“While Eriell projects are still mainly concentrated in Uzbekistan and Russia , we also plan to develop business in the Gulf region. Within the framework of the ‘Program of Measures to Increase the Production of Hydrocarbon Raw Materials for 2017-2021’ for the development of the fields of Uzbekneftegaz JSC, 52 gas pipelines were put into operation, three gas collector pipelines were made ready for operation, the improvement of nine wells was completed and 56 wells were connected to electrochemical protection, Eriell said. In Uzbekistan, the largest and most complex project is still the Mustakillikning 25 Yilligi project. In six months Eriell has constructed 159 wells and drilled 582,951 meters (including 400,000 meters, which were drilled in Russia). In addition to the operational achievements in drilling, ERIELL carried out 18 mobilizations of drilling equipment, 16 of which took place simultaneously. In Russia, Eriell said the company continues to work for three main customers: Gazprom, Novatek and Gazprom Neft. About 90% of the drilling rigs operating in Russia are heavy rigs with a lifting capacity of more than 320 tons, four of which are specially designed to work in the harsh Arctic conditions. 211, 100% quality of contact with the casing and the rock was obtained in the interval of normal density cement slurry. For LUKOIL Uzbekistan Operating Company, work was carried out to overhaul four out of 11 wells. Moreover, the best result in terms of drilling speed has been achieved since the start of well construction at the Tazovskoye oil and gas condensate field (since 2017). At the Messoyakhaneftegaz project, Eriell was praised by its client for a special contribution to the development of partnerships, effective solutions for operational and strategic tasks, plus high adherence to industrial safety requirements, the press release read. Production drilling on complex gas projects in the Arctic in the area of the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas comprises the largest part of the portfolio. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Eriell focuses on Uzbekistan and Russia, eyes Gulf region

By New Europe Online/KG

Eriell Group

Eriell Group presents H1 2021 production figures

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Eriell, an international oilfield services group, presented on July 29 information on production indicators achieved in the first half of 2021 and upcoming projects. In April, a new contract was signed with the Uz-Kor Gas Chemical JV, according to which 25 wells were overhauled in the first half. One of the features of work in the Arctic is the need for complex and lengthy mobilizations in a short time by different modes of transport, including along the Northern Sea Route and temporary winter roads, Eriell said, adding that te largest mobilization carried out in 2021 was the transportation of the ZJ-70 DBS drilling rig and equipment weighing 12 tons in three months from Novy Urengoy, Abakan and Yekaterinburg through the port of Arkhangelsk to Salman. We constantly seek ways to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations,” he added. In August, we will resume work on international projects and start drilling at the Garraf field in Iraq,” Dokunikhin said. The total distance was 12,000 kilometers. Eriell continued to work at the Urengoyskoye and Medvezhye oil and gas condensate fields of the Gazprom group, where it built three production wells of increased complexity, including the Achimov horizons. This is the third major mobilization successfully organized and carried out by Eriell in Russia. At the Urengoyskoye oil and gas condensate field (“Arcticgas”) – the longest ERIELL project in Russia, liner with 20 MSHF sleeves was successfully run into the horizontal wellbore of a sub-horizontal well 1,500 meters long. 7107 (2,000 m + pilot borehole) was built with an absolute record rate of days / 1,000 meters for this type of wells – 3.39 (17.75 days) and penetration rate of 5,228 meters, of which the length of the horizontal borehole was 2,046 meters. Moreover, the quality factor according to the Rosneft method was 1, which became possible due to the cement slurry formulations developed by the technological service and specialists of the well cementing shop. In the period, Eriell built 28 production and exploration wells on gas projects of Russia’s largest independent gas producer Novatek. “We are pleased with the results of the company for the first half of 2021. Despite the ongoing global economic challenges, Eriell said the group once again demonstrated its resilience and effectiveness having achieved new records on the most complex projects and carried out large-scale mobilizations. “It is very gratifying that improvements in our performance, efficiency and quality of service are continually being acknowledged by our customers. Eriell has drilled over 50 wells for Gazprom Neft at the Vostochno-Messoyakhskoye, Tazovskoye and Novoportovskoye fields. At the Tazovskoye oil and gas condensate field (Meretoyakhaneftegaz), horizontal well No. Also, for the first time on the project, MDT work was successfully carried out in the deviated pilot wellbore of the Achimov deposits. In the first half, a record ROP was achieved when drilling with a 444.5 mm bit and daily meterage was 362 meters, Eriell said in a press release. The zenith angle in the study interval is 56 degrees. At the Utrennee oil and gas condensate field (Arctic LNG 2 – Novatek project for the production of natural gas and for the production of liquefied natural gas), for the first time, when cementing the technical casing of well No. The overhaul of eight wells was also carried out for joint venture Natural Gas-Stream and four wells completed, after which a good flow of gas was obtained. We have achieved the planned indicators, updated several records, received thanks from customers, and successfully implemented 18 mobilizations, 16 of which took place simultaneously,” said Vitaly Dokunikhin, first deputy chairman of the management board of Eriell Group, general director of Eriell Neftegazservice.

Romantic constructivist theory is not currently experiencing one of its better moments. We are witnessing a project that is truly revolutionary for this state. The desire to search for compromise is, at times, a way to discuss global policy and regional decision-making processes. Even before those predictions were ever uttered in public, the much-needed geopolitical instincts of the American foreign and domestic policy establishment failed at several key moments in the post-9/11 world. Russia’s efforts are aimed at preserving its influence on the future contours of the Afghan state without the Americans being involved. Furthermore, at that time, much more attention was paid to the role that Pakistan played in destabilizing the Afghan state. However, given the importance and political weight of New Delhi and the strategic nature of Russian-Indian relations, the absence of Indian diplomats at the forum was a significant mistake by Moscow. The Soviet-Afghan War lasted for a decade and contributed significantly to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union nearly three years later. Debates about the necessity of past conflicts in far-flung corners of the Earth are now being re-analyzed and re-examined in connection with the ongoing Afghan peace process. Issues of global security and stability cannot be ignored by any major power. Its real and potential benefits, from the point of view of Washington’s geopolitical perspective, ended long ago. Washington is trying, in every possible way,  to switch to the “virtue of abstinence”. The widespread geopolitical practice over the last several years has shown that the system of international relations is going through a transitional phase and the contradictions of the world’s Great Powers are so significant that it is impossible to discuss any sort of parity or cooperation. In particular, observers are looking into Russia’s current diplomatic efforts, which has left the impression that there is no special geopolitical struggle for Afghanistan. From now on, the Taliban are no longer seen as terrorists, allies of Al-Qaeda, and enemies from which the rest of the world must be protected. Between the major international players, there is no zero-sum game regarding Afghanistan’s history. And Russia, India, and the former Soviet Central Asian countries need to prepare for this while at the same time actively participating in the process around the Afghan policy. However, it seems that in regards to American policy on Afghanistan, regardless of the administration, the policy will be to drawdown to a bare minimum. This is the first sign of a new American approach to international relations in light of new realities that it faces, including growing global opposition from Russia and China and stagnant political resources at home.  What was noticeable odd about the March meeting in Moscow is that India did not attend the consultations. Islamabad uses ISI’s connections Islamic terrorist groups to project its foreign policy positions. Both sides seem to exist with permanent tunnel vision that does not allow them to understand or even care about the world’s political processes or the positions of the Great Powers. On the contrary, the Americans are trying in every possible way to get rid of this heavy burden, but at the moment they do not know how. The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in support of the “War on Terror”. This was not unexpected. Studies suggest that the Afghan conflict is a classic example of overheating and a deep sense of fatigue. The future of Afghan society, with the radical Islamist Taliban movement now a key part of the country’s government, remains an open question. When it comes to Afghanistan, Moscow needs to solve several fundamentally important and strategic tasks and to ensure its national security in connection with the reduction of the American military presence and to maintain its geopolitical influence in Afghanistan. In this sort of highly contentious atmosphere, it is extremely difficult for any policymaker in Washington to think about how to completely reform the US’ strategy for Afghanistan. EPA-EFE//JALIL REZAYEE
Over time, the conflict has become a heavy, boring and unpromising burden for the rest of the world. Women’s rights, which have made significant progress in the two decades since the Taliban were ousted from power, are expected to be rolled back in the coming years. Questions about the necessity of waging endless wars were raised early on in the presidency of Barack Obama and were later echoed by his successor, Donald Trump. The NATO military mission in Afghanistan saw a change of command as US General John Nicholson relieved his predecessor US General John Campbell at a ceremony in Kabul. Today, there is no geopolitical struggle around Afghanistan in the classical sense of the term. Russia is participating in the Afghan process not to replace the United States in Afghanistan, but to compete with them for influence in this country. The ISI conducted and continues to carry out extremely dangerous and subversive activities in Afghanistan. The American strategy provides for a significant decrease in military presence in South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. Its consequences are yet to be seen, and it is difficult to say how it will end. Experts have given different answers to these questions. In their opinion, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq are not the US’ problems. Afghanistan is a global problem and no major power can ignore this fact. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Afghanistan and the Great Powers

By Georgy Asatryan
Plekhanov Russian University of Economics PhD. At times, it seems that the world’s main political actors ignore their own interests and instead move from a harsh realpolitik view of the world to a much more ideological concept of how things should work. The interests of the entire international community, including its main players – the US, UK, Germany, Russia, France, India, and China – were completely aligned. All of this information leads to the question: Why should any great power fight for influence in any current/past/future failed states, especially those that are not able to be controlled either from within or externally? The history of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union is filled with examples of great power struggles for dominance in the Third World. Taliban members attend a ceremony after being released by authorities in Herat, Afghanistan. The political atmosphere around the Afghan conflict has gradually begun to change. Instead, and from the start, it was stuck in the psychology of Cold War strategy and the worldviews of the last century. Failed states are, by definition, those whose very existence is under threat due to civil war political infighting and massive social upheaval that causes the country to fall into a state of anarchy without a functioning centralized government. For the United States, where the political establishment usually has different, and often contradictory, ideas about international relations, these processes are reversible. From that moment forward, the Taliban was designated as an integral part of Afghan society, with its own views, values, and principles. The problem of excessive ideologization and the predominance of “-isms” in international relations is clearly visible to the naked eye. As a consequence of the role, Russia retains (and exaggerates) its influence in this region. This defining event opened a new page in Afghan history. For most Americans, what they see is an Afghan war that has been going on for nearly 20 years – since October 2001. Pakistan’s backing of the Taliban allowed the radical movement to become a key actor in Afghan politics. They have in the past, and presumably still, finance and support the Taliban. There are, however, exceptions in this regard. The Afghan campaign is an American story, and American strategists will continue to shape its character. At the current stage of its involvement in Afghanistan, the West is in a state of suspended animation due to the overexertion of forces. Asatryan is also an academic scholar and expert consultant for the Russian International Affairs Council and the Valdai Club. The enormous loss of life, instability, the fragmentation of the country, and terrorist attacks after more than 40 years of constant warfare have taken their toll on the country/
Afghanistan’s rival factions continue to play by “zero-sum” rules in every negotiating arena. The current picture when it comes to geopolitical decorum even lacks a basic sense of decorum when it comes to diplomacy. Formally, the next meeting of the expanded “troika” – the United States, China, and Pakistan – was held in Moscow. In short, at the beginning of the century, there was a global consensus – Afghanistan was a threat to international security. Members of the movement will join the government, hold ministerial posts, sit in parliament, and some will go on to head embassies. In their view, everything that is good for one side is automatically bad for the other. The international order, for the time being, essentially has no rules or sense of traditional protocol, but has become highly politicized. According to the agreements, the Taliban will become part of the legal political field. Opinion polls show that the percentage of Americans who believe that the country should “mind its own business” has reached the same levels as were seen at the end of the Vietnam War. For much of the life of the conflict, Washington’s way of dealing with a country like Afghanistan was outmoded, too expensive, and did not meet the challenges of the second decade of the 21st-century. The 12,000 NATO-led troops in the country have a mainly training and backup role in the context of operation Resolute Support, since the withdrawal of foreign combat troops in 2014. The history of diplomacy and international relations is full of examples of Great Powers finding a compromise with far smaller and less significant players. The radical Islamist group, which actively uses political violence and terrorism as a method to gain power, was asked to become a “normal political party”, to participate in elections, and lay down their arms. Today, there are less than 5,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, mostly American. At a gathering in March in Moscow, the regional powers, putting aside (for the time being) their own disagreements, forced the government in Kabul and the Taliban to accelerate negotiations. At its peak, the military presence exceeded 120,000 troops. When the issue of international terrorism and a potential safe haven for radical Islamist terror groups come to the forefront, the powerful nations of the world are able to act together. The US’ efforts alone will not be enough, and a broad regional dialogue is needed. The United States will continue the Afghan peace process in Turkey and Qatar. The potential strengthening of Pakistan’s role in the Afghan policy for global and regional security is considered by many players, including Russia and others in the region of Central Asia, as decidedly problematic. Russian diplomacy proceeds from the theoretical concepts of the school of neorealism. When the Afghan War began in the weeks after 9/11, all of the regional and world powers supported the US. After all, one cannot forget that Al-Qaeda was given a safe haven on Afghan soil by the Taliban. Meetings involving the highest echelons of power too often become mutual, public accusations. With the support of Pakistan’s ISI security agencies, radical Islamist groups managed to take root and gain a deep foothold in Afghanistan. This simple declaration is the official end of the West’s definition of statehood for Afghanistan. Within the United States itself, internal political and social confusion about the purpose of the whole Afghan endeavor is gradually growing. This is a completely new reality for Afghanistan. EPA/RAHMAT GUL / POOL

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Can Afghanistan’s never-ending internal conflict be resolved by the efforts of great and regional powers that have numerous conflicting strategic and global goals? Is it possible to stop another civil war in Afghanistan from erupting through the efforts of outside actors, between whom there is an atmosphere of complete distrust? It changed the very essence of the conflict and created a completely new geopolitical reality. It might seem that the withdrawal from Afghanistan was an impulsive trick dreamt up by isolationist President Donald Trump, but as can be seen by the policies of Joe Biden in the first six months of his presidency, he has continued down the same path of ending the US’ direct presence in Afghanistan. However, a necessary factor in this strategy should be permanent, and multi-level pressure, on the main sponsor of radical Islamist groups in the region – Pakistan. First, the American strategy itself has undergone major transformations that have the force of revolutionary events. Altruism, as defined by the late 1990s-early 2000s concept of humanitarian intervention, no longer has any capital even in a Democratic administration that would have been inclined to act exactly under those same pretences only a decade ago. epa05190269 New Commander of Resolute Support forces and United States forces in Afghanistan, US Army General John Nicholson, attend during a change of command ceremony in Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, 02 March 2016. As a result, important opportunities were squandered and the Trump brand of isolationism, the likes of which have not been seen in the United States since the 1930s, began to take hold more out of necessity than a need. EPA-EFE//JALIL REZAYEE
In short, the reality is that the US is leaving Afghanistan. Soviet troops withdraw from Afghanistan in February 1989. Afghanistan has a long conflict of internal, tribal, sectarian conflict, which will most likely not come to an end. In this regard, the Afghan process should have a multi-factor and multi-vector character, which obviously eliminates potential threats. Humanitarian intervention is a thing of the past. The longest war in the history of the United States is coming to a logical conclusion. Their combined economic, military, and industrial potential is almost non-existent. The political establishment in Washington has, across the political spectrum of both the Democrats and Republicans, focused on rethinking domestic policy affairs. In short, Americans of all political stripes are simply tired of Afghanistan after two decades of fruitless attempts at nation-building in a part of the world that has successfully resisted outside interference since the time of Alexander the Great. This set of factors provide for a vague opportunity to meet the interests of the major geopolitical players to try to bring Afghanistan closer to peace. American political scientists have repeatedly noted for the last decade that the role of the global hegemon is no longer relevant in the current system of international relations. Memories of 9/11 are still strong for many, especially for those in the security services of many nations. Nicholson has served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. There are no signs in the foreseeable future that a resolution is possible. Dr. Government officials in Kabul and the radical Taliban movement are far more concerned with destroying or weakening each other instead of finding a logical way to govern one of the world’s poorest and least literate countries. Russian diplomats are participating in the process, sometimes they are even the facilitators of certain initiatives. Two decades on, and those nations that are not a part of the West have become, if not opponents, then outside observers of the American policy in Afghanistan. Moscow is aware that the Afghan issue can only be resolved together. Classical constructivism, coupled with neoliberalism, gave way to realpolitik. After numerous consultations, the Afghan peace process is designed to accelerate the search for lasting peace and a compromise between all of the Afghan parties involved, including the Taliban. The old ideas of chessboards and ‘Great Games’, based on the inevitability of a struggle between external players for control of Afghanistan, is outdated and wishful thinking. Who needs to be responsible for problematic countries that are in a state of collapse? In February 2018, at the instigation of the United States, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced the beginning of a dialogue with the Taliban. The Afghan problem has always been associated with potential threats of international terrorism. The Biden administration will actively try to achieve a peace agreement between the government in Kabul and the Taliban. This is most likely due to the shortcomings of Russian diplomacy, which failed to convince India, on whom much depends in the region, to attend the forum. Far less often, however, have there been cases when a global power has been able to resolve the internal conflicts of a failed state, e.g. The current stage of diplomatic efforts with regard to Afghanistan is an attempt to push the parties to a more resolute dialogue and compromise. Using this paradigm, the concept of compromise is null and void. According to the UN Human Development Index, failed states lag behind the poorest countries of Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of standards of living. That is a struggle from a bygone era; today it is no longer relevant. There is growing discontent within the US from broad segments of society as the general population do not want to see endless wars waged in far-off countries. Somalia, Afghanistan, Haiti, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Syria, Yemen, and Libya. The geopolitical and economic growth of Russia, India, and China and the failures of the Americans in Afghanistan could only end in a clash of interests. Politically and propagandistically, the Afghan story has run its course for the American establishment. The main threat to international stability is the threat that an emboldened Pakistan will play in Afghan and regional affairs. Russia, and other world actors who are in rough geographic proximity to Afghanistan, wanted to end the terrorist safe havens that the Taliban allowed to be established within Afghanistan’s borders in the late 1990s. Failed states, themselves, are of little interest to anyone. Afghanistan is a classic failed state and no one wants to fight for it – not the United States or Russia; or the UK, India, and China. With Joe Biden now in the White House, the attitude to the Afghan problem has not changed course. It has been replaced by protectionism and a certain degree of isolationism.

The report reveals that an organization could be vulnerable to a supply chain attack even when its own defences are better than adequate. EPA-EFE/RONALD WITTE

Malware overcomes defenses, open doors for vulnerability

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Mapping on emerging supply chain attacks, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity warned on July 29 that 66% of attacks focus on the supplier’s code. ENISA set up an ad-hoc working group on cyber threats in order to interact with a broad range of stakeholders and to receive advice in designing, updating and reviewing the methodology needed to draw cyber threat landscapes, including the annual ENISA Threat Landscape. The report issues an extensive number of recommendations for customers to manage the supply chain cybersecurity risk and to manage the relationship with the suppliers. To respond to this need, the ENISA Threat Landscape has been published on an annual basis since 2012. Recommendations for suppliers include:

Ensuring that the infrastructure used to design, develop, manufacture, and deliver products, components and services follows cybersecurity practices;
implementing a product development, maintenance and support process that is consistent with commonly accepted product development processes;
Monitoring of security vulnerabilities reported by internal and external sources that include used third-party components;
Maintaining an inventory of assets that includes patch-relevant information. The impact of attacks on suppliers may have far-reaching consequences because of the increased interdependencies and complexities of the techniques used. In cybersecurity, a supply chain includes hardware and software, cloud or local storage, as well as distribution mechanisms. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU cybersecurity agency says hackers target supplier’s code

By New Europe Online/KG

epa07988392 A digital screen displays a live cyber hack attack during a press conference at the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in Wiesbaden, Germany, 11 November 2019. This is why novel protective measures to prevent and respond to potential supply chain attacks in the future while mitigating their impact need to be introduced urgently. In order to compromise the targeted customers, attackers focused on the suppliers’ code in about 66% of the reported incidents. A supply chain is a combination of the ecosystem of resources needed to design, manufacture and distribute a product. All such aspects reveal the degree of sophistication of the adversaries and the persistence in seeking to succeed. This highlights the gap in terms of maturity in cybersecurity incident reporting between suppliers and end-users. Supply chain attacks are now expected to multiply by 4 in 2021, compared to last year. “With good practices and coordinated actions at (the) EU level, (the) Member States will be able to reach a similar level of capabilities raising the common level of cybersecurity in the EU,” he added. Moreover, with the almost limitless potential of the impact of supply chain attacks on numerous customers, these types of attacks are becoming increasingly common. This is evidenced by the increasing impact of these attacks such as downtime of systems, monetary loss and reputational damage. The attackers explore new potential highways to infiltrate organisations by targeting their suppliers. However, less than 9% of the customers compromised through supply chain attacks did not know how the attacks occurred. For 66% of the supply chain attacks that were analyzed, suppliers did not know – or failed to report – how they were compromised. This shows that organizations should focus their efforts on validating third-party code and software before using them to ensure these were not tampered with or manipulated. Composed of an attack on one or more suppliers with a later attack on the final target, namely the customer, supply chain attacks may take months to succeed. This new trend stresses the need for policymakers and the cybersecurity community to act now. EPA-EFE/RONALD WITTEK

A digital screen displays a live cyber hack attack during a press conference at the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in Wiesbaden, Germany, November 11, 2019. Beyond the damages on affected organizations and third parties, there is a deeper cause for concern when classified information is exfiltrated and national security is at stake or when consequences of a geopolitical nature could emerge as a result, ENISA said. According to the new ENISA report – Threat Landscape for Supply Chain Attacks, which analysed 24 recent attacks, strong security protection is no longer enough for organisations when attackers have already shifted their attention to suppliers. In many instances, such an attack may even go undetected for a long time. These reports are based on publicly available data that provides an independent view on observed threats, threat agents, threat trends and attack vectors. Similar to Advanced Persistence Threat (APT) attacks, supply chain attacks are usually targeted, quite complex and costly with attackers probably planning them well in advance. In this complex environment for supply chains, establishing good practices and getting involved in coordinated actions at the EU level are both important to support all 27 members of the bloc in developing similar capabilities to reach a common level of security. Recommendations for customers include:

Identifying and documenting suppliers and service providers; defining risk criteria for different types of suppliers and services such as supplier & customer dependencies, critical software dependencies, single points of failure;
Monitoring of supply chain risks and threats; managing suppliers over the whole lifecycle of a product or service, including procedures to handle end-of-life products or components;
Classifying of assets and information shared with or accessible to suppliers, and defining relevant procedures for accessing and handling them. The BKA presented the federal picture of the Cybercrime 2018 in Germany. For about 58% of the supply chain incidents analysed, the customer assets targeted were predominantly customer data, including Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data and intellectual property. “Due to the cascading effect of supply chain attacks, threat actors can cause widespread damage affecting businesses and their customers all at once,” EU Agency for Cybersecurity Executive Director Juhan Lepassaar said. The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving and both policymakers and practitioners need to have access to up-to-date and accurate information on the current threat landscape, supported by threat intelligence. Suppliers are advised to implement security procedures that focus on vulnerability and patch management. The report also suggests possible actions to ensure that the development of products and services complies with Europe’s security practices. The EU Agency for Cybersecurity recommended good practices needed to be applied and coordinated actions must be engaged at the EU level. Supply chain attacks have been a concern for cybersecurity experts for many years because the chain reaction triggered by one attack on a single supplier can compromise a network of providers. Malware is the attack technique that attackers resort to in 62% of attacks. The Agency provides threat analysis on a range of emerging technologies and challenges including recent threat landscapes on Artificial Intelligence and 5G.

EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK/FILE PICTURE

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The European Commission published on July 29 new technical guidance that will help mainstream climate considerations in future investment and development of infrastructure projects from buildings, network infrastructure to a range of built systems and assets for the period 2021-2027. The impacts of climate change are already having repercussions for assets and infrastructure with long lifetimes such as railways, bridges or power stations, and these impacts are set to intensify in the future. Specifically, for infrastructure with a lifespan beyond 2050, the guidance stipulates that the operation, maintenance and final decommissioning of any project should be carried out in a climate-neutral way, which may include circular economy considerations, such as the recycling or repurposing of materials, the Commission said, adding that the climate resilience of new infrastructure projects should be ensured through adequate adaptation measures, based on a climate risk assessment.   The process is divided into two pillars (mitigation, adaptation) and two phases (screening, detailed analysis) and the documentation and verification of climate-proofing forms is considered an essential part of the rationale for making investment decisions. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK

A train leaves the Main Railway Station in Prague, Czech Republic. Climate-proofing is a process that integrates climate change mitigation and adaptation measures into the development of infrastructure projects. For example, building in areas that are likely to be affected by sea level rise requires particular attention; similarly, heat tolerance for railway tracks needs to account for the projected higher maximum temperature rather than historical values. That way, institutional and private European investors will be able to make informed decisions on projects deemed compatible with the Paris Agreement and the EU climate objectives, the Commission said, noting that the guidance adopted on July 29 will thus help the EU deliver the European Green Deal, implement requirements under the European Climate Law and make EU spending greener. The impacts of climate change are already having repercussions for assets and infrastructure with long lifetimes such as railways, bridges or power stations, and these impacts are set to intensify in the future. The technical guidance adopted today sets out common principles and practices for the identification, classification and management of physical climate risks when planning, developing, executing and monitoring infrastructure projects and programmes. It is therefore essential to clearly identify – and consequently to invest in – infrastructure that is prepared for a climate-neutral and climate-resilient future, the Commission said. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU plans climate-proof future infrastructure projects

By New Europe Online/KG

epa07850905 A train leaves the Main Railway Station in Prague, Czech Republic, 05 September 2019 (issued 18 September 2019). It is aligned with a greenhouse gas emission reduction pathway of -55% net emissions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050; follows the ‘energy efficiency first’  and ‘do no significant harm’ principles; and fulfils requirements set out in the legislation for several EU funds such as InvestEU, Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Cohesion Fund (CF) and the Just Transition Fund (JTF).

“Climate change is now an existential threat to the human species. follow on twitter @energyinsider Their cooperation will entail the construction of vessels no lower than ice-class Arc5 and tugboats no lower than Arc6/Icebreaker6 for the delivery of both general cargo and the products of the Syradasay coal deposit from the Taymyr Peninsula. “The conclusion of a long-term electricity purchase and sale agreement between Rosatom and GDK Baimskaya LLC will become the most important events in the largescale programme for the development of the Russian Arctic,” Novachuk said at the signing event. “Our report shows that meeting this need by expanding intermittent renewable energy without also ensuring a continuing significant contribution from nuclear power will threaten the security of energy supplies,” he argued. The programme would be built on the back of both domestic and international experience in environmental assessment. Atomenergoprom Director Kirill Komarov and Aeon Infrastructure Corporation Chairman of the Board of Directors Roman Trotsenko signed the document. The report also claims the risks to energy security arising from the involvement of non-OECD nuclear vendors such as China at each stage of a plant’s life cycle are of a low degree, manageable and can be mitigated through prudent regulatory measures. “We expect to build four power units: three main units and one standby unit that will be used during the repair or refueling of one of the main units,” Ruksha said, adding that the first two units are expected to be delivered to their working location in the water area of Cape Nagleynyn and connected to power lines leading to the Baimsky GOK at the end of 2026; the third unit will be connected at the end of 2027. The parties maintain that change is necessary to create effective mechanisms by which to repay investors who develop long-term projects in the Arctic. Rosatom has proposed using optimised floating power units (OFPU) to provide electricity to the Baimsky GOK. Energy security risks
In related news, a new study published on July 28 by industry-supported think tank New Nuclear Watch Institute (NNWI) finds that reducing nuclear capacity poses significant risks to energy security and calls for establishing and preserving a diversified, low-carbon generation mix during the transition to a decarbonised energy system. “The urgent need to accelerate the switch to low carbon electricity generation increasingly drives international energy policy,” NNWI Chairman Tim Yeo said. Arctic shipping
Also in St Petersburg, Rosatom-subsidiary Atomenergoprom and Aeon Infrastructure Corporation agreed to create a strategic partnership in the field of Arctic shipping. “We must look at coastal and transit shipping in the Arctic as well as at NSR port infrastructure, at the stage of both construction and operation, through the lens of environmental safety. The project for the development of the Syradasay coal deposit is being implemented by Aeon Corporation-subsidiary Severnaya Zvezda. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Ice station Arctic: Rosatom weighs underwater impact for nuke facilities

By Kostis Geropoulos
Energy & Russian Affairs Editor, New Europe

Rosatomflot’s icebreaker 50 let Pobedy (CC via TopFives)

Moscow marine academics will help assess Northern Sea route

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Russia’s state atomic corporation Rosatom and Moscow State University’s Marine Research Centre have signed a cooperation agreement, aiming to make possible pilot projects for the comprehensive research and monitoring of surface and underwater environmental safety in the water area of Russia’s Arctic region. Any of our actions in the Arctic should preemptively undergo a serious environmental impact assessment,” Likhachev said. Rosatom’s special representative for Arctic development, Vladimir Panov, and Moscow State University’s Marine Research Centre Director General Dmitry Korost inked the agreement in St Petersburg in the framework of the Rosatom-organised event “Arctic Day” on July 23. Also, in the framework of the “Arctic Day” event in St Petersburg, Rosatom and GDK Baimskaya have signed an agreement to jointly implement a project to supply power to the Baimsky mining and processing plant (Baimsky GOK), which is located in Russia’s Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. Moscow State University’s Marine Research Centre’s Korost noted that over the coming year, a group of international experts will be formed and will start developing a set of monitoring and environmental protection measures based on the best global practices, as well as implementing an effective mechanism for assessing data from international, federal, regional, and local sources on the environmental impact of the operation of the NSR and on the measures being undertaken for the protection of the Arctic. According to Rosatom, an important part of the agreement is the parties’ intention to assist in changing current Russian legislation concerning the electric power industry to allow for more efficient investment in the Arctic. According to Rosatom, the parties plan to implement joint Arctic shipping projects. These units are already under construction at Rosatom’s machine-building division, Atomenergomash. The parties agreed that they would conclude a long-term “take-or-pay” contract for the sale and purchase of electricity by April 2022. To overcome this challenge governments around the world must set aside geopolitical considerations at once and unite to deploy all available low carbon technologies,” Yeo argues, reiterating that “nuclear power is proven as the most reliable way to generate large scale clean electricity”. The agreement was signed by Rosatom Deputy Director and Director of the Northern Sea Route Directorate Vyacheslav Ruksha and GDK Baimskaya Chairman Oleg Novachuk. According to Rosatom’s Director General Alexey Likhachev, the development of a preliminary programme for the regular assessment of the impact of anthropogenic activities along the Northern Sea Route (NSR), including the operation of nuclear facilities, on the Arctic environment is consistent with the goals stipulated in Russia’s Development Strategy for the Arctic Zone. The nature of the nuclear industry means that the interests of equipment suppliers, plant developers and customers are closely aligned, Yeo argued, asserting that the risks to energy security from using imported nuclear technology can actually be more easily managed, and are therefore potentially lower, than relying on imported fossil fuels.

According to the study, to meet and enhance its climate targets, Turkey could consider taking steps towards ratifying the Paris Agreement, set sectoral and national net-zero carbon targets and introduce a national emissions trading scheme. Turkey already has a measurement, reporting and verification system that is similar to the EU ETS. In addition to delivering cost estimates the study analyses ways to adjust to the coming changes and their medium- and long-term implications. In total, CBAM payments would represent 0.07 per cent of Turkey’s GDP forecast in 2023, provided the EC proposal enters into force at the beginning of that year. The EBRD is actively supporting Turkey, one of the largest economies where the Bank invests and a close EU trading partner, to adapt to the coming changes. The mechanism will be phased in gradually and will initially apply only to a selected number of goods. This is also because of plans by the EU and the G7 to make requirements of the Taskforce on Climate-Related Risk Disclosures mandatory. The study was commissioned as part of this effort. While uncertainties remain as to how far down the value chain product coverage would go, the assessment finds that CBAM payments can represent a significant share of current prices for some products, for instance up to about 50 per cent for cement, 18 per cent for aluminium and 9 per cent for steel. The charge levied at the border is meant to encourage EU trading partners to adopt carbon-pricing systems comparable to the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) to accelerate decarbonisation in line with the Paris Agreement, the EBRD explained, adding that for non-EU countries with a high percentage of energy-intensive exports to the European Union, this new mechanism is expected to lead to steep adjustment costs. The European Commission’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is a price on imports proportionate to the carbon content of goods imported from countries without adequate carbon pricing in order to guard against carbon leakage.   “The EBRD is working on a set of strategic policy choices for the government to mitigate trade risks and foster domestic low-carbon economic development in line with the EU climate policy objectives,” EBRD Deputy Head of Turkey Sule Kilic said. One such climate transition risk is carbon pricing, and financiers will want to know how corporates are managing these. Carbon markets across the world are growing, and carbon prices, which have more than doubled to €52 a tonne in the EU ETS this year, are placing increasing pressure on emitters to decarbonise. EPA-EFE/TOLGA BOZOGLU

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Turkish exporters of energy-intensive products such as cement, steel and aluminium could face steep additional costs when legislative proposals tabled by the EU Green Deal come into effect, a new study by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) shows. The EBRD said on July 29 that the study found that businesses could be paying extra charges of €777 million, but that these would decrease to €399 million if only direct emissions are considered. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU warns Turkish exporters of potential steep extra costs under new carbon rules

By New Europe Online/KG

Wind turbines over canola fields in Silivri near Istanbul, Turkey. This would put the Turkish economy on an equal footing with similar developments in other OECD countries. A reporting system will apply as from 2023 and importers will start paying a financial adjustment in 2026. The analysis also warns Turkish companies that to access financing, climate consideration and, in particular, climate risk management will be increasingly important.

He saw that opposition to Turkey’s potential ascension to the EU was too strong from several European countries, particularly Greece and France. Under Erdogan, Turkey has moved away from any semblance of adhering or aspiring to Western concepts of democratic values and human rights and has instead enthusiastically embraced Erdogan’s Islamist-based Turkish nationalism and his own imperial ambitions in the Balkans, Caucasus, and the Middle East. Hamas’ leaders have already indicated that they will gladly give up any claims of energy resource exploitation in exchange for military aid from the Turks. Greece is economically and militarily incapable of having an all-out war with Turkey as it relies on the support of the EU and other NATO states – most notably the US and France. This agreement grants Palestinian militants access to training at Turkey’s Academy of Gendarmerie and Coast Guard. Russian President Vladimir Putin, for example, would not be so inclined to deftly push the Turks for favors that disrupt the West’s geopolitical standing if Erdogan were to permanently renounce Turkey’s membership in NATO. EPA-EFE/STR

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NATO is the most powerful military organization in the world, primarily because it manages to exhibit force globally, but also because – alongside its military capacity – NATO generates stability for its members. In the 18 years that he has been in power, he has led the modern Turkish state with an iron fist. It has a population of over 85 million, the 18th largest economy in the world and the second-largest NATO army. The Turkish doctrine in the Eastern Mediterranean has recently been checked by France, a major player in the EU and – along with the US and the UK – a power across the whole of the Mediterranean region. Although the Turkish lira has lost most of its value and the economy has cratered as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, Turkey continues to launch increasingly ambitious projects. Erdogan is now proposing a project that he calls “The Platform of the Six Countries”, which will be an unspecified collaboration area that will involve Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and Iran. Turkey’s interests have for years ceased to coincide with the interests of the West, particularly those of NATO. The Mediterranean – casus belli
The rivalry between Greek Orthodox Christians and Muslim Turks dates back nearly 1,000 years when the Islamicized Turkic tribes that stormed out of Central Asia began to attack the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire, before eventually capturing the empire’s capital, Constantinople, in 1453. In the case of the latter, Turkey’s open embrace of the terrorist group Hamas, which rules over the Gaza Strip, is meant as a signal to the entire Muslim world that Ankara is ready to fight for the Palestinian cause. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and President Ilham Aliyev (R) of Azerbaijan attend a military parade dedicated to the two countries’ victory in the most recent Karabakh War. But in the current multi-polar world, Ankara wants to play all its cards. A security pact between Turkey and the Palestinian Authority was signed by Erdogan and the PA in 2018 and approved on June 8, 2021, by the National Security Council. It accepts Chinese money and announces large infrastructure projects, especially in Istanbul, and exponentially increases armament costs. Paris now believes that if Germany wants to claim the title of “Europe’s engine”, France should be the “gendarme of Europe.” As a result, the Mediterranean has become a key foreign policy point for Elysee decision-makers. All of these details cannot be overlooked. Turkey’s game is not just a mere proposition of ego or a result of multipolarity. Ultimately, NATO cannot under any circumstances integrate the S-400s into the united NATO defence umbrella; this will fully affect the relationship between the Alliance and Ankara. Erdogan’s Turkey seems or wants to look ready for the next step. In recent years, Turkey has launched massive ground and air operations against Kurdish positions in Turkey, Iraq, and Syria. Since 2004, Turkey has become the second-largest state – in terms of military engagement – in the Alliance’s operations, trailing only the United States. Erdogan wants an agreement with Gaza, meaning with Hamas, to have access to water and energy rights off the coast of Israel. Turkey’s geographical position places it in a keyspace as a gateway to the East that is physically connected to Europe. In domestic propaganda, Erdogan boasts about his aggressive approach, including his claim to waters that are 320 kilometers off Turkey coast, a ridiculous stance that violates the recognized international law on ownership of a part of the Mediterranean that falls within the exclusive economic zone of the Greek state. Erdogan’s game in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has, in addition to the PR component, an important economic variable – he wants access to oil in the Eastern Mediterranean without the involvement of Israel, Egypt, Greece or Cyprus. Turkey may be too big for Europe, but is, and will remain in the foreseeable future, too small for Asia. According to the Jerusalem Post, the Turkish-Palestinian corridor is intended to be a major step towards the exclusion of Israel from the exploitation of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean. Knowing this, Erdogan has played a very dangerous game of balancing between the US and Russia. Regardless of the nature of the regime, or the brute force surrounding its speech, this version of Turkey is most likely evolving away from the Western democratic ideals, but the country is stuck to its current predicament – being forced to simultaneously shape its politics to Asia and Europe. The Biden administration will act more forcefully with Turkey than Donald Trump, who enjoyed a close personal connection to Erdogan. By Cristian Rosu
A communications consultant and political analyst who has collaborated with several publications in Romania and abroad on issues in the fields on politics and international relations. Thus, every incursion of Turkish planes into Greek airspace is accompanied by protests in Athens. For his part, Erdogan cannot assume that a withdrawal of the S-400s would be politically possible, so he will continue to install the missile systems. Turkey, a regional power
One must never forget that Turkey is the successor-state to the Ottoman Empire, and that in a unipolar or bipolar world, Turkey would be considered a good regional power that depends technologically and financially on the center. Turkey’s web of interests 
Erdogan understood early in his rule that Turkey would never join the European Union. If this happens, it will be a signal that Turkey, for all intents and purposes, is no longer a part of NATO. Having consolidated his power, Erdogan’s Turkey has taken on an increasingly bellicose and irredentist tone in the Easter  Mediterranean, particularly over energy resources with Greece and Cyprus. This was followed by Turkey’s strengthening of relations with Russia and the acquisition of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems. Moreover, Moscow would quickly pounce on the opportunity to crush Turkey’s interests in the Black Sea and the Caucasus, areas where the two long-time rivals are historical and natural enemies. The current borders between the two countries were established by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. Following the acquisition of Russia’s S-400 missile systems, Turkey is no longer seen as a trusted member of NATO. It is an entry and exit point for both the Mediterranean and Black seas. In the Balkans, Erdogan is well aware that Turkey has the strongest NATO presence outside those of NATO members from the former Yugoslavia and Albania. There has been talk of moving the US nuclear arsenal from Turkey to other NATO countries in Eastern Europe. Erdogan still dreams of reconstituting the former Ottoman Empire throughout the Near East. In the Caucasus and the Middle East, Erdogan has positioned Turkey directly against American interests. Furthermore, Erdogan, almost from the start, began to view the EU as an adversary who could later be blackmailed with the threat of waves of migrants from other Muslim nations and Sub-Saharan Africa. Turkey has already sent oil and gas drilling vessels off the coast of Cyprus that were accompanied by combat vessels from the Turkish Navy. Turkey has launched an offensive targeting Kurdish forces in north-eastern Syria, days after the US withdrew troops from the area. Paris is increasingly disturbed by Ankara’s irredentist claims, and Erdogan’s military interventions, in Syria, Iraq and Libya. To maintain the appearance of the Treaty of Lausanne, Ankara did not annex Northern Cyprus, but instead forced the establishment of a Turkish Cypriot puppet state. Turkey is, to date, the sole country to recognize the so-called ‘Turkish Republic of North Cyprus’. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and later in disagreements with Russia, brought Turkey to the forefront of foreign policy decisions, and the Turkish secret services became key players in the Black Sea area and in the Middle East. Following the September 11 attacks, Turkey’s entire geopolitical role was reassigned. After the UK officially left the EU, France remained the only nuclear-armed power in the European Union. Ankara became an essential pivot for NATO, but especially for the United States. Virtually all of Ankara’s strategy in relation to the Middle East has changed. NATO membership, according to Erdogan’s view, hinders that plan. Relations between Ankara and Washington, however, suffered a sharp downturn after the failed July 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan. On this complex board of interests, movements, diplomacy and economy, Turkey must consider an element that all empires are bound to – its geographical position. In this way, Turkey has become an active player in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and, more recently, in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Erdogan directly blamed the CIA for being involved in the bungled attempt to overthrow him. Ankara specifically wants to try to export the same corridor model that it is signed with the Turkey-aligned Government of National Accord in Libya. epa07909656 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses provincial chairmans of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara, Turkey 10 October 2019. Turkey has long been the only Muslim nation in NATO, and for this reason, it is one of the most stable Islamic nations in the world. This wound has never been closed, and the bitter tensions between Ankara and Athens have been both constant and have worsened over the last four-plus decades. Although the Turkish plan has been condemned by Israel, the US and EU, Erdogan still has powerful allies in Iran and Qatar that back his vision for Turkish support of the Palestinians. Some reports have even suggested that the Turkish secret services collaborated with ISIS to combat the Kurds. In addition to its buddling relationship with Moscow, Turkey has continued to exploit older conflicts with Greece and France, both of which are fellow NATO members. Erdogan then began a diplomatic war with the United States over the expulsion of his arch-enemy, the exiled cleric, and former Erdogan ally, Fethullah Gulen. If the brewing conflict with Greece, could be overcome, the US would struggle to overcome its distrust of Ankara’s relations with Moscow. From Erdogan’s geopolitical games to the rapid departure from the values ​​of democracy, it is clear that Ankara is taking another path. Furthermore, it is also home to an American nuclear arsenal at Incirlik Air Base. It is important to note that Turkey has been under Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian rule since 2003. EPA-EFE//ROMAN ISMAYILOV
However, one must consider that Turkey is interesting for all the countries where it has natural assets precisely because it is a member of NATO. It wants to play a much stronger game in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the Middle East. The ultimate result in the years to come will be that the uncomfortable marriage with NATO, which Ankara so publicly and eagerly denounces, is a must. He is also conscious of the fact that Turkey is the only real counterweight to the Russian fleet in the Black Sea. On the domestic policy front, Erdogan radically changed his approach to the Kurdish issue by becoming far more aggressive and dictatorial. Turkey’s prisons are full of political opponents and journalists who have criticized Erdogan, especially after the failed coup of 2016. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Are Erdogan’s ambitions for a new Ottoman Empire becoming too big for NATO? A turning point in Greek-Turkish relations came during the invasion of Cyprus by Turkish troops in 1974. Is there any room for Turkey within NATO when considering Erdogan’s ambitions?

Lloyd Austin, also as Secretary of Defense. Petraeus as CIA director, Gen. And several would come to see it as their job to save America and the world from their commander-in-chief.”
These matters noted, there is a key difference between the situation in France today and the situation here in the US. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates conspired with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, and the head of Central Command at the time, Gen. To put it plainly: Even though insubordinate, the retired French generals and active-duty military personnel are seeking to save the country they serve from what they see, and not without reason, as a very real internal security threat. O’Brien and acting defense chief Christopher Miller, again undermined the president. What is the relationship among the Western democracies between their armed forces and the institutions that are supposed to impose political authority over them? “The hour is late, France is in peril, threatened by several mortal dangers,” it warned. As the debate over Afghan troop levels raged inside the administration, another incident of military insubordination came to light by way of the late reporter Michael Hastings, who revealed in a noted Rolling Stone piece that General Stanley McChrystal and his staff in Kabul were openly, indeed flamboyantly contemptuous of the civilian leadership in Washington. It is worth considering this same matter in contexts far afield from France—not least ours in the United States. Our renegade generals—in connivance with hawkish political appointees, have been working against both public opinion and the orders of the past two presidents to wind down a series of fated-to-fail interventions that are inimical to US national security, even as they are waged in its name. French Prime Minister Jean Castex called the generals’ letter “an initiative against all of our republican principles, of honor and the duty of the army.”
In short order a second letter appeared in defense of the authors of the first, also in Valeurs Actuelles. Indeed, in a disturbing echo of the aforementioned piece by Jean–Marie Domenach describing the mindset of the treasonous French generals in 1961, Axios  reports that American generals under Trump:
“…fundamentally disagreed with the president’s worldview. David Petraeus, to railroad Obama, the civilian commander-in-chief, into sending upwards of 30,000 more troops into the unwinnable war in Afghanistan. Carden
Former adviser to the State Department and a frequent contributor to The American Conservative and The Quincy Institute’s Responsible Statecraft. Public opinion appears to back the position of the dissident generals and military personnel in France. President Barack Obama’s attempt in the early days of his administration to wind down the war in Afghanistan was met with swift resistance from the military and the national security establishments, of which he was ostensibly in charge. The situation in the United States with regard to our own renegade generals is reversed: Public opinion in the US most certainly does not back the subversion of policies intended, primarily but not only, to end the forever wars. Indeed, a number of French officials have grudgingly acknowledged the threat to the polity posed by an internal Islamist threat. At the time, House Appropriations Chairman David Obey noted that McChrystal joins “a long list of reckless, renegade generals who haven’t seemed to understand that their role is to implement policy, not design it.”
Over the course of the past three administrations, civilian control of the American military has eroded in large part due to the appointment of former and current generals and admirals to what have historically been (with the forgivable exception of George Marshall) civilian cabinet positions. The situation here is rather different. They were personally invested in Afghanistan. Under Trump, the military (with the encouragement of hawkish civilian advisers such as former National Security Adviser John Bolton) took a page from the Gates/Mullen/Petraeus playbook and thwarted Trump’s orders to withdraw American troops from Syria. The principle of civilian control has been challenged in very public ways over the past few months. According to a contemporary account by the journalist and editor Jean–Marie Domenach, beginning in the late 1950s, as it became clear that France’s position in Algeria was unsustainable, the French Army:
“….took on the shape of an autonomous power, not in order to support a political party or the aspirations of a dictator, but on the contrary in order that it could remain faithful to its mission to carry out to the very end the orders which it had received, to save the nation from itself, to protect the West even if it did not know its peril.”
The same might be said not just of today’s dissident French generals but also of our own increasingly renegade military establishment, which now sees its role as protecting its prerogative to wage a never-ending global war on terror, never mind what the elected civilian leadership of the country has to say about it. In it, a self-described group of active-duty servicemen and women warned, “If a civil war breaks out, the military will maintain order on its own soil…  civil war is brewing in France and you know it perfectly well.” Within days of its release, the second letter garnered more than 250,000 online signatures from the public. James Mattis as Secretary of Defense, and Gen. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>France has a generals problem: Why there’s a fray in civilian-military relations

By James W. The French political establishment is not wrong in seeing some parallels to the events of April 1961. Facebook

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The sensitive question of civilian control of the armed forces is one which Western democracies like the United States and France must continue to confront so long as they wish to be considered functioning democracies. Michael Hayden as CIA director, Adm. General Pierre de Villiers, France's former Chief of the Defense Staff, and President Emmanuel Macron at a 2017 parade. And in May it came to light that, in response to Trump’s direct presidential order for a complete withdrawal of American troops from Somalia and Afghanistan, issued in December 2020, the chairman of the joint chiefs, Mark Milley, along with national security advisor Robert C. This spring the French political establishment was rocked by two open letters from current and former members of the French military, both warning that France was on the brink of civil war. While little noted in the corporate press, what we have seen in recent years is a serious erosion in civil-military relations that extends back at least as far as 2009. These recent and troubling appointments include Adm. James Clapper as director of national intelligence, Gen. Some former Trump officials, such as James Jeffrey, the egregious special envoy to Syria during Trump’s final years in office, have spoken openly of their role in undermining the president’s order to withdraw. These included “Islamism” and “hateful and fanatical partisans (who) seek to foment a racial war.”
The French establishment, to whom the letter was directed, was outraged—appearing as it did on the 60th anniversary of the failed 1961 coup by French generals who opposed Charles de Gaulle’s efforts to negotiate France’s withdrawal from Algeria, a colony formally integrated as a département of metropolitan France more than a century earlier. More than 1,000 mostly retired members of the French military, including 20 retired generals, signed the first letter, published in the rightist magazine Valeurs Actuelles in the last week of April. This article was produced in partnership between The Scrum and Globetrotter.

Projects offered development assistance under the call for large-scale projects will be contacted by the European Investment Bank to conclude individual agreements and enable the start of the service in the fourth quarter of 2021. The 15 projects that can benefit from project development assistance were assessed to be sufficiently innovative and promising in terms of their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but not yet mature enough to be considered for a grant, the Commission said.   EUROPEAN UNION, 2021/EC – AUDIOVISUAL SERVICE/CLAUDIO CENTONZE

32 small innovative projects located in 14 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway

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The European Commission said on July 27 the EU is investing €118 million into 32 small innovative projects located in 14 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. These should be finalised in the fourth quarter of 2021, allowing the Commission to adopt the corresponding grant award decision and start disbursing the grants. Successful projects under the call for small-scale projects are starting to prepare individual grant agreements. The selected projects cover a wide range of relevant sectors to decarbonise different parts of Europe’s industry and energy sectors. Other criteria included the projects’ potential for scalability and cost effectiveness. “With today’s investment, the EU is giving concrete support to clean tech projects all over Europe to scale up technological solutions that can help reach climate neutrality by 2050,” EU Commission Vice President Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans said. The grants from the Innovation Fund will support projects aiming to bring low-carbon technologies to the market in energy intensive industries, hydrogen, energy storage and renewable energy. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU invests €122 million in low-carbon projects

By New Europe Online/KG

Paolo Gentiloni

EU Commission Vice President Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans. “The increase of the Innovation Fund proposed in the Fit for 55 Package will enable the EU to support even more projects in the future, speed them up, and bring them to the market as quickly as possible,” he added. The support, to be provided as tailor-made technical assistance by the European Investment Bank, aims to advance their financial or technical maturity, with a view to potential re-submission under future Innovation Fund calls. The success rate of eligible proposals to this call for proposals is 18%. In addition to these grants, 15 projects located in 10 EU Member States and Norway will benefit from project development assistance worth up to €4.4 million, with the aim of advancing their maturity, the Commission said, explaining that the 32 projects selected for funding were evaluated by independent experts for their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional technologies and to innovate beyond the state-of-the-art while being sufficiently mature to enable their quick deployment. Projects have up to four years to reach financial closure.

More than 1,000 mostly retired members of the French military, including 20 retired generals, signed the first letter, published in the rightist magazine Valeurs Actuelles in the last week of April. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates conspired with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, and the head of Central Command at the time, Gen. And in May it came to light that, in response to Trump’s direct presidential order for a complete withdrawal of American troops from Somalia and Afghanistan, issued in December 2020, the chairman of the joint chiefs, Mark Milley, along with national security advisor Robert C. “The hour is late, France is in peril, threatened by several mortal dangers,” it warned. This article was produced in partnership between The Scrum and Globetrotter. This spring the French political establishment was rocked by two open letters from current and former members of the French military, both warning that France was on the brink of civil war. According to a contemporary account by the journalist and editor Jean–Marie Domenach, beginning in the late 1950s, as it became clear that France’s position in Algeria was unsustainable, the French Army:
“….took on the shape of an autonomous power, not in order to support a political party or the aspirations of a dictator, but on the contrary in order that it could remain faithful to its mission to carry out to the very end the orders which it had received, to save the nation from itself, to protect the West even if it did not know its peril.”
The same might be said not just of today’s dissident French generals but also of our own increasingly renegade military establishment, which now sees its role as protecting its prerogative to wage a never-ending global war on terror, never mind what the elected civilian leadership of the country has to say about it. It is worth considering this same matter in contexts far afield from France—not least ours in the United States. The situation in the United States with regard to our own renegade generals is reversed: Public opinion in the US most certainly does not back the subversion of policies intended, primarily but not only, to end the forever wars. Facebook

Twitter

Linkedin

WhatsApp

Viber

Email

Print

The sensitive question of civilian control of the armed forces is one which Western democracies like the United States and France must continue to confront so long as they wish to be considered functioning democracies. And several would come to see it as their job to save America and the world from their commander-in-chief.”
These matters noted, there is a key difference between the situation in France today and the situation here in the US. James Mattis as Secretary of Defense, and Gen. Indeed, a number of French officials have grudgingly acknowledged the threat to the polity posed by an internal Islamist threat. While little noted in the corporate press, what we have seen in recent years is a serious erosion in civil-military relations that extends back at least as far as 2009. They were personally invested in Afghanistan. Michael Hayden as CIA director, Adm. These included “Islamism” and “hateful and fanatical partisans (who) seek to foment a racial war.”
The French establishment, to whom the letter was directed, was outraged—appearing as it did on the 60th anniversary of the failed 1961 coup by French generals who opposed Charles de Gaulle’s efforts to negotiate France’s withdrawal from Algeria, a colony formally integrated as a département of metropolitan France more than a century earlier. As the debate over Afghan troop levels raged inside the administration, another incident of military insubordination came to light by way of the late reporter Michael Hastings, who revealed in a noted Rolling Stone piece that General Stanley McChrystal and his staff in Kabul were openly, indeed flamboyantly contemptuous of the civilian leadership in Washington. At the time, House Appropriations Chairman David Obey noted that McChrystal joins “a long list of reckless, renegade generals who haven’t seemed to understand that their role is to implement policy, not design it.”
Over the course of the past three administrations, civilian control of the American military has eroded in large part due to the appointment of former and current generals and admirals to what have historically been (with the forgivable exception of George Marshall) civilian cabinet positions. The principle of civilian control has been challenged in very public ways over the past few months. The situation here is rather different. James Clapper as director of national intelligence, Gen. Our renegade generals—in connivance with hawkish political appointees, have been working against both public opinion and the orders of the past two presidents to wind down a series of fated-to-fail interventions that are inimical to US national security, even as they are waged in its name. These recent and troubling appointments include Adm. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>France has a military generals problem: Why there’s a fray in civilian-military relations

By James W. Under Trump, the military (with the encouragement of hawkish civilian advisers such as former National Security Adviser John Bolton) took a page from the Gates/Mullen/Petraeus playbook and thwarted Trump’s orders to withdraw American troops from Syria. President Barack Obama’s attempt in the early days of his administration to wind down the war in Afghanistan was met with swift resistance from the military and the national security establishments, of which he was ostensibly in charge. In it, a self-described group of active-duty servicemen and women warned, “If a civil war breaks out, the military will maintain order on its own soil…  civil war is brewing in France and you know it perfectly well.” Within days of its release, the second letter garnered more than 250,000 online signatures from the public. David Petraeus, to railroad Obama, the civilian commander-in-chief, into sending upwards of 30,000 more troops into the unwinnable war in Afghanistan. Lloyd Austin, also as Secretary of Defense. Petraeus as CIA director, Gen. O’Brien and acting defense chief Christopher Miller, again undermined the president. Indeed, in a disturbing echo of the aforementioned piece by Jean–Marie Domenach describing the mindset of the treasonous French generals in 1961, Axios  reports that American generals under Trump:
“…fundamentally disagreed with the president’s worldview. Some former Trump officials, such as James Jeffrey, the egregious special envoy to Syria during Trump’s final years in office, have spoken openly of their role in undermining the president’s order to withdraw. What is the relationship among the Western democracies between their armed forces and the institutions that are supposed to impose political authority over them? Carden
Former adviser to the State Department and a frequent contributor to The American Conservative and The Quincy Institute’s Responsible Statecraft. Public opinion appears to back the position of the dissident generals and military personnel in France. The French political establishment is not wrong in seeing some parallels to the events of April 1961. French Prime Minister Jean Castex called the generals’ letter “an initiative against all of our republican principles, of honor and the duty of the army.”
In short order a second letter appeared in defense of the authors of the first, also in Valeurs Actuelles. General Pierre de Villiers, France's former Chief of the Defense Staff, and President Emmanuel Macron at a 2017 parade. To put it plainly: Even though insubordinate, the retired French generals and active-duty military personnel are seeking to save the country they serve from what they see, and not without reason, as a very real internal security threat.

“This aid measure will stimulate development of key renewable energy sources, and support a transition to an environmentally sustainable energy supply, in line with the EU Green Deal objectives,” EU Commission Executive Vice-President for Competition Policy Margrethe Vestager said. Furthermore, the Commission said, the aid is proportionate and limited to the minimum necessary, as the level of aid will be set through competitive tenders.  
 
 
  The scheme is open until 2026 and aid can be paid out for a maximum period of 20 years after the new renewable installation is connected to the grid. “The selection of the beneficiaries through a competitive bidding process will ensure the best value for taxpayers’ money while maintaining competition in the French energy market,” she added. The support takes the form of a premium on top of the electricity market price, the EU Commission said, adding that the measure has a provisional total budget of around €30.5 billion. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>French scheme to support electricity production from renewables gets EU nod

By New Europe Online/KG

Margrethe Vestager

EU Commission Executive Vice-President for Competition Policy Margrethe Vestager said a French aid scheme to support renewable electricity production complies with EU State aid rules. On this basis, the Commission said it concluded that the French scheme is in line with EU State aid rules, as it will facilitate the development of renewable electricity production from various technologies in France and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the European Green Deal and without unduly distorting competition. The Commission said it assessed the measure under EU State aid rules, in particular the 2014 Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy, and found that the aid is necessary to further develop the renewable energy generation to meet France’s environmental goals. It also has an incentive effect, as the projects would otherwise not take place in the absence of public support. The scheme grants support to these operators awarded via competitive tenders, the Commission said, noting that, in particular, the measure includes seven types of tenders for a total of 34 GW of new renewables capacity that will be organised between 2021 and 2026: solar on the ground; solar on buildings; onshore wind; hydroelectric installations; innovative solar; self-consumption and a technology-neutral tender. In addition, the Commission found that the positive effects of the measure, in particular, the positive environmental effects outweigh any possible negative effects in terms of distortions to competition. Finally, France also committed to carry out an ex-post evaluation to assess the features and implementation of the renewables scheme. According to the Commission, France notified the Commission of its intention to introduce a new scheme to support electricity produced from renewable energy sources, namely to onshore operators of solar, onshore wind and hydroelectric installations. EUROPEAN UNION, 2021/CLAUDIO CENTONZE

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A French aid scheme to support renewable electricity production complies with EU State aid rules, the European Commission’s antitrust chief said on July 27, adding that the measure will help France achieve its renewable energy targets without unduly distorting competition and will contribute to the European objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

“It’s not necessarily that someone really like figures out, ‘okay, I want to attack this particular institution or company,’ but there can be automatic worms that spread across the Internet. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU to counter cyber threats

By Kostis Geropoulos
Energy & Russian Affairs Editor, New Europe

Exclusive interview with European Parliament Vice President Marcel Kolaja. People most probably know it from a more popular environment for them which is antivirus which always has been a race between those who develop viruses and those who try to protect people by developing anti-viruses so this is in that sense very similar”. That’s not just because we can, it’s because we have to adapt,” he added. “Ransomware is a type of attack that basically ends with removing access to your data by, for instance, encrypting them or which other technique and requesting ransom so that you can regain your access back,” Kolaja said, adding that these types of attacks can also be automated. Kolaja, who engages in the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the European Parliament, reminded that currently the Network Information Security Directive is being updated. “If you say ransomware, which means locking access to data and asking a ransom, that can be to a huge extent mitigated by a having proper backup strategy,” he said. “I would say that the European Union is definitely one of the world leaders in this which is also the argument that supports this is that we are having the revision of the Network Information Security Directive. So, this is a really concerning type of attack and we must do our best to address the vulnerabilities so that we are in a position that is safe against this type of cyberthreat,” he said. “There is no reason to be depressed from it or anything like this because that’s about how the world is and every age had their particular threats which evolved over time. But, of course, we need to focus on those who share our values of democracy and rule of law and human rights because even though this is a global issue, of course, cooperation with corrupt regimes does not really bring you much,” Kolaja said in an interview, following the Prague European Summit. The Czech MEP explained that ransomware is heavily profit oriented, where cyber criminals target entities – governments, businesses and individuals. “The cyber strategy of the European Commission also underlines the importance of international cooperation and the Commission plans to work with partners around the world. Let’s not be skeptical about that just because it’s here, because it has been here in different forms”. Asked if there is a race to develop software to counter hybrid attacks and software developed by the criminals for ransomware, Kolaja laughed and said, “It may sound funny the word ‘race’ but that’s what it is. “Being Vice President for ICT is also important for me to see what we can do against cyberthreats and I would like to highlight the role of something that is called CERTEU, which is an abbreviation for Computer Emergency Response Team, which shares information and coordinates responses to cyberthreats, including ransomware, among EU institutions, among agencies and other bodies when they are under attack,” Kolaja said, noting this is part of a good strategy for being resilient against cyberattacks because all these institutions have a lot in common. Of course, ransomware is one of them. “But, of course, it does not resolve the issue if it’s some sensitive data, then you can be blackmailed that these data would leak,” he added, citing data showing that more than 66 percent of healthcare organizations experienced a ransomware attack in 2019. “So, it is extremely concerning,” he told New Europe, adding that there is a need to access the threat coming from a potential breach. “The most dangerous aspect of the hybrid attacks is that they are hybrid. Hybrid threats are here to stay. So, that’s is something we definitely have to pay attention to,” Kolaja told New Europe. It’s not, “lock your door and that’s it! “So, to a certain extent, it’s kind of race. I mean in the Middle Ages they had no issues with cyberthreats but they had other problems,” Kolaja said, adding, “So, humankind is always going to be facing threats and we always have to pay attention and build resilience against that. WWW.KOLAJA.EU/EN/PAGE/PHOTOS/

Race to fight cybercrime, build resilience

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Europe needs to be the driving force in securing infrastructure of core services against hybrid attacks, including ransomware, and work with NATO to build a resilient cyber defense, European Parliament Vice President Marcel Kolaja, a Czech software engineer, told New Europe in an exclusive interview. Cybersecurity is not anything that ends at some point.  
Kolaja said in order to counter hybrid threats, the EU needs a good strategy and react to what is the trend in cyberattacks, including ransomware. “So, the point here is that basically we have a strategy that focuses more on what a critical infrastructure is regardless of whether it is public or private and have a good cybersecurity strategy for these, having obligations that make sense,” he said. Asked if private companies are more vulnerable than state entities, Kolaja said that for the attacker it’s not much of a difference if they attack public sector or private sector, they are profit oriented. So, it’s a mix of different things that when you look at too closely, you may think it’s an isolated thing, but they’re a part of a larger strategy, that’s the dangerous thing,” he said. “So, I think in that sense our natural partner of the European Union is basically NATO where there is already a cooperation ongoing through a technical arrangement on cyber defense,” the Czech MEP added. You don’t have to care’. “If they face some kind of a particular attack, it is expectable that it would not just be one institution that is under attack but it would be more of them that may face the same so it’s really good to coordinate both in response to attack but also how to get ready before that happens,” he said. “Some of them are being state financed and some of them are aiming to undermine our democracy and that’s where I see the biggest threat and we won’t probably see a decrease in such rogue efforts. “We have also seen that many of these targets were, for instance, hospitals and their health records that happened in Romania in 2020, also in Germany and in my home country, the Czech Republic, the same story basically. You always have to be vigilant and you always have to watch what the trends in cyberthreats and cybersecurity are and adapt to it. Asked, what’s the biggest danger of hybrid threat in the future, Kolaja said undermining democracy. “I’m a shadow rapporteur of an opinion in the IMCO committee for that and this Directive basically lays down rules for member states to adopt national cybersecurity strategies, to designate competent national authorities so that the critical infrastructure can be resilient against all sorts of attacks. It’s an ever-evolving area,” Kolaja said. But the European Parliament Vice President sees no ground for pessimism. It foresees cybersecurity risk management and reporting obligations for critical infrastructure and for critical entities,” Kolaja told New Europe, adding that the legislative proposal strengthens security requirements for the companies by imposing a risk management approach and providing a minimum list of basic security elements that have to be applied. Even in the city that I live in Brno, the hospital in Brno, which is really, really concerning,” he said, adding that the EU’s approach has been so far to increase cyber resilience on all relevant sectors, public and private.

The agricultural development project focuses on the development of sustainable oil crop cultivations – namely, low ILUC (indirect land use change) feedstock such as cover crops, castor in degraded lands, croton trees in agro-forestry systems and other agro-industrial co-products, ENI said. Other expected benefits include developing sustainable agricultural activities and circular economy, producing power from renewable sources, fostering the economic competitiveness of the local industry and creating new jobs. According to the Italian energy company, this initiative will contribute to diversifying Kenya’s energy mix and supporting the overall decarbonization process, while also decreasing the Country’s dependence from imports of petroleum products. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Italy’s ENI and Kenya’s government to promote decarbonization

By New Europe Online/KG

At the presence of the Ambassador of Italy to Kenya Alberto Pieri (C), ENI Kenya Managing Director Enrico Tavolini (L) and AICS Nairobi Office head Fabio Melloni (R) sign on July 22 an cooperation MoU to identify possible collaboration opportunities in the areas of agriculture and value-chain development, environment, health, vocational training and education, and access to energy/green energy and innovation. The parties will also assess the opportunity of converting Mombasa refinery into a bio-refinery, as well as the construction of a new plant for second-generation bio-ethanol from waste biomass, leveraging on ENI technologies Ecofining e Proesa. Also, the initiatives are in line with ENI’s commitment to play a pivotal role in the decarbonization process and with the Company’s target to become palm-oil free by 2023 and to double bio-refineries capacity to around 2 million tons by 2024. The agreement contributes to the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The projects also contribute to the implementation of the Kenya Bioenergy Strategy, Updated Nationally Determined Contribution, Kenya’s National Development Plans, including Kenya Vision 2030. ENI has been present in Kenya since 2013 through its subsidiary ENI Kenya. The waste and residue collection would be focused to promote and implement a collection system for used cooked oil (UCO) and of other agro-processing residues. According to ENI, the parties will jointly conduct feasibility studies to develop waste and residue collection as well as agricultural projects, with the purpose of establishing a wide range of feedstock sources that do not compete with food cycles, to be transformed into bio-fuels and bio-products that might contribute to feed ENI’s bio-refineries in Gela and Venice, Italy. ENI

Plans to strengthen cooperation in the sustainable bio-fuel value chain

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Italian energy major ENI and Kenya’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mining signed on July 21 a Memorandum of Understanding to promote the decarbonization process to tackle climate change through new industrial models of fully-integrated circular economy along the whole bio-fuel production value chain.

“I am very pleased that the EBRD and GTSOU are cooperating to support each other’s activities regarding hydrogen,” EBRD Managing Director, Green Economy and Climate Action Harry Boyd-Carpenter said, adding that Ukraine relies heavily on fossil fuels across all sectors of its economy and hydrogen can represent a good alternative for decarbonisation, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. In early July, the European Union put scaling up green hydrogen at the centre of Europe’s climate ambition, announcing plans to produce up to a million tonnes of the gas through facilities to be built in the next four years. “Green” hydrogen – made through the electrolysis of water powered by renewable energy – is widely seen as a promising clean fuel as it has no carbon footprint. “The challenge therefore is to develop technology to scale up hydrogen use, to create the necessary conditions and infrastructure for its production, transportation and consumption. To date, the EBRD has invested nearly €15 billion in close to 500 projects in Ukraine. “Supporting the green transition of our economies is a key priority for the EBRD,” he said. All this requires time, effort and cooperation by all stakeholders. GTSOU CEO Sergiy Makogon said hydrogen is one of the most promising energy sources, which will contribute significantly to energy decarbonisation and achieving sustainable development goals. In certain countries, recent renewable energy electricity prices have fallen below $30/MWh – a level at which production of green hydrogen starts to become competitive with conventional fossil fuels. EPA-EFE/FELIPE TRUEB

Ukraine relies heavily on fossil fuels across all sectors of its economy and hydrogen can represent an alternative for decarbonisation

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU) signed an agreement on July 23 to formalise their cooperation on low-carbon hydrogen and to develop hydrogen supply chains, a first of its kind accord, the EBRD said. Work is focused on assisting the country’s stabilisation and anchoring its reforms by increasing energy efficiency and energy security, unlocking agricultural and industrial potential, providing quality infrastructure and strengthening the financial sector. We recognise the role of natural gas as one of the key energy sources and transition fuel on the path to carbon-free economy, which will remain significant for this transition period. The Bank recently launched a study on the potential for developing different segments of the hydrogen supply chain across many of the economies where it invests, including Ukraine. The EBRD and GTSOU previously signed a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2020 that would provide a general framework to improve the environment for sustainable energy investments in Ukraine and reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions, in particular methane fugitive emissions, and air pollution. As the operator of the gas transmission system, our task is now to prepare our infrastructure for the decarbonised energy markets of the future,” Makogon said. The EBRD regions are characterised by a growing renewable energy industry, which is expected to continue adding value to the domestic economies and contribute to green transition. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Ukraine to boost low-carbon hydrogen development with EU help

By New Europe Online/KG

An electrolyse stack in the hydrogen power plant of the APEX Energy company in Laage, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.

style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Germany bypasses EU, makes Nord Stream 2 deal with US

By Kostis Geropoulos
Energy & Russian Affairs Editor, New Europe

Pipelaying operations for Nord Stream 2 in German territorial waters. “Certification conditions of the Nord Stream 2 operator might become part of Russia-Ukraine-Germany trilateral negotiations on post 2024 transit of Russian gas across Ukraine as facilitation of the existing transit agreement extension is one of Germany’s commitments under the US-German agreement, whereby Gazprom’s commitment for post 2024 transit across Ukraine could facilitate certification process,” Yafimava argued. The headline is that Germany now holds Russia to good behavior concerning Ukraine and protects Ukraine’s sovereignty, the Moscow-based expert argued. After this week’s agreement, however, it seems his options are very limited,” Weafer said. “But that is yet to be clarified and Senator Cruz may still make a late bid to try and block the project. “After that there is no requirement for Russia to use the Ukraine transit route unless it strikes a new deal. Moscow has avoided making any comments about the dispute since early 2020 other than to give construction progress reports,” Weafer said. “The reality is that the Ukraine-Russia gas dispute has cost Ukraine billions of dollars in annual transit fees while Gazprom exports to Europe have grown, and will grow, substantially,” Weafer said, adding, “In the future, Kyiv will be beholden to Germany for its gas which is ironic in that it was the 2009 Ukraine-Russia dispute that created the opportunity for both Nord Stream pipelines, not to mention the progressing Turkish Stream 2 route snaking its way through the Balkans to Austria”. “Moscow will be happy that the uncertainty over the project now appears to be almost at an end. As part of the agreement, Germany has confirmed that it “will abide by both the letter and the spirit” of the Third Energy Package with respect to the German section of Nord Stream 2 pipeline, “to ensure unbundling and third-party access”, including “an assessment of any risks posed by certification of project operator” to the EU security of energy supply, the Oxford expert explained. “The question of when the pipeline will become operational and whether there will be any capacity restrictions is more complex and nuanced. follow on twitter @energyinsider Germany has committed to pay for an upgrade to the Ukraine pipeline network, although with no specific details, other than an estimate of cost at 200 million euros, announced as yet, and that will at least allow for a reverse flow from Germany after 2024 if required,” Weafer said. The amended Gas Directive, which is part of the Third Energy Package, requires the German regulatory authority to assess the operator’s compliance with one of the unbundling options set by the Directive and issue a certification decision to that effect. “While certification process is ongoing and it could take up to 10 months the German regulatory authority could allow gas flows to start on a provisional basis but just as well it may decide not to allow flows to start until certification process is complete,” Yafimava said, noting that its decision may also depend on the degree of tightness of the European gas market. That was cut to a 65 billion cubic meters “take or pay” deal for 2020 and is now cut to 40 billion cubic meters annually in 2021-2024, he said. Katja Yafimava, a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, told New Europe on July 22 removing the threat of sanctions, which could delay but not stop construction of Nord Stream 2, also makes it more likely that the issues around technical certification will be resolved swiftly. “It is logical to expect that the German regulatory authority will ultimately certify the operator of the German section of Nord Stream 2, but it is also likely that before doing so it will request Nord Stream 2 AG to make certain changes to its operatorship model, that would be deemed sufficient to ensure compliance with the Directive’s unbundling requirements and demonstrated that granting certification will not put at risk the EU security of energy supply,” Yafimava explained. The deal agreed in Washington is primarily aimed at appeasing the US Congress. Weafer opined that the White House is obviously hoping that these headlines will be enough to have Senator Ted Cruz, who is the principal opponent of Nord Stream 2, to now drop his objection to the Senate review of several important Administration staff and for a line to be finally drawn under this contentious issue. “It has long adopted the position that the dispute over Nord Stream 2 is between the two countries only. According to Yafimava, certification process can take up to 10 months and includes receipt of an opinion, which is not legally binding, of the European Commission, which in turn may consult the Agency for Cooperation of European Regulators (ACER) as well as interested parties. It does not mention Crimea and it does not commit Russia to extend the existing gas transit deal with Ukraine when it ends in 2024,” he said. Meanwhile, Chris Weafer, co-founder of Macro Advisory in Moscow, told New Europe on July 22 Russia will not have an issue with the agreement between Germany and the US. In reality, the deal announced in Washington, places no additional restrictions or burden on Moscow. According to the London-based expert, the German regulatory authority will have to walk a thin line in issuing a certification decision as it will be closely watched by the EU Commission and those member states that are not happy about Nord Stream 2 in any form or shape, and its certification decision will have to be robust enough to withstand a potential legal challenge. Recall that Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, at peak, used to transit over 120 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe via Ukraine. Given that the agreement is between Germany and the US rather than between the EU and the US, it is the German regulatory authority – and not the EC – that will play a key role in stipulating a regulatory regime for Nord Stream 2 under German jurisdiction through certification of the Nord Stream 2 operator rather than through an exemption,” Yafimava said. He reminded that Cruz represents the US state of Texas that would like to sell a lot more gas to Europe. GAZPROM/FILE PICTURE

No American sanctions gives pipeline the Big Go

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An agreement reached between Washington and Berlin this week effectively removed a threat of sanctions against the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany bypassing Ukraine, making it highly likely that the pipeline construction will be finalized by autumn. The agreement in Washington does not require Russia to do so. “It will not be able to do so, as easily or with the hope for higher price, when Nord Stream 2 is brought online,” Weafer argued.