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The search for common ground. The EU and Greece inch closer to some sort of compromise

There were hopes on Thursday that Greece and the Eurozone members might be moving toward a deal after Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, agreed for government officials and representatives of the country’s lenders to find common ground ahead of Monday’s Eurogroup get together.

Alex Christoforou

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With the arrival of Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, to Brussels, negotiations between Eurogroup members and Greece seem to have taken a bit of a more upbeat tone.

Tsipras met with Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem, and agreed that representatives of the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMF should work on the details of a possible deal before the Eurogroup on Monday in Brussels.

Ekathimerini reports…

“[We] agreed today to ask the institutions to engage with the Greek authorities to start work on a technical assessment of the common ground between the current program and the Greek government’s plans,” Dijsselbloem tweeted. This, he said, would pave the way for crucial talks between eurozone finance ministers next Monday.

“We leave today having made some significant steps,” said Tsipras at a late night press conference following the summit. “The technical teams will work over the next few days to prepare the ground for Monday’s Eurogroup.”

Tsipras insisted that he did not feel “isolated” at the EU Council and said that he explained to his counterparts that the government wants to combine the mandate it has received with Greece’s obligations as an EU member. But he insisted that Athens would not accept the continuation of the Memorandum of Understanding or the troika in its existing role.

“The memorandum as we knew it is over,” he said. “The same goes for the troika.”

The head of the council of economic advisers, Giorgos Houliarakis, is due to meet on Friday in Brussels with Declan Costello of the European Commission, Klaus Masuch of the ECB and Rishi Goyal of the IMF. The head of the Euro Working Group, Thomas Wieser, will also take part in the meeting.

Greece and its lenders will have to work out which 70 percent of the reforms being demanded by the troika will be adopted and how the implementation of these measures will be carried out.

After speaking to Dijsselbloem, Tsipras also met Merkel for the first time in the EU Council chamber.

According to government sources, Merkel congratulated Tsipras on his election and said, “I hope we will have good cooperation despite the difficulties.” Tsipras smiled back and replied, “I hope so.”

Before the summit began, Merkel commented on the Greek situation.

“Europe always aims to find a compromise, and that is the success of Europe,” she said on arrival in Brussels. “Germany is ready for that. However, it must also be said that Europe’s credibility naturally depends on us respecting rules and being reliable with each other.”

References:

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_12/02/2015_547217

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#The search for common ground. The EU and Greece inch closer to… http://t.co/hxEZJp7wfb #timeline #notizie #news http://t.co/yVKQB84JV1

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RT @redpilltimes: The #EU and #Greece inch closer to some sort of compromise. Searching for common ground? http://t.co/PDGItiRNbs

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U.S. May Impose Sanctions Against Turkey Over S-400 “Threat” To F-35

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform.

The Duran

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Authored by Al Masdar News:


Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted that Ankara’s purchase of the advanced Russian air defense system poses no threat whatsoever to the NATO alliance. Last month, the Turkish defense ministry announced that delivery of S-400s to Turkey would begin in October 2019.

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform, and may impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has reported, citing a high-ranking source in Washington.

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The source also characterized the deployment of S-400s in areas where US F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighters are set to fly as “a threat,” without elaborating.

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Designed to stop enemy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at ranges of up to 400 km and altitudes of up to 30 km, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defense system in Russia’s arsenal. Russia and India signed a ruble-denominated contract on the delivery of five regiments of S-400s worth $5 billion late last month.

Last week, the Saudi Ambassador to Russia said that talks on the sale of the system to his country were ongoing. In addition to Russia, S-400s are presently operated by Belarus and China, with Beijing expecting another delivery of S-400s by 2020.

Washington has already slapped China with sanctions over its purchase of S-400s and Su-35 combat aircraft in September. India, however, has voiced confidence that it would not be hit with similar restrictions, which the US Treasury has pursued under the 2017 Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss OPEC Plus and the growing partnership between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which aims to reshape the energy market, and cement Russia’s leadership role in global oil and gas supply.

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Russia and Saudi Arabia’s ‘long-term relationship’ WILL survive

The Express UK reports that Russia and Saudi Arabia’s ‘long-term relationship’ will not only survive, but grow, regardless of geopolitical turmoil and internal Saudi scandal…as the energy interests between both nations bind them together.

Ties between Saudi Arabia and Vladimir Putin’s Russia have a “long-term relationship” which is strategically beneficial to both of them, and which underlines their position as the world’s most influential oil producers, alongside the United States, an industry expert has said.

Following concerns about too much oil flooding the market, Saudi Arabia on Sunday performed an abrupt u-turn by deciding to reduce production by half a million barrels a day from December.

This put the Middle Eastern country at odds with Russia, which said it was no clear whether the market would be oversupplied next year, with market analysts predicting the country’s oil producing companies likely to BOOST proaction by 300,000 barrels per day.

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The Saudis have faced significant international criticism in the wake of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Speaking to CNBC, Mr Yergin made it clear that Moscow and Riyadh would continue to be closely aligned irrespective of external factors.

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Saudi Arabia has pumped 10.7 million barrels per day in October, while the figure for Russiaand the US was 11.4 million barrels in each case.

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Markets rallied by two percent on Monday off the back of the , which it justified by citing uncertain global oil growth and associated oil demand next year.

It also suggested  granted on US sanctions imposed on Iran which have been granted to several countries including China and Japan was a reason not to fear a decline in supply.

Also talking to CNBC, Russia’s Oil Minister Alexander Novak indicated a difference of opinion between Russia and the Saudis, saying it was too soon to cut production, highlighting a lot of volatility in the oil market.

He added: “If such a decision is necessary for the market and all the countries are in agreement, I think that Russia will undoubtedly play a part in this.

“But it’s early to talk about this now, we need to look at this question very carefully.”

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