Inside Russia : OutsideRussia : News Digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on June 25 2022.
Russian SWIFT replacement ready for BRICS – Putin
Financial institutions in Brazil, India, China and South Africa can be connected to SPFS
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that banks from BRICS nations can freely connect to the System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS), Russia’s alternative to SWIFT.
While addressing a BRICS business forum, Putin said that together with its partners – Brazil, India, China and South Africa – Moscow is developing reliable alternatives for international payments.
“The Russian system for transmitting financial messages is open to connecting banks from the five countries,” he said, adding: “The geography of the use of the Russian payment system Mir is expanding.”
The Russian president also noted that work is underway to create an international reserve currency based on a basket of BRICS currencies.
SPFS has similar functionality to SWIFT and allows the transmission of messages between financial institutions in the same format. It was created by the Bank of Russia as an alternative to the Belgium-based system in 2014, when Moscow was hit with Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.
In April, Russian Central Bank governor Elvira Nabiullina said most Russian lenders and 52 foreign organizations from 12 countries had received access to SPFS, and that the regulator would keep the identity of payment system members secret.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section
BRICS developing new global reserve currency : Putin
It will be based on a currency basket of the five-nation bloc, according to the Russian president
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – are currently working on setting up a new global reserve currency.
“The issue of creating an international reserve currency based on a basket of currencies of our countries is being worked out,” he said at the BRICS business forum.
According to the Russian president, the member states are also developing reliable alternative mechanisms for international payments.
Earlier, the group said it was working on establishing a joint payment network to cut reliance on the Western financial system. The BRICS countries have been also boosting the use of local currencies in mutual trade.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section
Russian Finance Ministry paid Eurobond coupon in rubles
MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. The Russian Finance Ministry has honored commitments under Eurobonds mature in 2027 and 2047 totaling 12.51 bln rubles ($234.89 mln), the Ministry said on Thursday.
“The Russian Finance Ministry informs that in accordance with the Executive Order of the President of the Russian Federation dated June 22, 2022 No. 394 “On temporary procedure of performing state debt liabilities of the Russian Federation expressed in sovereign securities with their par value indicated in foreign currency for residents and foreign creditors.” Funds to pay the coupon yield on bonds of foreign bond loans of the Russian Federation mature in 2027 and 2047 totaling 12.51 bln rubles (the equivalent of $234.85 mln) were received by the Eurobond payment agent (National Settlement Depository),” the Ministry said.
The new method of Eurobond payments was used. “Therefore, commitments of servicing sovereign securities of the Russian Federation were performed by the Russian Finance Ministry in full scope,” the Ministry added.
Russia strictly complies with its energy resource supply commitments — Kremlin
MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. Russia strictly follows all its commitments of energy supplies to Europe, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.
“The Russian Federation strictly performs all its commitments. Being a fairly reliable and proven supplier of energy resources to Europe over decades, Russia treats its reputation in this regard with due care,” the Kremlin spokesman said.
“Certain process cycles exist for infrastructure maintenance and operation; it is better to receive information on such cycles directly from Gazprom,” Peskov said. “I reiterate, Russia has been and remains the fairly reliable supplier of energy resources to Europe,” he added.
Rossiya Segodnya Holds Videoconference on Russia’s Cooperation With African Nations
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Rossiya Segodnya media group held on Wednesday a videoconference roundtable titled “Integration Processes: Russia and the African Union.”
Leading Russian Africanists and subject matter experts from Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa took part in the discussion.
The event is part of the project on Russia’s integration processes with foreign intergovernmental organizations and regional associations, carried out jointly with The Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and the autonomous non-profit organization “Center for Assistance in the Implementation of Humanitarian and Educational Programs.”
The participants of the meeting at the media group’s premises were, among others, Siphamandla Zondi, acting director at the Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation at the University of Johannesburg and Chairperson of South Africa BRICS think tank, digital manager Jared Ombui of Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and Yohannes Wondirad, director of the Public Relations and Strategic Partnership Directorate of the Ethiopian News Agency.
The roundtable was also attended by associate professor of Mass Communication at Benson Idahosa University in Nigeria, Alex Eloho Umuerri, as well as head of photography at the African News Agency from South Africa, Ian Landsberg.
Among the Russian experts participating in the round table, as noted, were Sergey Volkov, who is head of the Center for the Study of Russian-African Relations and African States’ Foreign Policy of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS); and leading research fellow at the RAS Institute for African Studies Evgeny Korendyasov, who is also a former USSR/Russia ambassador to Burkina Faso and Mali.
They were joined by Nailya Mingazova, head of the Department of Oriental Studies, African Studies and Islamic Studies at Russia’s Kazan Federal University, and professor Aleksey Antoshin of Ural Federal University’s Department of Oriental Studies.
As Rossiya Segodnya noted at the event, experts discussed the current state of relations between Africa and Russia, the issues that impede the expansion of cooperation, as well as the prospects for developing partnerships in the fields of energy, defense, education, media and food supply.
Kenyan expert Jared Ombui, however, drew attention to the necessity of developing cooperation between Russia and African nations in the media sphere.
According to the expert, in the media field, both Russia and countries in Africa can “achieve tangible results at minimal cost.” He further noted that at the moment, most of the continental media’s information sources are mainstream Western ones, and complained that such a state of affairs is not right.
Ombui went on to suggest that “the voice of the Russian news agency Sputnik needs to be heard louder on the African continent.”
Further elaborating on the need for media cooperation, Ombui noted that it would enable the Russian public to get direct information about events taking place in Africa, and, conversely, it would be easier for Africans to get a better understanding of Russia’s point of view on a wide range of topics.
Professor at Russia’s Ural Federal University Aleksey Antoshin spoke about the importance of such steps for audiences on both continents, especially for business people, because of the potential that exists in the development of relations between Russia and the African Union.
He noted that enterprises of the Ural region are engaged with foreign partners from Algeria, South Africa, Egypt and other countries in Africa.
“Despite the difficulties associated with the sanctions regime, there are serious opportunities to ramp up cooperation in this area,” Antoshin emphasized.
Meanwhile, Siphamandla Zondi from South Africa discussed the issue of specialized education. The professor noticed that there are centers for African studies in Russia, but the lack of Russian studies centers in Africa. According to him, “a surge of interest in the study of Africa in Russia” is being seen on the continent, and the public needs educational programs in Russian studies.
Concluding, he went on to assert that in the current state of global affairs, there is also a great potential to develop closer ties in tourism.
Former Russian president laments low quality of current European leaders
Modern “puny technocrats” are no match for the giants of old who knew about responsibility, Dmitry Medvedev said
The current generation of European politicians are vastly inferior to those who governed the continent a few decades ago, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.
Modern “technocrats” don’t have the backbone needed to take bold decisions and stand up to the US, unlike the statesmen of old, he claimed.
“I don’t mean to offend anyone, but it’s obvious to everyone that Mario Draghi is no Silvio Berlusconi and Olaf Scholz is no Angela Merkel,” Medvedev wrote on social media, comparing the current and former leaders of Italy and Germany.
“The political class of people, who embodied powerful political movements and in some cases entire eras, was replaced with puny individuals who call themselves technocrats,” he said.
The Russian official, who now serves as deputy chair of the National Security Council, said he had witnessed the replacement of the old guard personally during his career. Previously, Europeans had the guts to take action and face the music, if they turned out to be wrong. The modern generation may be largely competent at governing, but they don’t have the personality to take personal responsibility, he said.
“They will hide, weasel out, cite instructions, the state of markets or even climate change, but won’t make decisions. Or when they do, they come disastrously late,” he said.
Medvedev said such politicians cannot command respect because of these personal qualities, as evidenced by the treatment they get from Ukrainian officials.
“Could the Ukrainian ambassador call Chancellor [Helmut] Kohl ‘liverwurst’? Would the current president of Ukraine wear a green T-shirt to a meeting with President [Jacques] Chirac? Of course not,” Medvedev said, referring to the former leaders of Germany and France.
The first incident he referred to was the name-calling of Chancellor Scholz by Kiev’s envoy in Berlin. Weeks later, Andrey Melnik said he “regretted” calling Scholz an “offended liverwurst.”
Medvedev’s second remark apparently referred to the way Volodymyr Zelensky was dressed when he hosted the leaders of Germany, France, Italy and Romania in Kiev earlier this month, who all wore business suits and ties.
The Russian official blamed what he described as the “degradation” of European politicians on the increasing subversion of the policies of European nations to the interest of the US.
“[Former French president] Charles de Gaulle could object to any American president. Who among the Europeans now could do so without their hands trembling? They don’t think about the future. They are limited by their flaccid electoral goals,” Medvedev said.
He noted that he was making this criticism public even though it would have been considered a major faux pas in the past. He said such remarks were now deemed permissible “for obvious reasons” in the West and in Russia.
There was little hope for positive change in terms of the scope of politicians, Medvedev said. He added that President Vladimir Putin’s old joke that “since Mahatma Gandhi died, there is no one to talk to” has proven to be spot-on.
Russia slams ‘hostile’ US move
Washington has prohibited a flight that was supposed to pick up Russian diplomats ordered to leave the US, Moscow says
Russia’s foreign ministry has described as “hostile” and “provocative” Washington’s decision not to let a “humanitarian” flight pick up Russian diplomats who had been ordered to leave the US.
In a statement published on the ministry’s website on Wednesday, and authored by its spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, Moscow warned that the US government’s latest move was yet another blow to Russian-American bilateral relations, “which are already in a sorry state.”
According to the official, Washington refused to issue an entry permit for a special flight which was supposed to bring Russian diplomats and their families home – a move Zakharova branded “hostile.”
“The Biden administration chose to completely ignore the fact that we are essentially talking about a humanitarian action,” the diplomat claimed. She explained that the “plane was supposed to come and pick up those of our colleagues who the Department of State had earlier ordered to leave the US by the end of the month.”
Zakharova stressed that the American government’s “provocative behavior” will not go unanswered. The official added that Moscow had warned Washington in advance that, should it not allow the flight to arrive, Russia would respond, including in an asymmetrical manner.
Since the start of Russia’s offensive against Ukraine in late February, a whole host of countries, mainly in the West, have expelled a total of several hundred Russian diplomats. The Kremlin has responded in kind, showing the representatives of those countries the door.
In fact, souring relations between Washington and Moscow had seen the two nations engage in tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomatic staff for several years before the armed conflict broke out.
On multiple occasions, the US authorities have claimed that Russian diplomats had been doubling as spies – an allegation Moscow has consistently denied.
This latest episode stems from a decision made by the US Department of State in August 2021, according to which Russian diplomats, who had stayed in the country for more than three years, had to leave. Washington insisted that it was not an expulsion, but rather a tightening of rules aimed at making Russia rotate its diplomats with similar frequency to that of the US embassy in Moscow.
Russia argued that this was a mere pretext, and mirrored the newly introduced US three-year limit, ordering a number of American diplomatic staff to leave.
The first 24 Russian representatives vacated America in early September 2021.
Another 27 Russian diplomats and their families flew home on January 30, 2022.
Some 28 more embassy staff are expected to leave the US on June 30.
US could lose new Cold War to Russia and China, says Nobel Prize winner
WASHINGTON, June 23. /TASS/. The United States has entered a new cold war against Russia and China and may lose it, Joseph Stiglitz, a 2001 Nobel laureate in economics, said in a commentary for the Scheerpost portal, published on Wednesday.
“The United States appears to have entered a new cold war with both China and Russia. And US leaders’ portrayal of the confrontation as one between democracy and authoritarianism fails the smell test, especially at a time when the same leaders are actively courting a systematic human-rights abuser like Saudi Arabia. Such hypocrisy suggests that it is at least partly global hegemony, not values, that is really at stake,” the former chief economist of the World Bank said.
In his view, “the United States could lose the new Cold War.” “If the US is going to embark on a new cold war, it had better understand what it will take to win. Cold wars ultimately are won with the soft power of attraction and persuasion. To come out on top, we must convince the rest of the world to buy not just our products, but also the social, political, and economic system we’re selling,” the former chair of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers emphasized.
He recalled that for nearly two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US “was clearly number one.” “But then came disastrously misguided wars in the Middle East, the 2008 financial crash, rising inequality, the opioid epidemic, and other crises that seemed to cast doubt on the superiority of America’s economic model. Moreover, between Donald Trump’s election, the attempted coup at the US Capitol, numerous mass shootings, a Republican Party bent on voter suppression, and the rise of conspiracy cults like QAnon, there is more than enough evidence to suggest that some aspects of American political and social life have become deeply pathological,” Stiglitz pointed out.
Russian arms maker mocks Macron
Earlier reports indicated French CAESAR self-propelled howitzers were captured and sent to Russia’s tank plant
A leading Russian arms manufacturer has claimed it had studied French guns captured in Ukraine and found them lacking. The mocking comment suggested French President Emmanuel Macron should send more CAESAR howitzers to Kiev, so that more could find their way to Russia, armor maker Uralvagonzavod said on social media on Thursday.
France sent a handful of its CAESAR truck-mounted 155mm artillery guns to bolster Ukrainian forces against Russia. A French political commentator claimed this week that two of them were captured intact and sent to Russia, possibly to be reverse engineered. “Thank you, Macron,” Regis de Castelnau said in a tweet on Monday.
In its Thursday response, the Russian arms manufacturer appeared to confirm the claim – or at least clap back at its French competition. It responded to a copy of the tweet that de Castelnau had posted on his Telegram account.
“Please, send our thanks to President Macron for the gifted self-propelled guns,” the Uralvagonzavod account said in Russian. It jokingly added that the French weapons were “so-so,” unlike the Russian plant’s products, but said it could find a way to use the foreign hardware nevertheless: “Bring us more, we’ll dismantle [them].”
The remark, which referred to French President Emmanuel Macron, didn’t offer any evidence of the claim. There was no official confirmation that any CAESAR guns actually got into Russia’s hands or evidence that this was the case.
Western powers arming Ukraine have been reluctant to ship their more advanced weapon systems due to concern that Russia could capture and reverse engineer them.
SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE
Russian Defence Ministry report on the progress of the special military operation in Ukraine (June 24, 2022)
Successful offensive of Russian units towards Lugansk within 5 days has resulted in the liberation of Loskutovka, Podlesnoye, Mirnaya Dolina, Shchebkaryer, Vrubovka, Nyrkovo, Nikiolayevka, Novoivanovka, Ustinovka and Ray-Aleksandrovka.
Group of Ukrainian units has been completely isolated near Gorskoye and Zolotoye.
This pocket has encircled 4 battalions: 3rd Mechanised Battalion of 24th Mechanised Brigade, 15th Mountain Assault Battalion of 128th Mountain Assault Brigade, 42nd Mechanised Infantry Battalion of 57th Mechanised Infantry Brigade, 70th Battalion of 101st Territorial Defence Brigade, as well as an artillery group of 57th Mechanised Infantry Brigade, a group of Nazis from Right Sector organisation and a detachment of foreign mercenaries.
In total, the Gorskoye pocket has isolated up to 2,000 people: about 1,800 servicemen, 120 Nazis from Right Sector, up to 80 foreign mercenaries, as well as over 40 armoured combat vehicles and about 80 guns and mortars.
41 servicemen abandoned their resistance and surrendered voluntarily just over the past 24 hours.
According to the prisoners, the encircled Ukrainian units are exhausted. The units are currently manned by less than 40%. Higher Ukrainian command has lost control over these units. Armament, munitions, fuel and other logistic supply is completely stopped.
Russian troops are straitening the Gorskoye encirclement by launching uninterrupted attacks at the enemy. Half of Zolotoye had been taken under control over yesterday.
The enemy suffers considerable losses in other directions, too.
High-precision attacks of Russian Aerospace Forces at three bases of foreign mercenaries in Nikolayev, Golitsyno (Nikolayev region) and Oleshki (Kharkov region) have resulted in the elimination of more than 200 ‘soldiers of fortune’ and up to 100 Ukrainian nationalists.
Desertion and refusals to be involved in operations are becoming widespread in the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). Over 30 Ukrainian servicemen from one of the battalions of 25th Airborne Brigade have abandoned their positions and personal weapons near Aleksandropol (Donetsk People’s Republic).
To replenish the losses in manpower, Ukrainian command are forced to form separate rifle battalions formed by untrained, mobilised citizens in each region towards Donetsk and Lugansk.
The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation in Ukraine.
Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile troops and artillery have neutralised AFU manpower and military equipment at 367 areas. 5 depots of munitions, missiles, artillery armament and logistic supplies near Privolye (Lugansk People’s Republic) and Nikolayev, as well as artillery and mortar units in 62 areas, including an artillery battery of M-777 howitzers near Oleshki (Kharkov region).
Bastion coastal missile system has launched an attack at the firing position of S-300 air defence missile system near Odessa. The target has been eliminated.
Attacks launched by aviation, missile troops and artillery have resulted in the elimination of more than 620 nationalists, 19 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, as well as 17 special vehicles.
Russian air defence means have destroyed 2 Su-25 airplanes near Dolgenkoye (Kharkov region) and Vysokopolye (Nikolayev region).
5 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles have been shot down near Popasnaya and Kapitanovo (Lugansk People’s Republic), Verbovka, Donetskoye (Kharkov region), as well as 5 Tochka-U tactical missiles near Stakhanov, Lugansk and Izyum.
n total, 213 airplanes and 132 helicopters, 1,334 unmanned aerial vehicles, 350 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,769 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 659 combat vehicles equipped with multiple rocket-launching systems, 3,002 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 3,835 units of special military equipment have been destroyed during the special military operation.
Bangladesh Beyond is an online version of Fortnightly Apon Bichitra
(Reg no: DA 1825)