Dispatching the Turkish military to the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire monitoring center in the areas that Azerbaijan claimed from Armenia comes as Ankara’s success while being a failure for Moscow. Russia is making efforts to cover up its defeat with some vague statements that came after the meeting between the Russian and Turkish foreign ministers.
Neither the authors nor sponsors of the Baltic gas link seek to give up as Russia and Germany are making efforts to finish the Nord Stream 2 project roughly a year after the United States imposed sanctions on the project. The consortium completed laying pipes for the project in German waters several days after works had been resumed.
Russian gas giant Gazprom said it had signed a protocol with Belarus on how to calculate natural gas prices for gas supplies in 2021. Though the document does not say any exact figures, officials in Minsk said the agreed prices were “on a par with the levels in 2020 and the price this year was $127 per 1,000 cubic meters.” Gazprom yet seems the biggest winner of that battle.
Putin’s regime is steering an ever-sharper course in its domestic policy, with new legislative changes paving the way for more severe repression. The State Duma on December 23 approved a bill, under which any individual could be deemed “a foreign agent” if they receive material or monetary support from abroad.
Over a dozen Russian and Chinese military aircraft conducted a joint patrol, yet another sign of ever-growing military ties between the two states. East Asian countries voiced concern over the incident as they noticed a threat in what Moscow and Beijing termed their joint patrol.
The Russian government has accepted a draft agreement to provide Belarus with a loan of $1 billion in 2020 and 2021. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed a relevant decision on December 21. Meanwhile, Moscow has no intention of forgiving Minsk on any contentious economic and financial matters.
Russian privately held oil producer Lukoil and state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom agreed on the terms of their joint project to commercialize reserves of the Vaneyvisskoye and Layavozhskoye fields in the Nenets region. This is another joint venture within the strategic partnership between the two Russian energy giants.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attended an annual meeting of the Defense Ministry Board. Two features arose from both his speech and that of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Firstly, Russian officials believe that updated weapons in the army are necessary to ensure the security of Russia as the country sees threats from the outside. By saying so, and secondly, they meant the United States and NATO.
The Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov still enjoys a firm position in the Kremlin while being among Vladimir Putin’s most trusted people. The republic signed a deal with Gazprom, under which the Russian energy giant will build 1,300 kilometers of gas pipeline network, also in the remaining region that has not yet had access to gas.
Bulgarian authorities expelled a senior diplomat in the Russian embassy in Sofia over alleged espionage. He is the sixth diplomat to be expelled by Bulgaria throughout 2020 for suspected espionage. The official had worked for the GRU military intelligence service and had been seeking sensitive military information, including on the U.S. military activity in Bulgaria.
From November on, the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) is allowed to carry out a wide range of operations on the territory of Belarus after Belarus and Russia had inked an appropriate deal. It was only after a month that Belarusian officials made it public. Possibly it was long ago that Russian riot police tasked with suppressing social unrest began to support Belarusian siloviki.
A group of Russian Gazprom-led energy companies seek to invest $14 billion in the gas infrastructure in Pakistan, with two gas pipelines and underground storage facilities to be built. Russia will also send some gas commodities from its Iranian deposits to Pakistan as the nation needs more and more gas. The energy cooperation between these two is part of better ties between Moscow and Islamabad.
Russia noted a slight increase in its crude oil output in November 2020. It rose to 9.28 million barrels per day (bpd) in December from 9.26 million bpd in October, according to data from OPEC. Russia’s compliance with the OPEC+ oil production cuts in November likely stood at only 86 percent as the country slashed 1.72 million bpd from 2.007 million bpd.
A vessel of Russia’s Pacific Fleet test-fired a salvo of Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles while a few days earlier the country’s military had held its nuclear triad drills in a show of readiness of Moscow’s nuclear forces against the United States and NATO. This cannot be taken lightly.
As the commander of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin signed a decree promoting senior military officials. In addition, the leader of the Northern Fleet – a formation whose status will be equivalent to Russia’s fourth other military districts from 2021 – was appointed to Admiral.
Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies. Date: Russia Reports Dramatic Drop in Export Figures The global economic slowdown amid the coronavirus pandemic...
Although Alexander Novak stepped down as Russia’s energy minister in November, he will still control Russia’s biggest oil and gas companies as a new deputy prime minister. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved a new division of powers in his cabinet to distribute control of some state businesses between deputy prime ministers.
It is not coincidence that Germany’s top opposition party has paid a visit to Moscow right now. With this invitation, the authorities in Moscow show their German counterparts they have other conversation partners in Germany. This serves as an attempt to exert pressure on Angela Merkel and Germany’s ruling coalition to quit its firm actions after the attempted poisoning of Russian opposition activist Alexey Navalny and come back to the business-as-usual attitude towards Russia.
The Russian and Turkish defense ministries sealed a deal to monitor a truce over the Nagorno-Karabakh region from a joint peacekeeping center. It was about setting technical details for dispatching and operating the facility. However, Moscow and Ankara did not settle the project entirely, a move that shows these two still have distinct opinions on the issue.
A two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers was held in early December where the officials discussed reforms to amend the military bloc, among other topics. Therefore, an expert group wrote a report outlining suggestions about how to reboot the alliance. The high-level paper mentions still-belligerent Russia and its military potential as a chief task for the alliance.