Presidents of Venezuela and Colombia discuss trade and human rights


The presidents of Colombia and Venezuela held their first bilateral meeting in the Venezuelan capital Caracas on Tuesday, where they discussed trade, human rights and protection of the Amazon rainforest. The tense relationship between the countries has improved since Colombian President Gustavo Petro took office in August with a promise to fully resume trade with Venezuela. In fact, the countries reopened a major freight crossing point between them at the end of September.

Switzerland imposes sanctions on Iranian drone deliveries to Russia


Switzerland has decided to adopt European Union sanctions on Iranian drone deliveries to Russia. However, the economic and foreign affairs departments decided not to adopt the EU sanctions imposed on Iran in connection with the ongoing protests.

Russian air traffic in September falls by 20 per cent due to sanctions


The number of passengers carried by Russian airlines fell 20% in September compared to last year, as the impact of Western sanctions continues to weigh on the sector. Russian airlines carried 9.87 million passengers in September, Russian statistics agency Rosstat reported on Wednesday, down 20% from September 2021. Western countries banned Russian airlines from using their airspace in response to Moscow’s dispatch of armed forces to Ukraine in February, cutting them off from lucrative routes to Europe and the United States.

US Treasury’s Adeyemo travels to Europe to discuss sanctions on Russia and oil price capping


US Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo will travel next week to Paris, London and Brussels, where he will discuss sanctions on Moscow and further coordinate the implementation of a price cap on Russian oil. He will meet with his counterparts on the 7-9 November trip.

China opposes UK minister’s planned visit to Taiwan


China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Britain should end any form of official trade with Taiwan, following plans by a British minister to visit the self-ruled island, which China claims, for trade talks.  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Taiwan authorities should stop colluding with foreign forces, in a regular media briefing.

Turkey starts paying for some Russian gas in roubles


Turkey has started paying for some of its natural gas from Russia in roubles, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said on Tuesday. Russia, hit by Western sanctions, is increasingly asking buyers of its energy to pay in roubles to help bolster its currency. Most international energy deals are done in US dollars or euros. Turkey is also trying to boost trade in the lira, which has been hit by unorthodox monetary policies. Ankara and Moscow agreed in September to start paying for natural gas supplies in roubles.

As world population reaches 8 billion, China worries about low number of babies


According to the United Nations, the world’s population will reach 8 billion on Tuesday. For decades, China was worried about the prospect of runaway population growth and imposed a strict one-child policy from 1980 to 2015 to keep the numbers under control. But now the United Nations expects China’s population to start shrinking from next year, when India is likely to become the world’s most populous country. China’s fertility rate of 1.16 in 2021 was below the OECD standard of 2.1 for a stable population and one of the lowest in the world.

Worker at Canada’s largest electricity producer accused of spying for China, police say


An employee of Canada’s largest electricity producer Hydro-Quebec, who was involved in battery materials research, has been charged with espionage for allegedly trying to steal trade secrets for the benefit of China, Canadian police said on Monday. Sino-Canadian relations have been rocky in recent years, with both sides accusing each other of industrial espionage. Earlier this month, Canada ordered three Chinese companies to divest their investments in critical Canadian minerals, citing national security.

Macron: France and Turkey will continue to work to allow Ukrainian grain exports


French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that France and Turkey will continue to work to facilitate Ukrainian grain exports, which were affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Macron made the remarks on Twitter, posting a photograph of a meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the G20 summit in Bali.

Europe rushes to fill its tanks with Russian diesel before ban begins


European traders are rushing to fill tanks in the region with Russian diesel before the EU ban begins in February, as alternative sources remain limited. The European Union will ban imports of Russian oil products, on which it relies heavily for its diesel, by 5 February.  Russian gasoil shipments to the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) storage region rose to 215,000 bpd between 1-12 November, up 126% from October, according to Pamela Munger, senior market analyst at energy analyst firm Vortexa.

With few immediate cost-effective alternatives, diesel from Russia has accounted for 44% of total European imports of the road fuel so far in November, up from 39% in October, according to Refinitiv data.

Goldman Sachs says US and Europe could stop relying on Chinese vehicle batteries by 2030-FT


The United States and Europe could reduce their dependence on China for electric vehicle batteries through new capital spending of more than $160 billion between now and 2030, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing a forecast by Goldman Sachs.

Analysts at the investment bank believe demand for finished batteries could be met without China in the next three to five years, as a result of investments in the United States by South Korean conglomerates LG and SK Hynix, according to a Goldman report to clients seen by the newspaper.

The report calculated that to achieve a self-sufficient supply chain, countries competing with China would have to spend $78.2bn on batteries, $60.4bn on components and $13.5bn on mining lithium, nickel and cobalt, as well as $12.1bn on refining those materials, FT said. For now, China dominates battery production, including extraction and refining of raw materials.

Israel announces first step towards free trade pact with Japan


Israel has agreed to begin negotiations with Japan with the aim of reaching a free trade agreement that could boost bilateral trade valued at more than $3.5bn, the Israeli foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The first phase will consist of a meeting between representatives of the Israeli foreign and economic ministries with relevant Japanese officials, the statement said.

Israeli exports to Japan were valued at $1.241 billion in 2021, the ministry said, an 8% increase from 2020. The statement noted a 10 per cent increase in Japan’s imports to Israel since last year, valued at $2.333 billion in 2021.

European cities to donate generators for Ukraine as winter sets in


Europe’s biggest cities will donate power generators and transformers to help Ukrainians get through the harsh winter ahead, as part of a campaign launched on Wednesday. Since October, Russia has targeted Ukraine’s civilian power and heating systems with long-range missiles and drones. Moscow says the aim is to reduce Kiev’s ability to fight and push it into negotiations. Cities will be urged to provide generators to maintain power to essential facilities in war-torn Ukraine, such as hospitals, schools, water supply facilities, aid centres, shelters and mobile phone masts.

Ukrainian grain exports falter after extension deal with Russia


Ukrainian grain exports have gotten off to a slower start after last week’s extension of a UN-brokered deal to help alleviate world hunger, and a Ukrainian envoy blames part of the blame on Russia’s reluctance to speed up inspections of ships.Since the deal was extended beyond 19 November, no more than five ships a day have left Ukraine, according to UN data, down from previous weeks and months when up to 10 were leaving.

A UN spokesperson, Ismini Palla, said the flow of vessels was affected by earlier uncertainty over the extension of the agreement, poor weather conditions in Istanbul for inspections and the rotation of new staff and inspectors at the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC). The agreement between Moscow and Kiev, which was also brokered by Ankara, unblocked exports paralysed in Ukrainian Black Sea ports after the Russian invasion.



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