Russia Monitor Articles
Russia’s constitutional amendments came into force on July 4. Putin signed the decree two days after the Central Election Commission announced the final results of a national vote. Its outcome might have gone in line with what Kremlin senior officials could expect.
Russian security forces have arrested Ivan Safronov, a former journalist who works as an aide to the head of Russia’s space agency, in a move that marks yet another case of detention on treason charges.
The coronavirus crisis and the ongoing oil price war have both taken its toll on Russia’s hydrocarbon trade. Russia’s state energy major Gazprom saw the worst outcomes as it has lost a portion of the European sales market, with ever-dropping gas prices.
Throughout June, Russian oil and gas condensate production averaged 1.272 million tons, or 9.323 million barrels per day (bpd). Russia has stuck to its duties under the OPEC+ oil cuts, official data shows.
Turkey has been importing less gas from Russia yet the increase of Russian energy commodities is illusory, with Turkish data showing a significant drop in natural gas imports from Iran. Also, Turkey’s liquefied natural gas imports have outpaced the purchase of natural gas through pipelines.
The proposed constitutional amendments have come into force, with a nationwide plebiscite being nothing but a political theater. The public vote on them is seen as more of a national opinion poll, designed to lend legitimacy to the amendments and solidify Vladimir Putin’s grip on power.
Following an oil struggle between Belarus and Russia, there have occurred some shifts in how Minsk buys its crude supplies. Its purchases come mostly from Russia yet with no firm guarantees.
The supervisory board of Hungary’s pipeline operator FGSZ greenlighted a plan of investment into the construction of a gas pipeline to Serbia by October 2021, the company said in a statement.
The United States has taken action to respond to Russia’s beefed-up aerial activity around each other’s border in the Pacific. Recent weeks have seen a couple of incidents with both sides intercepting each other’s planes flying towards the two’s borders.
Russian oil pipeline operator Transneft has reiterated the company would be in big trouble once oil transportation costs slumped significantly sometime soon, halving the company’s total income.
Russian oil major Lukoil said it has started drilling of an exploration well at the Shirotno-Rakushechnaya prospect structure north of the V.I. Grayfer oilfield. The company has also begun to study Khazri and Titonskaya features in the south of the same sea area.
Russia’s exports of its flagship Urals crude oil grade are set to plunge in July by 40 percent from June levels to about 785,000 barrels a day.
The Trump administration agreed that an additional 1,000 U.S. troops would be added to Poland, the sole outcome of the latest round of the U.S.-Polish talks that confirmed what the two parties had concluded a year ago. In Moscow, many say that would push the balance of power throughout the region in favor of NATO countries.
Russian intelligence officers for the military intelligence GRU recently offered money to Taliban militants in Afghanistan as rewards if they killed the US or allied troops there, according to the latest press reports some would see as not surprising.