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S & P affirmed Russia’s Credit Rating at BB+ with a “Positive Outlook”

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The international rating agency Standard & Poor’s affirmed Russia’s sovereign credit rating at “BB +” with a “positive” outlook. This was stated in the agency’s message.

“A positive outlook means that we can raise our ratings for Russia if the economic recovery continues, and GDP per capita reaches indicators comparable to countries with similar levels of development,” the agency noted.

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In addition, a positive rating decision may be reflected in the growth of financial stability, support for a stronger monetary policy and a steady strengthening of the credit activity of the banking system.

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According to the expectations of S & P, Russia’s real GDP will increase by 1.8% in 2017, with an average growth rate of 1.7% in 2017-2020. The dollar-ruble exchange rate, according to the agency’s forecasts, will be at the level of 61 rubles per dollar by the end of 2017, and in 2018 it will be 62 rubles.

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EurAsian Region

Azerbaijan-Armenia border clash: Azerbaijani soldiers killed in border clash with Armenia

Casualties are feared in Azerbaijan and Armenia in the border clash, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said. In a statement, it said that the Armenian army fired at positions held by Azerbaijan in the Tovuz region.

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An armed incident occurred today on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the Tovuz region. According to the press secretary of the Minister of Defense of Armenia – Shushan Stepanyan, Azerbaijani troops made an attempt to violate the state border in a UAZ car. 

Casualties are feared in Azerbaijan and Armenia in the border clash, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said. In a statement, it said that the Armenian army fired at positions held by Azerbaijan in the Tovuz region.

Shushan said – after a warning from the Armenian side, the Azerbaijani servicemen, left the car and returned to their positions. However, the incident is not over yet.

After a short time, the Azerbaijani military opened artillery fire in an attempt to capture Armenian positions. However, in return fire, the enemy was thrown back, having suffered casualties, said Shushan.

There are no losses from the Armenian side while three Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and four others injured in the border clash.

In a statement, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said the Armenian army had fired at positions held by Azerbaijan in the northwestern Tovuz region.

“The attack by Armenia, with the use of artillery, against the positions of the armed forces of Azerbaijan, along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, constitutes aggression, an act of the use of force, and another provocation,” said Hikmet Hajiyev, foreign policy chief for Azerbaijan’s presidency.

He pointed out that Armenia launched the “offensive and a provocation during the time when the international community is fighting the COVID-19,” bashing Armenia’s support of a UN initiative for global cease-fire amid the pandemic as “nothing but hypocrisy.”

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Asia Pacific

Indian Rafale Jets Would Have Been Useless Against Chinese Airforce – Russia Experts

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Rafale jets would have been useless against the Chinese Airforce (PLAAF) – Russian aviation experts have claimed. Rafale fighter jets belong to the 4 ++ generation would not have been of much use had an aerial conflict broken out in Ladakh again the PLAAF.

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As reported by EurAsian Times, India and China had been engaged in a brutal conflict in the Himalayan region of Ladakh. Troops of both countries have exchanged blows and even lost soldiers in the conflict that began more than a month ago.

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Keeping in mind the situation in Ladakh, France said that it would accelerate the delivery of Rafale fighter jets to India. Aviation experts believe that the arrival of Rafale fighter jets will significantly boost the combat capability of the Indian Air Force (IAF). However, according to Russian experts, who did not wish to be named, the French fighter would not help India much incase the conflict turns hot.

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The astronomical cost of Rafale fighter jets is one of the reasons the French 4++ fighter jet would not help India. In the deal struck with Paris, New Delhi agreed to purchase 36 Rafale Jets. The total cost of the deal was an estimated Rs 59,000 crore with each jet costing around Rs 1,646 crore.

The cost of a Rafale is about three times higher than the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter jets. In other words, for 36 French-made Rafale fighters that will appear in the Indian Air Force, China can respond with three times as many of its fifth-generation J-20 fighters – for the same money.

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Even if, in some ways, the characteristics of the Chinese combat aircraft lag behind the French 4 ++ fighter jet, then the Indian air force could get overwhelmed by what is called “capable of crushing by quantity”.

And the cost is not the only reason why Rafale jets would not help India much. Compared to another Chinese jet – J-16 (an analogue of the Russian Su-35) which Beijing is also using in its airforce, the Rafale jets will find it extremely challenging to outgun the Russian Su-35s operated by the Chinese.

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The maximum speed of the Rafale jet is about Mach 1.8 and the J-16 is Mach 2.2. The Rafale’s practical ceiling is also lower than the J-16s. Even in engine thrust, the Chinese J-16s aka Russian Su-35s are far superior to the French combat aircraft.

Even if the IAF was to deploy all 36 of its newly acquired jets, the technical superiority would still be on the side of China, claims the Russian expert.

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The IAF has been on high alert in Ladakh and is closely monitoring all Chinese activity near the Line of Control.  As reported by EurAsian Times, New Delhi has inked a deal with Moscow to buy 33 new fighter aircraft including 12 Su-30MKIs and 21 MiG-29s along with up-gradation of 59 MiG-29s. The addition and up-gradation of jets have been approved to strengthen India’s air power.

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The air defence systems of both the Indian Army and the IAF have been deployed in Ladakh to prevent any misadventure by the Chinese Air Force fighter jets or the People’s Liberation Army choppers there.

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EurAsian Region

Russian Technicians Keeping INS Vikramaditya Battle Ready Amid Flaring Regional Tensions

INS Vikramaditya has a total of 22 decks and it has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft including MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters.

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Russian technicians continue to provide maintenance to Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, despite the all the regional tensions and COVID-18 pandemic, Russian news agency TASS quoted a leading defence portal. 

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A group of Russian technicians who are supporting the Indian navy in providing timely maintenance for the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya have not left the country.

Despite the delays with the carrier’s acceptance for service, INS Vikramaditya offers ample opportunities for India’s Navy and allows New Delhi to keep its domination in the Indian Ocean, the news portal said in its article.

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INS Vikramaditya is a heavy upgrade of the Russian aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov. The work on the ship’s heavy upgrade was carried out at the Sevmash Shipyard and the flattop was handed-over the Indian Navy on November 16, 2013.

Under an inter-governmental agreement signed in 2004, India received the Admiral Gorshkov’s hull for free but on condition of its upgrade at the Sevmash Shipyard and its outfitting with Russian-made aircraft.

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After its upgrade, INS Vikramaditya displaces 45,000 tonnes and possess a state-of-art flight deck and a ski-jump for aircraft take-offs, navigation and radar systems, communications and aircraft control technology and also other special equipment and assemblies.

INS Vikramaditya has a total of 22 decks and it has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft including MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters.

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