Press review: Bank of Russia wants cryptocurrency ban and airlines commit to 5G in the US – Press review

Vedomosti: US reveals costs of possible new sanctions against ‘Russian invasion’ of Ukraine

US President Joe Biden has said that Washington may react differently to different manifestations of “Russian aggression” against Ukraine. Speaking of the reaction to “Russian aggression,” Biden authorized ranking retaliatory sanctions based on the strength of the invasion. Experts told Vedomosti that the statements are by no means a green light for possible actions by the Russian military and that the consequences would still be severe.

Biden split the concepts of “invasion” and “incursion.” According to him, a lesser response will be made to the “incursion”. If Russia carries out cyberattacks, the United States will also respond in cyberspace, the White House occupant noted. Russia could face severe economic restrictions, including banning its banks from dealing with dollars. Biden acknowledged that the United States would also suffer from sanctions, but the damage to Russia would be far greater.

The fact that the US leader separated “invasion” and “incursion” in the context of economic and military-technical response is a sign of the common sense of the US administration, the Russian Business Council expert told Vedomosti. (RIAC) Ivan Timofeev. . “Calibrating” the degree of counteraction is normal for states that use sanctions, as well as enhancing military-technical cooperation and arms supply as a tool, he added. “Biden’s words are by no means a green light for any action by the Russian military, even in the ‘light’ version of sanctions for Moscow, the consequences will be severe,” Timofeev stressed.

Washington does have a scale for escalating certain military actions, but divisions on that scale do not coincide with a likely Russian scale, says Dmitry Stefanovich, a researcher at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations. Thus, an extremely serious threat of a disproportionate reaction to certain acts does indeed exist, continues the expert.

Vedomosti: Bank of Russia proposes to ban cryptocurrencies

The Bank of Russia has proposed to ban the mining, issuance, circulation and exchange of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, by all Russian players, crypto exchanges, crypto exchanges and platforms. P2P forms in Russia. The regulator only agrees to allow citizens to own cryptocurrency, but not to buy it from Russian infrastructure. Experts told Vedomosti that a complete ban on operations with cryptocurrencies is not the best option to deal with possible problems.

The Bank of Russia wants to prohibit all financial institutions, banks or, for example, brokers from being intermediaries and providing their infrastructure for carrying out any operation with cryptocurrency. Financial institutions will not be able to invest in cryptocurrencies. The regulator believes that not only directly owning cryptocurrencies, but also investing in its financial derivative instruments carries risks. Strict regulation will only apply to cryptocurrencies, but not to assets such as NFTs. The regulator has proposed to introduce fines for all these violations. So far, there are no details in the Bank of Russia report for public consultations.

The ban on cryptocurrencies in Russia means a loss of revenue for the country’s budget, ANO Digital Platforms CEO Arseniy Shcheltsin told the newspaper. In addition, it would limit the development of Russian projects in this area and give a signal to developers and professional users not to conduct cryptocurrency-related activities in Russia.

The ban would not be appropriate for either investors or the state, said criminal defense firm lawyer Daniil Gorky. Imposing bans may lead investors to lose their cryptocurrency assets, as Russia already today ranks third in the world in terms of cryptocurrency mining.

Olga Yasko, partner at KPMG Law, believes that the risks cited by the Bank of Russia are real, but that it would be more effective to manage them through control mechanisms. According to the Central Bank, the annual volume of transactions involving cryptocurrency between Russians reaches around $5 billion, demonstrating that Russians are one of the most active players in this market.

Izvestia: EU wants to be invited to Russian-US security talks

The fate of European security took center stage in the negotiations that began last week between the Russian Federation and Western countries, namely the United States, NATO and the OSCE. And although the European Union insisted on its participation in the dialogue, it was not invited. EU insists on being involved in negotiations with Russia on security guarantees, European Commission spokesman Peter Stano told Izvestia

According to the politician, the EU insists that there can be no discussions on security in Europe without Europe. In the meantime, the EU does not want to create additional negotiating avenues but rather strengthen existing diplomatic channels, as well as international and regional forums.

At the same time, EU participation in the talks is not fundamental for Moscow, primarily interested in receiving a written response to its proposals, the newspaper writes.

According to Austrian politician Andreas Schieder, one of the main problems is that the EU does not have clear ideas about its foreign policy. All attempts to form a unified European political line are failing, since decisions on external issues must be taken unanimously, he told Izvestia.

The United States sees the European bloc as something insignificant and marginal, not having much influence on world politics, Milan Urik, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET), told Izvestia. These talks prove that the White House only needs diplomatic support from Europe to implement its own strategy, he added.

Izvestia: Moldova seeks a way out of the gas dilemma

Moldova is again facing problems with payment for natural gas. Russian supplier Gazprom has refused to lend fuel, but Chisinau is in dire need of funds and consumers are finding it harder to pay the new tariffs. The Moldovan parliament has approved a 60-day state of emergency due to the energy crisis. According to experts interviewed by Izvestia, high-level negotiations may be needed at this stage.

On January 19 and 20, Chisinau transferred $7 million and $8.5 million to Gazprom, respectively, with $25 million remaining. The state of emergency was necessary for the Moldovan authorities to try to find money, writes Izvestia. In theory, Chisinau will be able to settle the January balance and partially pay the February advance.

However, in reality there could be problems in resolving the crisis by imposing a state of emergency, Moldovan energy expert Sergiu Ungureanu told the newspaper. The aid received from Western partners in December was around 60 million euros. According to the Moldovan government, around 300 million euros will be needed for compensation. “EU money will not cover even a fifth of the costs, so the question arises whether there will be enough money in the budget,” the expert stressed. “Now it is almost impossible to find a solution. It had to be done earlier, alternative plans should have been ready. Moldova does not have the capacity to cover its energy needs,” the expert said, adding that high-level negotiations may be required and the contract may be revised.

“There are two options for a systemic solution. First, there will be a further increase in gas prices in Moldova to create an additional safety cushion. Second, we will have to attract external sources of funding – either from the budget or from ready,” the president said. from the Institute of Energy and Finance Marcel Salikhov told Izvestia.

Kommersant: Airlines prepare for fallout from US 5G launch

The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency has recommended that Russian carriers monitor possible equipment problems after the large-scale rollout of 5G across the United States, which has already caused difficulties with flights in the country, writes Kommersant. Aircraft manufacturers and the US aviation regulator are concerned that 5G networks will interfere with radio altimeters, which are particularly important during takeoff and landing. Russian airlines will have to conduct training sessions using simulations of unreliable equipment in operation.

Several Kommersant sources at the five major airlines said that in addition to the letter from the Federal Air Transport Agency, they had received similar recommendations from the US regulator – the Federal Aviation Administration – through Boeing.

Aeroflot – the only airline now flying from Russia to the United States – along with S7, Utair and Red Wings confirmed they had received the letter to the newspaper. Aeroflot does not yet see the negative impact on flights of the launch of 5G. “All recommendations of the Federal Air Transport Agency have been fully implemented by the airline. Our pilots did not notice any deviations in the operation of the radio altimeters,” the company said. Red Wings also said the recommendations are already being implemented. S7 noted that the airports where the airline operates flights have no restrictions due to 5G networks. “Airline pilots have not encountered 5G interference on the operation of radio altimeters,” the company said.

Meanwhile, it is still unclear which frequencies can be used to deploy 5G in Russia, MForum Analytics analyst Alexey Boyko told the newspaper. The official position so far implies the use of frequencies 4.8-4.99 GHz in the mid-range. According to the expert, the launch of 5G networks in Russia could have started several years ago, but the operators do not have the desired frequency ranges.

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