What to Expect with U.S. & Russia Relations Post COVID with Vadim Belikov

Vadim Belikov, Vice President of the Board to the G-20Y Summit IOC, talks with Ryan Morfin about the social and geopolitical impacts that COVID-19 has had in Russia.
Vadim Belikov, Vice President of the Board to the G-20Y Summit IOC, talks with Ryan Morfin about the social and geopolitical impacts that COVID-19 has had in Russia. Russia had the good fortune of COVID-19’s delayed entry into their borders; Russians had time to observe other countries’ responses and prepare for when the virus inevitably entered their society.

Economically, Russia coped with the crisis by treating quarantine as a paid vacation; companies were still required to pay salaries and the government intervened where they deemed necessary. In spite of these efforts, the pandemic managed to leave 1.5 million Russian citizens unemployed. Still Belikov remains optimistic about the recovery and sees great value in future cooperation between the United States and Russia.

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Ryan:                                 Welcome to Non-Beta Alpha, and today’s episode we have Vadim Belikov calling in from St. Petersburg, Russia talking to us about what’s going on in Russia with the coronavirus, what we can expect with US and Russia relations leading into the post-COVID world. This is Non-Beta Alpha.

                                           Vadim, welcome to the show. We appreciate you joining us.

Vadim Belikov:                 First of all, thank you so much, Ryan, for the invitation.

Ryan:                                 All right, fantastic.

Vadim Belikov:                 I can’t call it, show, it’s like a economic magazine online, where we can discuss about global economy and global economic issues.

Ryan:                                 Absolute.

Vadim Belikov:                 Yes, it’s good and you’re absolutely right that Russia had the luck between when we understand that COVID-19 already moved to Europe, and just beginning at the United States. We had time to prepare a little bit and understand Chinese mistakes, and European mistakes. That’s why the percent of people who got it, COVID-19, not so big like in other countries. Because if we compare, for example, population in Italy and in Russia, the percent of people who got the COVID, not so huge like in Europe. If we compare that in Europe and in Russia, it’s also percent victims of COVID-19 in Russia, very small. Things got for our medical system because if you know that from Soviet Union here it’s, we put vaccines from different viruses like, flu, we put vaccine against flu every year. The percent of people who got the vaccines from flu last year was approximately 65%. And, of course, in childhood we got a lot of vaccines about different viruses and it was a big problem.

                                           And if we compare, for example, European medical system and also Soviet Union system, we still have the same medical system, and we have the same obligations. If children born, they have to get vaccines from different viruses in first year that help them in the future. That’s why, for example, when you get news from Europe or United States from different media, that numbers of sick people in Russia, not so honest. Right now, Russian government show the right numbers, the right numbers of people who got the virus, because they also check people after they are dead, they check them. What was the problem? COVID or not the COVID? Or maybe it’s something else. And if you, for example, look at the victims of COVID in Italy, a lot of people who died had a lot of problems with, I don’t know, with heart, with blood pressure, and so on and so on. So, this is their use about numbers.

                                           Of course, we got the same problems, like in Europe and the United States, that our system was not ready for virus because we didn’t have a lot of masks, we didn’t have a lot of ventilators, because not so many people get the problem last years with their health, where they had to use ventilators or quantity of mask, of medical mask. We don’t need it in our life. That’s why, for example, if we look at the Japan, or South Korea, for them mask is part of their life. For United States, for Europe, for Russia, not. And of course right now when I go outside, I put my mask, but if you put it you understand that we have the problem of breathing. It’s not so easy, but it’s part of our current life. And I’m sure that we discussed before the interview, now we understand problem of global economy and local economy.

                                           When we move, for example, manufacturing of mask, of respirators, gloves to South Asia, to Malaysia, China, Thailand, when we need it we don’t have enough quantity of masks, gloves and other medical equipment. And right now the queue, for example, for gloves, [inaudible 00:06:28], or medical [inaudible 00:06:31] gloves we can see it’s on September, but we need it right now. This, I think, of course when we met for review in 2012, we also discussed that we have to think global, but look local. And we have to look at the security, at the medical security, at food security, and now we understand why we discussed, because every country had to have enough mask, enough food, because what was the first day in the United States? You could see a lot of people at the supermarket, they tried to buy everything, foods, mask, everything, petrol, water, and after two days, supermarkets were empty.

                                           But it’s a big problem because people don’t understand how to react on the problem, and their local government has to explain them, it’s, “Guys, it’s a security situation, you have to buy, for example, two bottle of water, battery, petrol,” and so on, and so on, enough quantity of security products, for example, for next week. Because after one week, government can deliver or understand what’s the real problem. For example, after one week, every government understood that COVID is not so huge problem. Of course, it’s a little bit worse than their flu, or pneumonia, but it’s the same virus and we don’t need to-

Ryan:                                 It’s not Ebola. Yeah, we’re not all dying of Ebola, violent deaths.

Vadim Belikov:                 You’re absolutely right. But of course, the second problem is isolation. Isolation, not personal isolation, is isolation of countries. After we got the problem, our economies were affected and right now, it’s again, it’s still affecting not only on the global economy, but also on the local economy. Everything stopped, I don’t know what was at the United States, I just can say what was at the first weeks in Russia, and what’s going on right now. So, I think, we can move and discuss the economy issue-

Ryan:                                 Yeah.

Vadim Belikov:                 … and what Russia, and on the global markets.

Ryan:                                 Yeah. No, I appreciate that context and I agree with a lot of what you said and, I think, the good news is this isn’t as deadly. It is still more contagious than the flu, so I think that’s driving the numbers up. But for our viewers who maybe don’t have access, so you guys in Russia had the benefit of the virus arriving after Europe, maybe a few weeks, and so you guys are now able to learn from the mistakes of Russia, I’m sorry, of Germany, of Italy, of China, of the United States, some of the things we didn’t do right. So, how is the government handling it in Russia? Here we have governors doing daily press conferences, how are your leaders communicating, and what are the people in the street, how are they handling? Is everybody listening, or are people half-listening? Here in the US I think people are kind of half-listening to advice, which is not a good thing. But curious to hear, what is the Russian population’s perspective, given that you guys had the benefit of getting it a few weeks later?

Vadim Belikov:                 Yep. You’re absolutely right that we had time to look at the situation at the United States, in Sweden, and in Italy. We had different styles and different strategies how to work the situation at the time of coronavirus. And, of course, every country looked what was in Wuhan in China. We had Chinese strategy to close everything, and put all people at their apartments, and put army on the streets, it’s Chinese strategy. We can look at Sweden strategy, that’s everything on the same place, people walking around, children go to the schools, to universities, just you have to check the temperature, and the economy it’s at the same timeline, like at the usual days. We had Italian style, Italian strategy, the same like a China strategy, and Germany. So, Russian government got pluses and tried to throw away minuses, because if we looked at the Chinese economy strategy when they put everybody at the apartments, economy could die. But Chinese economy, it’s a Chinese economy. For them, stop the economy in two months, but on two months it’s not so the big problem because you can’t stop locomotive immediately.

                                           You had a lot of money at the banks, you had a lot of products at the stores, and of course they have also a [inaudible 00:13:26] system, a [inaudible 00:13:28] political system. If Xi Jinping said, “Stay at home,” they will stay at home. If Xi Jinping can say, for example, “Don’t worry, I will send you money and food,” people really understand that Xi Jinping will send them money and food. Maybe not so big money and not enough food, but they believe him, and believe the government because it’s the [inaudible 00:14:02] system, they don’t have different strategy. So, the Russian president say, “Guys, thank you so much, and you have to stay home.” But we don’t close the economy, it’s vacation for one month. The owners of the company have to pay salary to the employees. The government company will pay money, the salary, to the government employees and, of course, the owners who close their companies, they had to pay penalty.

                                           The second step, President said, actually the same like at the United States because we can look what was at the United States, and what steps did the United States government when you move the tax. Unfortunately the COVID came to us at the period of both the tax payment, and all company had to pay taxes for the last years for 2019. And of course they moved it also to September. I know that the United States on July. We had the tax vacation, and also they promised to pay money to people who lost their jobs. Not so big money, but it’s money. And different also measures that can help the Russian economy, and Russian common people. Of course, that government company had a better situation because government pay them from the budget, but entrepreneurs, and small business, and medium business, they had a big problems and unfortunately it’s not only in Russia but everywhere around the world. For example, the owners of hotels, or touristic companies, they had a lot of problems and a lot of people, I can’t say, on the street, but unfortunately right now we have 1.5 million people who lost their jobs.

                                           Of course, government helped them and we hope that when our economy will be removed, people can go again, they produce jobs, they produce produce and not only Russian people, but all people around the world want to come again, and too they come alive and totally come and produce. Of course, 70% of the economy was stopped and real estate projects were stopped. I said, touristic business, touristic industry, entertainment industry, aircraft industry, everybody stayed at home because the slogan of the last two months were, “Stay at home. Stay safe,” and actually we had the same situation. Of course, we had sectors of the economy for whom it was not so bad, like food retail chains, and you can look at the stock exchange that markets of the food retail increase on 3%. For example, Russian food retail, the same online company for delivering, online company for selling products, also 3% plus.

                                           We can talk about problems at the oil industry, but also price dropped down, but at the same quantity of the oil was up, and actually if I checked, 0.3, yep, is for oil and coal. But other sectors, of course, dropped down and we can see decrease of the mining industry, decrease of the gas industry, or wood industry, and not only Russia expects decrease in our GDP, but whole world. For example, Russian economy right now, our GDP decrease in April, I think, on minus 10%. We expect during the year, and I hope we can recharge our economy in June or July, but anywhere we expecting a decrease in our GDP on 4%, 5% for year, or 3%, and it’s not my opinion, it’s the opinion of Finch or other companies like, KPMG.

Ryan:                                 Yep. So, in daily life though, are kids at school? Are grocery stores, is food supply and food access still intact, and what are people doing to keep themselves from going insane? I mean, we have a lot of interesting correlates here in the US, but how is the day-to-day? Are you allowed to go outside? Like in Italy, they had to get a police escort or police permit to go outside, how is it being governed by in the day-to-day life?

Vadim Belikov:                 Oh, it depends on the region because if you check, for example, Russian news or daily online speeches of Russian presidents, he always talk that every governor have to look at the situation at his region. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in Moscow because the quantity of sick people in Moscow, right now for example it’s 3,000, so before it was 5,000. But, for example, in St. Petersburg it was like, 300 people, but maybe in rural region it was like, 15 people every day, it’s not so big amount. And of course, after the speech of Mr. Putin, every governor prepared his own strategy. For example, if we compare St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, that is a cross region, it’s like DC and Virginia, totally different strategy. Of course, we had to stay home, but it wasn’t like in Italy or in China, or in Moscow. Because in Moscow, you still have to stay at home, and they have a lot of police on the streets who stop the people and ask, “Where are you going?”

                                           For example, people after 65 years old, they still have to stay at home and it doesn’t matter where they go. They can’t go to just walk around and go to the park. People can go to supermarkets, to pharmacy, and that’s it. Or maybe, walk with their dogs. Of course right now, different region with a different situation and if, for example, Moscow still closed, but Moscow region is open. Of course they have their measure, like I said, people after 65 years old have to stay at home, children have to stay at home. You can go a little bit around the homes, at the local parks but, for example, regions at the Euro’s, they open right now and the small business is working right now. Also at the Leningrad region, they also opened. But Leningrad, and St. Petersburg, and Moscow still closed. That’s it.

Ryan:                                 What are your thoughts about oil and gas industry, I mean, so the Saudi’s and OPEC and Russia, and then the US Frackers, it seems like there’s a tremendous amount of supply going in. What is the media and Russia talking about as relates to oil and gas sector, what are the thoughts of the Russian academics and economic journalists, about what’s going on in the oil and gas industry?

Vadim Belikov:                 You know, it’s a huge problem for all of us, for all around the world because, in my opinion, if you remember everything begun at the end of January. For example, when I was at the end of January at the United States, I saw that a lot of Chinese people flew to China on the Chinese New Year. I understood that well, the huge problem, because all of them will return to United States, and United States got a big problem. And it wasn’t a problem just the United States, but also Europe and Russia. When you understand that economy will got a lot of problem after the COVID-19 and self isolation, you can’t begun the oil war. That’s where had in February or March, and it was the second worst step that we had, because when we got problem with virus, we have to care about our economy.

                                           You can’t try to change situation, it’s a huge mistake, but we got what we got and I can’t say who was right or who was wrong. But we have the huge world problem because price dropped down, a lot of tankers stay near the United States. In Russia, when the price on the oil decreased, we had inflation and of course our currency decreased on 10 rubles, and now the price the curse of Russian rubles and American dollars is 70 for rubles, for one dollars. But in February, or in January, the cost was 64, it’s a huge problem.

Ryan:                                 Yeah. No, that’s a good point, we’ll see what happens. What were the bi lateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Russia because we, as Americans, sometimes live separated by two oceans, but Russia and Saudi Arabia seem to be the ones at a disagreement? Is there a view that Russians have of the Saudi’s interaction in the Middle East, or I’m trying to understand the context under which this is being communicated?

Vadim Belikov:                 It’s a good question because we can’t say about relationship between Russia and Saudi Arabia, or Saudi Arabia and United States. We can look at this at the global oil and gas industry, because when your economic situation’s so bad and everything closed, it’s a huge problem for oil and gas industry because you can’t turn off their industry, because it works everyday. And quantity of barrels everyday just increasing and increasing, but you have to sell it somewhere. And the economy and world economy last couple of months was so small and, of course, quantity of buyers was also decreased. And it’s business, is business, is business. Of course Saudi Arabia has to look at their people and support their people, and their economy because oil industry it’s a main industry for Saudi Arabia, it’s not the main industry, for example, for China or for United States, but for Saudi Arabians, it’s the main industry.

                                           For Russia also, is steel for us, steel, oil, and gas industry, one of the main industries, and for us, it also was a big issues. We had to look at the markets and understand to whom we can sell it, because Chinese markets was closed, and the recharged economy just months ago. And right now we’ll look at the price on the oil, now it’s around $30 for a barrel, last month it’s everyday situation changes, but I hope it will better and better every day. And I can’t say what relationship is better, Russian and Saudi Arabian, or American Saudi Arabian, because historically relationship between United States and Saudi Arabian better than Russian and Saudi Arabia. Of course right now, our relationship’s good and I think on the best level for 30 years.

Ryan:                                 Yeah, Saudi Arabia just increased their taxes, their VATs by 15% so, people are going to be very upset and so I think there’s going to be some political pressure to the extent there can be any in Saudi Arabia that asked the question, are we really fighting over market share today, when we should be thinking about survival of an industry? And I think that’s the point you brought up is, how do you balance shifting the narrative?

Vadim Belikov:                 Everybody has to look at the bonds between their local economical situation and global contracts, and global relationship. And it is a huge problem of the COVID-19 current rules.

Ryan:                                 And that’s a great point so, global relationships, and you’re pretty involved in international relations. I’ve got two questions, one, the relationship between the US and China is strained right now, whether it’s political grandstanding or whether it’s really questions about the role the World Health Organization played in covering up something that should have been shared with the world so we could all got prepared, and the jury’s still out, we’ll find out. But is the Russian population, the Russian media, are they upset with China like the US is? Or is the relationship very strong, because I know Putin and Xi have had a good relationship, and there’s trading partners, is there that trust there? You guys share a border, right, a big border, so your neighbors in some respects, what is that, that kind of Russia, China posture today from maybe government, but also from the people on the street, because I know a lot of people here in the US are getting frustrated that we weren’t really told the truth so we could have ramped up production in January?

Vadim Belikov:                 You know, it’s also, so I have my own opinion and we can see the government opinion. I think that every country who work at the pharmaceutical sector, and work chemical sector, they had the same problems with different viruses, with different situation, and exactly nobody knows what was with COVID-19. At the beginning it was, a nature virus, or self-made virus, nobody knows right now. Of course, problem with Health Organization we have. They had to say at the beginning, “Guys …” For example, in December when they look at the first victims of viruses in China, that situation in China they bet you have to cross the border, let’s look what was in Wuhan, in China, in January. And after that, we’ll understand how to work at the current situation. In my opinion, it would have been the best way for World Health Organization. They didn’t because maybe they didn’t understand that’s a problem, the real big, and maybe they thought that it’s a common virus, like virus in 2003, for example, when we had pneumonia or like, birds flu, or other, nobody understood exactly what is it.

                                           Relationship between United States and China, that the roots of the current relationship had background, and before the COVID we could see about bother between President Trump and President Xi Jinping how to build the new agreement between China and the United States because it’s a different pluses and minuses. Relationship between China and the Russia, we can’t say it’s a friendly, it’s a partnership relationship. We are like a partners, we have partnership at the business, we have partnership at the policy, we have agreement in disagreement for different topics, but we have to work at the current reality. If they got the virus, we don’t suggest look at them like enemies, we have to understand how to help them to decrease the problems in our countries.

                                           This is the main topic, you can’t say, “Oh, the enemies, they prepared that virus and they throw it at the world, and spread it, and let’s blame them.” No, no, no, we have to understand how to, first, help them to cut the situation, to win the war with virus, because we can stop the problem in our countries. Not only health problems, but also economic problems. Because Chinese economy is like a motif of the regional economy, but also the world economy. A lot of companies are based there, they’re one of the biggest buyer of the oil and gas, and they produce a lot of products for world. That’s why we had to help them so fast, so we can help them, because we can decrease our problems at the economy, and at the current health situation in our countries.

Ryan:                                 Yeah, I think you bring up a good point that no matter where we are geographically, if there’s another area of the world that’s on fire with the virus that’s bubbled up, we’re going to have a problem globally. So, we really do need to stamp out the virus, it really needs to be humans versus coronavirus, I agree, and I’m hoping we’ll get there, I think we actually will and some of these trade tensions will simmer down. But nevertheless, so two final geopolitical questions for you, it’s fascinating to get your perspective because you do travel a lot. The Arctic, so we’re starting to wake up to the Arctic, it’s becoming more and more of an international issue and there’s oil and gas there, but there’s also trade routes and it’s a faster way to go. What’s your views on the future of the Arctic, and how’s Russia looking at that? I know there’s a lot more interest from the US in that area of the world.

Vadim Belikov:                 Yep. You know, in 2012 when I spoke with our mutual friends and I told them that, “Guys, the two big topics on the next 20 years will be just world cyber security, and the second, Arctic, because Arctic is the new global project for all countries who stay close to Arctic.” The second way, there’s Russia promote the Arctic way, because it’s the fastest way to deliver their products from Asia to Europe, and to United States. Of course for all countries who based around the Arctic, Arctic project is one of the best, new and future projects, and we have to build the routes. How to cut the rates, not how to fight there, but how to cut the rates, and how to save the Arctic. Because it’s easy to put their gas and oil companies from all countries around the world, American, Canadians, Norwegian, Russian.

                                           No, it’s easy to find a new problem because everybody talk about environment, but Arctic we have to save it because if we got the problem with the environment in Arctic, we had the problem with Atlantic Ocean, immediately the weather changing will be just increasing, and that’s why we can look not only on the gas, oil, and mining industries in Arctic, but also we have to look on the environment problem. That’s why I’m talking about the routes. We have to understand how to work, but how to work in Arctic by the civilization, new civilization way. It’s easy to build there, one strategy for all countries, and one rules, not one rule, but understand about rules and acceptable rules for every country who stay around the Arctic. But if you know situation with the Arctic project, we can see that China also look at the Arctic project, but not only China and other emergency countries, like China, or India, or Brazil, they also want to take what’s at the Arctic project because they understand that clean water, oil, gas, mining, it’s like new El Dorado.

Ryan:                                 Yep. One, I guess, final geopolitical question is so, and whether it’s political grandstanding in the US and fake news, or its real, the last three years has been all about investigating the current president, and Russia interference with the election. Now it’s going to be, the next few years, I think, November’s going to be all about China, US. But during the last few years, how is the view from the Russian people been in terms of the relationship with the US, or what’s the view from a Russian perspective of what’s going on in the US? I can see if I was on the other side of the camera, you guys are blaming us for your problems, but what is the view of that relationship, what’s the temperature of the Russian population? Are they saying, “You know what, we’re sick of this, why are you blaming us for your problems?” Or, “Hey, high five, good job.” What is the café culture’s view of what’s going on?

Vadim Belikov:                 You know, my own opinion and from the beginning of the … and I always say that, guys, cooperation always better than blaming each other, and it was first point. The second point was that United States doesn’t have enough of evidence and it’s fake news about Russian involvement in their election campaign because for Russia, it didn’t matter who is the President of the United States. For Russian government, and for next government, and for previous government, and for current, it’s more important that relationship and partnership. And the opinion of different political scientist, that if Russia and the United States will be real partners and friend, together we can be the power number one in the world. And if we built a real economy relationship and partnership, our economies just get a lot of pluses than minuses. Our economies will be stronger than Chinese, or other asian countries, and we can just help each other.

                                           And actually, if we compare Russian people and American people, people from United States, we understand that we have the same meaning because the United States is a country of immigrants, and Russia is also a country where we have a lot of nationalities, more than 200. And that’s why United States like a boiling pot, and Russia also like a boiling pot, we have the same styles and we understand each other. When we look at the news about Russian involvement, common people also understand that it’s not about Russia, it’s about comparison between two American political bodies, Democrats and Republicans.

Ryan:                                 Yeah. Well, I-

Vadim Belikov:                 And when-

Ryan:                                 Oh, sorry, please go.

Vadim Belikov:                 No. No. Russian people, [Russian 00:45:40], they understand that it’s game inside the United States, but not the game between United States and Russia, we understand it. Russian people just wait when we can say, “Hi,” to each other and recharge our relationship. Because in 2012 when Hilary Clinton push on the button of the project of the recharging copulation between the United States and Russia, I was happy and I took part a little bits, but we are waiting, the next recharging.

Ryan:                                 Well it’s interesting, people are now are talking about a new Cold War between the US and China, a technology Cold War, and it’s going to be interesting to see. I agree, I think the people at a population level historically have a lot more in common, Russia and China, the populations, than maybe Russia and China. It’s a different society, different value systems, you guys are religious, we have religion, but culturally more aligned with the West, we call it, European descent, right, versus the Far East. And it’s going to be interesting to see how these different multi-polar powers start to play in this new Cold War that’s, I think, starting to really set into place from a technology standpoint. Hopefully we can avoid it and get back to global growth, but it’s going to be an interesting six to 12 months, for sure, Vadim. So, what are you excited about, where’s the good news, what are you optimistic about? I know you do a lot of work with the GA, United Nations. What are some things that are positives that you think are good science for just mankind in general?

Vadim Belikov:                 The good sign that’s, look at the Europe. Europe is rising, right now they open economy, they open border between some countries like, for example, Baltic countries, they’re recharging their economy. Look at China, China right now, I think, have 95% of the economy that they have in December. I hope that next month maybe Russia and United States also can recharge our economy, and step-by-step we can go forward. I hope we meet at least three or four months. I can’t say, that we will stay on the same positions like couple of months ago, but I hope we can get also 90% of the previous speed of our economies, so we’ll see.

Ryan:                                 Yeah, and-

Vadim Belikov:                 And summer is summer, it’s more emotional part of the year. We can look optimistic on our economies and our current situation. That’s why I always can say, “Thanks what we got, the problem in February and March, but not at the October and November, because when you had not so optimistic way.” Because February and March is the first part of the year, and economic year. January is also, and December, and it’s Christmas time and January it’s like a post-Christmas time. But during the summer, we always look optimistic on the future. On the future of our economy, and future of our children, and common people.

Ryan:                                 Vadim, real quick, Russian literature is some of my favorite. What books are you reading? Is there any up and coming Russian writers that we should all be aware of? And then what books are you reading about just geopolitics or business today?

Vadim Belikov:                 It’s a good question because during the self isolation I read, unfortunately, not the Russian offers, but more international political offers, just to recharge my scientific level. I write about soft power and global policy, but it’s more academic books. But if you want to read Russian offers, of course, you have Russian classic that everybody like to read. I know how people stay at home during the self-isolation, everybody promised to each other, I have to read this, I have to read that book, nobody read and everybody look at the Zoom conferences. I advise to look and come to the Russian theater sides, because right now all Russian theaters translated online, operas and [inaudible 00:51:40], not the current, the previous.

Ryan:                                 Oh really?

Vadim Belikov:                 Yeah. Mariinsky theater, I post it on the Facebook, on Instagram, it’s my friends, please take watch. You have a chance to look for free-

Ryan:                                 That’s great, please send me those links.

Vadim Belikov:                 Yes. Yes. Sure. I think it’s more interesting because I know the position of the psychologist that we promise to ourself that we have to read a lot, study a lot, but of course self-isolation, it’s a problem for our life and for our health system, and our neuro system. And it’s easier to look at them, good movie, good opera, or good party, spectacles, and just relax.

Ryan:                                 Yep Vadim, real quick, I’ve also noticed on social media that you have been training quite a bit, MMA or whatever, even jujitsu. There’s a new sport in Russia I’ve been watching, it’s these team MMA fighting sport league, are you familiar with this?

Vadim Belikov:                 MMA fighting, I can’t say that it’s most popular sport in Russia.

Ryan:                                 It’s not, okay.

Vadim Belikov:                 Yep, a lot of people practice because it’s a new style, it’s a mixed style of martial arts. Some people they come and watch a lot, and yes I practice, and also during the isolation we have the online practicing with people around the world, and it’s good to see different instructors around the world, from London, Italy, China, United States, Australia, Russia. It’s also good point during the self-isolation.

Ryan:                                 Yes. Well, definitely big fan of the team MMA. If you guys haven’t watched it, the viewers, it’s a league in Russia, it’s a great sport. It’s sometimes very quick and brutal, but it’s a lot more interesting than just watching two guys at UFC, so I think Dana White better watch out, it’s a new iteration of that sport world. Vadim, thanks so much for joining us. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and those insights about geopolitical fault lines that are moving, and I hope to see you soon in New York at the next UN event. Or maybe some day, hopefully soon, at St. Petersburg. Be well.

Vadim Belikov:                 Always welcome. I always told you, welcome to St. Petersburg, and to Moscow, especially during the summer.

Ryan:                                 Would love that. Thanks my friend, I’ll see you soon. Be safe.

Vadim Belikov:                 Bye bye.

Ryan:                                 Bye bye.

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Speaker 3:                        All price references and market forecasts correspond to the date of this recording. This podcast should not be copied, distributed, published, or reproduced in whole or in part. The information contained in this podcast does not constitute research or recommendation from Non-Beta Alpha Inc., Wentworth Management Services LLC., or any of their affiliates to the listener. Neither Non-Beta Alpha Inc., Wentworth Management Services LLC., nor any of their affiliates make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements, or any information contained in this podcast. And any liability therefore including in respect of direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage is expressly disclaimed. The views expressed in this podcast are not necessarily those of Non-Beta Alpha Inc. or Wentworth Management Services LLC., and Non-Beta Alpha Inc. and Wentworth Management Services LLC. are not providing any financial, economic, legal, accounting, or tax advice, or recommendations in this podcast. In addition, the receipt of this podcast by any listener is not to be taken as constituting the giving of investment advice by Non-Beta Alpha Inc. or Wentworth Management Service LLC to that listener, nor constitutes such person, a client of any affiliate of Non-Beta Alpha Inc. or Wentworth Management Services LLC.

                                           This does not constitute an offer to buy or sell any security. Investments and security may not be suitable for all investors. An investment of any security may involve risk and the potential loss of your initial investment. Investors should review all risk factors before investing. Investors should perform their own due diligence before considering any investment. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investment products, insurance, and annuity products are not FDIC insured, not bank guaranteed, not insured by a Federal Government agency may lose value.


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