Trade - Global Security

Putin questions Ukraine grain decision

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested today that a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey to lift a naval blockade and permit embattled Ukraine to export grain might need to be reviewed. Saying that other foods and fertilizer were being sent to European Union states and Turkey rather than to poor countries, he also threatened to halt all energy supplies to Europe if the EU caps the price of Russian natural gas. [node:read-more:link]

Russia shuts down natural gas line

The German manufacturer of a turbine is questioning Russia’s explanation of Gazprom’s decision to shut down one of its main natural gas lines to Europe on the weekend, stocking fears of winter shortages. European governments had expected the Nord Stream 1 to resume flows after what was to be a brief maintenance pause but Gazprom said an oil leak in a Seimens turbine cancelled that plan. Siemens says the leak would not normally affect turbine operation and, besides, other units could keep the pipeline running. [node:read-more:link]

Europe digging in for winter

One of several European Union states to enact emergency measures in preparation for winter as Russia shuts off natural gas supplies, Germany has announced a US$65-billion plan to help its citizens and businesses cope with soaring prices. “Russia is no longer a reliable energy partner,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sept. 4. [node:read-more:link]

New U.K. leader political shape-shifter

Former British foreign secretary Liz Trust has been elected by the Conservative Party as Boris Johnson’s successor, The former Liberal Democrat, who opposed Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, is promising to return to fundamental Conservative values such as reducing taxes and smaller government. [node:read-more:link]

G7 agrees to cap Russian petroleum prices

Canada today joined its G7 partners — Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S. — in agreeing to contain the costs of imported Russian crude oil and petroleum products in a bid to curb its ability to fund its war in Ukraine. Beginning in early December, the initiative would ban “services which enable maritime transportation of Russian-origin crude oil and petroleum products globally” above a price cap to be set by “a broad coalition” of countries. Russia had already threatened to ban exports to countries that implement a cap. [node:read-more:link]

Softwood lumber dispute drags on

International Trade Minister Mary Ng has confirmed a formal challenge under the auspices of the trilateral free trade agreement of “unwarranted and unfair” U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber. Explaining that she would prefer a negotiated settlement of the long-running dispute, Ng pointed out August 29 that the duties harm industry and consumers on both sides of the border. [node:read-more:link]

Russia sanctions have mixed results

In the decades since the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia’s relationships with the West were often tense but economic ties remained robust. Since its invasion of Ukraine in February, Russia and its politicians and business sectors have been targetted by a range of sanctions which have dramatically changed many relationships but the sanctions have had arguably mixed results. [node:read-more:link]

Russia flaring huge amounts of gas

An estimated 4.34 million cubic meters of natural gas is being flared daily by Russia at a new Gazprom liquification plant near its border with Finland even as it threatens to limits shipments to Europe this winter. The burn-off is considered an “environmental disaster” as it emits some 9,000 tons of carbon dioxide a day. [node:read-more:link]

Natural gas export idea rests with industry

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants Canada to increase its shipments of liquefied natural gas to Europe in a bid to reduce reliance on Russia, but a lack of infrastructure and an unproven business case stands in the way. “We are creating the atmosphere for very direct talks between the business sectors of Canada and Germany,” he said August 23 during a visit to Toronto. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had already expressed skepticism about the economics. [node:read-more:link]

Putin and Xi to attend G20

Indonesian President Joko Widodo says his Russian and Chinese counterparts both plan to attend November’s G20 meeting in Bali. He says he has been assured that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping would attend the first summit since Russia invaded Ukraine six months ago and since China ratcheted up tensions over Taiwan, potentially setting the stage for a confrontation with the U.S. and its G20 allies. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa pressed to block LNG projects

The federal government is being urged by a coalition of environmental groups to reject proposals to build liquefied natural gas export terminals in Atlantic Canada on ground the projects would result in “climate-wrecking” emissions. The activists also say there are financial risks association with megaprojects which could take years to complete. [node:read-more:link]

Ukrainian grain shipments continue

Three ships laden with corn left Ukrainian ports today, the latest sign that a negotiated deal to export grain trapped since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly six months ago is holding. A first ship left Odesa earlier in the week for Lebanon and the latest are bound for Britain, Ireland and Turkey. [node:read-more:link]

OPEC+ approves small production hike

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, agreed today to increase combined daily production by 100,000 barrels, a fractional amount amid concerns that a global recession will crimp demand. Average crude prices have risen in recent months due to western sanctions on Russian output and although OPEC+ agreed to increase daily output by 648,000 barrels, many countries have fallen short. [node:read-more:link]

CBSA intercepts shipments to Russia

The Canada Border Services Agency has confirmed that officers in Montreal have seized more than a dozen shipments of “dual use goods” destined for Russia but banned under Canada’s sanctions after the invasionof Ukraine. All involved “suspected links to the Russian military.” [node:read-more:link]


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