Dhaka July 12 2022 :
Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News Digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on July 12 2022.
Putin, Erdogan to have meeting in near future — Kremlin
MOSCOW, July 11. /TASS/. A meeting between Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is scheduled for the near future, the Kremlin press service said on Monday.
“Ahead of a Russian-Turkish top-level meeting planned to be held soon, the leaders discussed a range of issues of mutual interest,” it said.
“Special attention was focused on further efforts to enliven economic cooperation, including measures to improve its legal framework, boost trade and use national currencies in mutual settlements, as well as on the continuation of unimpeded supplies of Russian energy sources,” it added.
The leaders also agreed to maintain close contacts on these matters between the co-chairs of the intergovernmental commission and corresponding ministers.
Brazil seeking Russian fuel supply – Bolsonaro
The South American nation may clinch a deal with Moscow on cheap diesel imports, its president says
President Jair Bolsonaro says Brazil is close to reaching a deal for the purchase of much cheaper diesel from Russia, Reuters reported on Monday.
Last week, BRICS Information Portal reported that Bolsonaro had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had reportedly vowed to guarantee the South American country a steady supply of fertilizers, which are crucial for Brazil’s vast agribusiness sector.
“We have food security and energy security, there are chances that we will buy diesel from there, which is at a more convenient price,” the Brazilian leader was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
Bolsonaro has been working on proposals to ensure adequate fuel supplies for the country with a minimal impact on prices as the nation struggles with high inflation. According to estimates, Latin America’s largest economy, which consumes more than five million cubic meters of diesel per month, will have to increase imports by over 15% to meet domestic needs.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section
Russia offers fast-track citizenship to all Ukrainians
All Ukrainians, as as well as citizens of the two Donbass republics, may now apply using a simplified procedure
Any Ukrainian national may now apply for Russian citizenship under a simplified scheme, according to a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on Monday. The measure also applies to stateless persons permanently living in Ukraine as well as to citizens of the two Donbass republics, recognized earlier by Russia as independent.
Ukrainians may now file the relevant request without the need to live in Russia for five years, to have a source of income or to pass a Russian-language test – something foreigners are normally required to do before they can apply for Russian citizenship.
The presidential decree modifies the procedures earlier reserved for the citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as well as the residents of the two southern Ukrainian regions that have been under the control of the Russian forces almost since the start of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.
Back in 2019, a simplified procedure was introduced for those living in territories controlled by the two Donbass entities, which in February were recognized by Moscow as sovereign states. They could have their citizenship paperwork processed in just three months.
As of February, 950,000 people had reportedly filed applications and 770,000 of them have become Russian citizens. Monday’s decree also explicitly stated that people serving in the Donbass militias and its local law enforcement authorities are eligible to applying for Russian citizenship as well, and that their status as foreign military personnel could not be used as a reason to deny them citizenship.
In May, another decree added the residents of Zaporozhye and Kherson regions in the south of Ukraine to those eligible for the citizenship scheme. A separate document signed by the president the same month made orphaned children from the Donbass republics and Ukraine eligible for processing as well. An application could be filed on their behalf by their guardians or foster families.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.
Argentina is looking forward to BRICS membership — ambassador to Russia
MOSCOW, July 11. /TASS/. Buenos Aires is hoping that joining BRICS will help its further multilateral development and is looking forward to membership, the country’s ambassador in Moscow, Eduardo Zuain, told TASS on Monday.
“One of our desires is to finally start working side by side with the big countries [BRICS], and our chancellor (Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero – TASS) expressed the same point of view. We look forward to the day when we finally join this group and multilateral development will help us to move forward,” he said.
The ambassador refrained from forecasting the time of joining. Speaking about the prospects for expanding the BRICS format, the diplomat emphasized that “the world now lacks the environment and other opportunities to conduct a normal dialogue.”
Argentina and Iran in June 2022 applied to join BRICS. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said these countries are worthy candidates for joining BRICS and the preparatory process for expanding the organization has already been started.
Iran to Become Member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization This Year – Uzbekistan’s Foreign Ministry
Iran will be admitted to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), also known as the Shanghai Pact, as an observer state before the year is out, according to a Monday statement by the Uzbek Foreign Ministry.
“This year, within Uzbekistan’s chairmanship, Iran will be admitted to the SCO as an observer state … A memorandum on Iran’s obligations as a SCO member will also be signed in Samarkand,” Uzbekistan’s acting foreign minister, Vladimir Norov, said at a panel meeting in Moscow.
Tehran’s admission was accepted at the Dushanbe summit last year, when Tajikistan was the Shanghai Pact’s rotating chair. However, finalizing that process could take two years.
The SCO was formed in 2001 and today has nine members: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. Together, they account for 40% of the world’s population and 28% of its gross domestic product (GDP). Observer states include Afghanistan, Belarus, and Mongolia.
Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mehdi Safari proposed the bloc adopt a universal currency to ease its economic integration.
Tehran also recently applied to join the BRICS group, three of the members of which are also a part of the Shanghai Pact: India, Russia, and China.
Norov added that the SCO had received Belarus’ application to join the Eurasian political and economic bloc, and that Minsk’s admission procedures could begin at the SCO’s September summit in Samarkand.
“To date, the application has been sent to the member countries, and if a joint agreement is reached, I think, it may happen at a summit in Samarkand, which may start Belarus’ accession procedure to the SCO,” he said.
Last month, Bakhtiyor Khakimov, Russia’s special presidential representative on SCO affairs, said at an SCO meeting in Tashkent that Minsk had “made a request to be admitted promptly” to the group, and Norov noted that 10 nations have applied to join the SCO or be observers or partners.
SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE
Ukraine’s attack on city in Kherson region ‘reminiscent of Hiroshima’ – official
The strike on Novaya Kakhovka was carried out with American weapons, local administration says
The Ukrainian attack on Novaya Kakhovka – a city in the Kherson region controlled by the Russian forces – with American weapons is a “crime against the civilian population”, Vladimir Leontyev, head of the city’s military-civilian administration, told RIA Novosti on Tuesday night. According to him, there are victims, dozens of people were injured, hundreds were left homeless.
“Tonight reminds me of the terrible analogies of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which the United States carried out in August 1945. Almost the same thing happened to us today. There are already casualties among the civilian population, there are wounded, hundreds of people were left homeless, dozens of houses were destroyed. Hospitals continue to receive people. Many dozens of people are injured. We are shocked by this bombardment,” he said.
Deputy head of the regional administration Kirill Stremousov told RIA Novosti that Ukrainian troops launched a missile attack on Novaya Kakhovka with high-precision American HIMARS rocket launchers.
A Russian ammunition depot exploded in the city, the speaker of the Odessa regional administration Sergey Bratchuk and adviser to the head of the Kherson region Sergey Khlan said.
“People’s windows are flying out, but they are still happy … Because this means that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are close,” Khlan said.
Sources of Russian TASS and RIA Novosti news agencies, in turn, say that warehouses with saltpeter were attacked, emphasizing separately that the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station was not damaged, but the nearby market, hospital and residential buildings were.
“The information has already been unequivocally confirmed that a large humanitarian hub was located right a few meters from the missile hit, and a boy with a disability remained on duty there for the night. This is not some kind of heartbreaking story, it’s actually true. This boy died for sure. But the psychological effect that they want to achieve (in Kyiv) as a result of these bombings will not be achieved. This is a crime against the civilian population, first of all,” Leontyev said, adding that he considers Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to be a criminal.
“When you give an order to bomb the center of a peaceful city, this is a crime, an obvious crime that has no statute of limitations. This is a real tragedy,” Leontyev added.
The city of Novaya Kakhovka, a regional center in the Kherson region, came under Russian control on the very first day of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, February 24. Previously, there was no information in open sources that there were warehouses with saltpeter in the city.
Dozens of people injured in Ukraine’s strike on Novaya Kakhovka
KHERSON, July 12. /TASS/. Dozens of people were injured as a result of the strike of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at Novaya Kakhovka, there were also deaths, head of the Kakhovka District military-civilian administration in the Kherson region Vladimir Leontyev told TASS.
“Unfortunately, there are casualties, a large number of injured, dozens of people were left homeless,” he said, noting that the city is significantly damaged.
Leontyev added that “the victims were admitted to both the city hospital and the military hospital”. “We still have to assess the damage, because the situation is still ongoing” he said, adding that the city authorities intend to start assessing the damage on Tuesday.
The Ukrainian military attacked Novaya Kakhovka on Monday evening. In addition to damaged buildings, the attack also led to an explosion at fertilizer warehouses.
Ukrainian nationalists plan to accuse Russian forces of blowing up lyceum in Slavyansk
MOSCOW, July 11. /TASS/. Ukrainian nationalists hold civilians hostage in a lyceum in Slavyansk, which they rigged with explosives and plan to blow up to accuse Russian Armed Forces of murdering civilians, Russian National Defense Control Center head Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev said Monday.
According to Mizintsev, “it has been credibly determined that Ukrainian nationalists prepare another cynical provocation with death of civilians in Slavyansk, DPR, to accuse Russian Armed Forces of indiscriminate shelling of civilian objects.”
“To that extent, residents of nearby blocks are being held hostage in the building of the professional agricultural lyceum on Nauki Street under pretext of ensuring their safety. Meanwhile, the building has been rigged with explosives, and the militants plan to blow it up once Russian forces begin shelling military objects in the city,” Mizintsev said.
Polyansky: Ukrainian Strike on Nova Kakhovka Direct Consequence of US Weapons Supplies
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyansky condemned the strike on the city of Nova Kakhovka carried out by Ukrainian forces with the use of the US’ High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), and called it a direct consequence of Washington’s supplies of weapons to Kiev.
“Such attacks on civilian targets can only cause strong condemnation,” Polyansky told Sputnik. “This is a direct consequence of the supply of weapons by the [United] States to Kiev.”
Earlier on Monday night, as a result of the strike on Nova Kakhovka, warehouses with saltpeter exploded, while a hospital and residential buildings were also damaged.
Polyansky emphasized that the attack is a crime against the civilian population.
UN Declines to Comment on Nova Kakhovka But Opposes Destruction of Civilian Buildings
UN Secretary-General’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told Sputnik he would not comment on the Nova Kakhovka shelling but added that the United Nations overall opposes any military activity that results in the destruction of civilian buildings.
Earlier on Monday, Nova Kakhovka’s military-civilian administration head Vladimir Leontyev confirmed to Sputnik that the Ukrainian strike on the city was carried out through the US-supplied HIMARS.
“No comment on this specific issue,” Haq said on Monday. “As a general comment, we oppose any military activity that results in the destruction of civilian buildings.”
The Pentagon also declined to comment on the matter.
According to Leontyev, warehouses with saltpeter in Nova Khabarovka exploded as a result of a strike from Ukrainian positions firing on the city.
Leontyev added that the strike resulted in the death of civilians and the injury of dozens of residents, while hundreds were left without functional homes. A disabled teenager, who was on duty at a warehouse with humanitarian aid, is among those killed in the attack.
Remarks by Chargé d’Affaires of the Russian Federation Dmitry Polyanskiy at an Arria meeting of UNSC members “Neo-Nazism and radical nationalism: exploring root causes of the crisis in Ukraine”
11 July 2022
Today we would like to continue bringing to your knowledge additional information related to the situation in and around Ukraine. We chose a topic which always attracts active criticism from you during formal meetings of the UN Security Council devoted to Ukraine – spread of Nazism and fascism in this country. It is also important for us to speak out about this since denazification is one of the objectives of our Special military operation which Russia started on 24 February.
I have to remind you that Russia together with other Soviet republics, including Ukraine, suffered immensely from Nazism and fascism in the 20th century. During the Second World War we lost at least 27 million people. It means that almost every family in the post-Soviet space lost their loved ones. The USSR was in ruins, our population faced immense barbarism from German Nazi occupants which was documented and exposed, inter alia, by the famous Nuremberg Tribunal. I am recalling this here to explain why rejection of Nazism and fascism is so deep in our people’s DNA. We celebrate the Victory Day as the biggest national holiday, we honor veterans – those who passed and those who are still alive. To us, this is not distant past, it is a living memory. Any manifestation of fascism is very painful for our eyes and ears, it wouldn’t be an over exaggeration to say that we have zero tolerance to it.
That’s why we were extremely worried to see clear signs of the resurrection of fascism in our neighborly Ukraine. How did it get there, one may ask? How could have Ukrainians whose grandparents fought side by side with Russian soldiers against Hitler failed to notice this dangerous trend? Resurrection of Nazism in Ukraine didn’t happen overnight. One needs to recall that fascism in the form of Hitler-loyal extreme nationalism isn’t a new phenomenon for this country. Back in 1941 German troops invading Ukraine were accompanied by Ukrainian Nationalists from Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and Ukrainian Insurgent Army.
ONU members eagerly collaborated with German Nazis driven by Anti-Semitism as well as hatred for Russians, Poles and Bolsheviks. That was the basis of independent Ukrainian State that they were hoping to build with the assistance of the Germans. In their show of loyalty they often surpassed their Nazi masters in cruelty and lust for bloodshed. Their participation in murdering hundreds of thousands of Jews, Poles, Russians and fellow Ukrainians is well documented, the Ukrainian Nazi division “SS-Galichina” whose insignia you now see on your screen was condemned by the Nuremberg tribunal. By the way, today Poland marks another anniversary of the Volyn massacre perpetrated by Ukrainian nationalists who took lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
After the defeat of Nazi Germany Ukrainian nationalists were eradicated in Soviet Ukraine but some of them managed to escape to Europe with fleeing German troops at the end of the war, many of them later were picked up by the US and Canada as a potential tool in their Cold War against the USSR. I will abstain from giving any assessment of this shameful decision today and limit my words to saying that it had tragic consequences for independent Ukraine in 1991 when the ancestors of those nationalists and Nazi-collaborators returned to Ukraine and started their slow but consistent revengeful crusade which was given immense boost after the illegal Maidan coup in 2014. Today, after thirty years, it has contaminated virtually the whole of the Ukrainian society with the virus of Nazism 2.0 on top of extreme nationalism and Russophobia. We will have briefers today who will give a detailed account of this unfortunate and extremely dangerous development. On the screen, you can see modern manifestation of extreme nationalism and neo-Nazism.
Some of you may claim that we are exaggerating the scope of Ukrainian Nazism and will make reference to the fact that current Ukrainian President is a Jew. I agree, it is difficult to reconcile one with another, but facts are solid and almost impossible to ignore. It’s enough to mention that the leaders of Ukrainian Nationalists Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevich are now national heroes of Ukraine. Nazi insignia like the skull from Nazi Panzer division Totenkopf and Schwarze Sonne are widely seen on Ukrainian military uniforms. This photo was published by President Zelensky in his twitter on May 9, later deleted. Can you imagine a President of a country that fought Nazism 75 years ago publishing such photos on a Victory Day, which is sacred for millions of those whose ancestors gave their lives to liberate Europe from Nazism? And on the second photo, you can see a Ukrainian female military proudly wearing a Nazi ‘Schwarze Sonne’ symbol. This photo was published in the NATO twitter account to congratulate women on March 8. Another Nazi symbol ‘Wolfsangel’ has been integrated into the insignia of the Nationalist Azov battalion (Azov is on the right). The slogans of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators “Glory to Ukraine – Glory to the heroes” and “Ukraine above all” have become common, Nazi salute with raised right hand is widespread. Even the swastikas and German eagles with them are not uncommon. I want to show to you a brief video prepared by my colleagues from Russian Embassy in London where you will recognize many examples of what I just said.
In order to understand the degree of contamination of Ukrainian elite with Nazi ideology let’s recall a recent scandal with the appearance in German media of infamous Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Mr. Melnik, who was fired from this position a couple of days ago, around the figures of Bandera and Shukhevich. His blatant attempt to whitewash them from crimes against humanity caused angry reactions from Poland and Israel, which is a rare case. Polish Foreign Ministry called Melnik’s performance absolutely unacceptable, the Israeli Embassy claimed that his assertions “belittle the Holocaust”. What is even more noteworthy is that Ukrainian Foreign Ministry disassociated itself from Melnik’s view. Think about it: Ukrainian Foreign Ministry distances itself from the words of its ambassador but Bandera and Shukhevich are still national heroes of Ukraine! These are the realities of today’s Kiev regime.
To highlight widespread practice of glorification of Nazi collaborators we circulated more than a year ago as an official document of the UN Security Council copies of some open-source tweets by the head of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee Edward Dolinskiy who has been chronicling such acts involving low-profile Nazi collaborators for several years. You have copies of it before you. I will read several of them just as examples.
On page one you can see that a street was named after Avenir Kolumiets and his memorial plaque was at a school in his native village. This Nazi collaborator, chief of Dubno department of education, was participating in mass murder of more than 5000 Jews of Dubno. On page 2, you can see Mr.Miroslav Simchikh, mass murderer of Polish population in Western Ukraine. There is a monument to him in Kolomiya area. Nazi ‘SS-Galichina’ Hauptsturmanfuehrer Dmitro Pavliv was photographed repeatedly with Hitler. Now there is his memorial plaque in modern Lviv, Ukraine. In Lviv, there is also a memorial plate to Volodymyr Kubijovyč, founder of ‘SS-Galichina’ division. Mykola Mihknovsky, Stepan Lynnik, Oleg Sedemskiy – these are not Bandera and Shukhevich, these are real day-to-day perpetrators of Holocaust and crimes against humanity and they are being presented as heroes of today’s Ukraine. Mr.Dolinskiy has more information on his twitter account.
I am spending your time showing this, for you to realize that Nazism in Ukraine is a wide-spread cancer tumor which requires the most serious attention. And this is one of the purposes of this Arria meeting.
We have very interesting briefers today, let me introduce them without further ado.
We have the pleasure to welcome our old friend Maxim Grigoryev, political scientist, researcher, who is leading non-non-governmental Democracy Research Fund. Mr. Grigoryev is currently chairing the International Public Tribunal for Ukraine, which embraces civil society representatives from 20 countries. On his travels to Donbass and other regions, Mr. Grigoriev has carried out dozens of in-field interviews with the ordinary people who suffered from the violence and war crimes committed by the Kiev regime, including by radical nationalist groups. He has accumulated a unique collection of such first-hand accounts, which speak for themselves and need no explanation.
Our second briefer is Alexander Dyukov, historian and research associate from the Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Science. He is an internationally recognized expert on the history of the Holocaust. Since 2014 Mr. Dyukov has been coordinating human rights organization the Information Group on Crimes against the Person.
We are glad to greet today Sergey Kozhemyakin, a criminal defense lawyer. As a Donbass native, Mr. Kozhemyakin has been on his initiative fighting the violence and injustice of the Kiev regime by meticulously collecting material evidence of its crimes. He submitted dozens legal cases to the International Criminal Court and will be glad to share some of his horrifying findings today.
Please extend your warm welcome to Mr. Wilhelm Domke-Schulz from Germany, a film director and producer. Mr. Domke-Shulz has produced over seventy films, including award-winning reporting and historical documentaries. He visited Donbass several times and is now working on a new documentary about the lives of ordinary people there.
Lastly, we have a unique opportunity today to listen to a person who was one of the first to step into the Azovstal plant after its liberation and witnessed with his own eye the situation there, as left by the Azov nationalist battalion. We are glad to welcome here Mr. Kirill Revin, an investigator from the Ministry of Internal Affairs Donetsk People’s Republic.
To conclude, let me first of all ask my colleagues to display the QR code. It’s a link to the cloud storage where you can find some of the materials that you saw today and also some additional materials.
This meeting was a difficult one, and I thank you all for participation. It was not easy either to watch or to participate. But you can believe me when I say that we haven’t shown the most shocking videos and most shocking witnesses. I was not surprised to hear our Western colleagues repeat the same mantra again, rejecting so-called Russian propaganda, which is how the West is calling a different opinion today. However, I would still like to refer to the times when our nations together defeated German fascism and saved many generations from the scourge of war. American, British, and French veterans who sacrificed their lives together with their Soviet colleagues in fight against fascism, I can imagine how they turn in their graves because their grandsons display an utmost degree of hypocrisy and blindness in order to not notice an obvious thing – Nazism is resurfacing in front of their noses. And they even help it resurface out of geopolitical interests.
For the memory of the veterans and for the sake of future generations, the task of de-nazification of Ukraine will be completed. We know what we are doing, and we are doing the right thing. We will never tolerate a resurrection of Nazism next to our doors. It is up to you whether to acknowledge the obvious or not – the Nazi character of the Kiev regime. Your action or inaction will be scrutinized by your own citizens who are sending us letters and messages of support for what we are doing. Our conscience is clear, but I would not vouch for yours.
Prof: Russian Gas is Irreplaceable, But If EU Wants More African Fuel It Should Invest First
The EU is striving to buy as much natural gas from African producers as possible in order to substitute Russia’s banned hydrocarbon supplies, according to Bloomberg. Africa, however, desperately needs the fuel to lift millions out of poverty.
“For years, the EU neglected if not completely ignored the needs of African countries for investment in developing their infrastructure and also developing African energy reserves for the benefit of the African people,” explained Dr. Mamdouh G. Salameh, a visiting professor of energy economics at the ESCP Business School in London.
In recent reports, Bloomberg has nailed Europe’s hypocrisy relating to its sudden rush for African liquefied natural gas (LNG), stressing that “[The EU] doesn’t want to fund projects that would allow the world’s poorest continent to burn more of the fuel at home.”
While Nigeria’s Bonny Island produces “enough liquefied natural gas to heat half the UK for the winter,” the fuel is largely consumed by Spain and Portugal, with the island’s locals still using black-market kerosene and diesel to light wood stoves and power electricity generators, according to Bloomberg.
“Western nations even criticized China when it invested in Africa’s infrastructure and energy resources at a time when they were refusing to invest in Africa either because of sanctions they imposed on African countries or because of their old imperialistic streak,” the international oil economist and one of the world’s leading experts on crude noted.
While lambasting the EU for hypocrisy and betrayal of the green agenda, Bloomberg shied away from shedding light on the root cause of the problem: the bloc has found itself between a rock and a hard place because of self-harming sanctions slapped on Russia’s energy sector over Moscow’s special operation in Ukraine.
Earlier this year, the EU pledged to end its dependence on Russian fossil fuels before 2030, following in Washington and London’s footsteps. In April, Brussels laid out targets to slash its demand for Russian natural gas by two-thirds by the end of 2022. A month later, Bloomberg reported that the bloc is trying to curry favor with African hydrocarbon producers to substitute at least part of Russia’s gas deliveries this year. The EU sees western and northern African states as alternative suppliers.
African Gas Infrastructure Needs Investments
“The major obstacle in tapping Africa’s energy reserves is overcoming underdeveloped infrastructure,” explained Salameh. “The two relatively significant African LNG exporters are Algeria – currently exporting 29.3 million tonnes (mt) – and Nigeria – with an export capacity of 22.2 mt. The rest of Africa’s producers have limited production and export capacities with neither LNG plants nor gas pipelines.”
The oil expert noted that the EU is already importing LNG from both countries. “These two countries may be able to raise their LNG exports a bit in the next few years but it will still be a drop in the ocean of the EU’s gas needs,” the academic said.
Moreover, if the entire LNG exports from Algeria, Nigeria and Senegal were to be exported to the EU, they would only replace 31% of Russian gas supplies, according to Salameh. However, even this hypothetical scenario is unrealistic because part of African LNG exports are already contracted elsewhere, he highlighted.
“It is highly unlikely that African LNG exporters along with the United States, Qatar and Australia will be capable of replacing Russian gas supplies to the EU now or in the foreseeable future,” the oil expert emphasized. “The reason is that the bulk of US, Qatari and Australian LNG exports are bought years in advance by customers in the Asia-Pacific region; and partly because the EU has limited LNG import capacity and storage.”
A potential way out for the EU would be to invest heavily in the African energy sector. However, Salameh doubts that the bloc has immediate plans to do this, particularly when it could be facing a harsh recession soon and is already paying horrendous energy bills.
Even if the EU pours billions into hydrocarbon extraction and transportation, it would still take considerable time to get these projects up and running.
“In February 2022, Niger, Algeria and Nigeria inked an agreement that aims to revive the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline project that aims to link Nigeria’s LNG plants with Hassi R’Mel in Algeria, passing through Niger and carrying 30 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas to European markets every year. However, I doubt very much if this pipeline will see the light of day in even the next 10 years,” said Salameh.
The academic went on to argue that the EU is wasting its time and deluding itself trying to switch from Russian gas supplies which are irreplaceable now or even in 15-20 years.
“The EU’s efforts to diversify its gas needs away from Russia is a painstaking job that will take years to accomplish if ever,” he said. “Still, the EU may have no alternative but to invest in Africa if it continues to be hell-bent on reducing its dependence on Russian gas.”
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