Global Review – 8th October

EU aims cap on Russian oil price

The European Union is joining the Group of Seven in implementing a price cap on crude oil from Russia. Deutsche-Welle’s Bernd Riegert says the idea is that it should be applied as globally as possible to restrict the Kremlin’s revenues. In order to limit the flow of revenues to President Putin’s war chest, the European Union intends to ensure that Russia can only export oil via tanker at discounted prices. All oil exports, including to China and India, would be affected by this measure, which follows a similar decision by the G7 in the summer. The European Union has included a price cap in its eighth sanctions package since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Starting December 5, EU and G7 countries will ban banks from financing the purchase and sale of Russian oil, insurance companies from insuring shipments, and ports from unloading oil transported by tanker if it is traded at a higher price than that fixed by the European Union. The embargo on all services related to oil exports is intended to make shipping almost impossible. As of December 5, the ban on imports of Russian oil supplied by tanker will apply only to EU and G7 members. Other countries would still be able to buy Russian oil but only at the fixed maximum price. Countries with large tanker-shipping companies such as Greece, Cyprus and Malta, have been able to ensure that ships would be allowed to continue transporting oil if it is traded at the capped price.

Russia has sharply criticised the European Union’s price cap and already announced that it would not supply oil to any countries that apply the price cap. “Such a tool disrupts all market mechanisms and can have a very detrimental effect on the global oil industry,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on state television.

EU remains divided on the price cap

The EU informal summit in Prague ended Friday without a final declaration and without, apparently, any decision. In reality, compared to the last summit in June, much has changed: the reduction in gas prices has been elevated to a common goal and the price cap – a taboo subject before the summer – is now a viable option by right. From here to the European Council on October 19 and 20 it will be up to the Commission and the Czech Presidency to find the key to the problem. With an appendix: in two weeks, Brussels is called to decide – this time without delay.

The Prague Summit started from a Europe, on the energy front, as split as ever since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Also for this reason, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen found herself forced to put on the table not a proposal but “a bouquet of proposals”. First of all, the Commission aims to make joint gas purchases compulsory as early as next spring. The price cap – or rather, the price caps – that are taking shape in Brussels are different: there is a first ceiling to be negotiated with “friendly” suppliers with Norway and the USA in the lead. A second cap is that applicable to the price of gas which contributes to forming the price of electricity. Finally, there is the objective of “limiting the price of gas in order to bring peaks and speculation out of the price at the level of the Ttf”, explained von der Leyen.

Mattarella, Meloni, Draghi united against foreign interference

Italian President Sergio Matterella and premier-in-waiting Georgia Meloni reacated to comments by French European Affairs Minister Laurence Boone, who said the French would “monitor respect for rights and freedoms” in Italy following the Fratelli d’Italia win of the ġeneral elections. Mattarella was categorical, assuring one and all that “Italy knows how to look after itself in compliance with the Constitution and the values ​​of the European Union.” The statement was received with great satisfaction by Meloni. The position taken by the Italian Head of State added to Mario Draghi’s statements during the European Council in Prague, where “curiosity” about the new executive emerged – he says – and “no worries”. Analysts said the Mattarella-Draghi-Meloni unision demonstrated that “interference (in internal affairs) is not allowed”. After clarification by Boone’s cabinet, there came a message from President Macron declaring: “We will work ‘with goodwill’ with the future Italian premier.”

Human rights advocates win Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2022 was awarded Friday to human rights campaigners from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus. And within hours of the award announcement, head of the Centre for Civil Liberties Oleksandra Matviichuk, called for an international tribunal to bring Russian President Putin, Belarusian President Lukashenko and “other war criminals” to justice. She called for Russia to be removed from the UN Security Council for what she called “systemic breaches of the UN Charter”. In a Facebook post, Matviichuk said she was glad that the centre had received the prize, along with the human rights group Memorial and jailed Belarusian advocate Ales Bialiatski. The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised the winners for “an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human right abuses, and the abuse of power” in their countries. The prize carries a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (€914,000) and will be handed out on December 10. The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded Thursday to French author Annie Ernaux and the Economics Prize will wrap things up on Monday.

IMF approves $1.3 billion in emergency funding to Ukraine

The International Monetary Fund has approved $1.3 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine. This was stated by the Fund in a note, in which it specified that the Ukrainian authorities deserve “considerable credit for having maintained a high degree of macro-financial stability in particularly difficult circumstances”.

Russians being prepared for nuclear war’ – Zelensky

Ukraine President Zelensky has warned Vladimir Putin and his men “are beginning to prepare Russian society” for a potential attack with nuclear weapons. In an interview with the BBC, Zelemsky said,“They are not yet ready to use them, they do not know if they will use them or not, but I think it is dangerous even just that they talk about it.” He denied having spoken Thursday of NATO’s pre-emptive attacks on Russia, claiming that he had been misunderstood and that the translation was exploited by Moscow. “Putin,” he said, “is not afraid of a nuclear strike; he fears his people and his society because only his people can take away his power.”

Children among 180 bodies in Lyman mass grave

The bodies of 180 people were found in a mass grave discovered in Lyman, in the Donetsk region, liberated by the Russian invaders. Announcing the find, the head of the police department, Yevhen Zhukov, wrote on Telegram, that “in the grave entire families were found, as well as the bodies of children born in between 2019 and 2021”.

Liverpool to host 2023Eurovision Contest

Liverpool will host Eurovision 2023 , the European song festival. The choice came at the height of a run-off between British cities with Glasgow, after the Ukraine, winner of the 2022 edition, had sold the organization to UK runner-up on the basis of an “ad hoc agreement with the friendly government of London”. The Eurovision Grand Final will take place in Liverpool Arena near the River Mersey on Saturday May 13 with the semifinals on Tuesday and Thursday on May 9 and 11. The BBC, together with the European Broadcasting Union, will organise the contest in consultation with the Ukrainian public broadcaster.

Baby abandoned in a plastic bag, safe and sound

An newborn baby, abandonned in a plastic bag in Trapani, Italy, is safe and sound, according to what the man who found him, last Tuesday, told Canale 5’s Pomeriggio Cinque. “Francesco has found a family that will soon adopt him. We are very happy. We hope God will assist him throughout his life,” declared the visibly excited man, saying, “I’d love to see him again in a few years, when he grows up, and I would like someone to tell him that we saved him.”

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