Voices from Russia

Sunday, 22 April 2018

22 April 2018. It’s Still the Island of Freedom

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It’s interesting to note that al-Jazeera ran a critical piece on the new Cuban President, an attack piece on Nicaragua, and outright lies on Hungary. By the way, it doesn’t report on Honduras, where there’s open American interference in the local politics. Although it often posts good material, this site is often a lapdog for US foreign policy… don’t forget, American troops occupy Bahrain and they could topple its ruling kleptocratic régime in a heartbeat. Have a care with this source.

The new Cuban President is its first leader born after the Revolution (1960), which means that he’s lived all his life in socialist Cuba and knows that it can survive American economic and political pressure. He’s the son of a worker and a schoolteacher, which means that he didn’t grow up in privilege. He’s worthy of our support.

BMD

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Rolling Blackouts Announced in Seven Ukrainian Oblasts

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On 22 March 2017, Ukrenergo announced rolling electrical blackouts in seven Ukrainian oblasts. If alternative supplies of coal don’t materialise soon, the Ukraine will begin earlier-announced major electrical blackouts. Today, Ukrenergo Acting Director Vsevolod Kovalchuk told journalists in Kiev:

If new coal supplies aren’t forthcoming, we may have to implement the plan we spoke of in February [serious limitation of energy consumption: Aleksei Zhuravko]. At present, the power stations are working normally, based on coal reserved stockpiled prior to the blockade. We can manage until the early spring due to conservation measures at coal-powered power stations [that is, power blackouts and brownouts: editor].

Previously, media reports stated that power blackouts in case of a negative scenario would occur in seven oblasts… Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Kiev, Chernigov, Zaporozhye, Sumy, and Cherkassy. Governmental authorities in these areas are responsible for organising ad hoc departments to deal with this emergency in the power sector. Yesterday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Groysman stated that the Ukraine is exploring the possibility of buying coal in the USA, Australia, and South Africa. Because of the trade embargo with the LNR and DNR, coal reserves at Ukrainian power stations are close to zero. Previously, Groysman stated that the Donbass blockade would cause the loss to the Ukrainian state budget of 3.5 billion USD (201.43 billion Roubles. 24.11 billion Renminbi. 229.2 billion INR. 4.67 billion CAD. 4.6 billion AUD. 3.25 billion Euros. 2.8 billion UK Pounds) and idle 75,000 workers. The State National Commission for Energy and Utility Regulation will increase the wholesale market price for electricity by 1 percent, instead of the previously-announced decline of 5.8 percent, due to cost increases mandated by the purchase of imported coal.

22 March 2017

Aleksei Zhuravko

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Sunday, 5 March 2017

As Seen by Vitaly Podvitsky… The Blockade Boomerang

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The DNR declared a blockade against trade with the Ukraine. They won’t ship Kiev any more coal. Obviously, the only way that they’ll get coal now is from Russia… well, or from South Africa. Such is a blockade… the biter got bit.

4 March 2017

Vitaly Podvitsky Masterskaya Karikatury

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Monday, 17 October 2016

Grain Powerhouse: Russia “To Be Among Top Grain Exporters for a Long Time”

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Russia set a record for the agricultural sector by harvesting almost 112 million tonnes of grain by 4 October, setting a 25-year record. Furthermore, Bloomberg reports that Russia is becoming the world’s grain-export powerhouse. Bloomberg admits that Russia is about to retake the leading role in the world’s wheat trade it last held a century ago. It commented on the country’s record grain harvest:

From the Black Sea coast and the Volga River heartland to the sun-scorched steppes of Siberia, Russia’s farm belt is enjoying a renaissance, with grain at the leading edge. Turbocharged by the 45 percent drop in the rouble against the dollar over the last few years and bumper crops, local producers are crowding into export markets long dominated by big Western players.

Indeed, the estimate for this year’s total grain harvest should be well over 115 million tonnes. RIA Novosti quoted Chairman of the RF Government D A Medvedev:

Let me put it straight… this is an all-time record for the Russian agricultural sector.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Russia will produce 116 million tonnes of grain, or, perhaps a bit more. The ministry envisions that Russia will sell up to 40 million tonnes of grain in 2016-17 (including 30 million tonnes of wheat) on the world market, up from 32 million tonnes exported in 2015. Russia broke it’s previous record in 2008 when farmers produced 108.2 million tonnes of grain.

Citing the US Department of Agriculture, Bloomberg reminded its readers that last season Russia outpaced the USA as a wheat exporter for the first time in decades. According to the media outlet:

Russia is likely to displace the EU from the top spot this year.

Indeed, in mid-September, according to International Growth Centre (IGC) figures, EU export expectations have gone down to 25.5 million tons. Heavy rains dealt a heavy blow to wheat hopes in Germany and France this year. So far, Russia entered into new grain markets, toppling its competitors. This year, the main export destinations for Russian wheat are Egypt (the world’s biggest buyer), Bangladesh, and Mozambique, as well as Indonesia, Mali, Malta, Mexico, and Burma. Furthermore, this year, Moscow struck export deals with Algeria and Morocco. According to agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia may also begin supplying wheat to Venezuela by the end of 2016. Meanwhile, in late September, Chairman Medvedev inked a directive to drop the duty on wheat exports, introduced in February 2015, from 23 September 2016, until 1 July 2018, to support Russian farmers and boost the development of the grain market.

Incredible as it may seem, the US-led sanctions policy bolstered the growth of the Russian agricultural sector, it took advantage of the embargo on EU food products and a weakened rouble. On 2 September, Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachyov highlighted that Russia’s grain output may reach 170 million tonnes a year by 2030 with annual exports of 64 million tonnes. Earlier this year, Tkachyov signalled:

Russia plans to increase its grain production to 120 million tonnes per year by 2020.

Tom Basnett, general manager at Market Check, a Sydney-based commodity consultant, said:

Russia will be among the top exporters for a long time, especially given the potential advances in productivity there. Other producers need to fight harder to maintain their traditional markets.

Arkady Zlochevsky, President of the Russian Grain Union noted:

With our nature and climate, it’s our destiny to be an exporter.

8 October 2016

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201610081046109407-grain-russia-export/

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