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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Russia: Weekly Report (22.05-28.05)

This report describes the key events that significantly impacted Russia’s political, economic and social processes.

Based on the results of the past week, the following trends can be summarised:

  • Moscow demonstrates consistent development of economic relations at the regional level. The EAEU summit showed that some Central Asian states are ready to build strong ties with Russia and China. Economic prospects are the connecting link of such relations. Similarly, the parties demonstrate their readiness to resolve regional conflicts and local problems. It is noteworthy that in other formats (SCO, BRICS, etc.), several African, Middle Eastern and even Latin American states are ready to join this axis. It is important to note that in the public arena, Moscow is trying in every possible way to demonstrate equal positions with China and not to play number two.
  • There is an increase in negotiations at the Moscow-Beijing-Washington level, including on the Ukrainian issue. In this situation, we are not discussing an early agreement and cessation of hostilities, but we can say that possible points of contact have already been outlined. At the same time, Moscow is increasingly trying to demonstrate the “minority” of the so-called “SMO”. As a result, economic and domestic political issues are increasingly coming to the fore, behind which lies a severe crisis of the power bloc (constant changes in the goals of the so-called “SMO” indicate the impossibility of achieving them).
  • Putin is increasingly playing the role of leader of the “Party of Peace” as he prepares for the upcoming presidential elections. An attempt to focus on social issues and the development of economic relations with regional partners almost completely ousted references to the situation in Ukraine from his public statements (at the same time, this is also due to the lack of any result on the battlefield). He increasingly holds meetings with representatives of various ethnic, social and religious groups living in Russia, presents them with all kinds of prizes and awards, demonstrates an interest in environmental issues, and builds relationships with Patriarch Kirill. At the same time, in contrast to the “peacekeeping” image of Putin, the figure of Yevgeny Prigozhin as the leader of the “party of war” is being increasingly promoted.

This digest describes the issues, being the most relevant for Russia from 22 to 28 May:

1. Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Lebedev.

2. Events in the Belgorod region.

3. Vladimir Putin’s meeting with the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Valery Zorkin.

4. EAEU summit in Moscow.

5. Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

6. Telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

7. Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Vietnam.

8. Mikhail Mishustin’s visit to China.

9. Appointment of Maxim Travnikov.

10. Deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus.

11. Interview with Yevgeny Prigozhin

12. Visit of China’s Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs in Moscow.

13. Vladimir Kolokoltsev’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

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This report describes the key events that significantly impacted Russia’s political, economic and social processes.

Based on the results of the past week, the following trends can be summarised:

  • Moscow demonstrates consistent development of economic relations at the regional level. The EAEU summit showed that some Central Asian states are ready to build strong ties with Russia and China. Economic prospects are the connecting link of such relations. Similarly, the parties demonstrate their readiness to resolve regional conflicts and local problems. It is noteworthy that in other formats (SCO, BRICS, etc.), several African, Middle Eastern and even Latin American states are ready to join this axis. It is important to note that in the public arena, Moscow is trying in every possible way to demonstrate equal positions with China and not to play number two.
  • There is an increase in negotiations at the Moscow-Beijing-Washington level, including on the Ukrainian issue. In this situation, we are not discussing an early agreement and cessation of hostilities, but we can say that possible points of contact have already been outlined. At the same time, Moscow is increasingly trying to demonstrate the “minority” of the so-called “SMO”. As a result, economic and domestic political issues are increasingly coming to the fore, behind which lies a severe crisis of the power bloc (constant changes in the goals of the so-called “SMO” indicate the impossibility of achieving them).
  • Putin is increasingly playing the role of leader of the “Party of Peace” as he prepares for the upcoming presidential elections. An attempt to focus on social issues and the development of economic relations with regional partners almost completely ousted references to the situation in Ukraine from his public statements (at the same time, this is also due to the lack of any result on the battlefield). He increasingly holds meetings with representatives of various ethnic, social and religious groups living in Russia, presents them with all kinds of prizes and awards, demonstrates an interest in environmental issues, and builds relationships with Patriarch Kirill. At the same time, in contrast to the “peacekeeping” image of Putin, the figure of Yevgeny Prigozhin as the leader of the “party of war” is being increasingly promoted.

This digest describes the issues, being the most relevant for Russia from 22 to 28 May:

1. Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Lebedev.

2. Events in the Belgorod region.

3. Vladimir Putin’s meeting with the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Valery Zorkin.

4. EAEU summit in Moscow.

5. Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

6. Telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

7. Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Vietnam.

8. Mikhail Mishustin’s visit to China.

9. Appointment of Maxim Travnikov.

10. Deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus.

11. Interview with Yevgeny Prigozhin

12. Visit of China’s Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs in Moscow.

13. Vladimir Kolokoltsev’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

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