Thought for the day

"I just wonder what it would be like to be reincarnated in an animal whose species had been so reduced in numbers than it was in danger of extinction. What would be its feelings toward the human species whose population explosion had denied it somewhere to exist.... I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus." -- Prince Philip, in his Forward to "If I Were an Animal" - United Kingdom, Robin Clark Ltd., 1986.

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Moscow has repeatedly warned European nations that the decision to cut themselves off from Russian energy would mean the collapse of entire sectors of the European Union’s economy. On Friday, President Putin accused the perpetrators of the attacks on Nord Stream of embarking “on the destruction of Europe’s entire energy infrastructure.”

Without Russian gas, Europe’s dependence on America is all but guaranteed, Welt business observer Daniel Wetzel has indicated.

The damage to Russia’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines means Europe is indefinitely deprived of one of its key gas supply routes, Gazprom spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov said on Friday.

Technical data “allows [Gazprom] to say with certainty” that the sharp pressure drops were caused by physical damage, the spokesman stressed.

According to him, at the time of the incident, the pipelines were not transporting gas, but both were filled with 800 million cubic meters of gas and ready for service, equivalent to Denmark’s consumption for three months.

It's not just heating that could be missing across Europe this winter: cell phones may be the next to go. That's because if power cuts or energy rationing knocks out parts of the mobile networks across the region, mobile phones could go dark around Europe this winter according to the latest doomsday reporting from Reuters.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has bailed on an appointment to testify before the European Parliament's special committee, where he was expected to face tough questions over secretive vaccine dealsPolitico reports.

The US views the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines as a “tremendous opportunity” to wean the continent off of Russian energy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on Friday. With winter approaching, Blinken said that the US wants Europe to decrease its fuel use.

There are “more and more signs” that the United States is “responsible” for the sabotage on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, believes ex-Swiss intelligence officer Jacques Baud.

Poland and Ukraine may be the culprits as well, as countries that vehemently lobbied for the transit of gas through their territories and opposed the pipeline to begin with, the former NATO adviser said on French radio station Courtoisie’s program, Ligne Droite.

Swedish officials do not yet know if an undersea power cable that runs between southern Sweden and Poland was damaged when the Nord Stream gas pipelines some 500 meters (547 yards) away ruptured in what Western officials suspect was an act of sabotage.

The second tranche of more than 550 million euros from the European Investment Bank (EIB) will be disbursed to Ukraine soon, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.

The recent cold spell in Europe has led to a seasonal decline in pumping gas into underground gas storage (UGS) facilities, and Latvia has begun offtake amid lower reserves on the continent.

Gazprom's request for pumping Russian gas through Ukraine today has not changed from the previous days and months.

UKRAINIAN TRANSIT

The Gas Transport System Operator of Ukraine, or GTSOU, has accepted a booking from Gazprom today to transport 42.4 million cubic meters of gas through the country against 42.4 mcm the previous gas day, data from GTSOU show.