Russia does not plan to supply oil and gas to countries that will join the introduction of a price ceiling for these energy resources, but the figures themselves discussed in Europe still look hardly explainable. This was announced to journalists on Thursday by the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov. “The Europeans still have very incomprehensible discussions in the nuances of this ceiling. Little-explained figures are called, it seems that they are just trying to make a decision for the sake of a decision – not for the sake of effect, but for the sake of a decision, in order to put a tick that the ceiling has been introduced, ”said a Kremlin spokesman, commenting on the possibility of setting a price ceiling for Russian oil in the range of $ 65- 70 per barrel. Peskov noted that “all this is subject to in-depth analysis.” According to him, “it is still difficult to imagine” what impact this will have on the energy market. However, the Russian Federation, seeing the figures being discussed in Europe, intends to analyze the situation “before formulating a position,” the Kremlin spokesman added.
The energy ministers of the EU countries agreed to exclude Russian gas from contracts for joint purchases, the volume of which in 2023 should be at least 15% of the volume of gas storages of the member states of the community, or 13.5 billion cubic meters. This is stated in the statement of the European Commission, distributed on the basis of an informal meeting held on Thursday in Brussels. “The new rules will create opportunities for EU member states and their energy companies to purchase gas jointly on global markets,” the document says. “Member countries have specifically emphasized that Russian gas will be excluded from joint purchases,” the statement said. However, it does not specify the term “Russian gas”. It is not yet clear whether gas produced in Russia and purchased by EU countries through one or more intermediaries will be considered Russian. This decision will still require official approval at a scheduled meeting of the EU Energy Council in December, but the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic presiding in the EU Council Josef Sikela announced following an informal meeting of EU energy ministers that the discussion on this topic was completed and the approval would take place without discussion.
The German Constitutional Court did not reject the lawsuit demanding the disclosure of the names of all companies involved in the completion of the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. This is stated in a message published on Thursday on the website of the MV Climate and Environmental Protection Foundation. “Unfortunately, the Federal Constitutional Court did not accept our objections. [по поводу иска]. We are very sorry about this. Contrary to our strong belief, we will now have to name many companies from the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. These companies are not guilty of anything, they acted legally. And they trusted the Landtag (regional parliament) and the state government, which promised protection from US sanctions,” the foundation said in a statement. The organization also said that because of the court decision, these firms may face “public attacks and economic difficulties.” The Climate and Environment Protection MV Foundation was established in 2021 in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with the participation of Nord Stream 2 AG.
Hungary will support the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO, the country’s prime minister says Viktor Orban at a briefing after the meeting of the heads of government of the Visegrad Group (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary) in Slovakia, reports Reuters. The issue of ratifying the agreement, according to Orban, will be included in the agenda of the first parliamentary session in 2023. “Hungary will definitely support them (Sweden and Finland) joining after the government and also the parliament do it,” Orban said. The parliamentary session, as a rule, begins in mid-February, the agency specifies. Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership in May 2022. In order for both countries to become members of the bloc, the entry must be supported by all the states of the alliance. Turkey and Hungary have not yet ratified the agreement. Bloomberg previously reported that Budapest could agree to countries joining NATO before the end of the year.
A trade and diplomatic conflict arose between the UK and Belgium after Brussels refused to hand over critical equipment for its NATO ally for nuclear deterrent forces, the Times newspaper reports. Britain reportedly needed a specialized high-pressure isostatic press used by the nuclear industry to handle radioactive waste. These products are manufactured by the American-Belgian company EPSI in Antwerp. The Belgian presses are being used as part of the manufacturing process at the British facility in Aldermaston, which is responsible for the development, production and maintenance of nuclear warheads, the paper said. An export license required after Brexit was seen as a formality, but Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Georges Zhilkinet, who, as a member of the Green Party, actively opposes nuclear weapons, blocked the deal. The conflict escalated after British threats to cancel an order for the supply of machine guns by the Belgian company FN Herstal worth 600 million euros, the newspaper notes.
United States presidential administration Joe Biden at the request of China, in March forced Poland to refuse to transfer Soviet MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine, writes the British magazine The Spectator, citing sources in Beijing. The publication claims that at first Washington supported the idea of supplying Kyiv with the Soviet MiG-29 fighters that the Polish army had, but later revised its position after Beijing’s urgent requests. It is noted that a number of former leaders of some European countries adhered to a similar position, which also influenced America’s decision. The Spectator clarifies that in return for US guarantees, China has committed itself to convincing Russia not to use nuclear weapons.
Meeting of the President of France Emmanuel Macron with representatives of European business was a clear signal to the United States that Europe has “come to its senses” and stood up to protect its interests, the CCTV article says. As the author notes, earlier in the week, the French leader hosted a banquet for European entrepreneurs, and it was not just a dinner, but “a bitter attempt to keep them in France.” “Macron tried to send them a signal: stay, don’t leave,” he writes. Politicians across Europe are now more concerned than ever that local industries will relocate to the US, the report says. Thus, the stable cost of energy in the United States and generous subsidies from the US government under the law to reduce inflation left European enterprises with no choice but to “turn their backs” on the EU.
The Japanese government is studying the development of guided missiles with a range of up to 3 thousand kilometers and their subsequent phased deployment in various parts of the country, including Hokkaido, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper writes, citing sources. Currently, the maximum launch range of missiles in service with Japan is just over 100 kilometers. These are “type 12 anti-ship missiles”. As part of a plan to increase the country’s defense capability, official Tokyo plans to modernize them to increase the flight range to a thousand kilometers or more. The possibility of developing new missiles, including hypersonic ones, with a range of 2,000 to 3,000 kilometers is also being considered.