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    Europe is Entering its Golden Age of Gas

    In a 2011 report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) asked a provocative question: are we entering a golden age of gas? At the time, U.S. shale gas production was surging and new fields were coming online around the globe, encouraged by high oil prices. Gas, it seemed, was poised to “play a far more prominent role in the global energy mix.” Since 2011, the short answer to the IEA’s question has been ‘not yet,’ at least on a global scale. Though many of the IEA’s assumptions have been coming to fruition in the last two years, including major demand growth from China, major supply growth from unconventional sources, and low growth…

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    How to lose friends and alienate people or Germany on Nord Stream 2

    Germany’s proceedings around Nord Stream 2 will not only hurt this country, but also European common policy as a whole from a security point of view. Additionally, they are undermining Germany’s already-fragile position as the European mediator and dealmaker. In the 1970s Henry Kissinger famously wondered, “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” His statement underlined the Old Continent’s lack of common policy. Divisions of this nature are especially evidenced in contemporary times when it comes to the Nord Stream 2 project. The European Commission (EC) already assumed that this project, which calls for the construction of another gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, would not serve common European…

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    Nord Stream boss warns of years of delays

    The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany could be stalled for years because of Denmark’s environmental concerns about its route, the company behind the project is warning. A lengthy delay could force Russia to renew its gas transit agreement with Ukraine, while it awaits a final verdict. The current pipeline through Ukraine provides the war-torn country with an annual income worth 2 per cent of its GDP. The controversial €11.7-million project had been expected to begin pumping gas under the Baltic Sea by the end of the year. Continue reading the article on the Energy Reporters news website.

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    Controversial Russian gas pipes can slip into the ‘Polish banana’, which Denmark has just thrown

    The Danish authorities are asking Nord Stream 2 to investigate the possibility of a completely new route in the Baltic Sea. It can delay the project for a year. The disputed gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 in the Baltic Sea will be further delayed due to Denmark. The Danish Energy Agency in Denmark has asked the company to investigate a completely new route past Bornholm to the gas pipeline, which will transport natural gas from Russia to Germany. It can delay the project for up to one year. Especially in Russia, this will cause annoyance because the government is impatiently waiting for the state-owned Gazprom to use the new pipeline. Germany…

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    U.S. House passes bill to lure Europeans away from Nord Stream 2

    WASHINGTON, March 26 (WNM staff/TASS) –  The House of Representatives of the US Congress voted on Monday for the bill on assisting Central and Eastern European countries to diversify energy supplies sources for countering Russia’s influence, with 391 and 24 congressmen voting for and against the bill, respectively. A live broadcast of the voting was provided by the C-SPAN TV channel. The bill must be passed by the Senate and then be signed by the President to become law. The authors of the draft law suggest that it is necessary for the US to assist “Central and Eastern European countries to reduce their dependence on energy resources from countries that…

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    Nord Stream 2 investors await new U.S.-sanctions

    WASHINGTON – March 23 (WNM staff/news wires) In Washington, consultations are under way whether and if to which extend sanctions should be imposed on the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. According to sources in Washington, no decision is yet made. But World News Monitor has learned from people involved with the decision that some kind of sanctions is more likely to come than no sanctions at all. Investors are hence waiting for a decision before they decide whether to put money in Nord Stream 2. Russian media reported, that Italian bank Intesa is considering an investment into Nord Stream 2. But a spokesman for Intesa-CEO Antonio Fallico told World…

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    Questions over German politician’s ‘links to Russian pipeline’

    Exclusive: Email links Wolfgang Kubicki – a candidate to be finance minister – to statement advocating potential of pipeline that critics say is opposed to EU interests. A candidate vying to be Germany’s next finance minister is facing questions over possible links to lobbying on behalf of Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project as his party enters crunch talks to form the next government. An email seen by the Guardian links Nord Stream 2 lobbying to the deputy leader of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), Wolfgang Kubicki, throwing into doubt cross-party claims of a “more critical” attitude towards the contentious energy deal in a potential three-party coalition alongside Angela Merkel’s…

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    The Credibility of German Multilateralism

    Berlin’s consistent calls to protect multilateralism in the wake of President Donald Trump’s verbal attacks on the post-1945 institutions often ring hollow. That’s all Berlin’s allies needed to hear. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz intends to reduce Germany’s defense budget. It will rise to 1.37 percent of national income in 2020 but fall to 1.25 percent by 2023. Forget the fact that just last year Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right government had planned to increase defense spending to 1.5 percent by 2024. And forget too that it was Merkel who, at the NATO summit in Wales in 2014, promised with other allies that Germany would in principle spend 2 percent of its gross domestic…

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    Russian hackers are targeting European governments ahead of May election, FireEye says

    Russian hackers have targeted European government systems ahead of the EU parliament election, cybersecurity firm FireEye said Thursday. The company found that two state-sponsored hacking groups, APT28 and Sandworm, used spear phishing — the practice of sending out emails designed to look like they’re from a trusted party — in an attempt to obtain government information. FireEye said European government institutions were sent emails with links to websites that appeared to be authentic, luring a person into changing their password and thus sharing their credentials with hackers. APT28, more popularly known as Fancy Bear, is believed to be linked to Russian military intelligence agency GRU and has been labeled as one…

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    America’s energy capital became a battleground over a Russian pipeline to Germany this week

    This week Houston became the latest battleground in the international dispute over a pipeline project located more than 5,000 miles away from the Lone Star State. The dispute over the project in question — the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany — is not new. But the debates in Houston show how intractable the issue has become, with the two sides sitting elbow to elbow and unable to even agree on why the project is being built. From Germany’s perspective, Nord Stream 2 is a purely commercial endeavor that will double the volume of Russian gas flowing to its north shore on the Black Sea. To the United States and some European…

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    Nord Stream 2 eyes way to curb EU oversight of $9.5bn pipeline

    The group building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to import Russian gas into Germany is exploring plans to hive off its last 50km into a separate company, a move that would undermine EU plans to regulate the entire $9.5bn project. Under the proposal, a new company would own and manage the small part of the undersea pipeline within German territorial waters. While this section would be subject to EU rules, the rest of Nord Stream 2 — nearly 1,200km through the Baltic Sea — would remain outside the bloc’s jurisdiction, according to three people familiar with the plans. The plan, while in its early stages, could stoke further criticism of…

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    Russia’s Pipe Dreams Are Europe’s Nightmare

    Putin’s plans to run the TurkStream pipeline through the Balkans won’t end well. In the ongoing showdown between Russia and the West, Russia has a trump card: natural gas exports. Despite chilly relations, in 2018, gas shipments from Russia to Europe and Turkey hit an all-time high of 201.8 billion cubic meters (bcm). And even as the EU sticks to its guns on Russia sanctions, many of its members happily press ahead with their pet energy projects. Germany, for example, continues to back the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will bring natural gas from Russia to the north German coast. Now Russia may be using another major project—TurkStream—to deepen its influence in…

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    European Parliament calls to Stop Nord Stream 2

    The members of the European Parliament also came to a conclusion that Russia can no longer be considered “a strategic partner” PARIS, March 12. /TASS/. The European Parliament considers necessary to curtail the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, according to the report on the state of EU-Russia political relations approved on Tuesday. “Russia and the EU will remain key economic partners in the foreseeable future, but Nord Stream 2 reinforces EU dependency on Russian gas supplies, threatens the EU internal market and is not in line with EU energy policy, and therefore needs to be stopped,” the report says. “The EU’s dependency on Russian gas supplies has increased since…

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    Russia ‘very likely’ to meddle in European Parliament elections, warns Estonia spy chief

    The intelligence boss also says Russia is continuing to develop and train its armed forces for a “large-scale war against NATO”. The Kremlin will “very likely” try to intervene in European parliamentary elections this May to help pro-Russia and anti-EU politicians win seats, Estonia’s equivalent of MI6 has warned. The Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service said President Putin’s goal is to undermine unity with the European Union “by sowing disorder and disbelief” within and between the 28 – soon to be 27 – member states. The comments came in an annual security report that also said Russia’s secret security services are still carrying out hostile activity in cyber space despite the…

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    Sandra Kalniete: “Russia can no longer be considered a strategic partner of the EU”

    “Awareness of the threat of Russia is ever growing,” says MEP Sandra Kalniete ahead of a vote on the state of EU-Russia relations on 12 March. Find out more in our interview. Five years after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, what is Parliament’s message on Ukraine? As our close neighbour, stability, prosperity and democracy for Ukraine are very important for Europe. In our report, we stress that Russia can no longer be considered a strategic partner of the EU. We call for the full implementation of the Minsk Agreement, and on Crimea, we do not accept Russia’s annexation. We also draw attention to the human rights situation of Crimean Tatars, the…

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    Russian ex-minister: Nord Stream 2 is 100% political

    According to the expert, the Hanhikivi power plant project also has silent features. Russia’s former deputy energy minister, Vladimir Milov, is a stranger to his approach to the Baltic Sea under the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as a purely commercial project. – Of course, Nord Stream can only be viewed from a commercial point of view if, for some reason, it does not want to recognize its obvious political dimension, Milov says to Web News . In addition to the post of Deputy Minister, Milov has also served as Director of the Strategic Department of the Russian Energy Commission and has established an Institute for Energy Policy, under the leadership of which he currently operates. He…

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    Apple anti-snooping system to thwart police mobile phone surveillance

    Apple is developing anti-snooping technology which would prevent police forces from being able to track mobile phone users’ locations or read their messages. The smartphone and technology giant has patented a way to encrypt the signals sent between mobile towers and users’ phones, protecting them from authorities. The innovation, reported by The Telegraph, would inhibit the use of so-called ‘Stingray’ boxes which act like mobile phone masts and are used to track users’ locations or listen in on their calls. Read the full article published on the Daily Mail news website.   Signs of sophisticated cellphone spying found near White House, U.S. officials say June 1, 2018 A federal study found…

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    Denmark can buy time with a new proposal for Nord Stream 2 routing

    New boundary drawing can give Denmark a year more before the election for Nord Stream 2 must be made. One year can change everything. After years of tug-of-war, Denmark is still in a grim clamp when it comes to the great expansion of the Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream through the Baltic Sea, Nord Stream 2. Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen (V) is squeezed between the giants Germany and Russia on the one hand and the United States and a number of Eastern European countries on the other. Therefore, it is not insignificant that, according to Politiken, Denmark, after a settled border dispute with Poland, now has a technical possibility to…

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    Browder Says Europe May Be Looking at $1 Trillion in Dirty Money

    Bill Browder, the investor who’s made a career of chasing money launderers, says the cases he’s brought against banks so far only represent a tiny fraction of the full amount in dirty money trying to get out of Russia and into the West. The Hermitage Capital Management co-founder, who says he has worked closely with law enforcement agencies across Europe, estimates that roughly $1 trillion in questionable funds from the East are either already inside the European Union or looking for loopholes to get in. “Our investigation continues to lead to new evidence and new information and new suspicious transactions,” Browder said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Guy Johnson.…

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    Spanish Anti-Corruption Body Investigating Troika Laundromat Protagonists

    The Spanish anti-corruption body is investigating the purchase of Costa Brava properties by close allies of Russian president Vladimir Putin, who are believed to have laundered money through The Troika Laundromat apparatus, El Periodico revealed Wednesday. El Periodico sources close to the matter confirm the ongoing months-long investigation into the purchase of four lucrative properties by Delco Network and Dino Capital on behalf of Russian oligarch Vladimir Artyakov – former governor of the Samara region and director in the state defense-tech company, Rostec. The villas were purchased through an 80-year-old Russian proxy, with €13 million (US$14.7 million) pumped through the two offshore companies. A proxy is a person authorized to act on behalf of…