Vladimir Putin Current Affairs - 2019

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5th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) held in Vladivostok

The fifth edition of Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) was held in Vladivostok, Russia from September 4 to 6, 2019. It was aimed at roviding a platform for discussing issues aimed at expanding international cooperation in Asia-Pacific region and developing the economy of Russias Far East.  The participants in Summit were India, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was Chief Guest at the event being hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Key Takeaways from Summit

India’s Line of Credit (LoC): PM Modi while addressing Plenary Session of 5th EEF announced LoC worth $1 billion for the development of the Far East region of Russia. This is the first-ever region-specific LoC extended by India in a foreign country.

Act Far East policy: PM Modi also announced launching of India’s “Act Far East” policy. Russia’s Far East is rich in resource, but is sparsely populated region. This policy aims to tap this region’s resources potential and also find opportunities for skilled workers to find employment in this region. It also ties in well with Indo-Pacific concept, and opens up possibilities for India to use Arctic route to connect with northern Europe.

About Eastern Economic Forum (EEF)

It is annual event held at Vladivostok, Russia to encourage foreign investment in the Russian Far East. It was established by decree of Russia President Vladimir Putin in 2015.

It is aimed at supporting economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in Asia-Pacific region.

Objectives:

(i) Strengthening ties between Russian business and federal, regional, and local government bodies on side and international investment community on other side.

(ii) Conducting comprehensive expert assessment of Russia’s Far East economic potential and improving its competitiveness and attractiveness to investors.

(iii) Showcasing new investment and business opportunities such as advanced special economic zones (SEZs), Vladivostok Free Port, and state support for high-potential investment projects.

Events at this Forum: These are held in the form of panel sessions, roundtables, business breakfasts, televised debates and business dialogues devoted to Russia’s relationships with various countries.

Russia extends ban on EU Food Imports until end of 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently signed a decree for extending Moscow’s embargo on food products being imported from the European Union (EU) to the end of 2020. This decision was in continuation of Russia’s s retaliation against sanctions over Ukraine.

Key Highlights

A decree signed by President Vladimir Putin posted on Moscow’s official government website, reads that ban on produce, dairy, meat and most other foods imported from EU will now stretch to December 31, 2020.

Background: In 2014, following the international sanctions imposed by United States and other countries over Russia for its annexation of Crimea and support of east Ukraine’s separatists, Moscow in August 2014 imposed counter sanctions on most food imports from the European Union, US and several other countries. The international restrictions were primarily targeted at finance, energy and defense sectors of Russian economy.

Recently on 20 June 2019, EU further extended their punishing economic sanctions against Russia (over conflict in Ukraine) for a further 6 months period.

Sanction Result: The Western economic restrictions being faced by Russia as well as country’s own embargo have affected Russian economy by pushing up food prices. Western sanction have deprived Russian economy of $50 billion on the other hand EU has lost $240 billion.

Russia has now managed to benefit from Western economic pressure as it has started phasing out its imports and replacing them with domestically made products, even in sectors in which Moscow did not have any experience, thus giving boost to domestic producers.