#AceFinanceNews – Australia – March 22 – The authorities are considering extradition to the US of an alleged moderator of Silk Road, a website that used to connect those who wanted to buy illegal goods, such as drugs, and pay for them with digital currency, like Bitcoin.
Last December, three men involved with the Silk Road website were charged with conspiracy to engage in drug trafficking, hacking and money laundering.
Extradition of one of them, native Australian Peter Phillip Nash, 41, from Queensland state, has been demanded by the US.
#AceGuestNews – BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Europe had shown great unity on the Ukraine crisis but it had not been an easy decision to impose sanctions on Russia for a referendum in occupied Crimea and its refusal to talk to the government in Kiev.
“It was a decision that nobody took lightly,” she told a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
(Reporting by Stephen Brown and Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Noah Barkin)
“It wasn’t our aim. We wanted talks and a diplomatic solution but the clear violation of international law yesterday with the so-called referendum meant we had to take this step and I am glad that Europe showed such unity,” Merkel said.
#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW – Chairman of the board of Russian energy company Soyuzneftegaz Yuri Shafranik believes that exploration of oil fields in Syrian territorial waters will take no less than five years.
In his view, an oil pipeline may be built between that country and Iraq upon the end of hostilities in Syria.
The Syrian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Wealth and Russian energy company Soyuzneftegaz signed an deal on oil and gas offshore exploration in the Syrian capital of Damascus on December 25, 2013. So, Soyuzneftegaz became the first foreign and Russian company which was granted the right for oil exploration, development and production at Block-2 in Syrian territorial waters.
The company believes that oil exploration in Block-2 will take no less than five years, Shafranik said in an interview with British news agency Reuters. Upon results of oil exploration the company will make a conclusion whether commercial oil production is expedient there.
“If there is no possibility of normalising the situation throughout the country at once, the situation should be stabilised gradually in regions where it is possible to conclude an agreement,” Reuters quoted Shafranik as saying. “Then humanitarian aid should be provided, and then we should move on to energy projects, removing obstacles to them including any sanctions slowing down the country’s economic recovery,” he added.
Shafranik also dwelt on plans to build an oil pipeline between Iraq and Syria.
“The project could be carried out with the participation of Russian and Italian companies,” the Soyuzneftegaz chief executive said, adding that governments of Syria and Iraq support these plans and are prepared to launch their implementation upon the end of hostilities in Syria.
#AceFinanceNews Billionaire financier George Soros said Wednesday it would not be practical for an independent Scotland to keep sterling.
“I don’t think that Scotland leaving and becoming independent and yet remaining part of sterling and the Bank of England is actually practical,” Reuters quoted Soros as saying.
However, he warned that an independent currency would be “very inefficient and potentially dangerous.” The alternative for Scotland would be to become part of the Eurozone, he said.
#AceWorldNews – Bangkok – Rice producers participating in anti-government protest rally in the Thai capital have caused a blackout in the Trade Ministry headquarters, MCOT news agency reported on Wednesday.
In February, the Thai government managed to negotiate with an initiative group of farmers a schedule for paying debts in order to avoid mass protests in Bangkok, where thousands of farmers were ready to go to demand their money to be paid immediately.
Meanwhile, not all the farmers agreed to wait.
According to MCOT news agency, protesters near the Trade Ministry headquarters prepare to spill on the ground about 10 tonnes of rice.
In 2011, Thai government headed by Yingluck Shinawatra introduced the system of state collateral rice purchase from farmers at rates that significantly exceed market prices.
Thailand is one of the global leaders in rice production, and such methods of regulation in agriculture, economists believe, have led to major losses for the country. In late 2013, the Thai government stopped paying to farmers due to lack of funds.
All government’s attempts to get a credit even in the state bank of Thailand were derailed by oppositionists that strived for the resignation of Yingluck Shinawatra.
To square accounts with the farmers, the Thai government decided to sell the available rice stocks at below-market prices.
March 12. /ITAR-TASS/.