Tuesday, June 28, 2022

French President Macron Tells President Biden To Expect No Extra Oil From Saudi Arabia And The UAE

US President Biden and French President Macron at the G7  

Reuters: Macron tells Biden that UAE, Saudi can barely raise oil output 

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Reuters) -Two top OPEC oil producers, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, can barely increase oil production, French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said he had been told by the UAE's president. 

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been perceived as the only two countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with spare capacity to boost global deliveries that could reduce prices.

"I had a call with MbZ," Macron was heard telling U.S. President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the G7 summit, using shorthand for UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. "He told me two things. I'm at a maximum, maximum (production capacity). This is what he claims." 

"And then he said (the) Saudis can increase by 150 (thousands barrels per day). Maybe a little bit more, but they don't have huge capacities before six months' time," Macron said. 

The UAE's top energy official confirmed Macron's statement to the country's state news agency.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Saudi Arabia and the UAE are making record profits with their energy exports. They have no interest to jeopardize this cash cow. 

 But what I find very revealing in the above Reuters report is that President Biden is told about this news directly from the French President. To put it bluntly. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are not talking to the White House, and it looks like they are using the French President of all people to be the messenger of this bad news.

Will President Biden Meet Turkish President Erdogan At The NATO Summit To Discuss Finland And Sweden's Bid To Join NATO?

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with U.S. President Joe Biden during the G-20 leaders summit, Rome, Italy, Oct. 31, 2021. (AP Photo) 

Zero Hedge: Biden-Erdogan Meeting On The Table As Turkey Vows 'Won't Back Down' At NATO Summit 

The 2022 NATO summit in Madrid, Spain is set to kick off Tuesday and run through Thursday of this week; however, US officials say they don't expected Turkey's concerns over Sweden and Finland's membership bids to be allayed. 

One European diplomatic official told CNN that there's hope of "last moment" Turkish concessions: "My best projection based on what I've seen is that they will run this to the wire at Madrid. They also always prefer if they're going to make concessions to do it at the leader level, they believe that enhances that status," the unnamed official said. "It is Turkey's standard operating procedure not to give concessions till the last possible moment. And that last possible moment is usually defined as a bilateral with the US president, followed by a leaders meeting." 

Read more ....  

Update #1: Erdoğan, Biden may meet at NATO summit to discuss Turkey's concerns (Daily Sabah)  

Update #2: NATO summit will test Biden's resolve to defeat Putin and pressure Erdogan (FOX News)  

WNU Editor: Erdogan and Biden will only meet if an agreement is reached on Turkey lifting it's hold on Sweden and Finland from joining NATO. 

My prediction. 

They will meet for a few minutes, but the issue of Sweden and Finland joining NATO will not be resolved.

African And Middle Eastern Leaders Pressuring The West To Help Bring The Ukraine War To An End

Ukraine was a major food exporter before the Ukraine war, feeding some 400million people around the world 44milion of whom now face starvation - with those in the Middle East and Africa being the most at risk  

Daily Mail: How Africa and the Middle East could tip war in Putin's favour: Ukraine grain blockade is creating food crisis as 44 MILLION face starvation and regions' leaders pressure the West for peace deal 

* Russian invasion of Ukraine has blocked grain exports, and will likely cause food shortages for years to come 

* 44million at risk of starvation while another 395million will see shortages, World Food Programme warned 

* Africa and Middle East will be hardest-hit regions, as leaders pressure the West to help bring war to an end 

* African Union leader Macky Sall and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa have joined likes of Turkey's Erdogan and Saudi Arabia's Bin Salman in calling for a peace deal, which experts say would favour Russia 

Ukraine believes its fate will be decided in the mud and blood of Donbas - where its troops are trying to grind Russia's army into the dirt using skill, courage, and a fearsome arsenal of Western weaponry. 

But it seems increasingly likely that its destiny could be decided on another frontline, thousands of miles away: In the deserts of the Middle East and drought-stricken farmlands of Africa, where 44million people who relied on the country for food are now facing famine unless the conflict can be brought to a swift end. 

Blockades of Ukraine's main Black Sea ports have placed a stranglehold on grain supplies which previously fed 400million, threatening starvation and riots from Libya to Liberia, and Syria to South Sudan.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: EU Warns Ukraine War Pushes Middle East, North Africa Deeper into Famine (Asharq Al-Awsat)  

Update #2: War in Ukraine Is Destabilizing the Middle East and North Africa (National Interest)  

WNU Editor: You can write-off Ukraine exporting grain this year. And probably also next year.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Russian Missile Hits Shopping Centre In Ukraine

Daily Mail: Russian missiles hit Ukrainian shopping mall filled with 1,000 civilians killing at least 13 people and injuring others after G7 stands up to Putin: Survivors flee as building explodes - Zelensky warns 'It's impossible to imagine the number of victims' 

* The Kremlin missile strike targeted a crowded shopping mall in Kremenchuk in central Ukraine 

* Volodymyr Zelensky said 1,000 civilians were inside the building at the time of the savage attack 

* The complex was engulfed in flames and scores are feared dead in the latest attack on civilians 

Scores of civilians were feared killed or wounded in a Russian missile strike Monday on a crowded shopping mall in Ukraine's central city of Kremenchuk, Ukrainian officials said. 

At least 13 people were dead and more than 40 wounded by two long-range X-22 missiles fired from Tu-22M3 bombers that flew from Shaykovka airfield in Russia's Kaluga region, said Ukraine's air force command. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Telegram post that the number of victims was 'unimaginable,' citing reports that more than 1,000 civilians were inside at the time of the attack.  

Read more .... 

Russian Missile Hits Shopping Centre In Ukraine  

At least 16 dead as Russian missile hits shopping centre in Ukraine -- The Guardian  

Russian airstrike hits busy shopping mall in central Ukraine, sparking fears of mass casualties -- CNN  

Missile strike on mall in Kremenchuk follows weekend of attacks across Ukraine -- France 24  

Ukraine war: Russian 'scumbag terrorists' condemned by Zelenskyy after 'calculated' missile strike on shopping centre -- SKY News  

Missile strike on Kremenchuk: Death toll rises to 16 -- Ukrinform

Kremlin Says Russian President Putin Will Attend The G20 Summit

© Yevgeny Paulin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS  

RT: Putin to attend G20 summit – Kremlin  

The Russian leader will travel to Indonesia for the meeting, despite Western leaders calling for Moscow’s expulsion  

Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the G20 summit in Indonesia this November, the Kremlin announced on Monday. While multiple Western leaders have demanded Russia’s expulsion from the event, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is hosting this year's gathering, has invited Putin to the meeting in Bali. 

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov announced Putin’s attendance, but told reporters that it is still unclear in what capacity the Russian leader will participate. “I hope that the pandemic will allow this important forum to be held in person, but I cannot guess,” Ushakov said. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The G20 summit will be held in Bali, Indonesia, from November 15-16.

Kremlin Says Russian President Putin Will Attend The G20 Summit  

Moscow confirms Putin’s participation in G20 summit, details are being finalized — Kremlin -- TASS  

Kremlin says Putin will attend G20 summit -- Politico 

Russia Says Putin Will Be Part Of G20 Summit—Setting Stage For Showdown With Western Leaders -- Forbes

Iran Says Saudi Arabia Wants To Resume Diplomatic Talks With Iran

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi did not mention Saudi Arabia during a Sunday press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, but further direct talks between Tehran and Riyadh look likely [President's Website/WANA/Handout via Reuters]  

Al Jazeera: Iran claims Saudi Arabia is ready for more direct bilateral talks 

The last direct talks between Riyadh and Tehran were held in April, as the two sides mull over a rapprochement. 

Tehran, Iran – Iran’s foreign ministry says Saudi Arabia is ready to hold more direct bilateral talks, one day after the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi travelled to Tehran to mediate between the two regional rivals. 

Foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters during a press conference on Monday that Riyadh is ready to “continue negotiations in Baghdad on a diplomatic level” without commenting on a possible date.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The distrust between Saudi Arabia and Iran is so deep that I doubt there will be reconciliation between the two sides anytime soon.

Iran Says Saudi Arabia Wants To Resume Diplomatic Talks With Iran  

Iran Says Saudi Arabia Wants to Resume Diplomatic Talks With Tehran -- Reuters  

Iraqi PM visits Saudi Arabia and Iran to discuss regional stability -- AFP 

Iraqi PM Arrives in Iran After Saudi Visit to Push for Revival of Tehran-Riyadh Talks -- VOA 

Iraqi PM in Iran after Saudi visit to push for revival of Tehran-Riyadh talks -- Reuters 

Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Iran after MBS visit -- Al Jazeera  

Iraq PM visits Saudi Arabia and Iran in bid to revive talks between two sides -- Middle East Eye

Iran Is Facing A Food Crisis

The head of one hospital said: "In the coming weeks, it will be impossible for many public or private medical centers to provide hot meals, especially protein-rich foods, to hospitalized patients because this increase in food prices was not seen in any hospital budget." (file photo)  

RFE: Iranian Institutions Facing Food Shortages As Prices Skyrocket 

Local media in Iran say public institutions such as hospital, prisons, and child-care centers are facing possible food shortages due to skyrocketing prices. 

The Tehran-based Etemad newspaper reported on June 15 that the impending "problem" could hit in "the coming weeks" and that "food supplies will be disrupted not only in hospitals but also in other government facilities such as barracks, prisons, nursing homes, and even student dormitories." 

Etemad quoted the head of a private hospital as saying that a sharp rise in food prices has affected the quality of hospital food to such an extent that freshly made items are likely to be eliminated in public and private hospitals, with packaged foods being used instead.  

Read more ....  

Update: Iranian Food Consumption Plummets As Prices Soar (OilPrice.com/RFE)  

WNU Editor: This is a recipe for widespread unrest.

Sri Lanka Suspends Fuel Sales. Only Essential Services Will Be Supplied With What Is Left

Three-wheeler drivers wait in a queue to buy petrol due to fuel shortage, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Reuters image) 

 CNBC/Reuters: Sri Lanka stops fuel supply to non-essential services as crisis worsens 

* Sri Lanka will shut schools and only allow fuel supplies to services deemed essential like health, trains and buses for two weeks starting Tuesday. 

* Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis, with foreign exchange reserves at a record low and the island of 22 million struggling to pay for essential imports of food, medicine and, most critically, fuel. 

* The government is talks with the International Monetary Fund on a possible bailout, but many people can’t wait that long. 

Sri Lanka will shut schools and only allow fuel supplies to services deemed essential like health, trains and buses for two weeks starting Tuesday, a minister said, in a desperate attempt to deal with a severe shortage. 

Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis, with foreign exchange reserves at a record low and the island of 22 million struggling to pay for essential imports of food, medicine and, most critically, fuel.  

Read more .... 

Sri Lanka Suspends Fuel Sales. Only Essential Services Will Be Supplied With What Is Left  

Sri Lanka Runs Out Of Fuel, Only Essential Services To Operate Till July 10 -- NDTV  

Sri Lanka suspends fuel sales as economic crisis worsens -- AFP  

Sri Lanka struggling to secure fresh fuel supplies, minister says -- CNN  

Sri Lanka halts fuel supplies for private vehicles -- Financial Times  

Sri Lanka Is Put on Virtual Lockdown as Fuel Supplies Are Halted -- Bloomberg  

Sri Lanka struggles to secure new fuel shipments as supply runs dry -- Arab News 

 Sri Lanka has barely enough fuel to last one day – media -- RT

Ecuador May Stop Oil Exports As Protests Continue

Indigenous people take part in an anti-government protest amid a stalemate between the government of President Guillermo Lasso and demanding an end to emergency measures, in Quito, Ecuador June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Adriano Machado 

The Guardian: Ecuador: Indigenous protesters agree to meet president to discuss demands 

President Guillermo Lasso announces cut to gas prices in effort to quell protests demanding lower fuel and food prices 

Ecuadorian Indigenous organizations have said they will meet with the government to discuss demands for lower fuel and food prices which have sparked two weeks of protests, hitting the country’s weakened economy and threatening its oil production. 

President Guillermo Lasso late on Sunday announced a 10-cent per gallon cut to gasoline and diesel prices, the latest concession to try to quell the sometimes-violent demonstrations, which began on 13 June. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I am skeptical that these talks between the President and the country's indigenous leaders are going to succeed. The cost of living has become impossible to live under, and there are no solutions. 

Among the politicians, Ecuador's parliament is still pushing to impeach the President .... Ecuador Congress to Extend Debate to Oust Lasso Amid Crisis (Bloomberg). 

More News On The Unrest In Ecuador 

 Ecuador president cuts gasoline price amid Indigenous strike -- AP  

Ecuador could stop pumping oil within 48 hours due to protests -- Reuters 

Ecuador to Stop Pumping Oil in 48 Hours, Energy Ministry Warns -- Bloomberg  

Ecuador president announces fuel price cut amid days of protests -- Al Jazeera  

Ecuador at standstill after two weeks of protests over cost of living crisis -- The Guardian

British PM Johnson Says The UK Economy Getting Crushed A Price “Worth Paying” For Freedom In Ukraine


Daily Mail: Boris Johnson says 'the price of freedom is worth paying' and declares WWII was 'very expensive' but delivered 'long-term stability' as G7 pledge support for Ukraine 

* Boris Johnson today declared 'the price of freedom is worth paying' as he was challenged over the cost of his support for Ukraine 

* Compared repelling Russia's invasion to defeat of the Nazis in World War Two 

* Beating Hitler 'was expensive' but ushered in decades of prosperity, he argued 

* G7 leaders pledged fresh sanctions and more military support for Kyiv 

Boris Johnson today declared 'the price of freedom is worth paying' as he compared defeating Russia in Ukraine to beating the Nazis in the Second World War. 

The Prime Minister, attending the G7 summit in Germany, said victory over Hitler was 'very expensive' but delivered 'long-term stability' as he joined other leaders in pledging to support Kyiv for 'as long as it takes'. 

Mr Johnson made the remarks after world leaders pledged to set a price cap on Russian oil and impose trade tariffs to make Putin pay for his invasion, which is now dragging into its fifth month.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: My gut tells me that PM Johnson's day at 10 Downing Street are numbered. 

British PM Johnson Says The UK Economy Getting Crushed A Price “Worth Paying” For Freedom In Ukraine  

Ukraine war: The price of freedom is worth paying, says Boris Johnson -- BBC  

FREEDOM FIGHTER Soaring food and fuel costs are a ‘price worth paying’ to beat Mad Vlad, Boris Johnson says -- The SUN 

UK Economy Getting Crushed A Price "Worth Paying" For Freedom In Ukraine: Johnson -- Zero Hedge