Izvestia: Why Nuland was allowed to enter Russia and what to expect from talks
US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was removed from the Russian sanctions lists because of her official post in the Biden administration, a high-ranking source told the newspaper, noting that the diplomat was previously blacklisted when she worked for an NGO. On October 11, the diplomat arrived in Moscow where she will hold talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, Deputy Chief of the Russian Presidential Staff Dmitry Kozak, Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov and others.
Given her past experience as the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs during the Obama administration, a lot of attention during her talks in Moscow will focus on the settlement in Ukraine. According to Director of the Russian Center for Current Policy Alexey Chesnakov, it is necessary to keep in mind that the US possesses strong mechanisms of pressure on Kiev while Moscow has a clear agenda regarding Ukraine, adding that no constructive dialogue is possible between Moscow and Kiev.
According to former Russian Ambassador to the US and First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on Foreign Affairs Sergey Kislyak, Nuland’s visit is an important event since both Moscow and Washington accumulated a large number of issues that need to be discussed "and where we have disagreements and this is not just Ukraine." "The very fact of a dialogue is a step in the right direction on our part. Essentially, this is the first working contact at this level after Joe Biden’s administration came to power, so such contacts usually cover a wide range of issues," the diplomat said. President of the American University in Moscow Edward Lozansky concurs adding that the fact that Nuland was issued a visa indicates there is a need for serious dialogue. He explained that the agenda of the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva was far-reaching and now is the time to talk through these issues at the diplomatic level. He specified that, in addition to Ukraine, these issues may include strategic stability, Iran, diplomatic issues and others.
Izvestia: LPR head reveals offer to meet Zelensky
Leader of the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) Leonid Pasechnik in an interview with Izvestia revealed that he had offered to meet Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky anywhere along the line of engagement in order to discuss resolving the conflict. The politician also talked about the actual state of affairs in Donbass with regards to a ceasefire, the potential engagement of the US in the Normandy Four, casualties sustained since the beginning of the military conflict, the customs union with the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the prospects of unification with its neighbor.
He pointed out that Kiev has never observed the ceasefire and the shelling continued with varying intensity. According to him, violations of the ceasefire increased three-or five-fold since this past February-March which is registered by the OSCE mission, UN observers, and the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) yet no sanctions have been slapped on Ukraine which only encourages its aggressive actions. He reiterated that his offer to meet with the Ukrainian president to discuss resolving the conflict remained on the table. The politician emphasized that Kiev had not complied with its obligations per the recommendations of the Normandy Format and he does not think that the inclusion of the US in the Quartet will change the situation, since the Americans are not impartial and were present during the majority of the processes related to the conflict anyway.
The politician discussed common projects with the DPR on customs and business stimulation stressing that no unification of the two republics is in the works. He reiterated that the consequences of the ongoing armed conflict are currently more pressing, given that civilians are being killed and wounded despite the so-called truce. According to him, the experience showed that only one side of the conflict is ready for a stable ceasefire and this is not Kiev.
Kommersant: Pashinyan, Armenian and Azerbaijani religious leaders to visit Moscow
On Tuesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will visit Moscow to discuss the "implementation of the statements by the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh," according to the Kremlin press service. The situation in the region since those statements were made 11 months ago only has only grown more complicated with the Iranian factor added into the mix. A meeting of religious leaders which will take place in Moscow simultaneously will also be dedicated to possible avenues of de-escalation.
Clashes continue both on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and along the line of engagement in Karabakh. "The threat of destabilization in South Caucasus with the participation of regional powers - Iran and Turkey - worries Armenia," an anonymous source in the country’s state structures told the newspaper, explaining that the protection of its southern borders is a priority for Armenia and Yerevan seeks Moscow’s support in this endeavor. According to Director of the Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute Alexander Iskandaryan, Putin’s meeting with the Armenian PM will cover all the usual issues, including the return of Armenian POWs, Karabakh’s security and Armenia "especially against the background of the threat of destabilization in the region due to Iran’s disagreements with Azerbaijan and Turkey," and the unblocking of communications.
The meeting of religious leaders, which will include Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II and Sheikh ul-Islam and Grand Mufti of the Caucasus Allahshukur Pashazade may raise humanitarian issues. "It is hard to say that the meeting itself will seriously affect the situation in the region. Yet, it may impact the general mood of consultations on normalizing the situation," Azerbaijani political scientist Ilgar Velizade told the newspaper adding that it is also likely that a probable agenda for a meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders with the assistance of the OSCE Minsk Group will be discussed.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta: China’s energy deficit to slow global economy
The shutdown of Chinese enterprises due to an energy deficit may slow down the quarterly growth of China’s economy which would have global consequences, according to Western experts. On Monday, the authorities of Liaoning Province, one of China’s major industrial centers, reported a shortage of electrical power in the region. The energy crisis will raise demand for Russian raw materials while the slowdown of the economy will create new risks for Russia.
Many experts do not doubt that the energy crisis will negatively impact China’s economic growth. Economists at Societe Generale corrected their forecast for China’s GDP in the third quarter from 5.5% to 5%, while Oxford Economics expects it to drop to 3.6% in the fourth quarter. China’s problems will have reverberations for the global economy. According to Bloomberg, many industrial sectors worldwide - from Japanese automakers to Australian farmers - are already experiencing the consequences of China’s crisis.
For Russia, China’s predicament seems like a positive development. "Russia will gain unquestionable advantages from the Chinese energy crisis. Since early October, the Russian Federation has been increasing its deliveries of electrical power to China from the Amur Region. And the further development of the energy crisis may cause China’s elevated demand for other energy resources. Which in general may push up oil prices thus facilitating the additional development of Russia’s economy in general," RANEPA’s senior lecturer Roman Fainshmidt noted. Artem Tuzov from Univer Capital concurred, pointing out that this is a rare situation when Russia’s economy benefits from a crisis. Finam’s Olga Belenkaya thinks that this is an opportunity for Russia to increase its exports of coal and natural gas at higher prices, yet if the crisis is not resolved soon, the shutdown of Chinese enterprises may aggravate problems with global delivery chains damaged during the pandemic. "China is the main importer of raw materials. And if the rates of Chinese economic growth slow down, then for Russia this will mean weakened demand for its export products," she reiterated. Mikhail Zeltser, a stock market expert at BCS Global, warned that short-term optimism is capable of turning into a long-term significant decrease in market volumes.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Increasing numbers of female migrants drawn to Russia
Analysts noted the "feminization" of migration flows to the Russian Federation. There is a trend of women becoming more engaged in migrant labor. If previously women were mostly following their husbands and migrant labor was traditionally viewed as "male," now there is a significant number of single women for whom this is a chance to avoid social pressure in their native country and settle in Russia. Experts in general see the increasing number of women among migrants as a sign that the majority of arrivals plan to stay in Russia.
According to approximate calculations, about 20% of migrant workers from CIS countries obtaining work permits in Russia are female. They easily find jobs in the service sector which is more stable than construction or the industrial sectors, while additionally having better relations with their employers and the police.
Lawyer Ilya Shablinsky confirmed that the number of women among migrants mostly from Central Asia is growing every year. "If more women are coming, this means, a larger percentage of arrivals from Central Asian republics may settle here. Perhaps, the state benefits from the growth in this population segment. These people work hard, don’t drink a lot of alcohol and are passive and vulnerable from a socio-political point of view," he noted, mentioning that the socio-economic situation is getting worse which may aggravate ethnic tensions.
RANEPA’s Mikhail Burda thinks that the increase of the share of women in the migrant flows is a natural process not affected by the crisis or the pandemic when increasingly more sectors of Russia’s economy become dependent on migrant labor. He pointed out that female migration will facilitate more effective integration of migrants into society and their demographic activity may result in ethnic replacement in the long-term perspective and increase the load on the healthcare and education system in the near future.
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