© AP Photo/Noah Berger
Top stories from the Russian press on Wednesday, October 6th, prepared by TASS
Izvestia: Facebook outage flop cost businesses nearly $1 bln
The breakdown of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, which transpired on October 4, incurred financial losses to global businesses to the tune of nearly $1 bln, and in Russia they exceeded 400 mln rubles ($5.52 mln), experts told Izvestia. The outage flop took place at a bad time for Facebook. Public attention is now fixed on the problems related to the use of subscriber data by the social network, and the outage flop may serve as another reason for beefing up regulatory pressure on the company.
"The damage from the malfunction is unseen ads, broken chatbots used by businesses, including online retail," leading analyst at the Russian Association of Electronic Communications Karen Ghazaryan said.
Potential business losses can also include unseen streams or a post that had to be published at a certain time in order to attract the most attention, managing partner at B&C communications agency Mark Sherman added.
On October 5, Russian Business Ombudsman Boris Titov announced that the Russian business sector was also adversely impacted by the outage. In particular, the stock market was battered. However, it is too early to provide any final assessments, he said.
The tech titan’s six-hour failure is a very long one, experts interviewed by Izvestia concur. Such incidents damage the image of services, Sherman believes.
Participants of the content market for social networks and instant messengers surveyed by Izvestia believe that there will be no mass exodus of authors of popular channels and accounts from Facebook and Instagram. Perhaps, the outage of Facebook and Instagram will not lead to the loss of users, but it can increase the audience's interest in competing services, the experts believe.
Kommersant: Russia, Ukraine cannot agree on topics for potential meeting between leaders
Moscow and Kiev are in favor of negotiations between the Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Vladimir Zelensky of Ukraine, as well as holding a Normandy Quartet summit. However, this does not bring any of the meetings closer. According to Kommersant, Russia sent Ukraine its draft of possible decisions of the two leaders following a meeting. The Kremlin told Kommersant there was yet no answer to these proposals.
The Kremlin believes the parties could agree on restoring full-fledged diplomatic relations, lifting mutual trade and economic restrictions and sanctions against individuals and legal entities. In addition, the two heads of state could decide on restoring transport links between both countries, as well as agree to draw up an agreement by December 1, 2022, on the transit and supply of gas for the period after 2024.
According to the Kremlin, Ukraine has not yet responded to the proposal. "So far, we have not received anything clear from Ukraine on the possible content of the bilateral meeting," Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Kommersant.
Meanwhile, Kiev believes that the preparation of the meeting is not progressing due to Moscow’s fault. "Unfortunately, we have to admit that there are unconstructive attempts from Russia to find various reasons to postpone such bilateral negotiations," Adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mikhail Podolyak told Kommersant. When asked about what agenda Kiev would propose for the meeting, Podolyak said, "The fact that the Ukrainian and Russian people are divided by a front line deserves discussion first and foremost."
Given that the parties see the content of the meeting in completely different ways - Kiev wants to talk about war, peace, and Crimea, while Moscow calls the Donbass issue Ukraine’s internal affair, and considers the topic of Crimea closed - there are almost no chances for negotiations to take place in the near future, Kommersant writes.
Kommersant: Russia sets ambitious carbon neutrality goals
The Ministry of Economic Development drew up a new version of Russia’s strategy for low-carbon goals until 2050.The project has become much more ambitious than those presented earlier. In particular, it looks forward to the country reaching carbon neutrality by 2060 and for the first time connects the low-carbon transformation in Russia with economic growth. Experts told Kommersant they positively view the document, calling for its more detailed revision.
"The strategy has been finalized according to the comments from the relevant departments and the government. We include ensuring global competitiveness and sustainable economic growth of Russia in the context of a global energy transition in the target scenario goals," Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov told Kommersant.
Experts welcomed the new version of the strategy. "You can proudly head to Glasgow in November for the UN climate conference with this document," Director of the Climate and Energy Program at WWF Russia Alexey Kokorin said. However, the commentator is troubled by the high growth rates of greenhouse gases absorption in the intensive scenario. "The target for absorption by forests looks difficult to accomplish - over the past five years, absorption has fallen by 10% even without taking into account the fires during the summer of 2021. We need to decide how to turn the goals into real actions," he said.
Head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Committee on Climate Policy and Carbon Regulation Andrey Melnichenko called the document "quite balanced", noting that "details and calculations require attention."
Vedomosti: Relations between Tehran, Baku tense after Azeri-Turkish drills
The uptick in tensions between Iran and Azerbaijan has led to the closure, on October 5, of the Iranian side of its airspace for Azerbaijani military transport planes en route to the exclave of Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR), Vedomosti writes. According to the government of Azerbaijan, other routes are used for flights to the NAR (through Georgia and Turkey).
Tensions in Iranian-Azerbaijani relations emerged after the large-scale Azerbaijani-Turkish military drills dubbed Indestructible Brotherhood-2021 that kicked off on September 21 in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR). In response to it, Iran began to move troops to the border with the NAR and began its exercises. Against this background, a number of Iranian officials announced the presence of Israel on Azerbaijan’s territory, which is unacceptable for Tehran.
According to researcher at the Turkish sector of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Amur Gadzhiev, the reason for the aggravation of relations between Baku and Tehran is the fact that Azerbaijan is actively cultivating relations with Turkey and Pakistan. Since Turkey is Iran's main rival in the region, this trend cannot please Tehran. The Iranian leadership also fears that Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, and the Persian Gulf monarchies are trying to encircle the country, Gadzhiev noted. In addition, Iran is trying to strengthen its position in negotiations with Turkey, but it is not interested in a real war, he added.
Tehran has a well-developed missile program and a fairly developed military industry, Director of information projects at the Centre for Military and Political Studies at MGIMO Andrey Baklitsky said. However, the prospect of war clearly does not appeal to the Iranian leadership, the expert added.
Izvestia: Russia could face 30,000 new daily coronavirus cases
The number of Russians infected with coronavirus is three times higher than last fall. An increase in the incidence rate was noted in 67 regions of the country. And soon the number of new cases may surpass the threshold of 30,000 cases per day, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said at a meeting with the Russian president and lawmakers. Experts are confident that the only way to stop the pandemic is to vaccinate the population, Izvestia writes.
"Vaccination is the main weapon in the fight against coronavirus," Professor of the Department of Virology, Faculty of Biology, at the Moscow State University Alexey Agranovsky told Izvestia. "Each vaccinated person protects not only themselves, but also creates local immunity in the family, student classrooms, at work, and other places," he added. According to the expert, vaccination is necessary primarily to reduce mortality and the number of patients with a severe case of disease.
Currently there are over 42 mln people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Russia. According to Golikova, in order to form herd immunity, another 35.9 mln people need to be vaccinated, and 7.6 mln Russians need to be re-vaccinated. However, the authorities do not plan to introduce a large-scale lockdown. Instead, the government is proposing targeted measures. In particular, "COVID-free" regions will appear in the country, lotteries for vaccinated people will continue, and QR codes will be used to attend public events.