Russia Monitor Articles
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.
There is yet another sign that Paul Whelan, the former marine detained on spy charges, was taken as collateral in negotiations to free Russian agents being held in U.S. prisons. The American is not going to appeal his prison sentence, his lawyer said.
The Kremlin is voicing growing concern over the Polish President’s planned visit to the White House and Washington’s ambition to extend its military presence in Poland. Warsaw is rising in importance whereas Berlin is steadily losing it.
In a lengthy essay published in U.S. magazine The National Interest, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the topic of both World War II and the current affairs worldwide. Though stuffed with a number of references to many other documents, the historian-like exegesis is far from being a scientific paper.
Unsurprisingly, the Northern Fleet has been given the same status as Russia’s four other military districts. This comes in response to the flexing of military muscles in Russia’s Far North once the Kremlin has put the Arctic at the very top of its agenda.
The fall in Vladimir Putin’s popularity ratings is bucking the trend. The pandemic and much-criticized state policies, including the president’s self-isolation from Russian society, have created a less comfortable environment for the Kremlin while only speeding up some alarming shifts.
Following a series of setbacks for Russian-backed military commander Khalifa Haftar, there comes a severe threat of the collapse of the Libyan National Army (LNA). Thus, the Kremlin is seeking to bolster efforts towards compliance with Russian-Turkish bilateral agreements on a ceasefire in Libya.
The Board of Directors of Rosneft re-elected former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder as its chairman. An ex-SPD chairman, he remains somewhat a guide for Germany’s left-wing parties and a servile client of the Kremlin in many areas beyond energy.
An oil leak released diesel into the Arctic Ocean as officials were slow to respond, both due to human error. A whole array of mistakes was made by both local senior officials and the owner of the thermoelectric power plant that let diesel oil escape in the water bodies. Many say the oil spill was the worst such accident ever in the Arctic region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a referendum on constitutional changes that would allow him to stay in office past his current term will be held on July 1, or basically throughout the whole last week of June. With a blend of the Victory Day parade and plausible vote-rigging tools, the Kremlin seeks to hit both an adequate turnout vote and a much-desired result.
If the Russian army is bracing for war, the one will be with the West, as hinted by the recent board meeting of the country’s defense ministry.
Belarus seeks to buy Russian gas for less, starting this year. Russian state energy group Gazprom is yet wary of resuming talks on an agreement it concluded with Belarus back in February, saying it will sit at a negotiating table only after the issue of Belarus’ gas debt is settled.