Leaders have 4way call on Ukraine peace plan

first_imgKIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tried to keep his peace plan to settle the conflict with pro-Russian separatists on track in a four-way phone call Sunday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of France and Germany.The two-hour conversation came ahead of a Monday deadline that European Union leaders set for Russia and the separatists to take steps to ease the violence, warning that otherwise they were ready “at any time” to impose further punitive measures.German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande encouraged the Ukrainian and Russian presidents to work on meeting the EU conditions, Hollande’s office said in a statement. The EU’s demands included the return of three border checkpoints to Ukrainian control, verification of the cease-fire by monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and talks to put Poroshenko’s peace plan in place.The call was the latest in a series of discussions the four leaders have held in recent weeks in an effort to stop the fighting that has killed more than 400 people since April. A cease-fire in place since June 20 has been shaky, with each side accusing the other of numerous violations.A statement issued by Poroshenko’s office said he underlined Ukraine’s willingness to maintain the cease-fire at least until Monday evening, but expressed concern about the situation, noting what he said were multiple violations of the truce by separatist fighters. He called on Putin to strengthen border controls from the Russian side to stop what Ukraine says is the flow of weapons, fighters and mercenaries.last_img read more

Murkowski Jewell Spar Over North Slope Oil And Gas Development

first_imgSen. Lisa Murkowski and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell faced off in a Senate hearing Tuesday morning in Washington.Murkowski repeated accusations that the Obama administration is shutting off development on the North Slope, starving the trans-Alaska pipeline of oil. And Murkowski says the process has already started in the western Lower 48.“Interior’s decisions are hurting Alaskans. You’re depriving us of jobs, revenue security and prosperity,” Murkowski said. “But Alaskans aren’t alone in this. And I want my colleagues to understand, I think what we’re seeing in Alaska is a warning for those in the West. And the fact is almost every other Western state has multiple legitimate complaints against the Interior.”Jewell suggests the low throughput of the pipeline is not solely the government’s doing.“I am fully committed to supporting the efforts in the North Slope of Alaska to keep the trans-Alaska pipeline full,” Jewell said. “As you know I worked on that pipeline as a college student. As a petroleum engineer I understand how fields peak, and Produhoe Bay oil field and related oil fields have been passed their peak production for some time, I’m aware of that.”Jewell says her department has left a lot available for development, particularly in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, where Jewell says 72 percent of the estimated recoverable oil is in areas open to leasing.“And we have recently approved Conoco-Phillips’ preferred proposal for drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve,” Jewell said. “Offshore, 90 percent of the estimated recoverable oil and gas will be available for leasing in the Beafort and Chukchi Seas.”Jewell was defending her proposed budget before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which Murkowski chairs.last_img read more