JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian oil and gas groups shrug off sanctions; Higher crude prices and weakened rouble bolster producers’ profits” Financial Times/Henry Foy

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“Higher energy prices and a weakened rouble saw second-quarter profits soar at three of Russia’s largest oil and gas groups … the country’s energy industry … has weathered international sanctions to reap strong earnings. Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer, said … second-quarter profits had risen an annual 440 per cent … both exports to Europe and average prices jumped. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Busting Nord Stream 2 myths” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

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“The proposed expansion of the capacity of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in Europe’s north, running from Russia’s Yamal gas fields to the German coast, has split Europe …. detractors claim it will make Europe more dependent on Russian gas and give the Kremlin a bigger club … to bully the rest of Europe. … supporters say it will diversify […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine marks 1,000 days without Russian gas” – Interfax-Ukraine

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“Naftogaz of Ukraine has not been buying natural gas from Russia’s Gazprom for 1,000 days. Since Nov. 26, 2015, the country has been instead importing gas from the West. …  in December 2017, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce revised the contract between Naftogaz and Gazprom. … rul[ing] that the price of gas for Naftogaz must be […]

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Russia Just Won Big In The European Gas War

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(Oilprice.com – Tim Daiss – May 28, 2018) There’s been a lot of talk on both sides of the Atlantic about the U.S. pivot and efforts at locking in natural as market share in Europe. Much of this comes amid President Donald Trump’s so-called American energy independence push as well as both U.S. and several EU members thrust to wean […]

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Russia Struggling To Expand Arctic Oil Production

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

(Oilprice.com – Tsvetana Paraskova – January 30, 2018) Oil production from Russia’s Arctic region increased in 2017 as new onshore developments and the only offshore producing platform ramped up production. But challenges in Russia’s arctic remain. Last year, production from onshore fields in Yamal-Nenets autonomous region in northern Russia contributed the most to the rise in oil production in the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Gazprom gas exports to Europe rise 8% to new record” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

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“Russia’s gas exports to Europe rose 8.1 per cent last year to a record level of 193.9bn cubic metres (bcm), the company’s head said … as the world’s largest gas producer continued to increase sales despite rising competition from LNG and other sources. Gazprom … has a monopoly over Russia’s gas pipelines to Europe [and] has been forced to reduce […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia to Keep Its Grip on Europe’s Gas Market After Record 2017” – Bloomberg/ Elena Mazneva

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“Russia is working to keep natural gas exports to Europe near record levels in 2018 after the continent’s biggest supplier, Gazprom PJSC, said its deliveries this year signal it is achieving on its ambitions to expand. …”  

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Criticizes Germany’s Support of New Russian Natural Gas Line; Top state department official praises Denmark for passing law that could hamper pipeline project” – Wall Street Journal/ Paul Sonne

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“[Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs A. Wess Mitchell] offered harsh words … for Germany over the country’s continued support for a new Russian gas pipeline to Europe … known as Nord Stream 2 … a wholly owned subsidiary of Russian state energy giant Gazprom [that] would double Russia’s export capacity … adding a second link between Russia and Germany. * […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Gazprom spends big to keep trillion dollar dream alive; Russian gas exporter ramps up borrowing and raids cashpile to maintain growth” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

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“In an effort to fight back, Gazprom is …. [r]amping up borrowing and raiding its … cash pile … splurging on critical new infrastructure …. it announced that it expected to spend 24 per cent more this year on long-term investment, capital expenditure and acquisitions previously forecast. … next year’s spending [is projected to] hit a record Rbs 1.28tn ($22bn), up 13 per cent on […]

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Gazprom Speaks Out Against OPEC Production Cut Extension

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(Oilprice.com – Tsvetana Paraskova – November 21, 2017) While OPEC is said to be mostly leaning toward a 9-month extension of the production cuts, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak and major Russian oil companies discussed last week a six-month extension after March 2018, and all but one company said they were ready to extend, Russia’s TASS news agency reported on […]

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Russian LNG Unfazed By U.S. Sanctions

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(Oilprice.com – Tsvetana Paraskova – November 2, 2017) Russia’s energy industry faces a new round of U.S. sanctions – including on oil projects in any location if a designated entity holds more than 33 percent. And in Europe, where Russia’s gas giant Gazprom currently holds a large share of the gas supplies, Poland and Lithuania are buying U.S. LNG in […]

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What Jolted Russia’s Investments Is About to Fizzle Out; From pipelines to cash registers, the factors that caused last quarter’s pickup in investment are only temporary

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova – August 30, 2017) [Text with charts bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-30/what-jolted-russia-s-investments-is-about-to-fizzle-out] Russian investments have spiked to a five-year high as the economy exited recession, but the factors that drove the boom are already fading. Fixed-capital investment accelerated an annual 6.3 percent in the second quarter, according to Bank of Russia estimates, the most since 2012. The jump […]

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New U.S. Sanctions on Russia Are a Mixed Bag; Europeans are rightly wary that promoting U.S. exports is an ulterior motive.

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – July 24, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. The European Commission is preparing to counteract the new sanctions the U.S. Congress may impose on Russia this week. This may sound as if Europe is […]

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Why the Comey Hearing Was Frightening to a Russian

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – March 21, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. Monday’s hearing on Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election and the alleged contacts between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin yielded inspiring news for […]

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The Beginning Of The End For Europe’s Natural Gas War

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(Oilprice.com – Nick Cunningham – October 27, 2016) Russia’s Gazprom is on the verge of striking a deal with EU regulators to settle a half-decade old dispute over natural gas pricing, and the resolution could change the way Gazprom does business and lead to lower gas prices for much of Eastern Europe. The conflict began back in 2011 when EU […]

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Russia Shifts Focus From Oil To Agriculture

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(Oilprice.com – Michael McDonald – October 13, 2016) Michael MaDonald is an assistant professor of finance and a frequent consultant to companies regarding capital structure decisions and investments. Russia’s biggest industry has been oil production historically, but the country appears to be trying to diversify that by putting more emphasis on agriculture. The former soviet state has been relying on […]

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International Economic Forum opens in St. Petersburg

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Russian observers expect dialogue and possible progress on the softening of EU sanctions against Russia from the forum, as well as Gazprom and Shell’s joint launch of an enormous LNG plant in Russia’s northwest. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEI LOSSAN, RBTH – June 16, 2016) Leading world economists have gathered at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum […]

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Russian liberal radio station sees off “censorship” move

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(Interfax – May 27, 2016) A dispute about freedom of speech at the Ekho Moskvy radio station in Moscow seems to be resolved to the satisfaction of the journalists and with the editor-in-chief’s authority enhanced. New contract and “censorship” The argument began when talk show presenter Yevgenia Albats refused to sign a new contract that she said amounted to censorship. […]

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Why Gazprom’s ‘Monopoly’ in Europe is Far from Over

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(Oilprice.com – Ilana Stav – April 4, 2016) The first U.S. shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) arrived in Portugal last week and Gazprom did not immediately cut its own gas prices for Europe. While European media has hailed the entry of U.S. gas into the market as a game-changer and a monopoly-breaker, in the short term, nothing has changed […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Mikhail Lesin’s Strange Death in U.S. Follows a Fall From Russia’s Elite” – New York Times

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

It took more than four months for the city’s medical examiner to announce the cause of death … not a heart attack … but rather ‘blunt force injuries.’ But the autopsy left the manner of death undetermined. … fuel[ing] speculation … Lesin might have been murdered, presumably by a financial or political rival …. *** police … continue to treat […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller

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(Kremlin.ru – February 29, 2016) The head of Gazprom briefed Vladimir Putin on the company’s results in 2015, and discussed, in particular, gas supply figures for the domestic and European markets and the programme for connecting Russia’s regions to the gas network. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Miller, I have several questions to start our discussion, and then we […]

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Who benefits and who loses from revocation of anti-Iranian sanctions

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If Moscow plays its cards correctly, it will be able to strengthen its positions not only in Iran but also throughout the entire Middle East. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – GEVORG MIRZAYAN – January 29, 2016) The lifting of sanctions against Iran has generated an entire wave of speculation about the upcoming reformation of the Middle East. However, […]

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Russia Seeks To Drive Wedge Into Central Asia

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Bruce Pannier – January 5, 2016) Russia appears to be practicing a bit of “divide-and-conquer” politics in Central Asia, and state-owned Gazprom is spearheading the campaign. On January 4, Russia’s main news agencies quoted a “source” within Gazprom Export, the Gazprom wing charged with handling gas imports from other countries, saying Russia would not be importing any […]

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Gazprom’s Miller Tops Russia’s Best Paid Executive List With $27 Million

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 20, 2015) Russia’s highest-paid executive last year with earnings of $27 million was Alexei Miller, the head of natural gas producer Gazprom, according to a ranking published by the Russian edition of Forbes magazine on Thursday that showed a sharp fall in the incomes of many of Russia’s top corporate bosses. Miller, 53, bucked […]

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A Winter Of Discontent For Russia

Snowy Night on Red Square with Old St. Basil's Lit Up

(Oilprice.com – Colin Chilcoat – August 25, 2015) Winters are the stuff of legend in Russia and – despite a fair bit of warming – winter 2015/16 is shaping up to be one of the harshest, and most formative, in recent memory. After a brief period of respite – and muted acceptance of the “new normal” – to start the […]

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Washington ups the ante with sanctions on Gazprom

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RBTH presents its weekly analytical program TROIKA REPORT, featuring a look at three of the most high-profile recent developments in international affairs. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – TROIKA REPORT: Sergey Strokan, Vladimir Mikheev – August 20, 2015) 1. Engaging the West U.S. sanctions on Gazprom: Washington ups the ante The recent move by the U.S. administration to restrict […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Bypassing Ukraine Will Be Costly for Russia’s Gazprom – Analysts

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Russia’s plans to drop Ukraine as a route for pumping natural gas to Europe will still leave state-run Gazprom facing about $1 billion in annual transit fees to Slovakia and Bulgaria for years to come, analysts and industry sources say.

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Are The E.U. And Asia Turning A Blind Eye To Russian Sanctions?

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Oilprice.com – Robert Berke – July 8, 2015) In a previous article on Oilprice, I questioned whether western sanctions imposed on Russia were being regularly breached by E.U. and Asian companies, noting that sanctions only work if all countries unite behind them. In June, the Financial Times reported that only one year after being imposed, the sanctions are eroding. It […]

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Is Russia Ready To Make A Comeback?

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(Oilprice.com – Colin Chilcoat – July 6, 2015) As world markets nervously react to any news out of Greece, a sense of calm prevails in Russia. In short, a Greek sovereign default and exit from the euro zone is unlikely to inflict much damage on the Russian economy, already largely isolated from western financial markets. That’s not to say the […]

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RBTH: Why Gazprom became so flexible

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – July 6, 2015) Russia’s natural gas giant is planning to put three billion cubic meters of gas up for auction – yielding to pressure from European customers, experts say. It may also scrap plans to stop Ukrainian gas transits, reducing supply risks linked to the construction of a new […]

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Ukraine cancels gas supplies from Russia in pricing row

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – July 2, 2015) Ukraine suspended Russian natural gas purchases on July 1, citing its inability to secure from Gazprom a heavily discounted price for the third quarter of the year. Henceforth, the country’s state-owned monopoly Naftogaz will rely on supplies from the European Union, and claims that volumes bought from EU […]

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Ukraine Seeks New Russia Gas Deal as Military Tensions Rise

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elena Mazneva – June 9, 2015) Ukraine needs to negotiate a new natural-gas deal with Russia just as the conflict between the two countries risks escalating again. A gas-price agreement with Russian exporter OAO Gazprom expires at the end of the month and Ukraine requires fuel to replenish stockpiles before the winter. At the same time, […]

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NEWSLINK Interfax-Ukraine: Gazprom: gas transit through Ukraine to end after 2019, come what may

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Gazprom has no plans to continue using Ukraine as a transit country for gas exports after 2019, Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev told journalists. “When the transit contract with Ukraine expires, there will be no prolongation, no conclusion of a new transit agreement under any circumstances. In light of the economic, commercial, technological, investment and political risks for gas transit, there […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Russia’s Gazprom presses on with Turkey pipeline despite questions

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Russia’s Gazprom plans to start building a pipeline to Turkey this month to get gas to Europe without going through Ukraine, company sources said, although it has no firm agreement with Ankara and faces opposition from the European Union.

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A wakeup call for Gazprom

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Widely considered one of Russia’s most potent weapons, Gazprom’s financials show the slow erosion of its core business. (Business New Europe – bne.eu – Mark Adomanis in Philadelphia – May 19, 2015) As with almost every other major Russian company, 2014 was not a particularly good year for Gazprom. In fact, at first glance, the headline numbers were nothing short […]

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Is Gazprom a “buy”?

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – May 7, 2015) [Chart here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/moscow-blog-gazprom-buy] With the RTS Index up 30% year-to-date, foreign investors are drifting back into Russian shares simply because they are so cheap. But is the bluest of Russian blue chips and long-time market proxy Gazprom a buy again? Russian investment bank Renaissance […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Gazprom throws down the gauntlet to Europe over gas supplies via Turkey

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – January 19, 2015) Russian gas giant Gazprom says Europe must build a new pipeline from Turkey if it wants to secure energy supplies via its new route that cuts out Ukraine. Russia had been intending to supply gas to Europe that bypassed Ukraine through South Stream, which was to […]

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Russia 2014 Gas Exports Seen Lowest in Decade as Nations Cut Use

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elena Mazneva – January 13, 2015) Russia, the world’s biggest natural-gas exporter, probably cut 2014 fuel exports to the lowest in a decade as consumption in Europe and Ukraine declined. OAO Gazprom (GAZP), the state-run gas-pipeline export monopoly, supplied no more than 195 billion cubic meters of fuel from Russia to the European Union, Turkey and […]

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Russian independent radio board chairman says not aiming to destroy station

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(Interfax – November 18, 2014) Mikhail Lesin, chairman of the board of directors of Gazprom-Media, which owns the Russian editorially independent radio station Ekho Moskvy, met the station’s members of staff on 18 November, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on the same day. They met to discuss the ongoing dispute between Lesin and Aleksey Venediktov, the station’s editor in […]

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Gazprom Media to consider proposal on selling stake in Echo of Moscow to minority shareholders – editor

File Photo of Interview on Ekho Moskvy Radio

(Interfax – November 19, 2014) Gazprom Media Board Chairman Mikhail Lesin is ready to consider a proposal from the Echo of Moscow radio minority shareholders on selling them a controlling stake belonging to Gazprom Media, Echo of Moscow Editor-in-Chief Alexei Venediktov said. “Mikhail Lesin said at a meeting with the editorial board [on Tuesday] that, if the minority shareholders make […]

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Embattled Ekho Moskvy’s Long Record Of Riling Officials

File Photo of Interview on Ekho Moskvy Radio

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – November 18, 2014) The doggedly independent Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy is facing an existential crisis this week, with its editorial leadership and its operations due to be scrutinized in a snap shareholders meeting on November 21 called by state-owned Gazprom-Media, which holds a controlling stake in the station. The meeting comes amid […]

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China Gets Upper Hand in Gas Deals Amid Russia-West Tensions

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – November 11, 2014) Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum on Monday, President Vladimir Putin vowed that Russia would develop all forms of trade with China, not just hydrocarbon exports. But the second-largest natural gas deal this year signed the previous day with Russia’s Gazprom suggests China is more interested in Russia’s […]

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Firing of Ekho Moskvy Reporter Prompts Speculation Over Fate of Editor-in-Chief

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – November 7, 2014) A state-controlled media holding has fired an Ekho Moskvy radio journalist, citing ethical norms, and threatened to dismiss the radio station’s long-standing chief editor who has led it as one of the final strongholds of media freedom in the country. The dismissal of Alexander Plyuschev followed a Twitter post […]

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Gazprom proposes to pay for gas transit with Ukrainian debt

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – October 6, 2014) Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has proposed to pay for gas transit through Ukraine using debt owed by Ukraine’s national oil and gas company Naftogaz. According to experts, this decision is advantageous for Kiev, since it will speed up the renewal of gas supplies to Ukraine. Gazprom […]

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Interfax: Russian PM tells minister to seek compromise with Ukraine on gas

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(Interfax – October 6, 2014) Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev said on 6 October that the search for a compromise with Ukraine over the gas issue needs to continue, with the understanding that the existing debts should be paid while the terms for Ukraine should be sufficiently acceptable to it. “It is necessary to continue a search for compromises, it […]

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Gazprom’s Grip on Russian Gas Exports Weakens as Novatek Gets Export License

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – September 9, 2014) Novatek, Russia’s largest independent gas producer, has been granted a license to export liquefied natural gas, or LNG, marking the next step on Russia’s gradual liberalization of a market dominated by state-owned giant Gazprom. Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov told the TASS news agency on Saturday that the export […]

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Ukrainian sanctions on Gazprom could threaten European economy

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Kira Egorova, Anna Kuchma, RBTH – August 19, 2014) On August 14, the Ukrainian parliament passed a law enabling Kiev to introduce sanctions against Russian companies, meaning that if measures are introduced against Gazprom, the transit of Russian gas through Ukrainian territory will be blocked. What threats does the European economy face if […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia-EU Gas Transit Through Ukraine Compliant With Contract – Gazprom

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MOSCOW, June 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s EU-bound gas flows through Ukraine comply with transit contraparameters, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Monday. “The transit of Russian gas through Ukraine is flowing according to contract parameters with a volume over the last 24 hours of around 205 million cubic meters,” Kupriyanov said. Earlier on Monday, reports appeared in the media that […]

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