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Putin opposes Poroshenko's stance on prisoner swap, - Peskov.  Russia’s gas pipeline plans threaten European unity. Serbia Calls EU Pressure To Join Russia Sanctions 'Unacceptable'.  Russia refuses to return Sentsov to Ukraine. Dutch PM ‘pessimistic' about Ukraine-EU association. Russia's strategy is to weaken EU - Tusk.

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Russian Embassy: US threatens to Russian diplomats criminal prosecution for the coming presidential election

In the US State Department reiterated that Russian diplomats are to observe the elections and declaration - a "PR move"

Russian Embassy: US threatens to Russian diplomats criminal prosecution for the coming presidential election

The Russian Embassy in the United States received a waiver from the US government to monitor the election and warning that the emergence of Russian diplomats at the polls can be considered a criminal offense.

This is the agency " Interfax " with reference to the Russian embassy, distributed on Friday, 21 October.

Embassy of Russia to the US State Department announced the intention to familiarize with the process of voting "in the performance of our diplomatic functions." In addition, the embassy also asked several local election commissions "in order respectful and transparent approach," the document says. It is emphasized that the Russian side indicated its interest is to familiarize with the American experience in organizing elections. "Unfortunately, we were mostly negative responses until the threats that our interest and the appearance of the polling station can be seen as a criminal act persecuted" - the agency quoted the document.

It is noted that the State Department's response to the request of the Russian diplomatic mission was a "note to which all Russian foreign institutions in the United States to participate in the observation mission told to contact the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights."

"This note is no alternative to implement our normal work we, unlike what they say is American counterparts, have left", - stressed the embassy of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, the US State Department on daily briefing reiterated that Russian observers may participate in monitoring the elections in part OSCE observers. In Ukrainian/український
SBU in the Odesa region. detained city council official, who demanded a bribe of 20 thousand USD

The official of one of the city councils of Odesa region demanded from the businessman of 20 thousand dollars for the lease of the industrial site, which was on the balance of local power.

It is reported " Interfax-Ukraine ", referring to the press center of the SBU.

In early October, the official received 1 thousand dollars advance for a positive decision on the transfer of property at the time of tender. After the announcement of the winners of the tender competition attacker planned to receive the remaining amount.

Law enforcers detained during an official reception 2 thousand USD tranche bribes and transfer documents signed by the tender commission businessman said in a statement. In Ukrainian/український
Seized $ 1.5 million: Lutsenko told about 20 searches through "Ukrzaliznytsia"

PGO, SBU and the NEA conducted a joint operation (both 20 searches) in documenting crimes related to the supply of Ukrzaliznytsia Cable-conductor products of poor quality at inflated prices. Only when one purchases ultrasound caused losses of 23.8 mln. UAH.

At this time last searches both on business and on habitats defendants OPG and in ultrasound departments that its breach of technical rules received. The organizers of illegal activity 1,5 mln. US dollars. In Ukrainian/український

I want to live: British propgandist promoter afraid trolling "peacemaker" of the "Graham W. Philips phone H200"

British promoter that works in the Russian-terrorist forces in the occupied Donbas, Graham Phillips alerted announcement at the Centre of the signs of crimes against the national security of Ukraine "Peacemaker".

In comments to Russian newspaper Life , he said he wanted to live.

"Like anyone, I want to stay alive. But as long as I am alive, I have to keep working. I do not know when I'll die - tomorrow or in a month. But if someone really wants to clean me, let them come and try than make such ads "- said Phillips.

The reason for such fears became a propagandist post the "peacekeepers" of the "Philips phone."

"Center" Peacemaker "is willing to pay for the phone," Phillips H200 "amount of $ 2000. A model for the X300 (unassembled) - $ 1000. To counterfeits, not offered. Interested only Russified original British collection" - says in the ad. In Ukrainian/український
Savchenko has offered to cede Poroshenko' position and return Yanukovych's seat, due to Norman meeting failure

People's Deputy from "Fatherland" Hope Savchenko proposed to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko apologize to the fugitive ex-president Viktor Yanukovych and give him his post.

The corresponding video appeared on YouTube-channel TSN.

Thus, during the talk show "The right to power" Savchenko criticized the results of the "Norman" meeting in Berlin and "success" of the Ukrainian diplomacy. In her opinion, "after such negotiations Peter Alekseevich just have to apologize to Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine to invite him and give him his chair".

"Unfortunately, the Ukrainian diplomacy weaker," - said Savchenko. She also accused Poroshenko that he "passed the elections in Donbass and the Constitution of Ukraine".

According to the MP, the concept of peace can not be realized in Ukraine with the current government.

Recall in Berlin were talks the leaders of Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia "Norman" format to resolve the situation in the Donbass. President Poroshenko arrived at the meeting in Berlin of best practices on legislation for the elections in the Donbas.

As reported by the "Observer", Savchenko previously made a loud statement that "Ukraine must apologize for Donbass". Savchenko also asked the Ukrainian "do not extract it," if a visit to the occupants in the Donbass again she gets captured. In Ukrainian/український
Negotiations on FTA between Canada and the EU have failed

The Belgian region of Wallonia has decided not to grant rights Belgian Government to sign an FTA with Canada

Trade Minister Christine Freeland Canada announced the end of negotiations and the failure of the Belgian region of Wallonia, which has blocked the signing of a free trade area between the EU and Canada. Reported RTBF.

"In recent months we have been working with the European Commission and EU Member States. But it is clear that the EU can now sign international treaties, even with this patient and friendly country like Canada, which has the same European values ​​", - said Freeland.

"Canada was disappointed, I am personally very disappointed, I worked a lot (to this agreement). We decided to go home. I am very, very sad indeed, "- added she was" in tears after being out of the seat of government of Wallonia".

Earlier it was reported that the parliament Belgian region of Wallonia has decided not to grant rights Belgian Government to sign the agreement on trade-economic cooperation between the EU and Canada (CETA).

Minister of Trade of Canada and the European Union for negotiations on the FTA held urgent conversation with the premier of the Belgian region of Wallonia in the second day of the summit to try to break the deadlock.

It should be added that the first day of the EU summit President of the European Council Donald Tusk stressed that if the EU fails to convince citizens that the trade agreements taken in their interest FTA with Canada could be the last such agreement. In Ukrainian/український
Metropolitan told how pursuing Kyiv Moscow Patriarchate in Russia

In picking up a scandal about Holy Trinity Church Kiev Patriarchate in Noginsk

Moscow diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate of the end of 1992 takes a hostile position on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kiev Patriarchate in Russia. This was in an interview with "Commander" said Metropolitan Adrian, Managing Bogorodskoe diocese, rector of Holy Trinity Church Kiev Patriarchate in Noginsk.

"They are from the end of 1992 as occupied and occupy hostile attitude towards us. As if unwilling to Russia was some Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and now even more do not want. For them it is a bone in the throat. Their task - to Russia in Kiev Patriarchate was not"- he said.

Metropolitan noted that "goes paradox": "Ukraine are the owners (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate) and they are the owners, because it is their country, even though we are citizens of the Russian Federation. I am a citizen of Russia, we are protected by the Constitution of the Russian Federation. There is a law on freedom of conscience and religious associations of Russia that allows us our activities. In Ukraine, they are actually, Moscow Patriarchate - not the hosts and guests. Surprising wonder that branch of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine, the so-called Orthodox Church, led by Metropolitan Onuphrius is subordinate to Moscow, but its statute says nothing about such subordination. Moreover, Metropolitan Onuphrius is a member of the Holy Synod of the ROC. So where is the logic?".

Commenting on the judgment, it is necessary to destroy the temple for four months due Bogorodsk eparchy, Adrian said the church never shall do it. "How is it we will demolish your church?" - He said.

"We have filed an appeal. Now appeal with the regional court. Then, if necessary, the Federal Court,"- said the Metropolitan.

As you know, Russia is growing scandal about the Holy Trinity Church Kiev Patriarchate in Noginsk. October 3 Moscow Regional Court upheld the decision Noginsk City Court, which ruled to demolish the church within the next four months. The reason - like the illegality of building the temple in the territory, where they be kept homes. At least so says Noginsk city administration. In Ukrainian/український
Queen responded to ban entry to Ukraine: It turns out I spy the Kremlin

Queen believes that the Ukrainian people restrict freedom of choice

Famous Russian singer Natasha Queen, who was born in Kiev, commented ban the Security Service of Ukraine entering her country for 5 years.

The actress was upset that he could not even get to his grandmother nearly a century in Kyiv. She told the newspaper in a commentary Life.

In addition, it surprised the wording of the prohibition her visit Ukraine.

" My lawyers will look what you can do. The fact that my grandmother 94 years. She lives in Kiev, is sick. The worst thing for her that her favorite granddaughter will not come to bury her. This kick. You understand how awful for an elderly person? The wording that I threaten their songs Ukrainian state - it's certainly something! His good and good songs about love, friendship, positive human relations Artist Natasha Koroleva is a big threat. I've been in my life itself bad read, but these visionaries still need to search. It turns out, I spy the Kremlin" - said the Queen.

She also believes that the Ukrainian people restrict freedom of choice.

"One conclusion: Ukrainian people are just oblomyly - freedom of choice and everything else. As they fear turns me - quite a decent man who never expressed negative. As a result, they saw in me the threat" , - added the singer.

Recall citizen of the Russian Federation Natalia Poryvai known as singer Natasha Queen, banned from entering Ukraine for 5 years. In Ukrainian/український
Assad urged the EU and Russia to stop atrocities in Aleppo

The European Council calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the restoration of a genuine political process under UN auspices

The European Council strongly condemns the attacks of the Syrian regime and its allies, including Russia, on civilians in Aleppo. This is stated in the Conclusions adopted on the basis of the two-day EU summit in Brussels.

Read more
Assad urged the EU and Russia to stop atrocities in Aleppo Tusk: Russia's goal - weakening the EU
Today, 7:14
Assad urged the EU and Russia to stop atrocities in Aleppo EU not adopted sanctions against Russia for its actions in Syria
Today, 06:44
"The Council calls upon them to stop atrocities and to take urgent steps to ensure unhindered access of humanitarian aid to Aleppo and other parts of the country" - the document says.

The European Council also calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the restoration of a genuine political process under UN auspices.

"Those who are responsible for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law must be held accountable," - said in the text.

The EU is considering the use of all available options if the current attacks continue.

"It has to be done everything possible to continue the ceasefire, the delivery of humanitarian aid to the civilian population and create conditions for opening negotiations on a political transition in Syria", - stated in the document.

As reported, the EU leaders are faced with the resistance of Italy on the issue of the introduction of new sanctions against Moscow. In Ukrainian/український
The Netherlands supports the abolition of visas for Ukraine

Ryutte said that the Netherlands supports visa liberalization for Ukraine

The Netherlands government has any additional political conditions in question completion of the abolition of visa requirements for Ukrainian citizens. But the EU first await the adoption of new preventive mechanism of suspension of visa-free regime with all third countries. The Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte on the sidelines of the EU summit, answering questions Ukrinform.

"We do not have any special items. We support the visa liberalization for Ukraine. However, the European Council agreed, and now the question by the European Parliament to have clear protections for future visa liberalization regime", - said Dutch Prime Minister.

He stressed that the new mechanism of suspension of the abolition of visa requirements in the case of abuse of visa-free travel by citizens of third countries not associated only with Ukraine, and is a common European instrument.

Recall that today, October 21, Ryutte said that the Netherlands will decide on the ratification of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU before 1 November 2016.

October 11 President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte. The parties coordinated position on ratification of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU in the context of the referendum in the Netherlands.

September 22 Ryutte said that the Netherlands is unlikely to ratify the Association Agreement Ukraine - EU , as against that decision were residents in a referendum in April this year. However, he stressed the importance of the speedy granting Ukraine visa-free regime. In Ukrainian/український
After falling in August industrial production in September showed growth

Compared with September 2015, industrial production slowed to 2%

Industrial production growth in Ukraine in September 2016 in annual terms, compared with September 2015 slowed to 2% from 3.4% a month earlier.

As reported on the website of the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, compared with the previous month, August 2016, in September, recorded growth in industrial production by 4.4% after falling 0.8% in August and July.

Since the beginning of the year, in January-September compared to the same period last year, industrial production in Ukraine grew by 2%.

According to the State Statistics Service, the largest increase in production in September 2016 compared to September 2015 was recorded in manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products - almost 4 times, food industry - by 8,1%, manufacture of wood products, paper and printing activity - by 6%.

The largest increase compared to August 2016 was recorded in the manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products - by 3 times, the food industry - by 26.8%, manufacture of electrical equipment - by 17.5%.

The greatest decline in production in September 2016 compared to September 2015 was recorded in manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers - by 12.1%, mining of metal ores - by 9.9%, mining of coal and lignite - 5.3 %.

The largest drop in production compared to August 2016 was recorded in mining of metal ores - by 4.6%, chemical industry - by 4.3%, electricity, gas and steam - 4.3%.

State Statistics said that the data are presented excluding the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, and the zone of the antiterrorist operation. In Ukrainian/український
Italy has blocked the introduction of new sanctions against Russia - Financial Times

Financial Times named opponent sanctions against Syria through

On the inclusion of the issue of new sanctions in connection with the events in Aleppo to the final declaration of the summit insisted that Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
But in the end won the point of view of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who said he did not understand how the new sanctions will help bring peace in Syria, reports Financial Times

"I think it makes no sense to include in the final statement mention of sanctions", - said Renzo.

As a result, adopted a text stating that the EU "considers all possible measures in case of continuation of the current atrocities."

The document states that the countries of the European Union "strongly condemn attack government forces and their allies - especially Russia - on the civilian population in Syria." That summit was not taken decisions on sanctions against Russia because of its actions in Syria.

Earlier, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini stressed that the EU summit would not make decisions on sanctions against Russia.

As reported by the head office, the European Union is not adopted sanctions against Russia for its actions in Syria. However, Ukraine sanctions remain in effect. In Ukrainian/український

They'd rather be the little Putin puppets they are.
Lavrov proposes Kyiv develop "friendly relations" with Moscow

Lavrov expressed concern about the "anti-Russian action" Ukrainian authorities

The main objective of today, according to the Foreign Ministry, is the development and support of friendly relations between Ukraine and Russia. This is stated in a reply State Duma deputy head of the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on request with a proposal to consider the denunciation of the treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership between the two countries, Russian media.

Head of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in response Duma deputies expressed concern about the "anti-Russian actions" of the Ukrainian authorities, while noting that the severance of relations between the two countries in the current environment is "premature" event.

"However, the proposed initiative communicated the said treaty in the current environment seems premature and not entirely justified. It seems that our potential exit from the "Big Treaty" is unlikely to contribute to solving the problems that have accumulated through the efforts of Kyiv to date in the Russian-Ukrainian relations. In view of the foregoing, the main task of the Russian side at the current stage would consider the implementation of action not to break bilateral relations and their preservation, creation of conditions for recovery and active development of friendly relations between the two countries and peoples, "- Lavrov stressed. In Ukrainian/український
Top 10 exporters of sugar. Professional associations announces record volume of shipments abroad
"Ukrtsukor" published the rating of the largest exporters of sugar

Rating of the largest exporters of sugar on the results of September of the current marketing year headed LLC "Vinnytsia bakery №2» - 12,6 ths. Tons in the amount of 6.4 million dollars.

Took the second place ranking of "Khmelnitsky" OP "Zhdanivsky sugar factory" - 10.47 ths. Tons in the amount of 5.1 million dollars. Three leaders closes PE "Ahroekstara" - 4 th. Tons (5.1 million dollars).

Such data has published "Ukrtsukor."

In addition, during this period Ukrainian producers exported record for the last 5 years of 40 ths. Tons of sugar, which mainly went to Sri Lanka (11.79 ths. Tons), Georgia (6.57 ths. Tons) and Azerbaijan (4 48 ths. tons).

As explained by the head of the analytical department "Ukrtsukor" Ruslan butyl ,, increase exports associated with the increase of the production of sugar and the third category, which is in great demand.

The largest exporter of beet molasses on the results of September 2016/2017 marketing year became LLC "Volochisk-Agro" (OP "Narkevytskyy sugar plant") - 1.76 ths. Tons in the amount of 164.39 thousand. USD.

Ltd. "TEP - Vertical" exported 2.34 ths. Tons of beet pulp in the amount of 284.30 thousand. USD becoming a leader among exporters beet pulp on the results of September and LLC "Dnipro goodies" (subsidiary confectionery corporation "Roshen") topped the ranking confectionery largest exporters of sugar without cocoa - 2.93 ths. tons in the amount of 4.3 million dollars.

For more details about the ratings exporters on our official site "Ukrtsukru." In Ukrainian/український
In the occupied Crimea destroyed a statue of Lenin

The invaders are going to rebuild the destroyed monument "the leader of the proletariat"

Unknown on the night of Oct. 21 destroyed the monument to Vladimir Lenin, installed in the park in Sudak aneksovannomu Peninsula. This is the website of the city.

Ousted monument - one of two monuments to Bolshevik stored in Sudak after the collapse of the USSR.

Russian police conduct investigations, the report said.

"I am confident that the perpetrators will be found and severely punished. And we will restore the monument, "- said the head of" administration "Sudak Vladimir Serov.

Earlier in the Crimea NGO "Congress of Russian Communities of Crimea" announced fundraising for the construction of a monument to Russian President Vladimir Putin and expects to install it before the election in 2018. In Ukrainian/український

As reported, the occupation administration Crimea intimidates residents terrorist threat from Ukraine.
In Moscow, investigators searched the journalist because of the suspicion of having links with "Right Sector"

In journalist seized a computer, telephone and other equipment

In Moscow Investigative Committee of Russia operatives raided the apartment of a journalist, press secretary of "Justice Initiative" Ksenia Babich.

This was reported to Facebook Journalist Ilya Shepelin.

The search was carried out in the case of the Press Secretary "Right Sector" Artem Skoropadsky, which Babic studied at the Faculty of Journalism at Moscow State University.

According Shepelina, a search was conducted at six in the morning seven operatives. Babic refused to open an apartment without a lawyer, but representatives of the CK threatened to "break down the door."

As written Shepelin, search led colonel Yezhov. As evidence of Babic seized a computer, telephone and other equipment.

Now the journalist was taken to the CK for questioning. Note Skoropadskyi already commented on the search, saying that Babic had no relation to the "Right Sector" or the Ukrainian nationalist movement. In Ukrainian/український
International lawyers told why Ukraine can not start proceedings against Russia in the International Court

State before contacting the International Court of Justice, must first go through the negotiations

International lawyer, doctor of law at Berlin Humboldt University Sergey Sayapin in an interview with "Commander" explained why now it makes no sense to turn to the International Court regarding criminal actions of Russia in Ukraine.

As you know, international lawyers, including Thomas Grant, wondering about the Russian aggression against Ukraine occasionally mention 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia . That same year, Georgia is trying to sue Russia in the International Court of Justice. However, the court did not take into consideration the case as if the fact that Georgia had not before going negotiations with Russia on a controversial issue.

" The requirement of necessity negotiations may be a prerequisite only in the context of certain international agreements. For example, in the context of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Financing of Terrorism - said the lawyer. - It is in this convention stipulates that state before contacting the International Court of Justice, must first go through the negotiations. "

Sayapin added that without this procedure, the International Court simply will not accept the case. But this condition is not standard, it is not present in all international treaties.

"As for Ukraine and Russia, there is the complexity of a more general nature. Russia does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. Therefore, Ukraine simply can not start proceedings against Russia in the International Court. The jurisdiction of this Court significantly limited primarily because of permanently jurisdiction of the Court acknowledged not all of the state ", - said Sayapin. In Ukrainian/український
Priest in Transcarpathia knocked killed three women

Culprit accident was intoxicated

In the Transcarpathian region Vynohradiv 78-year-old cleric drunk hit a three pedestrians. Injured received injuries died on the spot, the press service of the National Police in Utah.

The accident occurred on Oct. 20 around 23 pm in the village Pidvynohradiv. Law enforcement officers arrived on the scene, found that the driver of the car "Audi" lost control and hit a pedestrian who walked in with a car passing direction.

The victims were hitting local resident aged 63, 76 and 51 years.

Medical examination showed that the blood remains in the driver had alcohol. The culprit arrested. In Ukrainian/український

Putin opposes Poroshenko's stance on prisoner swap, - Peskov

Russian President Vladimir Putin strongly disagrees with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on the issue of prisoner exchange.

Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said, Censor.NET reports citing 112 Ukraine.

"The Minsk agreements stipulate that detained persons are to be released at a certain stage, and in this context, the president of Ukraine said that the Russian side has prisoners in the territory of the Russian Federation. But these words were met with a complete disagreement on the part of President Putin.

"Such an approach is unacceptable and inappropriate. Of course, we are talking only about people held in the territory of Ukraine and in the territory of the Donbas," Peskov noted. In Ukrainian/український
on Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:34 amAdmin
Russia refuses to return Sentsov to Ukraine

The Russian Federation has refused to return Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov sentenced in Russia for 20 years to Ukraine, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine on European Integration Sergiy Petukhov wrote on Facebook.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian film director Sentsov was arrested by Russian security service officers in the annexed Crimea in May 2014 together with pro-Ukrainian activists Oleksandr Kolchenko, Oleksiy Cherniy and Hennadiy Afanasiyev. They were all charged with plotting terrorist acts. Both men have denied their guilt from the day of their arrest. On August 25, 2015, the military court in Russia's city of Rostov-on-Don sentenced Sentsov to 20 years in prison and Kolchenko was imprisoned for 10 years. They both were accused of terrorism and would be kept in a high-security penal colony. On November 24, Russia's Supreme Court upheld the trial court's decision against Sentsov and Kolchenko.........

Serbia Calls EU Pressure To Join Russia Sanctions 'Unacceptable'

Serbia's top diplomat has complained that the European Union is putting "unacceptable" pressure on the Balkan country to impose sanctions against Russia.

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on October 19 that "pressures on Serbia to, diplomatically speaking, align its foreign policy with the impose sanctions against Russia, are absolutely unacceptable."

An EU foreign-policy report earlier in the week said Brussels "will continue to call on Serbia to progressively align with the EU" on foreign policy.

Although Serbia has opened negotiations to join the EU, it remains Moscow's closest ally in the Balkans and has refused to join sanctions against Russia over its aggression in Ukraine.

"Serbia wants to join EU, but it will never do anything against its national interests.... We want good relations with everyone but we should not work against our own" interest, Dacic said....
Dutch PM ‘pessimistic' about Ukraine-EU association

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he doesn't feel optimistic regarding the ratification of the EU-Ukraine association agreement, after the majority of the nation voted against it during the April referendum.

This is according to the Ukrainian office of RFE/RL.

Months later, the government still cannot figure out how to approach the issue without angering its citizens or undermining the joint policy of the European Union...............
on Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:27 amAdmin
Russia's strategy is to weaken EU - Tusk

"Leaders emphasised all sorts of Russian activities, from airspace violations, disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks, interference into the political processes in the EU and beyond, hybrid tools in the Balkans, to developments in the MH17 investigation," Tusk told a news conference in the early morning hours of October 21.

"Given these examples, it is clear that Russia's strategy is to weaken the EU. We have a sober assessment of this reality, and no illusions," he said.
Russia’s gas pipeline plans threaten European unity (Financial Times)

Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 is a test of EU credibility, which Poland is determined to defend

In August, subsidiaries of several western companies — Eon, Engie, OMV, Shell and Wintershall — decided not to participate in Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2. The consortium, led by the Russian state-owned gas monopoly, was established to design, finance, build and operate two additional strings of the undersea gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

The companies also withdrew their application for merger approval, submitted to the Polish competition protection authority in December. In the view of the Polish government, such a step showed that they had no counter-arguments to the regulator’s concerns about the likely effect of the project on competition in the Polish and EU gas markets.

Together with eight other EU member states (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and Slovakia), and with the tacit support of a couple of others, Poland has opposed Nord Stream 2 since it was first announced by Gazprom in 2015. It undermines European solidarity and the Energy Union, the EU’s flagship project.

The economic arguments for Nord Stream 2 were always questionable, especially considering overcapacity on existing supply transit routes from Russia to the EU. And given Europe’s considerable dependence on Russian gas and the damage the project would cause to the Ukrainian economy (which is subsidised by the EU), the political motivations behind it seemed obvious...............

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