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Press review: Moscow’s view of Turkey’s incursion and Russian oil’s softer OPEC+ deal bid

Top stories in the Russian press on Friday, October 11
Smoke rising from targets inside Syria during bombardment by Turkish forces at Ras al-Ayn town EPA-EFE/SEDAT SUNA
Smoke rising from targets inside Syria during bombardment by Turkish forces at Ras al-Ayn town


Izvestia: Kiev's last chance to fulfill troop withdrawal deal

If the separation of forces and equipment on the contact line around Petrovsky and Zolotoy does not occur on October 11, this issue will be postponed until the contact group's meeting in Minsk on October 15, LPR's chief diplomat Vladislav Deinego told Izvestia. The delay of the withdrawal of troops also jeopardizes the Normandy Four summit. According to experts interviewed by the newspaper, the problem is largely due to the activity of radical Ukrainian volunteer battalions and nationalists who are trying to disrupt the agreements reached by the contact group.

Deinego told Izvestia that Friday, October 11, is the final deadline to implement the agreement. Otherwise, it will not be possible to do it without an additional round of negotiations. "We have an agreed on schedule. Based on it, three days were allotted for the separation of forces and equipment. We have been using these three days to their utmost. We use these three days to their utmost. If Ukraine is not ready to fulfill its obligations on October 11, we will demand an explanation at the contact group meeting in Minsk," the diplomat said.

Meanwhile, a source in Ukrainian political circles close to the negotiation process told Izvestia that Kiev intends to bring the matter to an end, "since the separation is necessary for the Normandy summit, but there are objective reasons that prevented the implementation of what was planned."

According to Kiril Koktysh, an associate professor at MGIMO and political scientist, the volunteer battalions see the withdrawal of troops and the onset of the "peaceful" stage of confrontation as the end to "big business". That is why these groups and those who push them openly seek to disrupt the separation, hiding behind patriotic ideals. "Now Zelensky’s main goal is to consolidate control in his hands step by step and implement what was promised. To some extent, he is already doing something, but it’s impossible to do it instantly," the expert told Izvestia.


Vedomosti: Moscow’s response to Turkey’s assault against Kurds

Turkish ground forces, with the support of aviation and artillery, stormed into the territory of northern Syria on Thursday launching "Operation Peace Spring" as announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey is being backed by units formed a few weeks ago by the Syrian National Army, which is a coalition of several groups. Since then, several dozen countries reacted to the events, negatively in most cases. According to Vedomosti, Russia at the moment remains more cautious towards the Turkish operation.

According to Erdogan, the purpose of the invasion was to create security zones along the 480-kilometer border with Syria, free from YPG detachments. Turkey considers the YPG to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, designated by Ankara as a terrorist organization. On the night of October 10, massive artillery and air strikes were carried out against Arab-Kurdish detachments. Turkish media reported that in the first day alone, the Turkish military destroyed 55 "terrorist targets."

The Russian reaction to Erdogan’s operation was more cautious. Moscow is interested in the quickest settlement to the conflict in northeast Syria based on respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters. According to him, the operation itself "is a consequence of US actions in the region".

Kurdish forces will try to resist, but in the absence of any support, they are hardly able to oppose the Turkish forces, which are far superior in strength and training, a source close to the Russian Ministry of Defense told the newspaper. The source added that the operation will most likely be completed within a month. The ‘exodus’ of Kurds from the buffer zone is the expected outcome. This is the most peaceful option, the source said, as it cannot be ruled out that Trump, known for his impulsive decisions, will still want to intervene in the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, which would only aggravate the situation.


Izvestia: Russia fulfills all WADA requirements, hopes for athletes’ return to international arena

Russia is fully complying with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Russian President Vladimir Putin said on October 10. He noted that Moscow is interested in fair and clean competition and hopes that Russian athletes will soon be on equal footing with other athletes. Politicians and experts told Izvestia, that despite the difficulties of recent years, the Russian side has made great progress in the field of sports, however, dispelling doubts about the systematic use of prohibited substances remains Russia’s main issue.

"I appreciate the great progress, the allocation of huge funds for the construction of sports facilities and the improvement of work in children's sports schools," member of the Federation Council and Honorary President of the Russian Olympic Committee Leonid Tyagachev told Izvestia. "For example, the Olympics allowed the city of Sochi to create not only a wonderful ski resort, but also host the Formula 1, and bolster football and hockey in the region. We cannot stop now, and it is important to do everything so that even more specialists appear in sports," he said.

Russian professional athletics in recent years has taken a huge leap forward, Sports for all, international organization that works to counter racism and xenophobia in sports, told Izvestia. "This applies not only to the successful participation of athletes in various disciplines, but also concerning the hosting of major international competitions. The way the Sochi Olympics or the World Cup was organized is largely an example for the rest of the world," the organization noted, pointing out that doping still remains the main problem to be solved, but it should not be used to put pressure on Russia.

UEFA President Alexander Ceferin announced Russia's complete readiness to host the European Football Championship next year, and to organize the Champions League Final in 2021. In 2018, according to Ceferin, Russia was able to hold a great World Cup.


Kommersant: Gazprom Neft asks to soften OPEC+ deal

Gazprom Neft could rapidly increase production by 5% to 66 mln tonnes in 2020, if restrictions were lifted under the OPEC+ deal. All Russian oil companies admit that the agreement, which is set until next April, is hampering their plans to increase production, Kommersant wrote. Therefore, Gazprom Neft is offering a "readjustment" of the agreement mechanism, which could make it possible to boost production. However, according to experts interviewed by the newspaper, this development is unlikely.

Throughout 2019, Russian oil companies had advocated for at least softening the terms of the OPEC+ deal, the paper reported. Despite the fact that oil prices more than doubled from the deal, Rosneft, for example, demanded compensation for joining the agreement. Meanwhile, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that there is no crisis situation that would require any special decisions.

The most obvious and effective way to develop the deal is to expand the perimeter of the OPEC+ agreement, Victoria Turgeneva from KPMG told the newspaper, because against the decline in production by large countries participating in the deal, other market players, in particular the US, continue to increase it. It becomes difficult for some OPEC+ participants to fulfill existing agreements, so the deal works differently for its participants, she noted.

Regarding Gazprom Neft’s assets for increasing oil production, the company has relatively recently launched the Kuyumbinskoye and Vostochno-Messoyakhskoye fields, which have growth potential, Vasily Tanurkov from ACRA noted. According to him, withdrawal from the OPEC+ is unlikely. Probably, the deal will be repeatedly extended, which will limit the growth potential of Russian oil companies. The expert fears that in the next one to two years, the quotas may be only reduced.


Kommersant: Analysts already awaiting dawn of 6G

The fifth-generation (5G) cellular networks, which are just starting to be launched in some countries, will have difficulty coping with the growing volume of data transfer by 2028, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA). By that time, analysts predict the emergence of next-generation networks - 6G. Meanwhile, in Russia, issues with ranges and infrastructure, even for 5G, have not yet been resolved, and the development of the next standard can be expected at least by 2030, market participants and experts told Kommersant.

6G mobile communication technologies may become one of 15 breakthrough technologies that will have a key impact on the global industry in the coming years, Kommersant wrote referring to the BofA report. Other technologies on the list include quantum computers, hyperloop, nanosatellites, geoengineering, and so no. According to the BofA forecast, 6G communication networks will be able to provide speeds of up to 400 times greater than 5G.

Russian mobile operators are just starting to invest in projects related to 5G. The 5G networks, according to the GSMA association, Russia will start launching 5G in 2020, and by 2025 the number of connections to them will reach 47 mln. Meanwhile, operators told Kommersant that they are already exploring the prospects of the next generation.

According to the pace of development of the telecommunications industry, 6G technology should be expected closer to 2030, TelecomDaily CEO Denis Kuskov told Kommersant. "We have not even fully understood how the fifth generation networks will work. Obviously, now there are more than enough LTE and LTE Advanced networks, while there is no infrastructure that could support 5G networks," he added.


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