Poland bars Russian FM from security talks | Renewed shelling near Zaporizhzhia power plant | Qatar loses to Ecuador in World Cup opener | First ski lift opens in Poland

(Fot. Osce.org)

Poland recently announced plans to bar Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov from participating in the upcoming Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) meeting in Łódź.

Poland currently has the rotating chairmanship of the OSCE, the world’s largest security bloc. In an official statement, the Polish chairmanship declared that „following Russia’s illegal aggression against Ukraine on February 24th, a number of Russian nationals were added to the list of sanctioned individuals, including Minister Lavrov.”

The Polish government’s decision to block Lavrov’s participation in the talks provoked a response from the Russian foreign ministry, which called it „unprecedented and provocative.” In the wake of the decision, Russia announced it would be represented by Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich.

This is the second time that Lavrov has been denied entry to Poland since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Poland also refused to issue visas to members of the Russian OSCE delegation scheduled to attend the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Warsaw in November.

Source: Radio Poland

A series of powerful blasts rocked the area around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant over the weekend according to reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

According to IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, on Sunday morning, more than a dozen blasts were heard in what appeared to be renewed shelling „both close to and at the site” of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

IAEA experts reported that there had been damage to some buildings, systems, and equipment at the site, but none of them so far are critical for nuclear safety and security, according to the iaea.org website. There were no reports of casualties.

Grossi has been engaged in intense consultations with Ukraine and Russia over the past few months to establish a nuclear safety and security zone around the plant „to help prevent a nuclear accident.” Thus far, no agreement has been reached.

After the most recent bout of shelling, Grossi forcefully appealed to „whoever is behind this,” telling them: „It must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you’re playing with fire!”

Source: Radio Poland

The 2022 FIFA World Cup got off to an inauspicious start yesterday, with host Qatar losing to Ecuador 0-2, the first time the host country has lost an opening match in World Cup history.

While the stands of Al Bayt stadium were packed with an estimated 67,000 spectators during the official pre-match opening ceremony, by the 80th minute of the first match, most seats were reportedly empty.

The match was preceded by a colorful opening ceremony featuring well-known Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman and performers chanting the slogans of national football teams from around the world, including a rendition of „Poland, white and red.”

Today’s matches include England vs. Iran at 14:00, Senegal vs. the Netherlands at 17:00, and the USA vs. Wales at 20:00 CET.

Qatar is the smallest of the 17 countries which have hosted the World Cup and the first new host since Italy was invited to host in 1934. In addition to restrictive policies concerning proper attire and alcohol consumption, the host country has been heavily criticized for its treatment of migrant workers, lack of adherence to environmental standards, and stance on women’s and LGBT+ rights.

Source: PAP, www.qatar2022.qa

After a combination of snowstorms and cold weather across Poland, the first ski lift of the season started up on Sunday in Bukowina Tatrzańska.

Skiers and snowboarders were able to use the T-bar, 400-meter „UFO” ski lift to test out the first fresh powder of the season on the slopes of Wierch Olczański yesterday. According to the owner of the resort, half of the runs on the mountain are now open, with the entire slope expected to open on Tuesday.

Thanks to the ongoing frosty weather, artificial snowmaking devices known as „snow cannons” are working at full speed at other ski resorts in the Tatra mountains. The operators of Kotelnica Białaczańska, the largest ski resort in the Podhale region, have announced that their lifts will start running on December 6.

Like many other goods, the price of lift tickets and ski passes for the upcoming season has increased by roughly 20 percent on average compared to last season. An all-day lift ticket during peak season now costs PLN 155, an increase of PLN 30 over last year. The price for a seven-day Tatry Super Ski pass, which covers 18 of the largest ski resorts in Podhale, has also increased from PLN 680 to PLN 870.

Source: PAP

Weather

Today will be cold and cloudy, with a chance for snow showers throughout the day and a light breeze coming in from the southeast. Temperatures will stay below freezing with a high of -1°C, or 31°F, dropping slightly to -3°C or 27°F overnight. Similar cold, cloudy weather is expected for tomorrow, with a chance for more snow later in the week.

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Elizabeth Peck/MarWer

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