Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Cina, Russia

Russia e Cina abbandonano il dollaro ed accumulano oro.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-10-14.

Banche Caveau 005

«In meno di un anno la banca centrale cinese ha acquistato oltre cento tonnellate di lingotti …. la Cina non smette di accumulare lingotti a scapito del dollaro …. In Cina la banca centrale ha aumentato le riserve auree anche ad agosto, per il decimo mese consecutivo, con l’acquisto di 5,9 tonnellate di metallo»

«riserve auree [cinesi]. Queste ultime in totale ammontano ora a 1.942,4 tonnellate (ossia 62,64 milioni di once).»

«Il gigante asiatico sta contribuendo alla de-dollarizzazione anche attraverso la vendita di titoli di Stato americani. Sia pure in modo finora molto graduale, lo stock di debito Usa in mano alla Cina continua a calare, tanto che dal mese di giugno il primato mondiale per possesso di Treasuries (al di fuori degli stessi Stati Uniti) è passato al Giappone.

Gli ultimi dati resi disponibili dal dipartimento del Tesoro Usa mostrano che a luglio la Cina custodiva Treasuries per 1.110 miliardi di dollari, il minimo da aprile 2017»

«Le riserve della banca centrale cinese a settembre ammontavano in tutto a 3.092 miliardi di dollari, secondo dati diffusi domenica (-14,8 miliardi rispetto a settembre). L’oro conta per circa il 3%.

Mancano dati precisi sull’attuale valore di tutti gli asset denominati in dollari custoditi da Pechino. Le autorità cinesi poco tempo fa avevano rivelato che il loro peso sul totale delle riserve della banca centrale era crollato dal 79% nel 2005 al 58% a fine 2014. Da allora si presume che la quota sia scesa ulteriormente»

* * *

«È invece la Russia ad accelerare le vendite di Treasuries americani: nel giro di appena 4 mesi, tra marzo e luglio, ne ha liquidati per quasi 90 miliardi di dollari»

«La Russia, minacciata da crescenti sanzioni Usa, è stata ben più drastica nel processo di de-dollarizzazione: la banca centrale nel 2018 ha ridotto le riserve in dollari da circa la metà del totale al 22%, convertendole in yuan, euro o yen (oltre che in oro). E quest’anno ha addirittura accelerato il processo»

«Secondo il dipartimento del Tesoro Usa, nel giro di soli quattro mesi – tra marzo e luglio di quest’anno – Mosca ha liquidato Treasuries per quasi 90 miliardi di dollari, riducendone il possesso di oltre il 90% ad appena 8,5 miliardi di dollari»

«Le riserve auree russe hanno invece raggiunto 2.230,4 tonnellate, per un valore di 109,5 miliardi di dollari a settembre (oltre un quinto del valore totale delle riserve della banca centrale) e sono oggi le quarte al mondo»

* * * * * * *

Questi sono i dati di fatto.

Gli economisti occidentali possono dire ciò che vogliono e gratificarsi gli uni con gli altri anche assegnandosi Premi Nobel per l’Economia, ma intanto Russia e Cina tirano diritte per la loro strada.


Sole 24 Ore. 2019-10-08. Cina e Russia «scaricano» il dollaro: accumulano oro e vendono Treasuries

In meno di un anno la banca centrale cinese ha acquistato oltre cento tonnellate di lingotti. Gli asset denominati in dollari intanto scendono, in modo graduale ma inesorabile. È invece la Russia ad accelerare le vendite di Treasuries americani: nel giro di appena 4 mesi, tra marzo e luglio, ne ha liquidati per quasi 90 miliardi di dollari.

Più di cento tonnellate d’oro in meno di un anno. Mentre con gli Stati Uniti continua il braccio di ferro sui dazi, la Cina non smette di accumulare lingotti a scapito del dollaro. Una tendenza che si osserva in modo ancora più accentuato in Russia, dove non solo la banca centrale sta incrementando il peso delle riserve auree, ma anche le transazioni commerciali si stanno spostando verso valute diverse dal biglietto verde.

Il gigante petrolifero Rosneft dal mese scorso ha scelto l’euro come valuta di riferimento per i contratti di fornitura ai clienti: una mossa che esclude la divisa americana da transazioni per oltre 50 miliardi di dollari l’anno, solo con riferimento alle vendite di petrolio (Rosneft esporta 2,4 milioni di barili di greggio al giorno) .

In Cina la banca centrale ha aumentato le riserve auree anche ad agosto, per il decimo mese consecutivo, con l’acquisto di 5,9 tonnellate di metallo. Da dicembre – quando Pechino, dopo una lunga pausa, ha ripreso ad accumulare oro – nei forzieri della People’s Bank of China sono entrate ben 105,7 tonnellate di lingotti, che corrisponde a un incremento del 5,8% delle riserve auree. Queste ultime in totale ammontano ora a 1.942,4 tonnellate (ossia 62,64 milioni di once).

Il gigante asiatico sta contribuendo alla de-dollarizzazione anche attraverso la vendita di titoli di Stato americani. Sia pure in modo finora molto graduale, lo stock di debito Usa in mano alla Cina continua a calare, tanto che dal mese di giugno il primato mondiale per possesso di Treasuries (al di fuori degli stessi Stati Uniti) è passato al Giappone.

Gli ultimi dati resi disponibili dal dipartimento del Tesoro Usa mostrano che a luglio la Cina custodiva Treasuries per 1.110 miliardi di dollari, il minimo da aprile 2017.

Le riserve della banca centrale cinese a settembre ammontavano in tutto a 3.092 miliardi di dollari, secondo dati diffusi domenica (-14,8 miliardi rispetto a settembre). L’oro conta per circa il 3%.

Mancano dati precisi sull’attuale valore di tutti gli asset denominati in dollari custoditi da Pechino. Le autorità cinesi poco tempo fa avevano rivelato che il loro peso sul totale delle riserve della banca centrale era crollato dal 79% nel 2005 al 58% a fine 2014. Da allora si presume che la quota sia scesa ulteriormente.

La Russia, minacciata da crescenti sanzioni Usa, è stata ben più drastica nel processo di de-dollarizzazione: la banca centrale nel 2018 ha ridotto le riserve in dollari da circa la metà del totale al 22%, convertendole in yuan, euro o yen (oltre che in oro). E quest’anno ha addirittura accelerato il processo.

Secondo il dipartimento del Tesoro Usa, nel giro di soli quattro mesi – tra marzo e luglio di quest’anno – Mosca ha liquidato Treasuries per quasi 90 miliardi di dollari, riducendone il possesso di oltre il 90% ad appena 8,5 miliardi di dollari.

Le riserve auree russe hanno invece raggiunto 2.230,4 tonnellate, per un valore di 109,5 miliardi di dollari a settembre (oltre un quinto del valore totale delle riserve della banca centrale) e sono oggi le quarte al mondo.

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Cina, Commercio, Russia

Rosneft. Da settembre le transazioni saranno fatte in euro, non più in dollari.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-10-12.

Kremlino 002

C’era stato un primo, timido annuncio il 21 agosto.

Russia’s Rosneft to switch to euros in oil products tenders – traders

«Russia’s Rosneft, one of the world’s top oil producers and exporters, has notified customers that future tender contracts for oil products will be denominated in euros not dollars as early as this year, five trading sources told Reuters.

The move is likely to be seen as an attempt to offset any potential negative impact of U.S. sanctions on Russia.

Rosneft, which accounts for over 40% of Russia’s oil output, sells the bulk of its oil products for export at annual tenders as well as at a number of spot or short-term tenders.»

* * *

Russia’s Rosneft seeks euros for all new export deals -documents

«Russia’s Rosneft has set the euro as the default currency for all its new export contracts including for crude oil, oil products, petrochemicals and liquefied petroleum gas, tender documents showed.

The switch from U.S. dollars, which happened in September according to the tender documents published on Rosneft’s website, is set to reduce the state-controlled firm’s vulnerability to potential fresh U.S. sanctions.

Washington has threatened to impose sanctions on Rosneft over its operations in Venezuela, a move which Rosneft says would be illegal.

Rosneft did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment. Rosneft is Russia’s top oil exporter, shipping abroad about 120 million tonnes of oil a year, or 2.4 million barrels per day.

“Rosneft has recently adjusted all the new contracts for export supplies to euros. We’ve been notified,” a trader at a company regularly buying from Rosneft told Reuters.

Reuters previously reported that Rosneft has turned to euros in its oil products sales.

According to three traders, Rosneft has named the euro as the default currency in all new contracts for its export sales starting from September.

As benchmark oil prices are quoted in dollars, Rosneft asks buyers to use the euro/dollar exchange rate published by Bloomberg one day prior to the set payment day, according to tender documents.

“Rosneft used to have the euro as one of the options, but since last month it’s the main option. We’ve been notified, but still it’s a visible change,” one of the traders said.»

* * * * * * *

«La de-dollarizzazione prosegue in Russia, che prende le distanze dalla valuta americana anche negli scambi commerciali e nei mercati dell’energia, dominati dal biglietto verde»

«E intanto Mosca e Teheran passano a un sistema alternativo a Swift per i trasferimenti interbancari …. Come già avviene tra diverse banche russe e cinesi»

«Rosneft copre più del 40% del petrolio estratto in Russia; ne esporta ogni anno circa 120 milioni di tonnellate, pari a 2,4 milioni di barili al giorno»

«mentre le nuove restrizioni decise in agosto in seguito al caso Skripal toccano per la prima volta le emissioni di debito sovrano russo, a cui le banche americane non possono partecipare.»

«In parallelo, le banche russe si spostano su sistemi di pagamenti alternativi, e il governo incoraggia le aziende ad accettare pagamenti in altre valute»

* * * * * * *

Una sola considerazione.

International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook (October – 2017)

Le proiezioni al 2022 danno la Cina ad un pil ppa di 34,465 (20.54%) miliardi di Usd, gli Stati Uniti di 23,505 (14.01%), e l’India di 15,262 (9.10%) Usd. Seguono Giappone con 6,163 (3.67%),  Germania (4.932%), Regno Unito 3,456 (2.06%), Francia 3,427 (2.04%), Italia 2,677 (1.60%). Russia 4.771 (2.84%) e Brasile 3,915 (2.33%).

I paesi del G7 produrranno 46,293 (27.59%) mld Usd del pil mondiale, mentre i paesi del Brics renderanno conto di 59,331 mld Usd (35.36%).

Gli Stati Uniti valgono il 14.01% dell’economia mondiale ed i paesi del G7 il 27.06%.

Troppo poco per pretendere di continuare a governare il mondo.

*


Rosneft passa all’euro: non è più il dollaro la valuta di riferimento

La de-dollarizzazione prosegue in Russia, che prende le distanze dalla valuta americana anche negli scambi commerciali e nei mercati dell’energia, dominati dal biglietto verde. E intanto Mosca e Teheran passano a un sistema alternativo a Swift per i trasferimenti interbancari.

Si accettano solo euro. La Russia ha compiuto un altro importante passo sul fronte della de-dollarizzazione, prendendo le distanze dal biglietto verde per mettersi il più possibile al riparo dalle sanzioni imposte dagli Stati Uniti, presenti e future. E se finora lo ha fatto soprattutto per mano della Banca centrale russa, che nel 2018 ha ridotto le proprie riserve in dollari da circa la metà del totale al 22%, convertendole in yuan, euro o yen (oltre che in oro), il passaggio ad altre valute sta lentamente progredendo anche negli scambi commerciali. E anche sui mercati del petrolio, tradizionalmente radicati sull’uso del dollaro.

Lo scrive l’agenzia Reuters: Rosneft, una delle principali compagnie petrolifere al mondo e primo esportatore russo, ha scelto l’euro come valuta di riferimento in tutti i nuovi contratti di esportazione, a partire da settembre. Una svolta che riguarda greggio e derivati, prodotti petrolchimici, gas liquefatto. Reuters fa riferimento ai documenti per i tender (attraverso cui passa la maggior parte dell’export) pubblicati sul sito della compagnia russa. E in cui si chiede ai clienti di far riferimento al tasso di cambio euro/dollaro del giorno precedente al pagamento, dal momento che i prezzi del petrolio sono fissati in dollari.

Rosneft, controllata dallo Stato, non ha rilasciato commenti; ma una delle fonti citate da Reuters, trader in una compagnia che acquista regolarmente da Rosneft, ha confermato di avere avuto notifica del passaggio ai nuovi contratti. Come peraltro la stessa Reuters aveva riferito il 21 agosto scorso, in riferimento però solo ai contratti di esportazione dei prodotti petroliferi. Stando alle fonti dell’agenzia, l’euro diventerà invece la valuta di default per tutti i contratti: se fino a oggi era stata una delle opzioni possibili, ora è l’opzione principale.

Rosneft copre più del 40% del petrolio estratto in Russia; ne esporta ogni anno circa 120 milioni di tonnellate, pari a 2,4 milioni di barili al giorno.

Il processo di de-dollarizzazione dell’economia procede lentamente man mano che la Russia, a partire dal 2014, entra sempre più nel mirino delle sanzioni decise dal Tesoro americano: quelle che potrebbero aggiungersi ora per Rosneft riguardano le attività della compagnia di Igor Sechin in Venezuela, mentre le nuove restrizioni decise in agosto in seguito al caso Skripal toccano per la prima volta le emissioni di debito sovrano russo, a cui le banche americane non possono partecipare. In parallelo, le banche russe si spostano su sistemi di pagamenti alternativi, e il governo incoraggia le aziende ad accettare pagamenti in altre valute. L’ultimo annuncio riguarda l’Iran: il 17 settembre scorso il governatore della Banca centrale iraniana ha dichiarato che per le transazioni interbancarie Mosca e Teheran inizieranno a utilizzare un sistema alternativo a Swift. Come già avviene tra diverse banche russe e cinesi.

Pubblicato in: Commercio, Putin, Russia

Russia. Putin inizia a fare sul serio. Con successo.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-10-06.

Russo-Baltique Vodka

Russo-Baltique Vodka.


Questa era una operazione mai riuscita in Russia, a partire dai decreti mai attuati di Alessandro I Pavlovič zar di Russia.

«Russian alcohol consumption decreased by 43% from 2003 to 2016»

«It attributed the decline to a series of alcohol-control measures implemented by the state, and a push towards healthy lifestyles»

«the drop in alcohol consumption was linked to a significant rise in life expectancy»

«Alcohol consumption has long been recognised as one of the main driving factors of mortality in the Russian Federation, especially among men of working age»

«But from 2003 to 2018, alcohol consumption and mortality decreased, with the most significant changes occurring in causes of death linked to alcohol»

«Alcohol-control measures introduced under former President Dmitry Medvedev included advertising restrictions, increased taxes on alcohol and a ban on alcohol sales between certain hours. The restrictions on alcohol are one of the most striking changes in Russia in recent years»

«In Moscow, the all-night kiosks crammed full of vodka, beer – and whole, dried fish taped to the glass – are long gone. You can only buy alcohol in shops, or from delivery firms, until 11pm. That includes beer which wasn’t even classed as booze in the old days»

* * * * * * *

Una così consistente diminuzione del consumo di superalcoolici è anche un segno indiretto della crecita di una nuova classe media.


Russian alcohol consumption down 43%, WHO report says

Russian alcohol consumption decreased by 43% from 2003 to 2016, a World Health Organization (WHO) report says.

It attributed the decline to a series of alcohol-control measures implemented by the state, and a push towards healthy lifestyles.

The WHO said the drop in alcohol consumption was linked to a significant rise in life expectancy.

It noted that Russia had previously been considered one of the heaviest-drinking countries in the world.

“Alcohol consumption has long been recognised as one of the main driving factors of mortality in the Russian Federation, especially among men of working age,” the report said.

But from 2003 to 2018, alcohol consumption and mortality decreased, with the most significant changes occurring in causes of death linked to alcohol.

In 2018, life expectancy in Russia reached a historic peak, at 68 years for men and 78 years for women.

Alcohol-control measures introduced under former President Dmitry Medvedev included advertising restrictions, increased taxes on alcohol and a ban on alcohol sales between certain hours.

The restrictions on alcohol are one of the most striking changes in Russia in recent years.

In Moscow, the all-night kiosks crammed full of vodka, beer – and whole, dried fish taped to the glass – are long gone. You can only buy alcohol in shops, or from delivery firms, until 11pm. That includes beer which wasn’t even classed as booze in the old days.

And if you do buy a bottle, you can forget drinking it in the street. That’s banned here now, and police fines are common enough for most people to stick to the rules.

Alongside the new restrictions, there’s been a big push on healthy living that’s coincided with an expansion of the middle class. Many Russians are increasingly health-conscious, like their European and American counterparts – and like their president, who’s filled calendars with his action-man photoshoots over the years.

But drinking patterns are linked to wealth as well as health. In poorer communities, away from the big cities, drinking cheap surrogates and home-made alcohol is still common.

Pubblicato in: Demografia, Devoluzione socialismo, Putin, Russia

Russia. Il problema demografico. È in via di risoluzione.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-09-24.

2019-07-10__Russia_Demografia__001

La demografia dei paesi derivati dal crollo dell’URSS è segnata dalle stigmate di settanta anni di comunismo, dal trauma sociale, politico ed economico dell’implosione del sistema e dalla profondità della crisi economica che ne è derivata.

Dopo la lunga, agonica conduzione di Mr Brèžnev, periodo di stagnazione sociale ed economica, al crollo del sistema nulla era stato approntato per sostituirlo. Due uniche istituzioni quelle più o meno sopravvissute con almeno una parvenza di efficienza: le forze armate nella loro componente di armamenti nucleari e l’allora Kgb e Gru.

La sorte dette alla Russia l’equivalente di quel grande statista che fu Deng Xiaoping: Mr El’cin.

In Occidente è uomo deriso e vilipeso, odiato perché è a Lui che si deve l’inizio della ricostruzione della Russia sulle macerie fumanti del materialismo storico. Uomo incredibilmente pratico, classico frutto russo, prese lucidamente atto della situazione e fece l’unica cosa logica da fare in quel momento. Disse ai russi: “Arricchitevi, non mi importa come, ma arricchitevi“. E questi si diedero un gran da fare. Seguirono dieci anni di apparente totale anarchia, ed anche di palesi ingiustizie.

Se il pil russo era 516 miliardi Usd nel 1990, nel 2000 era sceso a 278, mentre il pil procapite era crollato da 3,502 Usd a 1,899 Usd. Questi numeri indicano chiaramente quante lacrime e sangue sia costata la ricostruzione: l’obiettivo primario era quello di far crescere una classe, piccola a piacere, ma presente, di ricchi straricchi. Solo i ricchissimi avrebbero potuto finanziare la nascente ripresa economica. El’cin aveva fatto quello che mille anni prima avevano fatto le Repubbliche di Venezia e di Genova.

Agli inizi degli anni 2000 Gru e Kgb misero al potere Putin, degno successore di El’cin.

Con l’avvento di Mr Putin tutto cambia. La Russia doveva rientrare in un sistema grosso modo legale, ricostituire la autorità centrale dello stato.  Domare gli oligarchi non fu cosa semplice, e Mr Putin usò talora una mano ben pesante. Gli obiettivi erano, in ordine strategico:

– ricostituire il comparto produttivo, per iniziare a generare ricchezza generalizzata;

– ricostituire le forze armate alla pristina potenza mondiale, perché senza di esse nessuna politica estera sarebbe possibile;

– da ultimo, il welfare, ma solo da ultimo.

È un programma che ricalca strettamente quello a suo tempo fatto da Ciro il Grande, quando da un popolo misero e disarmato ne fece i padroni del mondo di allora. Siamo chiari: solo popoli come quello russo o quello cinese avevano, hanno, la resistenza morale per seguire una simile strada, del tutto aliena alla mentalità occidentale.

Se l’Occidente odiava e sbeffeggiava El’cin, odio ben maggiore riserva a Mr Putin. Si erano creduti di aver potuto eliminare la Russia dal contesto mondiale e costui te la fa risorgere ed ancor più potente di prima. I russi son disposti a mangiare per anni cavoli e saliva, ma vogliono, fortemente vogliono, ripristinare la gloria della loro nazione, della loro patria. Nei triboli si compattano.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Senza aver presente codesto passato sarebbe impossibile comprendere il presente ed intravedere il futuro.

Un sistema socioeconomico così sotto tensione, con periodi di mera sopravvivenza per una grande quantità di persone, invogliava ben poco a formare delle famiglie ed ancor meno a proliferare.

Il grafico riporta fedelmente gli effetti di questi travagli storici.

Il tasso di fertilità crolla dai 2.5 a poco più dell’unità nel 2000. Ma adesso è già tornato ad 1.7, e con trend in crescita.

Se prima le nascite erano il doppio delle morti, nel 1991 queste ultime superarono le prime. Ma dal 2013 il numero delle nascite è lievemente superiore a quello delle morti.

«Since 2007 the authorities have been providing a one-time benefit in the form of certificate that can only be used for particular goods or services, adjusted annually for inflation, to mothers who have more than 1 child»

«In the same year the government set September 12 as the National Day of Conception, a day off from work for couples»

«It was hoped that 9 months later, on June 12, Russia’s National Day, there would be a bumper crop of children, and it was»

«Women who gave birth on that day could win refrigerators, money, or cars. Parents with 7 or more children are invited to the Kremlin and receive medals from the president himself.»

«The positive result of that action was only achieved in 2013»

«The authorities realize that the demographic problem can only be solved by strengthening the family.»

* * * * * * * * * * *

Dalle crisi demografiche si esce soltanto rafforzando le famiglie, disponendo leggi che le proteggano e ne ostacolino la disgregazione, disincentivando l’uso di anticoncezionali e dell’aborto, sempre che esso sia legalmente permesso.

Poi, da ultimo ma non certo per ultimo, ripristinando i principi religiosi.


Gefira. 2019-07-08Russia’s demography is a case apart

The Russian Federation is the world’s largest country in terms of area, the largest producer and exporter of natural gas, crude oil, and many food products, which is why this state exerts a significant influence on others. If anything goes wrong there some countries will be rubbing their hands in delight that one of their competitors is getting weaker, while others will be in a difficult, situation, losing their main supplier or buyer.

Moscow is concerned about the demographic decline which negatively affects the country’s geopolitical, economic and military potential. Though the Russian population is not threatened with extinction in the foreseeable future, the media often describe the country’s demographic situation as difficult or critical. The labour force is said to be declining by 800 thousand workers every year. Immigration could be a solution but for a disproportionately high number of umie educated people among foreigners. A brain drain is yet another problem that the government needs to deal with.1)Certainly, pension expenditure will have to be increased because of the growing number of seniors or pensions will have to be reduced. There could arise a need to levy a higher income tax and extend the retirement age. As for now the authorities are focused on encouraging families to have children.

Since 2007 the authorities have been providing a one-time benefit in the form of certificate that can only be used for particular goods or services, adjusted annually for inflation, to mothers who have more than 1 child.2)In the same year the government set September 12 as the National Day of Conception, a day off from work for couples. It was hoped that 9 months later, on June 12, Russia’s National Day, there would be a bumper crop of children, and it was, but only a few times. Women who gave birth on that day could win refrigerators, money, or cars. Parents with 7 or more children are invited to the Kremlin and receive medals from the president himself.3)The positive result of that action was only achieved in 2013.4)The authorities realize that the demographic problem can only be solved by strengthening the family.5)

The population of the Russian Federal Soviet Socialist Republic increased from 87 million in 1922 up to 148 million in 1991 and remained at that level until 1996, after which it started to decrease. From 2009 the situation seemed to be improving slightly until last year, which was predicted by some economists because about the year 2010 women aged 25-30, i.e. those with the highest fertility rate, made up the biggest age cohort.6)There is a high possibility that in 30 years the population will drop by over 10 million and by 2100 it will have decreased by the same number. By 2050 Russia will be the 15th most-populous country, following the Philippines and Tanzania.7)

Already since about 1983, a few years before the end of the Soviet Union, the birth and fertility rates had been decreasing, which was one of the earliest signs of the coming crisis. After 1991 the number of deaths surpassed that of births: 12,2 as opposed to 10,7 per 1000 people respectively.

In 2000 1,2 million children were born and 2,2 million people died. Until 2012 the number of deaths had remained higher than that of births. Then the birth rate began to slightly exceed the death rate but only until 2016. In 2017 in each month there were 10%-15% fewer births than in 2016. The data from January to August of 2017 show that there was a loss of above 100 thousand people. At present, in Russia one birth occurs every 18 and one death every 16 seconds, so again more people die than are born. The fertility rate is about 1,7. In comparison to many other countries this is a relatively good result, but still below the replacement level.

Already since about 1983, a few years before the end of the Soviet Union, the birth and fertility rates had been decreasing, which was one of the earliest signs of the coming crisis. After 1991 the number of deaths surpassed that of births: 12,2 as opposed to 10,7 per 1000 people respectively.

In 2000 1,2 million children were born and 2,2 million people died. Until 2012 the number of deaths had remained higher than that of births. Then the birth rate began to slightly exceed the death rate but only until 2016. In 2017 in each month there were 10%-15% fewer births than in 2016. The data from January to August of 2017 show that there was a loss of above 100 thousand people. At present, in Russia one birth occurs every 18 and one death every 16 seconds, so again more people die than are born. The fertility rate is about 1,7. In comparison to many other countries this is a relatively good result, but still below the replacement level.

In the 60’s of 20th century people aged 65 and over made up 6% of the society, in 1991 – 10%, and now almost 14%. In the same time the number of children (aged 0-14 years) dropped by 13 percentage points, so it is clearly visible that society is aging. The population aged 15-64 had been shrinking till 1991 and then started growing until 2015. The Russian Federation’s life expectancy is low: 70,91, while for example the US boasts 78,84.

There are many causes behind it. Some of them are related to the means taken by Boris Yeltsin (First President of the Russian Federation) and then by Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais (First Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation respectively), who were in charge of the country’s social and economic transformation. Widespread unemployment, rampant inflation, empty shops made people feel insecure and discouraged them from starting a family. At present every fifth Russian does not want to have children. Psychologists investigating this topic think that now people are unable and unwilling to share life with someone else and compromise their own habits.9)For 100 marriages 80 end in divorce and because of that young women are afraid to be abandoned or become single mother. Moreover some of them, in particular from the middle class, are scared to lose attractive appearance, personal freedom and independence. Over the last 10 years educated and wealthy women have become increasingly childless, while these not educated give birth more often.10)Professional career can hardly be reconciled with having a family. It is believed that people have to make a choice between children, lack of self-development and poverty or vice versa, with nothing in between. According to VCIOM (Russia Public Opinion Research Center) about 10% of Russians do not have enough money to buy food. The number of people living in poverty grew from 15,5 million in 2013 to 19,8 million in 2016. So they cannot afford babies if they want to raise them in good conditions so much so that childcare facilities are few.

Russia is facing a bigger problem than the low birth rate: its death rate which stands at 13 per 1000 people while the world’s average is about 8, in US 8, in UK over 9. After the collapse of the USSR the death rate has increased largely due to alcohol abuse and suicide. At that time people were pushed into economic dire straits. A factory closed overnight, no financial resources to start a business, no potential customers for existing enterprises. The Yeltsin era was war in slow motion, razing the country to the ground, as it implemented the West’s advice.

The economic crisis hit the Russian health care system. There occurred diseases that are not even found in many Third World countries: diphtheria, typhus, cholera, typhoid, and especially tuberculosis. Mortality due to TB is dropping but still there are 320 new cases and 64 resultant deaths each day. The problem most often concerns men (infected women make up less than 50%), aged mainly 25-34 years. The major causes are bad living conditions, no treatment, late detection, insufficient number of medical laboratories, and low infection control. Tuberculosis hits primarily the homeless, unemployed, migrants, and drug and alcohol addicts. 11)

More than 30% of all deaths in Russia in 2012 were alcohol-related: ethanol poisoning, cirrhosis, accidents. The total consumption of pure alcohol in litres in 2010 was 32,0 for men and 12,6 for women, (average 22,3) whereas in the US at the same time it was 18,1 and 7,8 (13,3) respectively,12)which results in a rising mortality among men aged 50 and less. Russians are not only addicted to alcohol but also to drugs, mainly heroin. During the Soviet era, the country was not a significant consumer of narcotics but the situation has changed since the beginning of the new millennium. Between 1996-2006 the number of drug users increased tenfold. Now about 8,5 million Russians abuse illicit narcotics and 90% of them use heroin. One of the by-products of this phenomenon is the world’s fastest-growing HIV epidemic that affects a third of the drug addicts. In 2015 Russia recorded almost 100 thousand new HIV infections and in the following year about 1 million. Each day there are 80-100 HIV infection cases among women.13)

Another big problem is abortion. It is quite common and used for birth control. There are 480 abortions per 1000 live births (while in US 200, in Germany 135). It is a legal procedure up to 12th week of pregnancy and in special circumstances at later stages. In 1920 the Russian Soviet Republic was the first country in the world to allow abortion under all circumstances. Now abortions in Russia are available as a part of free health care package of mandatory medical insurance and every insured woman aged 16+ can request a free pregnancy termination.14)At the end of the 1990s officially there were 3 million abortions annually per 1 million births whereas according to unofficial estimates the number was 5-6 times greater. Until 2007 the number of abortions was higher than the number of live births. W 2008 there were 72 terminations of pregnancy per 100 births compared to 20/100 in US. Hand in hand with pregnancy termination many children – in 1993 5% of newborns and 5 years later 9% – are abandoned after birth. At the end of 1990’s there were about 1 million homeless children.15)

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  1. ↑ 25 лет спустя: демография после развала СССР, Настоящее Время 2016.

  2. ↑ The benefits of being a Russian mother, Russia beyond 2015-08-24.

  3. ↑ Why Putin is paying women to have more children… Inside Russia’s super families, The Telegraph 2017-03-10.

  4. ↑ 6 creative ways countries have tried to up their birth rates, Mental Floss 2016-05-11.

  5. ↑ Демографическое будущее России: депопуляция навсегда?, Библиотека учебной научной литературы.

  6. ↑ The Russian economy in 2050: Heading for labour based stagnation, BROOKINGS 2015-04-02.

  7. ↑ Western Sanctions Are Shrinking Russia’s Population, Foreign Policy 2017-10-19.

  8. ↑ Что стало с русскими в союзных республиках после развала СССР, Рамблер 2017-06-11.

  9. ↑ Почему так много людей не хотят вступать в брак, заводить детей? Ответы психолога, Первый канал 2010-02-25.

  10. ↑ Чайлдфри: почему женщины не хотят рожать, Mиp24 2016-04-12.

  11. ↑ Tuberculosis country profiles, WHO 2017-12-01.

  12. ↑ Russia is quite literally drinking itself to death, QUARTZ 2015-05-13.

  13. ↑ HIV and AIDS in Russia, Avert organisation 2017-06-13.

  14. ↑ Putin’s next target is Russia’s abortion culture, Foreign Policy 2017-10-03.

  15. ↑ Демография в России (1897-2030), Dissonnace.ru 2010-09-13.

Pubblicato in: Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici, Russia

Russia, Penisola Gydan. Arctic LNG-2: un progetto da 21 miliardi Usd.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-09-13.

Gydan & Yamal 001

Siamo chiari. Qualche politico italiano avrà ben dovuto andare in Russia a trattare la questione.

Che poi lo si voglia bastonare perché Saipen ha tolto una gran bella fetta di lucro alla Total, società francese, è cosa capibilissima: i francesi sono suscettibili, così come gli altri partner dell’Unione Europea. E nemmeno i giapponesi sono rimasti troppo soddisfatti: anche la Mitsubishi è fuori dall’Lng-2.

Gydan & Yamal 002

* * * * * * *

Financial Times. Saipem secures Arctic LNG 2 project contract

Italian oil and gas services group seals joint venture in the west of Siberia.

Saipem reached a deal on Friday to participate in a joint engineering venture for a liquefied natural gas project in the west of Siberia. The contract awarded by Russian gas producer Novatek and a subsidiary assigns the Italian oil and gas services company a €2.2bn share in a joint venture with France’s Technip and Russia’s NIPIgaspererabotka to construct three LNG trains — facilities to liquefy and purify the gas — as part of the Arctic LNG 2 project. Each train will have the capacity to process approximately 6.6m tonnes of natural gas per year. The deal is the latest in a string of agreements secured by the company for construction services on gas projects, winning in June a record $6bn contract for an Anadarko LNG project in Mozambique. After some difficult years for services companies since the oil price plummeted in 2014, Saipem reported positive results for the first half of this year with a net profit of €14m, compared with losses of €323m in the same period a year earlier. The company has put a strategic focus on growth driven by gas, positioning itself for the energy transition to low carbon sources, with the latest deal meaning non-oil business accounts for nearly 70 per cent of its €22.5bn backlog. Stefano Cao, Saipem’s chief executive, said that the project “reaffirms Saipem’s strategic choice to consolidate its leadership across the entire natural gas value chain”. Saipem has emerged stronger from its restructuring by focusing on contracting on projects that make the company money and technical solutions — for example, helping the Zohr offshore field in Egypt go from discovery to first gas in the short timeframe of just over two years. The agreement with Novatek, building on the deal reached in December 2018 for Saipem to construct gravity based structures for the LNG plant, will be paid on a lump sum and reimbursement basis and the first train is expected to come online by 2023. Some analysts say that there are concerns, however, that the project could be hit with sanctions, as the US continues to ramp up punitive measures against Russia. The Yamal LNG project, Russia’s first foray into developing its Arctic resources for shipping overseas, was targeted with US sanctions in 2014. A day earlier Japanese trading house Mitsubishi announced it would not invest in the Arctic LNG 2 project.

* * * * * * *

Energy Global News. Novatek strengthens presence in the Gydan Peninsula.

PAO Novatek announced that Arctic LNG 1, a wholly owned subsidiary, won the auction for geological survey, exploration and production license for the subsoil area including the Soletsko-Khanaveyskoye field located on the Gydan peninsula in Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region. The license area has estimated hydrocarbon resources of 2,183 billion cubic meters of gas and 212 million tons of liquids, or 16 billion barrels of oil equivalent according to the Russian resource classification system. The license term is 27 years and the auction resulted in one-time payment for the subsoil use in the amount of RR 2,586 million.

The new license area borders Novatek’s Trekhbugorniy and Gydanskiy license areas on the Gydan peninsula, and allows to create the resource base for the next LNG project similar to Arctic LNG 2, with liquefaction trains to be located at the Utrenniy terminal.

The Gydan Peninsula is a geographical feature of the Siberian coast in the Kara Sea. It takes its name from the river Gyda that flows on the peninsula. It is roughly 400 km long and 360 km wide. This wide peninsula lies between the estuaries of the Ob and Yenisei Rivers. The southwestern corner of the peninsula is limited by the Taz Estuary. The climate in the whole area of the peninsula is arctic and harsh.

* * * * * * *

Reuters. 2019-09-05. Russia ups LNG race with green light on $21 billion Arctic LNG-2 project

The $21 billion Arctic liquefied natural gas (LNG)-2 project led by Russian private gas producer Novatek won a green light on Thursday, the latest in a raft of new projects aimed at meeting a likely doubling of LNG demand over the next 15 years.

Arctic LNG-2 is expected to launch in 2023 and will aim to export 80 percent of its LNG to Asia, Novatek Chief Executive Leonid Mikhelson, Russia’s richest businessman according to Forbes magazine, said after the project’s partners signed a final investment decision (FID) at an economic forum.

At nearly 20 million tonnes per annum (mmpta) of LNG it would be largest single project to reach FID, according to Wood Mackenzie, and take total LNG volumes sanctioned this year to about 63 mtpa, beating the previous record of 45 mmtpa in 2005.

Arctic LNG 2 will be the third LNG project for Novatek, which hopes to match Qatar in production of the super-chilled fuel.

“Novatek is clearly driving home their ambitions to be a global LNG power house,” said Chong Zhi Xin, associate director of gas, power and energy at IHS Markit.

“It adds another 12 million tonnes to their portfolio on an equity basis. They are emerging as one of the largest LNG suppliers in the market.”

The project’s equity partners include French energy producer Total, China’s National Petroleum Corp [CNPET.UL], CNOOC and the Japan Arctic LNG consortium, made up of Mitsui & Co and state-owned JOGMEC, formally known as Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp.

“This is an important project for Russia and follows our strategy to create capacities for LNG production,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, adding that investments in the project had been set at $21 billion.

Japanese Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said the project is one of the largest in the history of Japanese-Russian relations.

“It will unite Japan and Russia even more, as well as Europe and Asia. The Japanese government will provide all necessary assistance for the realization of this project,” he said.

The Arctic LNG 2 project will include construction of three LNG trains with a capacity of 6.6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG each and at least 1.6 mtpa of gas condensate, according to Novatek’s website.

Located on the Gydan peninsula in Russia, the project is expected to export its first LNG by 2023 with the second and third train to start up by 2024 and 2026, Total said in a statement.

It will help Russia reach its goal of producing 120 to 130 million tonnes of LNG a year in the coming years and raise its share in the global LNG market to up to 20 percent.

It follows FIDs announced from Canada, the United States and Mozambique over the past year and plans to target Asian demand driven by major economies shifting towards greener fuel to combat pollution.

The project will benefit from extremely low cost gas, helping it compete against LNG from the United States and Canada, said Wood Mackenzie analyst Nicholas Browne.

LNG from the project will also be delivered to international markets by a fleet of ice-class LNG carriers that will be able to use the shorter Northern Sea Route and the trans-shipment terminal in Kamchatka for cargoes destined for Asia and the trans-shipment terminal close to Murmansk for cargoes destined for Europe, Total said.

“Arctic LNG 2 adds to our growing portfolio of competitive LNG developments based on giant low cost resources primarily intended for the fast growing Asian markets,” Total’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanné said in the statement.

The increase in supply from Russia and more intense competition may push down LNG prices and help move Asia towards a more gas-based economy, said IHS Markit’s Chong.

Pubblicato in: Diplomazia, Russia, Stati Uniti

Mondo che cambia. Il caso del sen Ron Johnson e Mr Putin.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-08-29.

Washington. White House. 001

I tempi stanno mutando a grande velocità.

Dalla fine della guerra mondiale i membri del Congresso americano sono abituati a poter viaggiare liberamente in tutto il mondo, entrando anche nei paesi che avessero criticato aspramente, emettendone sentenze non solo politiche ma anche morali.

Erano anche abituati ad intrattenere stretti rapporti con i partiti o le fazioni che erano alla opposizione, anche se queste componenti fossero state francamente rivoluzionarie.

Questa costumanza trae origine solo nello sviluppo storico degli eventi, non avendo base alcuna nel diritto internazionale. Era semplicemente il power that be.

I congressisti americani ed, a maggior ragione, i senatori si erano assuefatti al fatto che nessuno avrebbe mai potuto negar loro la possibilità di entrare nei loro confini a piacimento.

Se sicuramente dovevano, anche per gli ovvi motivi diplomatici, richiedere il visto di ingresso, questa era una mera formalità.

Adesso i tempi sembrerebbero essere cambiati.

* * * * * * *

Una decina di giorni or sono Israele ha negato l’ingresso a due congressiste americane.

Israele nega l’ingresso a due congressiste Usa.

«Israel is blocking two US Democratic lawmakers, who are prominent critics of the Israeli government, from visiting»

«Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were due to visit the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem next week»

«Both have supported the boycott movement against Israel, but Israeli law allows supporters of the campaign to be banned from visiting»

«Israeli law blocks entrance visas to any foreigner who calls for any type of boycott that targets Israel – either economic, cultural or academic. The law attempts to suppress the “boycott, divest, sanction” movement, which has drawn growing support across Europe and the US»

«They also planned to visit Israeli and Palestinian peace activists and travel to Jerusalem and the West Bank cities of Bethlehem, Ramallah and Hebron. The trip to the West Bank was planned by Miftah, an organisation headed by Palestinian peace negotiator Hanan Ashrawi.»

*

Di questi giorni la Russia di Mr Putin ha negato il visto di ingresso al sen Ron Johnson, repubblicano, che aveva in passato criticato pubblicamente il Presidente Russo Vladimir Putin.

Precisiamo subito un fatto.

Nessuno vieta di dissentire dall’operato politico altrui, purché ciò sia fatto in modo consono alla dignità di chi parla ed a quella di chi dovrebbe ricevere il messaggio. In questo, la fraseologia diplomatica sarebbe fonte preziosa del galateo che regola i rapporti internazionali. Poi, una cosa sono le critiche, sia pure molto dure, fatte nell’esercizio nelle proprie funzioni in parlamento, un’altra se esternate in diverse situazioni.

Molti eletti dovrebbero leggersi con cura i comunicati di Mr Xi, che sono testi accurati di pacatezza: ferma, fermissima, ma pacatezza.

*

«A U.S. senator from Wisconsin who has publicly criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia has denied him a visa to visit as part of a congressional delegation»

«Ron Johnson said he had planned to speak with government officials, American businesses and others during his trip»

«The Republican is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation»

«An email to the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., inquiring about the denial bounced back as undeliverable Monday. No one immediately responded to another email sent to a different address for the embassy. Calls to the building couldn’t connect»

«Ron Johnson has spoken in the past of Russia taking “a dark turn” under Putin, and he criticized the Russian president sharply in announcing the visa denial»

«Shaheen has been an outspoken supporter of measures meant to counter Russia’s interference in U.S. elections. The Russian Embassy said at the time that Shaheen’s request was rejected because she is on a black list created in response to U.S. sanctions»

* * * * * *

Si prenda atto che è mutata un’epoca.

Gli occidentali, massimamente congressisti e senatori americani, si sono spesso attribuiti il diritto di emettere giudizi etici e morali su governanti di altri stati. E di averlo fatto in maniera plateale, al limite del provocatorio, spesso con terminologia da angiporto.

Orbene, tale diritto non compete loro ed il resto del mondo sembrerebbe non essere più disposto a tollerarlo.


The Washington Times. 2019-08-27. Sen. Ron Johnson denied Russian visa

MADISON, Wis. — A U.S. senator from Wisconsin who has publicly criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia has denied him a visa to visit as part of a congressional delegation.

Ron Johnson said he had planned to speak with government officials, American businesses and others during his trip. The Republican is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation.

A news release from Johnson’s office didn’t say when he had planned to visit Russia or name the other members of the congressional delegation. Johnson spokesman Aaren Johnson said the trip had been planned for next week and the delegation had planned to visit several countries. He said he was unable to say why Johnson was denied a visa.

An email to the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., inquiring about the denial bounced back as undeliverable Monday. No one immediately responded to another email sent to a different address for the embassy. Calls to the building couldn’t connect.

Ron Johnson has spoken in the past of Russia taking “a dark turn” under Putin, and he criticized the Russian president sharply in announcing the visa denial.

He and fellow Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming were granted visas in 2017 to visit Russia in January 2018 but canceled the trip after another member of their delegation, Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, was denied.

Shaheen has been an outspoken supporter of measures meant to counter Russia’s interference in U.S. elections. The Russian Embassy said at the time that Shaheen’s request was rejected because she is on a black list created in response to U.S. sanctions.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Problemia Energetici, Russia

La Akademik Lomonosov parte da Murmansk verso Pevek.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-08-25.

2019-08-25__Akademik Lomonosov 001

La chiatta Admiral Lomonosov ospita una centrale atomica da 70 MW, progettata per poter lavorare a temperature molto rigide, quali quelle artiche. Fornirà energia elettrica alla zona estrattiva di Pevek.

Artico. 50% delle riserve minerarie.

Russia. Varato il rompighiaccio atomico Ural. Alla fine saranno 13 navi.

Russia. Akademik Lomonosov. Prima centrale atomica mobile e galleggiante.

Cina. Centrali elettriche nucleari. 37 reattori attivi, 60 in costruzione, 179 programmati.

Russia. La Akademik Lomonosov parte da Murmansk verso Pevek.

* * * * * * *

L’immarcescibile Greenpeace dorme sonni agitati: è tormentata da tutti i più reconditi timori di immani disastri.

Nei fatti, però, ciò che più la rode, è che con questa centrale atomica, usata anche per desalinizzare l’acqua di mare, la Russia potrà aumentare in modo molto significativo la produzione del campo di Pevek che, data la sua ubicazione geografica, sarà in grado di risolvere molti problemi energetici della Cina.

Non solo, così operando la Russia si lega sempre più saldamente alla Cina, formando un blocco politico ed economico euroasiatico destinato a primeggiare nel mondo.

*

Russia’s floating nuclear plant sets sail for the Arctic

A seaborne nuclear plant has started its journey across the Arctic Circle to supply power to a Siberian town. Russian activists warned the barge could become a “Chernobyl on ice.”

Russia launched the world’s first floating nuclear power plant on Friday for a weekslong journey through the Arctic Circle, despite warnings from environmental groups.

The vessel, Akademik Lomonosov, is a 140-meter (459-foot) float carrying two nuclear reactors capable of providing enough energy for a town of 100,000 people. It is to be towed 4,700 kilometers (2,920 miles) to the town of Pevek in north Siberia.

Once there, the vessel will replace the local, aging nuclear power plant and also supply power to regional oil platforms. Russian nuclear officials said that the Akademik Lomonosov will serve as a key infrastructure element in the Northeast Passage, the route connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific. The route has become more accessible due to climate change.

The platform can also be used to desalinate sea water and turn it into drinking water.

Fears of storm, collision

Russian environmentalists have repeatedly slammed the project, warning it could turn into “Chernobyl on ice” or a “nuclear Titanic.”

Greenpeace representative Rashud Alimov warned that there might be a collision between the platform and the tugs moving it along.

“Any nuclear power plant produces radioactive waste and can have an accident, but Akademik Lomonosov is additionally vulnerable to storms,” he told the AFP news agency.

The ship is loaded with nuclear fuel and would also store spent fuel abroad.

Alimov warned there was “no infrastructure for a nuclear cleanup” in Russia’s far north.

Russia hopes for sales abroad

Officials from Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom hope to sell similar nuclear floats to foreign countries within the next ten years. Indonesia and Sudan are the most interested in such a purchase, a senior nuclear energy official told the Interfax news agency earlier this month.

The Akademik Lomonosov started development in 2006. It is expected to start supplying energy to Russia’s central system before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Rosatom is already developing the next generation of floating power plants, which will be smaller and 30% more powerful.