Ukraine top executives killed in crash

Strasbourg 18.01.2023 The three leading figures in Ukraine’s interior Ministry have been killed in a helicopter crash next to a nursery in an eastern suburb of the capital Kyiv – Brovary.

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, 42, died alongside his first deputy Minister and State secretary.

Nine people were killed when the helicopter came down in Brovary and another nine died on the ground, including three children.

Minister Monastyrsky is the highest profile Ukrainian casualty since the war broke out on February 24, 2022.

The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said the Minister had been on errand to a war “hot spot” when his helicopter went down.

There is no indication the crash was anything other than an accident, although witnesses said Russia’s war was to blame for the disaster.

“It was very foggy and there was no electricity, and when there’s no electricity there are no lights on the buildings,” local resident Volodymyr told the BBC.

The 42-year-old Interior minister was a prominent member of President Volodymy Zelensky’s cabinet. The top executive played a key role in updating the public on casualties caused by Russian missile strikes since Ukraine was invaded in February 2022.

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.

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.

EU regrets Russian LGBT law

Brussels 24.11.2022 “The EU regrets further repressive measures adopted by the Russian State Duma, related to the so-called “foreign agents” legislation and the LGBTI legislation. The recently proposed amendments to the citizenship legislation are also deeply worrying” the European External Action service press person said.

“These legislative developments fuel homophobia and further deepen the harsh repression of any critical and alternative discourse in the context of Russia’s illegal, unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine, which the EU continues to condemn in the strongest possible terms”.

“The European Union stands in solidarity with Russian citizens who are prevented from exercising their human rights”.

EU: Big Tech shields Ursula

Brussels 25.10.2022 Anna van Densky OPINION On Sunday night, October 23 at 10:50 PM, I received an email from the YouTube team, informing me, that my video was removed and my channel was suspended for one week. The explanation of this hostile measure against the Freedom of speech was announced in a standard, non personalized text:

“Our team has reviewed your content, and, unfortunately, we think it violates our medical-misinformation policy. We’ve removed the following content from YouTube: “EU: demand of Ursula resignation”.
I immediately launched an appeal explaining the political and non-medical nature of my reporting from the European Parliament Strasbourg Plenary, but to no avail.

Well… But seriously, what the loud political demands of a group of the Members of the European Parliament for Ursula von der Leyen resignation have to do with the “medical-misinformation”? Ursula von der Leyen holds a position of the European Commission president, or in the other words the Prime-minister of the “United States of Europe”, and the MEPs demands of the resignation are relevant to the democratic practices, in the context of corruption allegations.

In mid-October the European Public Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation into the EU’s coronavirus vaccines purchases, an announcement attracting attention to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s questionable actions in concluding €71 bn contracts in total to November 2021.

My reporting censored by YouTube was correct because MEPs articulated the demands publicly a few times during the European Parliament second October Plenary in Strasbourg. Why the YouTube team is suppressing the vital for the EU citizens information, revealing corruption in the institutional highest ranks, and deleting the content about the legitimate demands of people’s representative for transparency enshrined to the EU Treaty?

Who is behind this YouTube team, who claims to be the guardians of the World Health Organization policies? On what grounds a Digital platform manifests itself as a censor, declaring that “YouTube doesn’t allow content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ (LHA) or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19”. And what does the “medical misinformation” mean, while WHO, and other influential players in the field as the Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the U.S. spasmodically, but brazenly adapted their own slippery tactics in promotion of the Big Pharma products? Remember?

According to the statistic research the YouTube was among the major beneficiaries from the lockdown policies. According to The Insider YouTube is a powerhouse for Google, with revenue up 46% to almost $7 billion in the last quarter of 2020, doubling its profits due to lockdowns.

Just a few words about the YouTube, which is a video sharing platform where users around the world stream 694,000 hours of content every minute.
It is owned by Google, and is the second most visited website, after Google Search. YouTube has more than 2.5 billion monthly users who collectively watch more than one billion hours of videos each day. However policies of this Big Tech giant are becoming increasingly obscurant, influencing without any democratic mandate the political, and public life, moreover, manipulating and misguiding societies on epic scale.

However the concerns over the active “misinformation” censorship in favour of promotion of Big Pharma scheme of eternal use of their products reached the U.S. Senate. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Ranking Member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, sent a letter to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki demanding documents and communications explaining each instance of YouTube’s censorship of him and requesting information on the development of YouTube’s COVID-19 misinformation policies.

“YouTube has displayed a troubling track record of censoring a sitting United States Senator, the proceedings of the United States Senate, journalists that interview me, and the display of data that is entirely generated from U.S. government health agencies,” the senator said.

Senator Johnson pressed Big Tech executives on censorship,  the silencing of conservative voices internal political bias at social media companies and their role in removing “COVID-19 disinformation.” The executives would not answer his questions.

Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic Ursula von der Leyen does not shy away from forceful imposition of decisions in a totalitarian power style, trampling The Nuremburg Code, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of Helsinki, and the Siracusa Principles.

Moreover led by Ursula von der Leyen the European Commission is eager to bring the “Health dictatorship” to another level. The EU is also determined to play a leading role in the negotiations for a new international legally binding agreement on “pandemic prevention, preparedness and response” and targeted amendments to strengthen the 2005 International Health Regulations.

This institution, which has become deeply authoritarian, asks Member States to relaunch their vaccine strategies and to fight against misinformation about the vaccine, which means nothing other than the return of the vaccination pass, and “health dictatorship”.

However, in spite of the heavy “editing” and mass-scale censorship the demands of transparency around the dealing of Ursula von der Leyen and the Big Pharma companies, namely Pfizer are mounting.

Olivier Frot, Doctor of Public Law, from Bordeaux University, France, managed to obtain the framework agreement from the European Commission for the purchase of “anti-Covid vaccines” from the company Pfizer BioNtech.

“We are in the presence of a very original and unusual contractual form in terms of public procurement, an ‘advance purchase agreement’, a form unknown to the writer before this study and not provided for in the texts governing public contracts awarded by the European Commission” commented Oliver Frot.
“This is a type of leonine contract in which the contracting party is exempt from economic risk (firm price over a short period, fixed contractual quantities, significant financial advance), exempt from legal risk (responsibility transferred to the participating Member State” the researcher continued.
“The information making it possible to determine the legality of the procedures for awarding and drafting these contracts is unfortunately not available. Given the totally unbalanced nature of these contracts, one can legitimately ask questions about their award conditions and the absence of corruption and/or conflicts of interest” he added.

Borrell: views on Ukraine conflict shift

Brussels 11.07.2022 The G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bali opened to Josep Borrell the different perspectives around the world on the situation in Ukraine and its consequences, the The European Union top diplomat said, pointing at the evolution of views on the conflict.

“In the March vote at the UN General Assembly, 140 states condemned the Russian aggression and no member of the G20, apart from the aggressor, opposed this Resolution. But on how to move forward and on the consequences of the war, views differ sharply,” Borrell said in a statement published on the EU’s website on Sunday. “The G7 and like-minded countries are united in condemning and sanctioning Russia and in trying to hold the regime accountable. But other countries, and we can speak here of the majority of the `Global South’, often take a different perspective,” he concluded.

“The global battle of narratives is in full swing and, for now, we are not winning,” Borrell underlined.

The G20 foreign ministerial sessions held in Bali on July 7-8 were attended by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who held a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a “special military operation” in response to a request by the heads of the two Donbass Republics. The U.S., the EU, the UK and a number of NATO allies retaliated with sweeping sanctions against Russia and have been ramping up their weapons supplies to Ukraine.

“In the March vote at the UN General Assembly, 140 states condemned the Russian aggression and no member of the G20, apart from the aggressor, opposed this resolution. But on how to move forward and on the consequences of the war, views differ sharply,” Borrell said in a statement published on the EU’s website on Sunday. “The G7 and like-minded countries are united in condemning and sanctioning Russia and in trying to hold the regime accountable. But other countries, and we can speak here of the majority of the `Global South’, often take a different perspective,” the EU diplomat concluded.

“The global battle of narratives is in full swing and, for now, we are not winning,” Borrell continued.

The G20 foreign ministerial sessions held in Bali on July 7-8 were attended by Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov. The Russian foreign minister held a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a special military operation in response to a request by the heads of the two Donbass republics. The US, the EU, the UK and a number of other countries retaliated with sweeping sanctions against Russia and have been ramping up their weapons supplies to Ukraine.

Lavrov: West declared total war on Russia

Brusels 27.05.2022 The West has declared a total war on Russia and the Russian world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (pictured) said on Friday, May 27.

“The West has declared a total war on us, on the Russian World. Nobody makes any secret of this,” Lavrov said at a meeting of the Council of the heads of Russia’s constituent territories at the Foreign Ministry.

Lavrov warned that the Western policy of “cancelling” Russia would continue for a long time.

“The culture of cancelling Russia and everything related with our country has reached a point of absurdity. Bans have been imposed on such classics as Tchaikovsky, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Pushkin. Persecution is underway against Russian culture and art workers. In general, one can be certain that this situation will last,” Lavrov said.

“We must realize that it has exposed the West’s real attitude to the beautiful slogans that were put forward 30 years ago after the end of the Cold War, the calls for universal humanitarian values, for building a common European home from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Now we can see the real worth of these fine words,” Lavrov said.

The top diplomat has underlined that Russia would certainly not agree to put up with these policies.

“In this situation there is a great demand for a concrete discussion on how we develop our cooperation, cooperation between our ministry and civil society, including at the level of regions,” he added.

Russia accuses EU for grain shortage

Brussels 20.05.2022 Russia can export 25 million tonnes of grain via the port of Novorossiysk starting from August 1 and until the end of this year, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said, speaking at UN Security Council meeting on conflicts and food security Thursday,May 19.

According to Nebenzya, Russia “continues to remain a responsible supplier of food and energy.”

“This year, we expect a record high wheat harvest. In this regard, we can offer 25 million tonnes of grain for export from the port of Novorossiysk starting on August 1 and until the end of this year,” the envoy said.

“We can also discuss other procurements, including considering that, between June and December, potential export of fertilizers will stand at least 22 million tonnes. But, if you have no intention to withdraw your sanctions, imposed on your own initiative, then why do you accuse us? Why do the poorest nations and regions have to suffer because of your irresponsible geopolitical games?” the diplomat pointed out, addressing the representatives of Western states.

In the current circumstances, attempts to “groundlessly shift responsibility” for deteriorating food situations in the world to Russia “are not just absurd, they are sacrilegious.”.

Nebenzya said that grain exports from Ukrainian ports have been blocked because of Ukraine’s military actions, and they are not the result of decisions of Russian Federation.

“You claim that we are allegedly blocking the possibility of exporting agricultural products from Ukraine by sea,” he said at a UN Security Council meeting on food security. “However, the truth is that it’s Ukraine, not Russia, that continues to block 75 foreign ships from 17 states in the ports of Nikolayev, Kherson, Chernomorsk, Mariupol, Ochakov, Odessa and Yuzhny, and it was Ukraine that mined the waterways.”

“Given that, how can we talk about grain export?” he said. “And no matter what you say here today, only you can change this situation, gentlemen.”.

Exported Ukrainian grain is not directed to countries in need, but is being loaded in EU storages – possibly as payment for arms shipments, Nebenzya accused.

“A logical question arises: where do these shipments [of Ukrainian grain] go? What do they have to do with ensuring food security in the world?” Nebenzya said. “We have justified suspicion that the grain does not go to aid the starving global South, but is being loaded in European states’ grain storages. As we understand, this is how Ukraine pays for weapons being shipped by the West.”.

EU: VI Russia sanctions package blocked

Brussels 18.05.2022 The sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia has been blocked, European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said on Wednesday, May 18, in an interview to Rai News 24 TV channel.

“We adopted five packages of sanctions very quickly and unanimously, but the sixth package is still held off for known reasons. I am optimistic about the prospects for finding a compromise,” Gentiloni said.

The Commissioner explained that the Hungarian government does not object to the principle of introducing an energy embargo, but pointed to the difficulties in terms of a certain geographical location and energy supply model.

The permanent representatives of the EU countries (Coreper) have been not able reach an agreement on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which includes a draft oil embargo – the European Commission has proposed a ban on imports of crude oil from Russia six months after the sixth package enters into force, and on oil products – from 2023. At the same time, the European Commission proposed to allow Hungary and Slovakia to purchase Russian oil until the end of 2024 in an exemption gesture.

According to sources, the European Commission already had to soften a number of its proposals on the timing, parameters, and possible exceptions to the oil embargo. Hungary opposes the oil embargo, with the support of a number of other countries who believe that the damage from the measure will be catastrophic for Europe.

Peskov denies gas boycott of Finland

Brussels 13.05.2022 Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov called some Finnish media reports about the termination of Russian gas deliveries to Finland “most likely just another fake.”

While conducting a press briefing in Moscow, Peskov recalled that the media mentioned Finland’s stance to join NATO as a reason for a possible rupture on supplies of energy resources and reminded that Russia delivers gas to many NATO countries, including Germany.

“Gazprom supplies gas to various consumers in Europe, including countries that are members of NATO. Gazprom has repeatedly demonstrated its reliability as a company that supplies energy resources to the European continent. Therefore, these reports are most likely just another fake,” the Peskov said.

However Peskov made a reservation, recalling the decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin that prescribed “unfriendly countries” to pay in rubles for Russian energy resources, and added that if Finnish companies do not abide by the new requirements, then “the decree will be implemented.”

“It is necessary to make it clear with Gazprom how it is with the payment regime. Because there is a decree of the president on a new gas payment regime. I do not know the nuances of how Finnish companies pay, when they need to make payments, and whether they carry them according to the new rules,” he said.