Voices from Russia

Monday, 26 February 2018

Russia Exports Record-Breaking 50 Million Tonnes of Grain


It’s only right that the largest country in the world should also be the greatest agricultural giant. The best soil in the world is a Russian word… Чернозём (Chernozyom), “black earth”… Russia has the largest deposit in the world. Traditionally, the Central Black Earth Region is southwest of Moscow, including and especially Voronezh, Kursk, and Belgorod, as well as Lipetsk, Tambov, and Oryol Oblasts. This traditional region extends into the northeastern Ukraine, especially Chernigov Oblast. Hitler sent trainloads of the soil back to Germany, to compensate for their soil, which is poor by comparison to that in Russia… although not necessarily bad by itself. Although it’s illegal to sell agricultural land in that fashion today, it still happens in the Ukraine, as the post-Maidan régime rushes to sell its country and people, as Gogol described in Taras Bulba:

One sells his own out like selling soulless grain in a marketplace.

In Russia, they aren’t selling the land or the people, but they’re successfully exporting a bountiful harvest, after saving millions of tonnes for the motherland. RT quoted Putin:

It’s a record grain crop. Minister of Agriculture Tkachyov said it’d be 130.5 million tonnes, probably more. In general, it’s the largest harvest in Russian history

That really pokes a hole in the idea that sanctions are weakening Russia. The Russian people will endure, and grow ever stronger. Agriculture has always been a symbol of Russian growth and endurance. RT reported:

The growing production of grain in Russia boosts exports, which are close to a record 50 million tonnes this year according to Andrei Sizov, director of the SovEcon analytical centre. He said that Russia exported 48 million tonnes between July 2017 and the end of January 2018. Last year, Russia ceded its status as leading wheat exporter to the USA. The Agriculture Ministry expects to regain this status by the end of this agricultural year (July 2017 – June 2018). It forecasts grain exports to be 45 million tonnes against 35.5 million tonnes in the previous year. Overall, agricultural production in Russia should grow three percent this year, from last year’s 120.7 million tonnes. That’d be the best-ever harvest for Russia, even counting the Soviet era.

Russia’s export market is actively expanding. Russia supplies grain to Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iran, and Saudi Arabia announced plans to become a major hub for Russian agricultural products in the Middle East. In the near future, exports to Indonesia and Thailand will increase, as well as those to Latin American countries, including Mexico. Russia has a significant share of the European market; almost 12 percent of Russian agricultural exports, worth around 2 billion USD (111.974 billion Roubles. 12.618 billion Renminbi. 129.61 billion INR. 2.526 billion CAD. 2.54 billion AUD. 1.623 billion Euros. 1.424 billion UK Pounds), go to Europe. Three years ago, President Putin set a goal of making Russia the world’s largest supplier of healthy, ecologically-clean, and high-quality food.

20 February 2018

Matfey Shaheen

Russia Feed



Jill Stein Demolished Clueless MSNBC Reporter



Jill Stein completely smacked down an MSNBC host over the stupid Mueller Russian bot indictment. Ron Placone‏ tweeted:

In @DrJillStein‘s interview, MSNBC admits that they failed miserably with their election coverage giving excessive amounts of time to Trump for the sake of ratings, but that it’s OK for them because they’re not Russian. This won’t be a headline anywhere tomorrow morning.

Jill Stein so handily destroyed the MSNBC news host that she even got the host to admit that they meddled in the 2016 US elections, giving excessive amounts of time and promotion to then-candidate Trump to boost ratings and work to pit Hillary Clinton against a “thought to be” easy opponent in Donald Trump.

20 February 2018

Alex Christoforou

The Duran


26 February 2018. No Comment Necessary Department… Kim Jong-Un on Patriotism… Not So Crazy, Is He?


What Sanctions? Russia’s Investment Rating Upgraded


On 23 February 2018, Standard and Poors raised its estimation of Russia’s sovereign credit rating from BB+ to BBB-. This is good news for the Russian Federation as it continues to realign its economy in response to the various sanctions that the West (mainly the USA) imposes on the nation. Under President Putin’s leadership, Russia gradually improved since the peak of the sanctions crisis near the end of 2015. The rating change means that S&P no longer considers Russia as “junk” investment territory. The Financial Times reported that S&P attributed the upgrade to the country’s “prudent policy response” taken in response to the sanctions. The analysts further said this:

The ratings are supported by Russia’s commitment to conservative macroeconomic management, its strong net external asset position, low government debt, and relatively high monetary flexibility, including a flexible exchange rate. The ratings are constrained by our assessment of Russia’s economy, which remains dependent on revenues from oil and gas exports, as well as by wider institutional and regulatory weaknesses. Further constraints include geopolitical tension, and resulting international sanctions, creating a drag on Russia’s long-term economic growth prospects.

The S&P rating lift takes Russia into stable investment territory. Another analytics agency, Fitch Ratings, affirmed Russia’s long-term foreign and local currency issue default ratings, also at “BBB-” with a Positive Outlook:

Russia’s ratings balance a strong sovereign balance sheet, robust external finances, and an improved policy framework against weaker macroeconomic performance than peers, structural weaknesses (commodity dependence and governance risks), and geopolitical tensions. The Positive Outlook reflects continued progress in strengthening the economic policy framework underpinned by a more flexible exchange rate, a strong commitment to inflation-targeting, and a prudent fiscal strategy. These policies contribute to improved macroeconomic stability and, together with robust external and fiscal balance sheets, increase the economy’s resilience to shocks. The estimated federal budget deficit narrowed to 1.5 percent of GDP in 2017, less than half the 2016 out-turn and well below the BBB median. The non-oil deficit shrank to 7.9 percent of GDP in 2017 from 9.1 percent in 2016. Fitch forecasts that Russia will post a fiscal deficit of 0.6 percent in 2018 (outperforming the budgeted 1.3 percent deficit), reflecting higher-than-budgeted oil prices, continued non-oil and gas revenue growth, and expenditure restraint. It should achieve the current official 2019 primary balance forecast comfortably, with Fitch forecasting surpluses at both the primary and overall levels.

The rest of the report is similarly quite positive. It’s an interesting point that many Russian businesses are grateful for the opportunities created by the sanctions even though they had the intent to hurt and punish Russia for whatever cause célèbre the West could dream up. Whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, doesn’t it?

25 February 2018

Seraphim Hanisch

Russia Feed     


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