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press review israel to move rafah residents before idf sweep and eu stalls on ukraine bid

Press review: Israel to move Rafah residents before IDF sweep and EU stalls on Ukraine bid

“In my opinion, the economic situation in Turkey, which has not improved at all since [Erdogan’s re-election in] the general election last May, was the decisive factor in these elections,” Eastern studies scholar Ruslan Suleymanov told Nezavisimaya Gazeta. “Even increasing the interest rate from 8.5% to 50% did not impact the high level of inflation or the falling exchange rate of the Turkish lira in any way. Playing up to voters by raising pensions and salaries of state employees as well as constant pre-election promises to improve the situation do not work anymore. The Turkish population wants real changes. And the people see the Republican People’s Party as an alternative, which rectified its mistakes last year, for instance, by changing its chairman,” the expert explained. He expressed doubts that Erdogan might move to toughen his domestic policy in response to the voters’ displeasure. “This way, he would only worsen his situation,” Suleymanov said. “The only way out for him now is not to meddle in the economy as he has been doing over recent years, but to entrust this area completely to technocratic specialists, such as Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek,” he added. In turn, Anton Mardasov, a Middle East expert, told the newspaper that the municipal elections had initially been viewed as a stress test of sorts for the current state system. “However, two opposing views existed on Turkey’s future had the ruling party won in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir,” he noted. “Some specialists were saying that it would consolidate the presidential system and toughen measures even more, while others, on the contrary, were predicting a ‘thaw,’ wherein Erdogan, having rid himself of strong rivals such as [incumbent Istanbul Mayor Ekrem] Imamoglu and concerned over his legacy, would allow a policy toward warmer relations with Greece, the US and the Kurdish community,” the expert explained. Izvestia: Indonesia mulls joining BRICS following election Following Indonesia’s presidential election in February, Jakarta is continuing to consider joining BRICS, the country’s embassy in Moscow told Izvestia. That said, Jakarta is following events as they unfold, included within the intergovernmental structure itself. According to experts, on the one hand, Indonesia is trying to remain neutral, giving priority to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) instead of the pro-US QUAD, but at the same time being unwilling to turn toward China. That said, in January, Jakarta applied to join the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a counterbalance to BRICS of sorts. So far, Jakarta is quite happy with the BRICS+ format, stressed Pavel Shaternikov of the Center for Vietnam and ASEAN Studies at the Institute of China and Contemporary Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “There are no obvious benefits seen for it from membership in BRICS itself. On the other hand, joining BRICS may become the first international image-building step of the new president, Prabowo Subianto, which would display the country’s independent course. In the future, Indonesia might be interested in [the planned] BRICS currency because this is a step toward independence from the dollar and, simultaneously, a step toward boosting the country’s sovereignty,” he added. According to a number of experts, there are plenty of economic benefits for Jakarta. They appear because of exclusive cooperation among BRICS members in the fields of economy, trade, currency stability, bilateral and multilateral loans, Yevgeny Dumalkin, head of the National Coordination Center for International Business Cooperation, told Izvestia. “There are at least three potential advantages – increased export and import with existing and new markets, increased direct foreign investments as well as financing sources for the state and private sectors. The Indonesian rupiah will also become more stable against the risk of currency fluctuations, especially with introducing payments in local currencies, accepted by BRICS member states,” he said. The New Development Bank, created by the BRICS member states, will provide extensive financial opportunities, noted Alexander Rudoy, international cooperation expert at the State University of Management. Cooperation with BRICS will be useful in utilizing natural resources, developing the mining industry and exporting raw materials. The accession of southeast Asia’s largest economy would also be profitable for the current BRICS member states. Vedomosti: Novatek sharply cuts gas production at Arctic LNG-2 Gas production within the framework of Novatek’s Arctic LNG-2, in which foreign investors had previously suspended their participation, sharply dropped in February 2024 against delayed shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG), two sources familiar with the Energy Ministry’s statistics told Vedomosti. According to them, gas production within the framework of the project in February amounted merely to 83 mln cubic meters, which is three times less than this January and five times less than in December 2023 when the first volumes of LNG were produced at the plant. The delay in the full launch of the Arctic LNG-2 plant is due to the fact that Novatek lacks gas-carrying tankers for the project, analysts say. Since the company is currently unable to ship already produced LNG, its production must be suspended for some time, said BCS World of Investments senior oil and gas analyst Ronald Smith. In March, gas will be produced only for the plant’s own needs – its energy supply, infrastructure and the maintenance of sufficiently low temperatures at LNG storage reservoirs, said National Energy Security Fund lead analyst Igor Yushkov. According to Finam analyst Sergey Kaufman, Novatek may begin shipping LNG from the Arctic LNG-2 plant in the next 1-3 months, while Smith does not rule out that the project may not receive a single tanker to ship LNG until the end of this year. TASS is not responsible for the material quoted in these press reviews

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