June 27, 2022

How Wise co-founder went from tech darling to tax list of shame

FCA could bar Kristo Käärmann from senior role after claim he failed to pay £720,000 in taxFCA investigates Wise co-founder after tax defaultWhen the payments company Wise floated on the London Stock Exchange last summer it propelled its founders into the ranks of Britain’s richest people. But Kristo Käärmann, one of the Estonian pair who launched the firm, soon found himself on an altogether less desirable list: named and shamed as a tax defaulter by HM Revenue and Customs.Käärmann was identified as having failed to pay £720,000 in tax, joining a series of restaurants, builders and even a strip club who had all fallen foul of the tax authority. HMRC describes the defaults as “deliberate”, but Wise insists it was a matter of keeping his “personal admin in order”. Continue reading...
June 26, 2022

Concerns that India is ‘back door’ into Europe for Russian oil

Volume of Russian crude bought and then exported by India suggests some of it may end up in European petrol stationsThe huge blue and red hull of the SCF Primorye came into port at Vadinar, western Gujarat, India, earlier this month. The 84,000-tonne oil tanker, built in 2009 and sailing under the Liberian flag, had arrived from the port at Ust-Luga, a settlement in Russia near the border with Estonia.Until 2017, the Vadinar oil refinery was controlled by Essar – the Indian owner of the Stanlow refinery in Ellesmere Port. Since then a consortium including the sanctioned Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft and the commodities trader Trafigura, which holds a 24.5% stake, have owned Nayara Energy, which runs the refinery. Continue reading...
June 23, 2022

'What is stopping us becoming Ukraine 2.0?': The Estonian women preparing for war

In the months since the invasion of Ukraine, Estonians, who share a border with Russia, are increasingly concerned about potential Kremlin aggression. Despite the threat being low, more than 1,000 ordinary women have volunteered to join the Women's Defence Organisation since the conflict began. Car mechanic Mari Klandorf is one. She now spends her weekends training in first aid, guerrilla warfare and firearms and says: 'Russia might not be coming tomorrow, or the next day, but I want to be prepared.' The Guardian's Kyri Evangelou reports. Continue reading...
June 6, 2022

Russia-Ukraine war: Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk being ‘levelled’, says Luhansk governor, as Russian shelling intensifies – live

Governor of Luhansk compares cities in region with situation in Mariupol and says Russian shelling has increased tenfoldZelenskiy visits Donbas frontline as UK supplies missile systemLavrov cancels Serbia trip after countries close airspaceEuropean unity on Ukraine growing difficult, says Estonian PMAt a glance: what we know on day 103 of the invasionRussian forces continue to storm the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk and fired missiles at the nearby cities of Sloviansk, Lysychansk and Orikhove, Ukraine’s military has said. Russian troops fired at Ukrainian units defending Sievierodonetsk with mortars and artillery fire, damaging infrastructure in the towns of Metolkino, Borivske, Ustynivka and Toshkivka, according to the latest operational report released by Ukraine’s general staff of the armed forces. Continue reading...
June 6, 2022

European unity on Ukraine growing more difficult, says Estonian PM

Kaja Kallas warns pain of sanctions will test relations, and also criticises Macron’s stance on Putin Russia-Ukraine war – latest updatesEuropean unity over the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is proving difficult to maintain in the face of the war’s impact on inflation and living standards across the continent, Estonia’s prime minister has said.Kaja Kallas also criticised the French president, Emmanuel Macron, for trying to provide Vladimir Putin with a diplomatic way out of the conflict, saying the only effect was to give the Russian leader the belief that he will not be isolated or face justice for his army’s war crimes. Continue reading...
June 3, 2022

Estonia’s PM calls for new government talks as coalition collapses

Kaja Kallas said security concerns over Russia gave no ‘opportunity to continue cooperation’Estonia’s prime minister, Kaja Kallas, has called for talks on a new government after her ruling coalition fell apart, urging unity because of security concerns over neighbouring Russia.Kallas spoke to reporters after President Alar Karis accepted her request to dismiss seven Centre party ministers from the 15-strong cabinet, including the foreign minister, Eva-Maria Liimets. Continue reading...
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