The Russian authorities should not be superficial about the sanctions that Western countries are constantly strengthening. Vladimir Putin stated this on July 8 during a meeting with members of the government, the main topic of which was the situation in the fuel and energy complex. According to the president, Russian companies should be prepared for the oil embargo, which was recently agreed upon by the EU countries. However, the head of state discussed other topics with the Cabinet of Ministers. In particular, touched upon the support of the educational system in the DPR and LPR, as well as the problems faced by the country’s aviation industry. The focus was also on issues related to the tourism sector and the agro-industrial complex.. And even before the start of the meeting, Vladimir Putin took part in the solemn ceremony of raising the Russian flag on the new fishing vessels.
Despite sanctions pressure, the situation in the Russian fuel and energy complex remains quite stableVladimir Putin appreciated. Furthermore, a positive trend is observed in a number of key indicators. So, since the beginning of 2022, the level of oil production has exceeded the data of the previous year by 3.5%.. Although, for example, gas production for the period from January to May decreased slightly – by 2%, the president specified.
However, the situation on the world market is still difficult due to calls from Western countries to abandon Russian energy resources. According to the head of state, in the future, unfriendly actions of foreign partners can lead to catastrophic consequences. Recall that the day before, gas prices in Europe for the first time since March 9 exceeded $1,900 per 1,000 cubic meters. m. Meanwhile, the cost of Brent crude reached $130 per barrel in mid-June, the president said.
The European Union has previously announced its intention to completely abandon Russian energy resources by 2027. Recently, the EU agreed on another package of sanctions, which contains a partial embargo of oil from the Russian Federation. We are talking about a ban on the import of crude oil and petroleum products by sea. Thus, deliveries through pipelines did not fall under the restrictions. According to Vladimir Putin, it is important that Russian companies are ready for such actions.. At the same time, he noted that now the government is considering options for developing the railway, sea and pipeline infrastructure for the supply of Russian oil and oil products to friendly countries.
Generally the head of state urged his colleagues not to relax in relation to Western sanctions that damage the Russian economy. By the way, the possibility of introducing the seventh package of anti-Russian measures is now being discussed in Brussels. In total, more than 11 thousand sanctions have already been introduced against the Russian Federation.
“Many risks still remain. However, I see that some colleagues are already starting to take a somewhat superficial attitude towards the measures that we must take to stop possible threats. Like, don’t give a damn about them, these sanctions, they went away, everything is already in the past, we coped with everything and feel confident. Yes, we must feel confident, but we must see the risksVladimir Putin said.
Since the restructuring of world markets for primary energy carriers will be observed in the near future, we should expect, at least in the short term, a period of high prices for hydrocarbons, Evgeny Smirnov, Doctor of Economic Sciences, is sure.
– The search for workarounds for the export of Russian oil will inevitably at some stage lead to an increase in world prices and a shortage of oil and gas on the world market. We already see that Russian oil, coming, for example, to India, is processed there and comes in the form of exorbitantly expensive oil products to the same Europe, ”he explained in an interview with Izvestia.
However as the new heating season approaches, European countries will more soberly assess the situation with the import of key Russian export commodities, since this affects not only the situation with the energy security of these states, but also with the political one, the expert believes. Against this background, he does not even rule out the possibility of launching Nord Stream 2 and lifting the embargo on Russian oil supplies.
— A rollback is not ruled out, which may intensify as Russia achieves new successes in the military operation in Ukraine.– says Evgeny Smirnov.
In addition to oil and gas, nuclear energy has a large export potential, against which Western countries have not decided on serious sanctions, the economist recalled. This confirms the serious dependence of nuclear power plants in the countries of the region on uranium supplies from Russia. Most of the uranium enrichment capacity in the world is concentrated in the Russian Federation, Evgeny Smirnov noted.
From schools to planes
The meeting, however, also discussed other important issues, including education. For example, Minister of Education Sergey Kravtsov spoke about the constant hacker attacks on the information systems of the Unified State Examination, which, however, did not affect the exams in any way. Now the department is actively preparing for the new academic year. This applies, among other things, to solving the problems of ensuring the safety of buildings. Besides, the Russian side is trying to provide maximum assistance to colleagues from the DPR and LPR, whose sovereignty Moscow recognized this year. In particular, it is expected that about 3.5 million textbooks will arrive in the republic.
Meanwhile, against the background of the recent start of a new admission campaign to universities, Russian authorities have increased the number of quotas for graduates from Donbass and Ukraine (from 18 thousand to 23 thousand), and also simplified the procedure for admission to higher educational institutions (the results of the Unified State Examination are not required). However, Minister of Science and Education Valery Falkov assured that this decision does not affect the competitive situation for the Russians. The total number of places for education at the expense of the federal budget this year will exceed 580 thousand. By the way, according to the quota (10% of all budget places), children of participants in a military special operation will also be able to enter.
During the meeting, Vladimir Putin drew attention to the large number of non-gasified educational institutions in the country. We are talking, first of all, about schools and kindergartens located in rural areas. Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Novak promised to promptly work on these issues.
The head of the Ministry of Transport, Vitaly Savelyev, also spoke at the meeting, according to whom, air transportation of passengers in the Russian Federation for six months decreased by 9%. This is primarily due to flight restrictions at 11 airports in central and southern Russia, which were introduced after the start of the special operation.. It is worth noting that Russian airlines now have access to regular flights to only 15 countries. The aviation industry in the current environment remains one of the most affected. Earlier, the Association of Air Transport Operators reported that Russian airlines in the first quarter faced a record loss in eight years, which exceeds 61 billion rubles.
The report of the head of Rostourism, Zarina Doguzova, turned out to be very long. For example, she drew attention to the lack of modern hotels in the country. However, domestic tourism is gradually developing. This is obviously due not only to the coronavirus pandemic, which “taught” many travelers to explore new places in Russia, but also to the difficult situation in the world, which makes it difficult for citizens to travel to many European resorts. According to Zarina Doguzova, in May-June, a little more than 12 million people rested inside the country, which is 10% more compared to last year.
Agricultural issues were not left aside either, given the fact that a harvesting campaign has already begun in the south of the country. Vladimir Putin emphasized that in the context of a tense situation on the world food market, it is necessary to provide the inhabitants of Russia with all basic food products. However, it is equally important to fulfill the obligations to supply agricultural products to Russian traditional partners. despite the existing difficulties that have been created against the backdrop of sanctions pressure against the country. The Minister of Agriculture confirmed that a “decent harvest for all major crops” is expected in the Russian Federation and confirmed the forecast for grain harvest this year at 130 million tons.
However, the work schedule of the President was not limited to the meeting with the Cabinet. On the eve of the day of the fisherman Vladimir Putin took part via video link in the ceremony of raising the Russian flag on new fishing vessels built at domestic shipyards. At the same time, the fishing fleet received three gifts at once: two large freezing fishing trawlers Kapitan Vdovichenko and Kapitan Sokolov, as well as a longline fishing vessel Gandvik-1.
“Today, the fishery complex as a whole, of course, belongs to the most important, key industries, makes a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of many regions of Russia, to ensuring the country’s food security,” the head of state noted.
According to him, good results are now observed in terms of the extraction of aquatic biological resources. In addition, Russian deliveries to foreign markets are growing.. The President expressed confidence that the domestic fishing industry, even under sanctions pressure, will continue to develop steadily and increase its competitiveness. At the same time, he called reducing dependence on foreign technologies, components and services one of the main tasks.
Russia is traditionally considered a great fishing power, although the industry suffered greatly during the transition period, said Artem Savostitsky, associate professor at the Institute of Economics and Finance at the State University of Management, in an interview with Izvestia. According to him, at the moment the Russian Federation is confidently occupying the fifth or sixth place in the world in terms of total production (in 2021 it amounted to more than 5 million tons).
The main tasks of the Russian fishery complex today are related to the export of products and access to new markets, as well as the reformatting of supply chains, taking into account the doctrine of food security in Russia. The Russian Federation fully provides itself with its own fish and fish products. At the end of 2021, the country reached a security level of 153.2% of annual consumption at a threshold of 85%, the expert explained.
He recalled that when it comes to “fishing”, it is not only fishing, but also artificial cultivation. And in this direction Russia has much to strive for.
“The volume of aquaculture production is planned to be raised to the level of 0.6 million tons, which seems to me to be a very modest plan,” said Artem Savostitsky. – In this part, big risks are associated with the production of salmon – the industry must be provided in an expedited manner with domestic planting material and feed, which were mostly supplied from unfriendly countries.
In the world at the turn of the 2000s and 2010s, aquaculture began to exceed the catch, mainly due to the efforts of China, where about 70 million tons are grown annually. High performance is also shown by Indonesia (16-17 million tons), India (6-7 million tons) and Vietnam (3.5-4 million tons). In Russia, only about 0.2 million tons are grown so far, summed up Artem Savostitsky.