Lavrov: Donbass “must be liberated”

Brussels 29.12.2022 The Donetsk (DNR) and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR), as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, which joined Russia following referendums, “need to be liberated”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said to Russian Channel One TV. (Image above: archive)

While answering a question about the borders of the regions that he was referring to, Lavrov said: “I am certainly talking about their borders as parts of the Russian Federation, based on the Russian Constitution.”

“It stems from the people’s will expressed in the four regions. It happened a while ago in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and this fall in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions,” Lavrov added.

The top diplomat underlined that Russia was determined to make sure that its special military operation would achieve its goals. The four regions “need to be liberated from the threat of Nazification that they have faced for years” he added.

From September 23 to September 27, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), as well as the Kherson Region and the Zaporozhye Region, held referendums where the majority of voters opted to join Russia. On September 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the heads of the DPR and the LPR, the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions signed treaties on their accession to Russia. On October 4, Putin signed laws ratifying the treaties.

Russia refuses gaz price dictatorship

Brussels 19.12.2022 “This is a violation of the market pricing process, an encroachment on market processes. Any references to the “ceiling” are unacceptable,” the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov (pictured) said to the reporters, reacting upon the EU Energy ministers decision to create a cartel of gas buyers to dictate price of Russian natural gas.

The EU countries have agreed on a dynamic gas price ceiling of €180 per MWh (approximately €1.85 thousand per thousand cubic meters), which will apply from February 15, 2023. This is stated in a statement issued by the EU Council on Monday, December 19.

Winter 2023/24: point of no return for the European Union?
“The gas price correction mechanism can be activated from February 15 under two conditions: if the gas price holds for three days at the level of €180 and if the difference between TTF (EU) prices and the average world price for liquefied natural gas is more than €35 “, the document says.

The corridor for setting prices for futures will be limited to the mark, which is equal to the average price of LNG on the world market plus €35. It will be impossible to place trading positions above this mark with the current price correction mechanism.

“Thus, this mechanism does not set a hard price ceiling, but it will prevent the occurrence of sharp jumps in gas prices,” European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said at a press conference in Brussels.

Lavrov: Russia resists sanctions

Brussels 19.12.2022 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Belarusian counterpart Sergey Aleinik discussed the Ukrainian crisis and ways to resist the West’s waves of sanctions pressure at a meeting on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, TASS news agency reports.

“The parties exchanged views on international and regional issues, including the situation around the Ukrainian crisis. They reaffirmed their determination to coordinate steps on international platforms and efforts to resist the political and illegal sanctions pressure that Russia and Belarus have been facing from unfriendly countries,” the statement reads.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the parties also discussed pressing bilateral issues, interaction within the Union State and other Eurasian organisations. “Special attention was paid to ensuring diplomatic support for the implementation of Union State programs concerning the economic integration of the two countries, cooperation within the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States], Russia’s upcoming chairmanship of the EAEU [Eurasian Economic Union] and Belarus’s chairmanship of the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization],” the statement added.

The diplomats also discussed upcoming foreign policy events, including preparations for a joint board meeting of the Russian and Belarusian foreign ministries.

Ukraine: Orban warns EU of consequences

Brussels 07.12.2022 The Hungarian leader Viktor Orban told “Good morning, Hungary!” that EU sanctions on Russian energy are bound to fail, and that “not only our children, but also our grandchildren will suffer the consequences” of a mass borrowing scheme proposed by the EU, adding that potentially insolvent states will require support as well.

Orban reiterated Hungary’s opposition, and suggested that agreements to support Ukraine should be at the national level via bilateral agreements between individual countries, ReMix reports.

He highlighted that Ukraine has now found itself in a situation whereby it is incapable of functioning as an independent nation because of the ongoing conflict, and while it needs help from its neighbors and allies in the short-term, it is not for Brussels to speak on behalf of all member states.

What’s more, Orban believes that any further sanctions on Russian gas or nuclear energy would have “tragic consequences,” and argued that Hungary should be exempt from such a decision.

“We are facing a difficult winter, Ukraine is in an increasingly difficult situation, Russia is suffering difficulties, but its revenues from energy carriers are at their peak, so the policy of sanctions has not achieved its goal,” he said, explaining that while Hungary won’t be subject to an upcoming ban on European imports of Russian oil, it will still be affected by the “price-inflating effect of the sanctions.”

“We have always achieved our own national goals in the negotiations on sanctions, so we are participating in the discussion of the ninth package with good hopes,” Orban concluded, while noting that the “pressure is constant,” and that Hungary must “constantly fight to protect our interests.”

Brussels bailing out Ukraine will ruin Europe for generations, Hungary’s Orban warns.