Trade - Global Security

Russia suspends Ukraine grain deal

Accusing Ukraine of a drone attack on its Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, Russ has suspended its involvement in a deal to permit Ukraine to export grain from its ports there. Without offering evidence, the Kremlin also said British forces were involved in the attack, an accusation Britain dismissed as “peddling false claims of an epic scale.” [node:read-more:link]

Federal economic update November 3

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed today that she will present the federal government’s fall economic update to the House of commons on November 3. Her department said it will provide information “on the state of the Canadian economy within a challenging global environment and outline the government’s plan to continue building an economy that works for everyone.” [node:read-more:link]

Saudi envoy says “easy to disagree” with friends

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S., Princess Reema bint Bandar al Saud, said in a televised interview aired October 24 that although her country’s relationship with the U.S. is at a “point of disagreement” over petroleum pricing and military sales, the relationship remains strong. She also rejected accusations that Saudi Arabia is cooperating with Russia, saying that it engages with “everybody across the board, those we agree with and those we disagree with.” [node:read-more:link]

U.K. politicians challenge big tech

The British government is being pressed by a committee of parliamentarians to impose hefty penalties on technology firms deemed to have abused their “entrenched market power.” Proposed legislation was unveiled last May but the committee now wants no more delays because it says consumers remain at risk because penalties so far are so small as to constitute what the committee says have been “a small cost business cost.” [node:read-more:link]

Europe suddenly has gas oversupply

European markets fearing natural gas shortages this winter because of curtailed Russian supplies now have a different conundrum to deal with: a huge oversupply. Dozens of liquefied natural gas carriers are anchored offshore, unable to offload because gassification facilities are limited and demand has been reduced by the unseasonably warm autumn in many markets. [node:read-more:link]

Xi tightens grip on China

China's leader Xi Jinping has been given an historic third term of five years in power as General Secretary of the Communist Party at its latest quinquennial congress. He used the event to announce a mostly new Politburo Standing Committee comprised of loyalists. [node:read-more:link]

Turkey asked to handle more Russian gas

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to consider through-putting more Russian natural gas for subsequent export, effectively making the NATO member a supply hub that would preserve Russia's energy leverage over Europe. At their meeting today in Kazakhstan, Putin said the hub would be “a platform not only for supplies, but also for determining the price, because this is a very important issue.” [node:read-more:link]

Russia and Belarus: European pariahs

Representatives of 44 European countries met in Prague today for the inaugural summit of the European Political Community, mainly to discuss energy and economic issues. Russia and Belarus, which has supported the invasion of Ukraine, were noticeably absent. Participating remotely, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the meeting left the continent “in a strong position to direct all possible powers of Europe to end the war and guarantee long-term peace.” [node:read-more:link]

Finland limiting Russian entries

Except for work, study or family visits, Russians with Schengen tourist visas which permit passport-free movement between 26 EU states, Finland today began limiting the influx of Russians fleeting their government’s military troop mobilization. “The decision aims to completely prevent the current situation of Russian tourism . . . and the related transit through Finland,” Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said September 29. [node:read-more:link]

Head-to-head in South Pacific

Increasingly concerned about China’s influence in the South Pacific, the U.S. signed an agreement with 14 states and announced $810 million in financial support. China proposed a sweeping trade and security deal with 10 countries in the region this summer only to shelve the plan when many rejected it. [node:read-more:link]

Putin declares Ukrainian regions independent

Having signed degrees declaring the “independence” of four Ukrainian regions the night before, Russian President Vladimir used a ceremony in Moscow today to unleash a 37-minute diatribe against Ukraine’s allies. Lauding his own military despite its strategic failures in his invasion of Ukraine, he accused the “satanic” West of rejecting morality and religion and railed on the topic of gender identity. [node:read-more:link]

Enhanced petroleum recovery approved by U.K.

Fracking, the environmentally-contentious technique for enhancing oil and natural gas recovery still employed in parts of Alberta and northeastern B.C., is set to resume in Britain after a three-year moratorium. The government announced the decision September 22 despite a British Geological Survey’s position that understanding fracking’s impact remains limited but Business & Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said strengthening energy security amidst growing global uncertainty is “an absolute priority” for the government. [node:read-more:link]

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]


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