- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 21, 2006

DENMARK

Storms wreak havoc across Europe

COPENHAGEN — Heavy snow, gusty winds and freezing cold continued to cause chaos across Northern Europe yesterday, disrupting air, road, ferry and rail traffic and even affecting royals trying to get to the christening of Denmark’s new prince in Copenhagen.

The region, which saw temperatures drop to as low as minus 44.7 Fahrenheit in the most northern parts, is accustomed to wintry weather and is well-equipped to cope with the conditions.

The ice and heavy snow forced the closure of Copenhagen airport, because it was impossible to de-ice aircraft wings.

Scandinavian Airlines System canceled virtually all flights from the airport yesterday, forcing Norwegian royals attending yesterday’s christening of Australian-born Princess Mary and Danish Crown Prince Frederik’s son to jump on an overnight train to Copenhagen from Oslo.

UKRAINE

Kiev delays deal with Russia on gas

KIEV — Ukraine has delayed signing a new contract to buy Russian natural gas pending final agreement on pricing and other terms, and because of the Kiev parliament’s attempts to scuttle the deal, the prime minister said yesterday.

Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov said Ukraine aimed to sign the deal with Russian gas giant Gazprom Wednesday. The accord, reached on Jan. 4 after a standoff with Moscow that saw supplies suspended, will almost double the price of gas.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to get the documents ready … . The first question is the price of gas, how prices are established and how long they are to remain in place,” Mr. Yekhanurov said in comments on Ukrainian television.

SPAIN

Zapatero sees end for ETA

MADRID — Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero yesterday said he was confident that the armed Basque separatist movement ETA would come to an end, even as Basque nationalists “gathered” for a congress by ETA’s political wing Batasuna, which was banned.

“It will be long, hard and difficult, but we will get there, and on that day, we will be able to say that we live completely and definitely in peace in the Basque country and in all of Spain,” Mr. Zapatero said during a meeting of his Socialist Party.

Mr. Zapatero’s comments came a few hours before Basque nationalists started gathering in front of the exhibition hall in Baracaldo, after the Spanish supreme court on Tuesday extended for two years a ban on the Batasuna political party and forbade it to hold its congress, which had been planned for yesterday.

Among the protesters at the alternative “meeting” were the main leaders of the banned party, Arnaldo Otegi, Joseba Permach and Joseba Alvarez, along with representatives of other nationalist organizations, such as Northern Ireland’s Sinn Fein.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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