Russia Sets More Modest National Projects Goal for 2030; Exports of Gold Surpass Exports of Natural Gas; Ceasefire Takes Effect in Donbass

Monument of Peter the Great, St. Petersburg, Russia

The Russian government has been forced to moderate its goals for the National Projects, with Putin having signed a “July Decree”on the 21st that set 2030 as the new date to accomplish a scaled back version of the program. According to BNE Intellinews:

They outline five development goals: 1) maintaining the population, its health and wellbeing; 2) creating possibilities for self-fulfilment and development of talents; 3) comfortable and safe living environment; 4) effective labour and successful entrepreneurship; 5) digital transformation.

One of the previous goals, to make Russia one of the five largest global economies, has been removed. The new decree also omits clear targets on labour productivity but maintains the goal of halving poverty levels from the current 12.3%.

The government will now have to adjust the National Projects platform to the new decree by October 30 and come up with a consolidated 2030 economic development plan.

TASS provided more details of parts of the plan:

According to the document, life expectancy, which was 73.4 years in 2019, should reach 78 years in ten years’ time….The document also sets other important goals. These include plans to make sure that the number of workers employed in small and medium-sized businesses climbs to 25 m[illion], and that capital investment expands by at least 70% compared to 2020. Similar expectations cover non-commodity and non-energy exports, too.

The executive order signed by Putin can be viewed here.

Remember when the late John McCain said that Russia was just a gas station masquerading as a country? Some of you may also be aware that Rising! co-host Saagar Enjeti recently referred to Russia on social media as a “third-rate dying petro-state.” Which goes to show that strident anti-Russia sentiment is truly bi-partisan. According to statistics from the Russian government, Russia made more money this past spring from exporting gold than exporting natural gas. RT reported:

According to the statistics, in April and May, Russian mining companies sold 65.4 tons of gold abroad worth $3.55 billion. Russian gas exports for the same period stood at $2.4 billion. According to the CBR’s preliminary assessment, in general, for the second quarter of 2020, exports of gas brought Russia $3.5 billion in revenue – less than that from gold exports in just two months.

Last week, the Kiev government and the rebels in east Ukraine reached a ceasefire agreement that has now reportedly gone into effect. The OSCE SMM reported the following terms:

Issuance and enactment from 00:01hrs (Kyiv time) on 27 July 2020  by the leadership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the leadership of the armed formations of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of, and compliance with, for the whole period until full comprehensive settlement of the conflict, the respective ceasefire orders containing the following ceasefire support measures:

  1. ban on offensive, reconnaissance and sabotage operations, as well as ban on operation of any types of aerial vehicles of the sides;
  2. ban on firing, including sniper fire;
  3. ban on the deployment of heavy weapons in and around settlements, primarily at civilian infrastructure, including schools, kindergartens, hospitals and public premises;
  4. the effective use of disciplinary actions for ceasefire violations and notification of them to the TCG Coordinator who shall inform all of its participants about it;
  5. creation and involvement of a coordination mechanism for responding to ceasefire violations through the facilitation of the JCCC in its current setting;
  6. retaliatory fire responding to an offensive operation* is only permissible if it occurs at the order made by the respective leadership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the leadership of CADLR armed formations after an unsuccessful attempt to make use of the above-mentioned coordination mechanism. The TCG shall be notified of the issuance of such orders.
  7. the above-mentioned measures may not be, fully or in part, disavowed by any other orders, including secret ones.

The agreement was lauded by Europe and Pope Francis.

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