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Surge in EU exports to Russia

Bangladesh Beyond
  • Updated on Monday, August 15, 2022
  • 112 Impressed

Surge in EU exports to Russia

 

Dhaka August 15 2022 :

 

Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News Digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on August 15 2022.

 

INSIDE RUSSIA

Putin to Attend Opening Ceremony of Army 2022 Forum, Int’l Army Games, Kremlin Says

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian President Vladimir Putin will take part in the opening ceremony of the International Military-Technical Forum ARMY-2022 and the International Army Games at Patriot Park in the Moscow region on August 15, the Kremlin said on Sunday.

“On August 15, Vladimir Putin will take part in the opening ceremony of the ARMY-2022 International Military-Technical Forum and the 2022 Army International Games,” the statement read.

The Russian president will also visit an exhibition of advanced military equipment models.

The eighth international military-technical forum ARMY-2022 will take place at several venues in the Moscow region from August 15-21.

The Army Games 2022 are being held from August 13-27 in 12 countries: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Vietnam. The Russian Defense Ministry said in early July that 275 teams from 37 countries had confirmed their participation, with Niger and Rwanda taking part for the first time. A total of 36 military tournaments are planned, with 12 of them taking place in Russia.

 

Russia to Wrap Up State Trials of New Malva Self-Propelled Howitzer This Year – Developers

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The state trials of Russia’s new self-propelled howitzer Malva, equipped with a 152-mm ordnance, are expected to be completed by the end of this year, the developers told Sputnik.

“In 2021, as part of the tests of the chief designer, the effectiveness of the created self-propelled howitzer and its compliance with the requirements of the tactical and technical assignment were confirmed. The prototype has been finalized and was submitted for state tests of the Ministry of Defense, the planned completion date of which is the end of 2022,” a spokesperson of the Uralvagonzavod corporation said.

The spokesperson told Sputnik that, simultaneously with the testing, the production of a pilot batch of Malva has already begun.

The new truck-mounted artillery system was developed by the Burevestnik Central Research Institute, which is part of the Russian Uralvagonzavod corporation. The artillery unit is based on wheeled chassis, and, according to the developers, the maximum firing range of the Malva self-propelled howitzer should reach 24.5 kilometers (15 miles).

 

Russia Could Get New Robotic Multiple Launch Rocket System – Developers

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A new multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) is being developed in Russia that will be able to work both with a crew and in an unmanned mode, the developers told Sputnik.

“At the moment, we are developing a robotization kit for the regular BMP-3 [infantry fighting vehicle]. In addition, we are working on the robotization of a promising multiple launch rocket system. This will make it possible to exclude the presence of the crew of the combat vehicle in the danger zone, while we will also retain the ability to control the MLRS by a person from the cockpit of the combat vehicle,” Vladimir Pimenov, General Director of VNII Signal (part of Rostec High-Precision Systems Holding Company) said.

If it enters service, it will be the first robotic weapon of this type in the Russian military.

Pimenov explained to Sputnik that a “full” robotization of such an MLRS is inappropriate, since its technical characteristics inevitably decrease in unmanned mode.

 

Crimea sets grain harvest record

A record grain crop has been harvested in the Russian Republic of Crimea, head of the region Sergey Aksyonov said on Thursday.

“Crimean farmers have harvested a record crop of more than 2.1 million tons, which is 700,000 tons more than last year,” he wrote on his Telegram channel.

In 2021, the grain crop reportedly amounted to 1.47 tons. In the previous year, Crimean farmers harvested one million tons of grain, while the peninsula’s own demand totals 300,000 tons. Before the pandemic in 2019, the grain crop amounted to about 1.7 million tons.

The latest figure represents Crimea’s largest crop since Soviet times, when the peninsula    harvested 2.2 million tons of grain in 1989.

Earlier this month, Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said the country could reduce its planned 50 million tons of grain exports this year due to a possible yield decrease.

According to the minister, the possible decrease was attributable to a delay in work starting across many regions due to a cold spring and bad weather. Russia also experienced some difficulties with the supply of foreign components for agricultural equipment.

The ministry had previously predicted a grain harvest of 130 million tons for 2022, including a record 87 million tons of wheat, with some 50 million tons of grain designated for export.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

 

Russia ridicules Ukrainian ambassador for ‘begging’

Kiev’s envoy to Australia Vasily Miroshnichenko, a successful businessman, is attempting to crowdfund his daughter’s education

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has shamed Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, Vasily Miroshnichenko, for “begging and vagrancy,” after he launched a crowdfunding appeal to send his daughter to a top-tier London university.

“It’s not a joke,” Zakharova wrote in a Telegram post on Sunday, explaining that the ambassador had posted a link to the crowdfunding page on his official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“First, he wrote how he showed his daughter American universities, and then he reported that she chose a British education after his fascinating stories,” Zakharova continued.

“Begging and vagrancy are the basis of the Kiev regime’s ‘diplomacy,’” she added, remarking that Ukraine “was squandered” through such grift.

In a Facebook post last month, Miroshnichenko said that he had taken his daughter, Yaroslava (Yasia), on a road trip to California to look at universities four years ago. With Yasia recently turning 19, he said that she had chosen not to attend any of the US schools, and would instead study chemistry and management at University College London, an institution rated 18th in the world on the Times Higher Education rankings.

Miroshnichenko posted a link to a crowdfunding appeal by Yasia, who is seeking £30,000 ($36,400) to cover tuition and living costs for her first year in London.

Yasia wrote on the crowdfunding website that she had been granted a British visa under a scheme for Ukrainian refugees and qualified for domestic tuition. At UCL, this means that she will pay the same £9,250 per year rate as British students, instead of the £31,200 charged to international students.

“It’s still a huge amount of money for my family to pull off,” she wrote. “Therefore, I need your support.”

Miroshnichenko has served as Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia and New Zealand since March. Although his net worth is not publicly available, it is highly unlikely that his family cannot afford Yasia’s university fees. The diplomat is the CEO of a consultancy firm in Kiev and the co-founder of a Ukrainian media NGO. He is also described by the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv as “a long-time friend and donor” of the institution.

 

US seeking to label Russia as state sponsor of terrorism with others’ hands — diplomat

MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. The United States’ plans to isolate Russia in the world have failed, which explains Washington’s attempts to label Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism with the hands of others, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday.

“They are using others to materialize their idea [to add Russia to this list]. As a matter of fact, the Baltic states have already spoken out on this topic,” she said in an interview with the Voskresny Vecher (Sunday Evening) with Vladimir Solovyov program on the Rossiya-1 television channel.

She stressed that the West has failed to isolate Russia, as it has failed to cancel Russian culture and history. “It did not happen. The world has paid no heed to everything Washington was saying. The West has self-isolated from our country and then it triggered Plan B – to do harm wherever possible. Mostly by proxy,” she said, adding that Washington prefers to do it via those countries, which joint the European Union not long ago. In her words, the governments of Eastern European nations are not “the elite, which is responsible for its steps,” and Washington is making use of it.

She recalled that Moscow has clearly explained to Washington which consequences this step (listing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism) may entail. “If they can read, they, probably, understand. We have said that many times – not only orally, but also in written commentaries, and even translated them into English. So, the question is to the people we deal with. But everything has been said many times,” Zakharova stressed.

Latvia’s parliament on Thursday adopted a statement recognizing Russia’s actions in Ukraine as terrorism and declaring Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Apart from that, the Latvian lawmakers called on EU countries to suspend issuing entry visas to Russian nationals. Commenting on this statement, Zakharova said that Latvia’s steps are rooted in visceral xenophobia and have no grounds.

Ukraine also called on the United States to add Russia to the list of state sponsors of terrorism. The same calls have been heard from a number of US lawmakers.

 

OUTSIDE RUSSIA

Amnesty further backtracks on Ukraine human rights report

International experts will examine the documents that led to incredible pressure on the organization

Independent experts will review the bombshell Amnesty International report accusing the Ukrainian armed forces of violating humanitarian law, following a backlash from Kiev, in an effort to understand “what went wrong” with the preparation of the document.

In a statement released by its German section on Friday, the human rights watchdog said that the study of the document was “initiated at the international level,” and will examine the process by which the material was prepared and how the report was analyzed from the legal and political standpoints.

“We want to understand what exactly went wrong and why, in order to learn a lesson and improve our work in the field of human rights,” the organization said.

Amnesty International noted that “its findings were not conveyed with the delicacy and accuracy” that are expected from the organization. It also stated that its International Secretariat did not react to criticism from the international community in the correct manner.

The report, the watchdog said, also “did not pay due attention to Russian aggression in violation of international law,” adding that Amnesty condemns Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.

On August 4, Amnesty released a report that accused Kiev of “a clear violation of international humanitarian law,” saying it was putting civilian lives at risk by placing its military assets close to civilian infrastructure.

In 22 of the 29 schools visited by Amnesty between April and July, the human rights group said it found evidence of current or prior military activity. In five locations, they witnessed Ukrainian troops using hospitals as bases. The group also said it was “not aware” whether Ukraine tried to evacuate civilians from the areas in question.

Nonetheless, the watchdog noted that no Ukrainian troops were present in some areas where it found that Russian forces had allegedly delivered strikes on residential areas, concluding that Ukraine’s unlawful military use of civilian sites does not “in any way justify indiscriminate Russian attacks.”

Following backlash from Kiev, with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky slamming Amnesty for siding with “terrorists,” the organization issued an apology for its report, saying it “deeply regrets the distress and anger that our press release on the Ukrainian military’s fighting tactics has caused,” while stating that “we fully stand by our findings.”

 

Surge in EU exports to Russia

Shipments jumped 18% in June, rising for the second month in a row after a trough in April

EU exports to Russia surged by 18% in June from the previous month, reaching €4.45 billion ($4.57 billion), foreign trade data from the statistics agency Eurostat shows.

This was the second consecutive month that exports to Russia rose, following the April low of just €2.78 billion. However, the value of goods shipped to Russia remains well below the June 2021 figure of €7.21 billion, as some 28% of EU exports to Russia remain under Ukraine-related sanctions.

In response to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Brussels banned the export to Russia from the EU of airplanes, bearings, dual-use technology, luxury goods, and other products. These restrictions delivered an instant blow to the bloc’s exports to Russia, one of its largest trading partners in previous years.

Nevertheless, industrial equipment retained its position as the largest EU export to Russia, with June having seen shipments worth €1.12 billion, up 21% from May. The supply of medicines also increased, growing by 6% to €791 million over the previous month and surpassing last year’s figures by 31.5%. Medicine is now the second-largest EU export to Russia.

The bloc’s exports of perfumes and cosmetics, excluding luxury goods that exceed €300 per single item, rose in June by 38% to €108 million. Shipments of plastics and plastic products grew by 16% to €234 million, while deliveries of optical, measuring, control, medical devices and instruments and electrical equipment and components also jumped. However, exports in all of these categories remain well below last year’s levels.

Germany remains the largest EU exporter to Russia, with €1.16 billion worth of goods shipped in June, a 5.4% increase against May. Poland nearly doubled its shipments to Russia against April-May to €395 million, while exports from the Baltic states increased by 34% month-on-month, to €481 million.

Due to sanctions, the export of aircraft and aircraft components from Europe to Russia, which approached €3 billion in 2021, has dropped to zero since April 2022. Deliveries of cars and auto parts fell by more than ten times in annual terms and amounted to only €62 million in June.

Russia stopped publishing trade statistics shortly after the operation in Ukraine began. However, according to a report from the Bank of Russia in late July, citing data from Russia’s trading partners, the country’s overall imports of goods and services fell 22% in the second quarter of the year from the same time in 2021. Moscow repeatedly said that it will be able to overcome the impact of sanctions on imports, and that measures will be taken to substitute any missing goods with ones produced at home or obtained from other sources, such as China, Turkey and India.

In a draft of the directive on monetary policy published earlier this week, Russia’s central bank predicted that despite the political pressure, imports would gradually recover.

“The pace of this recovery will be determined by the emergence of new financing and insurance mechanisms, the construction of new logistics routes and the formation of new trade relations. The mechanism of parallel imports, launched at the end of March, will also contribute to the growth of imports,” the regulator stated, as cited by the news agency RBC.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

 

Russian Embassy Expresses Condolences to Families of Yerevan Market Blast Victims

YEREVAN (Sputnik) – The Russian Embassy in Armenia has expressed condolences following the deadly explosion at the Surmalu market in Yerevan.

On Sunday, the Yerevan City Council reported over two dozen people missing after the explosion at a fireworks storage area in the capital’s Surmalu shopping center. The mayor’s office said that three people were killed by the blast and another 61 were injured.

“We express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who died as a result of the explosion that took place this afternoon on the territory of the Surmalu shopping center. We wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” the Russian embassy said on social media on Sunday.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also expressed her condolences via Telegram on Sunday.

Hayk Kostanyan, the press secretary of Armenia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, said on social media shortly after midnight Sunday that the identities of the three people killed by the blast had been established, while the fate of another 17 people remains unknown. According to Kostanyan, the dead include two women and one man.

The Armenian emergency services told Sputnik that specialists from the Russian-Armenian center of humanitarian response helped extinguish the blaze on Sunday.

 

SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE

One dead in Ukrainian shelling of city hosting nuclear plant

Continual strikes in the vicinity of the facility have already prompted fears of a disaster

Ukrainian troops shelled a residential area in the city of Energodar on Sunday, a member of the local administration, Vladimir Rogov, reported in a Telegram post. A local 49-year-old resident was killed in the strike, he added. Energodar hosts the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the largest such facility in Europe.

The man was walking his dog when the shelling began, according to Rogov. A 24-year-old woman was also injured in the attack, he said, adding that she had been sent to a hospital. The Ukrainian strike also targeted an area near the city’s thermal power plant, where the shelling caused a fire close to the facility, the official said.

Moscow has repeatedly blamed Ukraine for shelling the Russia-held Zaporozhye nuclear plant over the past week. On Thursday, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, told the Security Council that a nuclear disaster could happen “at any moment” amid the “reckless” shelling of the plant by Kiev’s forces.

“Kiev’s criminal attacks on the nuclear infrastructure facilities are pushing the world to the brink of a nuclear disaster that would rival the Chernobyl one,” Nebenzya said at that time.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also expressed concern over the developments at the plant and suggested sending an IAEA mission to the facility to assess the situation. The initiative was welcomed by Moscow.

Kiev, in turn, has blamed Russia for targeting the plant in an alleged plot to discredit Ukraine – an accusation Moscow dismissed by saying it had no reason to target its own troops.

Washington, meanwhile, has sided with Kiev in its demand for a demilitarized zone around the nuclear plant and the withdrawal of the Russian troops controlling the area.

 

Allied forces break through Ukraine’s defense and advance toward Ugledar — DPR official

DONETSK, August 14. /TASS/. Forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) backed by the Russian army have broken through Ukraine’s defenses and advance toward Ugledar, DPR’s Deputy Minister of Information Daniil Bezsonov said on Sunday.

“Soldiers of the DPR army’s Shakhterskaya division backed by Russian forces have broken through the Ukrainian army’s defenses and advanced considerably toward Ugledar. The Ukrainian army sustained serious losses in manpower and weapons,” he wrote on his Telegram channel.

DPR’s head, Denis Pushilin, said on July 13 that the DPR’s forces are advancing in four directions, including toward Ugledar.

 

INSIGHTS

Ukraine’s Finance Minister Reports Problems Finding Cash to Pay Troops Despite West’s Aid Bonanza

Ilya Tsukanov, Sputnik News

The US and its allies have approved over $76 billion in military and fiscal aid to Kiev, equivalent to 40% of Ukraine’s GDP in 2021. However, much of this assistance doesn’t seem to be reaching its intended destinations, with CBS issuing (and then deleting) a story last week showing that as little as 30% of the military aid was reaching the front.

Ukraine is having trouble scrapping together the money required to pay soldiers’ salaries and has resorted to money printing thanks to a growing gap between military spending and declining tax revenues, combined with a slowing flow of Western aid, Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko has indicated.

“Every day and night it’s a constant headache,” Marchenko told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.

The minister explained that the government is now spending more than 60 percent of the budget on military-related expenditure, and has received assurances from Western countries of new loans and grants to cover non-military spending.

“The support we get now gives us the opportunity to win this war and to do it sooner rather than later. Without this money, the war will last longer and it will damage economies more,” Marchenko said.

The minister indicated that the government is disregarding concerns from the National Bank about skyrocketing inflation, saying “it is better to risk high inflation than not to pay soldiers’ salaries.” He added that he expects the conflict to turn into a “marathon” lasting for the remaining of 2022 and 2023. “This is a war of attrition. You have to think in these terms,” Marchenko said.

Ukraine has received a total of more than $50 billion in military and non-military aid authorizations from the US alone, including everything from weapons and new defense contracts for the military-industrial complex to replenish old inventories, to fiscal support and loans to help the Ukrainian state stay afloat, pay its creditors on time and avoid paralysis, to humanitarian assistance.

US assistance has been matched by nearly $16 billion in aid from the European Union, plus $6.22 billion, $3.34 billion, $2.85 billion, $2.61 billion and $2.11 billion from Britain, Germany, Poland, Canada and France, respectively, for a grand total of over $76 billion.

On Friday, Ukrainian presidential chief economic advisor Oleg Ustenko urged the International Monetary Fund to shell out $5 billion as part of a larger $15-20 billion aid package over the eighteen months to two years to encourage others, including the US, the EU and other countries to go ahead with additional support. Last month, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal told attendees of a Switzerland-based conference dedicated to Ukraine’s economic recovery that the country would need some $750 billion in assistance.

Corruption concerns and questions about the final destination of the tens of billions of dollars doled out to Ukraine aid periodically emerge in mainstream media reporting on the conflict. Last month, Ukrainian-born Republican Congresswoman Victoria Spartz accused Ukrainian presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak of sabotaging the country’s defenses, and of appointing officials engaged in corruption to fight graft. Ukrainian officials dismissed her concerns as “Russian propaganda.”

Last week, CBS News posted and then deleted a bombshell documentary which uncovered that as little as 30 percent of the military assistance Western countries had sent to Kiev in the first months of the conflict had actually reached the frontlines. The documentary was quickly taken down to be “updated” to account for new information from the Pentagon and other sources.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted that the retraction was not enough and called for an “internal investigation” at CBS to determine “who enabled” the documentary’s release and why.

 

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