Kommersant: Baku is preparing for EU interference in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev flew to Moscow on Tuesday, where he held talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Among other things, they discussed the future of the Karabakh peace agreement, which was once again threatened with collapse. According to Kommersant, Baku is outraged by the European Union’s attempts to act as a mediator in resolving the conflict. They believe that this is pushing Yerevan to revise the agreements reached with Russia’s mediation.
At the same time, an informed Azerbaijani source told Kommersant that “the effort is being made to provoke Baku to take radical steps and involve the Russian army.” The source noted that “at this critical moment it became necessary to ensure that Putin and Aliyev were on the same side”.
“Both France and the European Union generally played no role in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict when things peaked in the fall of 2020. This caused a palpable concern among EU strategists who are belatedly trying to find their place in the negotiation process. ”“ Sergey Utkin, head of the Strategic Assessment Group at the Institute for World Economy and International Relations, told Kommersant.
“From the point of view of the European Parliament, there were voices calling for the situation after the ceasefire to be used and an attractive ‘European perspective’ for Armenia similar to that of Georgia to be formulated unlikely. Interaction with Russia is becoming more important than ever for the conflicting parties, and in view of the current geopolitical situation, Russia’s benevolent attitude towards Armenia’s “European perspectives” cannot be counted on, “said the expert.
Izvestia: Russia is not going back to the Open Skies treaty
Moscow has no reason to reconsider its decision to withdraw from the Open Skies contract. The head of the delegation of the Russian Federation to the Vienna negotiations on military security and arms control, Konstantin Gavrilov, told Izvestia that the other parties have not changed their position, which means that Russia will officially withdraw from the agreement this December.
“The remaining participating states still failed to muster the strength to distance themselves from the far-fetched arguments that Washington has dictated about the causes of the crisis in the open skies community, allegedly in connection with Russia’s violation of the open skies community. Skies are a heavenly contract, “Gavrilov told Izvestia.
In his opinion, Washington ignored the interests of all parties, including its allies. “After all, as we know, Europeans have very, very limited national satellite reconnaissance facilities,” he added.
According to experts interviewed by Izvestia, the peculiarity of the Open Skies Treaty is that it created an atmosphere of trust and cooperation between the military. And although Russia and the United States have other ways of monitoring each other (satellites, for example), they will not replace the treaty.
“The advantages of satellites are that they can be used for continuous observation and without consent. However, the area could be covered with clouds and satellites will be useless here,” Oleg Shakirov, advisor to the PIR center, told Izvestia .
At the same time, Belarus could still transmit data to Russia via US facilities in Europe. However, further cooperation between Moscow and Minsk after the withdrawal of Russia is possible “only after our Belarusian colleagues have decided to continue their participation in the treaty,” said Gavrilov.
Kommersant: The feud between Lukashenko and Tikhanovskaya is going global, while rivals fight with international diplomacy
Washington could soon take “decisive action” against Minsk, said Belarusian opposition figurehead Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who is on a political visit to the United States. Meanwhile, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus decided to step up his efforts on the diplomatic front. According to Kommersant, he urged diplomats to focus on traditionally friendly states, and EU states are clearly not on that list.
The US tour of Tikhanovskaya is perhaps the most important foreign trip of her political career, writes Kommersant. The figurehead of the opposition was received at the highest official level. She visited the White House and met with Biden’s National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan. The day before, she had held talks with Foreign Minister Antony Blinken. Her American tour ends on July 31st.
The main purpose of Tikhanovskaya’s visit to the United States, as well as many other countries, is to convince the West that the Belarusian people need practical help. The opposition figurehead also said it was trying to persuade the US leadership to “give Russia a signal” that it can play a “constructive role” in solving the Belarus crisis.
Meanwhile, Minsk is trying to keep up with Tikhanovskaya and other members of the Belarusian opposition through diplomatic activities. However, the authorities see the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America as the main partners. According to the Belarusian President, it is important to work in these regions.
At the same time, Lukashenko made it clear that it was necessary to optimize the staff of the country’s embassies in the EU. The head of state also called for the ambassadors to respond to anti-Belarusian rhetoric from Western countries. Bealrus’ former Chargé d’Affaires in Switzerland, Pavel Matsukevich, told Kommersant that there might well be some of the incumbent diplomats who are not actually Lukashenko’s ideological supporters.
Vedomosti: New Russian fighter jet presented at air show
On July 20, Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony of the MAKS-2021 air show. The main event on the first day of the fair was the demonstration of a full-size prototype of a fifth-generation Russian single-engine fighter jet. As announced during the presentation, the aircraft project is under development by the Sukhoi Design Bureau. According to experts interviewed by Vedomosti, the new fighter jet could mainly be used for export.
The first flight of the aircraft is scheduled for 2023, while the construction of the test batch is scheduled for 2024-2025. Meanwhile, the signing of the first export contract is scheduled for 2026, writes Vedomosti. The aircraft’s systems will be developed using the existing scientific and engineering foundations gained in the development of the Sukhoi Su-57 fighter aircraft. United Aircraft Corporation President Yuri Slyusar said at the presentation that the volume of aircraft deliveries for the next 15 years is estimated at 300 aircraft according to the business plan.
According to Mikhail Barabanov, an expert at the Center for Strategy and Technology Analysis, the new fighter is not essential for the Russian aerospace forces, but it can be abandoned for export. Potential customers, according to the expert, include Vietnam, Arab states and India. Despite the active promotion of US fighter jets in the Indian market, the situation there is traditionally unpredictable, Barabanov noted.
Izvestia: Demand for cyber risk insurance in Russia is increasing
The demand for cyber insurance has risen sharply in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, the largest market participants informed Izvestia. So in AlfaStrakhovanie the number of such agreements increased by 50-60%, and in Sberbank Insurance small and micro enterprises increased their policy purchases by 3.5 times. The increased demand for insurance against cyber risks can also be observed by credit institutions, for which a package product is being put together. According to experts, the popularity of hacking risk protection will only increase in the future.
The main reasons for this growth are the trend towards digitization against the background of the coronavirus pandemic, when companies had to implement various Internet services massively and quickly, explained Sberbank Insurance’s Chief Risk Officer (CRO) Vladimir Novikov. The increased use of IT technologies has increased the risk of cyber attacks, he told the newspaper.
In addition, high-profile cases of such attacks caught the attention of customers, noted the head of the financial risk insurance department at AlfaStrakhovanie Ekaterina Kryuchkova.
The volume of the cyber insurance market in Russia is many times smaller than in the EU or the USA and is around 500 million rubles (6.71 million USD). However, it could grow to 10 billion rubles ($ 134 million) over the next five years, said Professor Yulia Finogenova of the Finance and Pricing Department at Izvestia’s Plekhanov University of Economics, Russia.
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