Morning Brief: Europe’s big chill continues

Top Story Vladimir Putin ordered the resumption of gas deliveries to Europe, but little to no gas is actually flowing to countries that have been without it for a week. Russia’s Gazprom monopoly blames Ukraine for blocking gas shipments meant for Europe — the company is still refusing to provide gas to Ukraine until a ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
589619_090113_gaz5.jpg
589619_090113_gaz5.jpg

Top Story

Vladimir Putin ordered the resumption of gas deliveries to Europe, but little to no gas is actually flowing to countries that have been without it for a week. Russia's Gazprom monopoly blames Ukraine for blocking gas shipments meant for Europe -- the company is still refusing to provide gas to Ukraine until a pricing dispute is resolved -- while Ukraine accuses Gazprom of switching the gas's transit route. The EU gets a quarter of its gas from Russia, 80 percent of which travels through Ukraine.

According to Putin, the dispute has already cost Gazprom $800 million. The millions who've been living without heat throughout Eastern and Central Europe are probably unlikely to sympathize. 

Top Story

Vladimir Putin ordered the resumption of gas deliveries to Europe, but little to no gas is actually flowing to countries that have been without it for a week. Russia’s Gazprom monopoly blames Ukraine for blocking gas shipments meant for Europe — the company is still refusing to provide gas to Ukraine until a pricing dispute is resolved — while Ukraine accuses Gazprom of switching the gas’s transit route. The EU gets a quarter of its gas from Russia, 80 percent of which travels through Ukraine.

According to Putin, the dispute has already cost Gazprom $800 million. The millions who’ve been living without heat throughout Eastern and Central Europe are probably unlikely to sympathize. 

Middle East

There was no let-up in the fighting in Gaza as Israeli forces moved closer to Gaza City. Both sides continue to reject international cease-fire proposals.

Vice President-elect Joe Biden is visiting Iraq.

Iran is trying four unidentified people for allegedly plotting a coup with U.S. backing. 

U.S. Presidential Transition

Hillary Clinton faces confirmation hearings today.

Barack Obama will order the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison during his first week in office, an advisor tells Reuters.

Obama is lobbying Congress to release the second half of the $700 billion bailout fund. 

Americas

The trial of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori for human rights abuses is entering its final stages.

Rod Blagojevich appointee Roland Burris was approved to take over Barack Obama’s senate seat.

“Haiti fatigue” among international donors is threatening to deepen that country’s misery, the Miami Herald reports. 

Europe

Germany has drafted a second stimulus package worth $66.8 billion. 

Swedish car brands Volvo and Saab are looking for new owners.

The European Parliament backed new controls on pesticides.

Asia

Chinese exports fell again in December.

North Korea wants to send its chief nuclear envoy to Obama’s inauguration.

Amnesty International accused Thailand of using torture to fight its southern insurgency.

Africa

Ethiopia handed over responsibility for security in Somalia to a joint force including Somali government troops and Islamic militants.

Meanwhile, at least 10 were killed in gunfights on the streets of Mogadishu.

Uganda will not allow a conference of African traditional rulers and kings led by “king of kings” Muammar al-Qaddafi.

Photo: Alexander KHUDOTEPLY/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tags: EU, Europe

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