US contacts big gas companies in case of conflict between Russia and Ukraine – World

The United States has been in contact with some international energy companies for contingency plans on the supply of natural gas to Europe in the event that a conflict between Russia and Ukraine should create difficulties and problems for Russian supplies. The Reuters reports on its website citing some sources, according to which the Department of States has asked some companies where to find additional supplies if necessary. The companies would have replied that global supplies are limited and there is little gas available to replace Russia’s large volumes.

THE POINT – by Mattia Bernardo Bagnoli

The coincidences are not proof but the fact is that, in the aftermath of the collapse of the negotiations between Russia and the West, Ukraine was hit by a massive cyber attack and several government sites were targeted. “Be afraid and expect the worst,” read a message – in Russian, Ukrainian and Polish – published on the homepage of hacked portals, including the Foreign Ministry. The episode adds tension to an already exasperated situation and the US makes it known that it has information of an imminent Russian clandestine operation in Ukrainian territory to create the pretext for military action.

The “false flag” – a technical term much loved by conspiracy theorists – devised by the Kremlin would provide for the use of a special forces commando, already deployed in the country, trained in the use of explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against the same forces supported by Russia in the Donbass. “The Russian army plans to start these activities several weeks before the military invasion, which could begin between mid-January and mid-February,” a US official told CNN. “We have already seen this pattern in 2014 with Crimea.” At the same time, the Russians reportedly launched an intense digital disinformation campaign to prepare public opinion, Ukrainian and otherwise, for the need for such intervention to avoid alleged violations of the rights of the Russian-speaking population in the disputed areas of eastern Ukraine – all allegations that the Kremlin dismissed as “baseless”.

However, the response to today’s cyberattack was immediate. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, expressing condemnation, announced that in the next few days “the Atlantic Alliance and Ukraine will sign an agreement on increased cyber cooperation, including Kiev’s access to NATO’s information sharing platform. malware “. Not only. Allied cyber experts are already “supporting the Ukrainian authorities on the ground”. That the digital sphere would have been one of the hot fronts of the confrontation with Russia is no mystery and in recent days in various buildings in Brussels there was open talk of strengthening Ukrainian structures in this sense. The EU will also play its part and the head of diplomacy, Josep Borrell, has announced a mission to Kiev of the European digital task force. “Unfortunately – he declared in Brest at the end of the informal Foreign Affairs of the 27 – this will not be the last cyber-attack against Ukraine”.

Borrell stressed that there is currently no clear evidence of who is behind this destabilizing action. “But we will know”, he commented. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, after announcing an imminent visit to Ukraine together with the German counterpart Annalena Baerbock, in any case highlighted the “unanimous” desire of the 27 to continue the dialogue with Moscow, asking for “the the widest possible European involvement “. While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Joe Biden to organize a “trilateral” with Vladimir Putin (online) to encourage détente.

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