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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Russia Masses Troops in Belarus, but New Offensive Appears Unlikely

Credit…Emile Ducke for The New York Times

RIGA, Latvia — Russia is massing thousands of troops in its western neighbor Belarus ahead of what could be the opening of a new front aimed at disrupting the flow of Western military aid from Poland, according to defense officials in Latvia and Ukraine.

However, the assembled forces, about 10,000 troops, may still be too weak to make a successful new thrust south from Belarus, Latvia’s defense minister, Artis Pabriks, said on Friday.

“We have to be cautious, but I doubt that Russians are at this moment capable of opening another front line against Ukraine, at least not a successful front,” Mr. Pabriks said in an interview in Riga, the capital of Latvia, which borders both Russia and Belarus.

An announcement last week by Belarus that it was forming a new joint military force with Russia stirred alarm in the West that the Kremlin might be preparing a new ground assault with help from Belarusian forces. Russia massed troops in Belarus ahead of its initial attack on Ukraine in February.

On Thursday, a Ukrainian general, Oleksiy Gromov, said that the threat of a possible invasion from Belarus was growing. He said that a new attack would likely not drive toward Kyiv — which lies just 60 miles from the border with Belarus — but rather to the west of the capital, nearer to the Polish border. An offensive south from western Belarus into Ukrainian territory near the border with Poland could disrupt the flow of weapons to Ukraine from the United States and its allies, much of which passes through Poland.

Russia used the territory of Belarus, its closest military and political ally, as a staging ground for its February invasion and has since launched missiles and drones into Ukraine from there. But President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, Belarus’s veteran strongman leader, has resisted Russia’s pressure to get directly involved in the war.

On Friday, Mr. Lukashenko said it would be undesirable for Belarusian military equipment to be used in Ukraine and denied his country’s troops were training for war, adding “no war today. We don’t need it,” the state news agency Belta reported.

Mr. Lukashenko made a similar statement in February, just days before Russia invaded Ukraine from his territory.

On Friday, Ukraine’s armed forces said in a statement that if the country were attacked again from Belarus, it would “respond as fiercely as we respond to all occupiers.”

The flurry of military activity in Belarus in recent days, Britain’s defense ministry said on Friday, is “likely an attempt to demonstrate Russian-Belarusian solidarity and to convince Ukraine to divert forces to guard the northern border.”

Noting claims by Mr. Lukashenko that 70,000 Belarusians and 15,000 Russians would be involved in their new joint force, Britain’s defense ministry said it was unlikely that Russia had actually deployed significant forces and added that Belarus “maintains minimal capability to undertake complex operations.”

Vadym Skibitsky, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, said in an interview that Ukraine also did not see an immediate threat of another attack from Belarus.

Several thousand newly mobilized Russian soldiers are deployed in Belarus at training sites, Mr. Skibitsky said, but they are not accompanied by tanks, artillery or fuel trucks and other logistical support they would need to invade and face Ukraine’s battle-hardened troops.

“We see these elements now moving into Belarus, but we do not see the movement of equipment,” he said.

Brig. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, also played down the likelihood of a new Russian invasion from Belarus. “We don’t currently have any indications of a potential imminent military action on that front,” he told a briefing on Thursday.

Andrew E. Kramer contributed reporting from Kyiv, Ukraine.

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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.

Years considered for this report:

Objective of the Study:

Companies Mentioned

Report Scope:

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:

Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market, By Application:

Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market, By Region:

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/n6onw8

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U.K. Borrowers React to Soaring Interest Rates in Mortgage Market

LOUGHTON, England — After nearly two decades of renting in one of the world’s most expensive cities, the Szostek family began the week almost certain that they would finally own a home.

Transplants to London who fell in love as housemates, Laetitia Anne, an operations manager from France and her husband, Maciej Szostek, a chef from Poland, had long dreamed of being homeowners. They had waited out the uncertain pandemic years and worked overtime shifts to save up for the deposit for a mortgage on a three-bedroom apartment in a neighborhood outside London. Their 13-year-old twins were excited they could finally paint the walls.

That was before British financial markets were upended, with the pound briefly hitting a record low against the dollar on Monday and interest rates soaring so rapidly that the Bank of England was forced to intervene to restore order. The economic situation was so volatile that some mortgage lenders temporarily withdrew many products.

By Tuesday evening, the Szostek family learned the bad news: The loan that they were close to securing had fallen through. Suddenly, they were scrambling to find another lender as interest rates climb higher.

loss of purchasing power over time, meaning your dollar will not go as far tomorrow as it did today. It is typically expressed as the annual change in prices for everyday goods and services such as food, furniture, apparel, transportation and toys.

Rising home prices and income inequality priced many out of the market, but for strivers who aspired to homeownership, the latest ruptures to the economy hit hard. The release of the new government’s sweeping plan for debt-funded tax cuts led to a big uptick in interest rates this week that roiled the mortgage market. Many homeowners are calculating their potential future mortgage payments with alarm, amid soaring energy and food prices and a general cost-of-living crisis.

Before they were informed they were no longer eligible, the family had been in the final stages of applying for a five-year fixed-rate mortgage on an apartment priced at £519,000, or around $576,000, in the leafy parish of Loughton, a town about 40 minutes north of London by train where the streets fill with students in the afternoon and the properties span from lower-end apartments to million-pound mansions.

according to the Financial Conduct Authority. And more than a third of all mortgages are on fixed rates that expire within the next two years, most likely exposing those borrowers to higher rates, too. By contrast, the vast majority of mortgages in the United States are locked in for 30-year fixed terms.

And the abrupt surge in interest rates could threaten to set off a housing market crisis, analysts at Oxford Economics wrote in a note on Friday, adding that if mortgage rates stayed at the levels now being offered, that would suggest that house prices were around 30 percent overvalued “based on the affordability of mortgage payment.”

“This just adds a significant further strain to finances in the order of hundreds of pounds a month,” said David Sturrock, a senior research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, adding that the squeeze on household budgets will affect the broader economy.

Uncertainty and even panic was clear this week, with many homeowners seeking financial advice. Mortgage brokers said they were receiving a higher volume of inquiries than normal from people stressed about refinancing their loans.

“You can feel the fear in people’s voices,” said Caroline Opie, a mortgage broker working with Ms. Anne who said she had not seen this level of worry in a long time. One couple this week even called her the morning of their wedding, she said, to set an appointment to refinance their mortgage next week.

the war in Ukraine. “Something has got to give,” he said. “Prices are too high anyway.”

To save for the deposit, Mr. Szostek, 37, picked up construction shifts and cleaning jobs when restaurants closed during Covid-19 lockdowns. A £5,000 inheritance from Ms. Anne’s grandfather went into their deposit fund. At a 3.99 percent interest rate, the mortgage repayments were set to be about £2,200 a month.

“I wanted to feel at home for real,” said Ms. Anne, adding she would have been the first in her family to own a property. Mr. Szostek called it “a lifelong dream.”

On Wednesday night, that dream still seemed in reach: The mortgage dealer Ms. Opie had found another loan, which they rushed to apply for.

The higher interest rate — 4.6 percent — will mean their new monthly mortgage payment will be £2,400, the upper limit of what the Szostek family can afford. Still, they felt lucky to secure anything at all, hoping it will mean their promises to their children — of bigger bedrooms, more space, freedom to decorate how they like — will materialize.

They would wait to celebrate, Mr. Szostek said, until they had the keys in hand.

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Europe Points to Sabotage in Pipeline Leaks and Pledges ‘United Response’

Credit…Irakli Gedenidze/Reuters

At least 200,000 Russians have left the country in the week since President Vladimir V. Putin announced a partial military mobilization after a series of setbacks in the country’s war with Ukraine, according to figures provided by Russia’s neighbors.

The mobilization could pull as many as 300,000 civilians into military service, from what Russian officials have said is a pool of some 25 million draft-eligible adults on their rolls, suggesting that the departures, though unusual, may not prevent the Kremlin from achieving its conscription goals.

Video posted on social media platforms showed long lines of cars approaching border checkpoints in countries including Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Finland. The rapid outflow, as well as a series of protests in different parts of the country, are a stark display of discontent with Mr. Putin’s policy.

“I left because of my disagreement with the current government in Russia,” said Alexander Oleinikov, 29, a bus driver from Moscow who had crossed overland into northeastern Georgia. He said that many people he knew were against the war, which he called a “tragedy” caused by “one crazy dictator.”

The size of the exodus is difficult to determine, however, given that Russia has borders with 14 countries, stretching from China and North Korea to the Baltic States, and not all governments release regular data about migration.

The government of Kazakhstan said on Tuesday that 98,000 Russians had entered the country in the last week and Georgia’s interior minister said more than 53,000 people had crossed into the country from Russia since Sept. 21, when the mobilization was announced. The daily number climbed over those days to around 10,000 from a normal level of about 5,000 to 6,000.

The European Union’s border agency, Frontex, said in a statement that nearly 66,000 Russian citizens entered the bloc in the week to Sunday, up 30 percent from the previous week.

Those numbers give some additional credence to the scale of exodus described in a report over the weekend by the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which cited what it said was a security service estimate, provided by an unnamed source, of 261,000 men having left the country by Sunday.

There is also evidence that Russia may be moving to stem the flow of departures. On Wednesday, Russia’s North Ossetia republic imposed restrictions on cars arriving from other parts of the country. The republic’s governor, Sergei Menyaylo, said the ban was being introduced after 20,000 people crossed the border in two days.

Some European countries have already imposed border restrictions with Russia, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, which have closed their doors to most Russian citizens. Finland is considering similar measures.

On Wednesday, the United States Embassy in Moscow, which had previously urged its citizens to leave Russia, restated the position in the light of the mobilization drive, warning that those with dual Russian and American nationality could be at risk of being drafted.

Russia is also attempting to clamp down on citizens trying to leave the country. On Tuesday, the state news media reported that men waiting to flee at the Georgia border were being served call-up papers.

Some analysts, however, cautioned that the practical impact of the departures was likely to be limited.

“Many young Russian men are departing in a mass exodus from Russia,” said Mick Ryan, an Australian military expert who has commented extensively on the war in Ukraine. “But millions of others will not have the means to leave Russia to escape their draft notices.”

Ksenia Ivanova contributed reporting.

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Nord Stream Gas Leaks Raise Suspicions of Sabotage

Credit…Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Suspicious leaks in two gas pipelines running from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea caused a sudden drop in pressure on Monday, raising concerns about possible sabotage and prompting the authorities in Germany, Denmark and Sweden to investigate.

Sweden’s national seismic network said it detected two large undersea explosions on Monday near the locations of the leaks. Neither of the pipelines — Nord Stream 1 and 2 — had been active, but they were filled with gas when there was a sharp drop in pressure, first registered on Monday.

Footage released by the Danish Defense Command showed a swirling mass of methane bubbling up onto the surface of the Baltic Sea. Officials in Denmark raised its security alerts at electricity and gas facilities around the country.

Speculation immediately fell on Russia, which denied responsibility. The leaks underscored the vulnerability of Europe’s energy infrastructure, even as the continent tries to wean itself off supplies from the Russia as punishment for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister, blamed Russia for the leaks, saying they were an attempt to further destabilize Europe’s energy security. He spoke at the launch of a new undersea pipeline that connects Poland to Norway through Denmark.

“We do not know the details of what happened yet, but we can clearly see that it is an act of sabotage,” Mr. Morawiecki said. “An act that probably marks the next stage in the escalation of this situation in Ukraine.”

Denmark’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, said that sabotage could not be ruled out. “It is too early to conclude yet, but it is an extraordinary situation,” she said during a visit to Poland to inaugurate the pipeline from Norway.

“There is talk of three leaks, and therefore it is difficult to imagine that it could be accidental,” she said.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, said on Twitter that the leaks were “a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression towards E.U.”

The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said of the leaks that “no possibility can be ruled out,” but the Russian state media sought to blame the United States and Ukraine. The state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported that Washington “is an active opponent of Russian gas supplies to Europe,” and said that Ukraine opposed Nord Stream 2 because it “was afraid of losing revenues from the transit of Russian gas.”

Credit…Planet Labs

It was not immediately clear who would benefit from ruptures in the pipelines, which were not in operation. The leaks were found at different points on two branches of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and one branch of Nord Stream 2, Danish and Swedish officials said. They warned ships to avoid the affected areas.

The pipelines have been a focal point of the broader confrontation between Russia and Europe. After the European Union imposed economic sanctions on Russia to penalize it for invading Ukraine in February, Russia began withholding the natural gas that for decades it had sent to Europe, threatening the continent’s energy supply as winter looms.

The governments in Denmark and Germany both said the leaks would not affect natural gas supplies in their countries. Gazprom had already halted nearly all deliveries of natural gas to Europe, through Nord Stream 1 as well as all but one of several overland pipelines, and European countries have turned to other suppliers, including Norway, to meet their energy needs.

But the incident made clear how vulnerable energy infrastructure could be. Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority warned on Monday that unidentified drones had been sighted recently near its offshore oil and gas facilities, raising concerns of possible explosions, helicopter collisions or of “deliberate attacks.” It called for “increased vigilance by all operators and vessel owners,” citing the heightened security concerns following recent threats by Russia linked to its war in Ukraine.

Russia’s Gazprom halted deliveries through Nord Stream 1 indefinitely earlier this month, as part of a continuing dispute with Germany over gas deliveries. The pipeline is made up of about 100,000 concrete-coated steel pipes designed to withstand the change in pressure the gas undergoes on the 760-mile journey from Russia to Germany. They lie on the floor of the Baltic Sea.

Nord Stream 2 was never put into operation after Germany canceled its certification on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Senators and members of Congress had lobbied for years to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2. After Germany halted certification, President Biden imposed sanctions on the Russian-owned operator of the pipeline.

Monika Pronczuk, Oleg Matsnev and Torben Brooks contributed reporting.

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Europe Looks at Italy’s Giorgia Meloni With Caution and Trepidation

BRUSSELS — The victory in Italian elections of the far-right and Euroskeptic leader Giorgia Meloni, who once wanted to ditch the euro currency, sent a tremor on Monday through a European establishment worried about a new right-wing shift in Europe.

European Union leaders are now watching her coalition’s comfortable victory in Italy, one of its founding members, with caution and some trepidation, despite reassurances from Ms. Meloni, who would be the first far-right nationalist to govern Italy since Mussolini, that she has moderated her views.

But it is hard for them to escape a degree of dread. Even given the bloc’s successes in recent years to agree on a groundbreaking pandemic recovery fund and to confront Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the appeal of nationalists and populists remains strong — and is spreading, a potential threat to European ideals and cohesion.

said in a Twitter message: “In these difficult times, we need more than ever friends who share a common vision and approach to Europe’s challenges.”

Europe’s concerns are less about policy toward Ukraine. Ms. Meloni has said she supports NATO and Ukraine and has no great warmth for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, as her junior coalition partners, Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi, have evinced.

Still, Mr. Berlusconi said last week that Mr. Putin “was pushed by the Russian population, by his party, by his ministers to invent this special operation.” The plan, he said, was for Russian troops to enter “in a week to replace Zelensky’s government with a government of decent people.”

Italian popular opinion is traditionally sympathetic toward Moscow, with about a third of seats in the new Parliament going to parties with an ambiguous stance on Russia, sanctions, and military aid to Ukraine. As the war proceeds, with all its domestic economic costs, Ms. Meloni may take a less firm view than Mr. Draghi has.

Mr. Kupchan expects “the balance of power in Europe will tilt more toward diplomacy and a bit less toward continuing the fight.” That is a view more popular with the populist right than with parties in the mainstream, but it has prominent adherents in Germany and France, too.

“These elections are another sign that all is not well with mainstream parties,” said Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, and spell a complicated period for the European Union.

Even the victory a year ago of Olaf Scholz in Germany, a man of the center left, was ensured by the collapse of the center-right Christian Democrats, who had their worst showing in their history, while in April, France’s long-dominant center-right Republicans fell to under 5 percent of the vote.

“People in Brussels are extremely anxious about Meloni becoming an E.U. prime minister,” Mr. Leonard said. “They’ve seen how disruptive Orban can be from a small country with no systemic role in the E.U. Meloni says she won’t immediately upend the consensus on Ukraine, but she could be a force for a much more virulent form of Euroskepticism in council meetings.”

One or two troublemakers can do a lot of a damage to E.U. decision-making, he said, “but if it’s five or six,” it becomes very hard to obtain coherence or consensus.

When the leftist, populist Five Star Movement led Italy from 2018 to early 2021, before Mr. Draghi, it created major fights inside Brussels on immigration and asylum issues. Ms. Meloni is expected to concentrate on topics like immigration, identity issues (she despises what she calls “woke ideology”), and future E.U. rules covering debt and fiscal discipline, to replace the outdated growth and stability pact.

But analysts think she will pick her fights carefully, given Italy’s debt mountain — over 150 percent of gross domestic product — and the large sums that Brussels has promised Rome as part of the Covid recovery fund. For this year, the amount is 19 billion euros, or about $18.4 billion, nearly 1 percent of Italy’s G.D.P., said Mujtaba Rahman, Europe director for the Eurasia Group, with a total over the next few years of some 10.5 percent of G.D.P.

“Draghi has already implemented tough reforms to satisfy Brussels, so there is no reason for her to come in and mess it up and agitate the market,” Mr. Rahman said. But for the future, there are worries that she will push for an expansionist budget, looser fiscal rules and thereby make the more frugal countries of northern Europe less willing to compromise.

For Mr. Rahman, the bigger risk for Europe is the loss of influence Italy exercised under Mr. Draghi. He and President Emmanuel Macron of France, “were beginning to create an alternative axis to compete with the vacuum of leadership now in Germany, and all that will be lost,” Mr. Rahman said. Italy will go from a country that leads to one that Europe watches anxiously, he said.

There was a sign of that anxiety just before the election, when Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, warned that Brussels had “the tools” to deal with Italy if things went in a “difficult direction.” It was seen as a hint that the European Commission could cut funds to Italy if it were deemed to be violating the bloc’s democratic standards.

Mr. Salvini, seeing an opportunity, immediately responded: “What is this, a threat? This is shameful arrogance,” and asked Ms. von der Leyen to “respect the free, democratic and sovereign vote of the Italian people” and resist “institutional bullying.”

Instead, Mr. Stefanini, the former diplomat, urged Brussels to be patient and to engage with Ms. Meloni. “The new government should be judged on facts, on what it does when in power,” he said. “The real risk is that by exaggerated overreactions the E.U. makes legitimate concerns self-fulfilling prophecies.

“If she’s made to feel rejected, she’ll be pushed into a corner — where she’ll find Orban and other soulmates waiting for her, and she’ll team up with them,” he continued. “But if she’s greeted as a legitimate leader, democratically elected, it will be possible for the E.U. to do business with her.”

Luuk van Middelaar, a historian of the bloc, also urges caution. European leaders know two things about Italian prime ministers, he said. First, “they are not very powerful at home, and two, they tend not to last very long” — since World War II, an average of about 18 months.

“So they will wait and see and not be blown away,” Mr. van Middelaar said. If she lasts longer, however, she could energize other far-right Euroskeptics in other big countries like France, he said, “and that would make a real difference.”

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Polish venue cancels Roger Waters gigs after Ukraine comments

WARSAW, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Concerts by Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters were cancelled by a venue in the Polish city of Krakow, organisers said on Sunday, after the artist’s comments on the war in Ukraine caused a storm of criticism.

Waters had been due to appear in Krakow next April, but Polish media reports about an open letter he wrote to Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska urging her to ask her husband to choose “a different route” and criticising the West for supplying Ukraine with arms provoked a fierce backlash.

“Live Nation Polska and Tauron Arena Krakow have cancelled Roger Waters’ concert,” organisers said in a statement on the venue’s website. They did not elaborate on the reason for the cancellation.

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On Saturday, state-run news agency PAP reported that a spokesperson for the Tauron Arena had said that Walters’ management had cancelled the concert without giving a reason.

Poland counts itself among Kyiv’s staunchest allies, and public support for the Ukrainian cause is very high.

Local councillors in Krakow had been due to vote on a resolution declaring Waters ‘Persona non grata’ on Wednesday.

In a social media post, Waters said that it was not true that he or his management had cancelled the concerts and criticised local councillor Lukasz Wantuch over the vote to declare him unwelcome in the city.

“Lukasz Wantuch has threatened to hold a meeting asking the council to declare me ‘Persona non grata’ because of my public efforts to encourage all involved in the disastrous war in Ukraine, especially the governments of the USA and Russia, to work towards a negotiated peace,” Waters wrote in a post on Facebook.

“If Mr Lukasz Wantuch achieves his aim, and my forthcoming concerts in Krakow are cancelled, it will be a sad loss for me, because I have been looking forward to sharing my message of love with the people of Poland.”

Wantuch said in a Facebook post on Sunday morning that he was in Ukraine and would comment on Waters’ statement in the evening.

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Reporting by Alan Charlish; Editing by Susan Fenton

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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IAEA board passes resolution calling on Russia to leave Zaporizhzhia

A Russian all-terrain armoured vehicle is parked outside the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant during the visit of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expert mission in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict outside Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, September 1, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko/

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  • Second resolution on Ukraine since war started
  • First was in March before Russia seized power plant
  • Twenty-six of 35 board members backed the text
  • Russia and China only countries to oppose it

VIENNA, Sept 15 (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors on Thursday passed a resolution demanding that Russia end its occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

The resolution is the second on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board, and their content is very similar, though the first in March preceded Russian forces taking control of Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant. read more

Both resolutions were proposed by Canada and Poland on behalf of Ukraine, which is not on the board, the IAEA’s top policy-making body that meets more than once a year.

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The text, which says the board calls on Russia to “immediately cease all actions against, and at, the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant and any other nuclear facility in Ukraine”, was passed with 26 votes in favour, two against and seven abstentions, diplomats at the closed-door meeting said. read more

The text was later posted on the IAEA’s website.

Russia and China were the countries that voted against while Egypt, South Africa, Senegal, Burundi, Vietnam, India and Pakistan abstained, the diplomats said.

The board “deplores the Russian Federation’s persistent violent actions against nuclear facilities in Ukraine, including forcefully seizing of control of nuclear facilities,” the resolution’s text reads.

Russia seized radioactive waste facilities in Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986, at the start of the war but later withdrew.

Russia and Ukraine have repeatedly accused each other of shelling the Zaporizhzhia plant in southern Ukraine.

Russia’s mission to the IAEA called the text anti-Russian and said “the Achilles’ heel of this resolution” was that it said nothing about the “systematic shelling” of the plant.

“The reason is simple – this shelling is carried out by Ukraine, which is supported and shielded by Western countries in every possible way,” it said in a statement.

The resolution adds that Russia’s occupation of the plant significantly increases the risk of a nuclear accident. Ukrainian staff continue to operate the plant in conditions that the IAEA has described as endangering the site’s safety.

“This Board took up the issue in March and adopted a resolution that deplored Russia’s violent actions and called upon Russia to immediately cease all actions against and at nuclear facilities in Ukraine and return control of them to the competent Ukrainian authorities,” the U.S. statement to the board said.

“The very next day, Russia spurned that call by seizing the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. Russia is treating Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure as a military prize, seeking to deprive Ukraine of control over its own energy resources and to use the plant as a base for military action against Ukraine,” it added.

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Additional reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Blinken Visits Kyiv and Announces More Military Aid for Ukraine

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said during a visit to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, on Thursday that he would notify Congress that the United States intends to send another $2 billion in long-term military support to Ukraine and 18 other countries that are at risk of Russian invasion.

Separately, President Biden has approved a further $675 million in military support for Ukraine, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said, as the United States seeks to bolster Ukraine’s defenses and its efforts to reclaim territory lost to Russia.

The combined aid makes for a total of $13.5 billion in assistance to Ukraine from the Biden administration since Russia’s invasion in February.

Mr. Blinken’s visit to Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry was his second since the Russian invasion began. The State Department did not publicly disclose his travel in advance for security reasons.

His visit came as Mr. Austin met with allied defense ministers at a monthly gathering of the Ukraine Contact Group, which aims to coordinate the flow of military aid to Ukraine. The arrival of Western equipment, particularly longer-range HIMARS missile systems, has enabled Ukrainian forces to attack Russian military infrastructure behind the front lines and supported a counteroffensive in the south — although some military experts argue that the aid so far is insufficient to turn the war decisively in Ukraine’s favor.

“Ukrainian forces have begun their counteroffensive in the south of their country, and they are integrating the capabilities that we all have provided to help themselves to fight and reclaim their sovereign territory,” Mr. Austin said at the start of the meeting, at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

“This contact group needs to position itself to sustain Ukraine’s brave defenders for the long haul,” he said. “That means the continued and determined flow of capability now.”

Russian forces are struggling to capture new territory but show no sign of backing down from the invasion, which has resulted in tens of thousands of casualties on both sides, according to U.S. estimates, and left vast areas of eastern and southern Ukraine in ruins. On Wednesday, President Vladimir V. Putin delivered a defiant address that whitewashed the war’s huge toll and his army’s faltering performance, proclaiming to an economic conference in Russia’s far east: “We have not lost anything, and will not lose anything.”

In Germany, Mr. Austin said that the new package of weapons included air-launched HARM missiles designed to seek and destroy Russian air defense radar; guided multiple-launch rocket systems known as GMLRS; howitzers and other artillery; armored ambulances; and small arms.

The State Department said the $2 billion package, which will be drawn from pools of money already authorized by Congress but whose specific allocation Congress must approve, would be divided roughly in half between Ukraine and 18 other nations. They are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

The money will be used “build the current and future capabilities” of Ukraine’s armed forces and those of the other countries, including by strengthening their cyber and hybrid warfare capabilities, specifically to counter Russian aggression, the State Department said.

The money will also help integrate non-NATO members with the alliances’s military forces.

On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Blinken met with Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba. Earlier, he visited the U.S. Embassy and a children’s hospital that is treating children injured in Russian attacks.

Mr. Blinken was also introduced at the hospital to Patron, a Jack Russell terrier that Ukrainian forces have credited with helping unearth hundreds of Russian land mines. Mr. Blinken declared the dog “world famous.”

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