The Oxford expert explained that normally in the event of any dispute, transit must not be reduced/stopped until a dispute resolution procedure has been completed. Noting that several GTS facilities are in territory temporarily controlled by Russian troops and the occupation administration, GTSOU said it cannot currently carry out operational and technological control over the CS Novopskov and other assets located in these territories. The UK equivalent was up 26%. “Moreover, the interference of the occupying forces in technical processes and changes in the modes of operation of GTS facilities, including unauthorized gas offtakes from the gas transit flows, endangered the stability and safety of the entire Ukrainian gas transportation system,” GTSOU said. As not all member states have storage facilities on their territory, the mandate stipulates that member states without storage facilities will have access to gas storage reserves in other member states and will have to share the financial burden of the filling obligations, the Council said. “To fulfill its transit obligations to European partners in full and following the terms of the agreement, it is possible to temporarily transfer unavailable capacity from the Sokhranivka physical interconnection point to the Sudzha physical interconnection point located in the territory controlled by Ukraine,” Gas TSO of Ukraine said. To improve EU security of supply in the current geopolitical context, the proposal aims to ensure that gas storage capacities in the EU are filled before the next winter season and can be shared between member states in a spirit of solidarity, the EU Council said in a press release, adding that the mandate was agreed by the representatives of the member states in Coreper. European natural gas prices jumped as some Russia gas transit volumes were disrupted. Member states have also agreed on mandatory certification for all storage system operators in order to avoid potential risks of external influence on critical storage infrastructures, which could jeopardize security of energy supply or any other essential security interest, the Council said, adding that member states agreed that the filling obligations would expire on December 31, 2026. Finally, the mandate provides for a derogation to be granted to Cyprus, Malta, and Ireland as long as they are not directly interconnected with the gas system of other member states. She noted that parties can attempt to settle their dispute bilaterally within a certain period and, failing that, submit it to arbitration. Generally, a company can issue a notice of contract termination using its force majeure clause. The mandate specifies the rules for underground gas storage and possibilities for counting stocks of liquefied natural gas (LNG), while limiting obligations to a certain volume of the annual gas consumption of the member states over the last five years, to avoid a disproportionate impact on certain member states with a large storage capacity. “GTSOU press release cites force majeure circumstances in respect of transit via Sokhranivka; on its part, (Russian gas monopoly) Gazprom denies it has received any confirmation of such circumstances. Katja Yafimava, a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, told New Europe on May 11 most of Russian gas flowing to Europe via Ukraine goes through the Sudzha entry point whereas a much smaller volume goes through the Sokhranivka entry point en route to Moldova/Romania. The benchmark contract surged 14% as flows from Russia via Ukraine fell further on May 12, Bloomberg reported, adding that Dutch front-month gas, the European benchmark, rose as much as 22% on May 12 and settled at €106.701 per megawatt-hour. Should the transit contract be terminated, there would be no legal basis for transiting Russian gas across Ukraine through any of the entry points,” Yafimava told New Europe. Gas TSO of Ukraine (GTSOU) reported the occurrence of force majeure, which makes it impossible to further transport gas through the Sokhranivka and the border compressor station (CS) Novopskov, which are in the occupied territories. follow on twitter @energyinsider “CS Novopskov is the first compressor station of the Ukrainian GTS in the Luhansk region, through which almost a third of gas from Russia to Europe (up to 32.6 million cubic meters per day) is transited,” GTSOU said in a statement. Meanwhile, the European Council on May 11 reached a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on a proposal on gas storage. “As it is a very small volume its impact on the European gas market is limited, but the very fact of transit stoppage is likely to make the market worry that under certain conditions transit could also be stopped in respect of much larger volumes at Sudzha – and when the markets worry, prices rise,” Yafimava said. German power also surged, with next month’s contract rising as much as 17%. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Citing force majeure of Russia’s invasion, Ukraine turns off gas flow

By Kostis Geropoulos
Energy & Russian Affairs Editor, New Europe

GAZPROM/FILE PICTURE

Russian separatists siphoning, line carries a third of EU supplies

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Ukraine stopped the flow of Russian natural gas to Europe on May 11 through the cross-border Sokhranivka station, blaming Russian-backed separatists of siphoning supplies.

The European Innovation Council was launched in March 2021 as part of the Horizon Europe programme and has an earmarked budget of over €10 billion for the 2021 and 2027 period. EUROPEAN UNION, 2022/EC – AUDIOVISUAL SERVICE/THOMAS KIENZLE

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The CEE9 countries – Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia – and especially the countries along the Danube Valley have the potential to propel itself to the front of European innovation leadership in the forthcoming years. Measures for a favourable growth environment for innovation and start-ups to thrive must be introduced on a regional level. Thus, helping Europe to come forward as a leader in innovation. As European countries emerge from restrictions and economic slowdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, an opportunity for the CEE9 presents itself. The GLOBSEC Tatra Summit Insight Report 2021, is a real wake-up call for the CEE9 countries. This is a potential for CEE, Slavic and neighbouring countries, companies, education facilities and think-tanks to welcome with open-arms highly educated workforce and relocating companies with high innovation potential, adding to the local pool. Besides, the safe return of dislocated populations to their homes in Ukraine, will be an asset for fostering further intra- and inter-regional innovative cooperation. According to a March 2022 article from The Economist, “Russian émigrés are behind some of the world’s most successful digital start-ups, such as Revolut, a mobile-banking app based in London co-founded by Nikolay Storonsky”. Nonetheless, the current cost-of-living crisis, due to surge in energy prices and high-inflation ―as direct consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, heightened by the war in Ukraine― are clearing innovation off the investment priorities of the member states. It is high time to foster an innovation-friendly environment in the region, providing the local entrepreneurs with the keys to bringing their projects to life, and looking towards the future. Funding is, naturally, a key element of any innovation agenda for the region.  In other words, working unitedly on putting the CEE countries on the map, for a more impactful motive than a brutal war. Most of the group is not performing well on GLOBSEC’s Strategic Transformation Index (STI). Similar shares are observable in other CEE countries’ Recovery Plans, which is an EU-level requirement. However, it lags behind its US (487) and Chinese (301) counterparts, with less than 100 unicorns (a start-up that is valued at one billion dollars or more) as shown by the latest data from Statista. If we take a look at Slovakia’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, “43% of the plan supports climate objectives and 21% of the plan supports the digital transition”. All of it, in the current context, should be done in a fraternal spirit with citizens of neighbouring countries to the East either fleeing the destruction of their homes or an oppressive government. According to the New York Times, “By March 22 (2022) a Russian tech industry trade group estimated that between 50,000 and 70,000 tech workers had left the country and that an additional 70,000 to 100,000 would soon follow. Activities of a sensor production site of the German car supplier Bosch in Reutlingen, Germany. The ranking is as follow: Slovenia (57.0), Czech Republic (56.0), Poland (51.9), Hungary (51.2), Slovakia (47.8), Croatia (41.1), Romania (40.3) and Bulgaria coming last (35.6). The Director-General of the EU’s Research and Innovation Directorate, Jean-Eric Paquet, told Sifted in an interview, “The EIC should become Europe’s unicorn factory, we are creating possibly the biggest deep-tech equity fund in Europe.” The European Commission adopted the work programme of the European Innovation Council, on February 9, 2022, opening funding opportunities worth over €1.7 billion in 2022. Innovation is key to allowing the region to grow, catch up with its neighbouring countries to the West and help Europe to become a serious competitor on the international scene. A direct consequence of the Russian re-aggression of Ukraine is the brain drain, not only from Ukraine but also from Russia and Belarus. They are part of a much larger exodus of workers from Russia, but their departure could have an even more lasting impact on the country’s economy.”
There is a need to monitor this displacement of workers and assert its potential effects on EU and non-EU countries. In a nutshell, tapping on the innovative potential of the region could be an essential contribution to rebuilding post-war Ukraine. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>CEE cross-border cooperation key to competitiveness and innovation leadership

By Olivia Blanchard
Research Fellow and Project Manager for the Economic Growth and Sustainability Program at GLOBSEC Policy Institute

Data cables are connected to computers in the development section of the sensor production site of German car supplier Bosch in Reutlingen, southern Germany, on February 11, 2022. Yet, it must be highlighted that “Austria defends its top performer standing, with an overall score of 63.9 points. Besides, the moment is more crucial than ever: With the raging war in Ukraine the consequent spotlight is shining on the region. Although there is a slight progress year on year, it is not significant. With such drags on the way, 2022 might not be the kick-starter of innovation. Collaboration and cross-border cooperation are means to connect people, learn from each other, grow stronger regional bonds contributing to an increased competitiveness and hopefully rebuilding of a stronger Ukraine. With funding and policy measures available, working towards an innovative ecosystem will contribute to laying down the foundations for a new, more sustainable, and smarter future economic growth model.  
 
  Europe aims at being a trend-setter and leader in the domain of innovation. The index value 63.9 is interpreted as being almost at a 2/3rd point between the worst and the best performer in the sample between 2010 and 2018 […]”. With an updated version of the index coming out soon, comes an opportunity to initiate change. The flow of refugees also includes political opponents, let alone refugees overall, who should not be omitted.