The French Greens party will not take part in a newly formed government under Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls, it said on Tuesday, breaking away from a coalition marked by tensions over energy policy. The decision capped nearly two years of tense relations between coalition partners as the Greens sought to wind down use of nuclear energy and insisted on maintaining a blanket ban on shale gas exploration. It followed a rout of the ruling Socialist Party in local elections on Sunday which prompted an unpopular President Francois Hollande to appoint his tough-talking former interior minister Valls as prime minister. "The ecologists will back the government without fail when it acts for progress and ecology, but it will oppose it whenever ecology is not taken into account," the party said in a statement.
Russian gas company Gazprom announced today that it will hike up oil prices in Ukraine by more than 40 percent, canceling a subsidy agreement struck while ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was still in charge. According to Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, the decision "follows from Ukraine’s non-performance of obligations to repay the debt for gas supplies in 2013 and the lack of 100 percent payment for the current supplies." Currently, Russia sells gas in Ukraine for $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters. According to Miller, Ukraine owes Russia a total of $1.7 billion for gas purchased since 2013, as the gas discount negotiated by Yanukovych "can no longer be used." According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Gazprom's harsh decision could be a sign that it won't sell to Ukraine in the future, something which would be bad news for the EU, as well: