We have to admit that the Russian Revolution, which occurred on November 7 exactly 100 years ago, was not a fatal accident, it was the inevitable result of the government’s inability to timely and skillfully carry out reforms that had long been overdue, Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament), Valentina Matviyenko, wrote in her article in Izvestia.
According to the speaker, the dramatic events that occurred in Russia a century ago "continue to be significant for both this country and the whole world, witness the paramount attention paid to the Russian Revolution by both professional historians and experts and all of society."
Matviyenko noted that about 1,200 conferences, symposiums and exhibitions had been dedicated to the issue. A nationwide discussion in our country "has confirmed that 100 years later, there continues to be a significant divergence of opinion in our society." "I believe what’s more important is that despite the lingering disagreements, and lively and sometimes heated debates, the discussion did not turn into a standoff dividing the Russian people," she wrote.
"Regardless of political views, respect for certain ideas and historical personalities, we are equally responsible for the worthy future of our shared Homeland in the 21st century. The choice made by Russians in 1991 and the Constitution adopted in 1993 create a solid foundation for that."
Opinion polls show that Russians do not desire new revolutions, Matviyenko stressed. "They are in favor of well-considered and consistently implemented reforms ensuring a sustainable economic and social development for our society, respect for civil rights and freedoms and the country’s security. I believe I will make no mistake if I say that this is the principal lesson, the key conclusion drawn by our country on the basis of this 100-year experience," she noted.
About two years ago the idea that Russia and China would uphold the principle of free trade and the US would favor protectionism would have been seen as utterly ridiculous. Nevertheless, standoff between Washington and 20 Asia-Pacific countries over future liberalization of international trade will top the agenda of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam, Kommersant writes.
According to the experts interviewed by the paper, there is every likelihood that the APEC leaders’ final declaration would not be settled on due to the stance by US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, who made it clear that Washington was not interested in being involved in these sorts of multilateral organizations.
During the APEC ministers’ May talks, which preceded the leaders’ meeting, the parties were unable to reach an agreement on a final declaration because of the US stance, says Tatyana Flegontova, Director of the Russian APEC Study Center. "Washington blocked virtually all areas of work, which included both new initiatives and the ones the parties had been working on for ten years and more. There is a substantial risk that this scenario will be repeated at the summit," she said. According to the expert, the Americans are demanding to replace the concept of "free trade" with the concept of "fair trade" when settling on the text of the final declaration. "There is no such term in the World Trade Organization’s legal framework (APEC members rely on it in their work), and other participants can disagree with this approach," she stressed.
Meanwhile, a source in the US Department of State informed the paper that Washington was committed to free trade in the Asia-Pacific region, when asked about America’s stance at the upcoming APEC talks scheduled to be held on November 10-11.
Russia has its own priorities at the event, according to Natalya Strigunova, Deputy Director of the Russian Economic Development Ministry’s Asian, African and Latin American Department. She noted that in 2017, Moscow, in particular, focused on promoting the Eurasian Economic Union and "consolidating its status as a full-fledged participant in the integration processes in the Asia-Pacific region."
China's State Commission for the BeiDou satellite navigation system has formally invited Russia’s Roscosmos Space Corporation to take part in establishing an international innovative center for the use of satellite navigation. This center could be established at a Chinese university, Izvestia writes.
Details of the project are expected to be discussed on the sidelines of the 9th China Satellite Navigation Conference in Harbin in May 2018. The parties are supposed to put forward their vision of this innovative center by that time.
Roscosmos confirmed that talks on the proposal are in progress. "Our Chinese counterparts suggest discussing the possibility of setting up an international innovative center for the use of satellite navigation, which they call a laboratory. It will amass information on the latest achievements in this field, it will be possible to demonstrate the equipment, conduct training and improve one’s knowledge. You could say that it would be similar to Skolkovo, but with a specialization in satellite navigation," the corporation’s press service told the paper.
Alexey Belyakov, Executive Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Cluster at the Skolkovo Foundation, believes that carrying out the joint venture will require a lot of time, but the upshot will be valuable for both Russia and China.
"Currently, there is a lot of talk about harmonizing the standards of the GLONASS and BeiDou satellite systems, about cooperation on joint navigation and information services for the new Great Silk Road. Therefore, I am not surprised that such an idea emerged. Russia and China have strategic interests in the international navigation market, and such interaction has a synergistic effect for both sides. I believe though that the transition from declaring plans to set up the center to getting it up and running will take a lot of time," he said.
Russia’s biggest satellite TV operator, Tricolor TV, will invest more than 500 bln rubles ($8.5 mln) in the company’s work in the Far Eastern region, Kommersant writes.
Tricolor TV intends to evaluate the Far East’s audience interest in the new product before expanding operations nationwide, the company’s CEO Alexey Kholodov explained.
Russia's largest satetilite TV provider will test its new digital platform there, which would involve financial and insurance services, e-commerce, lotteries, bookmaker’s offices and dating services.
According to TMT Consulting analyst Elena Krylova, the prospects for Tricolor TV in the region will depend on the cost of user equipment. "New digital service can be of interest to subscribers, but the demand for them will depend on investment in the advertising campaign," she said.
On the other hand, Otkrytiye Broker analyst Timur Nigmatullin noted that digital services companies now focus on 15-20-percent return on assets. "This implies a cost recovery period of five to seven years," he noted. The expert added that less than 5% of Russia’s population lives in the country’s Far East. "So given the relatively small market, the low broadband access penetration rate in the region and the poor quality of live TV broadcasting, hence demand for satellite Internet and TV is pretty high," he concluded.
Russia’s Novatek company has found new gas reserves in the Kharbeiskoye field (220 bln cubic meters) and recoverable oil reserves (over 40 mln tonnes), which will help the company maintain falling production levels and fulfill contracts with consumers, Vedomosti writes citing data provided by the company.
Novatek is in dire need of additional reserves. Its gas production has dropped from 67.9 bln cubic meters in 2015 (when the Kharbeiskoye field was opened) to 66.1 bln in 2016. In the first nine months of 2017, the company produced 7.8% less gas than during the previous year (49.95 bln cubic meters).
With the current reserves, the maximum production at the field can be from 6 to 12 bln cubic meters of gas per year, said Raiffesenbank analyst Andrey Polishchuk. According to BKS analyst Kirill Temnikov, Novatek can produce up to 10 bln cubic meters of gas and 2 mln tonnes of liquid hydrocarbons. The expert noted that this could amount to nearly 20% of the company’s current production and "will help compensate for the drop in production at mature fields."
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