Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Putin, Russia

Putin programma il rafforzamento della marina russa. Due nuovi sottomarini atomici.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-09-07.

Putin Vladimir 012

«Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the Army 2021 / International Military Technical Forum outside Moscow by publicly ordering the construction of several new naval vessels, including nuclear submarines»

«The event, a combination of war games and arms expo, is designed to showcase Russian military hardware and attract foreign buyers»

«The naval order was announced in a video call with shipyards in Severodvinsk, St. Petersburg and Komsomolsk-on-Amur»

«A strong and sovereign Russia needs a powerful and well-balanced navy, …. We will continue to boost the potential of the Russian navy, develop its bases and infrastructure, arm it with state-of-the-art weapons»

«I would like to stress that all the ships will be equipped with modern high-precision weapons, the latest navigation and communications equipment»

«The vessels ordered were of three types: Two nuclear submarines armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), two large diesel submarines and two corvettes»

«We will continue to show the Russian flag in strategically important ocean areas»

«The nuclear submarines, named Dmitry Donskoy and Prince Potemkin, will be built at Sevmash Shipyards in Severodvinsk; the diesel subs, named after the cities of Mozhaisk and Yakutsk, will be constructed at Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg; and the corvettes, named Grozny (Fearsome) and Buyny (Wild), will be built at the Amur Shipbuilding Plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur»

«Putin also said work was underway on “promising” weapons, including the new hypersonic Kinzhal (dagger) nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) and the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik (hunter), a heavy stealth unmanned aerial combat vehicle (UCAV)»

* * * * * * *

La Russia intende potenziare la propria marina da attacco. Una volta entrati in linea, il Dmitry Donskoy ed il Prince Potemkin aumenteranno il potenziale offensivo russo di circa trenta missili balistici intercontinentali, ciascuno dei quali dovrebbe portare una decina di testate nucleari: quanto sarebbe sufficiente a distruggere gli Stati Uniti.

Per garantire la pace è necessario mantenere gli attuali equilibri.

*


Russia begins construction of new nuclear submarines

President Putin opened an arms expo by publicly placing construction orders for six new naval vessels. The Kremlin is focused on military modernization as relations with the West worsen.

Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the Army 2021 / International Military Technical Forum outside Moscow by publicly ordering the construction of several new naval vessels, including nuclear submarines, Monday.

The event, a combination of war games and arms expo, is designed to showcase Russian military hardware and attract foreign buyers. Jordan’s King Abdullah II, for instance, was among those in attendance.

The naval order was announced in a video call with shipyards in Severodvinsk, St. Petersburg and Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

“A strong and sovereign Russia needs a powerful and well-balanced navy,” said Putin. “We will continue to boost the potential of the Russian navy, develop its bases and infrastructure, arm it with state-of-the-art weapons,” he added.

“I would like to stress that all the ships will be equipped with modern high-precision weapons, the latest navigation and communications equipment. The majority of these technologies proved their effectiveness during combat operations in Syria,” said the president as he addressed shipyard workers.

Kremlin pushing modernization of Russia’s naval fleet

The vessels ordered were of three types: Two nuclear submarines armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), two large diesel submarines and two corvettes.

The move is part of the Kremlin’s push to overhaul the Russian navy, a top priority as its relations with the West deteriorate.

“We will continue to show the Russian flag in strategically important ocean areas,” said Putin on Monday, as he seeks to re-establish a regular Russian naval presence on par with that of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The nuclear submarines, named Dmitry Donskoy and Prince Potemkin, will be built at Sevmash Shipyards in Severodvinsk; the diesel subs, named after the cities of Mozhaisk and Yakutsk, will be constructed at Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg; and the corvettes, named Grozny (Fearsome) and Buyny (Wild), will be built at the Amur Shipbuilding Plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

Putin also said work was underway on “promising” weapons, including the new hypersonic Kinzhal (dagger) nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) and the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik (hunter), a heavy stealth unmanned aerial combat vehicle (UCAV).

Russia’s military activity — most notably in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, which Moscow illegally annexed in 2014 — has put the NATO military alliance on edge and thrown ties with the West into a tailspin, pushing relations to their lowest point since the Cold War.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Putin, Russia

Putin riduce giorno dopo giorno le forniture di gas naturale ad una Europa quasi senza scorte.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-08-26.

Putin. Kremlino. Statua San Vladimiro. 013

«Europe will be like a frog in boiling water, not noticing that it is in trouble until it is too late»

* * * * * * *

«European gas market prices have skyrocketed more than 116% since the start of the year, with the ICIS TTF benchmark closing at an all-time high of 47.86 euros ($56.17) per megawatt-hour on Aug. 16»

«Europe facing incredibly low natural gas storage levels»

«European piped natural gas supply from Russia has slowed in recent weeks, raising questions about the potential causes behind the drop and its implications for global gas markets»

«It comes shortly after German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to ease long-running concerns about the nearly completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, saying further sanctions may be imposed if Moscow used gas “as a weapon.”»

«The controversial project is designed to deliver Russian gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine and Poland»

«Critics argue the pipeline is not compatible with European climate goals, increases the region’s dependence on Russian energy exports, and will most likely strengthen Russian President Vladimir Putin’s economic and political influence over the region»

«An increased load on the gas supply system had coincided with the traditional season of scheduled preventive maintenance and preparation for the fall to winter period»

«Natural gas flows at the westernmost point of the Yamal pipeline — a strategically important 2,000-kilometer pipeline that runs across four countries: Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany — dropped to 20 million cubic meters per day in mid-August, according to ICIS. This was down from 49 mcm per day at the end of July, and a sharp fall from its typical rate of 81 mcm per day»

«The current drop in gas deliveries and increase withdrawals from storage, which is elevating gas prices across Europe and benefitting Moscow, is firstly a commercial tactic to help Russia at a time when gas demand around the globe is high»

«But it also shows Europe just how dependent it is on Russia for its gas»

«Russia has lots of room to create scenarios that are painful for Europe but do not cross critical thresholds. Doing so, in fact, would be advantageous to Russia both financially and politically»

* * * * * * *

Merkel era andata a Mosca a fare la visita di commiato a Mr Putin: in quella occasione aveva sciorinato tutto i suo solito cahiers de doléances contro a Russia. Mr Putin è stato a sentirla con la cortesia che si riserva agli ospiti, ribadendo solo sugli argomenti più scottanti.

La Merkel è tornata tutta giuliva, come la Vispa Teresa, sbandierando a destra e manca che Mosca non avrebbe mi usato il gas con arma, “as a weapon”.

Ogni commento dovrebbe essere superfluo.

*


Russia is pumping a lot less natural gas to Europe all of a sudden — and it is not clear why

– European piped natural gas supply from Russia has slowed in recent weeks, raising questions about the potential causes behind the drop and its implications for global gas markets.

– It comes shortly after German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to ease long-running concerns about the nearly completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, saying further sanctions may be imposed if Moscow used gas “as a weapon.”

– Some analysts have suggested Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas giant, may be limiting its delivery of discretionary natural gas supply to Europe to support its case in starting flows via Nord Stream 2.

*

London — Russia has slowed the delivery of piped natural gas to Europe in recent weeks, according to analysis from ICIS, a commodity intelligence service, raising questions about the potential causes behind the drop and its implications for global gas markets.

It comes shortly after German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to ease long-running concerns about the nearly completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, saying further sanctions may be imposed if Moscow used gas “as a weapon.”

The controversial project is designed to deliver Russian gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine and Poland.

Critics argue the pipeline is not compatible with European climate goals, increases the region’s dependence on Russian energy exports, and will most likely strengthen Russian President Vladimir Putin’s economic and political influence over the region.

Some analysts have suggested Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas giant, may be limiting its delivery of discretionary natural gas supply to Europe to support its case in starting flows via Nord Stream 2.

“That’s because Gazprom is readying itself for starting Nord Stream 2 and it is hoping to exert an element of leverage in terms of trying to make sure that when all the regulatory t’s get crossed and i’s get dotted, that that process is as swift as possible,” Tom Marzec-Manser, lead European gas analyst at ICIS, told CNBC via telephone.

“If there is less gas around than normal and the price is high then it may streamline that process,” he added.

When approached for comment, Gazprom referred CNBC to a statement published on its Telegram account Aug. 16. The company described August as “another ‘winter’ month on the gas market,” according to a translation.

An increased load on the gas supply system had coincided with the traditional season of scheduled preventive maintenance and preparation for the fall to winter period, “which cannot be paused,” Gazprom said.

“The practice of the last few years both in Russia and in Europe suggests that the winter period has also shifted to the spring month of March. Therefore, now, in the summer, the priority is to pump gas into underground storage facilities,” the company said. “This is also very well understood by our European colleagues.”

What’s going on?

Natural gas flows at the westernmost point of the Yamal pipeline — a strategically important 2,000-kilometer pipeline that runs across four countries: Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany — dropped to 20 million cubic meters per day in mid-August, according to ICIS. This was down from 49 mcm per day at the end of July, and a sharp fall from its typical rate of 81 mcm per day.

What’s more, European piped natural gas supply from Russia is expected to slip even further in September.

Marzec-Manser said that for Russia to move gas through neighboring energy community states, such as Ukraine, it must first purchase access to a pipeline, “like a toll road.” The Nord Stream 1 route is an option, although this is already owned by Gazprom, and is flowing at capacity. The Yamal pipeline is a second major route and, until the end of July, was running at close to capacity as expected.

“Thirdly, you have the Ukrainian route which obviously comes with a lot of political baggage,” he continued. “It is the only other way you are going to get gas from Russia to Europe in any significant volume.”

Gazprom typically efficiently uses its booked EU pipe capacity, Marzec-Manser said, but an unexpected drop in volumes at the end of July along the Yamal pipeline “immediately indicated something was amiss.”

Natural gas flows to Europe dropped again shortly thereafter following a fire at a condensate plant in the Siberian city of Novy Urengoy.

As a result, external observers of Gazprom closely monitored interruptible monthly capacity auctions via Ukraine. These auctions are widely seen as a key signal to the market of upcoming volumes because they take place two to three weeks prior to the month in which natural gas flows.

A string of no-shows at each auction prompted analysts to question whether absent capacity bookings via Ukraine were as much to do with Gazprom’s inability to supply as opposed to its unwillingness to deliver.

“If true, this has serious implications on how the global gas and LNG [liquefied natural gas] market treats Russian pipe volumes and the availability — or not — of its discretionary supply,” Marzec-Manser said.

Another theory, although analysts consider it somewhat less likely, is that because Gazprom believes Nord Stream 2 will soon be fully operational, it may not need to book further capacity elsewhere.

Valentina Bonetti, senior gas analyst of EMEA at S&P Global Platts, told CNBC that the firm regards the recent drop in Russian flows to Europe “as a consequence caused by a physical upstream issue” that is taking longer than expected to return to full flows.

“Gazprom has long prided itself on being very reliable and prompt in restoring supply after accidents,” Bonetti said. However, she argued the company’s recent pivot to a “value-over-volume strategy” had tested the company’s ability to restore natural gas flows and put pressure on the EU to allow a smooth start up of Nord Stream 2.

While Gazprom is currently producing above the five-year range, Bonetti said it needs significant amounts of gas for both domestic storage injections as well as much higher year-on-year exports to Turkey. This “may exacerbate their value-over-volume strategy for exports to Europe.”

S&P Global Platts believes Russian flows to Europe will recover gradually in the coming weeks and expects Nord Stream flows to start in October, saying Gazprom’s recent actions and statements seem to confirm a relatively imminent start.

Record high gas prices

European gas market prices have skyrocketed more than 116% since the start of the year, with the ICIS TTF benchmark closing at an all-time high of 47.86 euros ($56.17) per megawatt-hour on Aug. 16. It is reflective of a tight market, with Europe facing incredibly low natural gas storage levels and rebounding Asian and South American LNG demand.

The contract was last seen trading at around 43.2 euros, following news Gazprom reportedly plans to supply 5.6 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe this year.

“The current drop in gas deliveries and increase withdrawals from storage, which is elevating gas prices across Europe and benefitting Moscow, is firstly a commercial tactic to help Russia at a time when gas demand around the globe is high,” said Kristine Berzina, a senior fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a national security advocacy group. “But it also shows Europe just how dependent it is on Russia for its gas.”

Berzina said it was “notable” for Merkel to threaten sanctions in case Nord Stream 2 was used as a weapon but questioned how Germany or Europe would determine that to be the case.

“Will a slow rise in gas prices that have a geopolitical underpinning be considered a ‘weapon’? … Or will only dramatic cutoffs be considered a ‘weapon’?”

“Europe will be like a frog in boiling water, not noticing that it is in trouble until it is too late,” Berzina said. “Russia has lots of room to create scenarios that are painful for Europe but do not cross critical thresholds. Doing so, in fact, would be advantageous to Russia both financially and politically.”

Pubblicato in: Commercio, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Putin, Russia

Kremlin. Putin. La Russia potenzia estrazione ed esportazione del carbone.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-08-17.

Kremlino 002

Proprio quando l’enclave liberal socialista occidentale abbandona l’estrazione e l’uso del carbone, la Russia vara un ambizioso piano di potenziamento di questo settore, che al momento  estrae 400 milioni di tonnellate e ne esporta il 50%, con un aumento del 33% negli ultimi otto anni.

Mr Putin ha tenuto un discorso da statista, con ottime conoscenze economiche e geopolitiche.

Russia. Ferrovia Transiberiana. 001

* * * * * * *


«The President held a meeting, via videoconference, on coal industry development»

«→→ Today, I suggest that we discuss the situation in the national coal industry, a key pillar of the national fuel and energy sector ←←»

«It has great significance for the socioeconomic development of entire Russian regions; we have five coal-mining regions»

«I would like to note that Russia has been producing over 400 million tonnes of coal per year since 2017»

«Over 50 percent of this amount is exported elsewhere»

«Coal export volumes have soared by over 33 percent in the past eight years»

«Today, the main coal sales are happening in the Asia-Pacific. Last year, 122 million tonnes of Russian coal were supplied to the region»

«At the same time, there is an additional demand in the Asia-Pacific that Russian companies could meet»

«we should increase the export capacity of the domestic coal industry»

«And this, I emphasise, means new jobs and higher incomes for people employed in this industry and Russia’s transport sector»

«We have already launched plans to develop the Eastern Operating Domain and to expand the capacity of the BAM [Baikal-Amur Mainline] and Transsib [Trans-Siberian Railway], which go to the seaports in the Far East.»

«It is no secret that some of them suggest a significant market contraction …. We also know what is happening with this: Texas froze because of the cold weather»

«it is important to use the export revenues of the coal industry to strengthen and diversify the economies of coal-mining regions»

* * *

«I would like you to pay special attention to the export potential of our leading coal region, Kuzbass»

«As I said in my opening remarks, we must diversify the economy in the coal-mining regions»

«preventing critical dependence of people’s lives on one industry alone»

«As I noted earlier, it is important to use the proceeds from coal exports to develop non-coal mining sectors in regions like Kuzbass»

«It also includes a new motorway to bypass Kemerovo and the expansion of the Sheregesh resort in line with today’s proposals, as well as building new social facilities, which was put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic»

«Please, finalise what we have agreed on today as soon as possible, put it in the form of regulatory acts, and submit it to me»

* * * * * * *

Le grandi distanze e la situazione climatica avversa rendono essenziale il ruolo svolto dalle linee ferrate, che possono funzionare anche durante i più rigidi inverni.

Certamente sono investimenti costosi, ma una volta ultimati i lavori di costruzione, e delle relative infrastrutture, il ritorno dovrebbe consentire di ammortizzare le spese fatte.

Ma oltre al beneficio economico si dovrebbe constatare anche quello politico, specie tenendo conto che per motivi ideologici molti paesi vogliono cessare la estrazione.

*


Kremlin. Meeting on coal industry development.

The President held a meeting, via videoconference, on coal industry development.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, Deputy Prime Minister – Chief of the Government Staff Dmitry Grigorenko, deputy prime ministers Alexander Novak and Marat Khusnullin, presidential aides Igor Levitin and Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov, Minister of Transport Vitaly Savelyev, Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov and Minister of Energy Nikolai Shulginov, as well as some regional heads and CEOs of major coal industry and transport sector companies.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues. I can see that everyone is here.

We are in various regions of our country. I hope that our equipment will function smoothly, and that we will be able to work fruitfully.

Today, I suggest that we discuss the situation in the national coal industry, a key pillar of the national fuel and energy sector. It has great significance for the socioeconomic development of entire Russian regions; we have five coal-mining regions. It is also important for the labour market, for securing employment to hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens and securing their incomes. We have a total of 11 million residents in these regions. Of course, the industry employs far less. However, a total of 11 million people live in these regions.

We regularly address this subject in various formats. In the past few years, we have drafted a number of strategic documents reflecting the coal industry’s plans and tasks. First of all, they include the programme for coal industry development through to 2035, as well as decisions of the Commission for Strategic Development of the Fuel and Energy Sector that met in Kemerovo in the summer of 2018.

Today, I suggest reviewing the implementation of our tasks. And, of course, we will discuss subsequent steps to develop the coal industry, with due consideration for the transport sector projects because it is impossible to ensure cost-effective operations, unless they operate in unison. Russia’s traditional and new coal-mining centres have substantial capabilities. And, of course, proceeding from global coal demand trends, we have to assess current and future developments.

I would like to note that Russia has been producing over 400 million tonnes of coal per year since 2017. Over 50 percent of this amount is exported elsewhere. Coal export volumes have soared by over 33 percent in the past eight years.

For further sustainable development of the industry, it is necessary to constantly analyse the market and make plans both for the next three to four years and for a longer period, based on the strategic challenges and long-term prospects of the global coal market. We understand what this is about.

Today, the main coal sales are happening in the Asia-Pacific. Last year, 122 million tonnes of Russian coal were supplied to the region.

At the same time, there is an additional demand in the Asia-Pacific that Russian companies could meet. And it is important not to pass up this opportunity; flexibly using the logistics capabilities of our transport system, we should increase the export capacity of the domestic coal industry. And this, I emphasise, means new jobs and higher incomes for people employed in this industry and Russia’s transport sector.

We have already launched plans to develop the Eastern Operating Domain and to expand the capacity of the BAM [Baikal-Amur Mainline] and Transsib [Trans-Siberian Railway], which go to the seaports in the Far East. Today I am expecting to hear a report on how this work is going.

As for the long-term prospects of the global coal market beyond the current decade, I know that there are different forecasts in this regard. It is no secret that some of them suggest a significant market contraction, including due to technological changes in the global fuel and energy sector, as well as the active use of alternative fuels.

We also know what is happening with this: Texas froze because of the cold weather. And the windmills had to be thawed in ways that are far from environmentally friendly. Maybe this will also cause adjustments.

In any case, it is necessary to carefully study all possible scenarios in order to guarantee the steady development of our coal-mining regions even with a decrease in global demand for coal and with a decline in the global situation.

In particular, it is important to use the export revenues of the coal industry to strengthen and diversify the economies of coal-mining regions. And of course, this resource should really work to improve the well-being of people and to create modern, comfortable living conditions.

A separate, highly important task is certainly environmental protection, improving the environment in coal mining and transhipment areas. These issues also need constant monitoring.

All these issues require the coordinated, joint work of businesses, regional and federal authorities. Instructions in this regard have already been given more than once. Today I am asking you to report on the progress, including on the implementation of the socioeconomic development programme for Kuzbass, the country’s leading coal region.

Let us get down to work.

<…>

Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, I would like to thank you for our joint work today. I would like the Government to analyse and make use of all the proposals voiced today, including those made by representatives of the regions and our colleagues from the coal companies who have spoken here.

This is what I would like to point out in conclusion of our meeting.

First of all, today we paid much attention to the development of the Eastern Operating Domain. In point of fact, we keep returning to this subject. Today we spoke about it in detail, listening to how this project is being organised and the potential risks. We must carry out this work as precisely and smoothly as possible.

Therefore, based on the discussion we have had today, I would like to ask the Government to provide a clear construction timeframe and the extension parameters for the BAM and the Trans-Siberian Railway. We started talking about this back in 2018, and today we can see that the problems are still with us. We must do what I have mentioned, stipulating the throughput and carrying capacity, not of the railway line in general but of its individual sections, as well as the maximum weight of trainloads before and after we finish this project. I would like to ask you to provide this schedule. I know that there were disagreements about this before the meeting; I am asking you to provide a quarterly schedule until the end of 2024. Please, submit it to me and formalise it in a government enactment. Yes, and do please show it to me, because unless we strictly regulate this matter, the problems will remain.

I would like to remind you once again that the quantity framework for the expansion of the Eastern Operating Domain has been approved. Mr Belousov has reported on this today. The next task is to set a concrete timeframe for the work. This is important both for the implementation of regional development programmes and for the coal companies’ investments. Our colleagues from these companies have pointed this out just now.

Second, I would like the Government to strictly coordinate the implementation of the development plans for the BAM and the Trans-Siberian Railway, as well as the obligations of the parties involved in this work.

I would like to ask you to ensure, before July 1 this year, the signing of relevant agreements (I understand the companies do not object to this) between the coal companies and Russian Railways. These agreements must run up to 2024 so they have a clear idea of how much they can take out. The agreements must be based on mutual responsibility. I do not know what rules underlie them now: carry-or-pay or some other regulations but this does not matter. What matters is that the commitments of the coal companies and the carriers, including the volume of coal, loading stations and destinations must be determined precisely.

I would like you to pay special attention to the export potential of our leading coal region, Kuzbass. By 2024, we must ensure (even though this is not what we agreed on before, but I agree with Mr Belousov) at least a 30 percent increase in coal shipments to the east over 2020. Please stick to this target. Yes, we adjusted it compared with what we had planned before but this is life, it’s understandable. That said, the plans for shipping Kuzbass coal must be based on an understandable and transparent foundation. I heard today that this is what seems to happen in reality. If this is the case, well done. If so, there is no need to change anything. This must be based on the shipping volumes to the west and the domestic market, as my colleagues said today, and also based on existing port capacities.

I am also instructing the Government to present additional proposals on expanding the eastern section of the Baikal-Amur Railway (BAM). We need to increase eastbound coal shipments from Yakutia. The governor mentioned this today as well. I would like you to review mechanisms for funding this project, including from the National Welfare Fund as the Minister of Economic Development suggested today, if this is necessary, of course. In any event, I would like to say that I will not object to this in any way. Please present your proposals, if necessary.

The third point. As I said in my opening remarks, we must diversify the economy in the coal-mining regions. Mr Siluanov made a convincing speech today to this effect. It is necessary to achieve priority development of other economic sectors and services with a view to stabilising the regional labour markets and preventing critical dependence of people’s lives on one industry alone.

I want the Government to identify the benchmarks and closely monitor the employment dynamics in the coal-mining regions. Everything must be done in a timely manner. Please focus on creating jobs in the non-coal mining sectors and on bringing in more private investment. As we have just heard, the companies operating in this industry have no objections to that.

As I noted earlier, it is important to use the proceeds from coal exports to develop non-coal mining sectors in regions like Kuzbass. Again, our colleagues have no objections to that. It is good that the coal companies are receptive of this idea.

I want to add here that other enterprises are also willing to invest in the coal-mining regions’ economies and to work in priority development areas. If these tools can be used, please go ahead and use them. We heard about such examples today.

One such company plans to invest in the construction of a logistics centre in Kuzbass which will create several thousand new jobs.

Of course, we must support these initiatives, adjust the regulations to fit the businesses and regions’ needs and find new and appropriate solutions.

I also want you to approve the programme for the socioeconomic development of the Kemerovo Region by the end of March. This should include investment in the region’s transport, utilities and other infrastructure, and promotion of the tourism industry, which includes Sheregesh that we discussed today. It also includes a new motorway to bypass Kemerovo and the expansion of the Sheregesh resort in line with today’s proposals, as well as building new social facilities, which was put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Colleagues, there are many questions. Please systematise them and present them to me soon as proposals to expand the industry that is critically important not only for the coal-mining regions of our country, which is home to 11 million people as I said earlier today, but also for the rest of our vast country.

Please, finalise what we have agreed on today as soon as possible, put it in the form of regulatory acts, and submit it to me. I want to see this. These will be Government decisions, but I want to see them.

Thank you.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Putin, Russia, Stati Uniti

Putin e Biden. Poco prima del summit la Russia mette al bando il gruppo Navalny.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-06-11.

Kremlin 001

Russia. Navalny ed entourage sarebbero agenti sobillatori Nato a ruolino paga di potenze straniere.

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, February 11, 2021

* * * * * * *

Il problema sarebbe semplice.

Per i russi Aleksei A. Navalny ed i suoi numerosi collaboratori sarebbero agenti sobillatori pagati da potenze straniere, quali la Nato. Non solo. Essi hanno eseguito assembramenti non autorizzati di piazza, spesso sfociati in violenze con danni a persone e cose.

Tutte queste azioni contrastano con la legislazione russa vigente, da cui le relative condanne.

Per contro, gli americani ed i liberal occidentali, che si ritengono essere investiti del diritto di giudicare tutti gli altri sulla base dei loro propri criteri ideologici, considerano Navalny ed il suo gruppo come dei perseguitati politici. Li sostengono politicamente ed economicamente, e considerano questa situazione come elemento  di insanabile conflitto con l’applicazione degli ‘human rights’, per tali intendendo la loro Weltanschauung.

Nei fatti, a nulla ed a nessuno interessa Aleksei Navalny: è diventato un pretesto per cercare di destabilizzare il sistema.

A giorni Mr Putin incontrerà Joe Biden, ed il definitivo bando giudiziario del gruppo Navalny è un chiaro messaggio a presidente amercano.

* * * * * * *


«A. Navalny’s political movement as an extremist network, a remarkable move that sent a message to President Biden ahead of his meeting next week with President Vladimir V. Putin: Russian domestic affairs are not up for discussion»

«The court decision — taken almost certainly with Mr. Putin’s blessing — is bound to push the movement further underground after several months in which the Kremlin’s yearslong effort to suppress dissent had entered a more aggressive phase»

«Under the law, Mr. Navalny’s organizers, donors, or even social-media supporters could now be prosecuted and face prison time»

«With a ban on Navalny’s Group, Putin sends clear message to Biden»

«The move, just a week before their summit, will likely push the Russian opposition further underground and was a signal that the country’s domestic affairs are not up for discussion»

«→→ country’s domestic affairs are not up for discussion ←←»

* * * * * * *


With a Ban on Navalny’s Group, Putin Sends Clear Message to Biden

The move, just a week before their summit, will likely push the Russian opposition further underground and was a signal that the country’s domestic affairs are not up for discussion.

MOSCOW — A Russian court on Wednesday designated Aleksei A. Navalny’s political movement as an extremist network, a remarkable move that sent a message to President Biden ahead of his meeting next week with President Vladimir V. Putin: Russian domestic affairs are not up for discussion.

The court decision — taken almost certainly with Mr. Putin’s blessing — is bound to push the movement further underground after several months in which the Kremlin’s yearslong effort to suppress dissent had entered a more aggressive phase. Under the law, Mr. Navalny’s organizers, donors, or even social-media supporters could now be prosecuted and face prison time.

The ruling heightened the stakes of the summit in Geneva for Mr. Biden, who has promised to push back against violations of international norms by Mr. Putin. But the Russian president has said that, while he is prepared to discuss cyberspace and geopolitics with Mr. Biden, he will not engage in talks over how he runs his country. The question is how much Mr. Biden accepts those demands.

“Views on our political system can differ,” Mr. Putin told the heads of international news agencies last week. “Just give us the right, please, to determine how to organize this part of our life.”

The Geneva meeting on June 16 will come after months in which Mr. Putin has dismantled much of what remained of Russian political pluralism — and made it clear that he would ignore Western criticism.

Mr. Navalny was arrested in January after having returned to Moscow upon recovering from a poisoning last year that Western officials say was carried out by Russian agents. Since then, thousands of Russians have been detained at protests; leading opposition politicians have been jailed or forced into exile; online media outlets have been branded “foreign agents”; and Twitter and other social networks have come under government pressure.

“The state has decided to fight any independent organizations with total bombardment,” Mr. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation — one of the groups declared extremist on Wednesday — said in a Twitter posting anticipating the ruling.

The Kremlin denies playing any role in the campaign against Mr. Navalny and his movement, and insists Russia’s judiciary is independent. Analysts and lawyers, however, widely see the courts as subordinate to the Kremlin and the security services, especially on politically sensitive cases.

Mr. Putin has already signaled that he will reject any criticism of the Kremlin’s handling of the Navalny case by claiming that the United States has no standing to lecture others. At Russia’s marquee annual economic conference in St. Petersburg last week, Mr. Putin repeatedly invoked the arrests of the Capitol rioters in Washington in January when challenged about repression in Russia or its ally Belarus.

“Take a look at the sad events in the United States where people refused to accept the election results and stormed the Congress,” Mr. Putin said. “Why is it only our non-systemic opposition that you are interested in?”

The “non-systemic opposition” is the Russian term for political groups that are not represented in Parliament and are openly calling for Mr. Putin’s removal from office. For years, they have been tolerated, even if they were closely surveilled and often persecuted. The court’s Wednesday ruling signaled that this era of tolerance was coming to an end.

Prosecutors had harried Mr. Navalny and other opposition figures, but usually under pretexts, such as violation of rules on public gatherings, of laws unrelated to their political activities or, more recently, of regulations against gatherings to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Behind the scenes, according to Western governments and rights groups, the Kremlin had gone further: assassinating or driving into exile journalists, dissidents and leaders of the political opposition. Mr. Navalny narrowly survived an assassination attempt with a chemical weapon last summer. In 2015, another opposition leader and a former first deputy prime minister of Russia, Boris Y. Nemtsov, was shot and killed with a pistol. But officials denied any role in those actions.

The dismantlement of Mr. Navalny’s nationwide network marked a new phase of a crackdown on dissent through a formal, legal process for disbanding opposition organizations, even though the country’s 1993 Constitution guarantees freedom of speech.

The Kremlin’s campaign against the opposition gained intensity after Mr. Navalny’s return in January from Germany, where he was receiving medical treatment after the nerve agent attack. Police arrested Mr. Navalny at the airport and a court sentenced him to two and half years in prison on a parole violation for a conviction in an embezzlement case that rights group say was politically motivated.

In power since 1999 as either prime minister or president, Mr. Putin’s tightening of the screws on dissent and opposition has come gradually. In a long twilight of post-Soviet democracy during his rule, elections took place, the internet remained mostly free and limited opposition was tolerated. His system has been called “soft authoritarianism.”

But prosecutors this spring requested that the court outlaw Mr. Navalny’s movement, using a designation that likens its members to terrorists, without bothering to make much of a public case that the nonprofit groups were in fact seditious organizations. The evidence was classified and the case heard behind closed doors in a Moscow courtroom.

A lawyer representing the organizations, Ivan Pavlov, who had access to the evidence but not the authority to disclose it, said after a preliminary hearing that it was unconvincing, and that he would make public as much as the law allowed. Within a few days, police detained Mr. Pavlov on charges of disclosing classified evidence in another case, unrelated to Mr. Navalny, in what looked like a warning to avoid aggressively defending Mr. Navalny’s organization. He faces up to three years in prison.

The anti-extremism law offers wide scope for a sweeping crackdown on the opposition in coming days or months, Russian legal experts say, but it remains unclear how it will be enforced.

Under the law, the group’s organizers could face prison terms of up to 10 years if they continue their activities. Anybody donating money could be imprisoned for up to eight years. Public comment such as social media posts in favor of Mr. Navalny’s groups could also be prosecuted as support for extremists.

The case targeted three nonprofit groups, Navalny’s Headquarters, the Fund for Fighting Corruption and the Fund for Defending Citizens’ Rights. In a preliminary ruling, the court ordered a halt to some of these groups’ activities last month.

Anticipating the final ruling, associates of Mr. Navalny disbanded one of the groups, Navalny’s Headquarters, which ran his network of 40 political offices, before the court had an opportunity to designate it as an extremist group. Mr. Navalny’s aides said they hoped some offices would continue to work as stand-alone, local political organizations.

“Alas, we must be honest: it’s impossible to work under these conditions,” an aide to Mr. Navalny, Leonid Volkov, said in a YouTube video, warning that continuing to operate would expose supporters of the opposition leader to criminal prosecution. “We are officially disbanding the network of Navalny offices.”

When they announced the case in April, prosecutors argued that Mr. Navalny’s groups were in fact seditious organizations disguised as a political movement. In a news release, prosecutors said that “under the guise of liberal slogans these organizations are busy forming conditions for destabilizing the social and sociopolitical situation.”

Prohibited from forming a political party, Mr. Navalny has instead worked through various nongovernmental organizations. These groups have persisted for years, despite unrelenting pressure from the Russian authorities, to push an anticorruption drive that has frustrated and embarrassed Mr. Putin, often using social media to great effect.

Mr. Navalny’s movement has been the most prominent in Russia openly calling for Mr. Putin’s removal through elections, and his supporters say the Kremlin was determined to crush that effort before it could yield fruit.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Diplomazia, Putin, Russia

Russia. Informatori russi nella cerchia ristretta della Merkel ed in Europa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-05-17.

Putin Vladimir 012

Con lo scioglimento del Kgb nel 1991, presero corpo la Federal’naja služba bezopasnosti (FSB), dedita alla sicurezza interna ed al controspionaggio, affiancata dalla Služba vnešnej razvedki (SVR), dedicata allo spionaggio estero.

«Come qualunque servizio segreto che ne abbia possibilità, anche il KGB tentò, e in qualche caso ottenne, l’infiltrazione di suoi agenti nei governi amici e nemici, nelle forze armate e nelle organizzazioni pacifiste straniere. La pratica dell’infiltrazione, che può assumere la funzione di tentare di destabilizzare governi “nemici”, era assolutamente condivisa nell’opposto blocco della NATO dai rispettivi servizi dei suoi paesi membri, come la CIA, l’MI6 britannico e lo SDECE (poi DGSE) francese. Quanto alla raccolta di informazioni, invece, fece anch’esso ricorso alle cosiddette “trappole al miele”, cioè facendo accostare al potenziale informatore una “disinteressata” anima gemella che riusciva ad avere accesso a informazioni riservatissime sfruttando la solitudine della persona avvicinata, nel caso delle donne, o il richiamo del sesso, soprattutto negli uomini. In Germania il personale dedicato a questo scopo fu soprannominato Liebensbrigade (brigata dell’amore).» [Fonte]

Il caso di Kim Philby sarebbe da manuale.

«agente segreto britannico, che acquisì la cittadinanza sovietica nel 1963. Da sempre comunista, fu al servizio dell’NKVD e del KGB dall’interno del Military Intelligence e del corpo diplomatico del Regno Unito. Dal 1936 al 1963 fu un agente doppiogiochista che lavorò per l’URSS tramite i vari incarichi affidatigli dal suo Paese.

Dal 1963, anno della sua defezione e della fuga a Mosca, fino alla morte avvenuta nel 1988, visse invece in Unione Sovietica dove lavorò direttamente per il KGB come istruttore. ….

si ritiene che Philby sia stato colui che creò i maggiori danni al Regno Unito e all’Alleanza Atlantica, avendo inviato ai servizi segreti sovietici per ventisette anni, e da posizioni operative di assoluto rilievo, informazioni di altissimo livello, che causarono al blocco occidentale un’ingente perdita di mezzi e di agenti» [Fonte]

* * *

Se l’SVR non avesse infiltrato nello entourage della Merkel dei suoi agenti,  il suo intero organico avrebbe dovuto essere mandato in villeggiatura ben al di sopra del circolo polare. Mentre invece, a quanto sembrerebbe essere, l’SVR ci è entrato come nel burro.

Operazione peraltro facile.

Quello denominato come “inner circle” è un club di depravati, per lo più drogati, quindi facile presa per un servizio che offra loro la perfetta soddisfazione dei propri desideri, per poi poterli ricattare.

«Russia has recruited allies in German chancellor Angela Merkel’s “inner circle” and in Austrian intelligence services»

«But they are just part of a wider pro-Kremlin network in EU states, including the Czech Republic, Cyprus, France, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland»

«is used to identify potential Kremlin allies among European elites»

«Some of the information provided here cannot be corroborated by our sources in court because of fear for their lives and the lives of their families»

«But his UK-based pro-democracy NGO, The Dossier Centre, the same day, disclosed details in a 60-page report made available to members of the EP committee via a secure website»

«He named and shamed two far-right French politicians – Thierry Mariani (an MEP) and Aymeric Chauprade (a former MEP) – as Kremlin stooges»

«Russia’s network in the Czech Republic included “high-ranking Czech government officials”»

«The main impact mechanism on European political and business elites is about [financial] corruption»

«The EU needs to clean its own house from hybrid Kremlin influence, dirty money, and corruption»

«we need to clean our own house»

* * * * * * *

Mr Putin è persona di parola.

Aveva promesso risposte asimmetriche agli attacchi occidentali, ed ecco che ha messo sottosopra tutte le Cancellerie.

*


Russia penetrated Merkel’s ‘inner circle’, Khodorkovsky says.

Russia has recruited allies in German chancellor Angela Merkel’s “inner circle” and in Austrian intelligence services, exiled Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky has warned.

But they are just part of a wider pro-Kremlin network in EU states, including the Czech Republic, Cyprus, France, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, he said.

Khodorkovsky made the revelations in a video-hearing with a European Parliament (EP) committee on foreign interference on Monday (10 May).

A German-registered think-tank, called Dialogue of Civilisations, created by Russian oligarch Vladimir Yakunin “is used to identify potential Kremlin allies among European elites,” he said.

And “one of Yakunin’s … sources that he refers to in his reports to the Kremlin forms part of Angela Merkel’s inner circle,” Khodorkovsky added.

A former Austrian business executive called Jan Marsalek was also used by Russia to recruit “a high-ranking Austrian intelligence officer” and to host parties to gather information on other security chiefs and politicians, Khodorkovsky said.

He did not name the Merkel confidante or senior Austrian spy in his public remarks to MEPs due to the sensitivity of the cases.

“Some of the information provided here cannot be corroborated by our sources in court because of fear for their lives and the lives of their families [in Russia],” Khodorkovsky said.

But his UK-based pro-democracy NGO, The Dossier Centre, the same day, disclosed details in a 60-page report made available to members of the EP committee via a secure website.

Meanwhile, Yevgeny Prigozhin, another pro-Kremlin business tycoon, was also doing harm in Europe, Khodorkovsky said in Monday’s hearing.

Prigozhin’s activities included procuring German components for Russian “weapons of mass destruction” and recruiting German politicians to legitimise dodgy elections in Russia-friendly states in Africa.

Prigozhin’s internet “troll factories” were “engaged in fomenting anti-French sentiment in African countries” and trying to “provoke a diplomatic conflict between France and Italy”.

And Prigozhin’s staff tried to create a pro-Kremlin political party in Greece centred around Greek politician Konstantin Gabaeridis, Khodorkovsky said.

He named and shamed two far-right French politicians – Thierry Mariani (an MEP) and Aymeric Chauprade (a former MEP) – as Kremlin stooges.

Chauprade, for instance, helped introduce French politicians to Kremlin contacts and “even offered ghost-writing services” to Yakunin, Khodorkovsky said.

Russia’s network in the Czech Republic included “high-ranking Czech government officials”, as well as communist MP Zdeněk Ondráček, Khodorkovsky noted.

Its fifth column in Cyprus involved Eleni Loizidou, a former prosecutor, who “informally advised Russian authorities over many years, providing insider information” and who “interfered in [legal] proceedings on behalf of the Kremlin,” Khodorkovsky said.

A former Polish MP, Mateusz Piskorski, was also tasked by a Kremlin-linked PR firm with “finding loyal European politicians”, whom he invited to Kremlin-sponsored events, Khodorkovsky said.

In Lithuania, Kremlin spin-doctors identified Vygaudas Ušackas, a former foreign minister and EU ambassador to Russia, as “a friendly candidate for the Lithuanian presidency”.

And Latvia looked like a playground for the Kremlin elite, where relatives of Russian oligarchs Yuri Kovalchuk and Nikolai Tokarev, for instance, owned real estate and shares in local firms.

“Tokarev and Kovalchuk were the main links in the financing scheme for Putin’s palace which was the subject of Navalny’s film,” Khodorkovsky noted, referring to Russian president Vladimir Putin and opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who recently exposed Putin’s opulent private mansion on YouTube.

“The main impact mechanism on European political and business elites is about [financial] corruption,” Khodorkovsky said.

“We are prepared to provide proof that we have upon request of respective law enforcement agencies, but of course we’re not going to share this evidence with those who are potentially linked to the Kremlin,” he added, referring to documents and other information which underpinned his testimony on Monday.

Cleaning house

But if he was concerned about protecting sources, then some MEPs might themselves pose a threat.

Mariani, whom Khodorkovsky named and shamed, is a member of the EP’s foreign-interference committee and was meant to have privileged access to Khodorkovsky’s 60-page dossier, for instance.

And while the French MEP did not speak on Monday, a fellow French euro-deputy from Mariani’s Independence and Democracy group, Jean-Lin Lacapelle, intervened on his behalf.

Khodorkovsky was accused of a “string of assassinations” and “money-laundering” and the EP should not have invited him to speak, Lacapelle said, parroting Russian propaganda.

“I’d like to present my apologies because I heard one of our colleagues attack you in a very vulgar and unfair way,” French liberal MEP Bernard Guetta told Khodorkovsky.

“The EU needs to clean its own house from hybrid Kremlin influence, dirty money, and corruption,” Andrius Kubilius, a centre-right Lithuanian MEP and former prime minister, also said, in more general remarks.

“If we want to promote democratic development in Russia, we need to clean our own house,” he said.

Pubblicato in: Putin, Russia

Russia. Putin. Ordine Esecutivo sulle contromisure verso azioni ostili di stati stranieri.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-04-30.

Putin Vladimir 012

«Executive Order on measures (countermeasures) in response to unfriendly actions of foreign states»

«To protect the interests and security of the Russian Federation and in accordance with the federal laws of December 30, 2006, No 281-FZ On Special Economic and Coercive Measures and of June 4, 2018, No 127-FZ On Measures (Countermeasures) in Response to Unfriendly Actions of the United States and Other Foreign States, I hereby resolve ….»

«To restrict (including the imposition of a complete ban if necessary) the signing by diplomatic missions and consular agencies, representatives of government bodies and government agencies of foreign states that take unfriendly actions towards the Russian Federation, citizens of the Russian Federation or Russian legal entities, of labour contracts, employment agreements with workers (personnel) and of other civil-law contracts leading to labour relations with individuals on the territory of the Russian Federation»

«To establish that the number of individuals on the territory of the Russian Federation with whom contracts may be signed shall be determined by the Government of the Russian Federation»

«compile a list of unfriendly foreign states»

«determine the number of individuals that are on the territory of the Russian Federation»

«ensure control over compliance with the labour rights of the citizens of the Russian Federation»

* * * * * * *


Putin signs decree on countermeasures to other states’ unfriendly actions.

The government is tasked to define number of individuals that can be employed by foreign missions.

MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on countermeasures to unfriendly action of foreign states, as follows from a document posted on the Kremlin website on Friday.

Under the document, diplomatic missions, consular institutions and offices of government institutions of foreign countries acting in an unfriendly manner against Russia, Russian nationals or legal entities will face restrictions, or even a complete ban, if necessary, in terms of employing Russian nationals.

The government is tasked to define number of individuals that can be employed by foreign missions. “Labor contracts with individuals in excess of the number set by the government that were signed before the commencement day of this decree are to be terminated,” the document says. However, restrictions “are not applicable to nationals of unfriendly states arriving from such states as employees of diplomatic missions, consular institutions and offices of government institutions of corresponding unfriendly foreign states.”

Apart from that, the government is tasked to draw up a list of unfriendly foreign states subject to these measures and to ensure control over the observance of labor rights of Russian nationals in case of their contracts termination under the decree.

According to the document, it is geared to “protect Russia’s interests and security under federal laws No 281-FZ On Special Economic Measures and Enforcement Measures of December 30, 2006 and No127-FZ On Countermeasures to Unfriendly Actions of the United States and Other Foreign States of June 4, 2018.”

The decree comes into effect from the day of its official publishing and stays in force until these countermeasures are cancelled.

* * * * * * *

Comme d’habitude, gli ordini esecutivi di Mr Putin somigliano più ad ordini militari che a provvedimenti politici.

Secondo il documento, le missioni diplomatiche, le istituzioni consolari e gli uffici delle istituzioni governative di paesi stranieri che agiscono in modo ostile contro la Russia, i cittadini russi o le persone giuridiche dovranno affrontare restrizioni, o anche un divieto completo, se necessario, in termini di assunzione di cittadini russi.

Il governo è incaricato di definire il numero di individui che possono essere impiegati dalle missioni straniere.

Il documento è orientato a proteggere gli interessi e la sicurezza della Russia.

* * *

Questo è un gran brutto colpo all’intelligence svolta dagli stati stranieri ostili in Russia.

*


Executive Order on measures (countermeasures) in response to unfriendly actions of foreign states.

Vladimir Putin signed the Executive Order On Measures (Countermeasures) in Response to Unfriendly Actions of Foreign States.

April 23, 2021, 21:10.

* * *

Text of the Executive Order:

To protect the interests and security of the Russian Federation and in accordance with the federal laws of December 30, 2006, No 281-FZ On Special Economic and Coercive Measures and of June 4, 2018, No 127-FZ On Measures (Countermeasures) in Response to Unfriendly Actions of the United States and Other Foreign States, I hereby resolve:

  1. To restrict (including the imposition of a complete ban if necessary) the signing by diplomatic missions and consular agencies, representatives of government bodies and government agencies of foreign states that take unfriendly actions towards the Russian Federation, citizens of the Russian Federation or Russian legal entities, of labour contracts, employment agreements with workers (personnel) and of other civil-law contracts leading to labour relations with individuals on the territory of the Russian Federation.
  2. To establish that the number of individuals on the territory of the Russian Federation with whom contracts may be signed shall be determined by the Government of the Russian Federation.
  3. Contracts signed with individuals in excess of the number determined by the Government of the Russian Federation prior to the entry into force of this Executive Order shall be subject to termination.
  4. Provisions of items 1 and 3 of this Executive Order shall not apply to citizens of unfriendly foreign states that arrive (have arrived) from such states as employees of diplomatic missions and consular agencies, representatives of government bodies and government agencies of the relevant unfriendly foreign states.
  5. The Government of the Russian Federation shall:

    а) compile a list of unfriendly foreign states towards which the measures (countermeasures) established by this Executive Order apply;

  1. b) determine the number of individuals that are on the territory of the Russian Federation and with whom contracts may be signed;
  2. c) submit proposals, as necessary, to alter the measures (countermeasures) established by this Executive Order and the duration of such measures;
  3. d) ensure control over compliance with the labour rights of the citizens of the Russian Federation following the termination of their contracts in accordance with item 3 of this Executive Order.
  4. This Executive Order enters in force on the day of its official publication and shall be valid until the cancellation of the measures (countermeasures) it has established.
Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Putin, Russia

Russia. Nuovi o perfezionati missili ipersonici. Kh-47M2 Kinzhal e 3M22 Zircon.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-04-28.

Kh-47M2 Kinzhal 001

«President Vladimir Putin says that Russia has developed unique offense weapons without the intention of starting a war with anyone but to maintain “strategic balance” and “strategic stability” in the world.»

* * * * * * *

Gli Stati Uniti hanno basi navali, aeronautiche e militari in senso lato quasi in ogni regione del mondo.

Tuttavia, il dominio militare globale non sarebbe stato possibile senza avere disponibile una flotta di portaerei nucleari. Queste, unitamente alla flotta militare e di appoggio che le circondano formano una forza offensiva che per decenni è stata egemone.

Tuttavia, la scienza militare insegna come nella storia si siano alternati periodi nei quali le strutture di difesa erano quasi imprendibili a periodi ove i mezzi di offesa potevano superarle facilmente. Un esempio per tutti le trincee e la mitragliatrice nella prima guerra mondiale, superate dalla introduzione del carro armato.

*

«The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (“dagger”) is a Russian nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM). It has a claimed range of more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi), Mach 10 speed, and an ability to perform evasive maneuvers at every stage of its flight»

«The missile is designed to target US and NATO warships posing a threat to strategic missile systems in Russia’s European part and to destroy NATO missile defence system and ballistic missile defense ships and land objects close to Russia borders, such as one in Romania»

«It is allegedly designed to overcome any known or planned US air or missile defense systems including MIM-104 Patriot, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Aegis Combat System»

*

Alcun analisti americani mettono in dubbio le caratteristiche di questi missili e cruise ipersonici.

Il dubbio è lecito, ma proprio non vorremmo dover vederli in una azione bellica.

*


Kh-47M2 Kinzhal.

The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (“dagger”) is a Russian nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM). It has a claimed range of more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi), Mach 10 speed, and an ability to perform evasive maneuvers at every stage of its flight. It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads and can be launched from Tu-22M3 bombers or MiG-31K interceptors. It has been deployed at airbases in Russia’s Southern Military District.

The Kinzhal entered service in December 2017 and is one of the six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 1 March 2018.

Design.

The missile is designed to target US and NATO warships posing a threat to strategic missile systems in Russia’s European part and to destroy NATO missile defence system and ballistic missile defense ships and land objects close to Russia borders, such as one in Romania. It is allegedly designed to overcome any known or planned US air or missile defense systems including MIM-104 Patriot, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Aegis Combat System.

The missile first stage is probably shared with 9K720 Iskander and the guidance section is specifically designed for this missile. It is capable of attacking fixed and movable targets such as aircraft carriers. The missile accelerates to hypersonic speed within seconds of launch and performs maneuvers at all stages of the flight trajectory to evade enemy missile defenses.

Russian media claims the missile’s range will be 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi; 1,100 nmi) when carried by the MiG-31K and 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi; 1,600 nmi) when carried by the Tu-22M3.

American commentators have been skeptical about Russian claims about the weapon.

Operational history.

The first operational unit armed with the hypersonic Kinzhal missiles was formed in Southern Military District of Russia in December 2017.

In May 2018, ten MiG-31Ks capable of using Kinzhal missiles were on experimental combat duty and ready to be deployed.

By December 2018, aircraft armed with Kinzhal missiles have conducted 89 patrol flights over the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

By February 2019, crews of the MiG-31K attack aircraft in role of Kinzhal missile carriers have performed more than 380 training flights with the missile, of which at least 70 have been carried with mid-air refueling.

The weapon made its public debut during the Aviadarts international contest in August 2019.

According to TASS, the first launch of Kinzhal in the Arctic took place mid-November, 2019. Reportedly, the launch was carried out by a MiG-31K from Olenya air base. The missile hit a ground target at “Pemboy” proving ground, reaching the speed of Mach 10.

*


Two down, more to go? With hypersonic weapons already in the field, Russia looks to improve features

Moscow — Hypersonic weapons are a top priority for the Russian government, a defense analyst with the state-run think tank IMEMO has told Defense News, and with two now fielded, the country is looking into further improving the technology.

“The so-called hypersonic technology is essentially an evolutionary development. However, it provides new, combined abilities for missile weapons: increased speed and maneuverability, and improved accuracy,” Dmitry Stefanovich said. “I can’t imagine a person who is responsible for the decision-making in the country and who wouldn’t be interested in improving all those features.”

By creating hypersonic technology that can overcome missile defense systems, Russia maintains “strategic stability and strategic balance,” President Vladimir Putin once told Russian news agency Tass in March 2020.

For Russia, hypersonic technology is also a way to avoid a quantitative arms race like the Soviet Union went through during the Cold War, said Viktor Litovkin, a retired colonel and military analyst with Tass. “We have no money to get involved in a quantitative arms race. You need to have a little, but the highest quality, which will restrain the adversary,” he said.

There are currently two hypersonic missiles with the Russian military: the Avangard and the Kinzhal. The former is a nuclear-capable missile reportedly able to fly faster than 20 times the speed of sound. The first Avangard infrastructure was set up in December 2019.

The Kinzhal (or “Dagger” in English) is a nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile fielded in December 2017. Before entering the military’s inventory, it was tested with the MiG-31 fighter jet. Putin has said the weapon can exceed 10 times the speed of sound, but some missile experts have cast doubt on that capability.

Russian media previously reported the Kinzhal physically resembles the 9M723 ballistic missile developed for the Iskander tactical missile system. “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck,” Stefanovich said of the similarity.

Russia is also testing its 3M22 Zircon anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile, expected to be installed on the modernized submarine-killing ship Marshal Shaposhnikov. The vessel is undergoing its owns tests. The head of Tactical Missiles Corporation JSC, Boris Obnosov, told Tass last month that the Zircon’s testing is going according to schedule.

The first launch of Zircon from the nuclear-powered submarine Severodvinsk will take place in June, industry officials said, according to reports from Tass this month. If testing goes well, the Zircon will be delivered to the military in the first half of 2022.

Obnosov has said hypersonic projects are among the top priorities for his company, adding that there are “several dozen” hypersonic efforts ongoing in partnership with the country’s several research and development institutes. He said a center dedicated to hypersonic technology efforts could be established to oversee the projects, without providing further information.

Tactical Missiles Corporation is Russia’s leading developer of hypersonic technology, so it might also be behind a recently tested prototype of an air-to-surface hypersonic missile meant for the Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet. However, the company did not respond to questions from Defense News regarding its hypersonic projects.

*


Russia reports successful test launch of hypersonic missile

Moscow — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday [2020-10-07 n.d.r.] hailed the successful test launch of a new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile as a “big event” for the country.

Speaking to Putin via a video call, Russian General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said the test launch took place Tuesday from the Admiral Groshkov frigate located in the White Sea, in the north of Russia.

The missile successfully hit a target in the Barents Sea, he added.

“Equipping our armed forces — the army and the navy — with the latest, truly unparalleled weapon systems will certainly ensure the defense capability of our country in the long term,” said Putin, who was celebrating his 68th birthday Wednesday.

In 2019, Putin had said the Zircon would be capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles).

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Geopolitica Mondiale, Putin, Russia

Russia. Putin. Prolusione alla Assembla Federale.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-04-22.

Arco di Trionfo. Mosca. 001

Il Presidente della Federazione Russa, Mr Putin, ha tenuto la annuale prolusione alla Assembla Federale.

Chiunque voglia sapere cosa pensi e cosa stia facendo dovrebbe leggere il testo con molta attenzione.

Sui problemi internazionali Mr Putin spende poche parole, pacate e meditate: non sono minacce, bensì certezze.

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«President Vladimir Putin warned the West on Wednesday not to cross Russia’s “red lines”, saying Moscow would respond swiftly and harshly to any provocations and those responsible would regret it»

«We want good relations…and really don’t want to burn bridges»

«But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn down or even blow up these bridges, they should know that Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, swift and harsh»

«Russia would determine where its red line lay in each specific case, he said, comparing those who attack it to hyenas led by a tiger»

«In some countries, they have developed a highly unseemly habit of picking on Russia for any reason, and most often for no reason at all – a kind of sport»

«Organisers of any provocations that threaten our core security interests will regret what they have done like they’ve never regretted anything for a long time»

«The meaning and purpose of Russia’s policy in the international arena – I will just say a few words about this to conclude my address – is to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens, for the stable development of our country. Russia certainly has its own interests we defend and will continue to defend within the framework of international law, as all other states do. And if someone refuses to understand this obvious thing or does not want to conduct a dialogue and chooses a selfish and arrogant tone with us, Russia will always find a way to defend its stance»

«At the same time, unfortunately, everyone in the world seems to be used to the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions and to certain actors’ brutal attempts to impose their will on others by force. But today, this practice is degenerating into something even more dangerous – I am referring to the recently exposed direct interference in Belarus in an attempt to orchestrate a coup d’état and assassinate the President of that country. At the same time, it is typical that even such flagrant actions have not been condemned by the so-called collective West. Nobody seemed to notice. Everyone pretends nothing is happening»

«You can have your own opinion of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s policy. But the practice of staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials – well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits»

«Clearly, there is a reason why our Western colleagues have been stubbornly rejecting Russia’s numerous proposals to establish an international dialogue on information and cyber security. We have come up with these proposals many times. They avoid even discussing this matter»

«All the while, unfriendly moves towards Russia have also continued unabated. Some countries have taken up an unseemly routine where they pick on Russia for any reason, most often, for no reason at all. It is some kind of new sport of who shouts the loudest»

«As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan – everything is like in Kipling’s book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer»

«By 2024, the share of modern weapons and military equipment in the armed forces will reach nearly 76 percent, which is a very good indicator. This share in the nuclear triad will be over 88 percent before this year is out.

Standing on combat duty are the latest Avangard hypersonic intercontinental missile systems and the Peresvet combat laser systems, and the first regiment armed with Sarmat super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles is scheduled to go on combat duty in late 2022.»

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President of Russia. Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly

The President of Russia delivered the Address to the Federal Assembly. The ceremony took place at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall.

The ceremony was attended by the senators of the Russian Federation, State Duma deputies, members of the Government, the heads of the Constitutional and Supreme courts, regional governors, speakers of regional legislatures, the heads of traditional religious denominations and public activists.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies,

Citizens of Russia,

Today’s Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly will be dedicated mostly to internal issues. These include, naturally, healthcare, social policy and the economy. Of course, I will say a few words about external affairs and literally a few words about security issues.

It stands to reason that I will begin with last year’s events, when our country and, actually, the entire world faced a new, previously unknown and extremely dangerous infection.

It that period, including during our meetings with experts and conversations with the leaders of many states, I often heard the following description of the situation: we are faced with total uncertainty. And this is how it really was.

I could see this from the information I received from the regions. The number of people who contracted the disease and needed to be rushed to hospital kept growing. Actually, all of you are very well aware of this. Many hospitals were filled to capacity and reported that they could run out of oxygen soon, including in intensive care units. Ventilators, protective masks and PPE were actually distributed by the piece. Shops were running out of basic products, such as cereals, butter and sugar, due to increased demand.

The epidemic was on the offensive. But although there was great concern, I personally had no doubt that we would pull through.

Citizens, society and the state acted responsibly and in unison. We rallied, managed to take preventive action, to create conditions that would reduce the risk of infection, and to provide medical personnel and citizens with personal protective equipment. We increased the number of hospital beds for coronavirus patients more than five times over, to 280,000 beds.

The brief outline of measures conceals the tremendous and intensive work of millions of people in all regions of the Russian Federation. I would like to cordially thank all of you for this. Everyone worked quickly, efficiently and conscientiously.

At that time and later on, we were analysing the situation practically non-stop. I recall vividly my visit to the hospital in Kommunarka. It was necessary to experience, to see at first hand the danger facing us and to assess the working conditions of medical specialists. They immediately found themselves in the thick of events and fought for every life, while risking their own.

Today, doctors, paramedics, medical nurses and members of ambulance teams are sitting here in this hall. Once again my heartfelt thanks to you and your colleagues from all the Russian regions.

Russian researchers made a real breakthrough, and Russia now has three reliable coronavirus vaccines. These and many other achievements of the past few years highlight the country’s growing science and technological potential.

I would like to thank everyone, every person who contributed to the fight against infection, including the workers at the plants manufacturing medications, medical equipment, personal protective equipment, and enterprises working 24 hours a day, housing and utility agencies, trade companies, the Russian business community that quickly converted entire sectors so that they could manufacture essential goods, civilian and military builders, agriculture workers who gathered a record-breaking harvest, one of the biggest in the country’s history, that is, over 130 million tonnes.

The personnel of law enforcement agencies and the special services continued to carry out their duty, and the Russian Armed Forces reliably ensured our country’s security.

I would like to underscore the selfless behaviour of people working for social services, orphanages, boarding schools, retirement homes and hospices who stayed and who continue to stay with their charges. You will certainly agree with me that, while analysing developments at these institutions, one feels proud of people who are carrying out their duty there in such a responsible manner. It could move you to tears. I would like to thank them once again.

I would also like to convey my sincere gratitude to school teachers and the lecturers at universities and other education institutions. You did everything possible to enable your students and pupils to gain knowledge and successfully pass their exams, with the involvement and support of their parents.

Russia’s cultural life continued unabated. Theatres, museums and concert halls remained open to audiences online thanks to modern technology. Everyone who works in this crucial sphere rose to the occasion.

Our people showed discipline and managed to observe, let’s face it, quite exhausting, but vital precautions. Thus, acting together, we have put up an effective barrier to the pandemic.

The people’s solidarity showed in concrete actions, in caring for the loved ones and in willingness to help people in need. Millions became volunteers and engaged in building person-to-person help routes. The nationwide We Are Together campaign brought together people from different walks of life and ages. As always during challenging times, our traditional religions stepped up to provide spiritual support to the society. I see the leaders of our religions here and I would like to bow deeply to you, thank you very much

Throughout history, our people have come out victorious and overcome trials thanks to unity. Today, family, friendship, mutual assistance, graciousness and unity have come to the fore as well.

Spiritual and moral values, which are already being forgotten in some countries, have, on the contrary, made us stronger. And we will always uphold and defend these values.

Colleagues,

The pandemic broke out at a time when the aftermath of the demographic shocks of the 1940s and 1990s converged. We realise that the current demographic situation is an emergency. Unfortunately, this is how things are. We must accept and admit it and do something about it based on our understanding of this situation.

Saving the people of Russia is our top national priority. This priority underlies the stipulations of the updated Constitution concerning the protection of the family, the important role parents play in bringing up their children, strengthening social guarantees, and further developing the economy, education and culture.

Our strategy is to return to sustainable population growth to make sure that the average life expectancy in Russia increases to 78 years in 2030.

Unfortunately, the statistics show us sad and disappointing numbers. We are even seeing a certain decline. It is clear what is happening because of the pandemic, but we will keep our strategic goals in this critical sphere unchanged.

I fully realise that this is no small feat, the more so as the coronavirus has not yet been completely defeated and remains a direct threat. We see the dramatic developments in many countries where the cases of infection continue to grow. We need to keep in check the defence barriers designed to slow down the spread of the virus along our external borders and within our country.

I would like to address all citizens of Russia once again. Friends, please stay alert. I am asking you to take care of yourselves and your loved ones and to comply with the doctors’ and sanitary services’ recommendations as closely as possible.

Vaccination is of crucial importance. I would like to ask the Government, the Healthcare Ministry and the heads of the regions to monitor this process on a daily basis. The opportunity to take the jab must be available everywhere, so that we achieve the so-called herd immunity by the autumn.

The attainment of this goal depends on everyone, on all our citizens. Please, I am asking all citizens of Russia once again to get vaccinated. This is the only way to stop this deadly epidemic. There is no alternative. The other choice is much worse: to contract the disease with unpredictable consequences.

I would like to say once again that the disease is still with us. But we must start thinking already now about healing the wounds it has inflicted and restoring people’s health.

During the peak periods, our hospitals and outpatient clinics had to reduce or even suspend scheduled visits. This increased the risk of the aggravation of chronic illnesses or the risk of missing the first signs of or correctly diagnosing new illnesses.

I would like to ask the Government, the Healthcare Ministry and the constituent entities of the Russian Federation to expand the system of medical check-ups and periodic screenings, taking into account the current epidemiological situation, and to relaunch them in full measure on July 1, 2021 for people of all ages. They must involve the largest number of people possible. This is why we will increase the supply of mobile medical diagnostic systems to the regions in the near future.

One of the targets of the coronavirus is the cardiovascular system. These diseases have always been the leading cause of death. Therefore, special attention during periodic screenings must be given to people with cardiovascular diseases. I would like to instruct the Government to take additional measures to prevent the diseases that are the main causes of premature death. As I have already mentioned, these are cardiovascular diseases plus malignant tumours and respiratory system diseases.

Hepatitis C claims many young lives. Decisions must be made to reduce this threat to the health of the nation to a minimum within 10 years.

To ensure that as many people as possible can restore their health at sanatoriums and health resorts, I propose that the 20 percent rebate programme for domestic travel is extended at least until the end of the year.

Children’s health is our special priority. Indeed, the foundation for good health for many years to come is laid during childhood. Children’s rest and recreation activities must be made as affordable as possible. In this regard, this year, I propose reimbursing half of what parents spend on their children’s summer camps.

In addition, we need to expand opportunities for student tourism. Already this year, we must launch several pilot projects, including accommodation on university campuses and in dormitories in other regions for students who travel around the country during the summer.

And, of course, we must reward the young people who have done well in academic competitions and in volunteer and creative initiatives as well as the projects operated by the Russia – Land of Opportunity platform. For them, the partial reimbursement programme for tourist vouchers will remain valid during the holidays, aka the high season. This is a ground-breaking decision.

I wish to thank all the parliamentary groups which supported the decision on the taxation of high incomes, or rather, a portion of high incomes. These proceeds will go to the dedicated Circle of Kindness fund and have already been released to help children affected by rare and serious diseases, to purchase expensive medicines and medical equipment, and to cover the costs of surgeries.

On April 28, we will celebrate Ambulance Worker Day which was established as a show of respect to those who arrive first to save lives. These specialists must be provided with all necessary supplies. Within the next three years, we will make another 5,000 new ambulances available to rural communities, urban-type localities and small towns, which will replace the ambulance fleet almost in full.

I want to emphasise that public healthcare authorities in many leading countries – we are well aware of it and, in fact, they themselves are saying so – were unable to deal with the challenges of the pandemic as effectively as we did in Russia. At the same time, global health care is on the cusp of a genuine revolution. This must be recognised and clearly seen. We cannot miss it.

The pandemic has exponentially sped up the introduction of telemedicine, artificial intelligence and new approaches in diagnostics, surgery, rehabilitation and the production of medicines everywhere. We must put these technologies at the service of the people of our country.

We must build our healthcare system around this ground-breaking technology, and keep an eye on pressing everyday problems in the process. As we are all aware, they abound, mostly in primary care. There must be no such thing as waiting lines, no hassle making a diagnostics appointment or a specialist doctor appointment, or obtaining prescriptions and sick leaves, for that matter. This has often come up in our discussions lately. The funds have been set side and allocated. It is time to move quickly and efficiently to make it happen.

We have a backlog to deal with in healthcare and other social sectors, including many technical, financial and managerial challenges. However, what people need is qualified and timely medical help. I propose reviewing public healthcare problems from this perspective at an expanded meeting of the State Council some time soon. We will prepare for it and hold it shortly.

I repeat: we have gained some fundamentally new experience in fulfilling our social commitments. During the pandemic, we made direct payments to families bringing up almost 28 million children, and they received their benefits without any unnecessary paperwork or other kinds of red tape – they got the money they needed and were entitled to automatically. I know Government members have been working on this, focusing deliberately, not without some failures, but they have made every effort to accomplish this task, and coped with it. This is great, this is a good example. This approach should become the norm at all levels of government.

This is the essence of the National Social Initiative, which was discussed at a recent joint meeting of the State Council Presidium and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives.

I am calling on the regional governors: it is your direct responsibility to organise the work of local clinics, daycare nurseries and schools, and employment centres, based on the daily needs of families, of each and every person. In many regions, I have seen with my own eyes that such work has already been launched in certain areas. This needs to be done everywhere and in all social sectors.

As soon as in 2022, we must introduce the ‘social treasury’ principles. This means that all federal benefits, pensions and other social payments and services will be provided and paid in a one-stop mode, without having to visit dozens of different agencies, but simply upon marriage, the birth of a child, retirement or other life milestones. Within three years, the vast majority of public and municipal services should be provided to Russian citizens remotely, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that is, on an ongoing basis.

Separately, we will have to discuss child-support payments, which are a sensitive topic for many families. Unfortunately, this is a problem in our country. This procedure should not be humiliating for anyone. Most issues here need to be resolved remotely and, most importantly, in the interests of the affected party. A mother with a child should not have to camp on the doorstep of various authorities to collect official documents, carrying her baby in her arms, and this is what usually happens. A system of interagency communication needs to be built, with banks included, in such a way as to ensure the unconditional execution of court decisions on the recovery of child-support payments. The state is obliged to protect the rights of the child; this is what we are talking about. I will return to this topic again later.

Colleagues,

We understand the heavy toll that the pandemic has taken on people’s welfare. Statistics show the aggravating effects of this outbreak on social inequality and poverty. It has been a challenge for all countries around the world – remember, all countries, not only Russia, are experiencing the same consequences. Certainly, we should be primarily concerned about the situation in our own country.

We are now facing price hikes that are undercutting people’s incomes. Some urgent decisions have been made, of course, but we cannot solely rely on targeted and essentially directive measures. We remember potential outcomes. Back in the late 1980s and the 1990s in the Soviet Union, they resulted in empty store shelves. But today, even when the pandemic was at its worst, we did not allow the same thing to happen.

The Government’s goal is to create conditions that will be long-term and which, I want to stress this part, colleagues, can, thanks to market mechanisms (which we have), guarantee the predictability of prices and quality replenishment of the domestic market. Nobody is saying that we will be setting prices from the top. There’s no need to muddy the waters and scare people. There are market regulatory mechanisms and they must be employed – promptly and to the extent required and appropriate to a specific situation in the economy and social sphere. We need to stimulate investment activity by reducing business risks. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Surely, the main goal right now is to ensure that people’s real incomes grow – that is, to restore them and secure their further growth. As I said, we need tangible changes in our fight against poverty.

Before anything else, the Government must provide direct support to families with children who are experiencing hardships. This has been our consistent policy and we will continue to pursue it.

We already have a system of benefits paid to parents of one or two children from the time the children are born and until they reach the age of three. Families with incomes below two subsistence minimums per family member are entitled to such benefits. The average monthly amount paid across the country is 11,300 rubles per child. Seventy-eight Russian regions pay benefits for the third child, also 11,300 rubles on average.

Please note that we are making consistent progress in this area, step by step. Last year, we introduced benefits for children aged three to seven. They range from 5,650 to 11,300 rubles per month depending on the region.

I instruct the Government to develop, by July 1, a comprehensive system of support for families with children. Our goal is to minimise the risk of poverty for such families.

But a number of new decisions need to be taken immediately, already today. It is always difficult for a single parent to raise a child. There are plenty of reasons for that. And this is not about the reasons but about supporting children. It is particularly difficult when a single-parent family is having financial problems, especially when children start going to school and family expenses objectively rise.

In particular, we must support single-parent families, where a mother or a father is bringing up a child alone, and only one of the parents is registered on the birth certificate – sorry to be speaking of such mundane things, but this is a fact of life – or the parents have divorced and one of them has the right to child-support payments. Therefore, as of July 1 this year, all children in such families aged between 8 and 16, inclusively, will receive a benefit. The national average of such benefit will be 5,650 rubles.

Of course, we must also help women who are expecting a baby and who have financial problems. It is extremely important for a mother-to-be to get support from the state and society, so that they can keep their pregnancy and know that they will receive help in raising and bringing up their child.

I propose approving a monthly subsidy for women who register at a maternity centre during early pregnancy and who have financial problems. The average subsidy for them will be 6,350 rubles a month.

Next, the sick pay for taking care of a child who falls ill depends on the employment record, which is correct, on the whole, and fair. However, young women receive much smaller sick leave payments. We have discussed this issue at the State Council, and it has been raised by the United Russia. We need to adopt legal decisions on this matter without delay, so that payments for taking care of a sick child aged up to 7 years inclusively are approved at 100 percent of the parent’s salary as soon as this year.

You understand what this means. The majority of those in this room know that the longer the employment record the larger the sick pay. Women who have a long work record usually receive full sick pay, but they usually do not have children at their age. Those who have children do not receive full pay. We must definitely help those who are expecting a baby.

I would also like to remind you that we have expanded and extended the maternity capital programme up until 2026. This benefit will now be paid already for the first child. We could not afford this before. The maternity capital has been adjusted to inflation and is almost 640,000 rubles

Free hot meals for all primary school children were approved as of January 1, 2020, and this measure has become a great help for families.

I would like to point out that all our decisions were designed to support our people. I know that many and very many people have financial problems now. The labour market and real disposable income of the people will be certainly restored, and we will move on. This has not happened yet. Therefore, I suggest approving one more one-off payment for the families that have school children, namely, 10,000 rubles per schoolchild. Moreover, this payment will also be made for the children who will only start school this year. We will transfer the money in mid-August, so that parents can get their children ready for school.

The updated Constitution of Russia includes clauses on demographic development, and protection of the family and childhood. They should be implemented in practice at all levels of government. I propose including a section aimed at supporting young people in each national project.

Friends,

During the pandemic, many young doctors and nurses, recent graduates as well as residents and students of medical universities worked courageously in the so-called red zones, joining their senior colleagues. In that extraordinary situation, teachers, schoolchildren, college and university students continued to teach and study, to have exams. Young family members supported their parents and older relatives. The youth of Russia proved to be extremely worthy during that period of trials. We can be proud of them.

We will do everything to open up as many life opportunities as possible for the younger generation. Their journey certainly begins at school, and I am sure that school will always be a second home for children; a new home, comfortable and modern.

Under the existing federal programme and with additional resources provided by the VEB Development Bank, we will build at least 1,300 new schools for more than a million children by the end of 2024. We will also purchase at least 16,000 school buses over the next four years. All school buses must be modern and safe.

Classroom teachers have been receiving a monthly addition to their salaries since last year. A very necessary and, I am sure, fair decision. I remember how we held discussions on this matter last year.

However, I have received requests, letters from teachers in secondary vocational institutions who say they have been forgotten. This is actually true. Justice must be restored. We have to fix this and establish the same additional payment of 5,000 rubles for supervisors of educational groups at technical schools and colleges.

I propose allocating an additional 10 billion rubles in the next two years for major repairs and technical equipment of our pedagogical universities. I ask the Government to pay close attention to up-to-date training of future teachers. The future of Russia largely depends on them.

Furthermore, school teaching teams should be expanded with teaching assistants, mentors and counsellors, whose job will be to organise exciting projects for children at schools.

It is very important that our young people should look to and be inspired by the achievements and victories of our outstanding ancestors and contemporaries, by their love for our Motherland and aspiration to make a personal contribution to its development. Children should have the opportunity to explore the national history and the multinational culture, our achievements in science and technology, literature and art in advanced formats. You know, I still open certain school textbooks occasionally and am surprised at what I see there – as if what is written there has nothing to do with us at all. Who writes such textbooks? Who approves them? It is unbelievable. They mention everything, the ‘second front’ and a lot of other facts, but not the Battle of Stalingrad – how is that possible? Amazing! I do not even want to comment.

I propose allocating an additional 24 billion rubles within the next three years to renovate cultural centres, libraries and museums in rural areas and small historical towns. This is another crucial area.

It is important to resume the activities of the Knowledge Society – we all remember well what it is – based on a modern digital platform. It seems to have been operational lately, but no one seems to notice it is there, either. Also, in order to support projects in culture, art and creative activities, we will set up a Presidential fund for cultural initiatives. Already this year, we will use its competitive grants to finance over 1,500 creative teams.

Colleagues,

A month from now, 11th grade students will be taking exams. Based on the results, most of them, about 60 percent, will enrol in universities and have their tuition covered from the budget. It can be safely stated that practically no country in the world apart from Russia has this kind of broad and free access to higher education.

In the next two years, we will make an additional 45,000 state-funded places available at our universities. At least 70 percent of them will go to the regions which need university graduates.

Starting this year, at least 100 universities in the constituent entities of our Federation will receive grants in the amount of 100 million rubles or more for opening student technoparks and business incubators, upgrading academic and laboratory facilities, and running training programmes. All state universities will be eligible for this support, including the ones that train future teachers, medical doctors, transport and culture workers. I am confident that the young generation of Russians, Russian scientists, will make their names known in the meaningful research projects that are yet to come.

This year was declared Science and Technology Year in our country. We realise that science is absolutely key in the modern world. Until 2024, Russia will allocate 1.63 trillion rubles from the federal budget alone for civil, including fundamental, research. But that is not all.

We are about to launch ground-breaking programmes in areas that are critical to our country. They will be given the status of nationwide projects. I would like to discuss some of them separately just to give you a sense.

First, we must have a solid and reliable shield to give us sanitary and biological safety. We now understand what it is about. It is imperative to ensure Russia’s independence in the production of the entire range of vaccines and pharmaceutical substances, including medications against infections that are resistant to the current generation of antibiotics. Importantly, this must be achieved with the maximum engagement of Russian-made equipment and domestic components.

In the event of an infection as dangerous as the coronavirus, or, God forbid, even more dangerous, Russia must be prepared to develop its own test systems within four days, precisely four days, and to create an efficacious domestic vaccine and start its mass production as soon as possible. These are the goals that we are setting for ourselves. The timeframe for achieving these goals is 2030. But the sooner we get there, the better.

Second, we need new comprehensive approaches to the development of our energy sector, including new solutions for nuclear generation in the promising areas of hydrogen energy and energy storage.

Third, we must find answers to the climate change challenges, adjust our agriculture, industry, the housing and utilities sector and the entire infrastructure to them, create a carbon utilisation sector, bring down emissions and introduce strict control and monitoring measures.

Over the next 30 years, the cumulative emissions in Russia must be smaller than in the EU. It is an ambitious goal, considering the size of our country and the specific features of its geography, climate and economic structure. However, I have no doubt whatsoever that it is a perfectly realistic goal in light of our research and technological potential.

Our new energy and pharmaceutical sectors and the solution of climate problems must provide a powerful boost to a comprehensive modernisation of all economic sectors and the social sphere. It is a direct path to the creation of modern and well-paid jobs.

The efforts taken by each level of government, business, development institutions and the Russian Academy of Sciences must have in view the main, central task: to improve the quality of life for our people. I would like to point out that our position on environmental protection is a matter of principle in this respect, and it will definitely remain unchanged.

The dangers of the alternative position have been recently exemplified by the events in Norilsk, Usolye-Sibirskoye and several other places. We will certainly help the people who live there, but we must also preclude a repetition of such environmental disasters.

I would like to ask those responsible to accelerate the adoption of a law on the financial responsibility of enterprise owners for clearing up the accumulated pollution and for the reclamation of industrial sites. This is a very simple approach. Here it is: if you have benefited from polluting the environment, clean up after yourself. We must act harshly. Rosprirodnadoz [the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources] and other regulatory authorities must do their jobs.

I would like to add that the “polluter pays” principle must also be employed in full in the waste disposal sector to ensure transition to the so-called closed-loop economy. With this aim in view, we must launch a mechanism of extended producers and importers’ responsibility for the management of products and packaging wastes as soon as this year.

I also propose marking environmental payments to the federal budget. I know that experts and financial specialists do not like such special marks, but I see this as a vital sphere of our activity. We can make an exception in this case, and invest these funds in clearing up accumulated pollution and improving the environment.

Also, as I said, the amount of hazardous emissions in Russia’s 12 largest industrial centres must be reduced by 20 percent by 2024. We have already discussed this. Obviously, this goal must be accomplished through a comprehensive modernisation of the industrial sector, the housing and utilities sector, transport and energy.

Moreover, I propose expanding the emission quota system to all Russian cities with major air quality problems and introduce strict liability for non-compliance with environmental regulations. Of course, this requires transparent monitoring.

We will definitely support the efforts of businesses to upgrade their facilities up to current environmental standards. For example, upgrading will begin this year at aluminium plants in Bratsk, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Novokuznetsk based on the state guarantee mechanism. I will later name other cities and towns in other contexts but it does not mean that our work is limited to those areas. They only serve as examples.

Colleagues,

Last year, we allocated unprecedented resources for supporting the economy. Among other things, we managed to preserve over 5 million jobs through subsidised loans for wage payments. I want to stress that this programme succeeded but it succeeded precisely because businesses acted responsibly and did everything they could to keep their employees. We could see that.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to prevent layoffs completely. I understand how hard it is for those who lost their jobs. The Government was instructed to ensure that the labour market recovers by the end of the year. Still, this problem must be solved sooner so that people can have a stable income again. The Government will be encouraging entrepreneurial initiatives and stimulate private investments that create new jobs.

As you know, last year, social insurance contributions for small and medium-sized businesses were reduced by half, from 30 to 15 percent. This decision will remain in force permanently and is not subject to review.

I instruct the Government to present, within the next month, additional proposals on supporting small and medium-sized businesses, such as tax incentives, accessible loans and expanding product distribution and sales, including to major state-run companies.

As for other decisions in the economic sphere, I would like to mention the following.

First, we have already scrapped many archaic norms and requirements in construction and other fields and discontinued many unnecessary control inspections, but we also need to increase the momentum to achieve substantive, clear and tangible results in improving the business climate. For example, building a turnkey factory in Russia should be faster, more economically efficient and easier than in other regions of the world, including countries with developed economies.

Furthermore, we need to simplify the working conditions for non-commodity exporters. We have certainly been pursuing this policy line for a few years now, but we still need to remove all excessive restrictions in forex control for these exporters. This is one of the problems. The new procedure should start functioning in July. We have discussed this matter more than once. All amendments to the legislation must be adopted as quickly as possible during the spring session.

Secondly, the talent of an entrepreneur is primarily the talent of a creator, an aspiration to change life for the better, to create new jobs. The state will definitely support this attitude.

In the modern world where the market situation sometimes changes almost every day, businesses have to deal with high risks, especially when investing in long-term projects. To address this, we will be adjusting the entire private investment support system. We will evaluate how effective the projects are by the new products, services, and technologies they provide people with and how they improve the potential of Russia and each individual region.

The Special Investment Contract mechanism has already been improved; we have implemented a new instrument – Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements. We have consolidated development institutions on the basis of VEB. Their job is to reduce the risks for investing private capital, to help in the creation of new markets and investment mechanisms, the same as with the Project Finance Factory mechanism already in place. It is currently supporting more than 40 commercial projects with a total investment of 3 trillion rubles.

I am waiting for proposals from the Government on the implementation of the ideas proposed in March at a meeting with Russian businesses. Colleagues, you are well aware of this.

Third, we are making all major decisions concerning the economy through a dialogue with the business community. This is the practice established over many years. Of course, we have the right to expect that the auxiliary financial instruments and support mechanisms will bring the most desired result, which is converting profit into investment and development.

There is an important thing I want to say although it is nothing new to businesses. They know it already. The corporate sector is expected to make a record profit this year, despite all the problems that we are dealing with. Despite these problems, this is the real picture. We will take note of how this profit will be used and, based on the annual results, we may decide to calibrate the tax legislation. I want to see specific proposals from the Government. Off the record, I should note: some withdraw dividends while others invest in the development of their companies and entire industries. We will be encouraging those who invest.

Last year, we substantially increased budget expenditure while managing to maintain the stability of state finances. The Government and the Central Bank must continue to pursue a responsible financial policy. Ensuring macroeconomic stability and containing inflation within set parameters is an extremely important task. I assume that it will definitely be accomplished.

At the same time, thanks to our budget capacity and our reserves, we can allocate more funds to support investment in infrastructure and provide regions with new development instruments. Launching these instruments will require the law to be amended. I expect that all parliamentary parties – A Just Russia, the Liberal Democratic Party, the Communist Party and United Russia – will uphold these amendments.

In this regard, I want to thank all constructive public forces in the country for their responsible and patriotic attitude during this difficult epidemic. These are not just meaningless words because it was this attitude and its practical significance that helped all of us preserve the balance and stability of Russia’s government and political system. This is always important but it is especially relevant because we are preparing for the elections to the State Duma and other government bodies, considering the extensive work we will have to carry out. I hope that this competitive mindset that unites us in the face of common goals will persist.

Colleagues,

The country is developing and moving forward, but this is only taking place when the regions of the Russian Federation are developing. A striving of the heads of constituent entities to make their regions successful and self-sufficient must be and will be encouraged in every way.

We will support those who assume responsibility and launch constructive projects. I am confident that every Russian region has huge potential. To help make positive and productive use of this potential, what must we reduce first of all? The governors know what I am referring to: we must reduce the debt burden. These topics must be thoroughly discussed once again.

I ask the Government to submit by June 1 the proposals on ensuring long-term stability of regional and municipal finance and on increasing the regions’ self-sufficiency. We will discuss them in summer at a State Council meeting, and we will do so with due regard for the priority decisions about which I will tell you now.

First of all, we must help regions with large commercial debts. Here is what I suggest: the amount of a region’s commercial debt that exceeds 25 percent of the given region’s own revenues will be replaced with budgetary loans that will mature in 2029.

In addition, I propose restructuring the budgetary loans, yes, budgetary loans that were issued to the regions last year for taking measures to combat the pandemic. I believe that this would be fair. I would like to remind everyone that these loans will mature in two months, on July 1. I suggest extending them to 2029 as well.

I would like to emphasise that the restructuring of accumulated debts should be used as a mechanism of increasing the self-sufficiency of regional economies, especially considering that we will be offering a fundamentally new development tool to our constituent entities. I am referring to the so-called budgetary infrastructure loans with an interest rate of not more than 3 percent per annum and with maturity in 15 years. We intend to allocate a total of at least 0.5 trillion rubles, that is, 500 billion rubles of such infrastructure loans by the end of 2023.

Regional debt restructuring must be based on the concept of justice, which has always been the case, actually. Some constituent entities have large accumulated commercial debts, while other entities did not take out many loans. The latter may feel neglected in this case. This will not do, and we will not permit this. We will support those who have always pursued and continue to pursue a balanced financial policy. The principle of the distribution of infrastructure loans will be as follows: the fewer debts a region had, the more it will be able to receive in infrastructure loans.

We are one country. All levels of government and business must work to one end. Debt restructuring and an innovative investment resource in the form of infrastructure loans will allow us to expand the planning horizon and to launch new solutions that are tied in with the implementation of national projects, sector-specific strategies and a comprehensive plan for upgrading the backbone infrastructure.

Federal infrastructure loans are a powerful resource, but whether they will help us get ahead or attract private investment hugely depends on what regional management teams do and on their ability to conduct an open and candid dialogue with businesses, investors, and, of course, primarily, individuals.

The infrastructure projects in the regions must be implemented, primarily, in the interests of the people, and serve as investment in the creation of new jobs and in promoting the well-being of millions of Russian households and securing the future of our children. The priorities will be building motorways and bypasses in urban areas, upgrading the housing and utilities sector infrastructure and the public transport system, as well as conducting integrated development of territories and building tourist facilities.

Please note that the infrastructure and budget loans will be fully under the control of the Federal Treasury and will be provided exclusively for specific projects that have been thoroughly analysed by experts at the federal level. While we are at it, I would like to say something to regional leaders and the Government: listen, let’s work in a rhythmic and business-like manner. I do not want to use harsh or rude language at this rostrum, but things must be done on time and projects must be prepared, not just pictures shown to the Government. In turn, the Government must quickly process the projects and help the regions deal with things they have problems dealing with. You must help your colleagues, you understand that? Not trash what they have brought to you and say they did a bad job. Some of them are unable to do what you ask of them. Help them, and then things will be on the path forwards.

The scale of the projects may vary, but most importantly, as I said, they must benefit our people and open up new opportunities. For example, in conjunction with our major companies and using the proposed mechanism, the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area will begin the construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway. This is the railway that will spur the development of the richest resources of the Arctic. This project has been in the works for a long time now, and it’s time to launch it, since we can do so now. For example, as a result, Nizhny Novgorod will be able to continue building the metro and to start renovating the city centre. Chelyabinsk, another city with a million-plus residents, will also have the opportunity to upgrade its transport system through a long-standing metro construction project. I am aware of other similar projects in Krasnoyarsk and other regions.

And, of course, the construction of new facilities must be at a qualitatively higher level. I want the Government to draft a clear step-by-step plan for the end-to-end and widespread use of digital design, and the production and introduction of cutting-edge energy-efficient materials. This is also important if we want to tackle the climate and environmental challenges.

Large-scale infrastructure development sets fundamentally new tasks before the construction industry. In the difficult past year, it worked smoothly and built over 80 million square metres of housing. This is a good result. The more we build, the more affordable housing will there be for Russian families.

Therefore, we have an ambitious goal. We have already discussed it as well and this ambitious goal has not disappeared– we plan to build 120 million square metres of housing every year. That said, we must certainly envisage a special mechanism for supporting private housing construction.

As for large-scale construction, the DOM.RF development institute will attract financial resources through the placement of bonds. This is a tried and tested mechanism that generally works well. These resources must go to developers as targeted loans.

I would like to emphasise that federal budget subsidies will allow DOM.RF to issue loans to developers at a minimal annual rate of about 3–4 percent. The construction of residential neighbourhoods in Tula, Tyumen, the Sakhalin Region and Kuzbass will be pilot projects for developing this model.

Improvement of cities and towns and housing construction growth play a major role in the development of the regions. We must take care of the urgent, daily problems of local residents. Quite a few Russian families live in areas connected to gas networks but their homes still have no access to gas for some reason. It seems the pipe is there but there is no gas at home.

I would like to ask the Government to work out, in cooperation with the regions, a clear-cut plan for bringing gas to such households. In this context, I support United Russia’s initiative, notably, that people do not have to pay for laying gas pipes directly to the border of their land plots in a residential area.

As I have already said, the Government must analyse all details in cooperation with Gazprom and other companies and agencies that work in this area to prevent any setbacks. Otherwise, I will say something from this rostrum and people will be waiting for it but because you don’t put some squiggles or commas in the right place everything will get bogged down again. This is unacceptable, and I will check on it myself, so please pay attention. Mosoblgaz and other companies must understand what they must do, in what timeframe and how much money they have at their disposal.

The goal is certainly more extensive. We must offer every region our solutions on public access to reliable and clean energy sources. This may be electricity, including from renewable sources, or environmentally friendly use of coal, which is also an option in the modern world, pipeline or liquefied gas. I instruct the regional heads to prepare, in coordination with the Government, detailed plans of action and start implementing them next year.

For example, in Kamchatka we must envisage the creation of local gas-receiving infrastructure to ensure reliable long-term gas supplies to the residents and companies of the Kamchatka Territory.

Colleagues,

We will not only give fundamentally new development tools to the regions, but will also directly invest federal resources into the settlement of the worst systemic problems, which will have a compound effect on boosting the regions’ growth and improving the quality of people’s lives.

We will begin with allocations from the National Welfare Fund for building mainline motorways. First of all, we should finance the ongoing construction of the Moscow-Kazan high-speed road and, more than that, extend it all the way to Yekaterinburg, completing this project within three years.

This way, together with the existing Moscow-St Petersburg high-speed road and the Central Ring Road, this will ensure safe high-speed motorway transit across the entire European part of Russia, from the Baltic Sea to the Urals, by 2024.

However, it is not enough to simply connect the end-of-line destinations. What good will this do, if it does not change anything about life in villages or small towns but only gives the people there an opportunity to watch high-speed trains and vehicles rush past? The backbone infrastructure must definitely lead to the development of all the territories where it has been built, giving rise to the development of a modern regional network.

The constituent entities will now be able to use infrastructure loans to speed up the implementation of these construction projects. But in their development plans, our colleagues should remember and take into account that the federal and regional mainlines must function as a unified system in the interests of our citizens, businesses and regions. In this way, the infrastructure loans and the resources of the National Welfare Fund will be working for the benefit of all Russian regions.

The same goes for our new national project in the tourist sphere. A programme of easy loans will be launched soon to finance the construction and renovation of hotels and other tourist infrastructure. The interest rate on these loans will be 3–5 percent as well, and the loans will mature in 15 years.

There are many other pilot projects. I will only mention some of them: the development of Sheregesh, the leading mountain ski resort in Kuzbass; the creation of a yachting resort in the Bay of Balaklava in Sevastopol; and the development of the tourist industry on the Altai and in the Kaliningrad Region.

The infrastructure loans project will give a new impetus to entire tourist clusters. In particular, several regions in Central Russia will be able to modernise and expand the Golden Ring route at a fundamentally new level, realising the tourist potential of small towns such as Tarusa, Palekh, Murom, Gorokhovets, Tutayev and Borovsk. Development projects will be launched in the Volga Region cities, the Crimean resorts, the Black Sea and Pacific coast areas, as well as in our resort towns such as Staraya Russa in the Novgorod Region and Kavkazskiye Mineralnye Vody in the Caucasus, including its gem, Kislovodsk.

Russia is a hospitable country that is open to its good friends. You surely remember what happened during the 2018 football championships. As soon as the epidemiological situation allows, we will lift the remaining restrictions and millions of tourists from all over the world will come to Russia again. We have a practical task at hand: to ensure that e-visas for travel to Russia are available remotely and without undue formalities within a matter of four days in the majority of countries.

Colleagues,

The meaning and purpose of Russia’s policy in the international arena – I will just say a few words about this to conclude my address – is to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens, for the stable development of our country. Russia certainly has its own interests we defend and will continue to defend within the framework of international law, as all other states do. And if someone refuses to understand this obvious thing or does not want to conduct a dialogue and chooses a selfish and arrogant tone with us, Russia will always find a way to defend its stance.

At the same time, unfortunately, everyone in the world seems to be used to the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions and to certain actors’ brutal attempts to impose their will on others by force. But today, this practice is degenerating into something even more dangerous – I am referring to the recently exposed direct interference in Belarus in an attempt to orchestrate a coup d’état and assassinate the President of that country. At the same time, it is typical that even such flagrant actions have not been condemned by the so-called collective West. Nobody seemed to notice. Everyone pretends nothing is happening.

But listen, you can think whatever you like of, say, Ukrainian President [Viktor] Yanukovych or [Nicolas] Maduro in Venezuela. I repeat, you can like or dislike them, including Yanukovych who almost got killed, too, and removed from power via an armed coup. You can have your own opinion of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s policy. But the practice of staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials – well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits.

Suffice it to mention the admission made by the detained participants in the conspiracy about a planned siege of Minsk, including plans to block the city infrastructure and communications, and a complete shutdown of the entire power system in the capital of Belarus! This actually means they were preparing a massive cyberattack. What else could it be? You know, you cannot just do it all with one switch.

Clearly, there is a reason why our Western colleagues have been stubbornly rejecting Russia’s numerous proposals to establish an international dialogue on information and cyber security. We have come up with these proposals many times. They avoid even discussing this matter.

What if there had been a real attempt at a coup d’état in Belarus? After all, this was the ultimate goal. How many people would have been hurt? What would have become of Belarus? Nobody is thinking about this.

Just as no one was thinking about the future of Ukraine during the coup in that country.

All the while, unfriendly moves towards Russia have also continued unabated. Some countries have taken up an unseemly routine where they pick on Russia for any reason, most often, for no reason at all. It is some kind of new sport of who shouts the loudest.

In this regard, we behave in an extremely restrained manner, I would even say, modestly, and I am saying this without irony. Often, we prefer not to respond at all, not just to unfriendly moves, but even to outright rudeness. We want to maintain good relations with everyone who participates in the international dialogue. But we see what is happening in real life. As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan – everything is like in Kipling’s book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer.

We really want to maintain good relations with all those engaged in international communication, including, by the way, those with whom we have not been getting along lately, to put it mildly. We really do not want to burn bridges. But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn or even blow up these bridges, they must know that Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, swift and tough.

Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time.

At the same time, I just have to make it clear, we have enough patience, responsibility, professionalism, self-confidence and certainty in our cause, as well as common sense, when making a decision of any kind. But I hope that no one will think about crossing the “red line” with regard to Russia. We ourselves will determine in each specific case where it will be drawn.

I will now say, just as I always do during the annual addresses to the Federal Assembly, that the improvement and qualitative strengthening of Russia’s Armed Forces continues on a regular basis. In particular, special attention will be given to the development of military education both at military school and academies and at military training centres at civilian universities.

By 2024, the share of modern weapons and military equipment in the armed forces will reach nearly 76 percent, which is a very good indicator. This share in the nuclear triad will be over 88 percent before this year is out.

Standing on combat duty are the latest Avangard hypersonic intercontinental missile systems and the Peresvet combat laser systems, and the first regiment armed with Sarmat super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles is scheduled to go on combat duty in late 2022.

The number of combat air systems with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, and warships armed with precision hypersonic weapons such as Kinzhal that I mentioned, and with the Kalibr missiles, is increasing. The Tsirkon hypersonic missiles will be put on combat duty soon. Work is underway on other modern combat systems, including Poseidon and Burevestnik, in accordance with the development plans of the Armed Forces.

As the leader in the creation of new-generation combat systems and in the development of modern nuclear forces, Russia is urging its partners once again to discuss the issues related to strategic armaments and to ensuring global stability. The subject matter and the goal of these talks could be the creation of an environment for a conflict-free coexistence based on the security equation, which would include not only the traditional strategic armaments, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, heavy bombers and submarines, but – I would like to emphasise this – all offensive and defensive systems capable of attaining strategic goals regardless of the armament.

The five nuclear countries bear special responsibility. I hope that the initiative on a personal meeting of the heads of state of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, which we proposed last year, will materialise and will be held as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.

Russia is always open to broad international cooperation. We have consistently advocated the preservation and strengthening of the key role of the United Nations in international affairs, and we try to provide assistance to the settlement of regional conflicts and have already done a great deal to stabilise the situation in Syria and to launch a political dialogue in Libya. As you know, Russia played the main role in stopping the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

It is on the basis of mutual respect that we are building relations with the absolute majority of the world’s countries: in Asia, Latin America, Africa and many European countries. We are consistently expanding as a priority contacts with our closest partners in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and our allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Our common projects in the Eurasian Economic Union are aimed at ensuring economic growth and the wellbeing of our people. There are new, interesting projects here, such as the development of transport-and-logistics corridors. I am sure they will become a reliable infrastructure backbone for large-scale Eurasian partnership. The Russian ideas of this broad, open association are already being put into practice, in part, via alignment with other integration processes.

All these projects are not just geopolitical ideas but strictly practical instruments for resolving national development tasks.

Colleagues,

I began today’s Address with urgent healthcare issues, and concluding it, I would like to say the following. Nobody in the world knew what misfortune we would have to face. However, we, citizens of Russia, have already done much and will do all we can to counter the threat of the epidemic. Our country has reliable resources for this. We created them in healthcare, science, education and industry in previous years.

However, we must definitely move forward. We have mapped out national development tasks. Naturally, the challenge of the epidemic has made objective adjustments to our work. Today’s Address contains instructions on demography and family support, as well as on efforts to fight poverty, increase incomes, create jobs, improve the business environment and raise state management to a new level.

I would like to ask the Government to focus on these tasks in preparing new initiatives on Russia’s socioeconomic development and instruct it to present them by July 1 of this year.

What do I have in mind? Doing everyday work, we must certainly not forget about our strategic development goals and our national development goals, and we must improve the mechanisms for reaching them.

We will discuss the Government’s proposals with the participation of the relevant State Council commissions, our business associations, experts and the Civic Chamber. Following such a broad discussion, we will make final decisions on further financial and organisational actions at the meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects.

Now I would like to address all citizens of Russia once again to say that we will do everything in our power to achieve the goals set. I am sure we will move forward together and accomplish all the tasks that we have set for ourselves.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Pubblicato in: Putin, Russia

Russia. Il parlamento ratifica la legge dei due ulteriori mandati per il Presidente Putin.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-04-03.

Putin. Kremlino. Statua San Vladimiro. 013

«Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, passed a bill on Wednesday enabling incumbent President Vladimir Putin to run for two more terms starting in 2024»

«The bill was approved by the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, a week ago»

«The draft law on elections was made in pursuance of constitutional amendments adopted in a nationwide referendum in July 2020»

«One of the 206 constitutional amendments stipulates that the limit of two presidential terms applies to the incumbent head of state, but without taking into account his previous terms»

* * * * * * *

Con questa legge Mr Putin potrà concorrere alla carica di Presidente della Federazione per ancora due mandati, concorrendo in questa maniera a stabilizzare ulteriormente il quadro politico russo.

*


Russian parliament greenlights bill allowing Putin to run for two more terms

(Xinhua) — Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, passed a bill on Wednesday enabling incumbent President Vladimir Putin to run for two more terms starting in 2024.

The bill was approved by the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, a week ago. Putin is expected to sign it into law soon.

The draft law on elections was made in pursuance of constitutional amendments adopted in a nationwide referendum in July 2020.

One of the 206 constitutional amendments stipulates that the limit of two presidential terms applies to the incumbent head of state, but without taking into account his previous terms.

In light of the amendment, the bill grants Putin the possibility of starting his presidency from scratch in 2024 and holding the office for two more terms until 2036. Enditem

Pubblicato in: Diplomazia, Putin, Russia, Stati Uniti

Mosca esige le scuse da parte di Biden il quale dice che Mr Putin sia un ‘assassino’

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-03-19.

Kremlin 001

«This kind of assessment is not allowed from the mouth of a statesman of such a rank»

«This kind of statement is not acceptable under any circumstances»

* * * * * * *

«Russia wants an apology from the United States after President Joe Biden said he thought Vladimir Putin was a killer»

«In an ABC News interview broadcast a day earlier, Biden said “I do” when asked if he believed the Russian president was a killer»

«He also described Putin as having no soul»

«promised he would pay a price for alleged Russian meddling in the 2020 U.S. presidential election»

«This kind of assessment is not allowed from the mouth of a statesman of such a rank. This kind of statement is not acceptable under any circumstances»

«The Kremlin has not yet responded publicly to Biden’s comments»

«Biden told ABC “You’ll see shortly” when asked what consequences Russia would face for its alleged behaviour»

* * * * * * *

Tali valutazioni sono inammissibili da parte di un capo di stato del rango di Biden, ma sono inaccettabili in qualsiasi circostanza.

Biden dovrà bene assumersi la responsabilità di quello che ha detto.

*

Nota.

Si prenda atto di quanto Reuters e le agenzia siano diventate molto più caute su argomenti del genere.

*


Russia wants an apology from U.S. after Biden called Putin a killer, says Kremlin ally.

Moscow (Reuters) – Russia wants an apology from the United States after President Joe Biden said he thought Vladimir Putin was a killer and may retaliate against Washington unless it gets one, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Thursday.

In an ABC News interview broadcast a day earlier, Biden said “I do” when asked if he believed the Russian president was a killer.

He also described Putin as having no soul, and promised he would pay a price for alleged Russian meddling in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, something the Kremlin denies.

In a highly unusual move following Biden’s interview, Russia on Wednesday said it was recalling its ambassador to the United States for urgent consultations over the future of U.S.-Russia ties.

Konstantin Kosachyov, deputy chairman of parliament’s upper house, said Biden’s comments were unacceptable, would inevitably inflame already bad ties, and ended any hope in Moscow of a change of U.S. policy under a new U.S. administration.

He said Moscow’s recall of its ambassador was the only reasonable step to take in the circumstances.

“I suspect it will not be the last one if no explanation or apology follows from the American side,” Kosachyov said in a Facebook post.

“This kind of assessment is not allowed from the mouth of a statesman of such a rank. This kind of statement is not acceptable under any circumstances,” he added, calling it a watershed moment in U.S.-Russia ties.

The Kremlin has not yet responded publicly to Biden’s comments, but is likely to do so later on Thursday.

Artur Chilingarov, a pro-Kremlin lawmaker in the lower house of parliament, called for a “tough reaction” from Moscow in comments made to Russia’s Ekho Moskvy radio station.

Russia’s ties with the West, already languishing at post-Cold War lows since 2014, have come under new pressure over Russia’s jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny whose freedom the West has demanded.

Russia has dismissed that as unacceptable interference in its domestic affairs.

The United States has said it is preparing new sanctions against Russia over an alleged hack and the alleged election meddling.

Biden told ABC “You’ll see shortly” when asked what consequences Russia would face for its alleged behaviour.

*


ABC News. Russia warns it may scale up response to Biden’s statement

A senior Russian lawmaker is warning that Moscow would follow up on its move to recall its ambassador in Washington with other moves if the United States fails to offer an explanation and apology for President Joe Biden’s remarks.

A senior Russian lawmaker warned Thursday that Moscow would follow up on its move to recall its ambassador in Washington with other moves if the United States fails to offer an explanation and apology for President Joe Biden’s remarks.

In a television interview aired on Wednesday, Biden was asked whether he thought Putin is a killer and said “I do.”

Konstantin Kosachev, a deputy speaker of the upper house of Russian parliament, said Biden’s “boorish statement” marks a watershed.

“Such assessments are inadmissible for a statesman of his rank,” Kosachev said. “Such statements are unacceptable under any circumstances. They inevitably lead to a sharp exacerbation of our bilateral ties.”

Russia announced Wednesday it is recalling its ambassador to the United States for consultations. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blamed the U.S. for bringing bilateral ties to a “dead end,” adding that “we are interested in preventing their irreversible degradation, if the Americans are aware of the associated risks,” she added.

Commenting on the Russian move Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki emphasized that “we will be direct, we will speak out on areas where we have concerns, and it will certainly be, as the president said last night — certainly, the Russians will be held accountable for the actions that they have taken.”

The exchange of tough statements comes on the heels of a declassified report from the U.S. national intelligence director’s office that finds President Vladimir Putin authorized influence operations to help Donald Trump in last November’s presidential election.

“(Putin) will pay a price,” Biden said in the interview, asked about the declassified report.

In Moscow, Kosachev warned Thursday that Russia’s response wouldn’t be limited to recalling the Russian ambassador “if the American side fails to offer explanation and excuse.” He wouldn’t elaborate on what other action the Kremlin may take.