Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Military attack on Syria proves U.S. to be the greatest violator of international norms

By Vladimir V. Sytin

Russia and Iran voiced harsh criticism of a recent U.S. Tomahawk missile attack on Syria's al-Shariat air base. Moscow regards the U.S. strikes as an act of armed aggression against the sovereign state that is the ally of the member country of the UN Security Council.

Russia has also suspended a 2015 agreement designed to prevent incidents between U.S. and Russian aircraft. Currently, the Russian Defense Ministry is taking measures to strengthen the air defense system of the Syrian army.

According to Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin Press Secretary, Washington's military attack has done severe damage to U.S.-Russian relations that are in a sad state
already. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says the United States is now "one step away from military clashes with Russia." Kiss good-bye normalized relations with Russia.

Igor Konashenkov, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, stated that Syrian warplanes fired missiles at a large ammunition dump where terrorists concentrated military equipment. The ammunition dump housed the shops used by terrorists to make demolition bombs filled with war gas.

It is completely obvious that the attack on chemical weapons storage facilities alleged by the Pentagon to be at the al-Shariat air base has every hallmark of a Washington's orchestrated event. Politologist Paul Craig Roberts wrote that the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would allow Exxon's Rex Tillerson, who is U.S. secretary of state, and neoconservative hegemonists to cut Russian natural gas off from Europe with a U.S. controlled gas pipeline from Qatar to Europe via Syria.

Observers think Russia's only alternative now is to tell Washington to go to hell that Russia will not permit the American evil empire to remove Assad. All chemical weapons were removed from Syria by Russia and turned over to the U.S. and its European vassals. The Syrian government has no such weapons and has no reason to use them.

As independent researcher Brian Maher put it, U.S. president Donald Trump is just a bull in a china shop. Or worse, as Winston Churchill supposedly said of former U.S. secretary of state John Foster Dulles - "a bull who carries his own china shop around with him."

In fact, the Trump's missile attack on Syria's air base is the most impetuous, thoughtless, reckless and stupid act from the Oval Office. Virtually every
one of those $1.4 million per copy Tomahawks amounted to a big fat nothing-burger. Analyst David Stockman noted that 36 of the 59 missiles were apparent
duds and landed other than the al-Shariat air base, including a nearby village where apparently a number of civilians were killed. A Russian general taunted that "combat efficiency of the U.S. strike was very low."

The 23 missiles that did hit the base actually missed the main runway, which, by the way, was back in operation, launching Syrian air force sorties within 24 hours. None of Syria's operational warplanes were hit, but a handful of antique MIGs that have long been languishing in the base's "repair" bone yard.

Funnily enough, the so-called American sharpshooters did annihilate several hangars and a few fuel tanks - the better for some post-attack fireworks to be posted to the War Сhannels such as CNN and Fox. What the Tomahawks surely did not hit were the non-existent chemical weapons storage facilities. With Washington's satellites monitoring al-Shariat like a cloud of bumblebees, there was not a whit of evidence of Syrian personnel running around with gas masks after the missiles hit.

Undoubtedly, Washington's military attack on Syria is unambiguously a war crime. It occurred without any UN authorization. The American evil empire is the greatest violator of international norms in modern history. The U.S. has gratuitously destroyed two Japanese cities with atomic bombs, invaded Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, organized the destruction of Libya, Somalia, conducted attacks on Serbia, Pakistan and Yemen, and organized a neo-Nazi coup against the democratically elected government in Ukraine. Only the U.S. has a list of crimes this long.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Rectors of Technical HEIs of Ukraine, Poland discuss prospects for expansion of cooperation

The Forum of Rectors of Technical Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) of Ukraine and Poland was held at National Technical University "Igor Sikorsky Kiev Polytechnic Institute" on April 6-7.

Over the course of two days nearly 90 heads of technical HEIs of Ukraine and about 80 their Polish counterparts were considering the state, possibilities and prospects for expansion of cooperation, as well as tackling joint problems of Ukrainian and Polish technical higher education and the ways of resolving them.

Prior to its formal opening the Forum began with laying of flowers at a monument to Wojciech Swietoslawski, prominent Polish scientist and statesman who graduated from KPI in 1906. Afterwards the special joint meeting of the Conference of Rectors of Technical HEIs of the Republic of Poland and Ukraine, and the Association of Rectors of Technical HEIs of Ukraine, entitled "Breakthrough Projects of International Cooperation of Technical Universities of Ukraine and the Republic of Poland in Science, Technologies and Innovations: Ukrainian Satellite, Airspace Technologies, Cyber Security and Physical Nuclear Security, Clear Water, Renewable Energy", took place. Mikhail Zgurovsky, Head of the Council of the Association of Rectors of Technical HEIs of Ukraine and Rector of Igor Sikorsky KPI, and Tadeusz Slomka, Head of the Conference of Rectors of Technical HEIs of the Republic of Poland and Rector of the Krakow-based Stanislaw Staszic University of Mining and Metallurgy, presided at the meeting. Heads of technical HEIs of the two countries were introduced to presentations of the most interesting and worthwhile projects designed for expansion or establishment of cooperation, which are being implemented at Igor Sikorsky KPI, such as "Space Program of Igor Sikorsky KPI", "Modern Aircraft and Automobile Industries. Tucana Engineering Warsaw – Cooperation of Ukraine and Poland" and "Cyber Security", among others.

Lilia Grinevich, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, Jan Pieklo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to Ukraine, Jerzy Woznicki, Head of the National Council for Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland, and others participated in the opening ceremony of the Forum.

Addressing Forum participants and guests, Lilia Grinevich stated: "You are forming the elite of our countries: those who will become the drivers of their innovative economy. And the fact that we are currently joining in this Forum is one of the striking illustrations showing how much Poland needs Ukraine and vice versa. Today we are very much aware who is Ukraine's partner, even not a partner, but a true friend. Therefore, it is very important to us to develop the close cooperation among various professional communities, which would be fruitful and meaningful with respect to both parties. I think cooperation of technical HEIs in all spheres will be another durable bridge that joins us."

The official part of the Forum was followed by a plenary meeting at which participants discussed general issues related to the state, experience and development prospects of cooperation between Polish and Ukrainian HEIs.

Other meetings of the Forum were held on April 7 in the form of theme roundtables devoted to the directions of activities that have significance for universities of the two countries, including "International and Foreign Economic Activities as the Factor of Internationalization of Modern European Technical University in Making It a Leading HEI", "Accreditation of Engineering Education. EUR-ACE Certification. Ranking of Curricula" and "EU ERASMUS+ Opportunities for Universities of Ukraine and the Republic of Poland - a Good Start to Develop Long-Term Cooperation".

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Kiev hosts Gas Investment Forum

The II Ukrainian Gas Investment Forum, which focused on attracting investments in the Ukrainian natural-gas sector, was held in Kiev on March 23. The Forum Organizer was A7 CONFERENCES, co-organizer – the international law firm Dentons and strategic partner – the Association of Gas Producers of Ukraine.

For the second time, the event was a communication platform for an open discussion, bringing together key stakeholders involved in the Ukrainian gas sector, international financial institutions, professional associations, embassies and mainstream media to thrash out the current situation and prospects of the sector, as well as a transition to a new level of gas market development.

The relevance of the conference is due to ongoing development and growth of the gas market of Ukraine that highlighted the key themes of the event such as the strategy of the gas-producing industry, recent reforms and their effects, changes in legislation and the benefits they offer to Ukrainian companies and international partners, key aspects of the production and sale of gas in Ukraine, investment opportunities and financing of the sector, among others.

Participants had a unique opportunity to expand the network of international partners, exchange ideas and share experience during personal meetings with potential institutional and private investors, and communicate with colleagues in the course of the formal and informal parts of the event.

Vladimir Kistion, deputy prime minister of Ukraine, stated: “Special attention is given to the implementation of the сoncept of development of the gas producing industry up to 2020. The main task that faces gas producing companies is to reach production in the amount of 27 billion cubic meters of natural gas by 2020, including 20 bcm to be produced by the state company UkrGazDobycha. The Government will be at great pains to establish favorable investment conditions in order to enlist international expert assistance in the elaboration of the legal framework in this field.”

Frederik Roose Ovlisen, senior economist, Studies and Planning, Ramboll Oil & Gas, said: “The situations for Ukraine and for Poland are comparable. Both countries serve as transit for Russian gas. The Baltic Pipe project that connects Norwegian gas export via Denmark to Poland with a 10 bcm/year capacity will allow Ukraine to import Norwegian gas. It should be operational by 2022".

Among other speakers of the Forum were Igor Shchurov, chief executive officer of DTEK Neftegaz; Yekaterina Sivakova, A7 CAPITAL vice president; and Sergey Makogon, executive director of UkrTransGaz.

The materials and video of the conference are available on www.a7conf.com/gas17/en

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

В КИЕВЕ ПРОШЁЛ II ГАЗОВЫЙ ИНВЕСТИЦИОННЫЙ ФОРУМ

23 марта в Киеве состоялся «II Украинский газовый инвестиционный форум», посвящённый привлечению инвестиций в газовый сектор Украины. Организатор Форума – A7 CONFERENCES, со-организатор – международная юридическая фирма Dentons и стратегический партнёр – Ассоциация газодобывающих компаний Украины.

Форум уже во второй раз стал коммуникационной платформой для открытой дискуссии, которая объединила ключевых игроков газового сектора Украины и мира, международных финансовых организаций, профильных ассоциаций, посольств иностранных государств и ведущих медиа для обсуждения сложившейся ситуации и перспектив сектора, а также перехода на новый уровень развития области.

Актуальность конференции обусловлена постоянным ростом газового рынка Украины, а ключевыми темами мероприятия стали стратегия развития газодобывающей
отрасли, последние реформы и результаты их внедрения, изменения в законодательстве и преимущества, которые они открывают для украинских компаний
и международных партнёров, ключевые аспекты добычи и продажи газа на Украине, возможности привлечения инвестиций в сектор и его финансирования.

Участники получили уникальную возможность расширить сеть международных партнёров, обменяться идеями и опытом в ходе личных встреч с потенциальными институциональными и частными инвесторами, а также пообщаться с коллегами в ходе официальных и неофициальных частей мероприятия.

Владимир Кистион, вице-премьер-министр Украины, отметил: «Особое внимание мы уделяем реализации Концепции развития газодобывающей отрасли Украины до 2020 года. Задача газодобывающих компаний к 2020 году – достичь 27 миллиардов кубических метров добычи украинского газа, 20 из которых должна добывать государственная компания «Укргаздобыча». Правительство всячески будет способствовать созданию привлекательных инвестиционных условий, привлечению международной экспертной помощи в разработку и совершенствование законодательной базы в области».

Фредерик Руз Олвисен, старший экономист, Исследования и планирования, Ramboll Oil & Gas, сказал: «Ситуации, в которых находятся Украины и Польша, похожи. Обе страны обслуживают транзит российского газа. Проект Baltic Pipe, который обеспечивает норвежский экспорт газа через Данию в Польшу мощностью 10 млрд. кубометров в год, позволит Украине импортировать норвежский газ. Baltic Pipe планируется ввести в эксплуатацию в 2022 году».

Среди других докладчиков Форума выступили Игорь Щуров, генеральный директор ДТЭК "Нефтегаз"; Екатерина Сивакова, вице-президент A7 CAPITAL; и Сергей Макогон, исполнительный директор "Укртрансгаз".

Материалы и видеозапись Форума доступны на сайте: www.a7conf.com/gas17

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bulgarian President intends to invite Putin to celebrate liberation from Ottoman yoke

Reportedly, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev intends to invite his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to the celebration of the 140th anniversary of Bulgaria’s liberation from Ottoman yoke, which will be held next year.

As Rumen Radev put it, it must be admitted that Crimea had already become Russia’s territory. He also spoke for lifting of sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama regime and its vassals in the European Union.

According to American politologist Paul Craig Roberts, Crimea is part of Russia, as it has been for 300 years, and no one can do anything about it. What would mean if Mexico did not recognize that Texas and California were part of the United States? Nothing.

As far as the sanctions are concerned, they are in fact a benefit to Russia. The sanctions have moved the country to self-sufficient directions toward developing relationships with China and Asia. Moreover, the West with hegemonic impulses uses economic relationships for control purposes. Trade with China and Asia does not pose the same threat to Russian independence.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Serbia puts forward initiative to form Balkan Customs Union

Recently, Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister of Serbia, has announced a new initiative to form the Balkan Customs Union. Serbia is discussing this initiative with Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). Basic principles of the customs union include the renunciation by Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and BiH of internal tariffs and duties, removal of all restrictions on the movement of goods, as well as the adoption of common customs tariffs.

The documents about the basic principles and terms of operation of the Balkan Customs Union read to the effect that GDP of the countries, which may join the organization, totalled $243.5 billion last year and their population exceeds 18 million. According to Mr. Vucic, the initiative would not only expand a trade turnover within the region but also promote economic growth and a higher standard of living in the member countries of the Balkan Customs Union.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ВАЛЕРИЙ ЛОБАНОВСКИЙ ВОШЁЛ В ПЯТЁРКУ ЛУЧШИХ ТРЕНЕРОВ ЕВРОПЫ

Бывший наставник киевского "Динамо" Валерий Васильевич Лобановский вошёл в топ-5 лучших тренеров Европы. Недавно сайт Европейского футбольного союза опубликовал рейтинг самых успешных тренеров за всю историю по итогам первых 100 матчей в еврокубках.

Легендарный советский наставник в первых 100 матчах в еврокубках одержал 56 побед, 23 матча сыграл вничью и 21 проиграл. По этим показателям, Валерий Лобановский обошёл таких специалистов как Джованни Трапаттони, Фабио Капелло и Жозе Моуриньо. Возглавил список тренер "Манчестер Сити" Хосеп Гвардиола.

Самую блестящую победу "Динамо" Лобановского одержало в Киеве 16 марта 1977 года в ответном матче четвертьфинала Кубка чемпионов против мюнхенской "Баварии" со счётом 2:0. Тогда эта победа позволила динамовцам выйти в полуфинал турнира.