Most drivers from Serbia are in fact traveling short distances to visit or supply Serbian communities inside Serb-majority northern Kosovo. At the onset of the crisis, KFOR had stated that it increased the number and duration of its routine patrolling activities all around Kosovo. The European Union’s Balkan envoy, Miroslav Lajcak, organized two days of bilateral talks in Brussels and announced a deal on September 30, which he posted in full on Twitter:
1. Military activity had increased
Both Serbia and KFOR (the NATO-led multinational Kosovo Force) military operations had increased significantly over the past week but there have been no engagements between the sides. Violence reported so far included attacks against a vehicle registration office as well as several other Kosovo Interior Ministry buildings in Serb-majority northern Kosovo on September 25. On October 21, Kosovar and Serbian officials will form a working group chaired by the EU and start working toward a permanent solution that will be presented within six months to the high-level format of the Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue. For its part, Serbia had also begun military maneuvers near the border and sent military jets on sorties above the two currently closed crossings in northern Kosovo as a form of protest. In the shadow of the upcoming EU-Balkans Summit
This activity on the Kosovo-Serbia border occurred just prior to a scheduled EU-Balkan Summit set for October 6, while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was making her three-day tour of six Balkan countries, which began on September 28. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Kosovo-Serbia tensions fading after deal reached

By Alec Mally
Director for Global Economic Affairs at IPEDIS

Example of existing Kosovo license plate issued in Pristina

By Dickelbers – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35413328

Two days of talks on license plates in Brussels delivers a deal

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The slow-motion crisis between Kosovo and Serbia over automobile license plates that began with little notice on September 20 escalated into a tense show of military force on both sides of the countries’ common border until a deal was reached September 30 after two days of negotiations in Brussels. From October 4, a sticker will replace the removal of the license plates of cars registered in Kosovo and Serbia as a temporary measure until a permanent solution is identified;
3. Her regional tour was designed to show high-level European Commission concern for the region and upcoming Enlargement plans, as well as to generate momentum and media support, but it appears the Kosovo-Serbia escalation shifted at least some of the focus from the Enlargement discussions. Special police units located at the joint border crossings in Jarinje and Brnjak will leave and remove barricades on October 2, while members of the NATO-led KFOR stabilization force will deploy at the two crossings before the start of the withdrawal of the police and the removal of barricades, remaining there for two weeks to ensure security;
2. EU diplomacy delivers
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, otherwise on good terms with top Serbian leaders, visited Kosovo on September 27 and criticized Serbia’s “theatrical military maneuvers”, explaining that the “only solution is dialogue.” Also on September 27, Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti repeated an offer for both countries to lift the rule on temporary license plates. These measures were said by the Pristina government to be in retaliation for steps Serbia took regarding license plates back in 2008 when Kosovo formally declared its independence, since Belgrade did not recognize that status nor Pristina’s authority to issue Kosovo-based license plates. Violence over the issue remained extremely limited and military de-escalation will be completed in several phases over the next two weeks. A “crisis” about car registration documents
This crisis began on September 20 when Kosovar authorities required all drivers from Serbia entering Kosovo to use temporary printed 60-day registration details.

A third start-up is expected within the next few months, with the Ndungu Early Production in the Western area of Block 15/06. Further to Block 15/06, Eni is the operator of exploration Blocks Cabinda North, Cabinda Centro, 1/14 and 28, as well as of the New Gas Consortium (NGC). style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>ENI achieves start-up from Cabaca North project deep offshore Angola

By New Europe Online/KG

An oil rig of Italian energy giant ENI. In addition, ENI has stakes in the non-operated Blocks 0 (Cabinda), 3/05, 3/05A, 14, 14 K/A-IMI, 15 and in the Angola LNG. This is the second start-up achieved by ENI Angola in 2021, after the Cuica Early Production achieved in July. The Cabaca North development, with an expected peak production rate in the range of 15 kbopd, will increase and sustain the plateau of the Armada Olombendo, a zero-discharge, zero-process flaring FPSO with an overall capacity of 100 kbopd, ENI said. ENI/FILE PICTURE

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Italian energy giant ENI said on September 24 the company started production from Cabaca North development project, in Block 15/06 of the Angolan deep offshore, via the Armada Olombendo Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The start-up of Cabaca North is yet another example of how ENI Angola, in full cooperation with ANPG and partners, keeps creating value on Block 15/06 through its Infrastructure-Led Exploration strategy, generating a pipeline of fast-track subsea tie-backs, thus maximizing the utilization of existing facilities in the area in a sustainable manner, ENI said.   Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção (36.84%) and SSI Fifteen Limited (26.32%) compose the rest of the Joint Venture. Block 15/06 is operated by ENI Angola with a 36.84% share.

The UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy, taking place from September 22 to September 24 in virtual format, is the first UN gathering on energy since 1981. Firstly, a new project with the IEA will prepare zero emission energy roadmaps for countries dependent on coal. It is important that we address these issues at this moment of recovery and cooperate to accelerate the global energy transition,” he added. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>At UN, EU Commission announces three Energy Compacts

By New Europe Online/KG

The floating wind park WindFloat Atlantic. EDP RENEWABLES

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At the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy this week in New York, EU Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans and Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson presented three Energy Compacts in an effort to mobilise the investments necessary to reach universal energy access and to accelerate the clean energy transition around the world. Secondly, the EU will cooperate with IRENA to prepare Regional Energy Transition Outlooks for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe. It aims at accelerating the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 in support of the Decade of Action ahead of COP26. The three Compacts are strongly linked to EU’s climate and energy priorities, in particular universal energy access, just transition, and the promotion of renewable energy, including green hydrogen. On September 24, he was also due to participate in the leadership dialogue “Accelerating action to achieve universal energy access and net zero emissions”. The main outcomes of the dialogue will include a global roadmap based on the recommendations of the Working Groups to achieve universal global access by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050, and a series of “Energy Compacts” that present multi-stakeholder partnerships and voluntary commitments from Member States and non-state actors. In their roles as Energy Access Champion and Just Transition Champion in this UN process respectively, Timmermans and Simson highlighted the EU’s willingness to lead the global efforts to reach universal energy access by 2030 and accelerate the clean energy transition, and showed concretely how the European Green Deal plays a role on the global stage. In both keynote interventions, they outlined the European Green Deal ambition to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and to achieve a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions emissions in the EU by 2030, presented in an ambitious package of legislative proposals on July 14. “Clean energy is more affordable now than ever, so the time is ripe to break the global dependence on fossil fuels,” Timmermans, said. “Recovery from the pandemic gives us an opportunity to transition faster and to build new energy systems based on renewables. On the first day of the High-Level Dialogue, Timmermans delivered a speech during the panel on “Energy as a golden thread: a means to deliver on domestic and international priorities and goals”. “We are inviting other donors, International Financial institutions and investors to take these steps with us, to turn roadmaps and strategies into projects which bring clean energy and sustainable jobs,” she said. This will be designed to give a boost to green hydrogen worldwide, including a commitment to cooperate on renewable hydrogen development with the African Union in the framework of the Africa-Europe Green Energy Initiative, the Commission said. The roadmaps and regional energy transition outlooks to be developed by the IEA and IRENA with targeted countries and regions will provide opportunities for guiding EU’s further energy policy orientations and investment cooperation. The High-Level Dialogue is structured around five themes, supported by global champions, including Timmermans on energy access and Simson on enabling the SDGs through inclusive and just energy transitions. They will provide a thorough analysis of the regions’ potential and options in terms of renewable energy, energy efficiency, infrastructure, energy access and cross-border cooperation, as well as an assessment of investment needs and socio-economic impact, the Commission said, adding that they will include concrete policy recommendations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal on energy, in line with the 1.5 degree Paris objective. The Compacts will contribute to achieving the global clean energy transition and complement the EU’s commitments on climate finance, the Commission said. On September 22, Simson intervened with a speech at the session “Knowledge into Action: Advancing a just and inclusive energy transition that also addresses achieving universal energy access”. The roadmaps and outlooks will also support the Africa-EU Green Energy Initiative, to be launched next year. The roadmaps will propose inclusive pathways for energy system decarbonisation that ensure a just, socially fair transition that leaves nobody behind, while ensuring security of energy supply and growing energy access, the Commission said. For her part, Simson reminded that the EU is supporting the global dialogue on just transition based on the bloc’s own experience in moving away from coal. The Commission announced the three UN Compacts in partnership with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Thirdly, the EU Commission will work with Denmark, Germany, IRENA and other partners on a Green Hydrogen Compact Catalogue.

In the first half of 2021 there was more use of the so-called dirty energy than greener forms of energy for the whole of Germany which is discouraging,” Filis said, adding, “The same goes with the drastic rise of natural gas gas prices, of energy prices in a period when we thought we wouldn’t face that challenge of the cost as we have secured a long-term low price for the European market”. Each Member State will be able to focus on the sectors with the biggest energy efficiency potential, be it housing or industry,” Simson said, arguing that the EU’s renewables and energy efficiency policy in the context of what is currently happening on the EU energy markets. follow on twitter @energyinsider Reaching net zero does not only require green energy, but also using less energy overall. The July package included two dedicated energy proposals: updating the renewable energy and energy efficiency directives. We must keep investing in wind and solar to make affordable green energy available to all. “This is a global development, with most countries affected, regardless of their location or market arrangements,” she said. Focusing on the Mediterranean region, Constantinos Filis, director of research at Institute of International Relations, told New Europe in Athens, Greece, the big challenge for the countries’ turn to green energy and a green economy is the cost. Now is a good time to take advantage of the available EU and domestic recovery funds and prioritize renovation and other energy efficiency measures,” she said. In July, the Commission proposed the historic Fit for 55 package to deliver the Green Deal, which Simson discussed with the national energy ministers on September 22. Renewables are already today in the EU usually the cheapest source of power. They also called for the establishment of a centralised European platform to buy gas and start to build up strategic gas reserves, countering the bloc’s exposure to fluctuating international markets. Spain’s proposals include restricting the participation of certain traders in the EU carbon market, warning of the risk that “financial speculation rather than real factors drives prices up too quickly,” Reuters reported. “With the Renewable Energy Directive revision, the EU provides a complete framework for renewable deployment. “Getting to our new climate goals of course means ramping up the energy targets as well: We need 40% of renewables in our energy mix by 2030, not 32% as is the current objective. “In addition to the new EU headline energy efficiency target, we propose to increase the annual energy savings obligation to 1.5%. We also need to take energy efficiency seriously,” she said. “As long as the costs remain high, there are second thoughts as we saw for instance in Germany. On September 21, Spain’s Economy Minister Nadia Calvino and Energy and Environment Minister Teresa Ribera sent a letter to the EU Commission, saying member states should not need to improvise ad hoc measures every time markets malfunction. The European Commission is facing calls to investigate Gazprom, after Members of the European Parliament reportedly sent a letter on September 16 to Simson and the EU’s anti-trust chief Margrethe Vestager, saying they suspected the Russian gas giant of market manipulation. “But we have all together agreed to achieve these objectives, as we know that there is no alternative – we are already beginning to see the cost of inaction in Europe and around the globe and it is steep. “More generally however, social impacts and addressing energy poverty is regularly mentioned in Council conclusions or common positions, when discussing energy policy,” the EU official said. “I know that for my colleagues in the Member States, this is a challenging collection of measures. EUROPEAN COUNCIL

Spain wants EU Council deeds, not words

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As electricity prices increase across the EU, the bloc’s energy and transport ministers met in Slovenia this week to discuss measures to help lower the energy transition cost and keep prices in check. The size of the package is unprecedented and the proposals are strongly interlinked, not to mention the overall ambition to deliver a 55% cut in emissions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050,” the EU Energy Commissioner said. We are in particular focusing on areas where progress remains moderate: buildings, industry, and transport,” she added. Despite concerns that high power surges could delay plans for energy transition across the European Union, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson put up a brave face, telling ministers on September 22 in the long run, the solution is more renewables and more energy efficiency. “We also need to take energy efficiency seriously. Simson said a combination of factors, but mostly high natural gas prices and the increasing post-crisis demand, caused electricity prices to increase across the EU. An EU official told New Europe on September 22 the Council does not have a common position on the current increase of energy prices. The increase in electricity prices is creating a lot of concerns and debate in Europe. “The issue of current energy prices was raised at yesterday’s (September 21) General Affairs Council, a member state, supported by others asked it to be added to the agenda of the upcoming European Council meeting on October 21-22. It is the only real solution to energy poverty and the best antidote to growing energy bills – using less energy means paying for less energy. As part of the July package, the EU Commission has proposed the new Social Climate Fund that would use the ETS revenues to balance the impact of the energy prices, providing funding for renovation and renewables projects as well as direct support to consumers. Simson told a press conference on September 22 the EU has to lessen its dependence on imported fossil fuels. In Spain, wholesale electricity prices have more than trebled since December, sparking a political blame game, Reuters reported, adding that the government moved last week to cap prices and limit power companies’ profits. Now is the time to deliver what we have committed to,” he added. Today’s situation underlines that we have to end our dependence on foreign, volatile fossil fuels as soon as possible,” the EU Energy Commissioner said. “Today’s situation underlines that we have to end our dependence on foreign volatile fossil fossils fuels as soon as possible. And we need to save 9% more energy than we would with our current plans,” Simson said. This will be for the President of the European Council to decide,” the EU official said, referring to the Spanish government’s request to include a European debate on the energy market in the Council’s agenda due to the increase in electricity prices. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU spiking electric prices live wire, no one conducting answers

By Kostis Geropoulos
Energy & Russian Affairs Editor, New Europe

EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson gives a press conference following the Informal meeting of Energy and Transport Ministers, in Kranj, Slovenia, September 22, 2021. According to Simson and EU Transport Commissioner Adina Valean electrifying the European transport sector is one of the keys to the EU’s success. However, Simson said that regardless of the temporary hike of the electricity prices, in the long run, the solution is clear: “We need more renewables and we need to improve our energy efficiency.

However, Biden’s well-received UNGA address promising “relentless diplomacy” and describing the use of military power as a “tool of last resort,” was not matched in the way of presidential-level American engagement with world leaders in New York, as President Biden spent barely a full 24-hour cycle – he stayed one night – in New York. President Biden’s New York UNGA-related meetings in New York included UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on September 20, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison – in connection with the new AUKUS alliance and submarine deal, and Iraq’s President Barham Selah. Biden has long been considered a multilateralist and strong UN supporter, so little of this came as a surprise to the global community. Blame the schedulers? style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>President Biden’s short UN General Assembly visit raises questions

By Alec Mally
Director for Global Economic Affairs at IPEDIS. Biden’s defenders point out, quite accurately, that Biden knows many of the world’s top leaders from his service as Vice President and thus needs few if any of the “get acquainted” sessions Trump required in 2017. Joseph R. President of United States of America Joe Biden Addresses General Assembly Debate

UN Photo Digital Asset Management System

This year’s General Assembly session is a yawner, but many worry about Biden’ short stay in New York

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President Joe Biden’s first address to the 76th UN General Assembly (UNGA) on September 21 provided the world with an almost infinite supply of fresh-sounding US policy pronouncements that emphasized global cooperation, a stark contrast compared with Donald Trump’s “America-first” approach. After returning to Washington on September 21, Biden then presided over a White House bilateral with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Encouraged by Biden’s extremely positive messages that the US would be “using the power of our development aid to invest in new ways of lifting people up around the world” and the US would be “renewing and defending democracy,” those world leaders and foreign ministers who actually came to New York this year were left with few options other than to attempt to discuss the new US’ approach with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his team in New York. Nevertheless, the spectacle of the rushed US Afghanistan withdrawal, Biden’s noticeably short New York stay and European fury over the Australian submarine deal all combine to project an image of US disengagement or impotence, even without throwing the critical issues of Iran, China, and climate change into the mix. Supporters of Trump have pointed out – in almost exuberant terms – how then-incoming President Trump devoted close to a full week at the UNGA back in 2017 with a packed schedule of meetings. Blinken developed a reputation in his early months in office for being overly focused on Europe, not global issues, and for frequently dashing off to meetings in Europe even as the situation in Afghanistan came apart in full view of senior US officials. These included bilateral meetings with leaders of Israel, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, The Palestinian Authority, the UK, France, Slovakia and, of course, the UN Secretary-General.   While most world leaders understand Biden’s priorities are overwhelmingly domestic in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and that energies must be focused on those issues, his short New York stay raises inevitable questions about US global engagement and Biden’s fitness for office. It should not be forgotten that many foreign visitors to the New York UNGA will find their path to Washington after their UN speeches for bilateral meetings with senior US officials and Congress. Biden Jr., President of the United States of America, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-sixth session.

The EBRD Energy Compact is based on the flagship EBRD Green Cities programme designed to introduce bottom-up planning through Green Cities Action Plans for green priority investments for cities. Under this pledge, the EBRD commits itself to almost double investments in EBRD Green Cities’ priority investments to around €1.9 billion by end-2023 from €1.011 million as of August 2021. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EBRD funding to bring green and reliable energy to cities

By New Europe Online/KG

Winter view of Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan. With cities growing but their leaders aware of the need to slow the pace of climate change, a key task for planners is to work out how to provide energy to expanding urban populations without aggravating climate problems or worsening air quality. This applies particularly to cities around the EBRD regions – central and eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the southern and eastern Mediterranean,” Parshad said. “When it comes to addressing the climate emergency, cities must be front and centre: they account for over 70 per cent of global emissions, and the megatrend towards urbanization especially in the developing world, will place even more focus – quite rightly so – on the need for clean air, decarbonised urban transportation, and green and reliable energy access for all,” she said. FILE PICTURE

Focus on Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Southeast Mediterranean

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched on September 22 its own Energy Compact to support the energy transition, focussed on investments within its flagship urban sustainability programme, EBRD Green Cities. Solving these problems in a multi-faceted way was the inspiration behind the EBRD Green Cities programme, set up in 2016, which aims to help cities identify, prioritise and tackle these urban challenges to create more sustainable living spaces, the EBRD said, adding that it has proved so popular that, in its first five years, it has grown to include 49 cities. In the same period, the number of Green City Action Plans – the plans each city draws up after joining the programme, identifying priority environmental issues to address – is to rise to 50 from 19 currently completed, the EBRD said. These include planning and financing aimed at forwarding SDG7, such as improving energy efficiency in buildings, supporting green urban mobility, water, waste management and digitalisation of city services. “The numerous challenges they face include insufficient infrastructure investment, demographic changes and poor air quality, all linked to a historical legacy of high energy and carbon intensity,” she added. The Dialogue is preceded by three days of multi-stakeholder pre-summit events. The Compact is a response to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, which aims to provide clean and affordable energy for all, the bank said. On September 24 in New York, the UN is hosting a High-Level Dialogue on Energy, whose outcomes will include a global roadmap towards the achievements of SDG 7 by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050, as well as a series of Energy Compacts from member states and non-state actors such as the EBRD. The annual impact of Green Cities investments already translates into significant energy savings, estimated to be 2.4 million Gigajoules annually. EBRD Sustainable Infrastructure Group Managing Director Nandita Parshad announced the EBRD Energy Compact for Green Cities at an event on September 22 and stressed the importance of the focus on energy.

“Fuel irradiation in a commercial reactor is an important step for the further commercialization of this product. ATF development is the major global trend in nuclear power industry, which is aimed at bringing the safety of nuclear power plants to the new level, practically eliminating the probability of accidents with negative impact for the environment,” he added. Since 2018, Rosatom has been testing Russian-designed ATF for VVER and PWR reactors. These technological solutions enable to either completely eliminate or significantly slow down the zirconium-steam reaction in the reactor core in case of an accident in the reactor core. According to Rosatom, each of the three combined VVER-1000 fuel assemblies of the TVS-2M model contains twelve experimental fuel rods: six of them have their cladding made of chromium-nickel alloy, and the other six have a standard zirconium alloy cladding with chromium coating. The experimental assemblies, which have passed two full irradiation cycles in the MIR research reactor, contain fuel rods with four different combinations of cladding and fuel matrix materials: in addition to uranium dioxide, uranium-molybdenum alloy with high thermal conductivity has been also used for fuel pellets fabrication. For irradiation in a high-capacity reactor, the project team chose the conservative versions of the developed ATF fuel rods with a standard fuel matrix of uranium dioxide. After two irradiation cycles, all fuel rod remain hermetically sealed. “We express our gratitude to Rosenergoatom and Rostov NPP for the efficient interaction with Rostekhnadzor and, for our part, we will continue our close cooperation with the regulator for licensing of the further irradiation cycles. Prior the start of the pilot ATF irradiation, the join team of specialists from the Fuel, Machine-building and Power divisions coordinated by Rosatom State Corporation, carried out a large-scale work for validation of loading of the innovative fuel bundles into a commercial reactor, in order to comply with the appropriate license from the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision Rostekhnadzor, Rosatom said. ROSATOM

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Russia’s state atomic corporation Rosatom said on September 20 the first Russian-made fuel bundles with experimental ATF fuel rods (Advanced Technology Fuel) have been loaded into VVER-1000 reactor core at the power unit 2 of the Rostov NPP in southwest Russia, which has resumed operations after the scheduled maintenance and refueling. Based on the research results, it is planned to choose the optimal combination of structural and fuel materials, taking into account technical and economic performance. It is symbolic that this landmark milestone is achieved on the days when TVEL Fuel Company celebrates its 25th anniversary,” TVEL Fuel Company President Natalia Nikipelova said.   Nikipelova noted that some ATF options with alternative fuel matrix could also make operations more economically efficient without increasing the level of uranium enrichment. “According to international analysts, this product will dominate the global market in a relatively short term,” she said. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Rosatom starts ATF operation at Rostov NPP in Southwest Russia

By New Europe Online/KG

Advanced Technology Fuel rods. It corresponds with the global practice, as the existing ATF development programs worldwide also suggest that introduction of the new fissile and structural materials should be carried out gradually. Research, design and testing of the accident tolerant fuel in TVEL Fuel Company is provided and coordinated by the Bochvar Institute of Inorganic Materials.

The democratic world is being challenged by authoritarian rulers in Russia and China. He should be better positioned for the next election, though this cannot be said of Trudeau. This is not just a role to be dominated by the United States. Canada’s commitment to key organizations such as the G7 and NATO remains steadfast and undoubted. Such efforts would show the populace that there is an alternative form of practicing politics, but most importantly, that politics need not be corrupt. After the expenditure of over $600 million (CDN), the end result was virtually the same as it was when parliament was dissolved. It must contribute and provide examples of how to implement “transparency” measures in the daily operations of government. Canadian flag waving with Parliament Buildings hill and Library in the background

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Though it is hard to say, the recent election in Canada was a waste of money. Canada must help Ukraine to develop a fair, transparent, and lawful form of political funding of these parties. The only purpose for Trudeau to call an early election was to take advantage of his public image and to obtain a majority before his photogenic facade began to wilt and the electorate’s patience with him ended as his leadership continued. On another front, the relationship with the United States, which is always at the forefront in Canadian minds, is stable despite the vast disparity between the Trump administration in style and ideological approach. In Ukraine, Canada is a place that is normal, law-abiding, peaceful, and a place where those who want can fulfill their economic ambitions for their families. Though statistically the ruling Liberals and the opposition Conservatives remained statistically tied till election day according to the polls, Erin O’Toole, the leader of the opposition Conservatives who was running for the first time as leader, was not able to gain the electorate’s confidence. Over 70% of voters believed the election should not have been called, a belief that remained throughout the election period. Throughout Canada, there are many regions where Ukrainians were the first settlers and who worked hard to build farmsteads, to develop communities, and social institutions. By not actively “exporting” its experiences and expertise to others, such as institution building, its example of political stability, the sovereignty of law, the commitment to a just and fair society, an example of tolerance and the independence of courts, amongst others, the world is made less safe. Polakiwsky's work regularly appears in the Kyiv Post and The Atlantic Council as well as in Ukraine's Novoya Vremya and Liga.net. Canada has to be more aggressive in influencing the actions of the Ukrainian government towards fulfilling these goals. Based in Kyiv, he covers Ukrainian affairs for New Europe and is a noted commentator and lecturer on geopolitical issues. It must vehemently apply more pressure on Ukraine to transform and not reform its governing institutions. The second being that, usually in Canadian politics when a leader exhibits such political opportunism, both he and his party are electorally punished for their arrogance. However, under Trudeau, Canada’s place and example in the world as a soft power player has diminished. It must pressure high-level politicians to act towards the furtherance of democratic society building without compromise. The Liberal party won most of the seats, but not enough for a majority that would have propelled Trudeau to a further guaranteed five years in power. A democratic rules-based order, accompanied by the expansion of free markets unstained by corruptive influence, are proven ingredients and frameworks for economic expansion. Canada must more actively participate within Ukraine’s body politic. Russian gas transits and loans to fledging and financially starved governments by the Chinese are roads to serfdom. For many, this is very disappointing because Canada is respected and looked upon both as an example of a just and tolerant society and whose values are deemed to be emulated. Patience with Trudeau, especially his “style”, is dissipating. Though the election accomplished little in terms of providing a fresh governing mandate, the process did reveal two surprises, the first being a growing division within the electorate; a number of campaign events had to be cancelled because protesters threw gravel at the prime minister. The world’s democracies must not only take note of the deliberate strategic steps that both Russia and China are trying to institute on world institutions, and on those countries attempting to become democratic, but must act pro-actively in advocating for democratic principles and confidently recalibrate both their rhetorical strengths and practical actions in promoting the development of democratic institutions based on the dignity of human individuals. And in another way, it would export the best of Canada, reigniting the notion of the efficacy of a “soft power” approach to a fledgling democracy. Focusing on e-government. Canadians can be a weary lot when politicians take them for granted and they are not above punishing them. Inspired by this historic fact, it’s time that Canada takes on this perspective in regards to Ukraine. It must not only encourage these efforts, but must also use its credibility to scold when needed. It must provide and demand that leading experts be embedded in ministries to help in their establishment along the lines of democratic principles. But rather than passively accept this challenge, the world’s leading democracies must aggressively take on both Moscow and Beijing in providing a rules-based world order. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Canada’s election and its meaning for Ukraine

By Yuri Polakiwsky
Canadian-born political commentator specializing in foreign policy. Despite its flaws, Canada’s example and its motto of, “peace, order and good government” are worthy to be emulated. Though Ukraine is not Canada, Ukraine is yearning for “peace, order and good government”. It must not only present suggestions at building rule of law institutions, which it does, but also apply more vociferous criticisms when these efforts move at a snail’s pace. The steadfast nature of the relationship between the two countries remains and good relations are assumed, despite the differing roles that each country plays in the world. That said, there was virtually no mention of foreign policy during the election. But as Ukraine is attempting to build a rules-based society, Canada has not contributed as much as it is capable of doing in its support of Ukraine’s institution or even nation-building. If Canada implemented some of these approaches, it would not be considered a form of colonialism, but a goodwill effort by one of its closest friends. That is why Canada’s reduced place in the mindset of the world is troubling. The issue of climate change has been strenuously debated in Canada. Ukraine still does not have ideologically-based parties. In Ukraine, this means that Canada must use its established and credible voice to provide encouragement for a fledgling democratic society in its quest for the establishment and development in the building of strong and stable governing institutions. Ukrainians need expertise as to how to build a culture of democratic, ideologically-based political parties. The relationship between Canada and Ukraine is “special”, and for many Ukrainians, the former is seen as a promised land. Ottawa must also send politicians and political experts, in addition to funding political party-building efforts. Though he showed his ability to present a centrist line, an effort that challenged his fealty to uncompromising conservative values within his party, he did escape Justin Trudeau’s attempt to demonize him. There is no question that Canada’s largest city, Toronto, is the greatest example of how people of various races, religions, and cultures can live in peace and harmony. Canadians have the expertise to help develop this type of political rules making.

The question, then, is ‘why has Germany appointed him as the High Representative in Bosnia?”
Germany’s policy towards Bosnia, exercised mostly through the institutions of the European Union, has continuously been based on the concept of the country’s ethnic partition. In stark contrast, the European Union has since the notorious Lisbon Conference of February 1992 steadfastly taken the position that Bosnia and Herzegovina should be partitioned along ethnic lines. The increasing aggressiveness of Serbia and Croatia can only be interpreted as a consequence of the EU’s intention to finish off Bosnia for good. Schmidt obviously perceives these individuals as his ideological brethren. Remarkably, this same idea has never stopped being a cornerstone for the foreign policy establishment in both Berlin and Brussels. Germany was not the first to propose the partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The phrases that we occasionally hear from the EU about the inviolability of state boundaries in the Balkans is just rhetoric adapted to the demands by the United States to keep these boundaries intact. Clear evidence of this recently emerged after the public release of the so-called Jansa non-paper, which envisages a final partition and dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina along ethnic lines. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Germany and its neo-imperial quest in Bosnia

By Zlatko Hadzidedic
Founder and director of the Sarajevo-based Center for Nationalism Studies

The unique cosmopolitan history of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo can be seen in the skyline of its old city center; a hodgepodge of Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian architecture that includes dozens of minarets as well as bell towers from both Serbian Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. As mentioned earlier in this article, Britain’s Lord Carrington was the first to float the idea of breaking Bosnia up along ethnic lines, For its part, successive German governments have never shown a will to distance themselves from this plan. This is nothing new. This is most likely the byproduct of powerful neo-conservative circles within the European institutions, including Schmidt’s Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), rather than from Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, whose own party is a minor player in Eastern Europe’s wave of anti-establishment center-right politics. Both during and after the war, the UK and France led initiatives to impose ethnic partition on the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. All of the crimes that ethnic Serbs and Croats committed during the war in the early 1990s have always had a certain degree of implicit approval from leading European countries. Facebook

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When rumors first began to swirl in January about the possible appointment of Christian Schmidt as Europe’s High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, I published a text under the headline ‘Has Germany lost its NATO compass?’. As a member of political circles that promote ethnoreligious partition as the only solution for multiethnic countries, Schmidt’s appointment is a testament to the fact that Germany has decided to act as Europe’s chief promoter of this policy
Serbia and Croatia, with their own extremist nationalist policies, can only act as proxies of the EU, as they will ultimately be charged with carrying out the physical implemenation of Bosnia’s destruction as a state. The European Union has also stuck with a partition policy for Bosnia. With Schmidt’s now being handed the portfolio of Brussels’ man in Bosnia, the process of permanently breaking up the country has moved into a new, and far more critical, phase
It is high time for the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to abandon any illusions about the true intentions of the European Union and reject its newest Trojan Horse. In the story, I announced that Schmidt was appointed to help Dragan Covic, the leader of Croatia’s conservative HDZ party, to disrupt the constitutional structure of Bosnia and create the preconditions for the Serb and Croat dominated territories of Bosnia to secede, which would ultimately spark the final dissolution of the country. At that conference, Lord Carrington and Jose Cutileiro, the official representatives of the then-European Community, which later became the European Union, drew up new territorial borders based on the ethnoreligious partitioning of Bosnia after countless genocidal and ethnic cleansing crimes had already been committed. These borders, as we know them today, have so far only remained viable and stable due to the Americans’ staunch effort to preserve them. Schmidt has said that he “proudly wears and shares” the award, which has over the years been given to several Croatians that were convicted of war crimes committed during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia. He’s been recognized by The Croatian government has even decorated him with the Order of Ante Starcevic, a medal that is granted to Croats and foreigners for their contributions to the development of the Croatian state. When one takes into consideration that more than 100,000 people had been killed and at least 1,000,000 were expelled during the war, the end result was that the situation on the ground was roughly identical to the boundaries on their maps. I can hardly add anything new to this discussion other than to say that Schmidt’s recent statements at the recent German Atlantic Conference fully confirmed my claims that his role in Bosnia is to act as Covic’s ally in the latter’s attempts to shred the Bosnian Constitution. Germany has now taken up their role. Schmidt is a person with a heavy burden as someone who has continuously promoted Croatia’s national interests. Neither Germany nor the European Union has ever distanced themselves from a policy that they promoted for Bosnia nearly 30 years ago, despite the grave consequences that followed.

The committee’s extensive findings clearly showed that the Greek public sector was the lowest spender among its then 27 European Union counterparts (apart from defense-related expenditures). CADTM reports that from 2005 to 2014, the richest 1% of Lebanon’s population captured 23% of income and 40% of the total personal assets, while the poorest 50% had to share half of the income of the top 1%. The second reason is corruption through existing financial channels. Beirut governor said at least 200 people were killed in the explosion on 04 August and dozens are still missing. In the case of Lebanon, currently facing a financial and economic crisis ranked by the World Bank as possibly among the top three most severe global crises episodes since the mid-19th-century, one of the key lessons from the Greek experience is the importance of understanding the cause. It must also be stated that the burden of the debt restructuring is highly regressive, hurting smaller depositors, the bulk of the labor force, and smaller businesses. This is because Greek banks had accumulated private debt (in the form of loans) to the tune of about €100 billion. The people of a country whose debt was fully or partially illegal and illegitimate may choose to repudiate such debt or hold accountable those persons and institutions responsible. Hence, Lebanon needs an independent committee on the truth of its debt. In order to fully understand Lebanon’s debt crisis, it is not sufficient to simply examine the remedial measures suggested by the International Monetary Fund. This further supports the popular myth that people in the south of Europe are lazy, take long siestas, aspire to be civil servants, and that their governments are corrupt. EPA-EFE//ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU
Public debt in Lebanon
At the time of the default in March 2020, Lebanon’s public debt had reached over $90 billion, equivalent to around 170% of its gross domestic product, with close to 37% of the debt in foreign currency. According to reports, anti-government protests continued in Lebanon despite the resignation of three ministers and several members of the parliament, as protesters are demanding the resignation of the government and all those responsible for the port explosion be held accountable. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Lebanon’s public debt default

By Ilias Bantekas
Professor of International Law and Arbitration, College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University. First, Lebanon’s commercial banks are allowed to speculate (with hard currency remitted by the overseas diaspora) on sovereign debt instruments denominated in Lebanese pounds at interest rates much higher than those granted by the Lebanese Central Bank. According to the Committee on the Abolition of Debt (CADTM), two key reasons are put forward. So, why did it shoot through the roof the following year? If anyone looks solely at Lebanon’s default and its restructuring process, one misses the true picture, and the entitlement of the Lebanese people, which is an integral part of fiscal self-determination. It now had a newly discovered debt of €100 billion, no access to financial markets, and the prospect of high-interest borrowing rates. No person of sound mind would mortgage their house simply because a bank told the owner he had incurred a debt of which he was unaware. Even so, these facts were buried under the popular narrative and the committee was discredited even in Greece. As a result of this incredible nationalization, which is irrational both financially as well as politically, Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio skyrocketed and its creditworthiness declined to the depths of the Aegean Sea. This is the very least the Lebanese people can demand. People have the right to be free from all kinds of illegal, illegitimate, and odious debt, even if incurred under the banner of the state. At the time, Greek banks had largely been acquired by French and German banks and hence the private (and now unsustainable) debt of Greek banks was about to become a Franco-German problem. EPA-EFE/NABIL MOUNZER

EPA-EFE//NABIL MOUNZER

The Greek experience shows the cause is as important as the remedy

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The nature and causes of sovereign debt differ from one country to another. Instead of this happening, the then-Greek prime minister was ‘convinced’ to nationalize Greek banks and thus transform a purely private debt into a public one. A look at the Greek experience
At the time of Greece’s sovereign debt crisis, the popular narrative was that successive Greek governments had augmented the public sector and had exceeded their finances. The origins of a country’s debt are far more important because it tells us how the debt was accumulated and by whom. The truth about how and why Lebanon reached the current debt crisis, including its suspension of a $1.2 billion Eurobond payment in March 2020, must precede any step toward recovery and restructuring under current solvency conditions. Hundreds of thousands of Greeks were forced into poverty as a result of the country’s 2015 economic crisis, which saw the country’s debt-to-GDP skyrocket and its creditworthiness crater. It further confirms that key policy decisions have to do with the broader structure of powers in the country. In fact, until the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2008, Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio was one of the lowest in Europe and certainly sustainable. These high rates on government bonds and bank deposits severely restrict investments of capital in the productive economy. This is an obligation on the state. Since such a committee is not forthcoming, I can only speculate as to the origins of the Lebanese public debt. Unsurprisingly, Lebanon imports 80% of its food. The owner would first inquire about this debt and if he found that it was wrongly or unjustly incurred, he would refuse to pay it. Even so, an independent parliamentary committee set up in 2015 disproved this narrative. No restructuring process should commence before the truth about the debt takes place. By so doing, it was now the Greek taxpayer that was saddled with the debt and the ensuing austerity this entailed, while Greek banks were restructured (effectively re-financed) and France and Germany were relieved. epa08595570 Protesters wave a Lebanese flag during protests near the parliament in Beirut, Lebanon, 10 August 2020. Yet, the popular or engineered narrative of debt usually conceals its true origin or cause.

The European Union’s response to the AUKUS agreement was to postpone a planned EU-US technology meeting and to suspend negotiations on a new trade deal with Australia. “We don’t want a Cold War or a division of the world into power blocs.” Instead, he announced, “a new era of tireless diplomacy”. WIKIPEDIA

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In the nearly nine months since he took office, it has become apparent that the US and European Union will not immediately experience a transatlantic honeymoon under President Joe Biden. Following the November 2020 elections in the US, European politicians were ecstatic that the isolationist and populist presidency of Donald Trump had come to an end. Following the sub deal announcement, European politicians were reduced to discussing how to show solidarity with France. French President Emmanuel Macron will have to focus on his re-election bid next year at a time when public support for his presidency is lukewarm, at best. Anger in Europe about the close policy cooperation between the US, UK, and Australia remains palpable, but the initial plan that Britain would quickly conclude its own trade agreements with the Americans, Chinese and other countries after Brexit seems to be losing some steam. After the debacle of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, there were fears that Beijing’s rulers would test the United States’ loyalty to its allies in the Pacific region by attacking Taiwan, which the Chinese Communist Party claims as a region of the People’s Republic. Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign affairs chief, made clear that the trilateral agreement was not just a Franco-Australian issue, but one that concerned the entire EU. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>With the AUKUS pact, the US has opted to snub some of its European partners

By Otmar Lahodynsky
Ex-President of the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) and former European Editor of the Profil news magazine in Austria

The Australian Navy's soon-to-be obsolete Collins Class diesel submarine. Macron has at times flirted with emulating the pan-European/anti-Anglophone positions of his political hero, Charles de Gaulle. The deal that was struck with the United Kingdom and Australia is a major step towards building an anti-China alliance that, for now, excludes the US’ European allies, many of whom have outrightly refused or implicitly implied that they will not take a hard stance on the Chinese Communist Party’s geopolitical ambitions. On September 21, Biden received the leaders of Japan, India, and Australia to discuss initiatives for a “free and open Indo-Pacific region” – a clear message to China. The US continues to side with its allies. Once the American-British-Australian deal was announced to the world, Macron again spoke out in favor of an EU military that would be separate from NATO. France, home to the EU’s largest – and only nuclear-armed – military, is not in a position to take the cancellation of the submarine supply contract with Australia lightly. The British government now wants to reopen the Brexit agreement and no longer wants to accept controls on goods at the border with Northern Ireland, which is to remain in the EU’s internal market. The nuclear submarine deal between Washington and Canberra is one component of this newly enhanced partnership. If a transatlantic deal between London and the three countries listed above comes to pass, the EU will have to fundamentally redefine its approach towards the UK. Moving forward, the transatlantic relationship, which experienced so many lows during the Trump administration, appears to be on course for a less-than-rosy relationship with the Biden White House. After a recent meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Biden, a new bilateral free trade agreement seems to have receded for the time being, while at the same time the British media has started to report that London is now seeking to join the USMCA trade agreement that includes North America’s three largest economies – the US, Canada, and Mexico. Biden’s current foreign policy positions may have consequences for NATO. The hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan was carried out with little coordination with NATO and the surprise nuclear submarine deal between the US, UK, and Australia – which was carried out under the auspices of a trilateral security pact between the three nations, has infuriated several European nations, most notably France, which had signed a multi-billion dollar contract to supply far less powerful diesel-electric French submarines to the Royal Australian Navy. For the time being, it appears that things will not be repaired as quickly as many in Europe had hoped it would be. True to President Theodore Roosevelt’s motto “speak softly and carry a big stick”, Biden wants to push for a military build-up that is aimed at countering Xi Jinping’s China as he and the American foreign policy establishment view Beijing as their chief rival in the world. What they utterly failed to see, however, were the first signs that Biden was also planning to go it alone. For the EU, its insignificance on the world stage has once again become clear. Instead of carrying out years-long military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which failed to produce the hoped-for democratization of both countries, Biden hoped to put more of an emphasis on diplomacy and to mend fences with key allies after four years of Trump’s chauvinistic bullying when he addressed the UN General Assembly for the first time as president on September 21. Under the AUKUS security pact, Australia will receive much-needed nuclear technology to enhance its submarine fleet. Biden has shown that the United States still stands with its partners, while at the same time, the White House is eager to project a position of strength via Biden’s Quadrilateral Security Dialogue with Australia, India, and Japan. Macron’s renewed interest in Gaullist foreign and security policies is not unsurprising as France under de Gaulle and through to the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, withdrew from NATO’s integrated command to pursue a more accommodating partnership with Moscow and to develop an independent national security umbrella that was not connected to the Americans.

Those reforms, however, have not yet placated some of Kazakhstan’s most ardent critics in the EU and other key European institutions, including the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Unlike countries like Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, which have their own ethnically-tinged interests in Afghanistan’s affairs, Kazakhstan does not share a direct border with the “Islamic emirate” and is less exposed to the repercussions of developments inside the country. The most recent round of talks under the Astana process took place just this past July. By building on this track record and lending both logistical and diplomatic support to European efforts in the new-old Afghanistan, Kazakhstan could take another step forward in developing a mutually beneficial relationship with the EU. While engagement may be inevitable, the substance of any talks with the Taliban, and the channels by which they will take place, are of the utmost importance. Europe, for its part, will need to make its handling of Afghanistan’s neighbors a top diplomatic priority if it hopes to avoid a repeat of the 2015 refugee crisis. Europe may have lost a constructive, if a flawed, partner in Afghanistan’s fallen republic, but their relationships with Central Asian interlocutors such as Kazakhstan could offer the European Union and countries such as Germany and France an important avenue for protecting European interests in the region. Afghanistan’s “interim” cabinet is instead dominated by longtime leaders of the hardline militant movement, nearly all of them ethnic Pashtuns. Ignoring pressure from the international community to form an pluralistic ruling coalition in exchange for recognition, the new government announced last week flies in the face of the Taliban’s own promises of inclusion. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Will Central Asia serve as Europe’s bridge to Afghanistan? Kazakhstan was already a longstanding partner of the EU and of UN agencies operating in the country before the downfall of Afghanistan’s former government. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which evacuated its staff from Kabul in the chaotic first days of Taliban control over the Afghan capital, has now relocated to Kazakhstan and established a temporary base in the country’s economic capital, Almaty. In his speech to the heads of state attending this week’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed the establishment of an “SCO humanitarian hub” in Almaty in order to get international aid to Afghanistan. That gives Nur-Sultan more latitude to engage with its Western partners than neighboring Tashkent, for example, whose handling of Afghan military personnel seeking refuge from the Taliban was forced to strike a delicate balancing act between diplomatic pressure from Washington on the one hand and Kabul on the other. Delegations from Russia, Iran and Turkey hold a round of Syrian peace in January 2017 in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur Sultan (then known as Astana). The trilateral Syrian peace process bringing together Russia, Iran, and Turkey, for example, chose Kazakhstan’s capital (then known as Astana) as the location for their delicate negotiations, with the city also serving as host to a Syrian opposition conference in 2015. The country worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), for example, to welcome female Afghan students to Kazakh universities, with funding for the educational initiative provided by the European Union. The Afghan crisis, by compelling the EU to dedicate more diplomatic resources and attention to its longstanding partners in Central Asia, could represent a blessing in disguise for at least some of Afghanistan’s neighbors to the north by providing governments in these countries with further incentives to pursue reforms. Much as in 2015, the rapid collapse of Ashraf Ghani’s government has raised the prospect of yet another humanitarian crisis that could further radicalize European politics, even though EU governments – to quote Council of Europe commissioner for human rights Dunja Mijatovic – have “a moral and legal imperative to treat Afghans seeking protection fully in line with their human rights obligations.” As Heiko Mass admitted in Doha at the end of last month, “there is absolutely no way around talks with the Taliban… we cannot afford instability in Afghanistan.”
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. A number of PACE representatives, such as the German SPD deputy Frank Schwabe, Italian Senator Roberto Rampi from the country’s Democratic Party, or Icelandic Pirate Party deputy Thorhildur Sunna Ævarsdottir, have emerged as vocal critics of Kazakhstan, urging the EU in January 2020 to review trade co-operation with the country. Not a single woman was included on the list, although the EU’s financial sanctions list is quite prominently represented. So far, Kazakhstan has put itself forward as a fallback base for international organizations and personnel forced to flee Afghanistan in the face of the Taliban’s advance. Despite the fact that the Taliban takeover now presents “certain risks” for Kazakhstan, the country’s diplomatic positioning within Central Asia makes it Europe’s most straightforward partner in dealing with the regional implications of instability in Afghanistan. Nor would Afghanistan represent the first conflict in which Kazakhstan has put itself forward as an impartial mediator. Even as the Taliban thumb their noses at Western calls for moderation, European diplomats have already begun to admit they will have little choice but to negotiate with Afghanistan’s new rulers. In seeking closer ties with Europe, the country has already undertaken a number of political and economic reforms, with priority areas including the government’s handling of human rights issues and interactions with non-governmental organizations. By Nicholas Waller
Managing Editor

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Just over one month on from the fall of Kabul, Europe is still grasping for answers to the question of how to engage in diplomacy with a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

“There are no expectations of any progress,” Ellinas said. And earlier this month the Turkish Foreign Minister warned that if ExxonMobil returns to drill in Cyprus’ EEZ, Turkey will do the same. In that case we confront a very serious challenge not only as Greece but as European Union as a whole”. On the other hand, of course, there is no much time for the countries to lose. Greece is one of the pioneers in such initiatives. “Greece in theory but also in practice seems to be initiating or to be promoting initiatives which serve the purpose of a turn to greener forms of energy and a green economy,” Filis said. “Evidently for Turkey rapprochement does not mean abandonment of its untenable claims,” Ellinas said. Others are making limited and hesitant steps. According to Ellinas, this year’s abnormal floods and wildfires are also likely to be discussed at the summit, including measures being taken to address the problem, including EU’s help. Turning to migration flows in the East Mediterranean region, Filis said the consequences of the recent developments in Afghanistan mainly have to do with migration. With regards to energy in the East Med not much is happening other that US major ExxonMobil’s intention to return to Cyprus end of the year to drill an appraisal well at Glaucus in Block 10. He noted that both Greece and Cyprus may brief the meeting about Turkey’s most recent aggressive statements. They don’t have the luxury of delaying decisions. If they don’t make up their minds and if projects don’t start materializing then in five years from now it will be late,” he added. Ellinas noted that despite the fact that in Cyprus the cost of emission allowances is now hurting, and will hurt even more when the European Union’s Fit-for-55 package is adopted, it is only taking small steps to increase renewable energy. So, time is not on our side,” Constantinos Filis, director of research at Institute of International Relations, told New Europe by phone on September 17. The current hike in gas and electricity prices is likely to force change. “Indeed, there is a concern that human flows particularly from Afghanistan may multiply in the coming months. “In the latest, this week, in response to Greece’s plans to carry out maritime surveys in an area between Crete and Kasos, Turkey warned Greece that parts of this area belong to the Turkish continental shelf, as declared to the UN in March 2020, referring Greece again to the Turkey-Libya maritime memorandum,” Ellinas said. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades may brief the meeting about initiatives being taken to address climate change, involving use of experts to define new policies, but there is now an urgent need to move further into heeding Europe’s lead and implementing ambitious targets, Ellinas said. In a glimmer of some kind of advance the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will be seeing both Cypriot leaders in New York during the UN General Assembly but no date or agenda have been announced. “East Med is going to be affected in a hard way by the climate change which we now call climate crisis. “However, President Anastasiades may brief the meeting about the successful summit with Egypt first week of September where among other issues both sides agreed to study export of gas from Aphrodite by pipeline to Egypt. “But nothing much has really happened since July when Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots announced the opening of Varosha and reconfirmed their positions for a two-state solution in Cyprus,” he said. In July, Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu threatened to return back to offshore surveys and drilling in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) if there was no fair distribution of revenues, Ellinas said. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Time is not on our side: EUMed 9 leaders discuss climate crisis

By Kostis Geropoulos
Energy & Russian Affairs Editor, New Europe

Visit of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, to Greece

EUmed 9 leaders meet in Athens, Greece, September 17, 2021. “However, once the EU fully adopts its new climate change package, the East Med countries will follow suit. But, he argued, “It is probable if we see hundreds of thousands of Afghanis, more than the already 300,000 to 500,000 which are in Turkey, so if we see new flows of Afghanis on Turkish soil, (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan will channel them to Greece. Charles Ellinas, senior fellow, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council, told New Europe on September 17 the East Med countries have huge potential for green energy, and particularly solar. This is not the case for now,” he said. “We have to work hard and we have to realize that if we don’t do it in an effective way what we see now during the year is going to become a phenomenon that is going to take place more and more often,” he added. Having said that, the new government in Israel appears to be more determined to pursue a deeper environmental agenda, having announced an 85% decarbonization plan by 2050,” he said. “This means that the desire for hydrocarbons is not as much as it used to be in the previous years including Greece and maybe, only maybe this can serve as a catalyst not necessarily positive developments but at least in avoiding escalation of crises between states for the shake of securing hydrocarbons. He does not have time and the political luxury to sit down and negotiate with the Europeans whom he does not trust anyway. “But only Greece has so far made far-reaching commitments. But equally, the EU needs to pay attention to the legitimate problems the countries of the region have with the impact of energy transition on their economies, their populations and the cost of energy and seek pragmatic solutions,” he said. EUROPEAN UNION, 2021/EC – AUDIOVISUAL SERVICE/DATI BENDO

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ATHENS – The EUMed 9 summit begun in Athens today (September 17), focusing on stability in the eastern Mediterranean as well as efforts to tackle climate change and migration flows in the region. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen may reconfirm at the meeting EU’s strong support for a unified Cyprus and that the EU will not accept a two-state solution, Ellinas argued. Even though this is an inter-governmental accord, both sides agreed to progress it,” Ellinas said. It is putting its hopes in the import of liquified natural gas (LNG), which now appears to be delayed, he said. follow on twitter @energyinider Turning to the Cyprus problem, Anastasiades plans to brief the other participants about recent developments regarding the Cyprus problem, Ellinas said.

RA BOE/WIKIPEDIA

Plans to accelerate the ecological transition of airports

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Italian energy giant ENI and Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) signed on September 14 a strategic agreement to promote decarbonization initiatives in the aviation sector and accelerate the ecological transition of airports. This is further confirmation of our desire to make Fiumicino and Ciampino two of the most sustainable airports in the world. The agreement includes the development of decarbonization and digitalisation projects to boost the transition of ADR-managed airports to smart hubs. ENI has been producing Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) biofuel in its Venice and Gela bio-refineries since 2014 via its proprietary Ecofoning™ technology; it can also produce sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) from waste and plant-based raw materials using the same technology, ENI said in a press release. ADR, the leading Italian airport hub and best airport in Europe for the past there years, has been carbon neutral since 2013 and has committed to eliminating all its emissions by 2030. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>ENI and Aeroporti di Roma ink deal to develop biofuels for aviation

By New Europe Online/KG

The Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport in Rome. According to ENI, the company’s new “net zero carbon by 2050” strategy will enable it to provide a range of fully decarbonized products, combining environmental and financial sustainability. Our strong focus on sustainability, which has been recognised at a global level, has always been a driver of our development and is now very firmly integrated into our business,” he added. A notable feature of the agreement will see the introduction of sustainable fuels for aviation (SAF) and for ground handling (HVO) over the coming months. A joint programme for the development of sustainable mobility and distribution services to end customers will also be established, as well as energy integration projects in line with the most advanced transition and digitalisation models. The target has been endorsed by ACA 4+ accreditation and reinforced with the recent issue of a €500m sustainability-linked bond that directly links the cost of debt to the sustainability results achieved – a world first for an airport. “When leading Italian companies work together they can create and implement ambitious projects of the scale needed to ensure a genuine environmental transition and secure the revival of a strategically important sector for Italy such as aviation,” Aeroporti di Roma CEO Marco Troncone said. “We are ready to make our technology and low-carbon products available to the sector to help it make a recovery based on sustainability and innovation,” he said. “We are deeply committed to ensuring carriers have access to biofuels in the coming months, ahead of expectations. Key drivers in its path towards decarbonization include: the recent merger of the renewable and retail businesses, the development of biorefineries and biomethane production, and the sale of low-carbon energy carriers and mobility services at service stations. This will lead to lower CO2 emissions compared to fossil fuels. ENI Energy Evolution Chief Operating Officer Giuseppe Ricci noted that hic company began its business transformation in 2014, taking an active and leading role in promoting the circular economy, the development of innovative technologies and sustainable mobility, all based on a synergistic blend of solutions that minimise environmental impact and boost efficiencies.

“But we call for that same leadership on setting out how China will get there. It is the authority on the science of climate change. “We saw floods in Belgium and Germany. And change is already happening. And we will make sure that higher climate ambition comes with more social ambition. The Commission President noted that major economies – from the US to Japan – have set ambitions for climate neutrality in 2050 or shortly after. “We deliver on our commitment. More electric vehicles than diesel cars were registered in Germany in the first half of this year. We will now propose an additional 4 billion euro for climate finance until 2027. Poland is now the EU’s largest exporter of car batteries and electric buses. “When it comes to climate change and the nature crisis, Europe can do a lot. Climate change is man-made. So clearly something is on the move,” the EU Commission President said. Team Europe contributes 25 billion dollars per year. But we can fix it. “The report leaves no doubt. “These need now to be backed up by concrete plans in time for Glasgow. We’re sure. But the goal is simple. This must be a fair green transition. But Europe cannot do it alone,” she said, stressing that the COP26 in Glasgow will be a moment of truth for the global community. Because current commitments for 2030 will not keep global warming to 1.5°C within reach. In Mexico and in Paris, the major economies committed to provide $100 billion s a year until 2025 to the least developed and most vulnerable countries. But while every country has a responsibility, major economies do have a special duty to the least developed and most vulnerable countries. My message today is that Europe is ready to do more. Turning to the European Green Deal, she noted that the EU Commission last year set a target of at least 55% emission reduction by 2030 and since then the bloc has turned its climate goals into legal obligations. EUROPEAN UNION, 2021/EC – AUDIOVISUAL SERVICE/CHRISTOPHE LICOPPE

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While every country has a responsibility, major economies do have a special duty to the least developed and most vulnerable countries to tackle climate change, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. “We are the first major economy to present comprehensive legislation in order to get it done. Every country has a responsibility!” she said. Climate finance is essential for them – both for mitigation and adaptation,” she said. But others still leave a gaping hole towards reaching the global target. Closing that gap will increase the chance of success at Glasgow. As I heard it said recently:  It’s warming. You have seen the complexity of the detail. I am proud to announce today that the EU will double its external funding for biodiversity, in particular for the most vulnerable countries. We will clean the energy we use. In her state of the union address (SOTEU) in the European Parliament on September 15, von der Leyen said the events of the summer only served to explain why the bloc needs to step up efforts to reduce emissions. This is why we proposed a new Social Climate Fund to tackle the energy poverty that already 34 million Europeans suffer from,” von der Leyen said, noting that she counts on both Parliament and Member States to keep the package and to keep the ambition together. The goals that China’s President Xi Jinping has set for his country are encouraging, von der Leyen said. It’s us. And wildfires burning from the Greek islands to the hills in France. It is time to deliver. But since it is man-made, we can do something about it. And if we don’t believe our own eyes, we only have to follow the science,” she said, reminding that the UN recently published the IPCC report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We will put a price on pollution. We will have smarter cars and cleaner airplanes. But we expect the United States and our partners to step up too,” she said, adding, “Closing the climate finance gap together – the US and the EU – would be a strong signal for global climate leadership. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU and US can close the climate finance gap together, says von der Leyen

By New Europe Online/KG

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers her state of the union address in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, September 15, 2021. The world would be relieved if they showed they could peak emissions by mid-decade – and move away from coal at home and abroad. And it will support others. It’s bad. Or take the New European Bauhaus that led to an explosion of creativity of architects, designers, engineers across our Union.