Berlin (AFP) – Germany, along with a considerable part of Europe, entered a period of great uncertainty on Monday over the continuation of their imports of Russian gas. These had already been sharply reduced in recent weeks and could soon dry up completely.
In the morning, Russian giant Gazprom began maintenance work on the two Nord Stream 1 gas pipelines, which transport a major share of the gas that is still being supplied to Germany, as well as several other countries in Western Europe.
“Nord Stream is stopped (…) which means that gas is no longer flowing”, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action confirmed to AFP on Monday.
When it was originally announced quite some time ago, the downtime of the two pipelines had seemed to be a mere technical formality. But in the context of the war in Ukraine and the standoff between Moscow and the West over energy, no one can safely bet on what will happen next. (July 11, 2022)
The EU remembers the victims of the Srebrenica genocide
Brussels (EFE) – The European Union commemorated the victims, missing persons and survivors of the Srebrenica genocide, which had begun 27 years ago this Monday in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The EU acknowledged its own failure to prevent and stop the massacre, which is reflected by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine today.
“In Srebrenica, Europe failed and we faced our shame,” the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, said in a joint statement. “Europe has not forgotten what happened in Srebrenica [and] our own responsibility for not having been able to prevent the genocide,” they added.
Some 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed after Bosnian Serb troops conquered the city of Srebrenica in July of 1995, a few months before the end of the Bosnian civil war, in a crime condemned as genocide by international law. (10 July)
Successful connection between the gas pipelines of Bulgaria and Greece
Komotini (BTA) – Outgoing Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis participated in a ceremony to complete the construction of the interconnector between the two countries’ gas pipelines in the Greek city of Komotini. On July 8, the two ministers symbolically launched the flow of gas.
Petkov expressed his expectation that Bulgaria will receive gas from Azerbaijan in early August, thus fulfilling the government’s intentions to have a replacement for the stopped supply from Gazprom, which until recently had been their sole provider.
The Russian side halted deliveries to Bulgaria and Poland at the end of April, since Sofia and Warsaw refused to pay for the fuel in rubles, which would have been in violation of EU sanctions imposed because of the war in Ukraine.
Mitsotakis described the new interconnector as a “key energy bridge” between north and south, and stated that it brings Bulgaria and Greece closer together. (July 8th)
Johnson resigns, EU now hopes for opening of new chapter
Brussels (ANSA) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation “opens a new chapter in the relations between the EU and the UK.” This tweet by former European Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says it all. It expresses the hope that has been rekindled in Brussels and other European capitals by the prospect of a changing of the guards at Downing Street.
It is still too early to say what direction bilateral relations will take – everything will depend on who succeeds Johnson – but it is a fact that from Brexit onwards, things have gone from bad to worse, not least because of the outgoing prime minister.
The low point was reached when the British Parliament unilaterally took action to change the agreements concluded with the European Union on Northern Ireland, to which Brussels responded by opening infringement proceedings. On the upper floors of the EU institutions in Brussels, mouths remain diplomatically sealed, waiting to see what will happen across the Channel in the coming days. On the other hand, Barnier speaks up and underlines the possibility that relations can now be “more constructive, more respectful of the commitments made and more friendly. Because there is still so much to do together.” (July 7)
This is a compilation of the European coverage of enr news agencies. It is published Wednesdays and Fridays. The content is an editorial selection based on news by the respective agency.