NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Economic Pain Reveals Limits to Putin’s Power” – New York Times

Vladimir Putin

Pikalevo, about three hours east of St. Petersburg, and the rest of Russia are now mired in the country’s longest recession since … Putin came to power at the end of 1999, with the World Bank warning … that the nation’s poverty rate would increase this year to 14.2 percent of the population, “undoing nearly a decade’s worth of gains.” […]

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Putin’s Decade-Old Dream Realized as Russia to Price Its Own Oil

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Eduard Gismatullin – April 27, 2016) Russian President Vladimir Putin is on the verge of realizing a decade-old dream: Russian oil priced in Russia. The nation’s largest commodity exchange, whose chairman is Putin ally Igor Sechin, is courting international oil traders to join its emerging futures market. The goal is to increase revenue from Urals crude […]

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Despite Claims, Ukraine Not Free Of Russian Energy Dependence

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Colin Chilcoat – April 25, 2016) Now more than two years on since the revolutionary events on Maidan and Russia’s subsequent annexation of Crimea, Ukraine is still largely without its footing. Political infighting is again on the rise and the specter of massive corruption persists, stymying what have been positive, albeit small, steps toward reform. The country’s energy […]

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Interfax: Business confidence rises in Russian extractive, manufacturing sectors

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MOSCOW. April 26 (Interfax) – The business confidence index in the Russian extractive industry grew for the third straight month in April, while the index in the manufacturing sector also grew, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) said. The business confidence index in the Russian extractive sector improved to minus (-) 2% in April, from -3% in March, -4% in […]

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Oil prices remain stable despite lack of progress in Doha

Offshore Oil Rig file photo

While the recent talks between the world’s oil exporters of crude were inconclusive, the preceding two months have seen verbal interventions send oil prices up, while fundamental factors have revived demand for crude. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANNA KUCHMA, RBTH – April 20, 2016) Despite the world’s leading oil producers’ inability to reach an agreement on the […]

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Interfax: Growth of oil, gas reserves in 2016 to exceed their production – Rosnedra

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MOSCOW. March 29 (Interfax) – The growth of oil and gas reserves in 2016 will exceed their production, head of the Federal Subsurface Resources Agency (Rosnedra), Yevgeny Kiselev, told journalists. “I think that we will keep the parameters that were set down in the state program. Simple reproduction, an increase in production levels will be provided. As a rule, we […]

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Putin’s $50 Billion Oil Cache Gives Russia Luxury to Ignore ECB

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – March 13, 2016) Russian central bankers have fewer reasons to offer relief to their recession-wracked economy than you might think. Their decision whether to resume an interest rate-cutting cycle this week is almost beside the point as the government of Vladimir Putin lubricates the economy in the background with oil wealth amassed in […]

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Russia’s Government Doesn’t See the Economic Downslide As a Threat

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In his latest comment on key developments impacting the Russian economy, Sergey Aleksashenko, nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank, reviews the government’s controversial efforts to battle the economic crisis. (Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – March 3, 2016) Unnecessary Government? Today, it seems the Russian government itself no longer […]

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Russia’s Oil Dilemma Explained

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman -March 8, 2016) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-09/russia-s-dilemma-squeeze-oil-industry-without-strangling-growth-ilk2y8i4] While the world focuses on Russia’s oil-freeze talks with OPEC, there are discussions behind closed doors in the Kremlin that will have a much more significant impact on the nation’s energy industry. The petrodollars that underpin Russia’s national budget are evaporating. When crude prices were high, increasing revenue […]

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Will Russia End Up Controlling 73% of Global Oil Supply?

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Rakesh Upadhyay – March 6, 2016) Russia has played a master stroke in the current oil crisis by taking the lead in forming a new cartel, but it’s a move that could spell geopolitical disaster. The meeting between Russia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela on 16 February 2016 was the first step. During the next meeting in mid-March, […]

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Russian oil companies approve production freeze

Oil Well file photo

The country’s top oil bosses have agreed to keep production at January levels in a deal with the government, which is hoping the move will see oil prices increase. However, analysts say that the move may not necessarily lead to a recovery. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEI LOSSAN, RBTH – March 3, 2016) The heads of Russia’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Thinks It Has Solved the Oil-Price Crisis; But it may just be more wishful thinking” – Fortune.com

Oil Well file photo

The world’s major oil exporting economies have been putting together an agreement to freeze oil production levels, and Russia’s energy minister is optimistic that it will be effective in finally stopping the slide in oil prices ….  * * * The news seemed to buoy the oil market…. But there’s plenty of reason to doubt that the action will bring […]

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Interfax: Novak considers $50 per barrel most appropriate from supply-demand standpoint

Offshore Oil Rig file photo

MINSK. Feb 25 (Interfax) – Oil prices are unlikely to rise above $60 per barrel and a price of $50 is optimal, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. “Speaking fundamentally, the price cannot be high, above $50-$60 per barrel, because in this situation robust investment activity would resume, those projects where investment and production volumes are now falling would be implemented, […]

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Can Things Get Any Worse for Russia? You’re About to Find Out

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Investors who’ve made a fortune in the country say that with oil’s plunge, the ruble’s collapse, and Putin in power, all bets are off (Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ksenia Galouchko and Henry Meyer – February 23, 2016) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-24/putin-s-oil-despair-drives-lucky-few-investors-toward-the-exits] For a decade, Dmitri Barinov has been following the volatile economy of his homeland from the safe distance of Union […]

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Russia and OPEC trio agree to freeze oil production, but no cuts

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Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela have announced their readiness to freeze oil production volumes at January levels but fell short of agreeing to cut production by 5 percent as was earlier anticipated. Market analysts believe this agreement is a loss for Russian diplomacy – as a result of the deal, oil prices and the related value of the ruble […]

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RBTH: Even if Russia and OPEC tango, oil prices won’t budge an inch

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As Russian officials consider trying to forge an agreement with OPEC in order to help push up oil prices, they are missing an unfortunate truth – factors such as the discord within the oil producers’ body, the positions of Saudi Arabia and Iran and the strength of the dollar all mean that the price of oil is unlikely to bounce […]

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Agreement between Russia, three OPEC countries concerns average oil output for year – Energy Ministry

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MOSCOW. Feb 16 (Interfax) – The agreement that Russia and OPEC nations Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela reached at meeting in Doha on Tuesday not to exceed January’s level of output applies to average figures for the year, not daily output, the Russian Energy Ministry said in a revised statement following the meeting. The meeting was between Russian Energy Minister […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview for Handelsblatt, Germany

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(Government.ru – February 11, 2016) Ahead of the Munich Security Conference, the Prime Minister answered questions from Editor-in-Chief Sven Afhüppe and international correspondent Mathias Bruggmann. Question: Mr Prime Minister, thank you for finding the time to meet with us. You will come to Munich to attend the Conference on Security. Handelsblatt will cover the proceedings and primarily your participation in […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Weak Oil Prices Fuel Ukrainian Hopes of a More Conciliatory Russia” – Wall Street Journal

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The Wall Street Journal covers Russian economic vulnerability amidst falling oil prices and its possible impact on efforts to resolve the Russo-Ukrainian conflict . Ukraine’s political elite is hoping that plummeting oil prices will restrain neighboring Russia’s interventionist ambitions—and give Western sanctions on Russia a bit more bite. … diplomatic overtures have raised hopes in Kiev that Moscow—which annexed Crimea […]

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When Baikal water will be more expensive than oil

Lake Baikal and Environs Satellite Photo

The average price of a bottle of drinking water in Moscow has become more expensive than what a bottle of Brent crude would cost. RBTH asks experts if it would be worthwhile for Russia to start exporting water from Lake Baikal. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – GLEB FEDOROV, RBTH – February 5, 2016) [Charts here rbth.com/politics_and_society/society/2016/02/05/when-baikal-water-will-be-more-expensive-than-oil_564923] In January, […]

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Investment in oil and gas exploration may drop 10-15% in 2016

Gas Facility file photo

(Interfax – February 7, 2016) Investment in geological exploration for oil and gas in Russia may reduce 10-15% in 2016, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergei Donskoy said in a program aired by the NTV television channel. “Investment in hydrocarbon [exploration] will reduce somewhere between 10% and 15%, somewhere between these two digits,” he said. The minister said that […]

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Can Russia Be More Miserable? Judging by Oil, the Answer Is Yes

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Combining inflation and unemployment, Russia is among the world’s unhappiest economies (Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elena Popina – February 4, 2016) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-04/can-russia-be-more-miserable-judging-by-oil-the-answer-is-yes] The sinking price of crude has Russia hostage over a barrel of oil. For an inkling of how unhappy everyday Russians have gotten as Brent crude heads further south, take a look at the Misery Index […]

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Putin Opens Asset Sales to Foreigners as Budget Gap Widens

Empty Boardroom

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov and Andrey Biryukov – February 2, 2016) President Vladimir Putin will allow foreign investors to bid for stakes in some of Russia’s largest companies as the government prepares its most ambitious asset-sale program in years to close a widening budget gap. “Russia was and remains open for foreign investment and Russia is interested in […]

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Oil prices could reach $40 a barrel if Russia made deal with OPEC

Oil Well file photo

Analysts say that if Russia reduces its oil production by 5 percent, black gold prices may increase to $40 a barrel and over. However, the Russian government admits that it has no real control over production policy in private companies, though firms may reduce production themselves due to the fall in hydrocarbon prices. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – […]

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

Iran Map and Flag

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’s Great Shift Downward; Putin has shown little interest in changing the economic model.

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Carol Matlack – January 28, 2016) For Russia’s battered economy, 2016 already looks miserable. The ruble has slumped to record lows as oil prices have fallen 11 percent since Jan. 1, to around $30 a barrel. The government, which gets nearly half its revenue from oil and gas, is scrambling to plug a 1.5 trillion-ruble ($19.2 […]

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Sweden delivers judgment in favor of Russia in dispute with Yukos holders

Map of Sweden and Environs

(Interfax – January 28, 2016) A Swedish appeals court upheld Russia’s appeal filed earlier in its dispute with the Spanish investment funds, which were holders of American Depositary Receipts (‘ADRs’) of Yukos, Kommersant newspaper reported on Jan. 28. The appeals court acknowledged the fact that the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce that sustained the funds’ claims to […]

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Nine lingering myths about Russia

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

We are often held prisoner by imposed stereotypes and opinions about countries, people and events. RBTH has collected nine myths about Russia that are far from accurate. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NATALYA PUKHOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 26, 2016) 1. The death rate in Russia is higher than its birth rate There is a widespread belief […]

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NEWSLINK Carnegie Moscow/Mikhail Krutikhin: “The Russian Oil Industry in the Era of Cheap Crude. A recent slight increase in Russia’s oil output is likely to be short-lived. Oil production may decline almost twofold by the end of the year due to a lack of financing for new field exploration and development.”

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At Davos forum Russia promises to eliminate its dependence on oil

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Russian representatives announced imminent large-scale economic reforms at the World Economic Forum. The proposed changes would affect the country’s dependence on oil and the facilitation of investors accessing the market. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEI LOSSAN, RBTH – January 25, 2016) Low oil prices are helping the Russian government carry out large-scale reforms despite the drastic reduction […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian Oil: Output Grows as Prospects Shrink. Plummeting prices and U.S.-led sanctions raise questions about Russian oil’s capacity to continue underwriting Putin’s global ambitions.” – Wall Street Journal

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