Permalink Are sanctions REALLY wrecking life in Russia? As British supermarkets ration eggs and vegetables

Shelves in a provincial Russian city are groaning under piles of fresh food | As British supermarkets ration eggs and an array of fruit and vegetables amid shortages provoked in large part by the Ukraine war, no such hardships afflict Vladimir Putin's citizens. The pictures were taken at a food hall, two superstores and a corner shop in Perm, a city with a population the size of Birmingham in the Ural mountains, a 24-hour drive from Moscow. The images suggest the West's much-vaunted sanctions on Russia, imposed to punish President Putin for his invasion, are not having a deep bite.

Permalink Matt Hancock: Bill Gates "owes me one" considering "how many people I'm getting his chips injected into",' lockdown leaks reveal

Matt Hancock 'joked about Bill Gates Covid vaccine conspiracy theory by telling aides the Microsoft billionaire "owes me one" considering "how many people I'm getting his chips injected into",' lockdown leaks reveal. The Health Secretary referred to claims that Gates was using vaccine to track people. It is another revelation after 100,000 of his WhatsApp messages were leaked. | The then Health Secretary referred to unfounded claims that Gates had developed Covid-19 in a lab and used the vaccine to implant microchip tracking devices into billions of people. Hancock at the time was hoping to get the Microsoft billionaire to help in promoting the country's expertise in identifying coronavirus variants around the world. On January 25 2021 Hancock's media adviser Damon Poole asked him via WhatsApp if he had spoken to the director general of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus about the New Variant Assessment Platform (NVAP) - a service offering the UK's expertise in detecting new variants of the virus.

Permalink Chinese Foreign Minister slams Ukrainian crisis 'tragedy that could have been avoided'

Qin Gang also stressed that China has always been in favor of dialogue and against unilateral sanctions 💬 "The Ukrainian crisis is a tragedy that could have been avoided," Qin Gang said. According to him, the scale of the crisis is a sad lesson for everyone. "The crisis in Ukraine is essentially the result of catastrophic contradictions on European security management," the Chinese foreign minister pointed out. He also stressed that China has always been in favor of dialogue and against unilateral sanctions. The country also sought to de-escalate tensions instead of adding fuel to the fire.

Chinese FM: US Needs to 'Hit the Brakes' Before Conflict Becomes Inevitable With Beijing (Sputnik News)
China, Russia set good example for intl relations, target no third party: Chinese FM (Global Times)

Permalink Norway Rakes in Record Oil and Gas Revenues Amid Ukraine Conflict

The exorbitant windfall revenues amid a surge in demand and sky-high energy prices have earned Norway bitter accusations of profiteering from its numerous customers, including Germany, Poland and the EU at large. | The Norwegian state coffers earned record oil and gas revenues last year after the hostilities in Ukraine and ensuing sanctions sent energy prices soaring, Statistics Norway (SSB) reported.  Altogether, Norway earned NOK 1.5 trillion ($140 billion) in revenues from oil and gas, by far the highest ever recorded, according to statistics, and nearly three times the NOK 498 billion ($48 billion) earned in 2021, the number-cruncher said.  Norway, one of the world's leaders in the export of energy resources, assumed the role of the EU's top supplier following the bloc's massive sanctions campaign against Russia over its special op in Ukraine. In 2022, Brussels decided to stop imports from Russia and the Nordic country ramped up own production.  Oslo's additional income was boosted by a record surge in European gas prices over the summer, which have since subsided.

Editor's Comment: We've never heard them complain about oil producers like Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates. Germany, Poland and the EU at large probably would not have given in to envy and anger if Norway had been a much bigger country, or more important on the world scene, if you like. What they really are complaining about, is that these windfall revenues seem inappropriate for tiny Norway, out of place kind of...In the time-honoured order of things, big countries may be rich (or not so rich) in terms of revenues, medium-sized nations a bit less so, and small countries are supposed to...well, to know their place. Plus, and this is extremely important, oil is supposed to be in the Middle East, and not up in the godforsaken North somewhere (Where is that damn country anyways?) See? Too rich for its own good - gotta send some troops up there. In fact, the U.S. already has done so, and as things now stand, they already have four bases in tiny Norway. Norway's done for. Sure thing! Germany and Poland, are you happier now?

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