Trade - Global Security

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]

Ukrainian grain shipments resuming

For the first time since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a shipment of 26,000 tonnes of Ukrainian grain left the Black Sea port of Odesa today under an internationally brokered deal to unblock agricultural exports. Sixteen loaded ships had been blockaded by Russia since February, prompting a UN warning of a looming international hunger catastrophe. [node:read-more:link]

Biden and Xi revisit familiar issues

U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, used a video call today, their fifth since Biden took office, to discuss for more than two hours the future of an increasingly complicated relationship. China’s ascendency as a global power, economic policies, human rights and the ongoing political clash over Taiwan remained key issues. [node:read-more:link]

War in Ukraine: Week 22

More shelling, more sanctions against Russia and more deliveries of western weapons and other materiel show that the invasion of Ukraine may be slowed but is continuing. Also, there are accusations of stolen grain and a threat by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of broader territorial ambitions. [node:read-more:link]

Russia confirms natural gas cuts

Russia's state-owned Gazprom is halving natural gas shipments through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany, prompting political panic on both sides of the Atlantic. A U.S. official says the retaliation against western sanctions puts the west in “uncharted territory and has resulted in the administration’s global energy coordinator leaving for Europe today to discuss options. [node:read-more:link]


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