Russia and Ukraine, June 26th

Glazyev Warns EU Association Agreement “Economic Suicide” for Ukraine, as Poroshenko Rushes to Sign It

Even as urgent diplomacy is under way to stem the bloodshed in eastern Ukraine and nearly half a million people have fled the country, President Petro Poroshenko plans to sign the economic section of Ukraine’s Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union, tomorrow.
‘Economic Suicide’

Russia, France and Germany in Diplomatic Engagement with Kiev

Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of France Francois Hollande, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held another conference call yesterday, just three days after their June 22 consultation about cooling the situation in Ukraine.
Solutions

Russia Is Using “Import Substitution” To Replace Ukrainian Military Imports

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said on Tuesday in Vladivostok, that 95% of the military hardware imported from Ukraine will be replaced with domestic production, to be ready within 2.5 years. “The work is on schedule,” Borisov said at an aircraft factory.
A Matter of Import

Austria: No Alternative to Russian Natural Gas

Austria does not want to wait for the EU Commission to present its so-called “emergency plan” for the distribution of energy sources among its 28 member states, but has taken its own steps to secure gas supplies from Russia, with the new long-term agreement signed in Vienna between the Austrian gas firm OMV and Russia’s Gazprom.
Even the Europeans Understand

The agreement relates to the 50-km stretch on Austrian territory of the South Stream pipeline—the pipeline project which the EU Commission profoundly dislikes, because it consolidates Russia’s position as the number-one gas supplier to Europe. The Commission has intervened against the Bulgarian stretch of the pipeline, halting its construction on claims that it runs counter to EU laws. Serbia and Hungary, however, are sticking to their deals on South Stream.Repudiating the Commission’s criticism, OMV CEO Gerhard Roiss said, “I think it must be clear to everybody that Europe needs Russian gas, [and] Europe will need more Russian gas in the future because European gas production is falling. … I think the European Union understands this, too.” For Austria, the first European country to sign a gas deal with Soviet Russia in 1968, Gazprom “has proven to be a reliable supplier during the past 50 years, and it is important to have a long-term approach for the next 50 years as well,” Roiss said, adding that for Austria in particular, there is no alternative to gas, since the country does not have, or want, nuclear power.

Austrian President Heinz Fischer, who met with Russia’s President Putin in Vienna yesterday, as the gas deal was signed, also repudiated criticism of the deal, saying, “No one can explain to me — and I can’t explain to the Austrian people — why a pipeline that crosses EU and NATO countries can’t go 50 km into Austria.”

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