Russia Monitor Articles
Russia is carrying out naval drills involving many countries off the Pakistan coast simultaneously with other maneuvers in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. Two units of the Russian navy took part. Moscow is showing interest and flexing military muscle in the Indian Ocean, not only in support of Iran.
Top generals in charge of key Rosgvardia boards and department have recently filed their resignation from the National Guard. No other Russian power structure has ever experienced such a wave of dismissals among its senior officers. What is the reason? Rosgvardia declined to comment, but there are two top plausible reasons behind this.
Poor financial performance is not surprising for the biggest Russian oil business as 2020 was a horrible year for the whole industry, the CEO of Rosneft Igor Sechin told at the meeting with Vladimir Putin. It is hard to expect the Russian leader to scold the businessman.
Russia noted a dramatic surge in mortality in 2020 fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic. The latest figures from the federal statistics agency Rosstat are far more pessimistic than those so far reported by the government. According to critics of the authorities, these rushed too much to ease lockdown measures last summer, which resulted in a uptick in new infections and deaths.
Only recently has it been made public that Rosneft and NNK, a firm owned by Eduard Khudainatov, were involved in a deal to purchase oil fields in the Taymyr peninsula. In fact, it is all about swapping oil-rich deposits of crucial importance for Rosneft’s flagship project and already drilled fields elsewhere in Russia.
Ukrainian service personnel again died on the Donbas frontline despite the truce being in force. At the same time, many signs are that the government in Moscow might in the future push harder for its narrative of “serving the Russian-speaking population in southeastern Ukraine.”
The U.S. Air Force said it was preparing to deploy bombers B-1 to Norway for the first time. Shortly after, Russia informed its strategic bombers had flown for several hours over this part of the Arctic. These events show again that the Norway-Russia border and the seas nearby are turning into another strain in NATO-Russia ties.
A Russian military cargo plane has violated Estonia’s airspace, an incident that prompted the country’s authorities to hand Russia’s ambassador a protest note. Moscow denies any incident took place. As NATO’s easternmost territory, Estonia is an obstacle for a military connection between the Kaliningrad exclave and the rest of Russia.
Russia’s vessel Fortuna has resumed laying pipes for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Danish waters, as informed back on February 6. Although works were suspended amid bad weather conditions, Russia and Germany won a symbolic victory, trying to complete the gas link as favorable conditions materialized.
Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, made a horrible mistake, viewed as absolutely unacceptable in diplomacy. His decision to go ahead with the trip to Russia as planned outraged many while what he said and what he did not in Moscow was an even bigger disgrace for the bloc’s top diplomat.
The Russian government published a regulation allowing Belarus to ship Belarusian oil products destined to third countries through Russian seaports, according to latest publication by the government of Mikhail Mishustin. Belarusian oil export through Russian seaports is on the list of the conditions Moscow imposed on Lukashenko when agreeing to help him during the political crisis in August last year.
The United States and Russia have agreed to extend the New START, an arms control treaty, by five years, marking number one news after Joe Biden’s first phone call as president with Vladimir Putin. This yet does not mean any breakthrough in U.S.-Russia ties as at the same time, Biden raised concerns about the arrest of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny and Russian aggression on Ukraine.
In 2020, Russia’s liquefied natural gas output grew by 3.5 percent year on year. Throughout last year, the country produced 30.5 million tons of LNG, according to data from Rosstat, the Russian federal statistics agency.
Igor Sechin announced his grandiose plan to develop the Russian Far North to Vladimir Putin and all signs are now that he is under major pressure to forge ahead with the project. The Rosneft-developed Vostok Oil project should already produce 30 million tons of oil in just three years. But the construction work does not move forward as planned.