All news

Press review: Russian top court okays accession and chances to revive Nord Stream revealed

Top stories from the Russian press on Monday, October 3rd
Russian top court Roman Kanashchuk/TASS
Russian top court
© Roman Kanashchuk/TASS

Kommersant: Russia’s top court approves new regions’ accession agreements, clarifies their essence

On Sunday, Russia’s Constitutional Court published four decrees recognizing international agreements on accepting the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (the DPR and LPR), as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions as Russia’s entities as being in compliance with the Constitution. The top court deemed that the main underpinning for signing these documents was rescuing the residents of these four regions since "human life is the most sacred thing on Earth," according to the court’s Chairman Valery Zorkin. On Sunday evening, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent these documents to the State Duma for ratification together with four bills on these new entities joining Russia.

According to Olga Kryazhkova, an associate professor at the Russian State University of Justice, the four decrees are practically identical while their content does not differ much from the 2014 decree on Crimea except for the sizeable introduction where the Constitutional Court justifies the necessity of the special military operation and the accession of the new territories.

The State Duma will review the agreements and bills on accepting the new entities on October 3, while the Federation Council should approve them the day after. All the documents will become effective after the president signs them.


Izvestia: Experts weigh in on the possibility of restoring Nord Stream’s pipelines

The Nord Stream pipelines can be restored, so the sooner the repairs begin, the cheaper it will cost, according to experts interviewed by Izvestia. They insist that now every day counts both as far as assessing the damage and reconstructing the pipelines go, yet the West’s sloth-like pace is creating risks both in restoring the pipelines and the EU’s economic recovery. That said, the experts stressed that Russia has several options for redirecting its gas deliveries.

According to Olga Orlova of the Institute for Oil and Gas Technologies, nowadays, the fate of the pipelines is in the hands of European officials. However, she says it’s way too early to bury the project since repairing them is possible using technology to pump water out of the pipes.

Managing Partner at WMT Consult Yekaterina Kosareva concurs that it is still possible to restore the gas pipelines. According to her, everything revolves around the EU’s intent to ferret out the culprits of this act of sabotage and begin the pipeline’s examination and repairs as soon as possible.

According to Associate Professor at the Russian Government’s Financial University Valery Andrianov, in the best-case scenario, the truth about these incidents will become public only for future generations once the archives of Western intelligence are declassified and released.


Izvestia: Why Ukraine won’t join NATO soon

Ukraine’s accession to NATO should not be expected in the near future, since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization does not intend to enter into a direct confrontation with Russia, according to experts polled by Izvestia. On September 30, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced that he submitted a fast-track application for membership but even if NATO member states decide to review it, it may take up to one year. That said, on the same day, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated that the consensus of all member states was necessary in order to approve the application.

Director of the Center for European Information Nikolay Topornin does not think that the fast-track application means that Ukraine will be admitted at once. He notes that even one country’s disagreement will suspend the approval, pointing to the dilemma with Finland and Sweden when Turkey essentially blocked the approval process, setting forth its demands, including those on the extradition of Kurds.

According to Director of the Institute for Peacekeeping Initiatives and Conflictology Denis Denisov, NATO in general and the US in particular won’t go for including Ukraine into the bloc. "This would be tantamount to all NATO member states entering the conflict. I am confident that there is no consensus among NATO member states with regards to this issue, just like there is no consensus on Ukraine’s membership itself. Here, the US may push the issue through but under the current conditions this would be extremely difficult, so I still think that this will not happen," he told the newspaper.


Vedomosti: Upcoming challenges for global economy

The prospects of the global economy in the coming years are becoming gloomier. Bloomberg’s analysts predict a crisis similar to the 2009 meltdown, with the World Bank saying it is imminent and comparing it to the 1970s recession. While the global annual GDP, including that of the largest economies of the US, China and Europe, remains positive, the World Bank’s analysts note that any shock, even an insignificant one, may shatter it. According to analysts polled by Vedomosti, all possible "black swans" for the global economy - as they call the hard-to-forecast events with dire consequences - have arrived already, yet there are a number of events that may sharply accelerate and exacerbate the forecasted crisis.

Such factors as the disruption of supply chains and labor market instability are cumulative and directly create a pre-recession situation in the global economy, says Director of the Institute for Economic Forecasting of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Shirov. According to him, it is precisely the further raising of key rates that is capable of pushing the world into a recession at a certain point. He notes that many economies found themselves in a state of a double shock - the balancing of volatile prices on world markets did not happen while the cycle of raising percentage rates is only postponing it.

Under the current conditions, Europe may become the epicenter of events related to the unfolding global crisis, according to Sergey Pukhov of the Higher School of Economics. Right now, it is characterized by serious debt problems, price hikes and lowered demand which is already causing the shutdown of enterprises, for example, in the petrochemical or fertilizer sectors. Additionally, the expert thinks that winter weather conditions may also impact the energy market and significantly contribute to the global energy crisis.

Leading expert at the Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-Term Forecasting Irina Ipatova thinks that the Nord Stream incident which can already be called a terror attack won’t trigger a recession, noting that the market did not react with a dramatic gas price hike. Another thing is that the Europeans possibly were counting on renewed deliveries soon, yet now they have been deprived of this opportunity. According to the expert, the pipeline incident will have a delayed effect on the crisis which is aggravated by the risks of transit via Ukraine and the absence of LNG terminals.

The global economy may be shaken by the Taiwan escalation and the subsequent US reaction, says Director of Sber’s Center for Macroeconomic Research Oleg Shibanov. According to him, another potential problem is falling demand in China which is influenced, above all, by a tougher lockdown policy due to new COVID-19 outbreaks.


Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Ankara creating new union with former Soviet republics

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected in Kazakhstan in October. Earlier, the Turkish leader met with Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov within the framework of the Fourth World Nomad Games in Turkey’s Iznik which were held from September 29 to October 2. Turkmenistan, which has observer status in the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), may soon become its full member, according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. According to him, the decision will be made on November 11 in Samarkand at an OTS summit.

According to Alexander Knyazev, an expert on Central Asia and the Middle East, currently, Kazakhstan is at a crossroads. "Astana, by making decisions depending on the situation, is trying to retain its multivectorness in the situation where opportunities are rapidly diminishing. In this sense, Turkey is a narrow channel for Kazakhstan of implementing its multivectored attempts but not a decisive one," the expert told the newspaper noting that this will be Turkey’s support for Kazakhstan’s foreign policy.

The Trans-Caspian route acquires particular significance for Turkey. According to the expert, here Turkey’s interests coincide with those of China who is also interested in this route. "Their interests coincide in terms of transporting cargos yet seriously differ in terms of deliveries of energy products from Caspian countries to Europe. So the Kazakh side will emphasize cooperation in cargo transports," Knyazev thinks.

As for Turkmenistan joining the OTS, the expert thinks that this is not the first optimistic statement by Turkey. Its Foreign Ministry has already stated that Ashgabat would become a full-fledged member yet ended up with observer status created exclusively for it. Despite the fact that Turkey is becoming more influential both in Eurasia and worldwide, it is not possible to say that it is leading in the Central Asian region while pursuing its cultural, political, military and geopolitical goals, the expert concluded.

TASS is not responsible for the material quoted in these press reviews