(RUSSIA) Belarus Report: Moscow does not financially support any other country as generously: DW spoke with economic experts to learn about this lopsided relationship, and the strain it places on the Russian budget #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.31: Looking on from the outside, such figures appear to be a largish run-of-the-mill loan that one country grants another and for which interest is collected. But the situation with Belarus and Russia is different. According to observers: interest is mounting and debts carry on growing year in and year out, yet Minsk continues to receive new loans from Moscow…..

#AceDailyNews says here’s how Russian money keeps Belarus afloat Russia has supported its western neighbor Belarus for decades — long before the European Union and the United States imposed sanctions on Minsk and President Alexander Lukashenko. Earlier this summer, Moscow loaned its ally $500 million (€423 million) — six months prior, it had issued Lukashenko’s regime a similar sum.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin stand on a boat
DW REPORT:

Russia has been subsidizing its neighbor for years. Between 2005 and 2015, Moscow pumped $106 billion into the Belarus economy, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Discounted oil and gas

Experts divide Russia’s monetary contributions to Minsk into two categories: one legal and one covert. Neither is driven by economics and both have put a strain on Russia’s state budget.

The most obvious subsidy, analysts say, occurs within Belarus’ energy sector — which receives cheap Russian gas and has tariffs waived on oil destined for Belarusian refineries. 

A worker turns a valve at the first pump station on Belarus territory of the Druzhba pipeline

Russia has subsidized the energy sector by selling cheap gas

“Over the past 20 years, gas prices in Belarus only rose twice to European levels; each time, Belarus halted payments [to Russia], demanding a discount,” said Sergey Kondratiev of Moscow’s Institute for Energy and Finance Foundation. The research institute estimates Russia has subsidized oil to Belarus to the tune of $35 billion, and gas to the equivalent of $19 billion between 2011 and 2020.

Cheap loans, preferential market access

Cheap — and legal — loans are another means by which Russia has been able to prop up Belarus. Moscow continues to extend payment deadlines and is constantly revising the terms and conditions of the loans. Russia, for example, lent Belarus $10 billion to build a nuclear power plant in 2011.

“Belarus received both a very long grace period when it came to repaying the money, as well as the possibility to repay the loan at a discounted rate,” said Kondratiev. “Belarus would not have received such favorable conditions on the open market.”

It remains unclear how Minsk spends loans not earmarked for specific projects. Bogdan Bespalko, a member of Russia’s Council for Interethnic Relations — a body linked to President Vladimir Putin’s office — suspects they are used to pay off old debts. “A large portion of the latest $500 million loan was taken to repay money owed to Russian corporations,” Bespalko pointed out.

A worker at Belarus state-owned carmaker MAZ

Certain sectors of Belarus’ economy enjoy preferential treatment in the Russian market

Russia has also granted Belarus special access to its market. Not even other members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) enjoy such favorable terms as companies from Belarus do. Observers argue this preferential treatment guarantees the survival of entire business sectors within Belarus, especially within the food and engineering industries.

In addition to low-interest loans, such favorable preferences allowed the Belarusian economy to generate some $11 billion between 2011 and 2020, according to Moscow’s Institute for Energy and Finance Foundation.

Shady sources of income

Cross-border smuggling has also played its part in supporting the country’s economy. Without border checks between Belarus and Russia, and thanks to preferential market access, illicit trade has thrived. While the financial scale of this smuggling pales in comparison to that of official Russian loans, it is still considerable. As such, it also hurts Russian coffers.

The illicit trade in Belarus sees certain EU goods relabeled, and falsified customs documents issued. These mislabeled goods are then smuggled into Russia to evade EU sanctions. Such business practices also mean excise payments on products are being circumvented. 

“Only Belarus earns money doing this,” said Kondratiev. “Belarusian cigarettes are a case in point: Batches containing up to 1 million packs are smuggled into Russia without any excise duty being paid. A popular way to hide cigarettes is within shipments of mineral fertilizers.”

From 2011 to 2020, illegal tobacco imports cost Russia some $2.6 billion. Between 2014 and 2020, Russia incurred an estimated $4.2 billion in financial damages from the smuggling of EU-sanctioned goods.

Another source of income for Minsk lies in seizing the property of Russian companies in Belarus. The 2020 Belgazprombank case is a prominent example.

“After a provisional administration was established, deposits and financial assets were siphoned off, seriously hurting Russian shareholders,” said Kondratiev. Such conduct is common, he added. “We know of cases where goods sent by Russians transiting through Belarus have been seized.”

No country in the world receives the level of support from Russia as that which is afforded to Belarus, Kondratiev said. However, Moscow’s assistance has put a strain on finances. This is all the more troublesome, as the help rendered is neither spurring economic growth in Belarus, nor promoting the efficient use of money.

“On the contrary, we are seeing steady stagnation,” said the Russian Council for Interethnic Relations member Bogdan Bespalko.

‘Lukashenko has found a painful spot for EU’ 

This article has been adapted from German

#AceNewsDesk report …….Published: July.31: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(BRUSSELS) EU Commission Report: The (EU) has handed down $1.3 billion in fines to four major German car manufacturers, saying they colluded to limit the development and rollout of car emission control systems #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.12: Daimler, BMW, VW, Audi and Porsche avoided competing on technology to restrict pollution from gasoline and diesel passenger cars, the European Commission said.

#AceDailyNews says EU fines German car makers BMW, VW, Audi and Porsche $1.3 billion over emission collusion: EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said even though the companies had the technology to cut harmful emissions beyond legal limits, they avoided competing and denied consumers the chance to buy less polluting cars.

BMW logo
Car makers BMW, VW, Audi and Porsche have all been fined. (Flickr: Stephen Fulljames)

Daimler was not fined after it revealed the cartel to the European Commission.

“Factories compete with one another also when it comes to reducing carbon emissions from the cars,” Ms Vestager said.

“Manufacturers deliberately avoided to compete on cleaning better than what was required by EU emission standards. And they did so despite the relevant technology being available.”

It made their practice illegal, Ms Vestager said.

“So today’s decision is about how legitimate technical cooperation went wrong. And we do not tolerate it when companies collude.”

Volkswagen considering legal action

A Volkswagen logo
Volkswagen said the penalty sets a questionable precedent.(Reuters: Axel Schmidt)

Volkswagen said it was considering whether to take legal action against the fine, saying the penalty over technical talks about emissions technology with other carmakers set a questionable precedent.

“The commission is entering new judicial territory, because it is treating technical cooperation for the first time as an antitrust violation,” the German carmaker said after being fined 502 million euros ($799 million).

“Furthermore, it is imposing fines, although the content of the talks was never implemented and no customers suffered any harm as a result,” Volkswagen added in a statement.

BMW agreed to the settlement proposed by the European Commission, paying a 373 million euro fine, saying it had been cleared of suspicion of using illegal “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests.

“This underlines that there has never been any allegation of unlawful manipulation of emission control systems by the BMW Group,” the company said in a statement.

The case was not directly linked to the “dieselgate” scandal of the past decade, when Volkswagen admitted about 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with deceptive software.

The software reduced nitrogen oxide emissions when the cars were placed on a test machine but allowed higher emissions and improved engine performance during normal driving.

The scandal cost Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen 30 billion euros ($47 billion) in fines and civil settlements and led to the recall of millions of vehicles.

It was the first time the European Commission imposed collusion fines on holding back the use of technical developments, not a more traditional practice like price fixing.

AP/Reuters

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: July.12: 2021:

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(LONDON) GOVUK Statement Report: The UK on 16 March 2021 reached agreement with Norway and the European Union on catch limits in 2021 for six jointly-managed fish stocks in the North Sea #AceNewsDesk report

‘GOVUK agrees fishing catch limits with EU and Norway: The UK, Norway and the European Union have today signed a trilateral agreement on catch limits in 2021’

The agreement promotes the sustainable management and long-term viability of cod, haddock, plaice, whiting, herring, and saithe stocks in the North Sea. The catch levels agreed for 2021 are worth over £184 million to the UK fishing industry.

This is the first time the UK has participated in the talks as an independent coastal State. Throughout negotiations the UK has pressed for catch limits – known as total allowable catches – to be set sustainably to ensure the long-term future of the fisheries industry.

Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis said:

Today we successfully concluded the first trilateral fisheries negotiations between the UK, EU and Norway.

As an independent coastal state we are committed to managing our fisheries sustainably, to the benefit of the fishing industry across the UK and our marine environment, now and in the years to come.

UK Government Minister for Scotland David Duguid said:

For the first time in decades we have concluded our first trilateral negotiations with the EU and Norway as an independent coastal state.

The outcome represents an increase in the total allowable catch of certain key stocks for Scotland – such as Haddock and Whiting.

Agreements have also been made which safeguard the long-term viability of some other key stocks such as cod.

We remain committed to supporting the industry and being a champion for our coastal communities on the world stage.

Of the stocks jointly-managed with the EU and Norway, five out of six have been set in line with or lower than the catch level advised by ICES, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. This results in catch reductions for North Sea cod (-10%), plaice (-2%), saithe (-25%) and herring (-7.4%) compared with 2020, but increases in haddock (+20%) and whiting (+19%).

The agreed catch limit for haddock is well within the sustainable limits advised by the scientific body ICES. This will encourage the recovery of other key stocks in the North Sea mixed fishery.

North Sea cod will be subject to a slightly smaller reduction than the -16.5% recommended by ICES. The three parties supported this approach as it would allow the stock to recover at a similar pace to that set out in the scientific advice. Furthermore, the catch limit is accompanied by the UK’s ongoing cod avoidance plan which applies to all vessels in UK waters. The plan establishes measures to support the long-term recovery of the stock in UK waters, these include ‘real-time closures’ to protect high abundances of cod and selective fishing gear.

The UK Government has worked closely throughout the negotiations with the Scottish Government and other administrations to reach this consensus.

This trilateral agreement marks the conclusion of the first in a series of annual fisheries negotiations. Bilateral negotiations are underway with the EU, Faroes Islands and Norway to confirm access arrangements and quota exchanges, where applicable.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Mar.18: 2021:

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FEATURED: Assad Or Hollande| Who Is The Bigger Butcher Really?

#AceGuestNews – Sept.29: Western Propaganda Machine Kicked Into Action as France Commenced Bombing in Syria Apparently in “Self Defense.” France’s president and prime minister think Syria’s Mr. Assad is a”butcher” and “dictator.” Agreed and no one in any part of the world is arguing that Mr. Bashar al-Assad is the most benevolent leader in the history of statecraft, but […]

First published : https://saadiahaq.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/assad-or-hollande-who-is-the-bigger-butcher-really/

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Featured: Video #CROATIA: #Update ‘ Closes seven of its eight border crossings to #Serbia as huge surge of #refugees turned away from #Hungary ‘

#AceNewsReport – Sept.18: Croatia has closed seven of its eight border crossings with Serbia overwhelmed by a huge surge of refugees turned away by Hungary. PM said Croatia will not accept or accommodate asylum seekers any longer.

Some of the refugees appear to be stuck on the border between Croatia and Hungary. Reuters reported on Thursday that a convoy of more than 10 buses which was heading towards the Croatian city of Osijek was turned towards the Hungarian border. Refugees were offloaded at the Croatian border village Beremend, according to a Reuters reporter at the scene. Hundreds of migrants were also witnessed on Friday at a petrol station by a road in the Croatian border town of Beli Manastir.

Scuffles between refugees erupted on Friday at the Croatian Beli Monastir train station as the people were boarding the trains bound for Zagreb. Some were injured and received first aid.

Some were injured and received first aid.

Dozens of refugees staged a silent sit-in protest at the Serbian-Hungarian border near the town of Horgos on Friday. They held placards which read: “We don’t have houses anymore. We will live here,” and “This is shame for Europe.”

LISTEN MORE:

The site was a scene of violence on Tuesday, when police used water cannon and teargas to push back refugees attempting to enter Hungary.

 

Milanovic said on Friday he has called a session of Croatia’s National Security Council. Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic told N1 Television that “it’s a matter of time” before Croatia closes all borders.

Columns of asylum seekers were expected to turn to Slovenia, however the Interior Ministry said on Friday that Slovenia does not intend to open a corridor for the refugees heading to Western Europe to pass through.

“At the moment we have no basis on which we could form a corridor,” Interior Ministry state secretary Bostjan Sefic told reporters.

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MACEDONIA: ‘ Political Crisis continues as EU calls for Regime Change ‘

#AceNewsReport – MACEDONIA:June.14: Macedonia continues to go through a political crisis, after Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn and the leaders of the four main political parties in Macedonia failed to reach an agreement on settling the crisis earlier this week.

' EU Calls for Regime Change in Macedonia '
‘ EU Calls for Regime Change in Macedonia ‘

Western media claims that Nikola Gruevski, the current Prime Minister of Macedonia, created the crisis that puts his government at risk, EUobserver reported.

Recently, Gruevski was accused of mass illegal surveillance, election fraud, as well as abuse of the country’s justice system and media.

Now the European Commission wants to send the government in Skopje a list of tough rule-of-law reforms. If Gruevski doesn’t react and there is no action taken by his government, the Commission will stop backing Macedonia’s EU entry talks, EUobserver said.

Macedonia has been a candidate country for EU accession since 2005. However, negotiations haven’t made any significant progress and there are many obstacles that stand in the way.

Gruevski and Zoran Zaev, the Macedonian opposition leader, agreed to hold early parliamentary elections in April 2016. However, the two politicians can’t agree when Gruevski must step down.

Zaev wants Gruevski to step down in October so that a technocratic government can prepare fair elections. According to Zaev, if Gruevski doesn’t step down, he will rig the new elections in 2016, EUobserver said.

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FRANCE: ‘ Paris regrets loss of Russian Arms Market ‘

#AceNewsReport – FRANCE:Exclusive Interview:June.14: While France is taking a hard anti-Russian stance due to the Ukrainian crisis, other European nations are busy signing new billion-dollar contracts with Russia, said Philippe Migault, a military expert from the French Institute of International and Strategic Affairs.

' Paris Regrets loss of French Arms Market '
‘ Paris Regrets loss of Russian Arms Market ‘

Since French companies don’t have access to the two main global arms markets – the United States and China – they face fierce competition for markets in the Middle East and Asia.

That is why voluntarily losing the Russian market, one of the most promising and emerging arms markets in the world, is a silly move on behalf of the French government, Migault told Sputnik France in an exclusive interview.

“We risk regretting this very soon,” the military expert said.

France had the opportunity to deliver two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia; however, Paris complied with Washington’s pressure and decided to cancel the $1.3 billion contract.

France went against its own idea of economic patriotism, highly regarded during the current economic crisis, by abandoning the Mistral deal. Economic patriotism requires the support of exports and the protection of jobs, but France did the exact opposite by cancelling the arms deal

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VIDEO: RUSSIA-AZERBAIJAN: ‘ Closed door talks on Energy ‘

#AceNewsReport – Featured Post:June.13: The leaders of Russia and Turkey have held talks behind closed doors in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. They attended the opening ceremony of the first European Games, before discussing energy projects and the Ukrainian conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counteroart recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed large energy projects, such asthe construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant,and the situation in Ukraine, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov revealed. The leaders confirmed their readiness to bring bilateral trade turnover between Russia and Turkey to $US 100 billion by 2020. In 2014, trade between the two countries exceeded $31 billion.

During a photo session that preceded the talks, the presidents didn’t talk much and only exchanged opinions about the previous day’s opening ceremony. The presidents agreed the ceremony was superb and wished success to the host team of Azerbaijan.

When President Erdogan remarked that none of the EU leaders had attended the event, President Putin replied: “As EU accession candidate, Turkey represented the whole of the European Union.”

The Russian delegation included Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak, head of Gazprom Aleksey Miller, head of Rosatom nuclear monopoly Sergey Kirienko and the Russian president’s senior foreign policy adviser, Yury Ushakov.

In December 2014, after opposition from the EU, Russia announced the scrapping of the South Stream gas pipeline project that would have bypassed the current routes via Ukraine. Moscow presented a new project, the Turkish Stream – a gas pipeline that will pass through Turkey.

This new 1,100-kilometer transportation route will be laid out under the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey. It will deliver Russian gas to Turkey and the EU border. Europe will have to arrange a means of accessing the gas by itself.

The Turkish Stream will consist of four lines with a capacity of up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Some 16 billion will be reserved for Turkey; the rest will go to Europe when the necessary infrastructure is in place.

In 2014, Russia supplied 27.4 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey, primarily through the Blue Stream pipeline that also passes across the Black Sea. Russia and Turkey agreed earlier to increase Blue Stream capacity from 16 to 19 billion cubic meters per year.

Tension between Moscow and Ankara had arisen after Putin attended the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), which took place in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

President Erdogan had threatened to withdraw the Turkish ambassador from Russia, but the meeting in Baku apparently diffused things. President Putin congratulated Erdogan on his party’s win in Turkey’s parliamentary elections on June 7.

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MOSCOW: ‘ Russia plans new ISIL Single Strategy under UN Auspices ‘

#AceNewsServices – Featured Report:MOSCOW:June.11: Double standards in fighting extremism are not acceptable, the top Russian diplomat stressed, adding that actions of extremists are often ignored for political gain.  Fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Russia will promote the creation of a single strategy to counter Islamic State militants in the Middle East and North Africa under the auspices of the UN Security Council, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

Read More:>>>>

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#TTIPalarm as Thousands Rally to the Call against Trade Deal #TTIP

@AceNewsServices – Featured Report: Update:June.09: Activists in the Netherlands on Tuesday started an online campaign against the controversial free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union, a day before the European Parliament will vote on the deal.

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SAUDI ARABIA: ‘ Wearing a Muzzle Blogger receives 1000-lashes ‘

#AceNewsReport – Post Update:SAUDI ARABIA:June.08: There has been international outcry following news that a Saudi blogger – sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes on charges of insulting Islam – has had his punishment upheld, with criticism of the British government’s perceived soft touch in condemning officials in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia’s supreme court upheld the sentence against blogger Raif Badawi, according to his wife, meaning the decision and sentence cannot be overturned.

“This is a final decision that is irrevocable,” Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told AFP in an interview from Canada on Sunday, where she lives with the couple’s children.

“This decision has shocked me.”

Badawi received the first of his 1,000 lashes outside a mosque in the city of Jeddah in January, sparking international outrage and human rights concerns.

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#BREAKING REPORT: ‘ US plans to deploy missiles in Europe ‘

#AceBreakingNews – June.08: Reports of US plans to deploy missiles in Europe hardly promote the balance of interests on the continent and mutual trust, President Vladimir Putin’s press spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

US Plan to put Missiles in Europe
US Plan to put Missiles in Europe

“Certain actions aimed at escalating tensions, of course, will not be in anyone’s interests,” Peskov said. “For sure, this issue itself hardly promotes mutual trust and the balance of interests on the European continent.”He added: “On the other hand, we do not have any concrete information.”

The statement was made after British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the UK would consider hosting US nuclear missiles amid escalating tensions between Russia and the West.

READ MORE: UK could host US nukes to counter increased ‘Russian activity’ – Hammond

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MOLDOVA: ‘ Dignity & Truth Protesters Rally Against Corruption ‘

#AceNewsReport – MOLDOVA:June.07: Nearly 10,000 protesters came out onto the streets of central Chisinau on Sunday to protest corruption and to call on those responsible for the country’s corruption-ridden paralysis to resign and face prosecution, local media have reported.

People protest on Streets against Corruption '
‘ People protest on Streets against Corruption ‘

Organized by the ‘Dignity and Truth’ civic group, an eclectic collection of civic activists, political scientists and journalists, the mostly pro-EU oriented protesters voted on a resolution against the pro-EU coalition government, saying its lack of political will has led to a loss of confidence inside the country and in the eyes of its international partners.

The resolution demanded that members of the parliament and judges be stripped of their immunity from prosecution, and called on state officials involved in the scandal surrounding the theft of nearly a billion euros from three banks to face punishment. The civic group gave the government until August 27 (Moldova’s Independence Day) to meet their demands, threatening to return with larger protests. 

The phrases “Down with the traitors!”, “Down with the Mafia!”, “Criminals to Jail!” and “Igor Plahotnyuk [a local oligarch], don’t forget, your home is in jail!” could be heard coming from the crowd and seen on homemade posters. Some of the protesters carried Moldovan, Romanian and EU flags.

Speaking before the crowd, Igor Botan, a well-known local pro-EU political scientist and one of the leaders of Dignity and Truth, stated that “we must step up protests in order to see justice, including over the theft of a billion euros from the banking system. We believe that the architects of this robbery of the century are themselves the leaders of the ruling parties. Without active protests, [authorities] will not do anything.”

Botan added that authorities have promised that a third of the money stolen in the country’s recent banking scandal may be returned, “two thirds will be transferred to the national debt, so that we the tax payers will be forced to return it. We cannot sit idly by and watch this. It is obvious that those who are responsible for this situation will not punish themselves.”

Dignity and Truth had earlier held several large-scale meetings, the last of which took place in early May and gathered nearly 50,000 people.

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G7 SUMMIT: ‘ Cameron announces 125 extra military trainers to Iraq to fight Islamic State ‘

#AceBreakingNews – G7:June.07: The UK is to send an extra 125 military trainers to Iraq to help in the battle against Islamic State, the PM has said.David Cameron made the announcement at the G7 in Bavaria ahead of a meeting with the Iraqi prime minister on 8 June.

Mr Cameron told reporters that terror activity by IS was “the biggest threat” G7 leaders had to address.

Most of the extra personnel would be involved in training Iraqi soldiers to deal with explosive devices, he added.

G7 summit: 125 extra military trainers to be sent to Iraq The UK is to send an extra 125 military trainers to Iraq to help in the fight against Islamic State, PM David Cameron announces at the G7 summit.

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GERMANY: ‘ G7Live: ‘ Conference Protesters Peaceful & Police Keep Watching Brief ‘

#AceNewsReport – GERMANY:June.07: The crisis in Ukraine and the Greek economy are expected to top the agenda of the two-day G7 summit in southern Germany. However, the event has been overshadowed by mass demonstrations by anti-globalization protesters, who plan to hold more rallies.

Sunday, June 7

11:45 GMT:

Prime Minister Cameron also says he wants to see the #FIFA scandal discussed during the summit. He believes this is the perfect opportunity to tackle the broader “cancer” of corruption globally.

“There is something of an international taboo over pointing the finger and stirring up concerns,” Cameron said in a statement on Friday, as cited by Reuters.

“At international summits, leaders meet to talk about aid, economic growth and how to keep our people safe. But we just don’t talk enough about corruption. This has got to change. We have to show some of the same courage that exposed FIFA and break the taboo.”

11:00 GMT:

British PM David Cameron says Europe must stay united on sanctions against Russia over Ukraine conflict despite pain, Reuters reports.

“We need to make sure Europe remains united,” Cameron told reporters at the G7.

“It (sanctions) has an impact on all countries. (But) Britain hasn’t let our pre-eminence in financial services get in the way of taking a robust response to Russian-backed aggression and I don’t think other countries should either.”

10:05 GMT:

The President of the European Council Donald Tusk says the G7 group would like to see Russia back at the forum’s table.

“We would all prefer to see Russia at the table of the forum so that it can become the G8 group. But our group is a community of values and that is why Russia is not with us today and will not be invited as long as it acts aggressively against Ukraine or other countries,” Tusk said in a press conference.

09:57 GMT:

https://twitter.com/EUCouncilTVNews/status/607524940305317888

Meanwhile, it seems as though the protesters have reached the end of the line as they tried to make their way towards the Schloss Elmau hotel.

Ruptly producer Denise Reese, who is at the scene, says there is a relaxed atmosphere and there does not seem to be any hint of trouble at the moment. There are about 500 demonstrators present.

09:53 GMT:

British Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived in Bavaria for the G7 summit. He plans to push EU officials to speed up negotiations to speed up a multi-billion dollar trade deal between the bloc and the US.

His intervention would come after the EU’s chief negotiator said in April that talks to clinch the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would stretch into 2016.

British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) receives flowers from children during a welcoming ceremony at Munich airport, Germany, June 7, 2015. (Reuters / Lukas Barth)

British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) receives flowers from children during a welcoming ceremony at Munich airport, Germany, June 7, 2015. (Reuters / Lukas Barth)

“We launched this at a G8 that was ours in Lough Erne in 2013,” one British official told reporters, which was cited by Reuters. “That was over 700 days ago, and the prime minister feels we should be making swifter progress.”

09:32 GMT:

Barack Obama and Angela Merkel meeting some of the locals.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama meet local inhabitants as they visit Kruen, southern Germany, June 7, 2015. (Reuters / Daniel Karmann / Pool)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama meet local inhabitants as they visit Kruen, southern Germany, June 7, 2015. (Reuters / Daniel Karmann / Pool)

09:24 GMT:

Barack Obama said before the start of the G7 summit that leaders would discuss what they perceive to be Russian “aggression” in Ukraine, as well as the threats posed by extremism and climate change.

“So over the next two days in Schloss Elmau we’re going to discuss our shared future, the global economy that creates jobs and opportunity, maintaining a strong and prosperous European Union, forging new trade partnerships across the Atlantic, standing up to Russian aggression in Ukraine, combating threats from violent extremism to climate change,” Obama said, as cited by Reuters.

U.S. President Barack Obama toasts with beer as he visits Kruen, southern Germany, June 7, 2015. (Reuters / Hannibal Hanschk)

U.S. President Barack Obama toasts with beer as he visits Kruen, southern Germany, June 7, 2015. (Reuters / Hannibal Hanschk)

Before getting down to business, the US president managed to enjoy a traditional Bavarian lunch with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

09:07 GMT:

Ruptly producer Denise Reese has been following the protesters on their march towards the Schloss Elmau hotel.

08:37 GMT:

Demonstrators blocked a road leading to the Schloss Elmau hotel with a sit-down protest. This forced those attending the G7 summit to make the final stretch of their journey by helicopter, Reuters reports.

Bavarian police said on Twitter that 12 protesters had sat down in the road. After the police talked to them, seven of the demonstrators left voluntarily, while five were dragged away forcibly.

08:37 GMT:

Meanwhile, protesters against the G7 summit said that police used a chemical substance on up to 400 people, a spokesperson for the Stop G7 movement told the Sputnik news agency. The spokesperson added that several people suffered injuries after the substance was emitted.

@AceBreakingNews

#angela-merkel, #chancellor-of-germany, #common-foreign-and-security-policy, #david-cameron, #eastern-partnership, #europe, #european-union, #minister-for-foreign-affairs-germany, #prime-minister-of-the-united-kingdom, #ukraine, #united-kingdom

‘ New Study 75% Chance Ebola Virus Could Spread to France and 50% Chance UK by End of October Citing Airline Traffic ‘

#AceNewsServices – October 06  – Scientists estimate there’s a 75 percent chance the Ebola virus could spread to France and a 50 percent chance it could reach UK by the end of October.

English: Biosafety level 4 hazmat suit: resear...

English: Biosafety level 4 hazmat suit: researcher is working with the Ebola virus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The latest research analyses the pattern of infection and airline traffic.

The consensus among health officials is now that the deadly virus is no longer just an African problem, and key to this assessment are the European Union’s free movement policy and the deceptive incubation period, allowing the person to spread the infection unaware.

France has the worst statistics out of all the European countries because the worst-hit countries in Africa are French-speaking, including Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the study‘Assessing the International Spreading Risk Associated with the 2014 West African Ebola Outbreak’.

“If this thing continues to rage on in West Africa and indeed gets worse, as some people have predicted, then it’s only a matter of time before one of these cases ends up on a plane to Europe,”expert in viruses from Britain’s Lancaster University, Derek Gatherer, said.

The next country on the list after France and the UK is Belgium, with a 40 percent chance of infection. Meanwhile, Spain and Switzerland face smaller risks of the virus breaching its borders with 14 percent.

One of the key elements in analyzing the spread of the disease is air traffic, the leader behind the research, Alex Vespignani, from Northeastern University in Boston told Reuters.

Sources:RT – Reuters – AFP – USA Today  

#ANS2014

#air-traffic, #ebola, #european-union, #hazmat-suit, #infection, #virus

‘ David Cameron Says if EU is Not in Britain’s Interest I Would Not Argue to Stay ‘

#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN – September 30 – Prime Minister David Cameron says Britain’s departure from the European Union would not leave him heartbroken, emphasizing that he feels “1,000 times more strongly about the UK than the EU.”

' The EU is “not working properly” for Britons at present, according to PM David Cameron. (Reuters/Luke MacGregor) '

‘ The EU is “not working properly” for Britons at present, according to PM David Cameron. (Reuters/Luke MacGregor)

Speaking on the BBC’s Today program, the PM said the union is “not working properly” for the British populace at present. Cameron suggested that the best solution for Britain is to secure a “reformed position in the EU,” because the British state is ultimately a trading nation. The Tory leader argued that the UK government does not just want access to EU markets, but also wishes to retain leverage over trade regulations that underpin those markets.

The state’s future membership of the EU is a “matter of important pragmatism,” Cameron said, rather than one of possible heartbreak – a phrase he issued prior to the Scottish independence referendum. While he acknowledged it “is going to be tough” to renegotiate the UK’s standing on the European stage, he said he was confident he would be successful in doing so.

Cameron emphasized that the widespread dissatisfaction across Europe – stemming from the manner in which the euro is driving integration throughout the region – would give Britain extra leverage in negotiating its EU membership status.

The PM’s efforts to renegotiate Britain’s EU membership terms drew extra support in May, following rising dissent against Brussels that surfaced during the European elections.

Cameron’s comments were issued just one day after John Redwood, a Conservative former cabinet minister, warned that high-ranking corporate executives who publicly back Britain’s EU membership will face a “very dear economic and financial price.”

Redwood, a prominent figure within the Conservative Party’s eurosceptic wing, warned UK-based firms to “keep out” of the debate, insisting they should beware of meddling in politics.

Speaking at a fringe gathering, Redwood suggested that eurosceptics would seek to destabilize pro-EU executives.

Redwood, a prominent figure within the Conservative Party’s eurosceptic wing, has warned UK-based firms to "keep out” of Britain's EU membership debate. (Reuters/Luke MacGregor)

Redwood, a prominent figure within the Conservative Party’s eurosceptic wing, has warned UK-based firms to “keep out” of Britain’s EU membership debate. (Reuters/Luke MacGregor)

“[We] will then make life difficult for them by making sure that their customers, their employees and their shareholders who disagree with them – and there will be a lot who disagree with them – will be expressing their views very forcefully and will be destabilizing their corporate governance,” he said.

Reflecting on his hawkish eurosceptic comments, Labour MP Barry Sheerman said that Redwood had “finally flipped.”

Katja Hall, deputy director-general of Britain’s most prolific business lobby CBI, also criticized Redwood’s comments.

“On an issue of such great importance to the UK’s economic future, business has both the right and duty to be involved in the debate. The vast majority of businesses are clear that Britain’s continued membership of a reformed EU is in the country’s interest,” she told RT.

Cameron has recently faced increasing pressure to harden his stance on Europe in the wake of a series of defections by eurosceptic Tories and Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party. The defectors collectively suggested the prime minister would be unlikely to retain his promise to hold an EU membership referendum in Britain in 2017, should the Tories manage to cling to their position of power in the aftermath of Britain’s upcoming general election.

Cameron indicated on Sunday that he has not entirely ruled out Britain’s departure from the EU. “If I thought that it was not in Britain’s interests to be in the European Union, I would not argue for us to be in it,” Cameron told BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show.

#ANS2014

#britain, #eu, #european-union, #prime-minister-david-cameron, #uk

BRUSSELS: ‘ Scotland Would Have To Reapply to Join EU and NATO Officials Stress ‘

#AceWorldNews – BRUSSELS – (Opinion) September 15 – If Scottish voters this week say Yes to independence, not only will they tear up the map of Great Britain, they’ll shake the twin pillars of Western Europe’s postwar prosperity and security – the European Union and the U.S.-led NATO defence alliance.

In breaking away from the rest of the United Kingdom, Scotland would automatically find itself outside both the EU and NATO, and have to reapply to join both, officials from those Brussels-based organizations have stressed.

#ANS2014

#brussels, #european-union, #great-britain, #nato, #post-war, #scotland, #scottish, #united-kingdom, #us-led-nato-defence-alliance, #western-europes

EUROPEAN UNION: ‘ Denounces Any Act Aimed at Diminishing the Political Transfer in Yemen ‘

#AceWorldNews – EUROPEAN UNION – SANA’A (Saba) – September 14 – The European Union has denounced any act aiming at diminishing the political transfer in Yemen, stressing that parties involved in armed clashes must abandon their weapons they seized from state’s army and to abide by effective laws.

In a release issued by the EU Commission today on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy under the motto “Sharing Youth in the Democratic Process,” it made it clear the world is focusing on involving youth in the democratic process.

“Half of the population in Yemen is under 15 years and one third of the population is between 15-29,” the release said. The released added that the Yemeni youth cannot wait more as they are aspiring for more prosperous future and calling for a new Yemen people share power and resources away of dominance of any group or individuals.

The commission confirmed that Yemen is the only country in the region that adopted an inclusive national dialogue puts foundations of good democratic process and settlements to clashes.

#ANS2014

#european-union, #international-day-of-democracy, #sharing-youth-in-the-democratic-process, #yemen

BRUSSELS: ‘ EU Publishes New Sanctions on Russia in Bloc’s Official Journal ‘

#AceNewsServices – BRUSSELS – September 12 – EU countries have added Russia’s top oil firms, an oligarch, and a leading nationalist MP to their blacklist.

The names were published in the bloc’s Official Journal on Friday (12 September) in reaction to Russia’s invasion of east Ukraine last week.

The new regulation forbids EU entities from buying debt with a 30 or more day maturity, issuing loans, or selling financial services to five banks, three oil firms, and three defence companies.

The banks, already named in an earlier ban on 90-day bonds, are: Gazprombank; Rosselkhozbank; Sberbank; VEB; and VTB.

The newly named oil firms are: Rosneft; Transneft; and Gazprom Neft. The newly sanctioned defence companies are: Oboronprom; United Aircraft Corporation; and Uralvagonzavod.

The regulation blocks the sale of “dual-use” items to eight more newly named defence and technology firms: Almaz Antey; Bazalt; Chemcomposite; Kalashnikov; Sirius; Stankoinstrument; Technologii Maschinostrojenija; Wysokototschnye Kompleksi.

It forbids EU entities from supplying services for Russian deep water, Arctic, or shale oil exploration, including: drilling; well testing; logging and completion services; and supply of specialised floating vessels.

It also imposes an asset freeze and visa ban on 24 people, bringing the total since the Ukraine conflict erupted in March to 119.

Ten of the people are pro-Russia rebel chiefs in east and south Ukraine and in Crimea, including Donetsk region “prime minister” Aleksandr Zakharchenko, who recently co-signed a peace deal with Ukraine and Russia.

Twelve more are Russian MPs who supported the war on Ukraine, including firebrand nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

The new blacklist also names Russian oligarch Sergey Chemezov and major-general Aleksey Naumets.

It says that Chemezov, who chairs the Rostec arms conglomerate, is a “close associate” of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and that one of his firms is now building an energy plant in Crimea, which Russia annexed in March.

It says Naumets “is the commander of the 76th airborne division, which has been involved in the Russian military presence on the territory of Ukraine”.

EU Council head Herman Van Rompuy noted in a statement on Thursday the EU will assess “before the end of the month” whether Russia’s recent peace deal with Ukraine is being implemented.

He added that “in the light of the review and if the situation on the ground so warrants” the EU will “amend, suspend or repeal the set of sanctions in force, in all or in part”.

The White House on Thursday said it will also publish details of new measures on Friday.

Courtesy of EUobserver 12/04/2014 Publication Download Link  
#ANS2014


#russia, #banking, #blacklist, #brussels, #crimea, #defence, #eu, #european-union, #finance, #oil, #ukraine, #white-house