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NEWSMARK
July 2017
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ACROSS THE GLOBE

CUBAN CONNECTION . Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski travelled to Cuba, the first Polish official to visit that socialist country in thirty years. In meeting with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, talks centered on prospects for initiating Polish-Cuban cooperation in the areas of tourism, economy, culture and higher education.

“The Latin American and Caribbean region is an important partner in Poland’s quest to find a balance between a focus on Europe and global engagement,” said Waszczykowski.

The Polish Minister met with the Archbishop of Havana and visited the Salesian Centre for Social Communication. The Polish Embassy in Havana has regularly cooperated with the Salesian Centre, an organization which focuses on social and educational activities for young people.

Waszczykowski also discussed the development of cooperation and promotion of Polish culture in Cuba as well as renewed work between both countries on matters of monument restoration, offering to employ the experience of Polish restoration experts in addition to using laser techniques in the restoration of Havana monuments.

TRAINING AT BORDER. More than 800 troops from Russia, Belarus, and Serbia are training near Polish and Ukrainian borders. “Slavic Fraternity 2017” is the name of the exercises, which include practice of joint operations against terrorism. According to Poland’s IAR news agency, a battalion of special forces from Belarus, a battalion of Russian landing troops and a company of special forces from Serbia are participating in the training maneuvers.

GAS SHIPMENT FROM US SIGNALS CHANGE. A shipment carrying Poland’s first ever liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States was received at the Świnoujście LNG terminal in northwestern Poland.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło and representatives from Polish and U.S. energy companies PGNiG and Cheniere Energy attended the “historic” gas delivery.

Chief economist at BPS TFI, Krzysztof Wołowicz, said that the one-off delivery of gas from the United States is Poland’s next step in increasing energy security and lowering future gas prices.

He added that more diverse supplies of gas to Poland can be a bargaining tool when Poland renegotiates its deal with Russia in a few years.

Wojciech Jakóbik of the biznesalert.pl website said that Poland’s gas terminal, opened in late 2015, will mean Russia will have to make an effort to remain active on the Polish gas market.

UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN. The rate of unemployment in Poland dropped to 7.5 percent in May, a 26-year low for that month, reported the Family, Labor and Social Policy Ministry. 1.2 million were without work at the end of May, 49,300 fewer than in April.

“Unemployment will continue to fall in the coming months,” said Minister Elzbieta Rafalska. “The forecast for the end of this year is around seven percent.”

The Polish government recently adopted estimates for the 2018 budget, expecting the rate of unemployment to fall to 6.4 percent in 2018.

CR CEASES PUBLICATION. The Cosmopolitan Review has published it last edition. The internet journal focused on issues of social, cultural and historical interest by English-speaking writers for English-speaking readers throughout the worldwide Polish diaspora. It had readers in 56 countries, the largest number in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Poland.

Established in 2008, cosmopolitanreview.com grew from an on-line newsletter for alumni of Poland in the Rockies seminars, which are ten-day conferences of Polish studies held in Banff, Canada every two to three summers.

The site will still be available for reading and research.

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