even tougher winter next year as natural gas stocks are used up and as new supplies to replace Russian gas, including increased shipments from the United States or Qatar, are slow to come online, the International Energy Agency said in its annual World Energy Outlook, released last week.

Europe’s activity appears to be accelerating a global transition toward cleaner technologies, the I.E.A. added, as countries respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by embracing hydrogen fuels, electric vehicles, heat pumps and other green energies.

But in the short term, countries will be burning more fossil fuels in response to the natural gas shortages.

gas fields in Groningen, which had been slated to be sealed because of earthquakes triggered by the extraction of the fuel.

Eleven countries, including Germany, Finland and Estonia, are now building or expanding a total of 18 offshore terminals to process liquid gas shipped in from other countries. Other projects in Latvia and Lithuania are under consideration.

Nuclear power is winning new support in countries that had previously decided to abandon it, including Germany and Belgium. Finland is planning to extend the lifetime of one reactor, while Poland and Romania plan to build new nuclear power plants.

European Commission blueprint, are voluntary and rely on buy-ins from individuals and businesses whose utility bills may be subsidized by their governments.

Energy use dropped in September in several countries, although it is hard to know for sure if the cause was balmy weather, high prices or voluntary conservation efforts inspired by a sense of civic duty. But there are signs that businesses, organizations and the public are responding. In Sweden, for example, the Lund diocese said it planned to partially or fully close 150 out of 540 churches this winter to conserve energy.

Germany and France have issued sweeping guidance, which includes lowering heating in all homes, businesses and public buildings, using appliances at off-peak hours and unplugging electronic devices when not in use.

Denmark wants households to shun dryers and use clotheslines. Slovakia is urging citizens to use microwaves instead of stoves and brush their teeth with a single glass of water.

website. “Short showers,” wrote one homeowner; another announced: “18 solar panels coming to the roof in October.”

“In the coming winter, efforts to save electricity and schedule the consumption of electricity may be the key to avoiding electricity shortages,” Fingrad, the main grid operator, said.

Businesses are being asked to do even more, and most governments have set targets for retailers, manufacturers and offices to find ways to ratchet down their energy use by at least 10 percent in the coming months.

Governments, themselves huge users of energy, are reducing heating, curbing streetlight use and closing municipal swimming pools. In France, where the state operates a third of all buildings, the government plans to cut energy use by two terawatt-hours, the amount used by a midsize city.

Whether the campaigns succeed is far from clear, said Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, a European think tank. Because the recommendations are voluntary, there may be little incentive for people to follow suit — especially if governments are subsidizing energy bills.

In countries like Germany, where the government aims to spend up to €200 billion to help households and businesses offset rising energy prices starting next year, skyrocketing gas prices are hitting consumers now. “That is useful in getting them to lower their energy use,” he said. But when countries fund a large part of the bill, “there is zero incentive to save on energy,” he said.

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Seoul Crowd Crush: As Nation Mourns, a Focus on How a Festive Night Turned Deadly

Condolences poured in from world leaders, diplomats and prominent South Koreans overseas in the aftermath of the deadly crowd surge in Seoul.

President Joe Biden expressed condolences to the families of victims and best wishes for a quick recovery to the injured.

“We grieve with the people of the Republic of Korea,” he wrote in a statement. “The alliance between our two countries has never been more vibrant or more vital — and the ties between our people are stronger than ever.”

Britain’s new prime minister, Rishi Sunak, wrote on Twitter: “All our thoughts are with those currently responding and all South Koreans at this very distressing time.”

The Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida, also weighed in on Twitter. “I am deeply shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of many precious lives, including young people with a promising future,” he wrote.

“The tragic events in Seoul come as a shock to all of us,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany wrote. “Our thoughts are with the numerous victims and their families. This is a sad day for South Korea. Germany stands by their side.”

President Emmanuel Macron of France extended condolences in both French and Korean. “France is with you,” he wrote on Twitter.

Xi Jinping, China’s leader, conveyed condolences to victims and their families to the South Korean president, a Chinese state broadcaster reported. He expressed hopes that the South Korean authorities would make every effort to treat and rehabilitate the Chinese victims of the accident, according to the report.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on its Telegram channel that President Vladimir V. Putin had sent condolences to South Korea’s president. His message read in part, “Please convey my sincere condolences and words of support to the families and friends of the victims and my wishes for an early recovery to those who were injured,” the ministry said.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine wrote on Twitter, “We share your pain and sincerely wish a speedy recovery to all the victims.”

And Pope Francis tweeted asking for prayers for the victims.

Diplomats

The American flag was lowered to half-staff at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul on Sunday, in what Ambassador Philip Goldberg called a gesture of “sorrow and respect.”

“Please know my thoughts, and those of our team at U.S. Embassy Seoul, are with the Korean people and especially the loved ones of those who perished, as well as the many injured in this catastrophic incident,’” he wrote on Twitter.

Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, wrote that he was deeply saddened. “What meant to be a celebration turned into a tragedy with so many young casualties,” he said in a tweet. “We are with the people of the Republic of Korea at this difficult moment.”

Catherine Raper, the Australian ambassador to South Korea, asked all Australians in Seoul to check in with their family and friends while the embassy was making “urgent enquiries” to find out whether any Australians were among the victims. She extended deepest condolences to all those affected by the accident.

Park Jin, Seoul’s foreign minister, wrote that the government was putting all its efforts toward supporting the bereaved and injured, including foreign citizens. “Your thoughts and support are of great comfort to the Korean people in this moment of heartbreaking grief,” he said on Twitter.

South Koreans Abroad

Son Heung-min, a South Korean soccer star who is a forward with the British club Tottenham Hotspur, expressed sorrow, too.

“All my thoughts are with you all back home in Korea. I am heartbroken to be reading this news,” he wrote on Instagram after winning a match on Saturday. “I want you to all know I am thinking of you and sending all of my strength from here.”

Claire Fu contributed reporting.

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Iran will not remain indifferent if proven Russia using its drones in Ukraine – official

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DUBAI, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Iran will not remain indifferent if it is proven that its drones are being used by Russia in the Ukraine war, the Iranian foreign minister said on Monday, amid allegations the Islamic Republic has supplied drones to Moscow to attack Ukraine.

“If it is proven to us that Iranian drones are being used in the Ukraine war against people, we should not remain indifferent,” state media cited Hossein Amirabdollahian as saying.

However, Amirabdollahian said defence cooperation between Tehran and Moscow will continue.

Britain, France and Germany on Friday called for a United Nations probe of accusations Russia has used Iranian-origin drones to attack Ukraine, allegedly violating a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Citing diplomats and officials, Reuters reported last week that in addition to more drones, Iran had promised to provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Alex Richardson and Jonathan Oatis

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Germany’s Scholz calls for bigger European Union

BERLIN, Oct 15 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday called for an expanded European Union, telling a gathering of European social democrats that it would then be able to better pull its weight in global affairs.

Since assuming office, Scholz has made European Union expansion to include the Balkans and others nations a major plank of his foreign policy. It has taken on more urgency since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which became a candidate for EU membership early this summer.

“An EU with 27, 30, 36 states, with then more than 500 million free and equal citizens, can bring its weight to bear even more strongly in the world,” Scholz said at the congress.

The EU currently has 27 members.

“I am committed to the enlargement of the EU. That the EU continues to grow eastward is a win-win for all of us,” he said.

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Reporting by Andreas Rinke; writing by Tom Sims, editing by William Maclean

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Ukraine troops hold key town, Russia fires more missiles, Zelenskiy says

Oct 15 (Reuters) – Ukrainian troops are still holding the strategic eastern town of Bakhmut despite repeated Russian attacks while the situation in the Donbas region remains very difficult, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday.

Zelenskiy, speaking in an evening address, also said Russian missiles and drones had continued to hit Ukrainian cities, causing destruction and casualties.

Although Ukrainian troops have recaptured thousands of square kilometres (miles) of land in recent offensives in the east and south, officials say progress is likely to slow once Kyiv’s forces meet more determined resistance.

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Fighting is particularly intense in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk provinces bordering Russia. Together they make up the larger industrial Donbas, which Moscow has yet to fully capture.

Russian forces have repeatedly tried to seize Bakhmut, which sits on a main road leading to the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. Both are situated in the Donetsk region.

“Active fighting continues in various areas of the front. A very difficult situation persists in the Donetsk region and Luhansk region,” Zelenskiy said.

“The most difficult (situation) is in the direction of Bakhmut, as in previous days. We are holding our positions.”

Separately, the Ukrainian armed forces’ general staff said in a Facebook post that troops had on Saturday repelled a total of 11 separate Russian attacks near Kramatorsk, Bakhmut and the town of Avdiivka, just to the north of Donetsk.

Zelenskiy said Russian forces, which rained cruise missiles on several Ukrainian cities on Monday, had hit targets in seven regions over the last two days.

“Some of the missiles and drones were shot down but unfortunately, not all of them. Unfortunately, there is destruction and casualties,” he said. Kyiv said on Friday that it expected the United States and Germany to deliver sophisticated anti-aircraft systems this month.

Zelenskiy also said almost 65,000 Russians had been killed so far since the Feb. 24 invasion, a figure far higher than Moscow’s official Sept. 21 estimate of 5,937 dead. In August the Pentagon said Russia has suffered between 70,000 and 80,000 casualties, either killed or wounded.

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Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Grant McCool

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

David Ljunggren

Thomson Reuters

Covers Canadian political, economic and general news as well as breaking news across North America, previously based in London and Moscow and a winner of Reuters’ Treasury scoop of the year.

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Putin: Germany unlikely to accept gas via remaining Nord Stream 2 pipeline

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Oct 14 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Germany was unlikely to accept Russian gas from the one remaining undamaged line of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, two days after Berlin rejected his initial offer.

“A decision has not been made and it’s unlikely to be made, but that’s no longer our business, it’s the business of our partners,” he said.

The Nord Stream pipelines, intended to carry gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, suffered unexplained ruptures in three of their four lines, incidents that European countries have called sabotage.

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Putin said on Wednesday that Russian gas could still be supplied to Europe through the one remaining intact line of the uncommissioned Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but a German government spokesman ruled this out.

Germany froze the approval process for the recently laid Nord Stream 2 as Russia was preparing to invade Ukraine, and it was never opened.

“They have to decide what is more important for them: fulfilling some kind of alliance commitment, as they see it, or safeguarding their national interests,” Putin said.

The impact of efforts to use less Russian energy, plus steep cuts in supplies from Russia, have been felt across the 27-nation European Union, with gas prices almost 90% higher than a year ago and fears of rationing and power cuts over the coming winter.

EU energy ministers on Wednesday agreed on the outlines of a package of proposals to tackle the crisis that will be put to the European Commission next week.

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Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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Toll of Russian Strikes Mounts, Adding Urgency to Ukraine’s Pleas for Weapons

Credit…Jean-Francois Badias/Associated Press

PARIS — France began pumping natural gas directly to Germany for the first time on Thursday, part of a landmark agreement struck by both governments to help each other confront Europe’s energy crisis as Russia cuts off gas supplies to Europe.

Volumes of gas capable of producing around 31 gigawatt-hours per day of electricity began flowing early on Thursday into Germany, the French network operator GRTgaz said. The connection has a maximum capacity of 100 gigawatt-hours per day, equal to the power output of four nuclear reactors, or about 10 percent of the amount of liquefied natural gas that France imports each day, the company said.

GRTgaz said that months ago it had begun modifying its pipeline networks to be able to send gas to Germany. For years, the German economy has relied on Russian gas exports, but this year Moscow has slashed them in response to Western sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine.

France gets its gas from the Netherlands, Norway and Russia, according to the International Energy Agency, although supplies from Russia were cut off in September. It also receives deliveries of liquefied natural gas from several L.N.G. terminals.

To face the energy crunch, France has been storing gas and getting more of it from its European partners and Qatar. Recently, President Emmanuel Macron has burnished relations with Algeria, a former French colony, which has agreed to sharply increase gas exports to France.

In exchange for the gas from France, Germany has pledged to export more electricity to that country as it grapples with an unprecedented crisis in its nuclear power industry that has reduced power production.

“Germany needs our gas, and we need the electricity produced in the rest of Europe, and in particular in Germany,” President Emmanuel Macron said last month after speaking with the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, about the agreement. “We will contribute to European solidarity in gas and benefit from European solidarity in electricity.”

“Merci beaucoup,” Klaus Müller, the head of Germany’s federal network agency, wrote in a Twitter message to GRTGaz on Thursday. “The gas deliveries from France, through Saarland, help Germany’s energy security.”

European countries have pledged to work together to get through winter as Russia’s aggression in Ukraine raises the prospect of a prolonged energy crisis. On Thursday, Spain proposed increasing its gas deliveries to France by 18 percent in the coming months, Spain’s ecological transition minister, Teresa Ribera, said.

As Europe’s largest economy and the one most dependent on Russian gas, Germany has been among the countries worst affected by the energy crisis rippling across Europe, where natural gas costs about 10 times what it did a year ago. Both Berlin and Paris have imposed a broad range of conservation measures, including lowering thermostats and hot water heaters, encouraging the use of public transport and requiring public buildings to turn off lights early.

The energy crunch has forced European governments to fall back on less-desirable power sources that they had been trying to phase out in a push to go green. Germany, for instance, has decided to keep coal-fired power plants online and restart several others that had been mothballed.

In addition, Germany decided to keep two of its three remaining nuclear power plants operational as an emergency reserve for its electricity supply, breaking a political taboo and delaying its plans to become the first industrial power to go nuclear-free for its energy.

And in France, the government is facing an energy crisis of its own after half its fleet of nuclear power plants — the largest in Europe — was taken offline earlier this year for inspections and repairs. The electricity shortage has driven prices to record levels, forcing factories to cut production and put tens of thousands of employees on furlough.

Bruno Le Maire, France’s economy minister, warned Thursday that high energy prices continued to pose a “major risk” to French industry and would lead to a 10 percent decline in industrial production this winter.

Berlin this month announced a 200 billion euro (about $196 billion) aid plan for German households, businesses and industries. It includes policies to curb natural gas and electricity prices domestically. And France has already spent around €100 billion since last winter doing the same.

But with Mr. Scholz facing pushback over his government’s decision to keep nuclear plants running, Germany’s ability to uphold its end of the energy-swap deal with France may wind up depending on the French themselves: GRTgaz said that the exported French gas would allow Germany to produce more electricity, which in turn would be sent back to the French grid during peak hours.

“If we did not have European solidarity,” Mr. Macron said in a televised interview on Wednesday, “we would have serious problems.”

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Live Updates: Germany Rushes Air Defense System to Ukraine as Allies Discuss More Military Aid

KYIV, Ukraine — Six and a half feet down a ladder inside a small shed at the back of Oleksandr Kadet’s home is an underground room with a cement hatch that he hopes he never has to use.

For the past two weeks, Mr. Kadet, 32, said that he and his wife, who live outside the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, had been preparing for the possibility of a nuclear attack by stocking the room — an old well that they converted into a bunker — with bottled water, canned food, radios and power banks.

“We are more anxious now, especially after yesterday’s attacks,” Mr. Kadet said on Tuesday, a day after a series of Russian missile attacks across Ukraine. “But we do think that in case of a nuclear explosion, we will be able to survive if we stay in the shelter for some time.”

Credit…Oleksandr Kadet

The fears of escalation rose on Saturday after an attack on the 12-mile Kerch Strait Bridge connecting Russia to the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014. Initially, Ukrainians celebrated, but that quickly gave way to worry that such a brazen assault on a symbol of President Vladimir V. Putin’s rule could prompt a severe retaliation.

Even before these recent events, though, concerns about the potential for a nuclear disaster had increasingly been making their way into Ukraine’s national psyche. The fear is that Russia could either use tactical nuclear arms or launch a conventional attack on one of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants.

U.S. officials have said they think the chances of Russia’s using nuclear weapons are low, and senior American officials say they have seen no evidence that Mr. Putin is moving any of his nuclear assets.

On Sunday, Mr. Putin called the assault on the bridge a “terrorist attack aimed at destroying the critically important civilian infrastructure of the Russian Federation.”

But his spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, appeared to tamp down fears of a nuclear reprisal, saying that the attack on the bridge did not fall within the category under Russia’s defense doctrine that allowed for such a response.

Last month, Mr. Putin raised fears that he could resort to nuclear weapons when he warned that he would “use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people,” if Russian-controlled territory was threatened.

“This is not a bluff,” he said.

Days later, Russia illegally annexed four Ukrainian territories.

Mr. Kadet, who noted that he had begun preparing two weeks ago, said it felt better to have an action plan.

“It’s psychologically easier because you know you are at least somehow prepared for it,” he said. “It’s not a guarantee it will save you, but at least you’re ready.”

Residents of Kyiv said that they had felt wary even before the most recent missile strikes there on Monday.

Credit…Finbarr O’Reilly for The New York Times

Immediately after the bridge attack, many Ukrainians had shared their glee on social media. They toasted triumphantly in the capital’s bars over the weekend, and posed for selfies in front of posters of the burning bridge.

But the worry soon set in.

“I feel this real fear about how the Russians will answer this,” said Krystina Gevorkova, 30, who was shopping with her friend in Kyiv on Sunday. “Earlier it had felt safer here,” she added. “Now, I have this feeling like something is going to happen.”

Kyiv has for months been spared the worst of the Russian onslaught while Moscow focused its attention instead on southeastern Ukraine. But on Monday, a Russian missile struck just blocks away from where Ms. Gevorkova had spoken.

She said that she had been reading up on how to stay safe during a nuclear war, but that she was skeptical that it would help.

“We can’t really do anything,” she said.

The war has felt far from Kyiv in recent months, as life’s rhythms return to a semblance of normalcy after Russian forces were ousted from parts of northeastern Ukraine. Nevertheless, the city has also been slowly preparing for a potential nuclear attack.

The Kyiv City Council said on Friday that potassium iodide pills would be distributed to residents in case of a nuclear incident “based on medical recommendations,” adding that the pills were also available in city pharmacies.

Potassium iodide is used to saturate a person’s thyroid with iodine so that radioactive iodine inhaled or ingested after exposure will not be retained by the gland.

Alina Bozhedomova, 23, a pharmacist in Kyiv, said that customers were coming in daily looking for the pills, but added, “I haven’t seen people panicking about it.”

Some elementary schools have advised parents to prepare emergency packs for their children to keep with them at school.

Nadiia Stelmakh, 50, who works in a market selling home goods, said that one mother had come to her with a list from the school that included latex gloves, a poncho, boot covers, tissues, wet wipes and a flashlight.

Credit…Finbarr O’Reilly for The New York Times

“People are really concerned right now,” she said. Her husband, Volodymyr Stelmakh, who has another stall nearby, agreed.

“I have an emergency bag packed,” he said, “but I think if the nuclear threat is imminent, you will have no time to run away.

After worries grew about the security of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the country’s southeast in recent weeks, Ukraine’s Ministry of Health issued guidance about how to respond to a nuclear incident.

The risk of nuclear fallout can feel very real in Ukraine, a country that still bears the scars of the Chernobyl accident in 1986, one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. Chernobyl is only about 60 miles north of Kyiv.

And some who experienced the life-threatening fallout firsthand say that they, possibly more than anyone, understand the full risk of nuclear exposure. Oleksandr, 55, who asked that his last name not be used, said that he and his family had fled Chernobyl for Kyiv immediately after the meltdown, when he was just 18.

His family closely followed guidance to move south, as winds were pushing radioactive materials north, and he said that was the only reason they escaped unscathed.

“Now, people here are really not ready. People don’t know what to do,” he said. “There is not enough information.”

He owns a market stand that sells household necessities and said that more people had come in during the past two weeks preparing for a nuclear disaster, buying flashlights, batteries, knives, radios and small camp stoves.

Credit…Finbarr O’Reilly for The New York Times

While some were preparing for the worst, others remained optimistic that Russia would never carry out such an extreme attack, which would draw international outrage.

Dmytro Yastrub, 31, said he felt more concerned about Mr. Putin using conventional weapons to target Kyiv.

“I presume something will happen” after the bridge attack, he said, standing outside a bar in the Kyiv city center on Sunday evening with a group of friends. But, he added, the risk of a nuclear attack was not weighing heavy on his mind.

Svetlana Zozulia, 47, and her husband, Vladyslav Zozulia, 37, were walking in central Kyiv with their daughter, Anastasiia, 11, on Sunday night. Ms. Zozulia said she tried to remain optimistic and did not believe that Mr. Putin would launch a nuclear attack on Ukraine.

But she did buy potassium iodide tablets just in case, she said.

“I think our success disturbs him,” Ms. Zozulia said. “But there is also a threat for him if he chooses a nuclear attack.”

Oleksandra Mykolyshyn contributed reporting

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Live Updates: Zelensky Asks G7 Nations for Better Air Defense Systems After Russia Strikes

A top British intelligence official will warn in a speech on Tuesday that while Russia’s aggression has created an urgent threat, China’s expanding use of technology to control dissent and its growing ability to attack satellite systems, control digital currencies and track individuals pose far deeper challenges for the West.

In an interview on Monday ahead of his address, the official, Jeremy Fleming, who heads GCHQ — the British electronic intelligence-gathering and cyber agency made famous for its role in breaking the Enigma codes in World War II — also said he was skeptical about how far China would go to support Russia’s aggression.

“I don’t think that this is a ‘relationship without limits,’” he said, using the term that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and President Xi Jinping of China employed when they met at the Beijing Olympics early this year, just before the invasion of Ukraine. In light of Russia’s dismal battlefield performance and its brutality, he said, China “needs to be weighing up the advantages and disadvantage of continuing to align themselves strongly with Russia.”

Mr. Fleming’s agency — formally called Government Communications Headquarters, the counterpart to the National Security Agency in the United States — plays an increasingly central role in tracking Russian communications and preparing for the day when China’s advances in quantum computing may defeat the kinds of encryption used to protect both government and corporate communications.

A three-decade veteran of the British intelligence services, Mr. Fleming rarely speaks in public. But in recent months, several of Britain’s spy chiefs have deliberately taken a carefully crafted public role in describing future security threats.

Mr. Fleming has gone further, detailing the capabilities and rules surrounding Britain’s use of offensive cyber capabilities, which it employed in Syria against terror groups and reportedly against Russian forces in Ukraine, a subject Mr. Fleming declined to discuss.

Yet in the interview, he described Russia as “a disrupter” that was “unpredictable in its actions at the moment.” But he said the performance of Russia’s military had revealed deep weaknesses, and excerpts from his forthcoming speech describe Mr. Putin’s decision-making as “flawed,” its forces as “exhausted” and its reliance on mobilizing 300,000 “inexperienced conscripts” as evidence of Mr. Putin’s “desperate situation.”

“The Russian population has started to understand that, too,” he argued. “They’re seeing just how badly Putin has misjudged the situation.”

He added, “They’re fleeing the draft, knowing their access to modern technologies and external influences will be drastically restricted.”

But Mr. Fleming’s warning is another reminder of the speed at which the Western allies have come to view themselves as in direct competition, and sometimes in conflict, with both of the world’s other major nuclear superpowers. Of the two, he clearly regards Russia as the more manageable.

Until recent years, most European nations have been muted in their public critiques of Beijing and its ambitions, because trade with China became critical to growth, especially for Germany. Britain even permitted Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant that the United States fears could pose a security threat, to provide some 5G equipment to Britain’s communications network — under some strict conditions — until sanctions imposed on the company by the United States made that impossible.

Mr. Fleming’s warnings about the strategies behind China’s investment in new technologies, and its effort to create “client economies and governments,” sound much like speeches given by his American counterparts for the past five or more years. But he spoke just before the opening of a Communist Party congress starting in Beijing on Sunday at which Xi Jinping is expected to be named to a third five-year term as the country’s top leader.

Mr. Fleming said that in the case of China, this could be “the sliding-doors moment in history,” in which the United States and its allies may soon discover that they are too far behind in a series of critical technologies to maintain a military or technological edge over Beijing.

He described China’s move to develop central bank digital currencies that could be used to track transactions as a shift that could also “enable China to partially evade the sort of international sanctions currently being applied to Putin’s regime in Russia.” He said that was one example of how China was “learning the lessons” from the war in Ukraine, presumably to apply them if it decided to move against Taiwan and prompted further efforts by the U.S. and its allies to isolate it economically.

Mr. Fleming also described China’s moves to build “a powerful antisatellite capability, with a doctrine of denying other nations access to space in the event of a conflict.” And he accused China of trying to alter international technology standards to ease the tracking of individuals, part of its effort to repress dissent, even the speech of Chinese citizens living abroad.

But his biggest warning surrounded dependence on Chinese companies that are closely linked to the state, or that would have no choice but to turn over data on individuals upon demand by the Chinese authorities. The Huawei experience, he said in the interview, “opened our eyes to the extent to which even the biggest businesses in China are ultimately wrapped up with the Chinese state” and have no choice but to comply “because of the way in which the Communist Party works and the national security laws operate.”

Yet in the Huawei case, the United States and its European partners have yet to offer truly competitive alternatives for much of the company’s networking equipment, officials from many countries say. “We have to be able to provide alternatives,” Mr. Fleming said. When pressed on whether Europe and the United States had provided those alternatives in the years since the campaign against Huawei gained traction, he acknowledged, “No, we don’t.”

Last week, the Biden administration announced sweeping new limits on the sale of semiconductor technology to China, hoping to cripple Beijing’s access to critical technologies that are needed for supercomputers, advanced weapons and artificial intelligence applications.

It was a sign of how fast the world’s two largest economies had become engaged in a clash over technological advantage, with the United States trying to establish a stranglehold on advanced computing and semiconductor technology that China views as essential to its own ambitions.

But Mr. Fleming conceded that over the next few months, he would be focused — as American leaders are — on the question of whether Russia might seek to use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine to make up for its failures on the battlefield.

“This is a concerning moment,” he said. But he noted that Mr. Putin had been cautious and “has been careful not to escalate beyond the borders of Ukraine.”

“He’s been careful not to escalate in terms of the types of weapons they’re using,” he said.

He added: “We’re in a situation where escalation risks are very real.” But if “Putin decided he would make use of tactical nuclear weapons,” he said, it would be a “complete departure” from his past action and from Russian military doctrine.

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Worldwide Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Industry to 2027 – Key Drivers and Challenges – ResearchAndMarkets.com

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Global Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market By Component (Anti-Reflective Coating, Silicon wafers, Passivation layer, Capping Layer, Others), By Type (Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, Thin Film), By Application, By Region, Competition, Forecast and Opportunities , 2017-2027” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The global passivated emitter rear cell market is projected to register a significant CAGR during the forecast years, 2023-2027. Increasing demand for better and more efficient energy storage solutions to meet the growing energy requirement worldwide is the primary driver for the global passivated emitter rear cell market.

Solar panels with passivated emitter rear cells (PERCs) contain an extra layer covering the typical solar cells’ backs, increasing the efficiency and output of electrical energy from solar radiation. The safety of the solar panels can be enhanced by using PERC (passivated emitter rear cell) modules.

These modules are able to reduce back recombination and prevent longer-wavelength solar light from turning into heat energy, both of which are detrimental to the device and its performance. Market players are continuously making high-end investments in research and development activities to find new innovative solutions and upgrade the existing infrastructure.

Further improvements to the device are being made to lower installation and maintenance costs in addition to improving its efficiency. Modern PERC panels make better use of available space and operate more efficiently even when fewer panels are put in, which reduces installation time and expense.

The global passivated emitter rear cell market segmentation is based on component, type, application, regional distribution, and competitive landscape. Based on type, the market is divided into monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. The monocrystalline segment is expected to hold the largest market share during the forecast period, 2023-2027.

Monocrystalline passivated emitter rear cell is a combination of single-crystal cell, passivated emitter cell, and back cell. The solar panel provides high flexibility and has various placements viability & tilt options without compromising efficiency. Monocrystalline passivated emitter rear cells are also efficient in case of low lighting; thus, regions such as Europe can effectively use these for power generation.

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In this report, global passivated emitter rear cell market has been segmented into the following categories, in addition to the industry trends which have also been detailed below:

Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market, By Component:

Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market, By Type:

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