Press review: EU hits Russia with new sanctions and IDF all systems go for Lebanon op (2024)

MOSCOW, June 25. /TASS/. New EU sanctions against Russia, Israel poised and ready to launch operation against Lebanon any time, and Houthis intensify their attacks. These stories topped Tuesday's newspaper headlines across Russia.

Izvestia: EU approves another sanctions package against Russia

The European Union could introduce two more sanctions packages against Russia by year’s end, the European Parliament told Izvestia. The European Commission confirmed that Brussels has no intention of ending its sanctions policy against Russia. On June 24, the EU approved a 14th package of restrictions which includes limits on LNG transport via European ports and measures against the Russian analogue to SWIFT, the Financial Messaging System of the Bank of Russia (SPFS). However, experts think that the new sanctions will neither seriously impact Russian LNG exports to Europe, nor the SPFS operations.

According to Oleg Abelev, head of research at Ricom-Trust Investment Company, the restrictions on using the SPFS are just for show.

"Actually, not a single European country has ever used this system. On its website, the Central Bank says that several dozen countries are using it but there are not that many major trade partners from the European Union among them. I don’t think that this measure will seriously affect the countries using the system," he told Izvestia.

However, it is important to understand that the sanctions against the SPFS are meant to cut Russia off from all forms of international payments. From this point of view, the 14th package aims to introduce secondary sanctions against companies from third countries. Foreign companies may be wary of using the Russian system, Anderida Financial Group founder Alexey Tarapovsky told Izvestia

"A prime example is the Freedom Finance Kazakhstan Bank which works with the Russian banking system via the SPFS. So, theoretically, the Freedom Finance Bank may end up being under sanctions because of using this system. Therefore, one of the consequences is that entities such as the Freedom Finance Bank will feel pressure to stop using this system," he told the newspaper.

Media: Israel capable of launching military operation in Lebanon within hours

Israel is capable of launching an operation against Lebanon in five to eight hours, Izvestia reports. The army is on high combat alert and the reserves enlisted in the Northern Command on the border with Lebanon are ready for action, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said. That said, Hezbollah representatives are also claiming to be ready for an all-out war. The situation is complicated by the fact that the sides cannot consent to each other’s conditions while communication takes place only via mediators, such as the US and France, the office of the Israeli prime minister told the newspaper. Currently, Washington is trying to talk the Jewish state out of waging war.

"Going off what Netanyahu said, Washington has significantly reduced the rate of supplies over the past four months. Yet this is not critical for Israel either, it actually has enough of its own weapons. And Biden's democrats cannot fully stop the supplies because a two-party decision is needed, and they will be overpowered by the Republicans," political analyst Alexander Kargin forecasts.

Citing the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Nezavisimaya Gazeta pointed out that Hamas is working to recover its military strength in Gaza. "Reconstitution consists of two general tasks: reorganization and regeneration. Reorganization involves a commander redistributing the resources at their disposal to restore attritted units to a minimal level of effectiveness," the ISW noted. "Regeneration is a more complex, resource-intensive, and time-intensive process that requires large-scale replacement of personnel, equipment, and supplies," it pointed out. According to experts, some Hamas commanders have already started this process.

Kommersant: Houthis expand Red Sea attacks

Yemen-based Houthi rebels from the Ansar Allah movement have carried out new attacks on civilian vessels in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean as well as reported successful attacks on the USS Dwight Eisenhower, which left the region. The increased intensity of these attacks has spread to the Mediterranean. Threatening to escalate things should the conflict in Lebanon exacerbate, the Houthis rolled out a surface drone of their own. As a result, the West has begun considering a new strategy to fight the Houthis which would involve more resources and include a ground operation in Yemen.

According to Vasileios Gryparis, EU Operation Commander of the European Union’s naval mission in the Red Sea, the EU needs more ships to effectively counter the attacks in the Red Sea region. "We don’t have that many assets and the whole area we have to cover is enormous," he said. "I am pressing all the member states to provide more assets," the commander told Bloomberg.

In turn, retired US Navy Admiral James Stavridis, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, thinks that the US should carry out a multistage operation to neutralize the Houthi’s military forces.

Kommersant: Russian LNG deals with Finland, Sweden at risk

The import of Russian LNG from NOVATEK’s Cryogas-Vysotsk plant to Finland’s Gasum as well as to Swedish terminals may end within a month. The new package of EU sanctions provides these countries with the right to break contracts with importers from Russia unilaterally. The plant supplies up to 200,000 tons of LNG to both countries or about one-third of the plant’s capacity. Analysts think that its fate will depend on whether NOVATEK can manage to redirect its volumes to other EU markets.

"This year, there have already been trial deliveries to Germany and Spain, maybe it is possible to deliver more to Belgium as well - the issue is more about how much interest the purchasing sides have," said Viktor Katona from commodities data and analytics firm Kpler.

According to Irina Bondarenko from О2 Consulting, the new restriction will go into effect on July 26, 2024, for contracts concluded before June 25, 2024, so the sides have time to come to terms. "Most likely, the parties have included special provisions with regard to sanctions-risks situations in their agreement. If the sides cannot find a way to fulfill their obligations, then the issue of terminating the agreement will arise. The Finnish side is obliged to observe sanctions but it also must fulfill its contractual obligations," she said.

Izvestia: Russia unveils state-of-the-art quantum processor

A superconducting quantum processor has been launched in Russia, a leap forward in Russian technology. Its characteristics are comparable to the leading achievements in quantum technologies.

"The results, achieved by researchers, essentially, indicate that our country has created an independent, working, albeit small quantum computer. This helps domestic science and industry solve tasks, using quantum computations, using our own technology, so we can make progress regardless of the international situation," Nikolay Klenov of Moscow State University said.

Nikolay Kolachevsky, director of Lebedev Physical Institute, stressed that the development of superconducting quantum processors is a rather intricate process. In his opinion, the main goal of Russian scientists should be to find effective ways to use quantum technologies.

TASS is not responsible for the material quoted in these press reviews

Press review: EU hits Russia with new sanctions and IDF all systems go for Lebanon op (2024)

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