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In today’s news from the capitals:
Twelve of Russia’s state nuclear weapons makers use technology from Swedish industrial firms, Swedish newspaper survey finds To express found. Read more.
Germany’s Nord Stream 2 region leader admits the pipeline was a “mistake”. Manuela Schwesig, the premier of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (where Nord Stream 2 was being built) has dropped her support for the pipeline, admitting for the first time that her longstanding advocacy for the controversial project was a mistake. Read more.
French COVID-19 patients will vote in the elections. French citizens who test positive for COVID-19 will be able to vote freely in the presidential elections on April 10 and 24, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said. Read more.
Austria declares “early emergency” plan to secure gas supply. The government followed Germany and triggered “an early emergency” gas supply management mechanism in response to Russia saying it will only accept rubles for gas supplies in the future. Read more.
Ruling party lawmakers are demanding the acceleration of gas drilling in the North Sea. Jereon van Wijngaarden, MP for Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s VVD, wants to speed up the process of obtaining a permit to drill gas in the North Sea. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
The program of houses for Ukrainians is facing delays from the Interior Ministry. The scheme allowing people to sponsor a Ukrainian refugee to stay at home for six months, in return for a monthly payment of £350 from the government, has only resulted in the award of 2,700 visas over two weeks after its launch, according to the Interior Ministry. unveiled on Wednesday. Read more.
Ireland lacks accommodation for Ukrainian refugees. Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland may soon have to be accommodated in tents as the government searches for properties that can be used as accommodation. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Russian planes carrying nuclear weapons violated Swedish airspace. Two Russian fighter jets loaded with nuclear weapons violated Swedish airspace in early March, according to information provided to the news program TV4 Plus. Read more.
Zelenskyy asks Norway to prevent Russian ships from entering European ports. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for more arms to be delivered to Ukraine and Oslo to prevent Russian ships from docking in their ports in an address to Norway’s parliament on Wednesday. Read more.
Finland’s aging population is growing at record speed. Finland’s elderly, one of the world’s largest cohorts relative to the country’s remaining population, are growing rapidly, according to a new survey. Read more.
Lithuania will soon lift the indoor mask requirement. Lithuanians will no longer have to wear masks indoors, except in health facilities and public transport, the health ministry announced on Wednesday. Read more.
ROME | MOSCOW
Italy asks Putin for a ceasefire. Prime Minister Mario Draghi asked President Vladimir Putin to call a ceasefire as soon as possible “in order to protect the civilian population and support negotiation efforts” in a phone call on Wednesday. Read more.
EU and Spanish prosecutors are at odds over the Madrid manager’s fraud investigation. Investigations into allegations of corruption linked to a face mask deal struck by Madrid’s regional government at the start of the pandemic, despite Spanish prosecutors insisting the case was a national matter, will continue, it said on Wednesday. the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (European Public Prosecutor’s Office). Read more.
Greek socialists reject post-election collaboration with the right. The leader of the Greek Socialist Party (Pasok) has rejected collaboration with the ruling conservative New Democracy Party (EPP) in the next government. Read more.
The new state budget can put an end to low wages, increase productive potential. The state budget proposal for 2022 is ready and the country has unique conditions to break the pattern of low wages, which will increase productive potential, Prime Minister António Costa said on Wednesday. Read more.
The Kremlin freezes the bank account of the Polish Embassy in retaliation. Russia has kept its word after Polish authorities ordered 45 Russian diplomats to leave Polish territory last week and now the Kremlin has announced retaliatory measures against Poland and frozen the bank account of the embassy in Moscow. Read more.
Russian antivirus software is unreliable, Czech experts warn. The National Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency has warned against Russian antivirus software, as Russian companies targeted by EU sanctions may stop updating their programs at any time, leaving customers much more vulnerable to potential cyberattacks. Read more.
A quarter of Hungarian workers would emigrate if Fidesz wins. If the ruling Fidesz party wins Sunday’s elections, 28% of the working population thinks it is not worth staying in Hungary, according to a poll by the opposition Republikon Institute published on Wednesday. Telex reported. Read more.
Slovakia expels 35 Russian diplomats accused of espionage. The Slovak Foreign Ministry expelled 35 Russian diplomats from Slovakia on Wednesday after several accusations of espionage. Read more.
The prosecutor is investigating a pro-Russian MP for incitement to war against Bulgaria. The prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation to determine whether there is evidence that MP Elena Guncheva of the pro-Russian nationalist party Vazrazhdane committed a crime against the country by inciting war. Read more.
Romania is launching a call for green energy projects. A call for renewable energy projects with a total budget of 457.7 million euros was launched by the Romanian Minister of Energy, Virgil Popescu.
Funding comes from Romania’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan. Popescu said the support program aims to finance projects with a total installed capacity of 950 MW. The scheme will only finance wind and solar projects, with a minimum installed capacity of 0.2 MW. The chapter on energy of the Romanian PNRR has a budget of 1.62 billion euros. (Bogdan Neagu | EURACTIV.ro)
Almost 1,000 active prosecutions against the media, journalists. There are at least 951 lawsuits pending against media and journalists in Croatia, with the plaintiffs seeking nearly 77.4 million kunas (10.32 million euros) in damages, the Association of Croatian journalists (HND). Read more.
The JANAF Adriatic pipeline will cut off Serbia’s oil supply. The Adriatic pipeline JANAF announced that it would suspend oil deliveries to the oil company Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS), which would block the Serbian oil refinery and a petrochemical complex, Petrohemija, near Belgrade. Read more.
The Electoral Commission chooses a new president, the October elections are final. Suad Arnautović was chosen as the new chairperson of the Central Election Commission (SIP) of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on Wednesday and said the SIP was preparing for the elections to be held in October, although an agreement on the modification of the electoral law has not yet been concluded. Read more.
The census reports that almost a third of the Macedonian population is Albanian. The 2021 Macedonian census revealed that more than 29% of the population is ethnic Albanian and half is Macedonian according to statistics released on Wednesday. Read more.
An Albanian deputy resigns following a corruption scandal. Alqi Bllako, a socialist MP, has resigned from his parliamentary seat and faces arrest for his role in a 430 million euro corruption scandal in what could be the biggest government corruption scandal to date in Albania. . Read more.
- EU: Press statements by Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni and Arancha González Laya, Chair of the “Group of Wise Persons on the Challenges of the Customs Union”
- NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg presents his annual report for 2021 in Brussels.
- Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz receives his Austrian counterpart, Karl Nehammer, in Berlin.
- Croatia: Gas Forum focusing on gas prices for households and businesses, government measures to mitigate market anomalies, impact of the war in Ukraine on gas markets in Europe and Croatia, replacement of the Russian gas and supplies for next winter.
- Romania: The Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, visits Romania.
[Edited by Alexandra Brzozowski, Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson]