Warsaw Institute Articles
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.
On June 1, Bloomberg announced that the Chinese authorities ordered the state companies to stop importing soybean and meat from the USA. This move is contrary to the trade agreement (phase one deal) signed on January 15, 2020, which obliged China to increase its imports of agricultural products by an additional 32 billion dollars, taking 2017 as a starting point.
While Russia’s activity in the Arctic is relatively widely commented on, much less known are the recent actions taken by the Russians at the opposite pole – in the Antarctic. Despite the international ban on the extraction of natural resources there, Moscow recently conducted seismic surveys, estimating the abundance of local oil and gas deposits.
On Thursday, May 28, a meeting between the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Li Keqiang and domestic as well as foreign journalists was held. The vast majority of the questions concerned economic matters, only a few of them dealt with the international relations.
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.
Russian aircraft have made a number of provocative moves both in the Baltic Sea, as well as along the bloc’s southern wing, in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. There are more and more reports of Russian jets seizing NATO planes.
The Kremlin has decided to put an end to the years-long rivalry between its foreign and defense ministries in Syria. President Vladimir Putin reportedly tasked both with securing additional land and naval rights in Syria.
Russia imposed a “non-working” period across the country at the end of April in a move that lowered the country’s industrial output and – along with an energy crisis and a shaky Russian economy – thus heaping pressure on the country’s financial strength.
With the gloomy prospects for the European gas market, Gazprom is making efforts to send more energy eastwards. Beijing is keen to buy more gas from Russia, yet it is wary of subsidizing Gazprom’s fresh energy projects.
The CEO of Rosneft, Russia’s crude oil major, made a proposal to cut transportation tariffs via the pipeline network that is managed by the Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft. The latter firm said these hit to a record-low level, with money flowing out from the federal budget, into pockets of private shareholders.
Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine has built up Russia’s military capabilities in the Black Sea. Not only did the Kremlin push Ukraine out from the basin, but it also made its way for testing its missiles there.
On May 28, during the last day of the 13th NPC Convention, the PRC authorities adopted the National Security Legislation. The amendments are intended to allow for a crackdown on all forms of activity which the central authorities consider to be treason, attempted secession, incitement or “subversive activity”.
Russia is dependent on trading hydrocarbons, while the overall condition of the country’s oil sector serves a pivotal role in its entire economy. It has always been favored by the state. Certainly this seems apparent as the world has plunged into a deep crisis.