Russia Monitor

Lukoil Makes Further Investments in Africa
12/11/2019

A report by Russia's biggest privately held oil company has revealed that it had finally bought stakes in an oilfield in the Republic of Congo. A report by Russia's biggest privately held oil company has revealed that it had finally bought stakes in an oilfield in the Republic of Congo. As announced, in the second quarter of 2019, Lukoil closed a purchase of a 25 percent interest in the Marine XII License area from New Age M12 Holdings Limited. The contract was signed during the visit of the President of the Republic of Congo to Moscow in May this year. The sale was completed for $768 million a few months later, in September 2019, after Congo's state authorities greenlighted the deal.

Unwanted Success: Russia's GRU Suffers Setback in Serbia
12/11/2019

A disclosed fact that in the Serbian army there are many people holding ties to Russian military intelligence has dealt a blow to the authorities in Belgrade. A disclosed fact that in the Serbian army there are many people holding ties to Russian military intelligence has dealt a blow to the authorities in Belgrade. Recent time has seen Serbia making extra efforts to tighten cooperation with Russia, chiefly in the area of security. A spying incident involving an officer of the GRU, Russia's military intelligence, erupted right before President Aleksandar Vucic's trip to Moscow. This might not have been incidental, especially that files showing links between Russian intelligence and the Serbian military were cooked up by Western services, as admitted by the country's leader.

GRU Spies Accused of Destabilizing Situation in Catalonia
12/11/2019

Spain is yet another European country where Russian military intelligence has engaged in a campaign to destabilize the internal situation. Spain is yet another European country where Russian military intelligence has engaged in a campaign to destabilize the internal situation. Spanish services and judiciary are investigating into a group within Russia's military intelligence (GRU) known as Unit 29155, infamous for their subversive and terrorist actions across the European Union, including the United Kingdom and Bulgaria. Signs are that Russia has long been fuelled Catalonia's pro-secession drive, not only through its information-related operations.

IEA Forecast Says Russian Oil Industry Will Record Losses
12/10/2019

The United States is currently the world's largest producer of gas and oil. With their shale output staying higher for longer, the Americans are poised to become the world's second-biggest gas exporter only to Russia. The United States is currently the world's largest producer of gas and oil. With their shale output staying higher for longer, the Americans are poised to become the world's second-biggest gas exporter only to Russia. The United States will top as a leading exporter of oil, yet to the detriment of Russia, whose role in the oil industry is likely to shrink, both in terms of crude output and export. This is likely to hit a massive blow to the federal budget. Without full-scale reforms and efforts to diversify its economy, Russia will face major problems. Though Moscow will keep its status as the world's leading exporter of gas, the latest changes in trading conditions could hit Russia with some financial difficulties.

Russia Complies with OPEC Deal, But There Is a Problem
12/08/2019

There is no doubt that the OPEC+ format will continue to exist, with OPEC and its allies being likely to extend oil output cuts, albeit oil production calculations may be subject to change. There is no doubt that the OPEC+ format will continue to exist, with OPEC and its allies being likely to extend oil output cuts, albeit oil production calculations may be subject to change. Also, Russia has a good excuse to call on fellow oil producers to change the way Moscow's quotas are measured.

Russia's Gazprom Sold $3 Billion in Stocks to Mystery Buyer
12/06/2019

Russia's gas monopolist Gazprom sold 3.59 percent of its stocks in what it turned out to be a single buyer transaction, with the deal carried out via the trading platform of the Moscow Exchange. Russia's gas monopolist Gazprom sold 3.59 percent of its stocks in what it turned out to be a single buyer transaction, with the deal carried out via the trading platform of the Moscow Exchange. Also, the mystery bidder got a considerable discount. This is the second time that Gazprom has traded shares in recent months, with a total of 6.52 percent of the company's voting stakes being sold. The firm has not informed whether the same buyer bought shares both in July and November.

Russia Catches Heat over Bloody Air Raids in Syria's Idlib
12/04/2019

In the shadow of Turkey's incursion against the Kurds in northeastern Syria, forces loyal to al-Assad and their Russian allies are pursuing a military offensive in Idlib Province. In the shadow of Turkey's incursion against the Kurds in northeastern Syria, forces loyal to al-Assad and their Russian allies are pursuing a military offensive in Idlib Province. Located in northwestern Syria, the last remaining rebel enclave is still struggling against government forces. Syrian government army and its Russian allies keep their criminal assaults against civilians, seeking to crush their morale and force Idlib defenders to surrender.

What’s True About Russian Military Spending?
12/01/2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin informed that his country spent less for defense in 2018, saying that gone is the peak of the Russian military's equipment and hardware upgrade, and these do not need to be financed to the same extent as before. It is impossible to verify if the president tells the truth. The structure of Russia's federal budget makes it impossible to determine the country's actual defense spending. And it is not just that a great deal of the budget is classified. Russian President Vladimir Putin informed that his country spent less for defense in 2018, saying that gone is the peak of the Russian military's equipment and hardware upgrade, and these do not need to be financed to the same extent as before. It is impossible to verify if the president tells the truth. The structure of Russia's federal budget makes it impossible to determine the country's actual defense spending. And it is not just that a great deal of the budget is classified.

Novatek Boasts of Rising Output: Foreign Investors Enter Russian LNG Terminals
11/27/2019

Russia's biggest private gas firm has beefed up its status as a leading natural gas producer and a top liquefied natural gas supplier in the Far North. Unlike Rosneft, its top energy rival in Russia's Arctic, that counts on nothing but Vladimir Putin's discretionary decisions and his pressure on the country's business and state actors, Novatek enjoys both the aid from the government and more excellent opportunities to entice foreign investors. Russia's biggest private gas firm has beefed up its status as a leading natural gas producer and a top liquefied natural gas supplier in the Far North. Unlike Rosneft, its top energy rival in Russia's Arctic, that counts on nothing but Vladimir Putin's discretionary decisions and his pressure on the country's business and state actors, Novatek enjoys both the aid from the government and more excellent opportunities to entice foreign investors.

United Russia Congress: Putin Distances Himself from Ruling Party
11/26/2019

Though Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at a congress of the ruling United Russia, he seemed far aloof from the party whose approval ratings keep going down. Both his attendance and address served to unify the party and assemble its members ahead of the 2021 elections. As prompted by the course of the event, the Kremlin has no intention to introduce changes to the state's party system being in force for many years till now, at least not before the vote. Though Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at a congress of the ruling United Russia, he seemed far aloof from the party whose approval ratings keep going down. Both his attendance and address served to unify the party and assemble its members ahead of the 2021 elections. As prompted by the course of the event, the Kremlin has no intention to introduce changes to the state's party system being in force for many years till now, at least not before the vote.

Sweden Faces the Russian Threat in the Baltic Sea
Latest Special Report from 12/11/2019

RUSSIA MONITOR MONTHLY 10/2019
Latest Monthly Summary