Press review: Moscow’s Afghan weight will be reborn and Hungary remains a key Russian ally in the EU – Press review
Izvestia: Russia and China could become key players in Afghanistan
US President Joe Biden said foreign troops must leave Afghanistan by August 31: this turned out to be one of the main outcomes of the G7 summit, urgently called by the UK, who currently chairs the G7. London, along with Berlin and Paris, should postpone the deadline in order to evacuate as many foreigners and Afghans as possible. However, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson kept up appearances, announcing that the G7 had agreed on a unified approach to the Taliban (banned in Russia). Meanwhile, Russia and China could become key new players in the region, writes Izvestia.
Days before the meeting, Prime Minister Johnson admitted that the main players in the region with the departure of the United States were Russia and China, and Johnson noted that London should involve potentially dissuasive countries, such as Russia. and China. .
Former Italian presidential adviser and former ambassador to NATO Stefano Stefanin told Izvestia that Moscow and Beijing should try to fill the power vacuum created by the withdrawal of the United States and NATO from Afghanistan, and could compete for this, but not at the expense of their own safety.
According to him, Russia and China could play a “dissuasive” role against the Taliban both in internal governance and in the prevention of international jihad and terrorism. Despite geopolitical differences and rivalries, the West, Russia and China are still on the same side of the abyss between secularism and fundamentalism, the politician said.
However, the international community does not have time to wait, writes the newspaper. In addition to being ravaged by war, Afghanistan was hit by its second drought in three years, which destroyed around 40% of its crops. The precipitous evacuation of Kabul also created new problems for those who were forced to stay and the financial situation also remains extremely difficult.
“According to my information, the whole financial system is completely blocked. No bank is functioning,” a former Afghan government official told Izvestia.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund froze a tranche of 370 million dollars in Kabul to fight the economic crisis because of the “lack of clarity from the international community” on the recognition of the Afghan government.
Izvestia: Ukraine celebrates 30 years of independence
Ukraine celebrated its 30th anniversary of independence with the largest military parade in the country’s history. This costly event took place in a year when the country’s budget deficit exceeded 5.5% of GDP. Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Russian Federation Konstantin Kosachev told Izvestia that Ukraine’s last three decades of independence were “a time of missed opportunities.” The State Duma believes that the way to restore the Ukrainian economy is to revive relations with Russia and the post-Soviet space.
Kosachev noted that everything happening in the neighboring country “fully demonstrates the wickedness of the course associated with relinquishing sovereignty in order to gain certain advantages.” “Ukraine is the only republic in the former USSR which has not yet reached the 1990 level. All the other 14 republics have reached this threshold and surpassed it. Ukraine is the only one, so far. day, to live in conditions below the level at which it has achieved this independence, “said the politician in Izvestia, stressing that Russia is always ready to forge close relations with the” brotherly Ukrainian people “.
The Russian establishment is convinced that the only solution for the Ukrainian economy is integration with Russia, Belarus and other post-Soviet countries, writes Izvestia. The first vice-president of the international affairs committee, Dmitry Novikov, believes that the country is under external control. “In Ukraine, any head of state, no matter what slogan he is elected, is not going to respond to the interests of the people. The main client of his policy is not the people, but the Western forces who sponsor it. regime in power, ”he told Izvestia.
Meanwhile, according to experts, the celebration of Ukraine’s Independence Day can not be viewed separately from the Crimean platform. This summit was necessary to “resuscitate the case of Crimea as one of the most important on the world stage,” said the associate professor at the Institute of Post-Soviet and Interregional Studies of the Russian State University of the United Nations. human sciences, Alexander Gushchin. newspaper. “The West needs Russia for gas, as well as to resolve the situation in Afghanistan and Syria. In light of this… the Crimea issue began to evaporate from the foreign Western agenda. Therefore, Kiev decided to put it back on the table. However, this was only possible to a limited extent – a significant number of senior officials ignored the event, ”the political scientist noted.
Kommersant: Hungary remains one of Russia’s few allies in Europe
Hungary remains in a narrow circle of European countries friendly to Moscow. This was confirmed by recent talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto. At a press conference, top diplomats focused on economic cooperation. However, the countries have more in common in international politics – the tension in Moscow-Budapest relations with Brussels, the situation in Afghanistan and Hungary’s participation in the Crimean Platform. The latter, as it turned out, will not affect relations between the two countries, writes Kommersant.
Budapest was Lavrov’s first stop on his European tour. Hungary remains one of the few European states whose relations with Russia can be called friendly without exaggeration, the newspaper writes. At a joint press conference, Szijjarto was convinced that many Western European countries wish to maintain the same level of cooperation with Moscow, but Budapest, unlike them, is doing so openly.
Hungary is so far the first and only country in the EU to have approved Russia’s Sputnik V jab and purchased a significant batch. Szijjarto announced on Tuesday that the cooperation will go further: by the end of 2022, Hungary intends to launch its own production of the Sputnik V vaccine. Budapest also wants to sign a 15-year contract with Gazprom for the supply of natural gas. The two countries are also united by the fact that the two have a difficult relationship with Brussels, writes Kommersant.
Even Hungary’s participation in the Crimean Platform did not spoil the meeting. Calling the Kiev initiative an empty “Russophobic action”, Lavrov found an excuse for Budapest Hungary simply cannot withstand pressure from EU and NATO allies, the newspaper said.
The Russian Foreign Minister will pursue the theme of regional stability with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio. Rome, along with Vienna, will be another stop on Lavrov’s tour. However, the dialogue with the West, according to the senior diplomat, will be fruitful only if the conversations aim to “understand the reality on the ground” and not to “promote its own actions”.
Kommersant: Russia offers state support for AI development projects
The Russian government will provide state support to creators of artificial intelligence programs. Projects can expect grants of up to 500 million rubles ($ 6.77 million) per year. Meanwhile, professionals bringing AI into business processes are seriously discussing the ethical issues arising from the use of new technology. At the government’s Analysis Center (AC), experts are still deliberating on the AI code of ethics, with a view to presenting it in the fall of 2021. One of the main reasons given by experts for this is engaging in ethical research is the low level of public confidence in new technologies.
Projects with an implementation period of up to six years will be able to request state aid of up to 500 million rubles ($ 6.77 million) per year, or up to 3 billion rubles. ($ 40.63 million) per project. In 2021, the budget allocates 1.5 billion rubles ($ 20.1 million) to grants to AI developers.
According to experts, confidence in new technologies is one of the key issues under discussion. In particular, at the Analysis Center as part of the reflection on the future Code of Ethics in AI – the Ministry of the Economy and the AI Alliance are also participating. “We will be able to reach [trust] if we speak openly about the principles and rules of development and implementation of artificial intelligence technologies, “said the spokesperson of the presidential administration, Sofia Zakharova.
According to the executive director of the regulation of artificial intelligence technologies at Sberbank Andrey Neznamov, the standards of the future code will be advisory in nature. At the same time, there is no question of a code of ethics for AI itself – as part of ongoing discussions, it is assumed that the responsibility for creating and using AI “ always falls on the people ”.
Vedomosti: Bank of Russia begins to reform the payments market
The Bank of Russia has announced the imminent reform of the payments market, which could lead to the loss of part of commission income for banks: the regulator will allow any non-financial company to handle payments from Russians, writes Vedomosti. It’s a big market: In 2020, people made payments with cards to the tune of 29.4 trillion rubles ($ 398.42 billion), according to the Bank of Russia. The regulator suggests giving non-financial and non-banking financial institutions the right to initiate transfers on behalf of clients, as well as to effect such transfers.
Microfinance companies, brokers, internet search engines, retail stores and supermarkets have already shown interest in providing payment services, Bank of Russia vice president Vladimir Chistyukhin said. According to him, non-financial actors want their customers not only to buy something, but also to make payments through them. It will reduce costs. The exact timing of the reform is not yet known, Chistyukhin said.
In global practice, there are already examples where settlements are not carried out only by banks, the deputy director of business development of OpenWay, Sergey Lebedev, told the newspaper. This may stimulate cardless payment methods, the trend to avoid card-to-card payments has already started, the expert believes.
The regulator’s proposal will help attract new players to the market and improve payment instruments through technology, a Yandex representative told Vedomosti. It will be difficult to compete with banks in terms of commissions for payment transactions, as transfers through the Faster Payments System and cash withdrawals at banks are now free, and the construction of an infrastructure to accept payments n It is not an easy task, CEO of Russian Standard Bank said Sergei Berestovoy. Particular attention will have to be paid to the safety of operations, he added.
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