Russia Monitor Articles
Belarus’s Lukashenko Criticizes NATO over Joint Russian-Belarusian Drills

Belarus’s Lukashenko Criticizes NATO over Joint Russian-Belarusian Drills

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko is seeking a convenient justification for having carried out a series of military drills altogether with Russia. In his rhetoric, the Belarusian leader displays them as a response to extensive NATO exercise to be held in Poland and the Baltic states.

Turkey’s Invasion of the Kurds: Russia-Backed Al-Assad Likely to Triumph

Turkey’s Invasion of the Kurds: Russia-Backed Al-Assad Likely to Triumph

Abandoned by their U.S. ally, the Syrian Kurds can quickly forge a new alliance. As Trump no longer holds interest in upholding a coalition with the belligerent militia that served a leading role in defeating Daesh, these could agree on cooperation with Moscow and Damascus. Facing the Turkish incursion, the Syrian Kurds may make concessions in their talks with the Al Assad regime. Earlier, the Kurds –– shelled by the Turkey-led coalition –– had agreed with the Syrian government forces. While dealing with the Turkish assault, they may opt for the lesser evil, recognizing Damascus’s sovereignty and a more limited autonomy for their people.

China Gets First Oil Cargo from Russia’s Arctic

China Gets First Oil Cargo from Russia’s Arctic

For the first time in history, Russia’s Arctic oil volumes have been delivered to the Asian market in a rare trade shipment on the Northern Sea Route. Lukoil’s trading arm, Litasco, sold the cargo of 100,000 tonnes of Varandey Blend oil to Chinaoil, the trading branch of state-owned CNPC. The delivery was made by the tanker Korolev Prospect in mid-September.

Rostec CEO Chemezov Gathers Steam

Rostec CEO Chemezov Gathers Steam

CEO of Russia’s state hi-tech corporation Rostec Sergey Chemezov has been awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation medal. He has been handed out the highest state awards by President Vladimir Putin for his “outstanding contribution to the development od the defense and industrial conglomerate and raising the country’s defense capabilities.”

Putin Introduces Personnel Shifts in Law Enforcement Agencies

Putin Introduces Personnel Shifts in Law Enforcement Agencies

Under a presidential decree, Vladimir Putin made a number of personnel reshuffles amongst senior officials who held top positions in the Investigate Committee, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Emergency Situations, and the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN of Russia). Several officials and officers have been relieved from their duties, while some of their colleagues were transferred to other positions.

Belarus Merges Oil Firms That Operate Druzhba Pipeline

Belarus Merges Oil Firms That Operate Druzhba Pipeline

Starting from October 1, the Belarusian leg of the Druzhba oil pipeline will be handled by one company instead of two, as before. This step was taken to economize operator-related processes and push ahead stricter control of the oil pipeline, a top-priority answer after the Druzhba contamination incident in April. Merging two operators into one may lay the groundwork for talks to restore oil shipments to the Baltics.

Russian Military Personnel in Mozambique: Bringing Another African Nation Closer to Moscow

Russian Military Personnel in Mozambique: Bringing Another African Nation Closer to Moscow

According to unofficial reports that have been on since mid-September, Russian military personnel has been deployed to a few of Mozambique’s naval ports, a step that might have been taken in the wake of a batch of deals inked by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi during his August visit to Moscow. Mozambique is yet another African country where Russia has been looking to push forward its economic and military presence.

Putin Meets China’s Parliament Chairman in the Kremlin

Putin Meets China’s Parliament Chairman in the Kremlin

On September 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin received for talks Li Zhanshu who serves as a member of the Standing Committee of the Central Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China and the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China.

Ways to Keep Putin in Power

Ways to Keep Putin in Power

A new voice in favor of changing Russia’s constitution. This time, in a press interview, this idea was supported by Sergey Chemezov. The head of Rostec, a state-owned mega-corporation, and Putin’s former KGB comrade, is considered to belong to a close circle of the president’s co-workers and friends. His statement means that the subject of constitutional changes that could keep Putin in power is still being discussed at the top governmental levels. The speech of Chemezov, previously unknown for such actions, also signalizes a possible conflict escalation between various interest groups in Putin’s environment.

In the Kremlin, Venezuela’s Maduro Gets Russia’s Full Support

In the Kremlin, Venezuela’s Maduro Gets Russia’s Full Support

There is no question that Russia will neither reduce nor halt its support for Venezuela. Quite the contrary, in fact – the more sanctions are being introduced by the United States and the European Union, the stronger is Russia’s involvement in supporting Maduro’s regime.

Rosneft and Transneft Continue to Clash over Oil Quality

Rosneft and Transneft Continue to Clash over Oil Quality

A new factor has emerged in an ongoing dispute that sparked in front of the domestic and international audience between Rosneft’s Igor Sechin and Transneft’s Nikolay Tokarev in the wake of the Druzhba oil pipeline failure in April this year. Both companies have been at loggerheads over the quality of oil that runs through a Rosneft-owned refinery via Transneft’s pipeline system.

Missiles, Bases and Drills: Russia Flexes Military Muscles in the Arctic

Missiles, Bases and Drills: Russia Flexes Military Muscles in the Arctic

Within the past two months, Russia has deployed new missiles systems on the territory of the Kola Peninsula. This comes as yet another stage of the country’s military build-up in the Arctic, a step that raises concern mainly in Norway. Russia keeps expanding its military infrastructure also east of the Kola Peninsula.

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