Gazprom news – Atlanti Gaz Wed, 18 May 2022 14:41:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gazprom news – Atlanti Gaz 32 32 The war crimes trial of a Russian soldier in Ukraine has been adjourned until Thursday after he pleaded guilty Wed, 18 May 2022 12:19:00 +0000

Russia has declared 34 French diplomats “persona non grata” in the country in response to a decision by France to expel 41 Russian diplomats in April, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

The French ambassador to Moscow, Pierre Lévy, was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, and “strong protests were expressed about the provocative and unjustified decision” of the French authorities to declare 41 Russian diplomats in France ” persona non grata,” the ministry said. .

“It has been pointed out that this act inflicts serious damage on Russian-French relations and constructive bilateral cooperation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“In response, 34 French diplomats were declared ‘persona non grata’,” the ministry added. “They were ordered to leave the territory of Russia within two weeks from the date of delivery of the relevant note to the ambassador.”

France issued a statement and said it “strongly condemns” the decision.

“The work of these diplomats and the staff of our embassy in Russia, whose courage and great professionalism France salutes, falls fully within the framework of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations. The decision of the Russian authorities has no legitimate basis. We can only condemn him.

Similarly, Russia also deported 27 Spanish diplomats to Russia in response to a decision by Spain to expel 27 Russian diplomats from the country in April, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry expelled employees of numerous embassies in similar retaliatory measures. Some of the most recent countries that received a similar response from Moscow include Finland, Germany, Bulgaria, Poland, Denmark and Norway, among others.

Russian threat of European gas disconnection begins to fade Mon, 16 May 2022 14:12:00 +0000

The threat of an abrupt halt in Russian gas exports to Europe has receded as European Union authorities and Russian officials move closer to a deal that will avoid a stalemate over currency denomination demands .

The European Commission reportedly issued guidelines on Friday on how EU companies can pay for Russian gas without breaching sanctions imposed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, heeding Moscow’s demands to tip the payment towards the weakened Russian ruble.

Updated EU guidelines, which are expected to become official later this week, will set out the conditions under which companies can avoid sanctions, the Bloomberg news agency reported.

The guidelines would confirm that EU sanctions do not prevent companies from opening an account at a designated bank in accordance with Russian requirements, as long as their own deposits are in the currency denominated in existing contracts and report the transaction made when she is paid as such.

Almost all supply contracts EU companies have with Russian gas giant Gazprom are in euros or dollars.

Deadlines for payment of gas supplies from the April pipeline by Gazprom are set to come in the second half of May, with Moscow insisting on a new plan that will involve the country’s main bank, Gazprombank, and the conversion of incoming payments into rubles. .

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Hostile nations

Russia used the refusal of Polish and Bulgarian buyers to join this program as an excuse to stop gas supplies to these two countries altogether, but took no action to stop gas supplies to other countries. Europeans.

The Kremlin designated EU countries among a list of “hostile states” after introducing and backing sweeping sanctions against Russia in response to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s neighbor Moldova has decided not to take a position on the right to pay in euros, according to the chairman of the board of directors of Moldovan gas importer and distributor Moldovagaz.

A decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 31 said Gazprom should impose a single payment system for customers from “hostile states”.

Data subjects are advised to open foreign currency and ruble accounts with the Russian bank Gazprom so that payments in euros or US dollars are accepted and converted into rubles before sending them to Gazprom accounts.

About 20 European buyers are said to have opened such dedicated accounts with Gazprombank even before receiving firm guidelines from the EC on whether the payment system violates existing sanctions against Russia.

Fourteen other Gazprom customers have asked Gazprombank for the documents needed to set them up, an unidentified bank source told Bloomberg.

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Gazprom customers in northwest Europe are unlikely to see many options to buy more pipeline from Russia above their contract minimums anytime soon.

Only one of the export routes from Russia – the Nord Stream undersea gas pipeline – is currently able to operate normally, with an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas.

Gazprom last week refused to change the deal for transit supply through Ukraine after the Russian military took over a key pumping station in the Lugansk region.

Its operations were halted by the country’s transmission authority, operator GTS Ukrainy, with force majeure declared.

Operator GTS said on Monday that Gazprom is currently shipping about 53 million cubic meters per day of gas through the Sudzha gas pipeline hub in the Sumy region in the north of the country, against a contractual minimum of 109 MMcmd.

Executive director of operator GTS Ukrainy Sergey Makogon said the Sudzha hub serves three main routes from Russia and is capable of handling 244 Bcmd of Russian gas transit against Nord Stream’s 160 Bcmd capacity.

With the Russian refusal, Ukraine continues to adapt its trunk line network to new challenges, recently allowing gas transport from Poland to Hungary, Makogon added.

Is LNG a game-changer?

With increased liquefied natural gas tanker movements to Europe, the delta between European gas stocks and their five-year average fell to 9 bcm from 22 bcm earlier this year, according to Jefferies equity research analysts.

Gas reserves in storage appear to be on track to meet the European Union’s new minimum storage requirement of 80% of capacity by November, erasing a possible “geopolitical risk premium” in gas prices. spot gas for the coming winter, analysts suggested.

Gazprom’s possible refusal to operate the Yamal pipeline, which supplies gas from Russia through Belarus to Poland and Germany, has now been ignored by market participants, seeing the flurry of activity in Europe for organize alternative gas supplies.

The Polish oil and gas producer PGNiG announced on Monday that it had signed memorandums of understanding with the American Sempra Infrastructure for the delivery of 3 million tons per year of LNG from two liquefaction terminals in the American Gulf from of 2027.

According to PGNiG, these supplies are likely to enter the country’s pipeline network via a planned floating storage and regasification unit near the Baltic port of Gdansk in Poland.

PGNiG already has contracts for the supply of 7 million tpy of US LNG which provides more than 9 bcm of gas after regasification and entirely replaces Russian pipeline imports.

The company has reserved the full capacity of the country’s first terminal at Swinoujscie, allowing it to accept 6.2 billion m3 per year of gas after regasification, with a target capacity of 8.3 billion m3 per year after expansion scheduled for 2024.

PGNiG has also reserved capacity in the regasification terminal in Klaipeda, Lithuania, on the Baltic Sea, the company added.

The company has chartered eight LNG carriers, each with a capacity of 174,000 tonnes of liquefied natural gas, which will be built exclusively for PGNiG to transport LNG to the country and Europe.

The first two carriers will enter service next year, the next two – in 2024 and the remaining four – in 2025, the company said.

IOC questions Olympic boxing leadership after IBA election Sat, 14 May 2022 17:29:02 +0000

FILE - Russian Boxing Federation Secretary General, International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee Member Umar Kremlev holds a news conference in Moscow, Russia October 27, 2020. The Russian incumbent's challenger at the presidential election at the struggling International Boxing Association was ruled ineligible a day before the vote.  Umar Kremlev is a candidate for re-election despite sanctions imposed on Russian sports and fears that the IBA is financially dependent on Gazprom.  (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

FILE – Russian Boxing Federation Secretary General, International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee Member Umar Kremlev holds a news conference in Moscow, Russia October 27, 2020. The Russian incumbent’s challenger at the presidential election at the struggling International Boxing Association was ruled ineligible a day before the vote. Umar Kremlev is a candidate for re-election despite sanctions imposed on Russian sports and fears that the IBA is financially dependent on Gazprom. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)


With boxing’s status at the Olympics uncertain, the IOC was unimpressed on Saturday with the sport’s governing body leadership election stripped of recognition in 2019.

Members of the International Boxing Association re-elected their Russian president Umar Kremlev by acclamation two days after the only other candidate, from the Netherlands, was ruled out by an independent vetting committee.

“The events surrounding the IBA General Assembly, in particular the elections, deserve careful analysis and only reinforce questions and doubts around the governance of the IBA,” the International Olympic Committee said in a statement. communicated.

Saturday’s vote marked the third presidential election in less than four years where boxing officials around the world have voted a winner in defiance of IOC advice.

The IOC has for several years expressed concerns about the integrity of IBA’s management and finances, and the potentially inappropriate judging of bouts at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics under previous management.

The Olympic body excluded the IBA from helping to organize boxing at the Tokyo Games last year and left it out of the initial list of sports for the 2028 edition in Los Angeles.

Without a share of Tokyo’s Olympic revenue, Kremlev won boxing backing for writing off millions of dollars in IBA debt, albeit apparently from a single Russian source.

“The IOC’s various concerns, including financial dependence on state-owned Gazprom, remain unresolved,” the IOC said.

Boxing is due to be at the Paris Olympics in 2024, but the IOC warned IBA members last week of concerns over the proposed qualification path for hundreds of boxers.

The IOC said its executive board “will receive an update on the latest developments from the IBA” at a two-day meeting next week.

The Kremlev’s expected opponent in the elections, Boris van der Vorst, has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against his exclusion from the elections. He has faced complaints about prohibited collaboration with candidates for other IBA positions.


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Amateur boxing crisis grows as Russian President Iba’s electoral rival is banned | Boxing Thu, 12 May 2022 21:09:00 +0000

Amateur boxing has been plunged into a new crisis after the sport’s only rival to Russia’s president was banned from running on the eve of the International Boxing Association election.

Sources close to Iba told the Guardian that Dutch candidate Boris van der Vorst, who was due to challenge Umar Kremlev for Iba’s presidency, was banned for breaking his rules by being part of an 18-nation alliance that openly criticized Iba. reaction to the war in Ukraine and its reliance on Gazprom funding.

Van der Vorst is now appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after being caught off guard by the news. Five other candidates for Iba’s board, who were also part of the Common Cause Alliance lobby group opposed to the Kremlev, were also excluded from Friday’s elections in Istanbul.

The decision leaves boxing, which has been rocked by numerous legal and financial scandals in recent years, facing more questions about its Olympic future.

Boxing is currently not on the slate for the 2028 Los Angeles Games and, as The Guardian revealed on Wednesday, the IOC sent a letter to Kremlev this week saying he had “significant concerns” about the governance and financing of Iba. After this latest news, many are now openly wondering if there is a way back for the organization.

In a statement, Iba said the decision was made by the Acting Appointment Unit, an independent body set up in February to establish eligibility and analyze candidates’ skills.

The statement read: “Complaints were lodged with the Acting Appointment Unit on 11 and 13 April 2022 that the activities of these candidates were illegal under Iba regulations to the extent that they constituted participation in another international boxing organization, prohibited collaboration between candidates and the electoral campaign outside the electoral period.

“The activities in question revolved around the creation of a group called the Common Cause Alliance in which the listed candidates participated, as well as exchanges of open letters with the Iba.”

The Dutch federation, led by Van der Vorst, was among 18 national federations, including the United States, England, France, Australia and Canada, which formed the alliance earlier this year to ask the Iba to disclose the financial information involved in its agreement with Gazprom.

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He then called for eight-point action to address the damage caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – and for the Iba to take stronger action against the Russian Boxing Federation.

In a terse response to the news, the IOC said it was “following developments in Iba very closely”.

EXPLAINER: What are the fallout from the shutdown of the pipe in Ukraine? | Economic news Wed, 11 May 2022 14:40:00 +0000

The closure of a gas pipeline in eastern Ukraine has sent a new wave of energy jitters across Europe.

The price of gasoline jumped, then fell. The cut is clear because it is the first time that the war has disrupted Russian natural gas flowing through Ukraine on its way to Europe, where it fuels factories and generates electricity.

Here are the key things to know:


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The gas pipeline network operator, Gas TSO of Ukraine, said it could no longer transport gas through a compressor station in the Lugansk region of eastern Ukraine, near the border with Ukraine. Russia. He said he had no operational control over the station located in Russian-controlled territory, with occupation forces interfering in the operation of the station and diverting gas in ways that endangered the stability of the gas pipeline system.

The company said it had repeatedly informed Russian state gas exporter Gazpro m of threats to flows resulting from such interference, but its calls had been ignored.

The pipeline handles about a third of Russian gas bound for Europe. The Ukrainian operator said that gas flows could be compensated by another gas pipeline that crosses Russia to Ukraine near the town of Sudzha.

Gazprom said that was not possible, but gas flows at Sudzha increased overnight, by about 8 million cubic meters per day.


While Russia has cut off natural gas to Poland and Bulgaria over a dispute over ruble payments, Wednesday’s cut is the first cut in gas supplies passing through Ukraine due to the war.

Any suggestion that energy supplies are vulnerable has driven prices up. Spot gas prices rose 4% at the opening of markets on Wednesday, to 103 euros per megawatt. But they then eased, to around 95 euros per megawatt hour, below what they were on Tuesday.

European governments are not happy to send hundreds of millions of dollars a day to Russia for energy, but have been unable to agree on a boycott of natural gas due to heavy dependence on major economies like Germany and Italy. The European Union’s executive board has proposed a phase-out of Russian oil, but has met resistance from dependent countries like Hungary.

Economists estimate that a total cut off from oil and natural gas would plunge Europe into a recession. A loss of gas alone would hit industries such as metals, fertilizers, glass and ceramics, which in some cases have already slowed production due to high gas prices. And consumers would face even higher electricity and heating bills than they already do.

To avoid these outcomes, the EU has proposed cutting Russian gas imports by two-thirds by the end of the year through additional pipeline supplies from Norway and Azerbaijan, more purchases of liquefied gas by ship, to a faster deployment of wind and solar energy. , and conservation. Whether this can be achieved remains to be seen.


Before the war, the share of Russian gas routed to Europe via Ukraine had fallen to around 18%. Of that number, about a third go through that particular part of the pipeline system that has been shut down. This can represent up to 32.6 million cubic meters per day; in recent days it has been around 23 million cubic meters per day.

Much, but not all, of that gas could be re-routed through the pipeline entering Ukraine near Sudzha, said Zongqiang Luo, gas analyst at Rystad Energy.

Even with increased capacity through this city, some 10 million cubic meters of gas per day would still be looking for a pipeline route to Europe, and “where exactly is unclear as capacity seems full,” Luo said.

Over the course of a year, this daily flow would amount to around 3.6 billion cubic meters of gas, out of the approximately 150 billion cubic meters that Europe imports from Russia. It’s not a huge amount by comparison, but gas supplies are scarce, prices are high, and gas importers and governments are scrambling to find all the non-Russian gas supplies they can.

Germany receives a quarter less gas via Ukraine, the Energy Ministry announced on Wednesday. Increased supplies from Norway and the Netherlands are partly compensating for the shortfall, said Annika Einhorn, spokeswoman for the ministry.

She noted that the majority of Russian gas reaches Germany through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline rather than through Ukraine.


Thanks to mild weather, Europe is in better shape on gas after going through the winter with barely adequate supplies. Reserves are filling up faster than last year, but this should continue to cover demand this winter.

The shutdown would make it harder for European countries to meet their targets for storage levels next winter and “accelerate Europe’s plans to shift away from Russian gas imports”, Luo said.

“As the European gas network is well integrated, no country is likely to suffer an immediate impact, but it will put additional pressure on the system and put a floor on the downward price movement,” Luo added.


Ukraine’s TSO Gas and Gazprom have sought to underscore their reliability as gas suppliers despite the war-fueled enmity, so analysts are still trying to figure out what’s at stake. Commerzbank’s Barbara Lambrecht said: “It remains to be seen whether the supply disruption turns out to be anything more than just muscle flexing.”

Tim Ash, senior sovereign emerging markets strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, said it could be about forcing Europe’s hand.

“I think frustrations are building in Ukraine that Europe is proving too slow to deploy an energy embargo against Russia,” he said. “If Europe isn’t ready to shut down the energy money printing machine for Moscow, why wouldn’t Ukraine take matters into its own hands?

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Schalke promoted to Bundesliga after ending ties with Russia Mon, 09 May 2022 14:44:20 +0000

Schalke fans celebrate the team's promotion to the Bundesliga on the pitch after the 2nd Bundesliga soccer match against FC St. Pauli at the Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Saturday May 7, 2022. The traditional club du FC Schalke 04 secured an immediate return to Germany's top league after a 3-2 win over St. Pauli secured a top-two spot in the 2nd Division.  (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Schalke fans celebrate the team’s promotion to the Bundesliga on the pitch after the 2nd Bundesliga soccer match against FC St. Pauli at the Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Saturday May 7, 2022. The traditional club du FC Schalke 04 secured an immediate return to Germany’s top league after a 3-2 win over St. Pauli secured a top-two spot in the 2nd Division. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)


Schalke return to the Bundesliga after a year of transformation on and off the pitch.

A humiliating relegation from the First Division has forced one of Germany’s traditional giants to rebuild their squad. Then came the war in Ukraine and Schalke severed ties with Russian gas company Gazprom, the financial fuel for some of its greatest successes, leaving the club facing an uncertain future.

Schalke’s late push for promotion this season was reflected in Saturday’s game which secured their return to the Bundesliga. Schalke lost 2-0 at halftime to promotion rivals St. Pauli but recovered to win 3-2.

“I have huge respect for this group, for the way it has developed. Incredible,” said coach Mike Büskens, himself a Schalke great for winning the UEFA Cup as a player in 1997. “You get kicked out of the division unceremoniously, you don’t have a team. And then a group develops where everyone is ready to believe in each other, to give their all, and I must say that the guys well deserved.

A shadow was cast over the festivities when fans were injured in crushes and falls as thousands marched onto the pitch. Police said 18 people were injured on Monday, nine of them seriously.

“This field invasion could have ended in disaster,” said Peter Both, the senior officer on duty.

In January 2021, Schalke ended a 12-game losing streak to an all-time Bundesliga record of 31. When relegation was confirmed three months later, fans clashed with players and staff, attacking some of between them as they left the team bus.

The lack of ticket sales during the coronavirus pandemic has caused the club to warn of possible insolvency. Even with 20 million euros ($21 million) a year from Gazprom in the top flight, Schalke had spent beyond his means as he chased glory in the Bundesliga and Champions League, where he played for the last time in 2018-19.

Gazprom sells gasoline in large quantities to industrial buyers and countries, not to German households. One of the oldest and most lucrative sponsorship deals in world football was therefore a paradox – what was advertising really for?

The sponsorship began in 2006 and has accustomed locals to seeing the logo of the Russian state corporation in the industrial heartland of Germany, which is also an electoral stronghold of the Social Democratic Party, one of the two main forces country policies. Side billboards displayed the logo of Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany that would have extended Gazprom’s control over European markets. This project was suspended shortly before the invasion.

When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Schalke terminated the sponsorship deal with Gazprom and Matthias Warnig, an old friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, quit the board. The new sponsor is a local real estate company. The new deal is not public but is likely worth far less than the Gazprom deal, which was to last until 2025.

Fans made stickers to cover the Russian company’s logo on their replica shirts, or rushed to buy new ones without Gazprom’s name. Schalke now donates money to charities helping Ukrainians for every new club member and every shirt sold with a ‘Together for peace’ message. Goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann organized match tickets for 100 refugees.

Getting promoted on the first try was vital for Schalke in a division filled with teams like Hamburg, Nuremberg and Hanover, all of whom were once top-flight mainstays and are now battling a slow post-relegation decline.

Schalke may be on top at the moment, but the transition to the Bundesliga won’t be easy. This season’s standout player with 29 goals in as many league games is Simon Terodde, a 34-year-old German who has a superb record in the second division but has struggled on several occasions in the top league. Main defender Ko Itakura is on loan from Manchester City.

But first, Schalke fans can continue the celebrations in Sunday’s final game of the season at Nuremberg.


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EXCLUSIVE Germany begins to fill Western Europe’s largest gas storage site Thu, 05 May 2022 13:43:00 +0000

FRANKFURT/DUESSELDORF, May 5 (Reuters) – Germany has started filling the huge Rehden gas storage facility abandoned by Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM), the state-appointed site manager said on Thursday , as Europe’s largest economy seeks to hedge against risk. of Moscow cutting off the supply.

Russian gas is vital for Europe and Germany in particular. But supplies were thrown into doubt by Western sanctions following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and an impending deadline set by Russia for ruble payments, which most buyers rejected.

Gazprom last month abandoned its Gazprom Germania operations, including Western Europe’s largest gas storage site in Rehden, as diplomatic relations deteriorated. Read more

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“As of today, small volumes are being injected,” Egbert Laege, the administrator appointed by the German energy regulator to temporarily manage the company, told Reuters in his first interview in the role. .

“We are working intensively on solutions to ensure that already much more gas can flow into the storage facility.”

Rehden can hold about 4 billion cubic meters of gas but only received small amounts last winter. Laege said it was clear it needed to be filled for the coming winter.

Rehden is currently only 0.6% full, well below the 36% average for gas storage facilities in Germany.

The regulator said it would control Gazprom Germania until September 30 and had the right to fire managers, hire new staff and tell management how to proceed. He did not say what will happen after that date.

“We have made good progress in stabilizing the activities of the Gazprom Germania group in these uncertain times,” Laege said, adding that he was in regular contact with the Ministry of Economy, the German network regulator and business partners of the band.

“Everyone recognizes the enormous importance of the Gazprom Germania Group for the security of gas supply. The trust of our business partners is perhaps our most important asset. I will do my utmost to maintain and strengthen this trust.”

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Reporting by Vera Eckert, Christoph Steitz and Tom Kaeckenhoff Editing by Maria Sheahan and Mark Potter

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Uniper talks to German government and Gazprom on ruble payment system Tue, 03 May 2022 14:21:00 +0000

The logo of Uniper SE is seen on its stand at Gastech, the world’s largest exhibition for the gas industry, in Chiba, Japan April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

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  • No binding assessment yet in payment negotiations with Gazprom
  • Net debt more than sixfold to 1.98 billion euros
  • Shares down 3.6%

FRANKFURT, May 3 (Reuters) – Germany’s Uniper (UN01.DE) remains in talks with Gazprom (GAZP.MM) and the German government on how to implement Moscow’s demand to pay for Russian gas in rubles, which, according to the European Commission, would violate the sanctions.

Uniper, in presentation slides released with the final Q1 results, cited “ongoing discussions with the German government and Gazprom on the potential implementation” of the decree, which fueled fears that supplies could be interrupted.

The company, Germany’s biggest importer of Russian gas, of which Finland’s Fortum (FORTUM.HE) owns 78%, declined to comment on details of the talks, saying only that no binding assessment had been made so far.

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Uniper shares were down 3.6% at 1355 GMT after the company also disclosed a six-fold increase in its net debt to 1.98 billion euros ($2.09 billion), due to the surge in energy prices which led to an increased need for cash to secure contracts.

Uniper’s gas midstream business covers a portfolio of approximately 370 terawatt hours (TWh) of long-term gas supply contracts, of which approximately 200 TWh comes from Russia.

The European Commission said late Monday that full compliance with Russia’s proposed program would breach existing EU sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, but promised more detailed guidance on what companies can and can’t do it legally. Read more

Brussels suggested last month that buyers of Russian gas could make sanctions-compliant payments if they report payments in full once they have been made in euros and before they are converted into rubles.

The Russian decree, however, states that a buyer’s obligation would not be considered complete until the foreign currency was converted into rubles.

Uniper said last week that it planned to transfer euro payments to a Russian account in the future and that the first payment under the scheme was due at the end of May, adding that no final decision had been made. . Read more

($1 = 0.9480 euros)

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Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Tom Kaeckenhoff; additional reporting by Vera Eckert; edited by Paul Carrel and Jason Neely

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Igor Volobuyev: Gazprom executive who fled Russia says he wants Putin hanged Mon, 02 May 2022 09:30:27 +0000

Russian gas executive Igor Volobuyev, who fled the country days after Moscow invaded its neighbor and emerged in kyiv, has called for Vladimir Putin to be hanged for his actions in launching a military assault on Ukraine.

“[Mr] Putin must be tried and hanged. But only in accordance with the law, ”said the deputy chairman of Gazprom. The telegraph.

He watched the ‘special military operation’, as Mr Putin called it, unfold on his phone and received SOS calls from people who said they needed to be rescued from Russian troops storming into the besieged country.

“I was glued to my phone. It felt like I was sitting in a cozy cinema watching a horror movie,” Mr Volobuyev said, according to the report.

“It’s such a miserable feeling when people call you and say, ‘The Russians are killing us. You work at Gazprombank. You are an important guy. Can you do anything to stop this?

The senior Gazprom official appeared in kyiv last week, saying he had fled Russia to fight alongside Ukrainian soldiers in a sudden and dramatic exit.

“I couldn’t look aside at what Russia was doing to my homeland,” said Mr Volobuev, who was born in the town of Okhtyrka in northeastern Ukraine.

“The Russians were killing my father, my acquaintances and my close friends. My dad lived in a cold basement for a month. People I knew from childhood told me they were ashamed of me,” Mr Volobuyev said.

From his childhood friends, he continued to receive videos of shells falling on his Ukrainian hometown of Okhtyrka.

He had spent two decades at Gazprom and had become the deputy chairman of Gazprombank, Russia’s third-largest bank, but he felt guilty as the streak of invasions intensified in his homeland.

“For eight years I was in this internal turmoil: I didn’t just work in Russia, but I worked for Gazprom. I worked for the Russian state,” he said, according to the report.

He pondered the idea of ​​moving to Ukraine, but family obligations bound him to his life in Russia and the dilemma only grew on February 24 when troops sent from Moscow began rolling their tanks inside former Soviet territory.

“I couldn’t live like this any longer: I had to choose between my family and my homeland, and I chose my homeland,” Volobuyev said.

Within seconds, he drove to the Russian-Ukrainian border, parked his BMW there for an endless period of time and fled on foot to his hometown, setting off for the next 30 kilometers in the middle of the war.

His childhood friends warned him. He could be shot by Ukrainian border guards or a Russian drone could end his life.

Mr Volobuyev then bought a ticket to Riga, Latvia, via Istanbul and flew to the airport with only one piece of hand luggage.

He took as much money as he could to get out of the country’s borders – £8,000.

What remains secretive are his methods of sneaking into Ukraine, he said, citing security concerns.

He adds that leaving Russia was easy but getting to Ukraine was as difficult as flying to the moon.

He is among hundreds of Russia’s key businessmen, as well as monarchs, who have faced the heat of financial loss after Western countries imposed a series of sanctions on the Kremlin.

Now his savings in Gazprombank accounts are at zero because not only did he lose access to his Visa card, but he also said his MasterCard was just a piece of plastic after operations were suspended. business in Russia.

Six Russian billionaires and executives of oil giant Gazprom ‘committed suicide in three months’ Sat, 30 Apr 2022 12:03:43 +0000

Mystery continues to shroud the alleged suicides of six prominent Russian oligarchs and businessmen since the start of the war in Ukraine.

Four billionaires and two executives of oil and gas giant Gazprom have died since Russian troops began preparing to invade their neighbor in late January.

Among them is Mikhail Watford, a Ukrainian-born gas and real estate magnate, who has told friends he has feared Putin’s blacklist “for years”.

The 66-year-old was found hanged in his £18million Surrey mansion last month in what authorities said was an ‘unexplained’ death with no evidence of foul play.

Mr Watford told friends and neighbors he had been ‘on Putin’s blacklist’ for two years as fears for his life grew in the months before his death.

Ukrainian tycoon Mikhail Watford was found dead in his £18million home in Surrey last month

Wealthy Gazprom bureaucrat Leo Shulman was found hanged in his home near St Petersburg

Dead Gazprom deputy director Alexander Tyulakov lived in the same housing complex

Wealthy Gazprom bureaucrat Leo Shulman (left) was found hanged in his home. Right: Deceased Gazprom deputy director Alexander Tyulakov lived in the same building complex

A neighbor also said ‘Misha’ was friends with fellow Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who was found hanged at his home in Ascot, Berkshire, in 2013.

Mr Watford was convinced that Berezovsky had been killed by an intelligence agency, she said.

The neighbor added: ‘I find it hard to believe Misha would have killed himself. It doesn’t stick.

Surrey Police will hold a coroner’s hearing on July 29, CNN reported.

The suspicious spate of murders began on January 30 when Gazprom bureaucrat Leo Shulman was found hanged at his home near St Petersburg.

Mr Shulman was a transport manager at Gazprom Invest, the oil giant’s financial arm.

Gazprombank Vice President Vladislav Avayev was found dead with his wife and daughter in their Moscow apartment

Medical supplies tycoon Vasily Melnikov was killed in the alleged murder-suicide of his wife and children

Gazprombank Vice President Vladislav Avayev (left) was found dead with his wife and daughter in their apartment in Moscow. Right: Medical supplies tycoon Vasily Melnikov was killed in the alleged murder-suicide of his wife and children

Tyulakov and Shulman died in the same luxury housing estate outside St. Petersburg

Tyulakov and Shulman died in the same luxury housing estate outside St. Petersburg

Three days before, Joe Biden had told Volodymyr Zelensky to “prepare for impact”.

Less than a month after Shulman’s death, Gazprom deputy director Alexander Tyulakov was found hanged in the same St. Petersburg building complex.

Three days later Mikhail Watford was found dead – and three weeks later medical supplies tycoon Vasily Melnikov was killed in the alleged murder-suicide of his wife and children.

The billionaire owner of MedCom, 43, allegedly murdered his wife, 41, and two children aged ten and four before killing himself.

Local investigators said there were “no signs of unauthorized entry into the apartment”.

“We are considering several versions of what happened,” police in the western city of Nizhny Novgorod added.

On April 18, Gazprombank Vice President Vladislav Avayev was found dead with his wife and daughter in their apartment in Moscow.

Russian reports said the gas executive shot and killed his family before turning the gun on himself. He allegedly tortured his wife for hours.

But Avayev’s former colleague Igor Volobuev said the suicide was “hard to believe” and claimed it was staged.

Avayev's ex-colleague Igor Volobuev (pictured in 2010) denied his friend had left Gazprom

Avayev’s ex-colleague Igor Volobuev (pictured in 2010) denied his friend had left Gazprom

Mr Volobuev denied that Avayev – who may have had FSB links and was found with an FSB weapon after his death – left his post as senior deputy chairman of Gazprombank, as was widely reported .

Mr Avayev was still in the bank and would have had access to the accounts of his most elite clients, including Putin’s inner circle and possibly the president himself, his colleague added.

Mr Volobuev told CNN: ‘Did he kill himself?’ I do not think so. I think he knew something and was some kind of risk.

The following day, billionaire gas executive Sergey Protosenya was found dead in his Spanish holiday home, with his wife and daughter “chopped to death with an axe”.

Sergey Protosenya poses with his wife Natalya, whom he allegedly killed with an ax

Sergey Protosenya poses with his wife Natalya, whom he allegedly killed with an ax

Spanish authorities have suggested Mr Protosenya, 55, executed the couple before killing himself in an unusual fit of rage as the family enjoyed the Easter holiday on the Costa Brava last week.

But Protosenya’s son Fedor, 22, said his father “could never hurt” his family in this way.

He told MailOnline: ‘He loved my mum and especially Maria my sister. She was his princess.

“He could never do anything to hurt them. I don’t know what happened that night, but I know my father didn’t hurt them.

Sergey and Natalya Protosenya's Spanish holiday home in Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava

Sergey and Natalya Protosenya’s Spanish holiday home in Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava

Fedor, a 22-year-old student, was not at the villa because he spent Easter in their Bordeaux house

Fedor, a 22-year-old student, was not at the villa because he spent Easter in their Bordeaux house

Mr Protosenya did not leave a suicide note and no fingerprints were found on the weapons – an ax and a knife – used to kill. There were no bloodstains on his body.

Fedor, a 22-year-old student, said police told him not to discuss the case.

Protosenya’s friend Anatoly Timoshenko also told MailOnline: ‘Sergey didn’t. Sergey did not kill his family. It’s impossible. I don’t want to discuss what happened at home that night, but I know Sergey is not a killer.

Another friend, Roman Yuravich, added: “Sergei did not kill his family. I have known him for ten years. He was a happy man.

“He loved his family. He did not kill his wife and child. I am on.’

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The “suicides” of the Kremlin: four gas chiefs and their suspicious deaths

Vladislav Avaev: The 51-year-old Gazprombank vice president was found dead in his Moscow penthouse apartment on April 18 alongside his wife Yelena and daughter Maria.

They were found by Avayev’s eldest daughter, Anastasia, with a gun in the father’s hand, in the locked apartment.

According to initial reports in Russia, Yelena was pregnant by their driver and Vladislav killed her in a fit of rage.

Others doubted this and wondered why an FSB gun was found inside the apartment.

Sergei Protosenia: The £350m oligarch has been found dead in Spain along with his wife Natalia and daughter Maria.

He was found hanged outside their Costa Brava villa while the other two were massacred inside.

But investigators found no blood on Sergey, no suicide note and no fingerprints on the gun.

Sergey’s son Fedor said his father would never harm his family.

Alexander Tyulakov: On February 25, the day after the start of the war in Ukraine, the body of the senior Gazprom official was discovered by her lover.

Her neck was in a noose in her £500,000 home in a luxury housing estate in Leningrad.

Reports say he was badly beaten shortly before “taking his own life”.

Leonid Shulman: In the same housing estate closed three weeks earlier, the transport chief of Gazprom Invest was found dead with multiple stab wounds on his bathroom floor.

Investigators said a note was found but they did not release its contents.

A knife was found on the tub, apparently out of reach.