Ukraine latest: EU eyes African gas to cut reliance on Russia

Promised to provide more detailed guidance in coming days on how companies should address President Vladimir Putin’s demand to pay for the fuel in roubles.
Image: Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images

The European Union is looking to Africa to help reduce its reliance on Russian gas, and promised to provide more detailed guidance in coming days on how companies should address President Vladimir Putin’s demand to pay for the fuel in roubles.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will deliver a virtual address to Ukraine’s Parliament later on Tuesday that compares the nation’s struggle to Britain’s plight during World War II. His government also announced a new military aid package.

Evacuations from the besieged city of Mariupol, as well as other Ukrainian cities in Russian hands including Tokmak and Vasylivka, have been agreed for Tuesday, according to the Mariupol authorities.

Key Developments

  • ‘A Bet on the War’: Vineyard Exposes Risks in Front-Line Moldova
  • EU Plans to Court Africa to Help Replace Russian Gas Imports
  • EU Aims to Dispel Ambiguity on Putin’s Roubles-for-Gas Demand
  • Default or No Default? Finale Nears in Tangled Russia Bond Saga
  • War Threatens Loss of ‘Intergenerational Heritage’ in Ukraine

All times CET:

Vineyard Exposes Risks in Front-Line Moldova (8 a.m.)

Wine producer Purcari Wineries Plc, the only Moldovan company listed on a foreign stock exchange, has become a barometer for risk sentiment in the nation bordering Ukraine, its stock tanking following Russia’s invasion.

The breakaway pro-Russian territory of Transnistria is two miles away from the firm’s vineyards, and the main border crossing to the key Ukrainian port of Odesa is just down the road. A Russian general said last month that reaching Transnistria was a war aim, though Purcari’s chief operating officer believes the fighting won’t cross the de facto border.

Austria Says EU Must Consider Treaty Change (6:01 a.m.)

The European Union must consider a major treaty overhaul if it’s serious about granting Ukraine membership, the Financial Times quoted Austrian Foreign Minster Alexander Schallenberg as saying.

Russia’s invasion was a “geostrategic moment” for Europe and the EU needs to provide stronger support to neighbors such as Ukraine and Moldova to help them to avoid Russian domination, Schallenberg told the paper. EU treaty change requires unanimity and several member states, including the Netherlands, have spoken out against trying to shorten the enlargement process to allow for Ukraine’s membership.

Johnson to Address Ukrainian Parliament (1:40 a.m.)

According to prepared remarks published by his office, Johnson, who visited Kyiv last month, will echo the words of Winston Churchill: “This is Ukraine’s finest hour, an epic chapter in your national story that will be remembered and recounted for generations to come.”

The UK announced 300 million pounds ($376 million) in military aid and will provide “specialised civilian protection vehicles to Ukraine,” his office said. The British Embassy in Kyiv is also poised to reopen.

Draghi Seeks EU Guidance on Gas Payments (10:50 p.m.)

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that setting up a ruble-denominated account to pay for Russian gas would be a breach of contract.

“It’s very important that the EU Commission gives a clear legal opinion if payment in roubles is a violation of sanctions,” Draghi said at a news conference late Monday. He urged clearer direction from the EU as Italy is due to make payments in about two weeks, adding that the nation will adhere to EU guidance.

EU Looks to Africa as Potential Supplier of Gas (10:25 p.m.)

The EU will seek to step up cooperation with African countries to help replace imports of Russian natural gas and reduce dependence on Moscow by almost two-thirds this year.

Countries in Africa, in particular in the western part of the continent, such as Nigeria, Senegal, and Angola, offer largely untapped potential for liquefied natural gas, according to a draft EU document seen by Bloomberg News.

© 2022 Bloomberg

COMMENTS   1

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Now we can see why there has been so much international interest in the truly gigantic Cabo Del Gado natural gas project in N. Mozambique. The largest single capital project ever undertaken on the African continent.

I believe it is 2nd in size only to the massive shared Qatar/ Iran gas fields in the Persian gulf.

An area that South Africa and the international community would do well to keep peaceful for obvious reasons.

End of comments.

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