Updates (Russia)

A blast of the natural gas pipeline in Russia that supplies the Europe via Ukraine is reported to be a result of repair works gone bad. Three workers died as a result. The Gazprom has already assured the supplies to the “unfriendly” countries won’t be affected, as this section is used to provide about 42 million cubic meters of natural gas during past months. The gas prices in Europe jumped 5% for a short time because of the news, but went down after the Gazprom assurances. As usual, Russia is extremely careful not to harm its “Western partners” in any way.

The state visit of top Russian officials to Belarus dealt mainly with new energy contracts. This Union State, as it called in Russia, have traditionally bought natural gas and crude oil much cheaper than other countries. Yet the economic pressures of sanctions, the worsening economic climate in general and the rising threat of military actions against Belarus made low and competitive energy prices more important than ever before. Some kind of resolution has been achieved between the Russian and Belarusian presidents, but details weren’t published. Additionally, it was reported that Russian supplied S-400 air-defense systems and Iskander tactical/short-range missile systems are now operational in Belarus. There are talks about including two Belarusian cosmonauts in future Russian space missions as well.

The Russian president’s yearly address to the Federal Assembly, the Duma may be postponed to the next year. This is due to the “unclear situation” with the status of the “Special Military Operation”. It is possible president Rasputin hopping for some good news in the beginning of the next year, such as offensive by Russian Army. Otherwise, there is not much point in postponing the address if the situation is expected to remain the same. Unless this report will be cancelled entirely, that is.

The White House announced UA’s president visit to the US and his address to the Congress and the Senate. The supply of the first Patriot battery to UA has also been confirmed.

The Russian oil export has fallen 10% in the past 20 days as a result of the Western imposed oil price cap. Experts expecting that Russia will gradually reduce its oil production since January as a result.

Russia will “loan” tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus according to the US practices of providing its NATO partners with US nuclear weapons. As with the US nukes in Germany etc., Russia will remain the owner, but Belarussian Armed Forces will be adopted to use them (in joint operations), and they will be stored in Belarus.

The ruble is losing its value against major foreign currencies. For the first time since April 29th, the euro has reached 75 rubles. The USD is at 71 rubles. The Russian government has succeeded in its attempts to devaluate its own national currency, made (again) its people trust the Western currencies more than its own, and make its working population (who are being paid in rubles) poorer, while making the energy and natural resources exporting companies’ owners and the government richer.

In the previous update I wrote about the news of the Russian Transneft company receiving the request from Germany and Poland to supply them with crude oil via the Druzhba pipeline in the year 2023. It turns out, Germany wants to use the Druzhba pipeline to receive Kazakh crude oil rather than Russian. Currently, Kazakhstan is using two Russian oil pipelines which are limited (contractually) to 15 million ton a year, to export its oil to Europe. Since the start of the war in UA, those supplies fallen to about 7 million ton a year. Kazakhstan also supplies oil by sea, including from the Russian port Ust’-Luga in the Baltic Sea, which could be used to supply Germany. But those capacities are already contracted to Poland. Theoretically, Kazakhstan could resell Russian crude via the Druzhba pipeline as Kazakh crude, since it has no oil-price cap imposed against it. Thus, any Russian oil bought from Kazakhstan won’t have any restrictions imposed on its price, so in practice Russia can still sell its oil to Germany at whatever market price, while Kazakhstan will make some money on reseller fees. Those additional reseller fees would be financed by the German consumers, in that case.


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