Three years passed since Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras paid a visit to Moscow. Furthermore, traditional close ties between Russia and Greece have recently deteriorated; it was the Kremlin’s fault, though, as Athens is upset with the ever-growing Russian-Turkish defense alliance, including the S-400 system deal.
Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian state-controlled group Gazprom, has recently acquired licenses in two oil-producing regions of the Arctic. In addition, the company has been granted the second icebreaker, built as part of its Arctic program. The firm, which belongs to Russia’s top three oil corporations, aims to develop its ventures in the Far North.
There is no doubt that the Russian army is getting stronger, posing an increasing threat. And yet the processes of its personal professionalization and arming do not conform to the state’s official plans. As a result, a significant part of the new units, which the defense ministry periodically boasts about, can be referred to as “paper” ones.
If confirmed, Donald Trump’s recent announcement to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria will mean Moscow’s great success. Since the beginning of Russian military intervention in Syria, Putin-led policy did not take into account defeating the Islamic State, which served as a comfortable excuse, instead hoping to ensure al-Assad’s victory in the Syrian civil war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently repeated that Russia disposes of a weapon that will ensure the state’s security for decades to come. However, Moscow seems nervous about the U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty, as evidenced by Putin’s declarations during his annual Q&A session.
Russia’s international policies have no longer taken into account any economic consideration. Instead, Moscow does not mind losing even billions of dollars in order to be able to further pursue its political and military goals, as evidenced by the Moscow-Caracas alliance. Yet the state, whose Hugo Chavez developed strong relations with the Kremlin, is currently facing the worst crisis in its history.
Chief of Russia’s General Staff is soon expected to leave the service at the statutory age. It is almost certain that his post will be taken by one of the generals who gained their combat experience during the Russian operation in Syria. Vladimir Putin has clearly favored this group while promoting officers to army’s most important positions for at least a year.
The U.S. Congress is preparing nearly a dozen new bills against Russia’s energy sector aiming to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas. The initiatives are being closely monitored by State Department whose officials voiced support for the EU resolution condemning the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and urging Germany to withdraw from the project.
The group of OPEC members and other oil producers, including Russia, intends to reduce the total oil output in response to a sharp decline in the resource’s prices. The agreement adopted in early December acts to the benefit of Moscow while being much less favorable for OPEC’s smaller producers. This is chiefly due to the Kremlin’s more powerful negotiating position.
One of Russia’s missile regiments has currently entered into another stage of its rearming process that took into account replacing old ballistic missiles capable of reaching U.S. targets with the new silo-based Yars, Russian Defense Ministry has informed. Nonetheless, due to some delays, the project does not proceed as planned.
The world community has recently witnessed yet another escalation of tension between Russia and Belarus. In response to Lukashenko’s expectation that Moscow would maintain the actual subsidization of the Belarusian economy, Medvedev gave him a real ultimatum, under which economic aid will be maintained while Minsk must agree to unfreeze the two countries’ integration process within the Union State.
The world community has recently witnessed yet another escalation of tension between Russia and Belarus. In response to Alexander Lukashenko’s expectation that Moscow would maintain the actual subsidizing of the Belarusian economy, Dmitry Medvedev gave him a real ultimatum, under which economic aid will be maintained.
Russia became the world’s second largest arms producer, according to an annual study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Russian companies seemingly surpassed the United Kingdom, though ranking behind U.S. manufacturers.
As evidenced by the latest U.S. Congress resolution, even non-binding political manifests are able to exert an impact of Gazprom’s financial condition, not to mention tensions around the Nord Stream 2 project.
Russia’s state-run oil giant Rosneft has recently decided to pull out of investment projects in the Islamic Republic. It is another Russian company to reconsider its involvement in the country due to U.S. sanctions imposed against Tehran, which proves the effectiveness of the American measures.
Not incidentally, Russia keeps conducting its ever-increasing military and political activities in Latin American countries, being hostile to the United States. Thus, in the light of the failed “Trump-is-Ours” strategy and extremely tight U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, the Kremlin is making attempts to pose threats.
Russia has long backed the Venezuelan leftist regime, mainly by granting oil-backed loans from the state-owned giant Rosneft, a step that provided Moscow with a loyal ally in its conflict against the United States in the Western Hemisphere. Yet cooperation between Caracas and Moscow has recently taken on completely new forms, including Russia’s increased military support.
One of the suspects on trial over a failed 2016 coup attempt fled to the Serbian Embassy. Branka Milic is among the twelve people whose trial is currently taking place in Podgorica while two alleged suspects, officially identified as Russian GRU military intelligence officers, are to be judged in absentia for organizing the failed coup plot. Media recently reported on the real personal details of the second of them.
Vice Admiral Igor Kostyukov is the first naval officer nominated to head the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. He was appointed the acting head of the Russian GRU following the death of his predecessor Igor Korobov on November 21, 2018.
The Indian government strives to intensify its armaments cooperation with Russia disregarding the U.S. warnings. Russian naval vessels and missiles seem very desirable equipment for the state’s army.