Scores of Russian diplomats look set to be expelled from European capitals as ten EU countries indicated they were preparing to follow Theresa May's lead in the wake of the Salisbury attacks. France, Poland, Ireland, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark, Estonia and the Netherlands are all in discussions about deporting suspected spies after Theresa May shared intelligence about the nerve agent attack at a meeting of the European Council. Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has also hinted that she may be prepared to go beyond merely rebuking Vladimir Putin, and the EU recalled its ambassador to Moscow overnight in a show of solidarity with Mrs May. Throwing their weight behind the Prime Minister, the 27 leaders of the European Council said it was “highly likely” that the Kremlin was responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. Responding to the announcement on Friday, Moscow accused the UK of leading the European Union towards an … [Read more...] about Scores of Russian diplomats set to be expelled after EU leaders agree Russia ‘highly likely’ to have carried out Salisbury attack
Fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine are a "bluff" and a "hysterical message" being spread by Western countries, says Vladimir Chizhov, the long-time Russian ambassador to the European Union, adding the Kremlin has no plans to carry out such radical attack. "Russia has no plans to invade either Ukraine or any other country. It's a bluff created not in Russia but in those counties that are now spreading this hysterical message across Europe and the world," Chizhov said in an interview with Euronews' Efi Koutsokosta. "We believe in diplomacy, and I can only hope that our interlocutors here in Europe and beyond the Atlantic, they stick to the same principle that any difference can and should be resolved by diplomatic means." The ambassador's comments come in the midst of growing reports of division among NATO allies following on-the-record comments by US President Joe Biden and Germany's decision to block Estonia from sending military equipment to Ukraine. EU … [Read more...] about Russian ambassador calls fears of Ukraine invasion ‘bluff’ and ‘hysterical’ reaction of the West
Russia scored a victory for its ally Syria on Saturday by forcing the Security Council to limit humanitarian aid deliveries to the country’s mainly rebel-held northwest to just one crossing point from Turkey, a move that Western nations say will cut a lifeline for 1.3 million people. Russia argues that aid should be delivered from within the country across conflict lines, and says only one crossing point is needed. U.N. officials and humanitarian groups argued unsuccessfully — along with the vast majority of the U.N. Security Council — that the two crossing points in operation until their mandate expired Friday were essential for getting help to millions of needy people in Syria’s northwest, especially with the first case of COVID-19 recently reported in the region. The Security Council vote approving a single crossing from Turkey was 12-0, with Russia, China and the Dominican Republic abstaining. These pictures reveal Syrians' desperate struggle to survive … [Read more...] about UN limits aid to Syria’s rebel area after Russia opposes dual routes
By Robert Plummer Published 2 days ago comments Comments Share close Share page Copy link About sharing High energy prices are already causing problems for households in the UK and across Europe, but geopolitical tensions threaten to make matters even worse. With an estimated 100,000 Russian troops massed on the border with Ukraine, there are fears that Vladimir Putin is poised to order an invasion. Surging gas prices have already caused a number of UK energy suppliers to go bust - and supply shortages are the last thing anyone needs. Not directly. The UK sources very little of its gas from Russia - less than 5%, in fact. However, that is not the case for the EU, which gets about half of its gas from there. Any Russian attempt to seize Ukrainian territory is likely to prompt economic sanctions by Western powers. UK withdrawing some embassy staff from … [Read more...] about Will Russia-Ukraine tensions push up UK gas bills?
Boris Johnson is still fighting for his political life, especially following reports of his birthday celebrations during the first lockdown . Soon there will be an official report to grapple with too, when senior civil servant Sue Gray unveils the findings of her investigation into Downing Street’s lockdown soirees. As his premiership grows more vulnerable by the day, there are already plans afoot amongst potential successors to get their teams – and factions – ready for a leadership contest. Policy is moving as fast as politics, with increasing attempts to nail the Tory party’s least popular policies from the past few years to the mast of the PM’s sinking ship. The new health and social care levy tops this list: set to come in this April, the levy will hike National Insurance for both employers and employees by 1.25 percentage points, raising the average British worker’s tax bill by around £200 a year. That financial burden doesn’t exist in a vacuum: it comes as inflation … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson deserves the blame for the National Insurance debacle
Russia: Portillo explains Germany’s fears over gas supply Sign up to receive our rundown of the day's top stories direct to your inbox SUBSCRIBE Invalid email We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info Russian President Vladimir Putin could cut off gas to Europe as a threat to stop NATO from coming to the defence of Ukraine . As Russia sends more and more troops to the Ukrainian border, invasion seems increasingly likely. Ministers have responded to the threat by building up emergency energy supplies, but analysts fear this won’t be enough to avoid “rolling blackouts” - could your energy be cut off? Related articles French open eyes to EU shambles Nato vs Russia war? Army sizes compared - UK and US ready troops Will your … [Read more...] about Gas crisis: UK at risk of ‘shut-ins and blackouts’ – could your energy be cut off?
Russia says it has received the United States' response to its demands including NATO's withdrawal from eastern Europe, an issue at the heart of the Ukrainian security crisis. The foreign affairs ministry in Moscow said in a statement that the American ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, handed in Washington's written reply to its demands concerning security to deputy foreign minister Alexander Grouchko. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a news conference shortly afterwards that the US proposals offered Russia a "serious diplomatic path forward". These included safeguarding the right of nations to choose their own alliances, he said. Russia has demanded guarantees that NATO will halt its eastward expansion, rule out membership for Ukraine and other former Soviet countries, and roll back its military deployments in Central and Eastern Europe. Addressing the State Duma of the Russian Federal Assembly earlier on Wednesday, Lavrov said he and other top … [Read more...] about Ukraine crisis: Blinken says US offers ‘path forward’ in response to Russian demands
The EU wants to increase the management of space traffic, according to the bloc's responsible commissioner, as more and more players get involved in the area beyond the earth's atmosphere. In an interview with Euronews, Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, said that space traffic, which is largely made up of satellite constellations, needs to be managed and protected. "Space is an area that is increasingly contested. It is a strategic area. It is an area that must be protected, that must be defended, also for us Europeans," Breton said. "We saw it recently with what happened during the Russian satellite launch which left debris everywhere and which could jeopardise our own constellations, our own sovereign constellations, and I think, in particular, about those [constellations] which are so useful for our daily life, like Galileo and Copernicus." The commissioner was speaking at the 14th European Space Conference in Brussels on Tuesday, … [Read more...] about Brussels wants to increase management of space traffic
Rishi Sunak resists pressure for tax raid U-turn despite borrowing boost Time to buy 'exceptionally cheap' London-listed shares, says JP Morgan FTSE 100 rebounds 1pc after Ukraine war fears rout Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: The EU's 'unforgivable failure' over Ukraine Sign up here for our daily business briefing newsletter U S stocks have dropped as fears over conflict in Ukraine and interest rate worries spark chaos on global markets. Wall Street’s three major indices fell at least 1pc, resuming a sell-off after volatile trading on Monday. The benchmark S&P 500 is on course to confirm a correction after falling 10pc from its record closing high earlier this month. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 rose 0.4pc as it rebounded from a rout that wiped £53bn off the blue-chip index on Monday. Fears are mounting that Russia will move its troops into Ukraine, while investors are also bracing for the first post-pandemic interest rate hike in the US when the Federal … [Read more...] about Wall Street slides as market turmoil continues
Russia: Putin 'will face serious consequences' says Joe Biden Sign up to receive our rundown of the day's top stories direct to your inbox SUBSCRIBE Invalid email We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info Amid ongoing fears of the developing situation in Ukraine, in a stark warning President Biden said that "it would be the largest invasion since World War 2 ". Related articles Nato vs Russia war? Army sizes compared - UK and US ready troops South China Sea: 'Recovery ops!' US navy race China to recover jet The US President has said he would consider personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin if he continues to escalate the situation. Around 130,000 Russian troops and military hardware are believed to be … [Read more...] about Putin’s war push would be ‘biggest invasion since WW2’ – Joe Biden in horror warning