Putin, Macron and Trump call for a ceasefire

Russian Presidents Vladimir Putin, French Emmanuel Macron and American Donald Trump called Thursday 1is October in a joint statement to “The immediate cessation of hostilities” in Nagorno-Karabakh, a separatist Azerbaijani territory supported by Armenia.

As leaders of the three countries of the Minsk group, mediator on this issue, they ask the heads of state in particular of Armenia and Azerbaijan from “To undertake without delay to resume substantive negotiations” under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Jihadist fighters in Nagorno-Karabakh

“We condemn in the strongest terms the recent escalation of violence on the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone”, add the three presidents, who thus coordinate their diplomatic efforts to put an end to the conflict. Everyone had already expressed themselves in this direction in recent days, in dispersed order.

→ EXPLANATION. Nagorno-Karabakh, a protracted conflict

Arriving Thursday in Brussels where a European summit is being held, the French president revealed that he “Has information today with certainty which indicates that Syrian fighters of jihadist groups have left the theater of operations by passing through Gaziantep to reach this theater of operations in Nagorno-Karabakh”. “It is a very serious new fact, which changes the situation”, he added.

30,000 dead since the start of the conflict

Since its creation in 1992, the Minsk group has never succeeded in ending the clashes along the front line. Nagorny Karabakh (or Nagorno-Karabakh) is a territory of Azerbaijan mostly populated by Armenians. The region declared its independence at the end of the USSR, leading to a war in the early 1990s that left 30,000 dead.

Large-scale fighting between Azerbaijani forces and separatists backed by Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, resumed Sunday (September 27) and continued on Thursday. According to partial reports, 128 deaths are to be deplored.

Wednesday, in Riga, Emmanuel Macron had said elsewhere “Concerned” by statements “Warriors” of Turkey, which supports Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. Russia, which maintains cordial relations with the two ex-Soviet republics, has also expressed concern over the role of Turkey, its geopolitical competitor in the region.


Maas emphasizes willingness to enter into dialogue with Russia

Heiko Maas

Heiko Maas wants to continue the dialogue with Russia. “Nobody could be interested” in a new Ice Age in German-Russian relations.

(Photo: AFP)

Berlin The German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas continues to rely on a dialogue with Moscow despite the imposition of new EU sanctions against Russia. “We are sitting at the same table with the Russians in the UN Security Council, in the Berlin Libya Process and also on the Ukraine issue. All these rounds are about solutions to end wars, ”said the SPD politician to the editorial network Germany (RND / Saturday). There are positive developments with regard to Ukraine and Libya. “Nobody could be interested” in a new Ice Age in German-Russian relations.

At the EU summit in Brussels, the EU put the sanctions against supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin into force because of the poison attack on the Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced counter-sanctions.

The poisoning of Navalny represented a serious breach of international law and therefore required a quick, clear European response, Maas defended the EU’s position. He also referred to conflict issues with Moscow such as the alleged contract killing in Berlin’s Kleiner Tiergarten and the hacking attack on the Bundestag. “Our relationship with Russia remains complicated,” emphasized the minister.

More: US rejects Putin’s proposal to extend nuclear pact


Vladimir Putin’s strengths in the face of crises in the post-Soviet space

The crises in Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh and Kyrgyzstan took the Kremlin by surprise. Vladimir Putin finds himself on the defensive to preserve Russian interests in the former Soviet republics and his image as a master tactician on the international stage.

In Belarus, Vladimir Poutine responded to the protest movement by supporting Alexander Lukashenko, at the risk of opposing public opinion previously considered favorable to Russia.

In Kyrgyzstan, President Sooronbai Jeenbekov declared himself “Ready to resign”. Moscow, which has a military base, supports the efforts of Omurbek Suvanaliev, the man who took control of the country’s powerful security services (GKNL), “To stabilize the situation and avoid chaos ».

In the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russia, which arms both sides, sees its room for maneuver reduced by Turkey’s play.

« These three very different crises have no direct link but they show the limits of a rigid policy that has not taken into account the evolution of societies, as well as the rise in power of other actors such as Turkey. , Iran and China in the post-Soviet space, analysis Tatiana Kastoueva-Jean, director of the Russia Center at the French Institute for International Relations (Ifri). Instead of anticipating, Moscow was content to manage the status quo and frozen conflicts with the sole aim of preventing these countries from joining alliances considered hostile. In addition, Russia is relatively poor and lacks levers. Hence his prudence and his wait-and-see attitude. »

Discrepancy between rulers and ruled

In the former Soviet republics, as in Russia, the authorities’ management of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic difficulties have exacerbated the gap between rulers and ruled. The new independent states have different trajectories, but they are less and less bound by the Soviet heritage. ” With the exception of Turkmenistan, these countries are no longer closed. New generations have access to the outside world through travel, the Internet and social networks, emphasizes Tatiana Kastoueva-Jean. In all of these countries, there is an aspiration for more transparent and less corrupt governance that respects human dignity. This is obvious in the case of Belarus. »

The Russian preponderance in its ” zone d’influence »Threatened? At the end of June, in a ballot without suspense and without opposition, Vladimir Poutine obtained, with more than 70% of the votes, a reform of the Constitution which allows him to remain in power after the end of his mandate, in 2024. In Russia, the strong man of the Kremlin remains behind in the management of the health crisis which did not produce the announced catastrophe. The population no longer has an appetite for new foreign military adventures and wants the authorities to focus on economic and social issues. Despite a strong erosion of his popularity, the president controls all the levers of power and locks the political space.

Red line in Belarus

For Putin, Russia has lost Georgia and Ukraine and there is no question of accepting in Minsk the same scenario as in Kiev. The rapprochement with the European Union and NATO remains a red line. ” Putin’s foreign policy paradigm has not changed and it is very emotional for him: to prevent the West from interfering in the sphere of Russian interests. Says Tatiana Stanovaya, a non-resident researcher at the Carnegie Moscow Center.

Therefore, the crisis in Belarus is, in his eyes, “The most important for Moscow”. “Putin considers Belarus to be part of ‘Greater Russia’ and puts pressure on Lukashenko to accept integration with a common currency and central bank”, she recalls. In Nagorno-Karabakh and Kyrgyzstan, on the other hand, Russia’s geopolitical interests are less directly threatened.. “Russia and Turkey have different interests”, adds Tatiana Stanovaya, “But that does not prevent them from finding compromises, even in very hot situations like in Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria and Libya ».


Emomali Rahmon won by five plus – Mir – Kommersant

The head of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, was re-elected for the fifth time as president – he was supported by almost 91% of voters. Leading the country since 1992, he holds the record among the incumbent leaders of the post-Soviet republics in terms of term of office. Most of Dushanbe’s partners, including the presidents of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, have already congratulated Mr. Rakhmon on his victory. Observers from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the CIS called the elections “open and legitimate.” The report of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is still being prepared, but earlier it has never recognized the voting in Tajikistan as meeting international standards.

It came as no surprise that Emomali Rahmon won the October 11 elections for the fifth time in a row. According to preliminary data from the Tajik Central Commission for Elections and Referendums (CCER), Mr. Rakhmon was supported by 90.9% of voters. This is the best result since 1999 – then he scored 97.6%. The turnout, as always, was high – 85.39%.

“Emomali Rahmon expressed his sincere gratitude to all the people of Tajikistan for their active participation in this important political event (in the elections – “B”) and support for his candidacy, ”the press service of the head of state said.

In this message, the elections are called “a triumph of unity and mutual understanding of the people of Tajikistan and the highest manifestation of high political culture and sustainable civil position.”

The struggle for the presidency this time was fought by five of the seven people who applied to the CCER. The leader of the Democratic Party, Saidjafar Usmonzoda, was refused registration because he could not collect 260 thousand signatures for nomination – 5% of the number of citizens. Self-nominated candidate Faromuz Irgashov could not become a candidate for the same reason.

The leader of the Social Democratic Party of Tajikistan (SDPT), the only opposition force in the country, Rakhmatillo Zoyirov did not nominate himself at all, urging party members to “ignore the presidential elections altogether.” Earlier, he also wrote on Facebook that when he returned from a business trip on September 20, he was attacked by two unknown persons and beaten.

«I brought a lot of materials about the falsifications of the leadership of districts and cities at a meeting with the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, which needed to be urgently summarized and analyzed, ”the politician said.

According to the Nastoyaschye Vremya TV channel, there was almost no campaigning for the other candidates, except for Emomali Rahmon. Information sheets about them were printed on small sheets of paper and pasted mainly on the windows of shops and government agencies. As a result, none of the alternative candidates was able to gain more than 3% of the vote in the elections.

The only surprise of this campaign was that the president’s 32-year-old son Rustam Emomali, the mayor of Dushanbe and the chairman of the upper house of the Tajik parliament, did not take part in it.

Rumors that Emomali Rahmon will hand over his post to him “by inheritance” have been spreading throughout the republic since 2016. Then a constitutional referendum was held: the age limit for candidates was lowered from 35 to 30 years, and the president received the status of “leader of the nation” and the right to run for re-election an unlimited number of times.

Thus, Mr. Rahmon, who has actually been in power since 1992, first as head of the Supreme Council, and when this post was abolished, as president, continues to hold the record for the length of stay of the current head of state in the post-Soviet space.

Most of the partners of the republic have already congratulated Emomali Rahmon on the victory.

“The voting results fully confirmed your high political authority, nationwide support for your course aimed at the social and economic development of Tajikistan and strengthening its international positions,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a telegram. Chinese President Xi Jinping, in turn, expressed “a desire to bring the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Tajikistan to a new level.”

Mr. Lukashenka congratulated Emomali Rahmon during a telephone conversation. “The presidents spoke in favor of further deepening industrial cooperation, including for entering the markets of third countries, and expanding mutual supplies of products,” the press service of the Belarusian leader said.

At the same time, observers from the CIS and SCO assessed the course of the elections positively.

Oleg Belokonev, who headed the CIS observer mission, emphasized that there were no violations and the elections “correspond to the principles of democracy.”

SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov summed up: “The presidential elections in Tajikistan were free, open and legitimate.” The OSCE mission report will be presented in eight weeks. Note that the organization has never recognized the elections in Tajikistan as meeting international democratic standards.

Marina Kovalenko


Upland rebuke – Newspaper Kommersant No. 186 (6907) of 10.10.2020

On Friday, October 9, Moscow hosted the first meeting of high-ranking representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan since the start of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh two weeks ago. The negotiations dragged on until nightfall. The very fact of the meeting can be considered a diplomatic victory for the Russian Federation, which became possible as a result of negotiations between President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev. However, there is no need to talk about rapprochement of the sides’ positions. While the diplomats of the three countries were meeting behind closed doors, President Aliyev expressed disagreement with the thesis that “the Karabakh conflict has no military solution.” And he made it clear: Baku “will never reconcile with the occupation” of its lands.

In neutral territory

Events around the Moscow meeting developed rapidly. On Friday night, the Kremlin spoke about the results of the “series of telephone conversations” between Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev and Nikol Pashinyan: it was decided to hold consultations in Moscow at the level of foreign ministers. As the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov stated, “in the second half of Thursday, until late in the evening, Putin did a lot of hard work with his colleagues from Baku and Yerevan.”

In the morning, the Russian Foreign Ministry said: representatives of the parties to the conflict “confirmed their participation in the consultations, there is active preparation.” It was announced that at 15:00 the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Armenia and Azerbaijan Sergey Lavrov, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Jeyhun Bayramov will gather at the Reception House of the Russian Foreign Ministry. As a result, the meeting began only at 16:30.

Moreover, contrary to usual, the video broadcast of the protocol part of the negotiations was not conducted: the ministers decided to immediately start discussing issues that are not accepted to be discussed in front of journalists.

Judging by the tense faces in the photograph published by the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, everyone understood that the conversation would be as difficult as possible. As a result, he dragged on until night. The broadcast from the hall, where there were three stands and three flags, was interrupted and then resumed. And the ministers did not go out to the journalists.

It was originally planned that Zohrab Mnatsakanyan would fly to Moscow on October 12 for bilateral talks with Sergei Lavrov – they had already been announced by the Russian Foreign Ministry. Jeyhun Bayramov was in Geneva on Thursday, where he met with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (representatives of the Russian Federation, the United States and France). The talks were held in an atmosphere of increased secrecy: neither the start time, nor the venue, nor a specific agenda were announced. At the same time, the official representative of the UN Secretary General Stefan Dujarrick said that the Minsk Group co-chairs will also meet in Moscow after Geneva.

French President Emmanuel Macron was also involved in diplomacy at the same hours and minutes. Late Thursday evening, he held talks with Prime Minister Pashinyan, and spoke with President Aliyev on Friday morning. On Friday afternoon, an AFP source at the Elysee Palace noted that this negotiation process had been coordinated with the Russian side since the beginning of the week. And he added: “We are looking forward to a truce on Friday night or Saturday.”

The fact that the key goal is “the cessation of hostilities” was also stated in the statement of Vladimir Putin.

According to him, the parties should be guided by humanitarian considerations, and stop the fire, in particular, “with the aim of exchanging the bodies of the dead and prisoners.”

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan commented on the prospects for a peaceful settlement and the start of negotiations on Friday. “We are loyal to the principle of a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and are ready to resume the peace process in accordance with the statements made in the past few days by the presidents and foreign ministers of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries,” Nikol Pashinyan said at a meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of the Eurasian Economic Union.

Ilham Aliyev addressed the nation, saying: “There have been statements from mediators and leaders of some international organizations that there is no military solution to the Karabakh conflict. I did not agree with this thesis, and I was right. For 30 years, negotiations were going on, and the issue did not budge, we were not given a single centimeter of occupied land. The aggressor could not be forced to leave our lands and comply with UN resolutions. Now the conflict is being resolved by military means, then by political means. ”

«I changed the status quo, on the battlefield. He is not here. Contact line? There is no her. We broke through and destroyed it, ”added the President of Azerbaijan.

At the same time, he reported on the capture of nine more settlements in Karabakh, including the village of Hadrut, under control. “I am now in Hadrut and for some reason I see only Armenians,” wrote Artsrun Hovhannisyan, an official representative of the Armenian Defense Ministry, on his Facebook page shortly after.

President Aliyev’s speech in Azerbaijan attracted a lot of attention. Thus, the Kommersant correspondent witnessed how attentively the commander-in-chief was listened to at the checkpoint at the entrance to Terter, an Azerbaijani city about two dozen kilometers from the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh. All the police officers, along with the military in full uniform, gathered around the car with the doors wide open and the radio on. A high-ranking officer in a black jeep even stopped near them and listened to the speech together with his subordinates.

The head of the executive power of the Terter region, Mustagim Mammadov, who received the Kommersant correspondent not in his usual office, but in the basement of one of the buildings in the city center, where the entrance was lined with sandbags, not only listened, but also watched – on TV – the performance President. From the point of view of the administrative division of Azerbaijan, the Talish and Magadis villages, occupied by the Azerbaijani troops during the current aggravation, belong to the Terter region. Mr. Mammadov said that he had already visited the expanded area of ​​responsibility. When asked what will happen to the Armenian monument in the village of Talysh (it is dedicated to the Armenian soldiers who died in the 1992-1994 war), the official did not answer unequivocally. “If the residents who have been waiting for this for 30 years will return, then they will decide what to leave and what not,” he just said.

“Russia’s strategic neutrality is bearing fruit”

In his speech, Ilham Aliyev also commented on the talks in Moscow, which were going on at that very moment. The Azerbaijani leader called them “the last chance” for Yerevan. «Withdraw the troops, return to negotiations, take on commitments, ”he addressed the Armenian leadership in absentia.“ We give (to Armenia.— “B”) a chance to leave our territories peacefully. We will return these territories anyway and restore our territorial integrity. We do not want bloodshed, but we want our territories, and they (the Armenians – “B”) do not miss this chance. ” At the same time, the Armenian side considers such rhetoric unacceptable.

What both Baku and Yerevan agree on is that Moscow has become a suitable platform for trying to find common ground.

“The OSCE Minsk Group, which should deal with the Karabakh settlement, has only three co-chairs. In the US, everyone is busy with the presidential elections. France has taken a position unacceptable for Azerbaijan, and therefore her word cannot be weighty. Only Russia remains. We can say that its strategic neutrality is bearing fruit, “Azeri political scientist and Valdai Club expert Farhad Mammadov told Kommersant. Mikael Zolyan, a deputy from the ruling My Step bloc in Armenia, assured Kommersant: “Russia is the most influential player in the South Caucasus, and everything that happens cannot but affect its interests, especially the aggressive participation of Turkey and the terrorist groups it sponsors. on the side of Azerbaijan. Well, it’s not a secret for anyone that Russia has a rich set of tools for achieving its goals – political, diplomatic and military. “

“Moscow still has some authority to at least try to act as a mediator. But one thing must be understood: the former adherence to the status quo in the future will only lead to Russia’s loss of initiative and popularity – and in the eyes of not only Azerbaijan, but also Armenia, – Yuri Mavashev, director of the Center for the Study of New Turkey, told Kommersant. – Authority always loses the force that is unable to offer anything new. ” According to the expert, the main task of the negotiations today is “to isolate as much as possible, at least, all non-regional players in their ability to influence the conflict.”

«In this sense, only the participation of Russia, Turkey and certainly Iran can at least create a basis for further negotiations, ”he added.

“It cannot be said that Moscow joined the settlement with a delay – rather, it took a more balanced position, taking a pause to see how the situation will develop,” said Stanislav Pritchin, senior researcher at the Center for Post-Soviet Studies at the IMEMO RAS. “All previous attempts to bring the parties to the negotiating table immediately after the start of the escalation did not lead to anything. “On the ground,” nothing changed, and the parties were simply not ready to make concessions and achieve progress or compromise in the negotiations, the expert reminded Kommersant. “From this, Russia ultimately also lost, investing its diplomatic efforts, time and energy into a negotiation process that has not moved anywhere for 26 years. Now the parties have tried to sort things out on their own, including on the battlefield. Perhaps now the alignment of forces will make it possible to move forward in the negotiations. “

However, all Friday’s statements by the parties to the conflict indicated that it would be extremely difficult to move forward on any political issues.

Pavel Tarasenko; Kirill Krivosheev, Terter; Hayk Halatyan, Yerevan; Galina Dudina


Putin and Lukashenko discussed the possibility of full opening of borders

The Presidents of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, agreed to instruct the governments of the two countries to resolve the issue of fully opening the borders. The telephone conversation took place at the initiative of the President of Belarus.

“The main issue of the discussion of the bilateral agenda was the full opening of the borders between Belarus and Russia. The heads of state agreed to instruct the governments to work out these issues, having understood the situation, ”said the press service of Mr. Lukashenko.

The border with Belarus was closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. On September 21, regular flights between Moscow and Minsk resumed. They are performed by Belavia and Aeroflot once a week.

Read more about the resumption of flights – in the material “Kommersant” “Russia resumes flights with the CIS countries.”


What Sergey Melikov is Known for – Picture of the Day – Kommersant

On October 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed a member of the Federation Council, Sergei Melikov, as acting head of Dagestan. Details of his biography can be found in the Kommersant reference.

Melikov Sergei Alimovich was born on September 12, 1965 in the town of Orekhovo-Zuevo, Moscow Region, in the family of a serviceman, Lezgin by nationality. Graduated from the Saratov Higher Military Command School of the Red Banner. FE Dzerzhinsky of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR (now – the Saratov Military Institute of the National Guard of the Russian Federation), specializing in “intelligence officer” (1986), the faculty of border and internal troops of the Military Academy. M.V. Frunze (1994), Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (2011).

In 1986-1991, he held officer positions in a separate brigade of the Directorate of Internal Troops of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs for Ukraine and Moldova (he served in Lvov and Odessa). In 1994 he was transferred to the North Caucasian District of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, took part in the first Chechen war. In 1994-1997, he held various positions: senior assistant to the chief of staff of the regiment, battalion commander of the operational division, senior officer of the military intelligence section of the intelligence department of the headquarters, chief of staff – deputy regiment commander of the operational division.

Since 1997 – Commander of the 2nd Regiment of the Separate Operational Division of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (“Dzerzhinsky Division”). Since 2001 – deputy commander of this division, in 2002 he again took up the post of division commander. Since 2008, he was Chief of Staff – First Deputy Commander of the Central Regional Command of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation.

In 2011, he was appointed commander of the Joint Group of Forces (Forces) for Counter-Terrorist Operations in the North Caucasus Region of the Russian Federation – First Deputy Commander of the North Caucasus Regional Command of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. Since May 2014 – First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergei Bunin.

In 2014-2016, he was the plenipotentiary representative of the President of Russia in the North Caucasian Federal District. Also in 2014 he was appointed a member of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, dismissed from military service with the rank of lieutenant general. In 2016-2019, he held the position of the first deputy director of the Russian Guard Viktor Zolotov. In 2016 he was awarded the rank of Colonel General.

Since September 27, 2019 he was a member of the Federation Council from the Stavropol Territory.

He was awarded the Orders of Honor, Alexander Nevsky, “For Services to the Fatherland” IV degree with swords, “For Military Merit” and a number of other awards.


“Erdogan clicked on the noses of great powers” – Kommersant FM – Kommersant

For 30 years they did nothing, and now they demand a ceasefire. Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the call of the Russian and French presidents to stop the violence in Karabakh. According to the Turkish leader, peace will come after Azerbaijan regains the occupied territories. Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron said that he is in constant contact with Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in the situation in the South Caucasus. Dmitry Drize, a political observer for Kommersant FM, believes that Moscow has an unexpected chance of rapprochement with the West.

The fighting in Karabakh suddenly and unexpectedly led to the creation of an alliance of great powers. Let it be temporary, let it be forced, but the fact remains. Russia, France and the United States came out with a consolidated position, called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to cease fire and immediately begin negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. The European Union also calls on it.

Earlier, despite the negative background in connection with Navalny, Belarus and a general deaf misunderstanding, Emmanuel Macron called Vladimir Putin to discuss Karabakh.

And even Donald Trump did not object, joined the joint statement, despite the election campaign. Why is there suddenly such unanimity?

Firstly, it cannot be otherwise: all three countries are members of the aforementioned OSCE Minsk Group and are largely responsible for the situation. Secondly, in fact, the participation in the conflict of the so-called pro-Turkish militants from Syria and Libya has been officially recognized. This means that another region is at risk of exploding, following the example of Syria and Libya. And once again the great powers have to disentangle all this. There is more Russia, but the positions of the Armenian diaspora, as well as the Turkish and Azerbaijani, are very strong in the USA and France. There is little riot for them now.

Meanwhile, Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on the statement of the three presidents. Every day the confidence is growing that he is the main participant in the conflict, overshadowing Azerbaijan. The President of Turkey noted that the OSCE Minsk Group – read Russia, the United States and France – had completely discredited itself: for 30 years it had done nothing to resolve the conflict, and now calls for a ceasefire. They no longer have the right to dispose of in the Caucasus. Peace will come when the Armenian invaders leave and the Azerbaijani brothers return their land to themselves.

One can agree with the Turkish leader – that in 30 years, indeed, little has been done, or rather nothing, otherwise the war would not have started.

Otherwise, it is noticeable that Erdogan is very belligerent.

But with all this, what I would like to draw your attention to: Russia is now with him on the other side of the barricades. The interests of Moscow and Ankara began to diverge a long time ago, back in 2015. The history of the downed SU-24 should not be forgotten. But now, for the first time in many years, Moscow is in company with the advanced countries of the West and even with the hated America.

These are the unexpected consequences of the Karabakh conflict: we still have common interests with the West. Moreover, Russia continues to play a significant role in the world. Otherwise, one could doubt this. However, there are still few reasons for joy – Erdogan so unobtrusively clicked on the nose of the great powers. Making a statement is the simplest one. The conflict still needs to be resolved. It has not been possible for 30 years, why should it work now? Now is the time for the Turkish president to offer his services as the leader of a regional power. And he also knows what to do – to fight.

But the most interesting thing is that this is in its own way in Moscow’s hands, in the eyes of the West it has a good opportunity to look like a lesser evil than Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

And with proper concessions, it can even return, if not into the arms of partners, then at least become their ally against their will. Generally speaking, this is a chance that should not be missed. And then another may not be introduced. After all, it is enough to consistently speak from common positions, and any aggressor or revanchist will start thinking.


Alexey Navalny is imprisoned for treason – Newspaper Kommersant No. 180 (6901) dated 02.10.2020

President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov and State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin accused Alexei Navalny on Thursday of working for Western intelligence services. The reason for their comments was the interview of the oppositionist to the German edition of Der Spiegel, in which he stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind his poisoning. After that, Mr. Navalny announced that he would sue Mr. Peskov and would certainly return to Russia to continue the political struggle. His supporters say that, despite these accusations, they will continue preparations for the State Duma elections. And experts consider it quite probable that criminal cases will be initiated against Alexei Navalny under articles on libel and treason.

“I claim that Putin is behind this crime, and I have no other versions of what happened,” Alexei Navalny said in an interview with Der Spiegel, answering a question about the culprits of his poisoning. He also confirmed that he intends to return to Russia: “My job now is to remain a guy who is not afraid. And I’m not afraid. “

This interview, fragments of which were published Thursday morning, was the first that Mr. Navalny, who was in a coma from August 20 to September 7, gave after hospitalization. Recall that the politician became ill on the plane on the way to Moscow from Tomsk, where he and his team were engaged in yet another investigation. He was hospitalized in Omsk, where an urgent plane landed, and then transferred to the Berlin clinic “Charite”. The FRG authorities said that Mr. Navalny was poisoned with poison from the Novichok group. The Russian authorities refute the version of the poisoning, referring to the diagnosis of Omsk doctors “metabolic disorders”.

State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin was the first to react to the opposition’s statement. He said that Alexei Navalny was a “shameless and scoundrel” who was “sincerely saved by everyone – from pilots and doctors to the president.” The speaker recalled that the FRG authorities do not want to create a joint working group with the State Duma to understand what happened, and do not provide Russia with research results, despite repeated requests.

According to Mr. Volodin, this situation was staged by Western countries “in order to create tension in Russia and prevent the protection of the sovereignty of Belarus,” and Mr. Navalny himself “clearly works with the special services and authorities of Western countries.”

Later, the information about the special services was concretized by the presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov. He told reporters that, according to the information available to the Kremlin, specialists from the US CIA are working with Alexei Navalny and “give him different instructions”, and “not for the first time.” Information about this, according to Mr. Peskov, “leaked” not only in Russia, but also in Germany. He called the accusations against the president “absolutely groundless, inadmissible, offensive and unacceptable” and stressed that the oppositionist “wants to put himself on the same level with the first person of the state”, but at the same time is not his real competitor in the political struggle.

When asked whether it is safe for Mr. Navalny to return to Russia, Dmitry Peskov did not answer, since he decided “not to comment on this topic anymore,” but earlier in the same conversation he noted that “any citizen of Russia can return to his homeland at any time” and “ there is no heroism here. “

In response, Alexei Navalny wrote in his blog that he is filing a lawsuit against Mr. Peskov and demanding that he “publish evidence and facts indicating work with CIA specialists.” Opposition lawyer Vyacheslav Gimadi said that the lawsuit is already being prepared – it will be submitted to the Presnensky District Court of Moscow. He noted that “in this process, the president’s representative will have to prove the information he has disseminated,” since “according to the law, such an obligation lies with the defendant.”

The head of the regional headquarters of Alexei Navalny, Leonid Volkov, told Kommersant that the dissemination of information by the authorities about the oppositionist as a CIA agent would not in any way affect the work of his supporters: “B”) can be poisoned by the “Novice” “.

According to comrades-in-arms of Mr. Navalny, they plan to continue their current activities, which will mainly be related to the upcoming State Duma elections in 2021.

Emphasis will be placed on promoting the Smart Voting system, created to support the most powerful opposition candidates, for which the past regional elections became a “dress rehearsal”. True, the oppositionists need a lot of money to implement these plans – for example, they spent more than 22 million rubles on the autumn elections. The situation is complicated by the defeated associates of Alexei Navalny in lawsuits for tens of millions of rubles, and most of these decisions have already been transferred to the bailiffs.

Political scientist Mikhail Vinogradov believes that the authorities are sending numerous signals to Alexei Navalny that they do not want to see him in Russia, but it is still difficult to predict whether a criminal case for treason will be opened against him. Political scientist Alexander Pozhalov agrees that the authorities “in every possible way prevent” the return of Mr. Navalny, and if he arrives in Russia, “at least by court decisions they will limit the area of ​​his stay only to Moscow”, since “as a” politician of the Garden Ring “he is not dangerous on a national scale.”

Political scientist Yevgeny Minchenko is also sure that the return of the oppositionist practically guarantees him an “inevitable real term” under at least two criminal articles – for treason and for libel. In addition, the level of danger of cooperation with Alexei Navalny is increasing, the expert believes: “It is one thing when you help an opposition blogger, and another thing when an agent of foreign intelligence. This will quickly lead to the radicalization of his supporters. “

According to political scientist Oleg Matveychev, Mr. Navalny is waiting for a criminal case on libel against the veteran in any case: “Now he has a third criminal case. Theoretically and according to the law, if a person with two suspended sentences again goes to a criminal case, he should be given a real sentence. ” At the same time, the expert does not believe that a case of high treason can be brought against the oppositionist, since he “has no official duties related to access to classified materials.” Mr. Matveychev also believes that if Alexei Navalny does not return to Russia after the end of his treatment, he will not be able to return in principle, since at the moment he is under recognizance not to leave.

Kira Duryagina


The forest was ordered to round off – Newspaper Kommersant No. 179 (6900) dated 01.10.2020

Vladimir Putin’s proposal to completely ban the export of coniferous round timber from 2022 divided the timber market into two camps. If in large corporations, which often face a shortage of raw materials, the measure is considered useful, then companies that do not have processing facilities call it deadly for themselves. The government promises to support the players. But experts doubt that a sharp halt in exports will benefit the market, which in any case will not have time to reorganize in a year.

The decision of President Vladimir Putin to ban the export of coniferous and valuable hardwood round timber from Russia from 2022 will help increase the volume of scarce raw materials within the country, but will require the state to help many market players, especially in the Far East, say sector participants interviewed by Kommersant. On September 30, the President, following a meeting on the development and decriminalization of the forestry complex, announced that the export of unprocessed or roughly processed timber would be banned from 2022.

The ban has been debated for years.

Sources of Kommersant close to the government confirm that “this has been going for a long time, putting things in order in the sector was one of the key tasks of the renewed cabinet of ministers.”

Last year, the speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko suggested stopping the export of round timber, but only temporarily, while the new Forest Code is being developed. And the head of the Ministry of Natural Resources Dmitry Kobylkin proposed to stop supplies only to China, which accounts for up to 70% of timber exports from Russia.

Segezha Group, one of the largest forestry companies, has a positive assessment of the export ban. Nikolai Ivanov, managing director for the implementation of state programs and forest policy of the company, explained to Kommersant that support for timber processing is necessary, and the shortage of raw materials, except for deciduous pulpwood, is obvious. So, although Segezha is 70% self-sufficient in raw materials, the company admits that the introduction of a ban on exports may expand the possibilities of purchasing them on the side.

At the same time, Nikolai Ivanov calls for a clear definition of the concept of “roughly processed wood”: it is important that the export of packaged kiln-dried sawn timber is not banned. He also expresses concerns about the too short transition period: “I believe that not all market players will have time to reorganize. This is especially true for the Far East, small and medium-sized businesses. “

The Ilim group notes that the steps to put things in order in the forestry sector look “certainly right”. They also believe that the ban on the export of unprocessed timber will increase the amount of available raw materials for domestic timber industry producers. “At the same time, in our opinion, it is also important to develop a set of measures to stimulate the development of internal processing,” the company adds.

But many players in the sector consider a complete ban on roundwood exports a dangerous move that could negatively affect the operation of the industry, especially in the Far East. Local companies are already complaining about negative business margins due to restrictive export duties on unprocessed timber.

So, after Russia’s accession to the WTO in 2012, export quotas were formed, which can only be used by processors (according to quotas, the duty is 6.5%). Outside the quotas, rates have increased from 25% to 60%, and in 2021 they will already be 80%. In 2019, the volume of roundwood exports from the Russian Federation decreased by 25%, to 4.5 million cubic meters. m. Association “Dalexportles” asked Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to reduce duties for all companies to 6.5%, but to no avail.

A complete ban on exports, say Kommersant’s sources in the market, will lead to the opposite effect: it is impossible to arrange processing within the period allotted by the president, so that most of the timber will become “even more gray”, and budget revenues will fall.

The government, however, is going to help enterprises. In particular, Vladimir Putin has already ordered the launch of a program of concessional loans from January 1, 2021. Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Yevtukhov told Kommersant that “there will be a special program of state support for the rearmament of the timber industry.” At the same time, he believes that the companies already “had a sufficient period to create processing facilities” and given that there is a year left before the export ban, “there are no risks for producers, including in the Far Eastern Federal District.”

At the same time, the government is aware of the problem of a potential increase in gray round timber exports.

This is evidenced by the intention to introduce an information system for monitoring timber harvesting from the plot to the final sale – LesEGAIS. According to Deputy Prime Minister Victoria Abramchenko, who oversees the forestry industry, “together with the customs authorities and the tax service, we will control the movement of every transaction – from the plot to the warehouse, from the warehouse to processing and beyond”. If the consignment of timber does not have confirmation of the legality of origin, then all transactions with it are blocked. The system will be launched in pilot mode from January, and without fail – from July 2021.

WhatWood analyst Maria Frolova does not consider the forthcoming export ban an unexpected decision. But, she believes, “such drastic measures, introduced in such a short time, are likely to negatively affect the situation in the industry.” She explains that the export market for coniferous roundwood and valuable hardwood is already limited by quotas and duties. Ms. Frolova recalls that in the Far East, the increase in duties and the introduction of quotas paralyzed the work of a number of enterprises. Most likely, she says, a longer period is needed for the adaptation of industry participants, primarily loggers. At the same time, the expert adds that Chinese consumers are already coping without Russian raw materials, focusing on unprocessed wood from New Zealand and windblown wood from Germany.

Olga Mordyushenko