Canada, EU tout teamwork on green energy
ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland — Canada and the European Union said Friday they are moving toward new partnerships on green energy, digital transformation and research funding as a Canada-EU summit gets under way. opened in the Atlantic Coast province of Newfoundland.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday evening during his opening speech that Canada is joining Horizon Europe, a $100 billion scientific research program. Subsequently, the two sides said in a joint statement on Friday that the substantive negotiations had been completed and that they were working towards their “expeditious signing and implementation.”
Canada also struck a deal to build water bombers and ship them to the EU, after both regions faced devastating wildfires last summer.
And Canada and the EU announced what they call a new Green Alliance, which aims to deepen existing partnerships to combat climate change, halt biodiversity loss and step up technological and scientific cooperation.
A new digital partnership was also part of Friday’s announcement package.
North Macedonia lifts travel ban to Russia
SKOPJE, North Macedonia — NATO member North Macedonia announced Friday that it would briefly lift a ban on flights from Russia next week, allowing Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to to attend an international conference in the country if he accepted the invitation.
A government statement said this window would apply from November 29 to December 1, when North Macedonia will host a meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in the capital, Skopje.
Russia is one of the 57 members of the OSCE, created during the Cold War to ease tensions between East and West, and of which North Macedonia currently holds the rotating presidency. Most European countries banned flights from Russia after the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
It was unclear whether Lavrov would accept the invitation, which North Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani said had been sent to him.
If so, the government statement released Friday said North Macedonia’s foreign and defense ministries would have to issue additional permits for the visit.
The statement said the brief suspension of the flight ban is not without precedent, “especially when it comes to international conferences.”
To reach this small landlocked Balkan country, the Russian delegation would have to fly over the airspace of other NATO or European Union members, who would in turn have to grant special permission.
Sri Lanka hopes for imminent bailout deal
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The governor of Sri Lanka’s central bank said Friday he was confident it would receive the second tranche of a $2.9 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund before the end of year, after payment was delayed due to insufficient funds. debt monitoring and restructuring.
“I am convinced that we are making very good progress. We are going in the right direction,” said Nandalal Weerasinghe.
Sri Lanka plunged into economic crisis in 2022, suffering severe shortages and sparking fierce protests that led to the ouster of then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. It declared bankruptcy in April 2022 with debts of more than $83 billion, more than half of which was owed to foreign creditors. The IMF agreed to a $2.9 billion bailout in March, releasing the first payment shortly after.
Weerasinghe said the Export-Import Bank of China — one of Sri Lanka’s creditors it needs financial assurance to receive the second tranche of $330 million — has already agreed, and he hoped that the country’s other creditors in the future The Official Committee of Creditors would soon follow suit. Sri Lanka needs agreement from the OCC, co-chaired by India, Japan and France and comprising 17 countries, for the IMF to approve the payment.
Russia calls ex-prime minister a “foreign agent”
MOSCOW — The Russian Justice Ministry on Friday added Mikhail Kasyanov, who was President Vladimir Putin’s first prime minister but later became one of his opponents, to its register of “foreign agents.”
Russian law allows individuals and organizations receiving money or support from outside the country to be designated as foreign agents, a term whose pejorative connotations could harm the credibility of the designated person.
The law, which has been widely used against opposition figures and independent news media, also requires that documents published by a designated person carry a prominent disclaimer stating that they came from a foreign agent.
The ministry’s website states that Kasianov “participated in the creation and dissemination of messages and documents of foreign agents to an unlimited circle of people, disseminated false information about decisions made by public authorities of the Federation of Russia and the policies they pursue” and “opposed to the special military operation in Ukraine.