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UKRAINE

Denmark creates jobs website for Ukraine refugees

The Danish Ministry of Employment on Monday announced a new website which it says is designed to help refugees from Ukraine find a way on to the labour market.

Danish employment minister Peter Hummelgaard
Danish employment minister Peter Hummelgaard at a briefing on March 25th. Denmark has launched a jobs website for Ukrainian refugees. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The website, jobguideUkraine.dk, is available in both Ukrainian and English, with a section for employers in Danish.

The platform “gives Ukrainian refugees an overall guide to their job search in Denmark,” the ministry said in a statement.

Employers can meanwhile find out where to place job notices for applications from Ukrainians.

The website will be updated on an ongoing basis to include elements including links to jobs website and guidelines. It also helps Ukrainians to put together a CV for use in Denmark and has information on Danish labour and wage regulations.

“It’s very good that we have quickly gathered the most important information so that we can ease the way into work for Ukrainian refugees,” Employment Minister Peter Hummelgaard said in a ministry statement.

Lizette Risgaard, head of the national trade union organisation FH (Fagbevægelsens Hovedorganisation), said the website gave a “short introduction to the Danish labour market”.

Ukrainian workers must work under “the terms of collective bargaining agreements,” Risgaard said, referring to the Danish labour model.

Many Ukrainian nationals have already applied for residence in Denmark under a new law passed earlier in March.

At least 309 persons have already been granted residence permits in Denmark under the law, according to reports on Friday.

The law eases the process for Ukrainians compared to the normal asylum system, and is designed to enable them to start work and school as soon as possible after coming to Denmark.

Up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees could eventually arrive in Denmark as a result of the Russian invasion of their country, Copenhagen said last week.

The new website was created by the employment ministry in partnership with trade unions, employer organisations, the national organisation for municipalities, KL, and the regional health authorities.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How Ukrainians can apply for residence and work permits in Denmark

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SWEDEN AND UKRAINE

Who is behind the Nord Stream Baltic pipeline attack?

The Russians, the Ukrainians, the Americans, or someone else entirely. Who blew up the Nord Stream gas pipeline?

Who is behind the Nord Stream Baltic pipeline attack?

Ukraine quickly declared the explosions that caused the leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines to be an operation by Russia, aimed at worsening the EU economy and adding to panic over winter gas prices, while Radosław Sikorski, a former Polish defence and foreign minister, thanks the US for what he described as “a special maintenance operation”. 

The governments of Denmark, Sweden, and Germany, the most closely affected countries, while all stating that they believe the explosions were the result of a deliberate attack, have so far been careful not to point fingers at anyone. 

So what are the theories raging over who might be behind the attack? 

The Russian hybrid warfare theory

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak said on Twitter that the damage to Nord Stream 1 and 2 was “a terrorist attack planned by Russia and an act of aggression against the EU”. 

Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, also pointed the finger at Russia. 

“It was probably an act of sabotage, so it is most likely a signal from Russia, because we are waiting for these circumstances to be confirmed, and it is something very disturbing,” he said. “This is something that shows what means and mechanisms the Russians can resort to in order to destabilise Europe even more.” 

This line was echoed by Simone Tagliapietra, senior fellow at the Bruegel think-tank, who wrote on Twitter that the sabotage showed Russia escalating its use of the energy weapon to hybrid war.   

Brigadier General Carsten Rasmussen, who was Denmark’s Defence Attaché in Moscow until June, laid out the argument for why Russia might want to blow up the own pipeline in a series of Tweets in Danish. 

He said that the sabotage “creates fear” about whether Europe can get gas this winter, and also over the vulnerability of other infrastructure in Europe. He said the sabotage would lead markets to react, pushing up gas prices by 12 percent. He said the attack would “threaten Western unity”, pointing to  Sikorski’s tweet. Finally, he said the attack was a distraction from Russia’s referendums annexing new areas conquered in its invasion. 

“Who might be interested in provoking the four effects mentioned?” he asks, pointing the finger at Russia. “Nothing has yet been proven – and perhaps never will be. The sabotage actions in the Baltic Sea look like a hybrid action, not aimed at Denmark, but at the West’s unity and willingness to support Ukraine.” 

The Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitri Peskov dismissed such attempts to blame Russia as “quite predictable and also predictably stupid”. 

“This is a big problem for us, ” he protested in a call with journalists. “Because firstly, both lines of Nord Stream 2 are filled with gas – the entire system is ready to pump gas and the gas is very expensive… Now the gas is flying off into the air.”

US strategic attack or revenge for Ukraine invasion

Radosław Sikorski, a former Polish defence and foreign minister, posted a now highly criticised tweet thanking the US for the action. 

In follow-on tweets, Sikorski explained that Nord Stream’s main purpose for Russia had been to allow it to blackmail Eastern Europe with threats to cut off the gas, without also having to cut off gas to customers in Western Europe. 

“Nordstream’s only logic was for Putin to be able to blackmail or wage war on Eastern Europe with impunity,” he wrote. “All Ukrainian and Baltic sea states have opposed Nordstream’s construction for 20 years. Now $20 billion of scrap metal lies at the bottom of the sea, another cost to Russia of its criminal decision to invade Ukraine. Someone, @MFA_Russia, did a special maintenance operation.” 

Backing this argument is a clip taken from a press conference US President Joe Biden held with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in February, days before Russia invaded Ukraine.  

“If Russia invades… then there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2,” Biden said. “We will bring an end to it.”

This has been tweeted thousands of times today in what some have dismissed as a Russian propaganda operation. Rather than threatening to sabotage the pipeline, Biden is more likely to have been referring to the possibility that Germany could simply block the pipeline and refuse to use it. 

Germany in the end went ahead with that decision and block the newly completed Nord Stream 2, taken the decision only days before Russia sent troops to Ukraine. 

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