and members of the European Parliament.

He also held talks with the European commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries and the European commissioner for international cooperation and development.

Discussions focused on strengthening Sri Lanka's relations with the European Union and Belgium, the steps Sri Lanka has taken and will take to comply with international fishing regulations and the process of requalifying for tariff concessions, the External Affairs Ministry said.

"During the fruitful meetings the European Commission offered Sri Lanka assistance in meeting the regulatory requirements that would enable an early lifting of the ban on fish exports to the EU and displayed strong interest in expanding socio-economic ties and development programmes," the Ministry said.

The EU had imposed the ban after Sri Lanka continued to violate international regulations on deep sea fishing.

Sri Lanka, under the previous government, was given time to remedy the situation before the ban took effect this month, but the government had failed to meet the requirements.

 Source: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
29-30/1/15
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Τρίτη, Νοεμβρίου 25, 2014

Iran split on nuke talks extension

Iran's media were deeply split Tuesday on the merits of ­extending nuclear talks with the West, with conservative newspapers criticizing the move as reformist outlets said progress had been made.

Vatan-e-Emrooz, a hard-line broadsheet newspaper, headlined its front page "Nothing" - and beneath the fold had only empty white space.

"A year has passed since the Geneva accord. Nuclear negotiations for the removal of sanctions did not reach a result," the newspaper said, announcing the seven-month extension in talks to its readers.

Siasate-e Rooz, another hard-line paper, was similarly pessimistic.

"Americans, despite announcing in their media that they want a deal, in fact do not believe in reaching a nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran and have never taken any steps to achieve this result."

However, President Hassan Rouhani, who on Monday said a nuclear deal with the West would be done despite missing the deadline in Vienna, received support from more moderate newspapers.

"A major change took place in the past 15 months ... the victory of realism, rationality and pragmatism," the reformist Shargh newspaper said.

"These negotiations showed that neither is Iran 'the axis of evil' that the Americans imagined and tried to make the world believe, nor does America have unresolvable conflicts with Iran as many said," it added.

The overall tone was pessimistic, however, with most newspapers taking a skeptical view of the talks extension.

Javan, a newspaper with close links to Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards, headlined its front-page report, "Seven months of artificial respiration to nuclear diplomacy."

 

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US House and Senate members reacted coolly Monday to an extension of international negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, with skeptical lawmakers demanding Congress "tighten the economic vice on Tehran" through new sanctions.

No sooner had the extension been announced in Vienna and US Secretary of State John Kerry implored US lawmakers not to "walk away" from the negotiations by slapping punitive sanctions on Iran, that several lawmakers advocated just that, setting up a potential White House clash with Congress.

"Now more than ever, it's critical that Congress enacts sanctions that give Iran's mullahs no choice but to dismantle their illicit nuclear program," Republican Senator Mark Kirk, who supports new sanctions, said in a statement. Kirk has drawn up tough legislation with Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Robert Menendez, a Democrat, that would see sanctions kick in should Iran violate terms of the temporary agreement or future deal.

AFP -  globaltimes.cn
25/11/14

Παρασκευή, Νοεμβρίου 21, 2014

Iran says no proposals from P 5+1 negotiators to Iran that require coordination

P 5 + 1 negotiators /five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany/ have not made any considerable proposals that would require coordination with Teheran, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told reporters on Friday.

The past several days have seen intensive negotiations and the sides have held good discussions but P 5 + 1 didn’t make any really considerable proposals that should have been taken for coordination to Teheran, he said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has decided to stay in Vienna to take part in the talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of international mediators, a source in the U.S. delegation told TASS on Friday.

The source said Kerry had changed his plans to opt for staying in Vienna instead of flying to Paris.

According to earlier reports, Kerry and France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius were to go to Paris on Friday evening to have additional consultations on the Iranian talks.

But after multi-lateral consultations on Friday, coordinator Catherine Ashton, the former EU foreign policy chief, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Kerry had several meetings in the three-party format. The contacts are planned to be continued into the night.

http://en.itar-tass.com/world/761092
21/11/14

Σάββατο, Οκτωβρίου 25, 2014

La société Rosneft va effectuer le forage dans la mer de Kara de façon indépendante

La compagnie russe Rosneft va continuer d’effectuer le forage dans la mer de Kara de façon indépendante, a déclaré son PDG, Igor Setchine.

Setchine a souligné qu’une meilleure plate-forme résistante aux glaces participerait à ce travail.

Le PDG de Rosneft n'a pas exclu la possibilité d'une coopération avec la société Gazprom.


La compagnie américaine ExxonMobil ne peut pas participer au forage de puits dans la mer de Kara en raison des sanctions, imposées par les États-Unis envers l'industrie pétrolière de la Fédération de Russie.

Entre-temps, le premier puits Universitetskaya 1 qui a été foré par les deux entreprises conjointement a permis de découvert un nouveau champ. Ses réserves sont estimées à 338 milliards de mètres cubes de gaz et plus de 100 millions de tonnes de pétrole.
french.ruvr.ru/news

25/10/14
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Τρίτη, Οκτωβρίου 14, 2014

Illegal fisheries: green cards for five countries, but red card for Sri Lanka. (EC -14.10.14)

European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 14 October 2014:

In its fight against illegal fishing activities worldwide, the European Commission has today proposed to ban imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka to tackle the commercial benefits stemming from illegal fishing. The move comes after four years of intense dialogue with the country after which it could not demonstrate that it sufficiently addressed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. In contrast, the Commission today confirmed that Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu, which had received warnings at the same time as Sri Lanka, have successfully taken measures to tackle illegal fishing. Consequently, the Commission proposes to lift the trade measures imposed in March this year against Belize.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "Our policy of resolute cooperation is yielding results. Five countries receive today our appreciation for getting serious on illegal fishing. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Sri Lanka. I hope that the message we are sending today will be a wake-up call for this country."

Sri Lanka needs to address illegal fishing
According to the Commission's assessment, Sri Lanka has not sufficiently addressed the shortcomings in its fisheries control system identified in November 2012. The main weaknesses include shortcomings in the implementation of control measures, a lack of deterrent sanctions for the high seas fleet, as well as lacking compliance with international and regional fisheries rules.
As a result, the Commission tables a ban on fisheries products caught by Sri Lankan vessels being imported into the EU. In order to avoid disrupting ongoing commercial contracts, the full trade measures will only come into force in mid-January 2015, which is three months after the decision is published in the EU's Official Journal. 

Progress confirmed for Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu
The Commission has today also proposed to remove Belize from the list of non-cooperating third countries in the fight against illegal fishing and to end the trade measures imposed against the country in March 2014. Belize has demonstrated its commitment to reforming its legal framework and adopting a new set of rules for inspection, control and monitoring of vessel. The Council will take a decision in this respect.
In a similar vein, the Commission also announced the termination of steps against Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu who all received a formal warning in November 2012. The countries have taken concrete measures in addressing established shortcomings and shown commitment to complete structural reforms in order to address illegal fishing.
The Commission has prolonged the cooperation with Korea, Curacao and Ghana until January 2015. Despite some progress achieved in these countries, which have received formal warnings in November 2013, more time is needed in these countries to make changes.
Commissioner Damanaki said: "The improvements Belize made as regards its fisheries control system since its 'red card' show that the EU's fight against illegal fishing works. The formalised cooperation with the EU has helped the country to move towards sustainable fisheries. The same goes for Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu. These countries' positive attitude should serve as a template to other countries in similar situations."
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1132_en.htm?locale=en
14/10/14
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Σάββατο, Σεπτεμβρίου 20, 2014

Rosneft Capable of Arctic Drilling Without ExxonMobil. (The East Prinovozemelsky blocks in the Kara Sea)

SOCHI, September 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian oil giant Rosneft and US oil company ExxonMobil continue the drilling in the Kara Sea, however, the Russian company was prepared to continue work independently should plans have changed, Rosneft Vice President Larisa Kalanda said at the International Investment Forum Sochi 2014.
"The work at the Universitetskaya field is going in accordance to plans. We are satisfied with the decision from the American regulator that has authorized [Exxon's participation]… In the case that the regulator had not authorized Exxon to work at the field, Rosneft had its own plan and was ready to continue work on its own," Kalanda said.

"If Rosneft continued to work on the Universitetskaya project [independently] leading up to the field's commercial opening, partners would be required to enter a new round of negotiations to rejoin the project," she added.
Kalanda declined to comment on the exact date in which the drilling operations in the Kara Sea would finish.
"I would prefer not to name specific dates," she said, adding that, while adopting the work plan for the field, the company's specialists took into account the fact that there was little time to do the drilling.
In 2011, Rosneft signed a cooperation agreement with ExxonMobil to develop the East Prinovozemelsky blocks in the Kara Sea. In exchange for a share of 33 percent of the development in the Kara Sea, Exxon agreed to cover the majority of costs associated with exploratory drilling, which totaled more than $3.2 billion. Estimated recoverable oil resources in the three Kara Sea blocks stand at 6.2 billion tons, according to Rosneft.
Earlier, Exxon said it would assess the impact that western sanctions against Russia may have on their cooperation with Rosneft.
http://en.ria.ru
20/9/14
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Παρασκευή, Σεπτεμβρίου 19, 2014

ExxonMobil receives US government agreement to continue Arctic work with Rosneft. Obama administration granted a brief extension

Previously, sources told Bloomberg that ExxonMobil and Rosneft had halted drilling wells on the Arctic shelf....

American ExxonMobil has confirmed receiving the U.S. government’s permission to continue Arctic drilling works together its partner Rosneft which the company was supposed to stop because of U.S. and European sanctions imposed to punish Russia for escalating tensions in Ukraine, the Bloomberg news agency reported with reference to the company’s statement.


On halting drills

Previously, sources told Bloomberg that ExxonMobil and Rosneft had halted drilling wells on the Arctic shelf.
  • Russia’s Minister of Natural Resources, Sergei Donskoy, however, has not confirmed that information to journalists.
  • "As far as I know, there has been information that drilling could be halted. But these reports have not been confirmed,” Donskoy said.
Rosneft started drilling wells in the Arctic earlier than deadline mentioned in the license. That is why, the minister said, it would be pre-mature to speak about any problems with the license due to disruption of deadlines.
Rosneft and ExxonMobil started drilling on Russia’s northernmost well - Universitetskaya - with the help of West Alpha rig delivered by Norwegian firm North Atlantic Drilling early in August.
Rosneft and North Atlantic Drilling concluded long-term agreements for drilling wells on the Arctic shelf on July 30, 2014.
West Alpha was transported via the Barents, Pechorsk and Kara Seas and installed at a drilling location on the Vostochno-Prinovozemelsky-1 licensed site in the Kara Sea.
http://en.itar-tass.com/economy/750413
19/9/14
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  • Facing U.S. sanctions, Exxon winds down drilling in Russian Arctic....

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil said on Friday it will wind down drilling in Russia's Arctic in the face of U.S. sanctions targeting Western cooperation with Moscow's oil sector, after the Obama administration granted a brief extension to safely mothball its operations

Washington intensified sanctions on Russia on Sept. 12 over its intervention in Ukraine. The measures seek to stop billions of dollars worth of cooperation between Western and Russian energy companies on oil drilling in Russia's Arctic, in Siberia and offshore. Companies have until Sept. 26 to stop the work...................................http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/19/us-usa-exxon-russia-idUSKBN0HE27C20140919?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews
19/9/14
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Politically motivated sanctions may jeopardize global energy security. (Russian Energy Minister)

Politically-motivated sanctions may adversely impact global energy security, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.

He said that no one had bothered to reckon possible impacts of the anti-Russian sanctions on the global energy sector. “In Russia, we try to analyze this situation but as concerns the global situation, as has been noted here by many, it would be better not to tamper with the energy sector, since the balance of energy security is a very delicate balance,” Novak said at the international investment forum in Sochi.


“No one has considered possible consequences,” he said. “We are discussing these issues with CEOs of biggest companies operating in Russia, such as Shell and Total, and neither of them seems to understand how these companies should work in conditions of sanctions. And what will become with contracts signed earlier, what will become with their shares in projects, how they are to withdraw from the project if it comes to that? No one fully understands such things.”

Earlier on Friday, Novak said that France’s Total said it would continue its projects in Russia that had been launched before the sanctions. Total is a partner of Russia’s LUKoil, Novatek and Gazprom in Russian projects.

 [en.itar-tass.com]

19/9/14
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  • Miller: Gazprom Maintains Steady Daily Supply of Gas to Europe

    •  Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Friday Russia will certainly fulfill all obligations on gas supplies to Europe and Asia.

    “All obligations - European and Asian - will be fulfilled. There should be no doubts here,” Medvedev said in an interview with ITAR-TASS.
    He called “the European direction [of gas supplies] very important” for Russia.

Σάββατο, Σεπτεμβρίου 13, 2014

Already fragile ceasefire under strain in east Ukraine

Fighting flared near an airport in eastern Ukraine in breach of a fragile eight-day ceasefire as the prime minister accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of planning to destroy his country.
Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said only membership of NATO would enable Ukraine to defend itself from external aggression.

Kiev and its Western backers accuse Moscow of sending troops and tanks into eastern Ukraine in support of pro-Russian separatists battling Ukrainian forces in a conflict that has killed more than 3,000 people. Russia denies the accusations.
A ceasefire negotiated by envoys from Ukraine, Russia, the separatists and Europe's OSCE security watchdog, has been in place in eastern Ukraine since Sept. 5 and is broadly holding despite regular but sporadic violations, especially in key flashpoints such as Donetsk.
Speaking at a conference in Kiev attended by Ukrainian and European lawmakers and business leaders on Saturday, Yatseniuk made clear he did not view the ceasefire as the start of a sustainable peace process because of Putin's ambitions.
"We are still in a stage of war and the key aggressor is the Russian Federation ... Putin wants another frozen conflict (in eastern Ukraine)," said Yatseniuk, a longtime fierce critic of Moscow and a supporter of Ukraine's eventual NATO membership.
  • Yatseniuk said Putin would not be content only with Crimea - annexed by Moscow in March - and with Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking eastern region.
  • "His goal is to take all of Ukraine ... Russia is a threat to the global order and to the security of the whole of Europe."
Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told a daily briefing that one soldier and 12 rebels had been killed in the past 24 hours, without specifying where they had died. That would bring the death toll among Ukrainian forces since the start of the ceasefire eight days ago to six.
The rebels have not said how many of their men have died in the same period.
  • Government forces still hold Donetsk airport, while the city is in separatist hands.
Putin says Russia has the right to defend its ethnic kin beyond its borders, though Moscow denies arming the rebels and helped broker the current ceasefire with Kiev.
Asked about future NATO membership, a red line for Russia, Yatseniuk said he realized the alliance was not ready now to admit Kiev, but added: "NATO in these particular circumstances is the only vehicle to protect Ukraine."
There is no prospect of the Atlantic alliance admitting Ukraine, a sprawling country of 45 million people between central Europe and Russia, but Kiev has stepped up cooperation with NATO in a range of areas and has pressed member states to sell it weapons to help defeat the separatists.
About 100 Russian trucks arrived today in the war-ravaged eastern city of Luhansk, part of a convoy sent to deliver 1,800 tonnes of humanitarian aid to residents.
It is the second such Russian aid convoy and it passed the border without any major difficulty. The first convoy in August was denounced by Ukraine and its Western allies for crossing the border without Kiev's permission.
The Ukraine conflict has triggered several waves of Western sanctions against Russia, most recently on Friday. The new measures, branded by Putin "a bit strange" in view of the ceasefire, target banks and oil companies.
Russia, which has already introduced bans on a range of US and European food imports, signaled it would respond with further sanctions of its own against Western interests.
Yatseniuk said on Saturday the latest sanctions posed a big threat to the Russian economy.
"It is bluff (by Russia) to say it does not care about the sanctions," he said, noting that Russia relied heavily on its energy sector and some of the sanctions targeted its oil firms.
Yatseniuk defended his government's efforts, despite the conflict, to tackle rampant corruption and overhaul the creaking economy, adding: "It is very hard to attract investors when you have Russian tanks and artillery in your country."
His center-right People's Front party is expected to do well in a parliamentary election on Oct. 26.
The conflict is taking a heavy toll on Ukraine's already battered economy, which is now being supported by a 17 billion dollar loan package from the International Monetary Fund.
  • The economy could shrink by as much as 10 percent this year, the head of Ukraine's central bank, Valeria Hontareva, was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying on Saturday, much more than the 6.5 percent decrease previously forecast by the IMF.
Yatseniuk praised a decision on Friday to delay the implementation of a new trade pact with the European Union until the end of 2015. He said it prolonged unilateral trade benefits now enjoyed by Ukrainian firms in the EU while maintaining modest customs duties on European products entering Ukraine.
  • Some have seen the decision to postpone the implementation of the deal as a diplomatic victory for Russia, which is opposed to closer economic ties between Kiev and the EU, but Yatseniuk said it would be good for Ukraine's own economy.
"We got a grace period. The EU opened its markets but Ukraine is still protected, so for Ukraine this is not a bad deal," he said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danylo Lubkivsky submitted his resignation, saying: "(The delay) sends the wrong signal - to the aggressor, to our allies and, above all, to Ukrainian citizens."
 http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/169658/already-fragile-ceasefire-under-strain-in-east-ukraine
13/9/14
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Παρασκευή, Σεπτεμβρίου 12, 2014

Russia slams US sanctions, says counter-measures 'won't take long'

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has slammed the latest round of US sanctions over Ukraine as “another hostile move.” Moscow said that this will not change the country’s position, and added that imposing “counter-sanctions will not take long.”
The Foreign Ministry accused the US of adopting a confrontational course toward Russia.
It’s the US that is banking on the escalation of Ukraine’s internal conflict and pressing Russia with sanctions,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that this comes after a ceasefire has been reached in eastern Ukraine at huge effort and there is a hope for a dialogue between the rebel forces and Kiev.
"Of course our retaliatory measures will not keep you waiting, but this is a forced measure," the online statement said.

It should seem that in the White House they must have got on point long ago that sanctions-juggling will never make us change our position, which is a matter of principle,” the Foreign Ministry said. “We won’t act in order to please the geopolitical ambitions of the United States or intentions of those overseas politicians who press for using ‘orchestrated Ukraine’ to control Russia.”

The ministry also said that “those in Washington who shortsightedly continue to feed the sanctions machine” were also putting national security at risk, as Russia plays a key role in fighting global terrorism and drug trafficking. The door for “a constructive and honest bilateral cooperation” remains open – “if the White House is ready for it,” the FM concluded. 


On Friday, the US extended the reach of its sanctions against Russia. Those hit the country’s biggest lenders – Sberbank, Gazprombank and Rosselkhozbank – as well as several state-owned technology firms and energy companies.
Oil and gas sector companies were also targeted with new limitations imposed on exploration technology for Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz, and Rosneft.
The US also said it would prohibit “transactions in, provision of financing for, or other dealings in new debt of greater than 90 days maturity issued by two additional Russian energy companies, Gazprom Neft and Transneft.”
On the same day, the EU imposed its new round of sanctions on Russia. The EU restricted Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft from raising long-term debt on European capital markets, as well as placing services required for oil and gas extraction in the Arctic on the list and restricting ‘dual use’ military technology exports to Russian companies.
Additionally, Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Rosselkhozbank (Russian Agricultural Bank) – have been banned from receiving any long-term (over 30-day) loans from EU companies.
Putin responded to the EU's move saying that Russia has not ruled out responding with tit-for-tat sanctions. However, measures would only be implemented if they did not harm Russia, and if they would help protect the country, he said.
The new EU sanctions could be appealed in the World Trade Organization. Economic Development Minister Aleksey Ulyukayev told reporters in Brussels on Friday: “I believe that even the previous round of sanctions was the reason enough to appeal with the WTO. And we will certainly do it.” 
http://rt.com/news/187424-russia-us-sanctions-open/
12/9/14
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Russia tightens energy grip amid 'reverse flow' gas trade

 While the EU prepares to apply a new round of sanctions against Russian energy companies, Poland, Slovakia and Austria have announced delivery shortfalls in their Russian gas imports being piped through Ukraine.

Ukraine started reverse flow of gas imports from Europe through Slovakia, Poland, Austria and Hungary, after Russia halted gas exports to Ukraine in June.


So-called ‘reverse flows’ occur when countries in Europe send gas back down pipelines usually used to carry Russian gas through Ukraine to the West.

On Thursday, Poland’s national gas company PGNiG announced that Russia reduced gas deliveries to Poland by up to 45 percent. Following the announcement, Slovakian gas company SPP and Austrian energy regulation department announced similar decreases, by 10 and 15 percent respectively.

Slovakia has the capacity to supply up to 20 million cubic meters of gas per day to Ukraine, and the two countries struck an agreement on gas trade on September 2.

Poland has been sending 3-4 million cubic meters of gas to Ukraine; however, yesterday’s shortfall in Russian gas has caused the country to temporarily stop its gas exports to Ukraine.

Hungary, another east European neighbor of Ukraine, has been sending up to 5 million cubic meters of gas to Ukraine daily, although the country has the capacity of 15 million.

Russian monopoly Gazprom has strongly criticized the trade of Russian gas via reverse flows; the company says the re-export of Russian gas is against its contracts with the countries involved in such trade.

Consuming about 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, Ukraine was importing some 60 percent of its gas from Russia.
By E. Gürkan Abay
www.aa.com.tr/en

12/9/14
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Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 11, 2014

New anti-Russian sanctions will not be left without proper reaction from Moscow (FM)

New anti-Russian sanctions will not be left without proper reaction from Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday after the EU adopted a new package of anti-Russian sanctions.

The European Union seems to have made its choice against peace settlement for the crisis in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. The EU actions are totally devoid of any logic and common sense, it said. A course at deteriorating the already tense relations with Russia that has been taken by certain forces in the EU is taking shape now, the ministry noted.

“In connection with the statement of European Council President Herman Van Rompuy of September 11 on introduction of a new package of anti-Russian sanctions, we state the following,” the ministry said.

“Making this step, the EU actually made its choice against the process of peace settlement of the intra-Ukrainian crisis, support for which is expected from all responsible forces in Europe,” the statement said.

“Today, Brussels and heads of EU member states should give a clear answer to EU citizens why they are subjected to the risks of confrontation, economic stagnation and loss of jobs,” the ministry said. “Give people a chance for peace at last,” it said.
http://en.itar-tass.com/world/749156
11/9/14
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