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Will Ukraine be able to receive Patriot systems, and why does Kyiv threaten to impose sanctions on a French satellite company?

Ukraine’s prospects of obtaining Patriot air defense systems from Poland, the fear of a trade war between the U.S and Europe, and Britain’s striving to save energy: a digest of Western media

Ukraine’s prospects of obtaining Patriot air defense systems from Poland, the fear of a trade war between the U.S and Europe, and Britain’s striving to save energy: a digest of Western media

Ukraine may be given Patriot air defense systems, the European Union and the United States are trying to avoid a trade war while curbing inflation, and the United Kingdom urges its residents to save energy to prevent the country from being blackmailed by Russia.

Meanwhile, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has finally gotten rid of Russian control, and Ukraine can impose sanctions on a French satellite company.

The Page offers a digest of Western mass media at the end of the November 21–25 business week.

Ukraine can obtain the Patriot system from Poland: who should approve it?

Will Ukraine receive Patriot systems? Photo: Wikipedia

Will Ukraine receive Patriot systems? Photo: Wikipedia

Germany said on November 25 it was discussing with allies Poland's request that German Patriot air defense units be sent to Ukraine, Reuters writes.

This was announced after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg suggested the military alliance might not oppose such a move.

Berlin offered Warsaw the Patriot system to help secure its airspace after a stray missile crashed and killed two people in Poland last week.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak later asked Germany to send the fire units to Ukraine instead.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said such deployments should be decisions for individual nations:

Quote"Sometimes there are end user agreements and other things so they need to consult with other allies. But at the end of the day, it (the decision) has to be taken by the national governments," he added.

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht on Thursday said sharing Germany's Patriot units outside NATO territory would require prior discussions with NATO and the allies.

When asked whether NATO risks becoming a party to the conflict by sending Patriot systems to Ukraine, Stoltenberg noted that the allies have already delivered advanced weapons to Kyiv without sending NATO personnel.

Quote"And the way this has been done is that when there is a need for specialists to operate these systems, be it air defense systems or other advanced artillery systems, the Ukrainians have received training in a NATO country," he said.

Risks of a trade war between the EU and the United States

Brussels and Washington have set up a task force to head off a transatlantic trade war resulting from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) coming into force on January 1, Financial Times writes.

The act provides for tax credits and subsidies for U.S. consumers and companies for products such as electric vehicles, wind turbines and green hydrogen.

In this way, the U.S. attempts to slash its carbon emissions while creating jobs.

Jozef Sikela, the Czech minister who is chairing a meeting of EU trade ministers in Brussels on Friday, said he wanted solutions by the next meeting of a separate bilateral Trade and Technology Council on December 5.

Quote"What is important for us is that the US is aware of our concerns and the task force has to work out a solution which will be acceptable for both parties," he added.

His comments underscore the mounting anxiety in the EU over the fact that providing beneficial terms for American producers as compared to their European competitors could lead to a serious dispute at a time when both sides need to prioritize transatlantic unity in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Some EU members, such as France, have called for Brussels to replicate the U.S. act with a "buy European" subsidy regime of its own. German economy minister Robert Habeck has also suggested increased subsidies. Even Ireland, one of the most loyal European allies of the United States, warned about the consequences if a prompt settlement isn’t reached.

Leo Varadkar, deputy head of the government, said:

Quote"There will have to be a response from the European Union. Nobody wants to get into a tit-for-tat or subsidy race. But what the US has done really isn’t consistent with the principles of free trade and fair competition."

However, other smaller and more liberal countries such as the Netherlands and Sweden have warned against a subsidy race or discriminatory regime that can provoke countermeasures on the part of other trade partners.

The Brits were called on to save energy

The U.K. aims to cut energy use. Photo: Pixabay

The U.K. aims to cut energy use. Photo: Pixabay

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said people should cut their energy use to stop the UK being "blackmailed" by Russian President Vladimir Putin, BBC writes.

According to Hunt, although the British government will continue to support households with energy bills until April 2024, the consumers also need to change their behavior to cut the expenses.

Speaking before the parliament, Hunt said:

Quote"We will always be there to help poorer households. But for most people we need you to play your part in reducing our energy dependency. Because it is a national mission to make sure that we can't be blackmailed by people like Putin when they do things that interrupt international energy supplies."

The government of the U.K. has set out a "national ambition" to cut energy use by 15% by 2030.

Who will chair UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee?

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee will work again. Photo: Wikipedia

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee will work again. Photo: Wikipedia

Moscow’s ambassador has quit as chair of the World Heritage Committee, which was in deadlock over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, The Guardian reports.

The resignation of Russia’s ambassador to Unesco will end the deadlock in a key group he chaired that is charged with preserving cultural sites around the world, a diplomatic source said.

The committee had been unable to function for months after the international backlash against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The resignation would allow the committee to quickly appoint a new president and resume its activities, a UN diplomat said.

The committee had been due to meet in June in the Russian city of Kazan, but 46 countries, including France and the U.K., boycotted the event. The meeting was supposed to update the body’s list of heritage sites.

According to the rules, replacements for a resigning committee chair are to be appointed by the country that follows in alphabetical order in English. Saudi Arabia, which is next in line after Russia, is expected to announce in the coming days whether it will take over the chairing of the committee.

Ukraine threatens a French satellite company with sanctions: why did it happen?

Ukraine may impose sanctions on a French satellite company. Photo: nrada.gov.ua

Ukraine may impose sanctions on a French satellite company. Photo: nrada.gov.ua

Ukraine has threatened to sanction French satellite operator Eutelsat over claims it is broadcasting Russian "war propaganda" to millions of homes across Europe, The Telegraph writes.

The National Council for Radio and Television in Ukraine on Thursday warned Eutelsat it will block its services if it continues working with Russian TV channels.

Quote"We will be forced to initiate the blocking of any of its activities in the territory of Ukraine," Ohla Herasymiuk, chair of the broadcasting regulator, warns in the letter.

Eutelsat carries Russian satellite TV packages from NTV+ and Tricolor. These TV channels have carried statements from Russian news hosts and politicians calling for mass killings of Ukranians.

Founded in 1977, Eutelsat provides satellite TV packages to countries in Europe and Africa. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, its broadcasting expanded across Eastern Europe. Eutelsat’s own website boasts that its satellite signals reach 15 million Russian homes, while 6.7% of its revenues, roughly €76m, comes from Russian TV.

According to the company’s chief executive, the company maintains a policy of "neutrality". It has previously taken actions to block certain TV broadcasts, such as banning RT and removing Russian TV channel MIR due to sanctions and demands from regulators. But its decision to continue to broadcast two major Russian clients amid the war in Ukraine has heaped fresh pressure on the French satellite company.

Last week, 39 MEPs wrote to the European Commission urging action to stop Eutelsat’s broadcasts. They said:

Quote"Eutelsat… contributes to fuelling the Russian public’s support to Putin's war and prevents them from having access to independent news sources."
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