The Russian government has made up decision to directly intervene in Syria with all available military capabilities and this was primarily declared and acknowledged by Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov. He mentioned straight away the following: “We never ever have made any secret of our militaries presence in Syria. Our military specialists are working there, assisting to their Syrian colleagues to master our combat weapons. However, whether is needed we will be moving forward the steps in accordance to our national legislation, to international law and in compliance to implementing our international obligations and with fully consent stemming from the Syrian legal government. We helped, are continuing to help and will help the Syrian government when it comes to supplying the Syrian army with everything it needs. Russia is sending planes to Syria with both military equipment in accordance with current contracts and humanitarian aid. Hence, Russia will be keeping fight in Syria”. This is very serious statement that actually confirms Russia’s contemporary and nearest future plans regarding how to cope with geopolitical crisis in Syria. Moscow has been a staunch ally of the Assad government throughout the uprising that began in March 2011 and later descended into a civil war. At time being, Russia does not step forward to reinforce the presence in this country. On its turn, Russia proposed to the USA Administration creation of joint coalition against “Islamic Caliphate” and reinforces the joint effort in order to destroy completely the ISIS at regional and global levels. As it is known, Russia maintains a naval base in Tartus province, south of Latakia province. In addition to that the Russian forces are building a long runway capable of accommodating large aircraft near the Hmaymeen military airport in Latakia province. In May of 2015, the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad appealed to the Russian government to deploy in Syria Russian military bases. At the beginning of September of 2015 the Russian government with endorsement of the National Security Council held its urgent session in Sochi at the end of August ordered to those militaries already sent in Syria to launch airstrike missions with Russian military jets MiG-31 exploited by the Syrian pro-Assad Air Force against ISIS units and started to provide military equipment and armament to Syria via all available transit routes, among them are to be identified as follow:
Russian-Belarussian drills “Zapad-2017”, planned for 14-20 September 2017, raise many doubts and questions, not only among leaders of neighboring countries. One of the reason is concentration of a large number of troops on NATO’s eastern flank, also as claimed NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg the lack of transparency of joint Russian and Belarusian forces. Limiting the access to precise observation of preparation to exercise and lack of opportunity to fully participate in planned activities does not reinforce the trust and belief in the defensive nature of drills. In the opinion of Alexandra Grushko, the Russian ambassador to NATO, this is not inconsistence with international agreements, among others with OSCE Vienna Document from 1999 “Confidence and security building measures”. The tensions in this region, especially by prism of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian hybrid war are serious, in fact this seems to confirm a new Cold War scenario of relations between the West and the East.
The “Zapad” drills, in Russian “West”, dates back to the Soviet Union, when the number of soldiers and civilian personnel involved in it reached more than 150,000 (in 1981), when they exercise defense against German aggression. From 2009 we can talk about the regularity of these maneuvers, in cooperation with Minsk. Also in that year, according to media reports, the scenario predicted a nuclear attack on Polish territory. In 2013, the combined forces defended theirs countries against Baltic terrorists. Despite the announced 13,000, in maneuvers participated about 90,000 soldiers and other personnel.
A story of launching a mild cooperation between Russian energy merger “Gazprom” leadership in name of its President of Director Council, Alexey Miller and Georgian government in name of Fuel and Energy Affairs Minister, Vice-premier Kakha Kaladze since September 2015. In 2016 in Brussels two VIP persons met in Brussels to discuss matter of cooperation between the parties. More in detail – During the meeting, the sides discussed the cooperation in gas sphere. They were talking about the supply of Russian natural gas to Georgia, as well as its transit to third countries .The negotiation was hold in very secret manner however soon it was discovered by the mass-media means. Georgia, by and large, needs only 2 billion cubic meters of gas annually. As it is known “Gazprom” supplied to Georgia about 0.3 billion cubic meters in 2014, this is about 25% of the Georgia’s consumption of gas and the rest is being supplied by the Azerbaijani merger that is also state-run energy corporation “SOCAR”. Moreover, Georgia receives about 0.5 billion cubic meters of gas as tax fee from the transit from the South Caucasus Pipeline. However, the tax fee condition for the accessible gas supply to Georgia expires a year later in 2016 and it means that Azerbaijani side could reconsider and change the fee conditions for Georgia. For commercial purposes, the Georgian government purchases about 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas mainly from Azerbaijani SOCAR merger and the prices is determined by the merger itself. The price is also changed due to the realms of geopolitical configuration and economic crisis erupted in Azerbaijan and in Georgia. In addition to that SOCAR partially monopolize the Georgian energy market and seeks to expand its activities in the country. However, main directions of SOCAR Georgia Gas activity comprise import into the Georgian market and sale of natural gas, as well as construction and rehabilitation of gas pipelines. Main revenues for the SOCAR merger comes from Shah-Denis gas deposit and ACG oil filed. As for gas supply to Georgia itself, the gas volumes for social consumption has been contracted for a fixed term, mainly for short-term period three-six months, upon to which gas retail price has not changed steadily in favour in no consumer country interests. Far more, SOCAR Trading, headquartered in Geneva, markets SOCAR crude oil export volumes from Ceyhan, trades third party crude and oil products and assists SOCAR with international investments in logistics, downstream and sales. The Gas Processing Plant produces processed gas, liquefied gas and natural gasoline. In 2010, the plant produced 4 billion cubic meters of processed gas, 24,800 tons of liquefied gas and 26,700 tons of natural gasoline. Alongside with its field of activity in marketing and sales, SOCAR Trading assists SOCAR in expanding SOCAR’s assets as well.