News to 30 March 2013
Self-exiled Russian businessman and Kremlin critic Boris Berezovsky has died in his Surrey home at the age of 67. Berezovsky died from injuries consistent with hanging, according a post-mortem examination released on Monday night. It is suspected that Berezovsky committed suicide. Pathologists will now carry out further tests, including toxicology and histology, which are likely to take several weeks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered large-scale unplanned exercises in the Black Sea region involving 36 warships and close to 7,000 personnel. No advance international notification is required for exercises with less than 7,000 personnel, according to a press spokesman. The manoeuvres, which will also involve air force, paratroopers, marines and intelligence units, are “in accordance with international laws,” he said.
India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) plans to invite Russia to build an oil pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India. In addition, the country’s largest gas company, GAIL, has proposed that Russia’s future gas pipeline to China be extended to India. Political risks threaten both projects, but experts believe they would be economically feasible.
Source: Russia & India Report
The Russian Foreign Ministry has released an official strategy for Russia’s participation in the BRICS association. The document stresses the need to turn the bloc into a comprehensive institution for daily cooperation on key global issues. In particular, Russia is looking forward to working with other BRICS nations to restructure global financial institutions.
Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow ended in over 30 economic agreements being signed, although the nature of the bilateral relationship is political, as well. China seeks a partner in the Asia-Pacific, where rhetoric on the “Chinese threat” is rising, and Russia wants political cooperation, which is lacking in its relations with the U.S.
Source: Russian Beyond the Headlines
The European Commission has presented its annual European Neighbourhood Package, detailing political and economic development in its six eastern neighbours, as well as countries in the southern Mediterranean. This year’s report shows that Georgia, Moldova, and to a certain extent Armenia have reformed the most in the recent year and will benefit from additional funds from Brussels.