Russia Monitor Articles
Moscow has for years had its strategic goal to break up the European Union. The Kremlin is now struggling to take advantage of a row inside the EU over the bloc’s policy towards Russia. This has been confirmed by top-level political relations between France and Russia and the corruption of the French political elite.
Russia offers comprehensive assistance to Belarus, notably when the European Union introduces sanctions on Lukashenko’s regime, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on July 1. Putin and Lukashenko first had a phone call and then met at the Forum of Regions of Russia and Belarus via video conference.
The Russian president once again confirmed how painful it is for him to see Ukraine decide for itself and not yield to Moscow’s pressure. Addressing the nation during an annual televised call-in show, Putin came back to an old rhetoric that Ukrainians were not a separate nation, attacking the pro-Western government in Kyiv and claiming the country was “managed from the outside”.
Russian oil and gas condensate output stood at 1,421,600 tons per day in June, a drop by 6,400 tons compared with May. But even though Russia does not comply 100 percent with the OPEC+ deal to cut output quotas.
Although the Delta variant is sweeping across the globe, Western countries are slowly recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Russia is now struggling with a more and more dramatic situation. The country saw its highest daily death toll since the outbreak of the pandemic while the nation remains dramatically under-vaccinated compared to other major world states. Yet Russia became the first country in the world to pride itself on developing a vaccine against coronavirus.
Russian gas giant Gazprom decided to raise the average gas export price for European countries. The company’s managers expect it to reach $240 this year, which is way more than what Gazprom and market analysts had forecasted. The decision is driven by the increasing demand for natural gas.
Russia’s biggest privately held gas company is cementing cooperation with Chinese-based businesses. Once it invited some businesses to join liquefied natural gas projects, Novatek wants to use one of them to export its gas commodities to China. In addition, it is yet another deal that corroborates ever-growing cooperation between Russia and China that boils down to buying Russian-sourced hydrocarbons by the latter country under poor conditions for Moscow if only because Russian energy projects for China receive full tax reliefs. Furthermore, Russian gas sent to China is cheaper than that to European states.
Countries of the Eurasian Economic Community should sign a joint agreement to establish a common market for crude oil and petroleum products in the next two years, according to Mikhail Myasnikovitch, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission, who said this after its members met in Brest for talks.
An incident off the Crimean coast that involved the HMS Defender, a Royal Navy destroyer, and Russian vessels outlined the ever-bigger role of the United Kingdom in supporting Ukraine in the Black Sea. It was aboard the British destroyer that took part in the incident alongside FSB patrol boats that representatives of Ukraine and the United Kingdom inked a memorandum to implement maritime projects.
Moscow is cementing ties with Myanmar’s military junta that seized power in the country. After Myanmar’s junta chief had arrived in Moscow to attend a military helicopter exhibition, the regime’s leader flew to Moscow for a couple of days, traditionally to take part in an annual security conference. General Mi Aung Hlaing also holds bilateral talks with Russian officials who stand firmly by the Myanmar junta.
First, Russia sent a strategic bomber to the Baltic Sea and then its fighters intruded Lithuanian airspace to flex its military muscles in this part of Europe just before the Putin-Biden meeting. This means that Moscow has no intention of refraining from belligerent activities close to NATO’s eastern flank.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has dismissed speculation that Turkey could build a military base in Azerbaijan as “rumors.” However, the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Caucasus must have been a deep concern to Russia. A possible Turkish military facility there is just one of the reasons for Erdogan’s visit to Azerbaijan.
As the incumbent head of the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, is close to retire, the fight to become his successor now reaches a crucial stage. There are many candidates, but now it seems that plans are to appoint someone from the FSB. In early June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a secret decree to promote Colonel General Sergei Korolev, who serves as the first deputy head of the Federal Security Service, to the rank of an army general.
Russian officials just started an election campaign before September’s parliamentary vote. President Vladimir Putin revealed top candidates on the federal list of United Russia, the country’s dominant party that seeks to preserve its constitutional majority despite low popularity ratings. The Russian regime took violent action to stifle opposition and curb the possibility to monitor any instances of vote-rigging. Possibly fearing a popular rally after the vote, Putin might have taken a lesson from Lukashenko and thus has embarked on a harsh course now. Picking defense and foreign ministers to head the United Russia list also hints at the party’s harsh rhetoric. Placing Shoigu as the “number one” on the list instead of Dmitry Medvedev, whom many believed to be the favorite in the run-up, aims to increase voter enthusiasm. While Shoigu is now among the most popular Russian politicians, Medvedev is relatively unpopular.