Dec 21, 2019

Russia and Ukraine strike a deal for gas transportation

Photo: Paul Zinken/picture alliance via Getty Images

Ukraine has agreed to allow Russia to continue sending gas through the country to the rest of Europe over the next five years, AP reports.

Why it matters: Europe relies on a large amount of gas from Russia for heating and industry, AP writes. Russia sends roughly 40% of its European gas deliveries through pipelines that cross through Ukraine.

  • Yes, but: Russia will incrementally send smaller amounts as it looks for new ways to transport gas without Ukraine, AP notes.

The big picture: Tensions between the two countries have been consistently high, especially since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently said his country is "at war" with Russia.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Russia vows retaliatory sanctions on U.S. over Nord Stream 2 pipeline

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia vowed Monday to respond to U.S. sanctions on its Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline to Germany, the AP reports.

The big picture: The U.S. enacted sanctions last week against individuals and companies building the pipeline — which forced a major contractor to suspend its work — arguing that it would increase Europe's dependency on Russian energy.

Go deeperArrowDec 23, 2019

Ukraine, Russian-backed rebels swap prisoners in step toward ending war

Pro-Russian rebels walk during a prisoner exchange. Photo: Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images

The Ukrainian government and pro-Russia separatists exchanged dozens of prisoners on Sunday, a small step toward ending a six-year conflict in the eastern Donbass region that has claimed the lives of at least 13,000 soldiers and civilians, the AP reports.

The big picture: The exchange comes weeks after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held preliminary peace talks in Paris with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of France and Germany. Ukraine's government released around 87 separatist detainees at a checkpoint in eastern Ukraine in exchange for an estimated 55 prisoners from the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic.

Go deeper: Ukraine's Zelensky says Trump should not have blocked aid: "We're at war"

Keep ReadingArrowDec 29, 2019

U.S. sanctions bill hinders work on Russian-backed pipeline — for now

View over the construction site of the pigging station of the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2. picture alliance / Contributor/Getty Images

A major contractor on Russia's Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline to Germany is halting work to avoid sanctions that would be imposed under legislation that President Trump signed Friday night.

Why it matters: The move by the Switzerland-based Allseas to stop laying subsea pipeline sections in the Baltic Sea creates new hurdles for the controversial pipeline project.

Go deeperArrowDec 21, 2019