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ExxonMobil: U.S. Sanctions Against Russia Not Affecting Sakhalin-1 Project

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American multinational oil conglomerate ExxonMobil has said on Tuesday that U.S. sanctions against Russia will not have a negative impact on the Sakhalin-1 project, where the company is participating.

“ExxonMobil complies with all applicable laws and regulations related to dealings with U.S.-sanctioned countries. The current U.S. sanctions against Russia do not adversely affect our Sakhalin-1 project,” the company said, according to TASS news agency.

New U.S. sanctions on Russia over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Britain in March cаme into effect on Monday.

The Sakhalin-I project is a consortium for production of oil and gas on Sakhalin Island in Russia’s Far East. It operates three fields in the Okhotsk Sea: Chayvo, Odoptu and Arkutun-Dagi. The consortium is managed and operated by Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL), a subsidiary of ExxonMobil.

In July, Russia’s largest oil company Rosneft filed an 89 billion rouble ($1.41 billion) lawsuit against participants of the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project, seeking to recover funds gained by parties between July 10, 2015, and May 31, 2018, through “unjust enrichment and interest gained by using other people’s money”, according to paperwork issued by the court.

The lawsuit has been filed against five entities, claiming 10 billion rubles from Sakhalinmorneftegaz, 7.5 billion from RN-Astra, 26.7 billion from Exxon Neftegaz Ltd, 26.7 billion from Sakhalin Oil and Gas Development Co, and 17.8 billion from India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd.

ExxonMobil owns 30 percent in Sakhalin-1. Rosneft and ONGC control 20 percent each, and Japanese consortium SODECO owns 30 percent.

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Erdogan says he will not declare ceasefire in northern Syria

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear to U.S. President Donald Trump that Turkey will never declare a ceasefire in northern Syria and will not negotiate with Kurdish forces it is fighting in its offensive into the region.

Turkey forged ahead with its offensive against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria on Tuesday despite U.S. sanctions and calls for it to stop, while Syria’s Russia-backed army moved on the key city of Manbij that was abandoned by U.S. forces.

The YPG, the key component of the forces who fought Islamic State, is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group linked to Kurdish separatist insurgents in Turkey.

On Monday, Trump announced sanctions on Turkey to punish it for the offensive. On Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said Washington would threaten more sanctions to persuade Turkey to reach a ceasefire and halt its offensive.

However, speaking to reporters on a flight back from Baku, Erdogan said the offensive would continue until it reaches its aims, and added that he was not worried about sanctions.

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Woman killed in Russian apartment building blast

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A woman died and other young woman sustained injuries when a five-story building partially collapsed following an explosion in Russian village of Novonezhino.

Around 17 apartments were damaged when the ceiling slab, wall and the stair case of the building collapsed, Emergency Department said.

“The people were evacuated, 17 apartments were damaged. Seven elders have been transferred to temporary accommodation center,” the authorities said.

Rescue crews were searching for people who are believed to be trapped under the rubble. Rescuers were assisting the residents save their pets and belongings from the damaged apartments.

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Greek Church recognizes autonomy of Orthodox Church of Ukraine

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The leading figures of the Church of Greece decided at a meeting this weekend to recognize the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), making it the first of the Eastern Orthodox churches to take such a step.

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece recognized the autonomy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in line with a request by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios

The Orthodox Times says the Greeks’ formal recognition will take place October 19 in Thessaloniki, with Archbishop Ieronymos and the OCU’s Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine present.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople, generally considered the spiritual headquarters for Orthodoxy, granted the Orthodox Church of Ukraine independence in January in a move that was adamantly resisted by Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church. The new Orthodox Church of Ukraine installed its first metropolitan, Epifaniy, at a ceremony in Kyiv on February 3 in a process that further established the new church body’s independence

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