Gazprom confirmed in its latest quarterly reported that the court had imposed arrest on its shares in yet another company in a further European country. It is all about the Netherlands-based operator of the Blue Stream pipeline. Such is the result of legal actions undertaken by Naftogaz as the company seeks to seize a debt from the Russian company.
Vladimir Putin’s recent decision constitutes yet another example of special treatment given to a state-owned oil giant Rosneft. The President has signed a bill that will make it possible to Sechin’s company to handle its dollar profits and invest money outside the country. And any steps that act to the benefit of Sechin’s enterprise may appear unfavorable to Russia’s economy.
Recently, there have been many indications that an offensive against Syria’s Idlib province, led by the military forces of President Bashar al-Assad and his allies, will take place in the early days of September. Such state of affairs is particularly evidenced by the attitudes represented by Russia’s military and diplomatic authorities.
For many years, both the Russian authorities and the state’s oil giant Rosneft have been providing their financial support to Venezuela as the country had plunged into a deep economic recession. However, it does not seem possible to recover loans amounting to at least 6 billion dollars.
In fact, Russia’s biggest war games since 1981 have turned out to be what is referred to as an announced test of combat readiness of most units of both the Central and Eastern Military Districts, held between August 20-24. Officially, the Vostok-2018 military drills are scheduled for September 11, 2018. So what is their most important aspect, apart from the propaganda one?
Both Russian and NATO air forces have been recently involved in a number of air incidents over the Black Sea. Thanks to their military facilities on the Crimean Peninsula, the Russians managed to increase their aviation activity in the vicinity of the Romanian border. The country has become the main target of Russia’s hostile behavior.
The Aktau deal has opened the way for the construction of some trans-Caspian pipelines. that can be used to transport hydrocarbons from Central Asia to Europe while bypassing Russia’s territory. So why did Moscow agree to sign the treaty?
Does anyone still remember the Helsinki summit? Russia and the USA have participated in the first top-level meeting since the July summit in Helsinki. Following the talks held between U.S. national security adviser John Bolton and his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev, it may be said that the summit has not changed anything in U.S.-Russian bilateral relations.
To reconstruct Syria so as to make thousands of refugees come back to their homeland – the issue seems extremely bothersome for Moscow. During his visit to Berlin, President Vladimir Putin called Western countries to rebuild Syria – destroyed to a great extent by the bombs – while Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, referred to the Americans as ungenerous.
Over the last four years, the Russians have somewhat learned to cope with such unfavorable conditions in the oil and gas industry. However, Moscow seems particularly prone to other activities of its Western partners, especially in the case of such project as exploiting deposits under the sea bottom in the Arctic or constructing large gas pipelines to Europe.
New sanctions against Russia, announced by the United States on August 8, may indirectly hit the state’s energy sector while the results may be visible in a long-term outlook. The restrictions are directly related to Russian oil and gas; in addition, due to their broad spectrum, they may affect any aspect of Russian energy sector.
A flight carried out by a pair of Russian strategic bombers from central Russia to the Chukotka Peninsula proved that Moscow is able to deploy its long-range aviation very close to the U.S. territory. There is no doubt that the Russians aimed to send a clear signal to the Americans.
The conquest of the Idlib province is expected to put an end to the war between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the anti-regime rebellion. After the battle, there will be only some remnants of the Islamic State as well as the Kurdish-controlled zone.
It is very likely that the military forces of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad will attack the Idlib province – the last rebel-held bastion; the operation will probably take place in mid-September. The battle of the province may be the most difficult as well as the bloodiest one since both rebels and civilians have nowhere to escape.
Due to the analysis of defence and modernisation projects, as well as changes within the organisational structure of Russia’s armed forces over last two years, it may be indicated that the state’s authorities pay a lot of attention to the Western Military District.
The Russians seek to mark their presence in Pakistan; first, the country was visited by Russia’s Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service who took part in a meeting of leaders of intelligence services of Russia, China and Iran. The Russians tend to replace the Americans while their recent rapprochement with Pakistan may considerably affect the development of the situation in a neighbouring Afghanistan and in the region.
Russia’s energy giant Gazprom gradually loses the possibility of raising some funds on external markets due to a deepening legal dispute with Ukraine’s Naftogaz. The long-lasting dispute with the Ukrainian giant may affect Gazprom’s financial condition and it may even hamper the implementation of export gas pipeline projects, including Nord Stream 2.
Huge protests have recently erupted in Iran in response to the deteriorating economic situation in the country. U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA keeps increasing the pressure on Iran’s economy.
The fact of murdering three Russian journalists in the Central African Republic (CAR) may have serious political repercussions both for the authorities in Bangui and Russia’s interests in the country.