Russia Monitor Articles
India Rushes to Buy Russian Oil
Russia has for the first time emerged as a top oil supplier to India replacing Iraq. as refiners last month snapped up oil from Moscow in October and November fearing the December 5 price cap. India will prioritize its own energy needs and continue to buy oil from Russia. India announced last week that it would not comply with the price cap on Russian seaborne oil imposed by Western nations.
China Supports Russia Through Joint Drills and Top Beijing Meeting
Although Beijing has not thrown any official support to Russia in its war with Ukraine, its authorities back Moscow unofficially. One example of that is meetings between top state officials and joint navy drills.
Putin Pledges Reinforcements To Country’s Western Flank
Russian President Vladimir Putin attended an expanded meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry Board. The Russian leader made some remarks on what he referred to as the “special military operation” in Ukraine, but what Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told the meeting seemed more far-reaching. He publicly presented a series of proposed Russian defense policy changes to significantly increase the size of the Russian military by raising the age limit for conscripts and forming a new military unit near the border with Finland, a prospective NATO member.
Gazprom Opens New Arctic Field Despite Shrinking Export
Russian gas giant Gazprom was forced to reduce its export volumes due to the war and sanctions. Despite that, it opened a new Arctic field. A major problem is rebuilding infrastructure to redirect gas flows from the Gulf of Ob to China from Europe.
Moldova Is Becoming Independent of Russian Gas Flows
Moldova has imported natural gas from new directions, for the first time obtaining volumes pumped from elsewhere than Russian state-run gas firm Gazprom. The pro-Western government in Chisinau is seeking to diversify its energy resources and accumulate supplies against the background of Gazprom’s policy that consists in using gas as a tool of blackmail.
Russian Economy Is Now in Far Better State than Expected
The Russian economy has somewhat performed well throughout 2022 and experienced the aftermath of energy sanctions only in November. Officials and analysts have been gradually improving GDP forecasts for the full year, but suggested that the overall drop in output may be more prolonged. Gross domestic product fell 0.9 percent, according to September estimates, but now it could be 2 percent. The key story for the Russian economy in the coming months could be the launch of the EU’s oil embargo mechanism from Dec. 5 and the imposition of a price cap on Russian oil.
Gazprom, Rosneft Employees Banned from Leaving Russia
Employees of Russian state-run oil and gas companies have been banned from leaving the country, according to independent Russian media outlets. Gazprom employees have seen the strictest ban as neither they nor their families are allowed to travel abroad. It is another chapter of Russia’s wartime communism strategy that seeks to align the state economy with its war machine. Likewise, the authorities hope to prevent senior energy officials from fleeing the country.
Russia’s State Duma Passes New Shocking Bill on Sabotage
Putin’s regime has continued its crackdown on citizens by introducing tighter laws on sabotage. Russia’s State Duma, which is the lower house of the Russian parliament, has submitted a pile of bills on the country’s war with Ukraine. On the one hand, Russia is tightening penalties for sabotage while seeking to waive criminal liability for crimes committed in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine until late September on the other.
Russia, Iran Forge Security Partnership
Russia and Iran have stepped up their military and security cooperation. Moscow provides Tehran with training and anti-riot equipment in exchange for weapons and drones. Officials from both states hold working visits. After Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev had met with his Iranian counterpart, more senior Iranian and Russian military and law enforcement agencies officials have been involved in a whirlwind of meetings and talks.
TotalEnergies, Shell Quit Joint Russian Energy Projects
Dozens of Europe’s biggest companies have abandoned their operations in Russia. But regulations and deals in force slow down the procedure of quitting the country. Importantly, Western firms abandon joint projects with both state-run and private companies throughout Russia.
Russia To Sell Petroleum Products To Pakistan Amid Saudi Fears
As the European Union introduced a ban on Russian oil, Moscow is diverting its crude from Europe to Asia. Now Russia will sell its crude to Pakistan. Moscow’s recent moves have deepened Saudi Arabia’s anxiety as the country has been the biggest oil supplier regionwide.
Turkey’s Erdogan Puts Pressure on Putin in Syria
Turkey has taken advantage of Russia’s uneasy situation amid its invasion of Ukraine, seeking to force Moscow into a pile of political and economic concessions. One example of that is Turkish efforts to block Russian oil tankers. The government in Ankara seems to prioritize its gains in Syria, notably in its clash with Syrian Kurds.
Russia Doubled Piped Gas Supplies to China
From January to October 2022, Russia sent $3.1 billion worth of piped natural gas to China, a 182 percent increase from 2021, the General Administration of Customs of China reported.
Russia, Algeria Forge Close Military Partnership
Algeria is forging ever-growing military ties with Russia through joint military drills and substantial arms supply deals. Moscow has many assets that attract Algeria while collaboration with Algeria solidifies Russian influence in northern Africa.