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Press review: West unlikely to sanction Turkey and Russia to deal with economic challenges

Top stories from the Russian press on Monday, August 15th
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin
© Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS

Rossiyskaya Gazeta: West unlikely to sanction Turkey for rapprochement with Russia

A number of European media outlets reported following a recent meeting between the Russian and Turkish presidents that Western countries were determined to prevent rapprochement between Moscow and Ankara. However, the odds are low that the US and the EU will impose sanctions on Ankara, particularly because the West can actually benefit from growing ties between Russia and Turkey, Rossiyskaya Gazeta notes.

"Turkey pursues a smart policy, trying to balance between the two players, at least rhetorically. Besides, Ankara has been promoting itself effectively, particularly through the grain deal," Institute of the Middle East expert Ivan Starodubtsev pointed out.

Western politicians have expressed concern that Turkey may play a role in circumventing sanctions on Russia. However, European businessmen are interested in profits and seek to take advantage of the situation. "First, there is a need to clearly separate strategic goods from those that are sanctioned but are of little importance for the country’s development. Those will hardly be controlled by anyone. Turkey will probably help Russia import the necessary goods that are under no special control. As for Western countries, they will try to prevent the export of strategic goods to Russia in a bid to keep up appearances, at the same time turning a blind eye to the frolics of European businesses who are struggling to survive," Starodubtsev noted.

According to him, the threat of secondary sanctions is unlikely to change the situation much. "A mechanism to tighten sanctions will certainly emerge but practice has shown that it will only make people skirt the law. Ankara will do whatever it takes to make money and expand the market, but it won’t go for risky exports," the expert concluded.


Kommersant: No need for foreign military presence, says Serbian president

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has stated that the country does not need any foreign military bases, thus clarifying the issue of whether Russia plans to set up a military base in Serbia, Kommersant writes.

Russian Ambassador to Belgrade Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko said earlier that "the establishment of a Russian military base in Serbia is the country’s sovereign affair, which also concerns Russia’s interests." The Serbian president’s statement about Belgrade’s commitment to its military neutrality was interpreted as an attempt not to press the Russian military base issue and not to spoil relations with Moscow.

The Russian envoy’s remark came a week after Belarusian President Alexander Lukahsneko had made a statement about Belgrade’s policies. "Serbia would like to sit on three chairs - the EU, the US and Russia - but it won’t be able to do it any longer," the Belarusian leader warned. Serbia took his words as a call for supporting Moscow in the current geopolitical standoff.

"This is almost the first time that Serbia receives such a message from the east, and it’s perfectly clear: Belgrade can count on Russia and Belarus if it sides with them," former Serbian Ambassador to Minsk Srecko Djukic told the newspaper. It means that Serbia should either go all the way together with Moscow and Minsk or change sides, he added.

According to Djukic, "the Serbian authorities should have realized a while ago that they won’t be able to sit on three chairs for long, pursuing the ostrich policy of hiding their heads in the sand as neither of the parties will accept it." Still, in Djukic’s words, Belgrade is unlikely to radically change its policy in the coming months - at least not "until the chairs start moving apart."


Vedomosti: Russia capable of dealing with any economic development scenario

Russia’s Central Bank has presented three scenarios for the country’s economic development in the near future, which include a baseline scheme, the Swift Adaptation and the Global Crisis options. Analysts believe that Russia is capable of coping with any scenario, Vedomosti notes.

According to the baseline option, most of the external restrictions will persist and Russia’s GDP will drop by 4-6% in 2022. The Swift Adaptation scenario stipulates that the Russian economy will get a boost from recovering domestic demand, while new partnerships will speed up restoration processes. Meanwhile, the Global Crisis scenario implies that the economic and geopolitical situation will significantly deteriorate worldwide, which may trigger an economic and financial collapse.

The baseline scenario appears to be the most likely one as the Russian economy has already demonstrated its high adaptive potential, Stock Market Expert at BCS World of Investment Valery Yemelyanov pointed out. The cutting of ties with Western markets did not lead to a disaster in terms of GDP, inflation rates and the federal budget, he noted. According to Yemelyanov, the Swift Adaptation scenario is the second possible option, which looks similar to what happened in 2015-2019.

Western economies may go through a series of partially overlapping but shallow recessions so Russian exports won’t see as a significant decline in demand and prices as stipulated in the Global Crisis scenario, Director of Analytics at the Region investment company Valery Vaisberg said.

Russia is prepared quite well because it is self-sufficient in commodities and food products, while its dependence on international financial markets is at a minimum level, head of banking and financial market analysis at Promsvyazbank Ilya Ilyin emphasized.


Vedomosti: Chinese state-owned companies plan to delist from US stock market

Five Chinese state-owned companies, including oil and chemical ones, have announced plans to delist from the New York Stock Exchange. The decision was triggered by a law saying that companies can be kicked off the stock market if they fail to allow US watchdogs to inspect their financial audits for three straight years.

Strategically, neither China nor the United States can afford a serious standoff, Associate Professor at the Higher School of Economics’ School of Asian Studies Mikhail Karpov stressed. The current political tensions between the two countries, caused by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, are not the only reason for the Chinese companies’ withdrawal from the US market. Since Trump’s presidency, the US has been demanding that Chinese enterprises present on the US stock market show more transparency. However, China is reluctant to accept this demand so some companies have decided to pull out of the US, Karpov added.

The move is in line with the policy of the Chinese authorities which for years have been demonstrating a negative attitude to the listing of the country’s companies on US stock exchanges, Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the Higher School of Economics Vasily Kashin pointed out. This sentiment is now growing stronger amid rising political tensions between the two countries.

Technology is a field where relations between the US and China have been deteriorating for a while and will continue to worsen, Kashin noted. Washington seeks to limit technology cooperation with Beijing in areas where it is possible without consequences for the US. At the same time, the US authorities are trying to drive Chinese tech companies from the global market by imposing various sanctions on them, the expert concluded.


Rossiyskaya Gazeta: Russia may expand its global media presence

Common people and government officials all over the world are in critical need of up-to-date and reliable information amid developments around Ukraine. The Prognosis analytical agency recorded a surge in interest in Russian media outlets between March and June 2022, when the number of citations in G20 member states rose ninefold compared to the same period in 2021, Rossiyskaya Gazeta notes.

According to Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs magazine Fyodor Lukyanov, "the 2022 developments have put Russia in the global media spotlight for months to come." "The importance of processes triggered by Russia’s campaign is an objective reason, while Western countries’ desire to blame all problems on the Russia issue is a subjective one," he explained.

According to Prognosis Managing Partner Oleg Mukovozov, the author of the study, even if some in the West suddenly get the urge to drive Russian media outlets out of the information field, they won’t be able to do it. Founder of the Platform Center for Social Forecasting and Russian Public Relations Association Vice President Alexey Firsov, in turn, sees potential for the expansion of Russian media presence in the West. "Despite a great number of news reports, there is a lack of fast, consistent and smart analytics," he noted.

Experts highlight the need to retain the trust of foreign audiences in the future, after the situation around Ukraine stabilizes. It is crucial when it comes to Asian and Latin American countries where people know little about Russia but are sympathetic towards the country and have no prejudice against it.

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