Why Hungary and Turkey interfere with the plans of the European Union and NATO

And will the two countries be able to achieve the cancellation of the initiatives criticized by Moscow The special positions of Hungary and Turkey hinder the efforts of the EU and NATO in their confrontation with Russia. What is the reason, does Budapest and Ankara have a desire to take into account the position of Moscow and how everything can end – RBC figured out

Statue of the Goddess of Europe in Brussels

On Wednesday, May 18, representatives of the EU countries will meet again in Brussels to discuss the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. But European leaders cannot expect that it will be adopted in the near future in the proposed form: the reason for this is the position of Hungary and the fact that decisions in the union are made on the basis of consensus.

A few days earlier, Turkey announced that he cannot agree to the admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO.

Why Hungary continues to insist on its veto

The sixth package contains a proposal to introduce a ban on the import of crude oil from Russia in six months, as well as on the import of Russian oil products from 2023. Even at the initial stage of discussing these measures, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic were against the oil embargo, since they are heavily dependent on energy supplies from Russia. The European Commission decided to meet them halfway and allowed Hungary and Slovakia to continue importing Russian oil until the end of 2024, and the Czech Republic— until June 2024. After that, Bratislava and Prague withdrew their objections. However, Budapest is still not ready to withdraw its veto.

The position of the government of Viktor Orban was sharply criticized at the EU ministerial meeting on 16 May. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told reporters that Hungary is holding the European Union hostage. “The whole union is being held hostage by one member state that cannot help us find a consensus,” — complained Landsbergis, specifying that the EU expected that Hungary's proposed delay would be enough for it to lift the veto.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, stood up for Budapest, pointing out that Hungary's objections are not political, but economic. He explained that the country is concerned about the problem of creating new infrastructure and purchasing new equipment for receiving and processing oil not from Russia, for which its refineries are designed. In addition, the rejection of Russian oil will mean that Budapest will have to purchase it from other suppliers at higher prices, which will affect the Hungarian economy.

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Viktor Orban has previously compared ditching Russian oil to “a nuclear strike on the Hungarian economy.” On the air of Kossuth Radio, he recalled that Hungary has no access to the sea, and therefore it is forced to receive oil through the pipeline. “The pipeline to Hungary starts in Russia… that's the reality,” — he stated.

Hungary's dependence on Russian energy is really significant— 60% of oil and 85% of gas the country receives from Russia. Orban said the country needs five years to convert oil refineries and other infrastructure to process raw materials from non-Russian sources. This process will require huge investments, and the increase in the cost of oil will lead to an increase in unemployment and call into question the national program to reduce public utility costs, which is largely based on low prices for Russian energy resources.

The high inflation rate in the country and the budget deficit, including the blocking by Brussels of a €8 billion tranche intended for the recovery of the Hungarian economy after the pandemic (the reason was the divergence of views between Budapest and Brussels on the rule of law), carry significant risks for the country .

Against this backdrop, on May 16, Budapest decided to raise the stakes in the game: Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that “a complete modernization of the Hungarian energy infrastructure is needed on a scale from «15 billion to»18 billion”, later specifying that Hungary has the right to expect a new proposals from Brussels. At that time, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was in Budapest on a visit, but her negotiations with Orban ended in nothing.

According to the Euractiv portal, the clause on lifting the Hungarian veto from the sixth package of sanctions in exchange for economic preferences may be submitted to an informal EU summit scheduled for late May. The Financial Times quoted an unnamed European official as saying the EU should make the Hungarian prime minister a lucrative offer. “Orban is very pragmatic, it's business,” — he explained.

What is Turkey counting on in the dispute over NATO expansion

As for NATO expansion, Turkey's position has become an unexpected obstacle to the alliance between Sweden and Finland, says Asli Aydintashbash, senior political analyst at the European Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFR). Ankara cannot yet give a positive conclusion on the admission of the two new countries, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last Friday. “Scandinavian countries as guest houses for terrorist groups”, — he gave one of the reasons.

Indeed, Ankara has repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction with the fact that many supporters of the PKK found refuge in Sweden and Finland. (PKK, classified as a terrorist organization in Turkey), as well as supporters of US-based preacher Fethullah Gülen (whom Ankara considers the organizer of the coup attempt in 2016).

On May 17, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö expressed hope that that the crisis can be overcome. “Turkey's statements have changed very quickly and become tougher in the last few days,” he said on Tuesday in an address to the Swedish parliament (quoted by Reuters).— But I am sure that with the help of constructive discussion we will solve the problem.

As Aydintashbash notes, it is not yet clear what exactly Erdogan wants— change the position of the US Congress on the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey (the deal was canceled after Ankara bought and received the Russian S-400 air defense system), get more money to support Syrian refugees or extradite political activists suspected of terrorist activities to Turkey.< /p>

“It is unlikely that Erdogan had one specific political goal in mind, but he will certainly expect to be persuaded, persuaded and rewarded for his cooperation, as he has been in the past,” concluded the ECFR analyst.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry describes relations with both northern countries in calm tones. As stated on the website of the department, relations with Sweden date back to the 17th century, when the Swedish king Charles XII, after being defeated in the Northern War by Russia in 1709, fled to the Ottoman Empire and ruled the kingdom from Bender and Edirne for five years. Diplomatic relations with Finland were established in 1924. Trade turnover with Sweden in 2020 amounted to about $2.6 billion, with Finland— approximately $1.3 billion.

The main problem is not in Finland, but in Sweden, says Al-Monitor. The kingdom has received several waves of Turkish migrants, including Kurds, as well as refugees from Turkey's neighboring countries, and the Swedish Foreign Ministry regularly criticizes Turkish military operations in Kurdish territories in Syria.

In 2019, Sweden and Finland imposed an arms embargo on Turkey due to military operations in Syria. By this time, both countries had become leaders among countries selling military goods to Ankara: Swedish military exports to Turkey in 2018 reached $30 million, Finnish exports in the same year amounted to $17 million. in the terrorist activities of immigrants (On Monday, the Turkish Ministry of Justice said that Ankara had requested the extradition of six members of the PKK from Finland and 11 from Sweden).

“Ankara's statements cause concern in Sweden, among other things, because they hit exactly one of the arguments that was cited by those who did not quite agree with joining NATO, — fear that Sweden will lose the right to vote in matters of human rights and democracy, — Paul Levine, director of the Institute for Turkish Studies at Stockholm University, told Al-Monitor.

“Based on the statements of the Turkish authorities, it can be assumed that Turkey will continue to insist on its position, will bargain for concessions from the two northern countries,— predicted in a conversation with RBC director of the Center for the Study of Modern Turkey, researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Amur Gadzhiev.— Will two countries go to give in, & mdash; this is a big question. We see that, on the contrary, there were marches against concessions, which indicates that the process will not be easy and it will not be easy for them to give in on these issues.

Other NATO countries no longer have leverage to influence Turkey so much, the expert notes, therefore, based on the previous experience of conflict situations involving the republic, one can expect, he believes, that a compromise option will appear, which will eventually be accepted by all parties.

According to Hajiyev, in the Turkish position, Ankara's intention to take into account Russia's negative position regarding the membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO is not traced.

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Why Russia changed its position on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union

Moscow has changed its position on Kyiv's accession to the European Union. Experts interviewed by RBC note that it is too early to talk about the real accession of Ukraine to the EU, but Moscow already refuses to see the nuances in Western policy

What was said in Russia about Ukraine's accession to the EU

Chapter Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov on Friday questioned the harmlessness of Ukraine's entry into the European Union. “This is the problem of Kyiv's relations with the European Union. But the harmlessness of such a desire of Kyiv raises serious doubts, & mdash; he said Friday in Dushanbe. He added that the EU has gone from “a constructive economic platform it was created to serve as an aggressive, militant player that is already declaring its ambitions far beyond the European continent.”

A day earlier, Russian Deputy Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said that Moscow's position on the issue of Kyiv's entry into the European Union had changed and became similar to the position on Ukraine's entry into NATO. “I think at that time (during Russian-Ukrainian talks in Istanbul. — RBC) we were not very worried about the European Union. But the situation changed after M. Borrell's statement that “this war must be won on the battlefield.” And after the fact that the EU is the leader in the supply of arms,— Polyansky said in an interview with the British online publication UnHerd News. In March, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on Kyiv's stated desire to gain EU membership more calmly and did not link the issue to the NATO issue. «European Union— not a military-political bloc,»— pointed out then the representative of the Kremlin.

Ukraine's membership in the EU was discussed at the talks in Istanbul, and in the provisions drawn up by the Ukrainian side, Moscow was asked not to object to Ukraine's aspirations to join the EU. Since then, however, the negotiation process has practically ceased. On May 11, Peskov, commenting on the course of negotiations with the Ukrainian side, said that they were continuing “very sluggishly and ineffectively.”

What are the prospects for Ukraine's entry into the EU

On February 28, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application for the country's accession to the European Union, after which the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, handed him a questionnaire to start negotiations on this issue. On May 11, the European Commission confirmed that it had received answers to the questionnaire from Kyiv. The official representative of the EC, Eric Mamer, during the briefing, said that the European Commission intends to present its opinion as soon as possible, based on the answers of the Ukrainian side. According to him, this should happen in June.

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In turn, French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking in Strasbourg, said that the process of Ukraine's accession to the EU could take years or even decades. “Even if we grant it the status of a candidate country tomorrow— I hope we move quickly to provide it, — even if we did, we all know only too well that the accession process will take several years, in truth, it will probably take several decades. And it's true, unless we decide to lower our accession standards and rethink the unity of our Europe, and in part the principles that we adhere to, — he said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said that if Ukraine does not receive the status of an EU candidate country, this will mean that it has been deceived. “We're not going to put up with this,” — Kuleba said in an interview with the Financial Times.

Why Russia has changed its position

So far, it is impossible to say for sure whether there have really been fundamental changes in the Russian position on Ukraine's accession to the EU, since different points of view have been expressed regarding the interaction between Kyiv and Brussels, Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), believes. “In any case, this question is a bit theological, since at the moment we are not talking about Ukraine's entry into the European Union in full. We can only talk about including it in the number of candidate countries for entry. We must proceed from the fact that this question cannot yet be put on a practical plane,»,— he concluded.

Over the past two months, it has become clear that Russia and the EU are actually in a state of indirect war, since almost all European countries provide active military assistance to Ukraine, the editor-in-chief of the Russia in Global Affairs magazine told RBC. Fedor Lukyanov. “European countries talk a lot about it. It was in Europe that the point of view was first voiced that Russia should be defeated on the battlefield. Accordingly, Russia decided to no longer make a difference between NATO and the European Union, and the attitude towards Ukraine's integration into any European and Euro-Atlantic structures is negative, — he said. According to Lukyanov, this has little effect on anything. “If the European Union decides to accept Ukraine in some distant future, then it will accept it. Russia clearly shows that it is no longer going to distinguish any nuances in Western politics, — he concluded.

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Vucic announced his refusal to “trample friendship in the East” on the way to the European Union

Serbia will remain militarily neutral and continue to seek EU membership, Vučić said, noting that Belgrade is guided by its own interests and will not “extinguish its friendship” with other partners under pressure

Serbia's strategic path is directed to the European Union, but the country will not, under pressure and contrary to its own interests, change its attitude towards partners in the East, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said during his address to the nation. The entry was published on the YouTube channel of the President of Serbia.

“Serbia will not trample on and extinguish its friendship that it has in the East, and it does not occur to us to do this. And I'm not interested in what force is exerting pressure, only the strength of Serbian interests can change our attitude, — explained Vucic.

He also indicated that there had been corresponding pressure in recent “weeks and months”. “Our strategic path” way to Europe, and if we can't understand that, then tell me what's the alternative,— President added.

Vučić also said that “there is no love in international relations, justice, I'm afraid to say, even less, and we must take care of our interests and the future,” the country's state television channel RTS reported. The President noted that Serbia is a militarily neutral country and intends to maintain this status, reforms will be carried out in order to “fight for a place in the family of European peoples.”

According to Ipsos Strategic, 35% of Serbs support joining the European Union, while 44% oppose it, Vučić said, noting that he understands the unpopularity of this step. “Our job is not to please public opinion, but to hear it and do what is best for the state of Serbia. My message to everyone: Serbia will be stronger on the European path, despite all these numbers,— he explained.

Read on RBC Pro Pro Who will take over the warehouse space emptied due to sanctions and the departure of players Pro Forecasts How new technologies “stole” the charisma of Starbucks . Investor's Digest Articles Pro Dangerous language: what words an employer can be fined for Instructions Pro How to register an employee remotely Instructions Pro How national characteristics affect the management model – 6 indicators Articles Pro How an accountant created India's largest bank for the poor at a cost of $ 6 billion Articles < p>At the end of February, the Serbian authorities refused to join the sanctions against Russia. Vucic then explained that official Belgrade supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine, but the introduction of restrictive measures against any country is not in the interests of Serbia. In mid-March, the Serbian president said that external pressure was the reason for reducing the number of flights to Russia to one per day.

At the end of the same month, he admitted that the European Union could impose sanctions against Serbia for refusing to join anti-Russian restrictive measures . “What do you want from Serbia? Impose sanctions against Russia? And why didn't you introduce gas and oil?»— he noted.

For Vučić, if he chose to join the sanctions, it would make him “number one in the world” and the media would call him “the greatest democrat.” “It costs us dearly that we have not imposed sanctions. More than you think. And if we introduced them, then it would cost us our principle, because we know that it is immoral and does not bring results, — he said in mid-April.

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Austria opposed the admission of Ukraine to the European Union

Photo: pixabay.com

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said that Ukraine does not need to join the European Union. Speaking at the 14th European Media Summit in Lech am Ar, he stressed that Kyiv should choose a different path that does not involve EU membership.

According to him, the countries of the Western Balkans have been waiting for the status of an EU candidate for much longer , writes the German edition of Heute. Schallenberg also noted the need to create other options that would allow “exporting the Western model of life”, but not including the country in the EU.

Earlier, First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Ukraine Yulia Sviridenko said that the country intends to join the European Union in 2024. According to her, the first part of the application has already been submitted.

She also promised that the country will fulfill all the requirements for EU membership at the same rapid pace. Ukraine expects to become a full-fledged member of the European Union in 2024, Sviridenko concluded.

Источник www.mk.ru

Zakharova accused the European Union of “false diplomacy and vile manipulations”


Official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova, commenting on the statements of the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell about a possible imbalance in world, accused the EU of “false diplomacy and dastardly manipulation.”

Earlier, Borrell said that Western pressure on Russia could “push” Russia towards China, and this would lead to the creation of a “global Southeast and Northwest” and “incredible imbalance.”

Zakharova said that she would not trust the EU to “balance the wheels.”

“There are more crises in the world from their vile manipulations. The false diplomacy of Brussels,” she wrote on Telegram.

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Biden agreed with the European Union on gas: how Russia will respond

U.S. promises to increase LNG exports to Europe

U.S. President Joe Biden has agreed on a “historic”, as he was dubbed in the Western media, agreement with the European Union on energy supplies, according to which the United States will increase transatlantic gas supplies in the hope of weakening Russia's influence, which it enjoys due to its natural resources.

Speaking in Brussels after the deal was agreed on Friday, the US president said Russia is using its status as Europe's main gas supplier to “coerce and manipulate its neighbors” and that gas and oil revenues are “powering its war machine.”

As The Guardian writes, Joe Biden said the United States' partnership with the EU would “end Europe's dependence on Russian energy before the end of the decade.”

The proposals also aim to reduce gas consumption in Europe as a whole by focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy to achieve climate goals.

Last year, Russia delivered about 155 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe, which is typically around 40% of the continent's needs, recalls The Guardian.

The European Union has already said it hopes to cut Russian imports by two-thirds by the end of the year by importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from other countries and promoting renewable projects energy and energy efficiency measures.

Under the EU deal with Biden, the United States will provide assistance in the short term by supplying Europe with increased LNG supplies, with an addition of 15 bcm this year.

This implies supplies of 37 bcm, while Europe has committed to additional imports of 50 billion cubic meters per year as part of a plan to phase out Russian gas supplies by the end of the decade.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “This volume already replaces one third of the Russian gas going to Europe today. So now we are on our way to diversify away from Russian gas and towards our friends and partners, reliable and trustworthy suppliers.”

At the same time, the EU will try to stay on track with climate targets by supplying gas infrastructure with clean energy and reducing methane leaks that could exacerbate global warming. The combination of energy savings in homes and wind and solar energy projects could cut Europe's gas demand by 20 billion cubic meters.

Biden said the move was not only “morally right” but also “put us on a stronger strategic footing.” Asked how the U.S. would increase its LNG supplies with producers already running at full capacity, a senior White House official said the plan would include a “swap” with international partners, especially in Asia, to free up gas in Europe during the winter.< /p>

The initiative will require Europe to build new LNG import terminals, and the existing infrastructure is unable to cope with a significant increase in imports, admits The Guardian. Germany, Europe's largest economy, does not have LNG terminals, but said on Friday that it intends to end its dependence on Russian gas by 2024.

“We aim to reduce this dependence on Russian fossil fuels and get rid of it” , said Ursula von der Leyen.

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Political scientist assessed Ukraine’s chances of joining the European Union

“Of course, Ukraine will not be accepted”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly appealed to EU representatives with a request not to delay the decision on Ukraine's membership in the Union. However, political scientists are sure that there are really no grounds for admitting Ukraine to the EU.

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In an interview with Moscow 24, Kirill Koktysh, Associate Professor of the Department of Political Theory at MGIMO, stressed that Ukraine must meet certain criteria in order to be accepted into the EU. According to the political scientist, Turkey cannot become a part of the European Union for several decades. The expert believes that if Ukraine joins the EU, Turkey may have questions for the Union.

Koktysh explained that ignoring all his own demands and accepting Ukraine into the Union under US pressure would only demonstrate that the EU has always been led by people who tried to “sell a bar of soap for the price of a bar of gold.” In this case, Turkey will immediately wonder if it was really possible.

The expert stressed that all other states, if Ukraine is admitted to the EU, will understand that this is not a “center of gravity, but some kind of scam.” According to Koktysh, Ukraine's accession to the European Union at the moment would be the best way to depreciate it. The political scientist also wonders how the economy and political system of Ukraine would meet the criteria of the EU. According to the expert, this requires compliance with certain parameters, primarily economic ones, so Ukraine will definitely not be accepted into the European Union.

The political scientist noted that the EU needed Ukraine only as a “reservoir of potentially skilled labor.” At the same time, Koktysh noted that the labor force is already running there, and the European Union can get it even in more quantities than it can “digest”. The expert added that in this way the Union satisfies its needs in Ukraine.

Read also:Russian military operation in Ukraine: online broadcast on March 25.

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The head of the EC said that Brussels wants to see Ukraine in the European Union

Ursula von der Leyen: Ukraine must join the EU, we want to see it in the European family Zelensky later said that he discussed Ukraine's EU membership with her

Ursula von der Leyen

Ukraine should eventually join the European Union, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said in an interview with Euronews.

< p>She noted that Kyiv and Brussels are closely cooperating on a number of issues, Kyiv is participating in some European processes, for example, in the integration of the Ukrainian market into the EU single market.

«We cooperate very closely, for example, in energy and other areas. Over time, Ukraine should join the EU, this country— one of us, and we want to see her in a European family, & mdash; von der Leyen said.

Zelensky said on his Twitter that on the night of February 28 he had a telephone conversation with the head of the EC. They discussed Ukraine's membership in the EU, decisions to strengthen the country's defense capability and provide it with macro-financial assistance.

On February 26, the Ukrainian leader raised the issue of his country's accession to the European Union during negotiations with the President of the European advice of Charles Michel. “The decisive moment has come to close once and for all the long-term discussion and decide on Ukraine's membership in the EU,” — he said following the conversation.

In 2014, Ukraine and the European Union signed an Association Agreement. The conflict over the signing of this document became one of the reasons for the Euromaidan, which resulted in the overthrow of the country's President Viktor Yanukovych. In 2019, the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, announced the country's plans to apply for EU membership in 2024.

The material is being supplemented

< /p>

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Zelensky announced the decisive moment for Ukraine’s accession to the European Union

Ukraine is discussing with the EU assistance to the country in combat conditions

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on his Instagram announced that he had held talks with the President of the European Council Charles Michel and said that the “decisive moment” was coming; to close the issue of the country's membership in the EU.

“The decisive moment has come to close once and for all the long-term discussion and decide on Ukraine's membership in the EU”,— he said in social networks and said that he had discussed with Charles Michel “the effective help and heroic struggle of Ukrainians for their free future.”

In 2014, Ukraine and the European Union signed an Association Agreement. The conflict around the signing of this document was one of the reasons for the Euromaidan, which resulted in the overthrow of the country's President Viktor Yanukovych. In 2019, the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, announced the country's plans to apply for EU membership in 2024.

Ukraine's desire to join the European Union and NATO is officially enshrined in the country's Constitution.

In As a result of the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, the EU has consistently decided to impose two packages of sanctions against Russia and the country's elite. In general, EU sanctions relate to the financial, defense, energy, aviation and space sectors of Russia.

< p>In addition, the European Union imposed sanctions against members of the Russian Security Council and personally against President Vladimir Putin.

On February 24, Vladimir Putin announced the start of a military operation in Ukraine, explaining his decision by Russia's self-defense, as well as “demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine».

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The President of Poland urged to accept Ukraine to the European Union in express mode

Andrzej Duda

Ukraine should immediately be granted the status of a candidate for EU membership. Andrzej Duda, President of Poland, wrote about this on his Twitter.

“Poland is in favor of an express path for Ukraine's membership in the European Union. Candidate status must be granted immediately and membership negotiations— start right after that,— he wrote, adding that Ukraine “should have access to EU reconstruction funds.”

Ukraine has been actively seeking EU membership since 2014, when Euromaidan ended in the country ;. In 2019, then-President Petro Poroshenko enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine the country's desire to become part of the European Union and NATO.

Since then, the Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly demanded that the EU speed up the accession process. The last time President Vladimir Zelensky demanded this was at the Munich Security Conference.

“Since 2014, Russia has been convincing us that we have chosen the wrong path, that no one is waiting for us in Europe. Shouldn't Europe constantly say and justify with actions that this is not true? Is it not the EU that should say today: our citizens have a positive attitude towards Ukraine's entry into the union. Why do we avoid this question? Doesn't Ukraine deserve direct, honest answers? — said Zelensky.

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Leading right-wing parties of the European Union accused Russia of military aggression

Why Marine Le Pen and her allies began to criticize Moscow The leaders of the right-wing parties, who previously supported Moscow, condemned its policy on Ukraine The European right-wing parties held a summit in Madrid, where they condemned Russia's actions against Ukraine. The reason for the change in their attitude towards Moscow is the desire to avoid marginalization in the European political field, the expert explains

Marine Le Pen after the summit of the leaders of the right-wing European parties in Madrid

Last weekend, representatives of nine European right-wing parties gathered for a summit in Madrid, where they tried to develop a common approach to building the future of Europe and assessing Russia's actions towards Ukraine. The meeting resulted in a final statement, which says that Russia has put Europe on the brink of war, and criticizes Moscow's desire to discuss guarantees of its security without the participation of European structures. Among the signatories of the statement are politicians with a reputation for being loyal to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, & mdash; Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

What is the position of the European right

The two-day congress of conservatives and right-wing forces was organized by the young Spanish far-right party “Voice” (vox). The meeting was a continuation of the December summit in Warsaw, which was attended by representatives of conservative and right-wing European parties. The stated goal of the new format— fight against “internal and external attacks” on the European Union, as well as the formation of a grand coalition within the European Parliament, which would become the second largest after the European People's Party. It is assumed that the parties will be able to coordinate their positions before voting on issues that are important to them, including those related to the sovereignty of individual EU countries.

Among the prominent participants of the — Hungarian and Polish prime ministers Viktor Orban and Mateusz Morawiecki, French presidential candidate in the 2022 elections, leader of the National Rally party; Marine Le Pen. Also present at the summit were right-wingers from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania and the Netherlands. It is noteworthy that the leader of the Italian party “League” Mateo Salvini, who since July 2021 has advocated the unification of right-wing parties in the European Parliament and the creation of a “grand coalition”, did not participate in any of the meetings. There were no representatives of the German right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany.

Unlike the meeting on December 4, when the parties focused on the idea of ​​working together in the European Parliament, most of the talks in Madrid were devoted to a possible Russian attack on Ukraine (Moscow denies such plans). In a joint statement, the party representatives indicated that “Russia's military actions on the eastern border of Europe have brought it to the brink of war,” and also pledged to “work to ensure that the peoples of Europe act in solidarity in the face of the threat of external aggression.” “Solidarity, determination and defense cooperation among the countries of Europe are essential in the face of such threats,” says the statement.

In their statement, the politicians also touched upon the issue of the dispute between Hungary and Poland with the leadership of the European Union about the prevalence of European law over national law, which is not recognized in these two countries.

Why did they begin to move away from Russia

It is noteworthy that Orban and Le Pen, unlike Morawiecki, have a reputation as politicians loyal to Russia. Thus, Orban visits it most often among European leaders for negotiations with Putin (their next meeting is scheduled for February 1 in Moscow), Hungary approved for use and ordered the Sputnik V vaccine, signed a new long-term contract for the supply of Russian gas, despite on the EU policy on the transition to short-term contracts. Le Pen last met with Putin in March 2017, in the midst of her second presidential campaign. At the same time, she was suspected of having received funding from Russia, namely, she had a loan of € 9.14 million in the First Czech-Russian Bank (FCRB) in 2014. Later, this bank went bankrupt, and Le Pen's debt was transferred to the Russian company JSC Aviazapchast, which in December 2019 tried to recover the debt from the Frenchwoman through the court.

Alexey Makarkin, professor at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, in a conversation with RBC, noted that Orban is not entirely correct to consider a pro-Russian politician, and recalled that Hungary has never spoken out against the extension of EU sanctions against Russia. “He can criticize the European Union, have difficult relations with Ukraine, but he proceeds from the fact that the European Union exists and it will not go anywhere,” — the expert explained.

In his opinion, in 2016 there was a rise in right-wing populism in Europe, which, as it seemed, could “crush” traditional Western democracies. “Something different happened. Right-wing populism itself began to be divided into more moderate and radical currents. The former want to integrate, be more systemic and join coalitions. The latter oppose the elites and the system, demonstrating great benevolence towards Russia. If you move to the center, you can no longer stick to pro-Russian positions. It would be against the rules of the game,— Makarkin says. He names the actions of Le Pen and Salvini as examples of striving for a more centrist position not only in domestic but also in foreign policy. “Le Pen does not want to be accused of being pro-Russian and underestimating the Russian military threat. Therefore, she signs such a document (the agreement following the meeting in Madrid.— RBC)»,— Makarkin explained.

“It seems that Russia is very disappointed in this regard. There were plans that such politicians as Le Pen or Salvini would be able to influence the processes in their countries in a more favorable direction for Russia, but this did not happen. There is no more hope, and no more bets are placed on them, — said the expert. He noted a general decline in Russia's interest in right-wing parties in Europe. According to him, Moscow continues to attract right-wing European politicians to solve specific problems, in particular, to support the Russian position on Crimea or to act as observers in elections in Russia. At the same time, these are no longer politicians of the first rank, but either those deputies who are moving towards greater radicalism, like the German Alternative for Germany, or individual figures, like the French politician Thierry Mariani, concluded Makarkin.

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The State Department offered the European Union to use Nord Stream 2 against Russia

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, summing up the results of negotiations with German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock, suggested that the European Union use the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as an instrument of pressure on Russia.

photo flickr.com

The head of the State Department also added that he had no idea that gas would flow through the SP-2 in the future, in the event of aggravation of Russian-Ukrainian relations.

& quot; Nord Stream & mdash; 2 & quot; – the lever that the European Union & nbsp; can use in relation to the Russian Federation, '' Blinken said, quoted by RIA Novosti.

For her part, Minister Berbock confirmed that earlier the German and American authorities had agreed to apply measures of influence on RF in the event of aggression against Ukraine, including manipulations with energy supplies.

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Zakharova commented on the requirements of the European Union to Russia due to state purchases

Zakharova: the EU's demands on Russia in the WTO showed how he assesses the stupidity of his elites According to her, after the EU complaint, it became clear how he “assessed the stupidity and lack of independence of his own political elites.” Earlier, the European Union estimated the Russian procurement market at € 290 billion and accused it of infringing on the interests of its companies

The EU complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) demonstrated, political elites, '' said Maria Zakharova, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Earlier, the European Union filed a complaint with the WTO, stating that Russia for several years has been developing measures that infringe on the interests of European companies when selling goods and services to Russian state-owned companies and other organizations through commercial purchases. “ In 2019, the cost of published tenders for Russian state-owned enterprises amounted to 23.5 trillion rubles, or about € 290 billion, which is equivalent to about 20% of Russia's GDP, '' & mdash; was noted in a message on the organization's website.

Zakharova explained that she considers such a position a manifestation of stupidity, because import substitution was a response to the EU sanctions against Russia, and lack of independence – and mdash; because European countries agreed to impose these sanctions under US pressure.

The Ministry of Economic Development emphasized that the European Union, within the framework of the dispute in the WTO, does not require Russia to pay € 290 billion. The requirements amount to the cancellation or change of certain measures taken by the country, which, according to the association, violate the rules of the trade organization. “ B '' euro; 290 billion EU assesses the Russian procurement market, not the damage caused by the EU, '' & mdash; noted in the department.

The Ministry of Ecology added that the Russian side had previously provided the EU with explanations that the measures indicated by it are fully consistent with Russian obligations under the WTO.

The EU initiated a dispute with the WTO in July … Brussels accused Moscow of discriminating against EU companies when selling goods to Russian state-owned companies, claiming that Russia puts them at a disadvantage compared to other procurement participants.

Earlier in December, the US accused Russia of violating WTO rules, ” such as non-discriminatory practices, more open trade, predictability, transparency and fair competition. '' According to Catherine Tai, United States Trade Representative, the import substitution program and preferences for domestically produced goods and services deprive American entrepreneurs of the opportunity to compete.

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Zakharova assessed the claim of the European Union in the WTO against Russia: the price of the “stupidity” of politicians

photo frame from video

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova commented on the claim filed by the European Union to the World Trade Organization in her Telegram channel to Russia in the amount of 290 billion euros for “ discrimination of European goods by the policy of import substitution. ''

“ Now we know how much the EU estimated the stupidity and lack of independence of its own political elites … Russia. Brussels told for a long time that our country was “severely punished,” the diplomat wrote.

According to Zakharova, European countries were not ready to impose sanctions against Russia in connection with the events in Ukraine.

< p> “Europe did not want to introduce them, but Obama had to put Europe in a difficult position and force it to act against Russia, despite the risk of economic damage to himself. The EU countries agreed to this only under strong pressure from Washington … Biden noted that it was the efforts of the White House that allowed the US and the EU to unite. However, he did not add how much Brussels would pay for this, ”the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman summed up.

& nbsp;

Источник www.mk.ru

Ukraine has requested additional financial support from the European Union

Photo: pixabay.com

Ukraine turned to the EU for additional financial assistance. This is a long-term macro-financial program that will ensure sustainable financing of the country for the next few years, Yuriy Butsa, the Commissioner for Public Debt Management of Ukraine, said in an interview with Bloomberg.

The administration of Volodymyr Zelensky is already negotiating with the EU about the size of the financial assistance package and the conditions for receiving it. Presumably, this is more than € 1.2 billion, which Ukraine will be able to receive in the next three years in parallel with a new program of support from the International Monetary Fund.

In the coming weeks, the EU executive body will discuss support for Ukraine with IMF officials. to make sure it meets the conditions set by the Foundation.

Источник www.mk.ru

India bars entry of travellers from UK, EU, Turkey

India has temporarily barred entry of travellers from United Kingdom, European Union, Turkey and European Free Trade Association from March 18. In addition, those either coming from or transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait will need to be quarantined for 14 days. Both these measures are temporary and will be in force till March 31.

‘Trade impact of coronavirus for India at $348m’

The trade impact of the coronavirus epidemic for India is estimated to be about $348 million. Among the most affected economies are the European Union ($15.6 billion), the United States ($5.8 billion), Japan ($5.2 billion), South Korea ($3.8 billion), Taiwan Province of China ($2.6 billion) and Vietnam ($2.3 billion).