Russia Monitor

Balkan Stream Or TurkStream: Bulgaria Is Under U.S. Pressure
10/27/2020

U.S. sanctions targeting the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream natural gas pipeline may have severe repercussions for Bulgaria that is now building the Balkan leg of the latter energy link. The authorities in Sofia say that the Balkan Stream gas link is a separate project to TurkStream. The United States, however, believes something different. U.S. sanctions targeting the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream natural gas pipeline may have severe repercussions for Bulgaria that is now building the Balkan leg of the latter energy link. The authorities in Sofia say that the Balkan Stream gas link is a separate project to TurkStream. The United States, however, believes something different.

Lukoil Freezes Crude Projects Over Low Oil Prices
10/26/2020

The situation on the global oil market has taken its toll on crude projects, also in Russia. As there are huge crude stocks whilst oil price is stable at roughly $40 per barrel, oil output is little profitable and so is looking for new fields. The CEO of Lukoil Vagit Alekperov said that the low oil price resulted in a sharp decline in the number of new oil projects, a situation that forced his firm to end some of them, too. The situation on the global oil market has taken its toll on crude projects, also in Russia. As there are huge crude stocks whilst oil price is stable at roughly $40 per barrel, oil output is little profitable and so is looking for new fields. The CEO of Lukoil Vagit Alekperov said that the low oil price resulted in a sharp decline in the number of new oil projects, a situation that forced his firm to end some of them, too.

Lukashenko Plays Against Time in Russia Game
10/25/2020

Alexander Lukashenko has no intention of handing full power to Russia. Regardless of what he agreed on with Vladimir Putin during the September visit to Sochi, it is still challenging to imagine Russia taking control of Belarus, a scenario many projected until quite recently. Alexander Lukashenko has no intention of handing full power to Russia. Regardless of what he agreed on with Vladimir Putin during the September visit to Sochi, it is still challenging to imagine Russia taking control of Belarus, a scenario many projected until quite recently.

U.S., Russia Play Cat And Mouse Over New START Treaty
10/23/2020

Concluded by the Barack Obama administration, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is the last remaining U.S.-Russian arms control treaty. It will expire in February 2021. Moscow has long been keen to extend the treaty yet Donald Trump demands some extra commitments. Russian President Vladimir Putin has refused, suggesting a one-year extension of the existing deal. The Kremlin believes that even after Joe Biden's victory, the Democrats candidate will at least remain the New START treaty in force - according to what he said. It will be far worse for the Kremlin if Trump wins the ballot, throwing the last remaining pact constraining the arsenals of the world’s two major nuclear powers to the rubbish bin and thus impairing Russia's position. Concluded by the Barack Obama administration, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is the last remaining U.S.-Russian arms control treaty. It will expire in February 2021. Moscow has long been keen to extend the treaty…

GRU Hackers and Conspiracy Theories of Russian Intelligence Chief
10/23/2020

There are more and more strains appearing in U.S.-Russia ties. First, the U.S. Justice Department announced an indictment against six Russian GRU officers charged with engaging in a series of hacking and malware deployment operations to attack the United States and the whole civilized world. Shortly afterward, the head of Russia's civilian intelligence agency accused Washington of working behind the scenes to overthrow the government in Moldova in what he named as an attempted "color revolution," suggesting U.S. efforts to spark political crises in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan, two of which friendly to Moscow. There are more and more strains appearing in U.S.-Russia ties. First, the U.S. Justice Department announced an indictment against six Russian GRU officers charged with engaging in a series of hacking and malware deployment operations to attack the United States and the whole civilized world. Shortly afterward, the head of Russia's civilian intelligence agency accused Washington of…

U.S. Widens Sanctions Against Nord Stream 2
10/22/2020

The U.S. administration is making consistent efforts to annihilate the Russia-to-Germany gas link across the Baltic Sea. As eliminating other-than-Russian-flagged vessels from the game proved little effective––since Russia deployed its own fleet­­––the United States stepped up sanctions against companies having anything to do with those vessels. The U.S. administration is making consistent efforts to annihilate the Russia-to-Germany gas link across the Baltic Sea. As eliminating other-than-Russian-flagged vessels from the game proved little effective––since Russia deployed its own fleet­­––the United States stepped up sanctions against companies having anything to do with those vessels.

HRW Syria Report: Putin Responsible for War Crimes
10/22/2020

In its report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the Syria-Russia alliance of committing possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by attacking civilians in Idlib province. The watchdog also called for sanctions against people behind the joint Russian-Syrian raids. Among the blacklisted is also Russian President Vladimir Putin. Human Rights Watch submitted evidence that the strikes are war crimes and might indeed be classified as crimes against humanity. In its report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the Syria-Russia alliance of committing possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by attacking civilians in Idlib province. The watchdog also called for sanctions against people behind the joint Russian-Syrian raids. Among the blacklisted is also Russian President Vladimir Putin. Human Rights Watch submitted evidence that the strikes are war crimes and might indeed be classified as crimes against humanity.

Russia, OPEC+ Show Cautious Optimism on Crude Volumes
10/22/2020

Oil cuts in force under the OPEC+ deal will remain unchanged for the time being, at least until November 17, 2020, thus the next meeting of the ministerial monitoring committee on crude oil limitations. "We reached an agreement to continue executing the deal in full scope," Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak informed. Oil cuts in force under the OPEC+ deal will remain unchanged for the time being, at least until November 17, 2020, thus the next meeting of the ministerial monitoring committee on crude oil limitations. "We reached an agreement to continue executing the deal in full scope," Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak informed.

Moscow’s Game with Syrian Kurds
10/20/2020

Russia's policy towards the Syrian Kurds has its clear-cut goal: to convince them to sign a peace deal with the regime in Damascus and force the United States to quit Syria. Moscow officials are trying to convince Kurdish circles to cooperate albeit these are hoping to forge an alliance with the United States. Gaining influence over Syrian Kurds is of key importance as the Kurd-controlled regions of the country hold the lion's share of its crude oil reserves and crop fields. Russia's policy towards the Syrian Kurds has its clear-cut goal: to convince them to sign a peace deal with the regime in Damascus and force the United States to quit Syria. Moscow officials are trying to convince Kurdish circles to cooperate albeit these are hoping to forge an alliance with the United States. Gaining influence over Syrian Kurds is of key importance as the Kurd-controlled regions of the country hold the lion's share of its crude oil reserves and crop fields.

As Russian Population Declines Rapidly, Kremlin Faces Demographic Crisis
10/19/2020

The Russian government has modified its predictions, projecting a far bigger decline in the country's population, according to the National Development Plan by 2030. The population of Russia is forecast to drop by 352,500 people this year, a far more pessimistic projection that the August one that expected the country's population to decrease by 158,000 to see its biggest decline in fourteen years. The Russian government has modified its predictions, projecting a far bigger decline in the country's population, according to the National Development Plan by 2030. The population of Russia is forecast to drop by 352,500 people this year, a far more pessimistic projection that the August one that expected the country's population to decrease by 158,000 to see its biggest decline in fourteen years.

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