News

    Eastern Europe Faces Freezing Temperatures and Russian Gas Cut-Off

    With freezing temperatures across most of Europe, there was heated anger, especially in Eastern Europe on Wednesday, about the suspension in natural gas deliveries from Russia through Ukraine. The gas crisis comes at a difficult time for leading politicians, especially in Bulgaria, where some 2,000 people demanded the government's resignation on Wednesday over allegations of corruption.

    The shortages of natural gas from Russia added to anger of protesters who braved the cold in Bulgaria's capital, Sofia, to demand the resignation of the country's Socialist-led government.

    They were upset that Bulgaria remains one of the poorest countries in Europe, despite being a member of the European Union.

    What began as a peaceful protest of students, farmers and medical workers in front of the parliament building, turned violent when masked youths threw snow and rocks at police, and vandalized several police vehicles.

    Officials say several people were injured, including six police officers. Dozens of protesters were detained.

    Bulgarians are not the only East Europeans frustrated during this unseasonable cold winter. There have been reports of people freezing to death across the region, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas via Ukraine.

    Russia says neighboring Ukraine is holding up the transport of Russian natural gas to Europe. Moscow cut all gas supplies to the West last week in a pricing dispute with Ukraine. Kyiv blames Moscow for the supply disruption.

    In Hungary, where reserves are running low, officials say some 40 people have died this month from frigid temperatures, often because heating systems do not work properly due to a lack of natural gas pressure.

    More deaths have been reported across Eastern Europe, where many people are now searching forests for wood to use as heating fuel.

    Fearing more deaths, Hungary's government has ordered municipalities and energy companies not to cut off people who do not pay their gas bills.

    In Slovakia's capital, Bratislava, people expressed their frustration with their leaders on Slovak television. "They have to give the natural gas to us," one middle aged bus driver said. "Because it is too cold. A lot of people can freeze to death."

    Slovakia's Prime Minister, Robert Fico, who visited Moscow on Wednesday, has not ruled out restarting a Soviet-era nuclear reactor despite European Union protests as gas reserves are expected to run out by the end of the month.

    People in Bratislava told Slovak television they need energy -- nuclear, if necessary. "We need to have normal temperatures at home this winter," one man said. "So if they want to restart the nuclear reactor and keep the operation within international rules, I think it's okay," he added.

    Slovakia, which depends on Russia for nearly all of its natural gas imports, has already declared a state of energy emergency to conserve its gas reserves. That has forced several companies including French and South Korean car makers, to suspend production.

    Similar measures have been introduced in Hungary and other East European countries.

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora