RUSSIA MAKING FOOLS
THE ANNOUNCED expansion of the transport capacity of the Nord Stream gas pipeline is an anti-Ukrainian and anti-European project, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said after talks with his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico in Bratislava on September 10.
The two PMs were reacting to a preliminary agreement between Russian giant Gazprom and Western energy concerns including BASF, E.ON, ENGIE, OMV and Shell on doubling the transport capacity of Nord Stream in early September.
The gas pipeline worth €7.4 billion goes from Russia to Germany along via the bed of the Baltic Sea avoiding Slovakia and Ukraine which use the Eustream gas pipeline.The first Nord Stream branch was introduced in November 2011 and the second one in 2012.
"They're making fools of us," said Fico. "It isn't possible to talk on a political level about the need to stabilise Ukraine and at the same time to adopt a decision that places not only Ukraine, but also Slovakia in an unenviable position, as this affects the transit of huge amounts of gas through both Ukraine and Slovakia."
It may cost Ukraine billions and Slovakia hundreds millions of euros each year, according to Fico who rejected the notion that the deal between Gazprom and European energy companies is only a matter of business. He believes that these concerns operating in EU countries have "betrayed" Slovakia as an EU member country.
This is at odds with political agreements made at the European Council, Fico said adding that he will raise the issue at next month's EU summit.
Yatsenyuk pointed out that Ukraine will lose €1.5 billion per year in income from gas transit due to the construction of Nord Stream, while the move has not brought any additional energy independence for the EU. In addition, the route through Ukraine is the shortest, he stressed.
Slovakia's annual loss may amount to $800 million, while the price of gas for Western Europe will also be increased due to the Nord Stream, noted Yatsenyuk.
|September, 20, 09:05:00|
|September, 20, 09:00:00|
|September, 20, 08:55:00|
|September, 20, 08:50:00|
|September, 20, 08:45:00|
|September, 20, 08:40:00|
BP and its partners in Azerbaijan's giant ACG oil production complex agreed Thursday to extend the production sharing contract by 25 years to 2049 and to increase the stake of state-owned SOCAR, reducing the size of their own shares.
The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $123.1 billion (preliminary) in the second quarter of 2017 from $113.5 billion (revised) in the first quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit increased to 2.6 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.4 percent in the first quarter.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were trading up 41 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $50.30 by 0852 GMT, near the three-month high of $50.50 it reached last Thursday. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the benchmark for oil prices outside the United States, were at $55.91 a barrel, up 29 cents, and also not far from the near five-month high of $55.99 touched on Thursday.
“The principal risk regarding Russian and Chinese activities in Venezuela in the near term is that they will exploit the unfolding crisis, including the effect of US sanctions, to deepen their control over Venezuela’s resources, and their [financial] leverage over the country as an anti-US political and military partner,” observed R. Evan Ellis, a senior associate in the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Americas Program.