New package of sanctions against Russia and Ukraine: all that remains of Mariupol is only wreckage

New package of sanctions against Russia and Ukraine: all that remains of Mariupol is only wreckage  US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announced that more sanctions against Russia will be announced, and existing measures will be tightened, during President Joe Biden's meeting with his European allies in Brussels on Thursday.  In a statement to reporters on Tuesday, the chancellor said that "another package of sanctions" will be "imposed jointly with our allies on Thursday," adding that the announcement "will focus not only on imposing new sanctions, but on ensuring that there is a joint effort to prevent any evasion of their application."  Russia's exclusion from the G-20  In an attempt to besiege Russia economically, Poland proposed Tuesday to US officials to exclude Russia from the Group of Twenty major economies, and the proposal was met with a "positive response."  Poland's Minister of Economic Development and Technology Piotr Nowak said in a statement that the proposal was discussed at meetings in Washington last week.  "During the meetings, including a meeting with (US Commerce Secretary) Gina Raimundo, we put forward a proposal to exclude Russia from the G-20, and it received a positive response and approval, and it will be presented to President (US) Biden," Nowak told reporters in Warsaw.  There was no immediate comment from the US Commerce Department.  No signs of a chemical attack  Regarding Russia's intention to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, a senior US defense official said Tuesday that the United States has not yet seen any concrete indications of an imminent Russian attack with chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, but is closely monitoring intelligence.   For his part, US President Joe Biden said Monday that Russia's false accusations that Kyiv possesses biological and chemical weapons show that Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering using them himself in the war against Ukraine.  The US official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, disclosed Biden's assessment, but added: "There is no indication of anything imminent in this regard at this time."  On the other hand, the TASS news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that no one had ever thought that a "special military operation" in Ukraine would take only a few days.  Peskov confirmed Moscow's assertion that the campaign is proceeding according to plan.  Nothing left of Mariupol  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday there was "nothing left" from the city of Mariupol after weeks of Russian bombing, while the Ukrainian government asked Moscow to allow the evacuation of at least 100,000 people who want to leave.   Ukraine has repeatedly warned of the seriousness of the situation in the besieged southern port city, where officials say residents are left without food, medicine, electricity or running water.  Food is also running out for 300,000 civilians in the occupied city of Kherson in southern Ukraine, officials said, highlighting what an international aid official described as the collapse of the humanitarian system in Ukraine.  "There is nothing left there, only wreckage," Zelensky said of Mariupol, which had a population of 400,000 in peacetime, in a video address to the Italian parliament.  "We demand the opening of a humanitarian corridor for civilians," Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said in comments broadcast on Ukrainian television.  She later added: "At least 100,000 people want to leave Mariupol and can't."  She said that unless a safe passage is established and buses are allowed in to evacuate them, they will have to walk 10 and 20 kilometers to reach an area of ​​relative safety, a perilous journey if the shooting does not stop.  She added that the Russian forces are also preventing humanitarian supplies from reaching civilians in Kherson, which is under their control.  "300,000 citizens of Kherson are facing a humanitarian catastrophe due to the blockade imposed by the Russian army. Food and medical supplies are almost exhausted, but Russia refuses to open humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians," Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said on Twitter.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announced that more sanctions against Russia will be announced, and existing measures will be tightened, during President Joe Biden's meeting with his European allies in Brussels on Thursday.

In a statement to reporters on Tuesday, the chancellor said that "another package of sanctions" will be "imposed jointly with our allies on Thursday," adding that the announcement "will focus not only on imposing new sanctions, but on ensuring that there is a joint effort to prevent any evasion of their application."

Russia's exclusion from the G-20
In an attempt to besiege Russia economically, Poland proposed Tuesday to US officials to exclude Russia from the Group of Twenty major economies, and the proposal was met with a "positive response."

Poland's Minister of Economic Development and Technology Piotr Nowak said in a statement that the proposal was discussed at meetings in Washington last week.

"During the meetings, including a meeting with (US Commerce Secretary) Gina Raimundo, we put forward a proposal to exclude Russia from the G-20, and it received a positive response and approval, and it will be presented to President (US) Biden," Nowak told reporters in Warsaw.

There was no immediate comment from the US Commerce Department.

No signs of a chemical attack
Regarding Russia's intention to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, a senior US defense official said Tuesday that the United States has not yet seen any concrete indications of an imminent Russian attack with chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, but is closely monitoring intelligence.

For his part, US President Joe Biden said Monday that Russia's false accusations that Kyiv possesses biological and chemical weapons show that Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering using them himself in the war against Ukraine.

The US official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, disclosed Biden's assessment, but added: "There is no indication of anything imminent in this regard at this time."

On the other hand, the TASS news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that no one had ever thought that a "special military operation" in Ukraine would take only a few days.

Peskov confirmed Moscow's assertion that the campaign is proceeding according to plan.

Nothing left of Mariupol
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday there was "nothing left" from the city of Mariupol after weeks of Russian bombing, while the Ukrainian government asked Moscow to allow the evacuation of at least 100,000 people who want to leave.

Ukraine has repeatedly warned of the seriousness of the situation in the besieged southern port city, where officials say residents are left without food, medicine, electricity or running water.

Food is also running out for 300,000 civilians in the occupied city of Kherson in southern Ukraine, officials said, highlighting what an international aid official described as the collapse of the humanitarian system in Ukraine.

"There is nothing left there, only wreckage," Zelensky said of Mariupol, which had a population of 400,000 in peacetime, in a video address to the Italian parliament.

"We demand the opening of a humanitarian corridor for civilians," Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said in comments broadcast on Ukrainian television.

She later added: "At least 100,000 people want to leave Mariupol and can't."

She said that unless a safe passage is established and buses are allowed in to evacuate them, they will have to walk 10 and 20 kilometers to reach an area of ​​relative safety, a perilous journey if the shooting does not stop.

She added that the Russian forces are also preventing humanitarian supplies from reaching civilians in Kherson, which is under their control.

"300,000 citizens of Kherson are facing a humanitarian catastrophe due to the blockade imposed by the Russian army. Food and medical supplies are almost exhausted, but Russia refuses to open humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians," Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said on Twitter.

“If we are exposed to an existential danger.” The Kremlin announces the limitations of using nuclear weapons  Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has warned of the possibility of Russia resorting to the use of nuclear weapons, if it is exposed to what he described as an "existential danger", during its military operation against Western-backed Ukraine.  Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin may resort to nuclear weapons if Russia is exposed to an "existential danger", without clarifying what is meant by this.  Peskov said in an interview with CNN that Putin has not yet been able to reach his goals in Ukraine.  He explained that the "special military operation" is proceeding according to predetermined plans and objectives.  On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which was followed by angry international reactions and the imposition of severe economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.  To end the operation, Russia requires Ukraine to abandon any plans to join military entities, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, "NATO" and to adhere to complete neutrality, which Kyiv considers an "interference in its sovereignty."

“If we are exposed to an existential danger.” The Kremlin announces the limitations of using nuclear weapons


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has warned of the possibility of Russia resorting to the use of nuclear weapons, if it is exposed to what he described as an "existential danger", during its military operation against Western-backed Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin may resort to nuclear weapons if Russia is exposed to an "existential danger", without clarifying what is meant by this.

Peskov said in an interview with CNN that Putin has not yet been able to reach his goals in Ukraine.

He explained that the "special military operation" is proceeding according to predetermined plans and objectives.

On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which was followed by angry international reactions and the imposition of severe economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.

To end the operation, Russia requires Ukraine to abandon any plans to join military entities, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, "NATO" and to adhere to complete neutrality, which Kyiv considers an "interference in its sovereignty."

Officials rule out Algeria's use of gas to pressure the spat with Spain  Algerian officials suggested that it was unlikely that Algeria would use gas as a pressure card on Spain, after the latter expressed a rapprochement with the Moroccan position on the disputed territory of Western Sahara between the two countries.  Former Algerian energy sector officials and executives said it is unlikely that Algeria will seek to use gas supplies as leverage in its diplomatic dispute with Spain, after Madrid moved closer to Morocco's position on Western Sahara.  On Saturday, Algeria announced the recall of its ambassador in Madrid for consultations after Spain backed a Moroccan plan for autonomy in Western Sahara, which was rejected by the Algerian-backed Polisario Front, which seeks independence for the region.  The dispute comes as Algeria aims to benefit from high prices and increased long-term demand for its gas in Europe, as a result of the Ukrainian crisis, developments that may help reverse years of decline in its energy sector.  State-owned energy company Sonatrach has long-term contracts to supply gas to Spain, which it cannot easily cut, although the contracts include regular price reviews.  A former Sonatrach executive said, "Algeria is a reliable country for the supply of natural gas and intends to remain so."  Another former Sonatrach executive also said that although most of Algeria's gas supplies are tied to long-term contracts, the company aims to boost its exports to Europe over the coming years.  A source familiar with the company's current thinking reiterated that Sonatrach is committed to meeting the deliverables in the contracts.  As European customers turn away from Russian supplies, greater competition for gas from Algeria and Libya may occur, especially among the Mediterranean countries.  On Monday, Sonatrach signed an agreement with Italy's Eni to accelerate the development of an oil and gas field in Berkine, as part of the Italian company's plans to boost total gas supplies in the short and medium terms, including supplies from Algeria.  The decline in energy sales in the past few years has been a constant concern for Algeria, which has led to a collapse in the country's foreign exchange reserves by three-quarters since 2014.  Sonatrach is also experiencing constant turmoil due to frequent changes in its leadership and a lack of foreign investment seen as necessary to increase production capacity despite the enactment of a new law in 2020 to improve conditions for investors.  Until last year, Algeria supplied Spain with gas using two different pipelines, one of which passes through Morocco. But the agreement regulating the use of that pipeline expired last year, and ownership of the line returned to Morocco.  After Algeria severed ties with Morocco last summer amid a deterioration in relations between the two countries due to escalations in Western Sahara, Algeria said it would not seek to renew the pipeline agreement.  Instead, it sent the contracted volumes to Spain using the other direct pipeline and with shipments of LNG.

Officials rule out Algeria's use of gas to pressure the spat with Spain

Algerian officials suggested that it was unlikely that Algeria would use gas as a pressure card on Spain, after the latter expressed a rapprochement with the Moroccan position on the disputed territory of Western Sahara between the two countries.

Former Algerian energy sector officials and executives said it is unlikely that Algeria will seek to use gas supplies as leverage in its diplomatic dispute with Spain, after Madrid moved closer to Morocco's position on Western Sahara.

On Saturday, Algeria announced the recall of its ambassador in Madrid for consultations after Spain backed a Moroccan plan for autonomy in Western Sahara, which was rejected by the Algerian-backed Polisario Front, which seeks independence for the region.

The dispute comes as Algeria aims to benefit from high prices and increased long-term demand for its gas in Europe, as a result of the Ukrainian crisis, developments that may help reverse years of decline in its energy sector.

State-owned energy company Sonatrach has long-term contracts to supply gas to Spain, which it cannot easily cut, although the contracts include regular price reviews.

A former Sonatrach executive said, "Algeria is a reliable country for the supply of natural gas and intends to remain so."

Another former Sonatrach executive also said that although most of Algeria's gas supplies are tied to long-term contracts, the company aims to boost its exports to Europe over the coming years.

A source familiar with the company's current thinking reiterated that Sonatrach is committed to meeting the deliverables in the contracts.

As European customers turn away from Russian supplies, greater competition for gas from Algeria and Libya may occur, especially among the Mediterranean countries.

On Monday, Sonatrach signed an agreement with Italy's Eni to accelerate the development of an oil and gas field in Berkine, as part of the Italian company's plans to boost total gas supplies in the short and medium terms, including supplies from Algeria.

The decline in energy sales in the past few years has been a constant concern for Algeria, which has led to a collapse in the country's foreign exchange reserves by three-quarters since 2014.

Sonatrach is also experiencing constant turmoil due to frequent changes in its leadership and a lack of foreign investment seen as necessary to increase production capacity despite the enactment of a new law in 2020 to improve conditions for investors.

Until last year, Algeria supplied Spain with gas using two different pipelines, one of which passes through Morocco. But the agreement regulating the use of that pipeline expired last year, and ownership of the line returned to Morocco.

After Algeria severed ties with Morocco last summer amid a deterioration in relations between the two countries due to escalations in Western Sahara, Algeria said it would not seek to renew the pipeline agreement.

Instead, it sent the contracted volumes to Spain using the other direct pipeline and with shipments of LNG.
Previous Post Next Post