Tag Archives: Eastern European countries

EUROPEAN POWER – Friday prices rose due to lower German winds, solar power output | Instant News


PARIS, February 25 (Reuters) – European spot electricity prices for delivery on Friday rose on Thursday due to lower forecasts for wind and solar power generation in Germany.

* Over-the-counter baseload prices for Friday delivery in Germany rose 6.2% to 48.30 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) at 1009 GMT.

* France’s future contract added 6.2% to 48.25 euros / MWh.

* Power generation from German wind turbines is expected to fall 1.8 gigawatts (GW) day-on-day to 13.4 GW, while solar generation is expected to drop 2.2 GW to 3.6 GW, Refinitiv data show.

* “We expect wind power output to fall in the first half of the day, and increase in the latter half of tomorrow,” Refinitiv analysts said.

* French wind power supply is expected to increase by 1 GW to 3.6 GW, data show.

* Refinitiv forecast shows the average daily German wind power supply will fall to around 3 GW early next week before rising to 8 GW next Friday.

* France’s nuclear capacity reaches 75% of the total installed.

* More than half of EDF’s nuclear reactors could be operational for a decade longer than planned after maintenance work was carried out, French nuclear security watchdog ASN said on Thursday.

* French electricity demand on Friday is expected to rise 700 megawatts (MW) to 56.9 GW and fall in Germany by 390 MW to 64.2 GW, Refinitiv data show.

* Further along the curve, German Cal ’22 baseload power edged up 0.1% to 53.20 euros / MWh, following higher fuel prices.

* France 2022 contract added 0.2% to 54.25 euros / MWh.

* European CO2 allowances expiring December 2021 edged down 0.1% to 39.10 euros per tonne.

* Coal for northern European delivery in 2022 rose 0.9% to $ 69.1 a tonne, after hitting the highest level since February 1 at $ 69.20 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Forrest Crellin; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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The German broadcaster resumed Hungarian service amid fears of a free press | Instant News


BERLIN (Reuters) – German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle is starting to produce material in Hungarian for the first time in decades, driven by concerns over declining media plurality and press freedom among EU members.

FILE PHOTOS: German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle logo pictured in Berlin, Germany, January 30, 2020. Image taken January 30, 2020. REUTERS / Annegret Hilse / File Photo

The move comes months after the United States’ Radio Free Europe, another post-war initiative designed to spread Western values ​​to the uninformed listeners behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, also resumed Hungarian service.

“We see that media diversity and press freedom is getting worse all the time in Hungary,” said Peter Limbourg, Director General of DW.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government has been criticized by rights groups for keeping the media under control with a mix of direct control, targeted ad spending and regulation.

The country has fallen 33 spots in the Reporters without Borders Press Freedom ranking over the past seven years. This month, Klubradio, the last pro-opposition radio station, went on air after losing its broadcasting license.

DW’s move, reminiscent of the heyday of Cold War international broadcasting, when government-backed international stations from both sides of the Iron Curtain competed to spread their views of the world, has drawn a strong reaction.

“DW is very biased and has fueled irrational Orbanophobia over the years. If that’s what you call German ‘public service’ media, then we are very concerned about media pluralism in DE (Germany), ”government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said in an emailed response.

“Having the courage to bring us the unenlightened Hungarian ‘true story’ from Berlin, is another sad example of the manifestation of the dictatorship of opinion by the liberal-left German media. Arrogance is amazing. “

Limbourg is not interested in Hungary’s criticism of the decision, which was taken by the broadcaster board, independently of the German government.

“I was shocked,” he said. “React before they even see what we’re going to produce. Reacting like that certainly doesn’t show much confidence. “

DW has produced content for other EU countries, including Bulgaria, Poland, and Romania for decades, but broadcasts to Hungary were stopped in 2000, 11 years after the fall of communism in central and eastern Europe.

The BBC World Service and Radio France International also stopped broadcasting to most areas after the Cold War.

DW’s offering will start small, with the show uploaded to a special Hungarian-language YouTube channel from the end of March. Limbourg said it had allocated a budget in the “middle six figures” range.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Edited by Giles Elgood

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The EU says it doesn’t need Nord Stream 2, but only Germany can block it | Instant News


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union does not need the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for its energy security but any decision to stop a project bringing Russian natural gas to Germany must come from Berlin, a senior European Commission official said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A worker is seen at the gas pipeline construction site Nord Stream 2, near the city of Kingisepp, Leningrad region, Russia, June 5, 2019. REUTERS / Anton Vaganov

The $ 11 billion pipeline project led by Russian state energy company Gazprom, whose completion is more than 90%, will double the capacity of an existing submarine pipeline passing through Ukraine and eliminate Kyiv’s transit costs.

The project pits Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, against central and eastern European countries that say it will increase the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas.

“For the EU as a whole, Nord Stream does not contribute to the security of supplies,” Ditte Juul Jorgensen, director general of the Commission’s energy department, told lawmakers on the European Parliament’s industry committee.

Investments over the past decade in other pipelines, liquefied natural gas import terminals and interconnectors in Europe have secured sufficient supplies to meet the bloc’s energy needs, he said.

Any decision to stop the project must be made by Germany, said Juul Jorgensen.

“Actually stopping development requires a decision at the national level. That is not a decision that can be taken at the European level, “he said.

Nord Stream 2 is facing increased scrutiny as European relations with Russia deteriorate over the treatment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

The European Parliament last month asked the European Union to stop building a pipeline in response to Navalny’s arrest.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers agreed to impose sanctions on four senior Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin, in large part symbolic action on the issue.

Despite US sanctions on the pipeline, Berlin is sticking to Nord Stream 2, which it says is a commercial project.

(This story adds the dropped “official” word)

Reporting by Kate Abnett; Edited by Sonya Hepinstall

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Djokovic is on cloud nine in Australia after Medvedev’s upturn | Instant News


MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A tournament that has had to deal with a lot of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which culminated with Novak Djokovic remaining an unbreakable force as he beat Daniil Medvedev to claim his record-lengthening ninth Australian Open title on Sunday.

Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, 21 February 2021 Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates with a trophy after winning his last match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia. REUTERS / Kelly Defina

A 7-5 6-2 6-2 world number one win under the spotlight at the Rod Laver Arena sealed his 18th Grand Slam title, taking him within the tantalizing range of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal’s all-time 20 men’s record.

Much like Dominic Thiem in last year’s final, Djokovic faced an opponent who desperately needed success and his own seat in the Grand Slam table.

Unlike Thiem, who pushed Djokovic into five sets, Medvedev never really threatened in his second Grand Slam final.

Djokovic made fun of the Russian’s 20-winning streak and his pre-match streak that all the pressure to win is on the champions.

He broke his serve seven times for the match and closed the game one-sided with a brilliant net-rush and hopping volley.

After extending his unbeaten streak to nine finals at Melbourne Park, the Serbian roared victory and wrapped his team in a group hug.

After acknowledging Medvedev’s congratulations, Djokovic thanked the blue midfield during the trophy ceremony.

“I want to thank Rod Laver Arena. I love you more every year. This is a love affair that continues to flourish. Thank you very much, “he said.

“On the pitch, he (Medvedev) is definitely one of the toughest players I’ve faced in my life.

“It’s a matter of time when you have a Grand Slam. If you don’t mind waiting a few more years. “

Djokovic has now won six Grand Slam titles after turning 30, equaling Nadal’s record.

He said before the match that Medvedev was the man to beat at Melbourne Park and seemed determined to do it quickly as he slammed the first point and broke Medvedev’s serve immediately.

With an acrobatic smash and jump, he sped off for a 3-0 lead.

That deflated the start for Medvedev but he bounced back to 3-3.

Knocking the Serbian back in an incredible rally, Medvedev grabbed two break points when Djokovic netted a drop-shot from the baseline and the Serbian dropped serve with a smash into the net.

With Medvedev equalizing at the baseline, Djokovic tries to pull him into goal, the Russian tennis player’s least favorite part of the field.

MEDVEDEV FURY

The tactic paid off as Djokovic fired a backhand pass for three set points and picked it up when a forehand from a confused Medvedev hit the net.

Momentum shifted to Medvedev as Djokovic’s backhand wobbled on his first serve in the second set.

But the Russian was unable to consolidate, handing the breaker back in a game full of mistakes.

The game was paused at halfway at 2-1 after a protester shouted “free the refugees” repeatedly during play before being ejected to cheers from the crowd.

Medvedev looked unperturbed when he knocked off the ace on the next point, but then dropped serve hastily with a pair of mistakes of his own.

Djokovic led 5-2 and Medvedev smashed his racket in anger.

The Russian sank deeper into the funk, striking a long forehand to concede two set points before being nearly knocked out by a sizzling return of Djokovic.

Worse came when Medvedev started the third with two goals in a row, a weak volley at goal putting Djokovic up 3-0.

It’s all going downhill so fast but Medvedev is struggling to come back.

But there was no way to break through Djokovic’s rock defense.

Enduring 5-2 after an epic rally, Djokovic went into his seat with a sharp knock on his temple and a cold gaze at the Russian.

In a thrilling match point, Djokovic raced around the pitch before ending at the net where he jumped high to lob past the Russian and claim his second title hat-trick at Melbourne Park after the 2011-13 treble.

“It’s never easy to speak of when you’ve just lost a Grand Slam final,” said Medvedev.

“But I will try to do my best, better than on the pitch, I hope.

“First of all, congrats to Novak and your team. Nine Grand Slams in Australia. A total of 18 is incredible and maybe not the last. I have no words to say. “

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Edited by Kirsten Donovan and Pritha Sarkar

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Croatia has shown interest in F-35 jets, Lockheed executives said | Instant News


WASHINGTON, February 19 (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Co., the United States’ biggest arms maker, has raised interest from Croatia regarding the purchase of stealth F-35 jets, a Lockheed executive said on Friday.

Greg Ulmer, executive vice president of Lockheed’s Aeronautics unit, told reporters “they have shown interest” in buying the jets, which make up a large share of Lockheed’s revenue.

Croatia is evaluating US, French and Swedish bids for fighter jets as it looks set to modernize its air force, which now flies Russian-made MiG-21 jets dating from the past in former Yugoslavia.

Croatia wanted to buy 12 second-hand F-16 fighter jets from Israel, but failed after Israel said it here in 2019 could not get approval from the United States for the sale.

Other international customers for the fifth-generation F-35 include Canada, Finland and Switzerland, who are running competitions for future jet purchases. Additional customer prospects for the Lockheed F-35 include Greece, Spain, Eastern Europe and Middle Eastern countries, Ulmer said in a media conference call.

Lockheed has also seen international interest for as many as 300 fourth-generation F-16 fighters on top of its current production stockpile of 128 jets, Ulmer said. (Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington, DC; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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