Friday, July 1, 2022
Home Blog Page 3

Ukraine’s energy minister spoke with his US colleague in a “urgent” conversation over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power project

Volodymyr Zelensky
After a fire broke out at a nuclear power facility in southern Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of launching a "nuclear terror attack."

According to a statement from Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy, German Galushchenko had a “urgent” phone chat with his US colleague Jennifer Granholm regarding the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant early Friday.

According to the Ukrainian State Emergency Service, the fire at the plant started in the early hours of Friday morning and was quickly doused with no injuries. According to the statement, Galushchenko remarked, “The adversary is unconcerned about nuclear and radiation security.” He went on to say that Russia was “unconcerned” about the lives of Ukrainians, Europeans, and their own countrymen.

“For several days, we have been attempting to communicate this warning to the International Atomic Energy Agency. We urged that this international organisation intervene and that the perpetrator be dealt with harshly. But they haven’t arrived yet “Galushchenko stated the following.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of deliberately firing at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in a Facebook post early Friday, after a fire broke out at the complex following intense bombardment by Russian soldiers.

Although the situation remains fluid and firemen continue to combat the flames, Ukrainian authorities claim the power facility has not incurred any serious damage and that radiation levels are now normal.

“Russian tanks are firing at thermal imager-equipped atomic reactors.” They have a good idea of what they’re firing at. “They’ve been planning this (attack) for a long time,” he wrote in the message.

In the article, Zelensky also mentioned the Chernobyl disaster and its victims. “How many victims there were for all Ukrainians, for all Europeans, for all persons who know the phrase ‘Chernobyl.'”

The Chernobyl tragedy, which occurred in Soviet Ukraine in 1986, is often regarded as the greatest nuclear disaster in history. According to Zelensky, it was a “global tragedy” that “damaged the lives of hundreds of thousands of people” and had a long-term influence on the country.

However, the fact that Russia attacked the facility is in and of itself a highly risky conduct that might result in a disaster, he added. “Ukraine has 15 nuclear power plants. If one of them blows, it’s the end of the world for everyone, including Europe “Added he.

He urged European leaders to “wake up immediately,” saying it was the first time in history “Stopping Russian forces “before this turns into a nuclear tragedy” is a priority.

Following an attack by Russian soldiers, a fire at Ukraine’s largest nuclear power facility is still blazing, however a plant spokesperson says background radiation levels are normal and combat has temporarily paused.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power facility in southern Ukraine suffered no serious damage in the attack, according to Andrii Tuz, a spokesperson for the plant, who also said that firemen were first halted by Russian forces when they arrived.

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, attention has turned to the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants. Experts are concerned about the possibility of the fire inflicting damage to the nuclear facility, however they stress that it is too early to determine the entire extent of the damage.

According to a statement from the watchdog, a big number of Russian tanks and soldiers “broke through the block-post” to the village of Enerhodar, which is just a few kilometres from the Zaporizhzhia power plant.

Putin is being investigated by the International Criminal Court for war crimes

Russia_Ukraine_War
A glimpse of smoke from inside a damaged gym in Kyiv, Ukraine, following bombardment.

Russian military troops intensified their bombardment on civilian areas of Ukraine’s major cities on Wednesday, as the country’s authorities vowed to oppose the invaders and citizens joined the military struggle to preserve their damaged homeland.

In a video message delivered early Thursday local time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated, “We are a people who have shattered the enemy’s plans in a week.” “There will be no tranquilly here for them.” They won’t be able to eat. They will not have a single calm minute here.”

Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly voted 141-5, with 35 abstentions, to call on Russia to end the conflict. The vote occurred after the assembly’s 193 members held their first emergency session in 25 years.

On Wednesday, the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor launched an inquiry into whether Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, had committed war crimes. One week into the conflict, Zelenskyy rallied his people and lauded them for their resolve in a televised speech to the country. “We have actually been one throughout this period,” Zelenskyy remarked. “We were able to forgive each other.” We began to adore one other. We assist one another. We’re all concerned about each other.”

Russian soldiers appear to have taken control of Kherson, a port city in southern Ukraine with a population of about 300,000. The combat in Kherson continued, according to Zelenskyy’s office, although Mayor Igor Kolykhaev declared there were no Ukrainian soldiers remaining.

A massive Russian military convoy, reported to be 40 miles long, is still stalled outside Kyiv due to heavy Ukrainian opposition and supply issues, preventing it from reaching the capital city.

Mayor Igor Terekhov of Kharkiv, which is surrounded in the northeast, said the relentless assault has resulted in “vast destruction.” According to Ukraine Emergency Services, a rocket strike targeted the regional police headquarters, killing four persons and injuring numerous more.

The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor opened an investigation Wednesday into possible war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide in Ukraine, dating back to 2013, but also covering the current conflict sparked by Russia’s invasion, as requested by a coalition of 38 countries led by the United Kingdom.

Following a state party referral by the ICC’s biggest coalition of nations, Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan was allowed to continue to an investigation without the necessity for court permission.

“Russia’s indiscriminate use of force against innocent people in its illegitimate and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine amounts to war crimes,” the UK Foreign Office stated in a statement.

“An inquiry by the International Court Of justice into Russia’s appalling crimes is urgently needed, and it is right that those involved be held to account,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in the statement.” To ensure that justice is delivered, the United Kingdom will work closely with allies.”

In the midst of contradictory reports over whether the Russians had taken over the southern port city of Kherson, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s administration stated combat is still going on and that it couldn’t say further since the war was still going on.

Russian officials, on the other hand, claimed to be in “full control,” and Kherson Mayor Igor Kolykhaev said the war was finished when Russian military entered the municipal administrative building. According to Kolykhaev, he requested that they not kill people and instead allow them to collect the dead from the streets.

 

In Ukraine, Russia has been accused of using ‘vacuum bombs’

Ukranian school
A school in Kharkiv, Ukraine, was damaged as a consequence of a brawl not far from the city's centre 

Russian soldiers have been accused of employing vacuum bombs, which are generally forbidden and hazardous weapons that “obliterate” their targets.

Amnesty International accused Russia of attacking a preschool in northern Ukraine with vacuum bombs, or thermobaric weapons, as people took cover inside.

After meeting with members of the US Congress on Monday, Ukraine’s ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, informed reporters that Russia had deployed a thermobaric weapon. After a meeting with MPs, Markarova remarked, “They used the vacuum bomb today.” “The destruction that Russia is attempting to wreak on Ukraine is massive.”

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said she had read stories but couldn’t confirm if Russia had deployed such weapons. If confirmed, Psaki warned, “that might potentially constitute a war crime.”

According to a Human Rights Watch investigation, the thermobaric weapon, also known as a fuel-air explosive, employs a fuel container and two separate explosive charges.

Human Rights Watch is a New York-based multinational nongovernmental organisation dedicated to human rights concerns.

When the weapon is shot or dropped, the first explosive charge disperses the fuel in a cloud that absorbs oxygen before flowing “around things and into buildings.” The second charge detonates as the gasoline cloud expands. The blast wave created by the explosion is particularly devastating in confined places, such as houses and foxholes.

International humanitarian law, according to Amnesty International, forbids the use of weapons that are inherently indiscriminate, such as cluster bombs and thermobaric weapons.

Human Rights Watch described Russia’s probable deployment of chemical weapons in Chechnya, a Russian region, as “a hazardous escalation” with “significant humanitarian repercussions” in 2000.

The Russian military allegedly deployed FAE bombs on the Dagestani settlement of Tando, Russia, in August 1999. According to The New York Times, identical thermobaric bombs were employed by the US in tunnels controlled by the Islamic State organisation in Afghanistan in 2017.

According to a CIA assessment, the weapons are “prone to indiscriminate use” and “obliterate” those nearest to the blast. According to a CIA research, the vacuum bomb’s pressure wave kills its victims by “rupturing lungs,” and if the device doesn’t detonate, the victims will breath the burning fuel.

Because the most prevalent FAE fuels, ethylene oxide and propylene oxide, are highly poisonous, undetonated FAE should be equally fatal to individuals trapped in the cloud as most chemical agents, according to the research.

Furthermore, when numerous thermobaric weapons are detonated at the same time, they reinforce one another, resulting in a greater, more lethal blast, according to Human Rights Watch.

According to the study, people who are near to the blast might suffer injuries such as “blown eardrums and crushed inner ear organs, severe concussions, ruptured lungs and internal organs, and potentially blindness.”

A 40-mile Russian convoy is on its way to Kyiv; shelling in Ukraine has intensified; and more sanctions have been imposed on Russia

Russian Infantry
Fighting in Kharkiv has resulted in the destruction of Russian infantry GAZ Tigr vehicles.

On Monday, Russian soldiers pounded Ukraine’s second-largest city, wreaking havoc on a residential area as they advanced on Kyiv in a 40-mile convoy that comprised hundreds of tanks and other military equipment.

Fighting resumed as discussions aimed at ending the five-day conflict resulted in merely a commitment to continue discussing. The country’s beleaguered president said the increased bombardment was intended to force him to make concessions.

“I think Russia is using this basic way to exert pressure (on Ukraine),” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a televised address late Monday. He didn’t go into detail about the hours-long negotiations that took place earlier, but he did say that Kyiv was not willing to make compromises “when one side is firing rocket fire at the other.”

Countries tightened the noose over Moscow’s economy Monday, imposing new sanctions on its central bank and people, as Russian forces marched ahead and encountered fierce resistance from Ukrainian military. Even Switzerland is abandoning its position of neutrality to join the EU in its initiatives.

The announcements came as Ukrainian and Russian delegates met for the first time at the Belarusian border since Russia’s invasion began on Thursday. The office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has stated that an immediate cease-fire will be demanded.

The declarations came as Ukrainian and Russian delegations met for the first time since Russia’s incursion began on Thursday near the Belarusian border. A cease-fire will be ordered immediately, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s administration.

On Monday, the United States announced the expulsion of 12 Russian diplomats stationed at the United Nations headquarters in New York. for participating in “espionage operations” that jeopardise the United States’ national security Disney also stated that it would.

Russia’s Central Bank, battered by international sanctions, raised interest rates sharply to attempt to stem the ruble’s decline.

Fighting in the streets of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and troops pushing closer to the capital Kyiv marked the conclusion of the fourth day of Russia’s conventional military attack on Ukraine.

The US is expelling 12 Russian diplomats stationed at the UN headquarters in New York for participating in “espionage activities” that jeopardise US national security. The US action has been in the works for “many months,” according to Olivia Dalton, a spokesperson for the US Mission to the UN.

She didn’t go into detail about the allegations that the Russians were spying on the US, but she did call the 12 people “intelligence officers from the Russian Mission who have violated their resident privileges in the United States.”

Ukraine is fighting back against Russian forces that are advancing

Ukraine people
At a gathering in Times Square to oppose Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a lady raises a placard.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) —Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, has resigned. On Saturday, Ukrainian defensive troops put up a valiant fight, halting the progress of the Russian military, which was closing in on Kyiv, the capital. European countries and the United States rushed aid to Ukraine, including more ammunition and weaponry, as well as a new round of tough sanctions aimed at further isolating Russia from the global financial system.

Men, women, and children were terrified and sought refuge inside or underground, while the authorities imposed a 39-hour curfew to keep people off the streets. Over 150,000 Ukrainians have fled to Poland, Moldova, and other neighboring nations, with the UN warning that the figure might rise to 4 million if the violence continues.

On Saturday, the US committed an extra $350 million in military supplies to Ukraine, including anti-tank weaponry, body armor, and small guns, to bolster Ukraine’s capacity to hold out. Germany claimed it would provide missiles and anti-tank weaponry to the beleaguered country and would block Russian jets from flying through its airspace.

The United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom have decided to exclude “selected” Russian banks from the SWIFT global financial messaging system, which transports money between over 11,000 banks and other financial institutions across the world. They also agreed that Russia’s central bank would face “restrictive measures.”

The actions were announced in tandem as part of a fresh wave of financial restrictions aimed at punishing Moscow for its invasion.

It was unknown how much land Russian soldiers had taken over. “The speed of the Russian advance has momentarily slowed,” the British Ministry of Defense warned, “presumably as a result of acute logistical challenges and heavy Ukrainian opposition.”

More than half of the Russian combat force stationed around Ukraine’s borders has entered the nation, according to a senior US defence official, and Moscow has forced to commit more fuel supply and other support troops inside Ukraine than expected. Further information were not provided by the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal US assessments.

Even as Zelenskyy urged his fellow Ukrainians to join the battle, it was hard to tell how effective Ukraine had been in halting Russian progress. A curfew in Kyiv that was supposed to extend until Monday morning ordered everyone indoors, however the capital’s relative calm was sometimes interrupted by gunshots.

Small Russian soldiers appeared to be attempting to clear a route for the larger forces on the outskirts of the city. Small units of Russian troops were reported within Kyiv, but the majority of Russian forces were 19 miles (30 kilometres) outside the city centre as of Saturday afternoon, according to Britain and the United States.

Since the invasion began Thursday with air and missile attacks and Russian forces entering Ukraine from the north, east, and south, bridges, schools, and residential districts have been attacked.

198 people, including three children, were killed and over 1,000 others were wounded in Europe’s deadliest land combat since World War II, according to Ukraine’s health minister. It was unclear if the estimates accounted for both military and civilian deaths.

On Kyiv, a missile struck a high-rise apartment building near one of the city’s two passenger airports in the southwestern fringes, creating a jagged crater of damaged flats spanning many stories. Six individuals were hurt, according to a rescue worker.

The battle for Kyiv heats up, and a stubborn Zelenskyy pushes resistance, declaring, “The struggle is here.”

Ukraine people
Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, individuals on foot and in automobiles cross the border between Ukraine and Poland at the Korczowa-Krakovets border crossing.

Russian soldiers advanced on Kyiv in the early hours of Saturday, although it was unclear how far the invading troops had advanced inside the Ukrainian capital, where President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had sworn defiance all night.

“We must survive this night,” Zelenskyy declared in a video message before daybreak arrived in Kyiv, after telling Ukrainians that Russia had designated him as “target No. 1.”

As the weekend began, Zelenskyy tweeted that he had begun “a new day on the diplomatic battlefield” with a discussion with French President Emmanuel Macron, and that “guns and equipment from our friends” were on their way.

However, the threat to the former Soviet republic was far from done. Ukrainian civilians gathered in subterranean bomb shelters or attempting to evacuate their nation to safety, bringing family members and any goods they could. Kyiv authorities recounted street clashes and asked citizens to seek cover.

On Saturday morning, US President Joe Biden was scheduled to meet with his national security team; the US and other countries have put sanctions on Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, in the hopes that the economic cost will drive Russia to change its course.

As the sun rose above Kyiv, it was unclear how far the army had progressed. Small Russian battalions were probing Ukrainian fortifications to create a route for the larger forces, according to skirmishes reported on the outskirts of the city.

However, the forces’ quick departure after less than three days of action jeopardised a country clinging to freedom in the face of a sweeping Russian attack that threatened to overthrow the democratic government and throw the post-Cold War world order into disarray.

The street brawls came after violence that destroyed bridges, schools, and apartment complexes, killing hundreds of people.

Delta has terminated its codeshare agreements with Aeroflot, the Russian state airline, with immediate effect. A codeshare agreement allows one airline to sell tickets on other carriers’ routes.

“We have withdrawn our code from Aeroflot-operated services beyond Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport,” Delta said in a statement. “We have also removed Aeroflot’s code from Delta-operated services from Los Angeles and New York-JFK.”

Because of the prospect of mass arrests, the US Department of State issued an early Saturday warning to Americans in Russia to “avoid protests and any demonstration-related activity.”

“The United States Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that the Department of State’s Travel Advisory level for Russia is “Level 4: Do Not Travel” for a variety of reasons, including harassment of U.S. citizens, harassment by Russian government security officials, and arbitrary enforcement of local law,” according to the statement.

Early Saturday morning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted that he and French President Emmanuel Macron had spoken on the phone. “A discussion with @EmmanuelMacron kicked off a fresh day on the diplomatic battlefield. Our partners’ weapons and equipment are on their way to Ukraine. The anti-war coalition is gaining traction!” Zelenskyy sent out a tweet.

The Russian invasion will have a major financial impact on American families

Gas station in US
At a 76 gas station in Los Angeles, California, a customer fills up a vehicle with fuel.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is taking place hundreds of kilometres distant from the nearest major US metropolis. Nonetheless, the economic ramifications will be felt by millions of American families.

Because the global economy and financial markets are intertwined, this is the case. Events on one side of the earth may cause shockwaves on the other, as Covid proved.

In this situation, a Russian invasion of Ukraine would undoubtedly raise the already-high cost of living in the US, sway investment portfolios, and perhaps stifle economic recovery.

Oil prices have risen to levels not seen since 2014, owing in part to fears that the war would disrupt Russian energy supplies.

According to Rystad Energy, Russia is an energy giant, generating 9.7 million barrels per day last year. This is only second to the United States, and it is more oil than Iraq and Canada combined.

Investors are on high alert for any potential supply shortages that may arise from a variety of factors, including destroyed infrastructure as a result of a war, sanctions against Russia, or Moscow seeking to weaponize shipments.

Oil prices, according to JPMorgan, may “easily” soar to $120 per barrel as a result of the crisis. According to JPMorgan, if Russian oil shipments are halved, petroleum prices will rise to $150 per barrel. A sharp increase in oil prices might be somewhat mitigated by consuming countries releasing emergency stocks and OPEC increasing output.

Still, another spike in oil prices would boost gas costs, which lag behind crude price changes. According to AAA, the national average price of a gallon of petrol has already reached a seven-year high of $3.54.

Inflation is the most serious issue confronting the US economy. And Russia’s incursion might exacerbate the situation. Oil is now trading at around $100 per barrel, but if it rises to $110, the year-over-year inflation rate would exceed 10%, according to an RSM research shared with CNN. This is an increase from the existing 7.5 percent. Inflation in the United States hasn’t reached 10% since 1981.

Higher oil and natural gas prices would not only raise gas prices, but they would also raise home heating and power bills.

Higher energy prices would make flying more costly, as well as transportation and input costs, for firms already dealing with rising costs. Businesses would very certainly pass on some of these greater expenses to customers in the form of pricing increases.

Other commodities, in addition to energy, may undergo price volatility. Metals such as aluminium and palladium are produced in large quantities in Russia. Russia is also the world’s largest wheat exporter, while Ukraine is a notable wheat and corn exporter.

In a research released last week, David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds, stated, “All of this would occur at a time when commodities supply are more stretched than they have been in a generation.”

Uncertainty is something that investors despise. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 700 points the morning following the invasion, as investors worried about an oil shock, rising inflation, and a muddled sanctions system.

 

According to a US official, Russia plans to replace Ukraine’s government

Ukraine people
In Mariupol, Ukraine, on Thursday, February 24, 2022, a lady walks past the rubble left behind by Russian bombardment. Early Thursday, Russia started a barrage of air and missile assaults on Ukraine, with Ukrainian officials reporting that Russian forces had entered the country from the north, east, and south.

President Joe Biden met with his national security staff and foreign leaders on Thursday morning, ahead of a speech on Russia’s invasion on Ukraine at noon.

According to a senior US military official who was not allowed to comment publicly, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military campaign in Ukraine began in the early hours of the morning with the objective of overthrowing the Ukrainian government and installing a Kremlin-backed administration. According to the official, this is Europe’s greatest invasion since World War II. The battles have the potential to be extremely bloody and costly.

International condemnation of Putin’s strike on Ukraine grew as the United States and its Western allies prepared to slap sanctions on Moscow for launching a surprise full-scale invasion that world leaders had warned about for weeks.

Ukraine’s defence ministry declared it was battling Russia in both the north and south of the nation, including an attempted capture of the Chernobyl nuclear accident site in 1986.

Explosions may be heard in large cities like as Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odessa. According to Oleksii Arestovich, an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the attack has killed at least 40 people and injured scores more. Russian soldiers struck military equipment and other defence infrastructure in Ukraine, according to Ukrainian authorities, while footage supplied by Ukrainian border guards showed Russian military vehicles crossing the border from Crimea.

Ukraine has severed diplomatic connections with Russia, declared martial law, and offered guns to anybody who wants to protect the country, according to Zelenskyy. People in Kyiv were clogging highways to depart despite calls to stay at home.

Shortly after the strike began, President Joe Biden blasted it as a “unprovoked and unjustifiable action,” vowing that the world will hold Russia and Putin responsible.

In a statement released Wednesday night, Biden said, “President Putin has chosen a deliberate conflict that will result in a terrible loss of life and human misery.”

At 12:30 p.m. ET, Biden will deliver a national speech to identify new actions the US will take beyond the sanctions already in place.

According to a White House official, Biden met with his National Security Council in the White House Situation Room to review the latest events in Ukraine as explosions continued around Ukraine.

According to the White House, the president conducted a virtual meeting with G-7 leaders and spoke with foreign leaders for approximately an hour and ten minutes about a concerted strategy to impose “heavy penalties” on Moscow. In remarks at the White House on Thursday afternoon, Biden is scheduled to go into further detail about the penalties.

The virtual meeting brought together German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

As Putin starts his invasion of Ukraine, Biden and the rest of the world call for repercussions

police officer guards
On February 24, 2022, a police officer stands watch among the fragments of a shell in Kyiv. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a military campaign in Ukraine, prompting explosions across the nation and warnings from the country's foreign minister that a "full-scale invasion" was underway.

With the whole world watching, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a massive pre-dawn strike on Ukraine on Thursday, launching an invasion that the US and its allies had been warning about for days.

In the early phases of the assault, it was unclear how severe the damage or casualties were, but Ukrainian authorities stated Russian forces had targeted military installations and other vital defensive structures, as well as targeting border units. Explosions could be heard thudding across Ukraine’s cities, including the capital, Kyiv.

President Joe Biden immediately criticized the “unprovoked and unjustifiable strike,” vowing that the world will hold Russia and Putin responsible for the aggression, which threatened to cause global unrest and develop into the greatest military confrontation on European territory since World War II ended.

Biden said he will address the country later today to announce further sanctions the US will implement in addition to the ones already in place.

President Vladimir Putin had announced in a televised speech to his audience just minutes before that Russia will start military action in eastern Ukraine.

The Russian president claimed that the strike was necessary to defend people in eastern Ukraine, which the US warned he would use as a pretext for an invasion. He also stated that Russia does not plan to invade Ukraine, but rather will work to “demilitarise” the country and bring those responsible to account.

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, all Baltic republics, have denounced Russia’s activity in Ukraine as a “crime against the Ukrainian people.”

The foreign ministers of the three nations issued a joint statement strongly condemning “Russia’s open large-scale attack against the independent, peaceful, and democratic Ukraine.”

“A clear breach of international law, of all international conventions, and a crime against the Ukrainian people that we condemn,” they said.

The Russian move, according to Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto, is “an attack on the security order in Europe.”

In response to Russia’s military strike on Ukraine, the European Union says it will examine the “strongest, toughest package” of sanctions it has ever contemplated at an emergency meeting on Thursday.

Russia should remove its soldiers, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday, adding that Putin would not be allowed to “tear down the security infrastructure that has provided Europe peace and stability for many decades.”

Because of the Ukraine situation, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is in jeopardy

the-nord-stream-2-pipeline
The 1,230-kilometer pipeline was designed to transport massive volumes of natural gas directly from Russia to Europe via Germany, but it has sat idle for more than five months without receiving a single delivery.

Few energy projects are as contentious as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was effectively killed in the water on Tuesday when Germany’s chancellor paused the clearance process due to the Ukraine situation.

The 1,230-kilometer pipeline was designed to transport massive volumes of natural gas directly from Russia to Europe via Germany, but it has sat idle for more than five months without receiving a single delivery.

For years, politicians, experts, and Europeans have been split over the project, which has been plagued by delays, past US sanctions, and criticism over its influence on the climate problem.

The remark by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was the biggest yet from the West in reaction to Russia’s military operations in eastern Ukraine.

However, it puts Europe in an awkward situation since Russia could easily shut off the rest of its gas pipelines, leaving millions of Europeans in the dark and freezing. Water heaters, furnaces, stoves, and ovens may all be powered by natural gas.

Germany already obtains Russian gas via Nord Stream 1, a comparable pipeline that goes beneath the Baltic Sea as well. However, as Russia escalated its military activity in Ukraine overnight, pressure on Germany to halt the project increased.

Whether or if Germany abandons Nord Stream 2 in the long run, Russia’s actions in Ukraine have effectively killed the project politically.

Fears that Russia would utilise Nord Stream 2 as a geopolitical tool to further its interests — and expansionism — in Europe are now being confirmed. However, if the weapon is loaded with genuine gas, Europe’s position will be weakened much more.

The Greens are a strong presence in Germany’s new coalition government, which is opposed to the increased reliance on natural gas, a fossil fuel that now contributes more greenhouse gas emissions in the EU than coal, owing to how reliant it has become on what was supposed to be a transitional fuel to renewables.

In the near term, Nord Stream 2 was expected to emit 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, not to include the inevitable leaks of methane, a greenhouse gas with more than 80 times the warming potential of CO2.

Now is the time for Europe, particularly Germany, to use the chance to shift away from not only Nord Stream 2, but also its rising dependency on fossil gas in general.

Germany is one of the few wealthy countries that rejects nuclear power and is now decommissioning its few reactors. It has grown increasingly reliant on gas without it, and will require a dramatic rethink to accelerate energy output from renewables.

Given the environmental difficulties associated with dealing with nuclear energy’s radioactive waste, nuclear energy’s participation in Europe’s future energy mix has restrictions. Solar, wind, and hydropower, when scaled up quickly, provide energy security as well as climate protection. A simple first step would be to shift subsidies away from fossil fuels and toward renewables.

In the near term, Europe can scramble gas from other nations to deal with the immediate Russian danger — unlikely to be enough to replace Russia, but maybe enough to get by. However, the never-ending problem of climate change will continue to churn, eventually killing more people and costing more money than a military conflict.

Latest posts