Russia Current Affairs - 2020

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7.5 magnitude Earth Quake hits Russia; 0.3m high Tsunami Waves expected

On March 25, 2020, 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit northern Pacific. The quake was 37 miles deep and stuck the eastern Kuril Islands of Russia.

Highlights

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has warned hazardous Tsunami waves n the coasts of the Kuril Islands. However, the waves are to be less than 30 centimetres in high.

Kuril Islands

The Kuril Islands are a volcanic Archipelago that separates Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific Ocean. The islands are currently under Russian Administration. However, claims of Japan over 4 southern most islands of the Archipelago have led to the ongoing Kuril Islands Dispute.

The Islands are located at the tectonically instable region called the “Ring of Fire”.

Ring of Fire

The Ring of Fire is the areas of Pacific Ocean where several volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. There are more than 452 volcanos in the region. This accounts to 75% of world’s volcanos. Also, 91% of world earthquakes occur in the region.

The Ring of Fire has evolved due to the movement and collisions of lithospheric plates. The eastern section of the ring in the American coast is because of the subduction of Nazca plate beneath the Cocos Plate. In the Northern portion, the Pacific plates is getting subducted. Apart from these there are several smaller tectonic plates that are constantly moving. The energy released during the movement of these plates causes earthquakes and volcanos.

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Corona Virus: OPEC to cut oil production largely since 2008 financial crisis

On March 5, 2020, the world’s largest oil production nations of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) have planned to cut production. This is the deepest oil production cuts since 2008 financial crisis.

Highlights

The major member of OPEC, Saudi Arabia has planned to cut production by 1.5 million barrel a day from April 2020. This is equivalent to holding back 3.6% of global oil supplies. The cuts are being made to avoid oil prices from collapsing.

OPEC has taken this decision predicting decline in demand of oil due to Corona Virus and its impact all over the world. When the demand decreases and supply is maintained at the same level, prices will reduce as the availability of oil will increase. Therefore, OPEC is cutting the supply.

Russia Factor

Russia has been hesitant towards making deeper cuts. Being a major contributor of OPEC, Russia’s move might backfire other OPEC countries. This is because, the oil exports of Russia will tend to increase as Russia oil will become cheaper. Therefore, other countries of OPEC are forcing Russia to join deeper oil production cuts

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