Thursday, December 2, 2021

Russia expels Dutch journalist, cuts gas supply to Europe

Russia has ordered the expulsion of a Dutch journalist – the second deportation of a resident foreign correspondent in the past two months – and cut natural gas supplies to energy-starved Europe.

News of the sudden moves came as US intelligence chief William Burns was concluding a rare two-day visit to Moscow, most recently as part of an effort by the Biden administration to defuse tensions over a range of geopolitical disagreements and make them more stable. And the effort was made to promote a predictable relationship. Between the Western Powers and Russia.

Western countries have imposed several sanctions on Russia for Ukraine’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula, alleged interference in Western elections, cyberattacks and poisoned Kremlin enemies, including former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and an opposition leader, Alexei Navalny. Huh.

US officials are urging Moscow to cooperate on some specific issues, including strategic nuclear weapons cuts and ransomware attacks by Russian hackers targeting Western companies.

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lack of energy

Since the beginning of the week, however, state-controlled energy giant Gazprom has reduced its natural-gas supply to Ukraine by 25% and at one point completely stopped supply via a pipeline through Poland. Is.

Gazprom maintains that supply requests from customers in Europe were being met and maintains that it is meeting all contractual obligations. However, the Russian energy giant has been accused by the International Energy Agency and European lawmakers of deliberately not doing enough to boost natural gas supplies to Europe.

“There is no commercial justification for such behavior,” Sergei Makogon, the head of Ukraine’s gas transmission system operator, GTSO, told reporters in Kiev on Wednesday. He and other critics of the Kremlin accuse the Kremlin of using energy as a political weapon and deliberately making Europe’s energy crisis worse.

Russia has also reportedly stopped delivering thermal coal to Ukraine and instructed Belarus to cut off electricity supplies to neighboring Ukraine.

Pipes and valves are seen at an underground gas storage facility near Stri, Ukraine, on May 28, 2015. Ukraine has been a major transit country for Russian gas destined for Western Europe.

rising tension

The shortfall in natural gas supplies came after Russia’s foreign ministry informed the Dutch government on Wednesday that it was deporting Tom Weinink, a Russia-based correspondent for the daily. de volkskrant from 2015.

Russian authorities revoked Weinink’s residence permit earlier in the week, due to two chronic administrative violations, giving him three days to leave the country. de volkskrant. Weinink was fined two years ago for being late to file a routine re-registration with immigration officials, and last year for visiting a restricted security zone in far northeastern Siberia without prior permission had gone.

Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Knepen described the expulsion as “not acceptable”. “Threats against one journalist have the disturbing effect of silencing many others,” he tweeted. de volkskrant Editor-in-chief Peter Klok said it was unusual for Russian officials to expel a foreign correspondent because of past violations. “Such administrative offenses were never a hindrance to the extension of residence permits in previous years,” he said.

In August, Russian authorities deported BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford, who had been living in Moscow for 20 years after Moscow accused London of discrimination against Russian journalists working in Britain.

Dutch-Russian relations have been strained since the 2014 shooting of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The plane was brought down by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile fired from an area controlled by Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region, killing all 298 people on board, most of them Dutch.

de volkskrant Its report of Wenink’s expulsion also noted that the deportation came on the heels of an appeals court ruling in the Netherlands, when Ukraine owned a trove of ancient Crimean artifacts on loan to a Dutch museum to Ukraine. when Russia occupied the Ukrainian peninsula.

Midweek, Russians lashed out at US criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin for not attending the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. During a press conference in Glasgow on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden questioned why Putin – and Chinese leader Xi Jinping – did not turn up for global climate talks. Putin cited coronavirus concerns for his decision not to travel to the summit,

“It’s just a huge issue and they [Putin and Xi] walked away. How do you do this and claim someone is capable of leading? Biden commented. “[Putin’s] The tundra is burning – literally, the tundra is burning. He has serious, serious climate problems, and he is willing to do anything,” Biden said.

The Kremlin, however, dismissed Biden’s criticism. “We disagree,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “We are certainly not downplaying the importance of the incident in Glasgow, but Russia’s action is consistent and thoughtful and serious,” he said. “The tundra is really on fire. But we must not forget that forests are burning in California, forests are burning in Turkey and other countries.”

Some information from Agence Press-France was used in this report.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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