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Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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Ukraine News

11 Jun 2021

Nord Stream 2 to Start Work on Filling Pipeline

© Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt (file photo)

Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas project will start preparations on Friday to fill the first of two pipelines with natural gas within a few months, the Gazprom-led project said on Thursday.Nord Stream 2, which runs on the bed of the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine, has faced criticism from the United States, which says it will increase European reliance on Russian gas."Starting from tomorrow, the required pre-commissioning activities will be carried out over the next months to prepare for gas-in…

11 Jun 2021

LNG Primed for Strong Growth on Asian Demand

LNG Tanker - Credit: alexyz3d/AdobeStock

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices are poised for more gains as gas-hungry China guzzles cargoes to feed a rebound in economic growth while the easing of coronavirus-induced restrictions restores industrial demand in India.Higher oil and coal prices have also helped lift global gas prices with spot Asian LNG prices <LNG-AS> doubling in just three months."We believe this has been driven by a tightening of Asian LNG balances led by strong generation demand in southern China at the same time that South Korea reached peak nuclear maintenance…

04 Jun 2021

First Line of Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Completed, Putin Says

St Petersburg International Economic Forum plenary session. - Credit: Kremlin

Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is set to be completed as the United States wants good ties with Europe, President Vladimir Putin said, as the ill-fated project is nearly complete and ready to start pumping gas to Germany.Russia's Gazprom was left without a western pipe-laying company in late 2019 following U.S. sanctions, and has since continued alone.The United States last month waived some sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 - a move U.S. President Joe Biden explained by pointing out that the project was nearly complete…

03 Jun 2021

Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Construction Nears Completion

© Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt (file photo)

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea is almost complete with just 100 kilometers (62 miles) left to build, TASS news agency quoted Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak as saying on Thursday."We hope that construction works on Nord Stream 2 will be completed by the end of this year," Novak told reporters of progress on the pipeline, which will allow Russia to ship more gas to Western Europe while bypassing Ukraine.The United States last month waived sanctions on the company behind the pipeline to Germany, a move opposed by critics of the project in the U.S.

27 May 2021

Russia Expels British Warship from Waters Near Annexed Crimea

A senior Russian security official said on Thursday that Moscow had used its navy and air force to expel a British warship, HMS Dragon, from what he described as Russian territorial waters near Russian-annexed Crimea last October.Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, drawing sanctions and condemnation from the West. Kyiv wants the territory back.Vladimir Kulishov, first deputy head of the FSB security service, said Russia had told the vessel not to enter its waters, but that it had crossed what he said was the border on Oct.

26 May 2021

Biden: Sanctions Against Nord Stream 2 Would Harm European Relations

© Axel Schmidt/ Nord Stream 2

U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he decided to waive sanctions against the company behind the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline because the project was nearly complete, and doing so could have harmed ties with Europe.Biden, who is preparing for his first visit to Europe and his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month, told reporters he had opposed the new pipeline since its inception, but held off on sanctions because it was "almost completely finished" by the time he took office in January.Asked why he was letting Germany and Russia complete the project…

24 May 2021

Nord Stream 2 Project: Russian Vessel Fortuna Starts Laying Pipes

Fortuna pipelayer - Image Credit: V.Prokopenko/MarineTraffic.com

Russian vessel Fortuna has started laying pipes for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in German waters, the gas project said on Sunday, citing Germany's Waterway and Shipping Authority.Nord Stream 2, which runs on the bed of the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine, has faced criticism from the United States, which claims it will increase European reliance on Russian gas.Fortuna and other vessels taking part in the project have been added to a U.S. sanctions list."All works are performed in accordance with the available permits…

18 May 2021

US Secretary of State Says Russia Has Advanced 'Unlawful Maritime Claims' in the Arctic

© Artem Markin / Adobe Stock

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday criticized Russia's activities in the Arctic region, describing them as 'unlawful maritime claims' and repeated calls to avoid the militarization of the region, days before a gathering of Arctic nations.Blinken made the warning ahead of a planned meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, the first such high-level in-person talks between Washington and Moscow since President Joe Biden took office in January.The United…

18 Apr 2021

Russia Beefs Up Warship Presence in the Black Sea

© alexhitrov / Adobe Stock

Two Russian warships transited the Bosphorus en route to the Black Sea on Saturday and 15 smaller vessels completed a transfer to the sea as Moscow beefs up its naval presence at a time of tense relations with the West and Ukraine.The reinforcement coincides with a huge build-up of Russian troops near Ukraine, something Moscow calls a temporary defensive exercise, and follows an escalation in fighting in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces.Russia's relations with Washington…

13 Apr 2021

UDP Inks Deal to Upgrade the Engines of Its Pushboat Fleet

(Photo: ABC)

Ukrainian shipping company PJSC Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company (UDP) signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Belgian engine manufacturer Anglo-Belgian Corporation NV (ABC) to modernize its pushboat fleet.The LOI signed under the auspices of the Embassy of Belgium in Ukraine provides UDP with the possibility to install hybrid engines with equipment provided by ABC for up to 33 UDP pushboats. The fleet modernization would enable UDP to prolong the life of outdated fixed assets and…

09 Apr 2021

US to Send Two Warships to the Black Sea

(Photo: U.S. Navy)

The United States will send two warships to the Black Sea next week, Turkey said on Friday as Russia, which has beefed up its military forces near Ukraine, accused non-coastal NATO powers of increasing naval activity in the region.Washington says Russia has amassed more troops on Ukraine’s eastern border than at any time since 2014, when it annexed Crimea from Ukraine and backed pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Donbass region of Ukraine.Violence has flared between Ukrainian troops and the separatists, spurring fears of a major escalation.

02 Apr 2021

Nord Stream 2 Warns of Security Risks to Pipeline from Warships, Low-flying Planes

© Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt

The consortium behind the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline warned on Thursday about security risks to the project from warships and planes, as the link is nearing completion.The pipeline, aimed at bypassing Ukraine and doubling the capacity of the current Nord Stream undersea gas link from Russia to Germany, has been the focus of tensions between Moscow and Washington, which imposed sanctions against the project.Andrey Minin, a senior official at the Nord Stream 2 AG consortium…

29 Mar 2021

U.S. State Secretary: Completing Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Ultimately up to Builders

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (File Photo: State.gov)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that it was ultimately up to those building the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline whether to complete it despite opposition from Washington.On Wednesday, Blinken said he had told his German counterpart that U.S. sanctions against the pipeline from Russia to Germany were a real possibility and there was "no ambiguity" in American opposition to its construction.Because the pipeline would run from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea…

22 Mar 2021

Germany's Greens Promise to Scrap Nord Stream 2 Pipeline After Election

©Axel Schmidt/ Nord Stream 2

Germany's Greens have enshrined in their election programme plans to abolish the contested Nord Stream 2 pipeline to ship Russian gas to Europe's biggest economy, creating a hurdle to a potential alliance with the conservatives.Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, who have backed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline opposed by the United States, are leading in polls ahead of September elections and are seen as most likely to seek a coalition with the ecologist Greens that are forecast to come second.Armin Laschet…

19 Mar 2021

U.S. Tells Firms Building Nord Stream 2 Pipeline to 'Immediately' Stop Work or Risk Sanctions

File photo: © Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt

The U.S. State Department is tracking efforts to complete Russia's Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline and evaluating information on entities that appear to be involved, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday."Any entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline risks U.S. sanctions and should immediately abandon work on the pipeline," Blinken said in a statement, adding the Biden administration is committed to complying with 2019 and 2020 legislation with regards to the pipeline and sanctions.Shortly after Blinken's statement…

16 Mar 2021

Reuters: Germany Bets U.S. Will Make the Best of 'Bad deal' Nord Stream Pipeline

© Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt

Germany is betting the U.S. administration will take a pragmatic approach to the Nord Stream 2 project to ship Russian gas to Europe and is pushing for the pipeline’s completion in defiance of U.S. opposition, officials and diplomats said.To try to block the $11 billion project, led by Russia’s Gazprom, successive U.S. administrations have imposed sanctions on some entities and warned other companies involved in the project about the sanctions risk.President Joe Biden thinks the pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany is “a bad idea for Europe…

11 Mar 2021

SAFE Boats to Reopen Tacoma Shipyard for Naval Build Program

(Photo: SAFE Boats)

U.S. shipbuilder SAFE Boats International will reopen its Tacoma, Wash. facility following the award of a $20 million lead contract for the U.S. Navy to start construction of the Mark VI patrol boats headed for the government of Ukraine.The U.S. Navy announced in January it had awarded SAFE Boats a portion of the contract to purchase long-lead material and associated pre-production and planning support with the remaining $80 million award anticipated in June.SAFE Boats’ Tacoma…

08 Mar 2021

USA: Senator Cruz Puts Hold On Biden's CIA Pick over Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

Senator Ted Cruz (File Photo) Credit: Gage Skidmore - CC BY-SA 2.0

Republican Senator Ted Cruz put a hold late on Friday on President Joe Biden's pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency to pressure the administration to put tough sanctions on Russia's Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project.The Senate Intelligence Committee last week backed William Burns, a former ambassador to Russia, by a unanimous vote. Burns has been confirmed by the Senate for five previous jobs over 33 years and is expected to eventually be approved by the full…

25 Feb 2021

Report: Baker Hughes, 17 Other Firms Quit Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Project to Avoid Sanctions

The U.S. representatives last week listed 15 ships, in a letter sent to Secretary Antony Blinken, that are "possibly engaged" in laying pipelines or related activities at the Nord Stream 2 project since Jan. 1 when the latest U.S. sanctions became law, including the Russia flagged vessels, the Ivan Sidorenko, the Murman, and Fortuna - Image: Fortuna vessel/Credit: Peter Remde/MarineTraffic.com

Baker Hughes Co and AXA Group and 16 other companies recently quit work on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline and will not be sanctioned, according to a document the Biden administration sent to Congress last week which was seen by Reuters.Russian energy company Gazprom and its western partners are racing to build the pipeline to take Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, and hope to finish it this year. President Joe Biden believes the pipeline is a “bad deal” for Europe.Many U.S.

22 Feb 2021

U.S. Designates Already Sanctioned Russian Ship as Helping to Build Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

Fortuna - Credit:Ole J - MarineTraffic.com

The Biden administration on Friday identified a Russian ship and a company it believes are helping to build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but the entities had already been sanctioned by the Trump administration and the project's opponents in Congress said the move would do little to halt work on it.The State Department said in a report to Congress that the Russian ship, the Fortuna, and its owner, KVT-RUS, had been designated, a process that starts new sanctions, two lawmakers said.Both…

19 Feb 2021

U.S. to Unveil Nord Stream 2 Report. Sanctions May Take Time

Route map of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines - Credit: Gazprom

The Biden administration is expected to name as early as Friday the companies it believes are helping build Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline, five sources said, a move that could eventually prompt sanctions on the nearly-completed project.The State Department report to Congress, which may come on Friday, is expected to list companies the administration believes are helping to complete the natural gas pipeline that Russia's state energy company Gazprom says is more than 90% complete.Sanctions law that went into effect on Jan.

18 Feb 2021

U.S. Lawmakers ask Blinken for Briefing on Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

The U.S. representatives listed 15 ships in the letter that are "possibly engaged" in laying pipelines or related activities since Jan. 1 when the latest U.S. sanctions became law, including the Russia flagged vessels, the Ivan Sidorenko, the Murman, and Fortuna - Image: Fortuna vessel/Credit: Peter Remde/MarineTraffic.com

Several U.S. Representatives on Wednesday raised pressure on the State Department to share plans on potential sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline Russia is racing to finish to take fuel to Europe."If completed, Nord Stream 2 would enable the Putin regime to further weaponize Russia's energy resources to exert political pressure throughout Europe," two Republicans including Michael McCaul, and two Democrats including Marcy Kaptur, wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.U.S.

07 Feb 2021

Pipe Laying for Nord Stream 2 Restarts in Danish Waters

File photo: © Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt

The consortium behind the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline has resumed laying pipes in the waters of Denmark, it said on Saturday, despite mounting pressure on the project from Washington.Construction of the link, which would double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline to 110 billion cubic meters of gas per year, was suspended in December 2019 due to the threat of sanctions from Washington.However the German government has stood by the project and late in December a vessel called the Fortuna…