Category Archives: Oil, Gas, Energy

Russia’s dependence on oil prices may threaten national security – official

Nikolay Patrushev file photo

(Interfax – February 25, 2015) Moscow, 25 February: Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev thinks that the aim of the Western sanctions is to put pressure on the development of Russia’s mineral resource base, while Russia’s dependence on oil and gas prices may pose a threat to its national security. “The aim of the sanctions is to put pressure on the […]

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Interfax: Kyiv must supply energy to Donetsk, Luhansk under Minsk accords – Putin

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

NOVO-OGARYOVO. Feb 25 (Interfax) – The central government in Kyiv must ensure energy supplies to Donetsk and Luhansk under the Minsk agreements, which were reflected in a resolution of the United Nations Security Council and have now become an international legal document, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “We mentioned the Minsk agreements which were not only signed in Minsk […]

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Novak: inability to borrow worse than low oil prices

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MOSCOW. Feb 16 (Interfax) – The lack of lending sources is having a worse effect on the Russian oil industry than the low price of oil, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with Interfax. “The main issue is the lack of lending resources, sources of financing, not the price of oil. Accordingly, due to the lack of financing, […]

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Interfax: Russia sees risk of global economic slowdown due to low oil prices – minister

Oil Well file photo

ISTANBUL. Feb 10 (Interfax) – Russia warned G20 finance ministers meeting in Istanbul about the risks of a slowdown of global economic growth as a result of the drop in oil prices and called for a deeper analysis of the impact that the drop in prices has had on the economies of various countries, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said […]

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Business New Europe: Russian coal keeps UK household lights on as winter grips

Russian Coal Mine file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.ru – Nick Kochan in London – February 5, 2015) As winter grips the UK, a group of Russian coal companies with leaders closely linked to President Vladimir Putin are enabling British power companies to keep the country’s lights on – a precarious position as the sanctions rhetoric rises once again. Three Russian firms, SUEK, KRU […]

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Russian Sanctions Might Be Obama’s Greatest Blunder

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(oilprice.com – Robert Berke – January 25, 2015) One of the greatest foreign policy blunders of the Obama Administration was the push by the U.S. for economic sanctions against Russia. That led to Russia fleeing into the arms of China for refuge. In response, Russia, Europe’s largest and most populated country, is now intent on moving its vast storehouse of […]

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Fall in oil prices could shrink Russia’s GDP by five percent

Oil Well file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – January 21, 2015) Russian experts say that due to a six-year low in oil prices, Russia’s economy could contract by up to five percent in 2015. Moreover, the situation drastically differs from the 2008-2009 crisis when Russia was not as dependent on oil prices or under sanctions. In the […]

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Russia in for recession, high inflation even if oil rebounds to $80-$90 – RenCap

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. Jan 21 (Interfax) – The Russian economy will not see any growth and inflation will remain high in 2015 even if oil prices rebound to $80-$90 per barrel, economists at Renaissance Capital believe. At an oil price of about $60, which is the investment bank’s baseline scenario, Russia’s GDP will contract by 4.3% in 2015 and average annual inflation […]

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Double trouble – Russia 2014 vs 2008

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Peter Szopo of Erste Asset Management – January 20, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/comment-double-trouble-russia-2014-vs-2008] History, they say, does not repeat itself – it rhymes. Even if this were true, history’s rhymes are clunky at best. While Russia’s current crisis has obvious parallels with the turmoil in 2008, such as the drop in oil prices, […]

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Business New Europe: Pain but no disaster in store for Russia, says Rencap

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – January 20, 2015) If the average price of oil in 2015 is $60 then Russia’s economy will contract by 4.3% and the ruble will be RUB56.4 to the dollar, say analysts at Renaissance Capital in a note released on January 20 exploring different oil price scenarios. Oil prices have fallen from […]

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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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Interfax: Medvedev calls agreements on electricity shipments to Ukraine and Crimea mutually beneficial

Electrical Yard file photo

GORKI. Jan 20 (Interfax) – Agreements to ship electricity to Crimea and Ukraine are beneficial to both parties, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting with Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Gazprom (MOEX: GAZP) CEO Alexei Miller. He also said that work must continue in this area. “I think that this is a form of support, in this […]

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Moscow Times: Russian Oil Firms Can Weather $50 Oil

Oil Well file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – January 16, 2015) If oil stays at its current price through this year, Russia’s gross domestic product will likely shrink more than 6.5 percent, but Russian oil companies will continue to make a profit at even lower prices, analysts at the Gaidar Economic Forum said Thursday. Oil prices climbed to $48.62 per […]

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Ukraine’s Effort to Cut Russian-Gas Reliance Sees Explorers Exit

Gas Flame file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ladka Bauerova – January 12, 2015) Ukraine’s ambition to wean itself off gas supplies from a hostile Russia has never seemed so distant. Foreign explorers that are key to Ukraine’s future energy independence are fleeing the nation as a war against pro-Moscow insurgents in eastern regions sends the economy into freefall. Even government measures aimed at shrinking […]

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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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The oil price is all that matters regarding Russia

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer – December 19, 2014) Chris Weafer is Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory, which offers bespoke Russia-CIS consulting. The key takeaway concerning the economy and the ruble from President Valdimir Putin’s press conference on December 18 is that the Kremlin does not have any strategy or plan to try and pull out of this […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Medvedev urges Russia to address dependence on world oil prices

Oil Worker file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – December 11, 2014) In an address broadcast on Russia’s main TV channels, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said the country needs to wean itself off its dependence on oil prices. In order to accomplish this, Russia needs to develop innovative projects and use the sanctions imposed against it to […]

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Kremlin to sell off 19.5% stake in Rosneft in bid to raise funds

File Photo Rosneft and Russian Flags Next to Rosneft Banner

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH- December 9, 2014) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed an order to sell off 19.5 percent of the shares in Russia’s largest oil company, Rosneft. According to experts, this might help the government generate extra cash amid falling oil prices and Western sanctions. However, this may not be the […]

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Business New Europe: Ukraine seeks power and coal from Russia and rebel-held east

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – December 5, 2014) Kyiv has started talks with Russia as well as with Russian-backed rebels in East Ukraine in order to source electric power and coal, as Ukraine’s national grid faces a critical shortage of fuel, Ukraine’s new energy minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn said on December 4. Demchyshyn said that Ukraine is […]

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Putin’s Luck Runs Out

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – December 3, 2014) Vladimir Putin has been on quite a roll for about a year now. But December 1, 2014, just might turn out to be the day the tide finally turned against him. Ever since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March sparked the worst East-West showdown since the Cold War, Moscow has […]

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Oilprice.com: Ukraine’s Next Energy Minister Will Be Bought and Paid For, As Usual

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Oilprice.com – James Stafford – December 2, 2014) A month after Ukrainian general elections, there is still no new government, and elite power circles are playing a very dangerous game with the country’s most important ministry-energy. It’s a game from which Ukraine will not recover for decades in the best-case scenario. The past week has seen a flurry of media […]

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End Of South Stream: Winners & Losers

Black Sea Satellite Photo file image

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – December 02, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin rarely makes an uncalculated gesture or concedes defeat. So his announcement on December 1 that Russian energy giant Gazprom was pulling out of plans to build the South Stream natural gas pipeline to southeastern Europe took many by surprise. Russia had long sought a direct route […]

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Five Forces Battering Russia’s Economy as Putin Faces Nation

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – December 4, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s annual state of the union address on Thursday takes place at a time of economic pain and international isolation unprecedented during the Russian leader’s almost 15-year political dominance. More than 1,000 senior government officials will gather in the Kremlin to hear the keynote speech, listening for […]

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Ukraine approaches energy crisis

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – December 3, 2014) Ukraine still has to pay for more than 1bn cubic meters of natural gas that it needs in December, worth some $385m, outgoing energy minister Yury Prodan said on December 2, as a cold spell hit the country. Power generators are introducing rolling outages to cut consumption because […]

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Questions appear as Russia drops controversial South Stream pipeline

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – December 2, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia is calling off the South Stream project to construct a gas pipeline to Europe via the Black Sea. According to Russian experts, the recent dramatic increase in the project’s cost could have had a hand in the Kremlin’s […]

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Interfax: Russia’s decision not to build South Stream increases Ukrainian gas transport system’s role – Ukrainian minister

Gas Flame file photo

(Interfax – December 3, 2014) The Ukrainian gas transport system’s role has grown with Russia’s decision to stop the construction of the South Stream pipeline, says Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yury Prodan. “Surely, if there is no South Stream, our gas transport system’s role is increasing,” Prodan told journalists in Kiev on Tuesday. Ukraine has objected to the […]

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Ukrainians Cannot Count on Sanctions or Falling Oil Prices to Stop Putin, Illarionov Says

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 2, 2014) Many in Ukraine and elsewhere think that falling oil prices or increased Western sanctions or more sensible people in his entourage will convince Vladimir Putin to change course and end his aggressive policies, but they are wrong because none of these things will affect Putin’s pursuit of his goals, […]

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The US, Ukraine and Shale

Gas Flame file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Pat Davis Szymczak, special to RBTH – November 28, 2014) Pat Davis Szymczak is the founder and editorial director of Oil&Gas Eurasia, a monthly, bilingual trade publication devoted to the application of western technology to Russian and CIS oil and gas fields. If relations between Russia and the EU break down over Ukraine, […]

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Russian Oil-Output Cuts to Support OPEC Seen as Unlikely

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman, Elena Mazneva – November 26, 2014) Each time oil takes a dive, the idea of Russia allying with OPEC to shore up prices gets an airing. It happened in the months after 9/11 and again during the 2008 financial crisis. Now it’s back on the agenda. Russia’s top two oil officials are in Vienna […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia puts losses from sanctions, cheaper oil at up to $140 billion/year

Anton Siluanov file photo

[“Russia puts losses from sanctions, cheaper oil at up to $140 billion/year” – Reuters – Nov. 24, 2014] Reuters reports on Russia’s claims about the extent to which Western sanctions and lower oil prices are impacting the Russian economy. The assertions were made by Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov at a Monday press conference. Lower oil prices and Western financial sanctions […]

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Russia’s energy ministry revises oil price to $80-$90 per barrel

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne/IntelliNews – November 20, 2014) Russia’s energy ministry has revised the outlook for global oil prices downwards from previous $95 per barrel to $80-$90 per barrel, deputy minister Kirill Molodtsov told the press, without specifying the time frame of the outlook. Currently the ministry is witnessing surplus demand in the oil market, with additional […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Low oil prices hurt Russia and the West

Oil Well file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Bryan MacDonald, special to RBTH – November 12, 2014) Bryan MacDonald is an Irish journalist who focusses on Russia and international geopolitics. Are Western and Gulf oil interests ganging up to break Russia? Is the country hopelessly addicted to black gold? Bryan McDonald find the truth is a bit more prosaic. The last […]

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Kommersant Editor Steps Down Amid Rumors of Pressure From Above

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – November 11, 2014) The editor-in-chief of business daily Kommersant has resigned, triggering speculation Monday that he was forced out over a recent article in the newspaper about oil giant Rosneft. While theories behind the move multiplied and media reports fluctuated between calling it a dismissal and a resignation, the editor himself, Mikhail […]

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

China Map

(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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Russian oil could go into self-destruction mode on price fall

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – November 11, 2014) Russia’s oil industry runs the risk of repeating the death spiral of the Soviet oil industry, should prices stay below $90, according to research by brokerage Renaissance Capital. If the oil price were to stay well below $90 for long, Russia’s mostly state-owned oil industry could enter self-destruction mode, as it […]

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Oil falls below $80 but floating ruble seen mitigating pain for Russia

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – November 7, 2014) Oil prices fell below $80 for the first time in four years on November 5 after Saudi Arabia and other Opec members refused to cut production. But economists say despite the large movements in the oil price, the de facto freely floating ruble will mitigate much of the economic pain to Russia. “The […]

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Russia, Ukraine and EU sign gas deal

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe –  bne.eu – October 31, 2014) Russia, Ukraine and the EU have signed a trilateral gas agreement securing the resumption of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine from November. The deal followed a total of 30 hours in talks continuing into the night of October 30, when the sides announced an agreement. Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak, EU Energy Commissioner […]

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Russia offers EU a backdoor out of gas war

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2014) Russia’s Gazprom said on October 29 that it will seek to open talks with the new European Commission on expanding its access to the Opal pipeline, which carries gas from Germany to the heart of Central Europe. The move serves as a reminder to member states that, if it wants, the […]

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RIA Novosti: Who and What Is Causing the Decline in Oil Prices, and Where Will It Lead?

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) – With oil hovering around the $80-85 per barrel mark, down nearly 30 percent from a high of over $115 in mid-June, media and expert analysis about the causes and consequences of the price decline has been extensive. We present another, Russia-informed perspective. Saudi Machinations Against US Shale and the Drive for Market Share Among […]

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How Slumping Oil Prices Hit Russia’s Sanctions-Struck Oil Industry

Oil Well file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 29, 2014) Three screws are tightening on Russia’s oil industry. International banks are calling in multibillion-dollar loans and refusing new ones due to sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine. Western oil companies are barred from handing over advanced drilling technology, also due to sanctions. And, unexpectedly, the oil price has slumped from […]

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Business New Europe: Russia calls on EU to show money for Ukraine gas

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 29, 2014) Russia’s ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov called on the EU to show Russia it has the money to pay for Ukrainian gas, before Russia renews gas supplies to Ukraine, which were cut after a dispute over pricing and arrears. The EU is set to disburse nearly $1bn by the end […]

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Oil drops below $80, implications for Russian budget

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 28, 2014) The price of a barrel of Texan light dropped lower than $80 for the first time in two years, but Russia’s economy minister has retained its forecast for the next three years of the oil price remaining within the corridor of $90-$110, according to Interfax. “It is not possible to say with certainty […]

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Interfax: Ulyukayev: GDP likely to decline in 2015 if low oil prices persist

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – If current prices for oil persist in 2015, Russian GDP, retail trade, real incomes and investment will all decline, Ulyukayev said at a business breakfast hosted by Rossiiskaya Gazeta.” “If the current price of oil persists, then as soon as this year there will be practically no growth in real individual incomes and retail trade. […]

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Russia and Ukraine jockey for position before another round of gas talks

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 21, 2014) Russia and Ukraine are meeting on October 21 to hammer out a new agreement over Ukraine’s debts to Russia and future pricing for Russian gas, as winter approaches and Ukraine desperately needs Russian supplies to be restarted. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian opposite number Petro Poroshenko reached a provisional […]

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Success of Russia-Ukraine Gas Deal Depends on EU’s Willingness to Pay

Gas Flame file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 21, 2014) As the Russian and Ukrainian Energy Ministers sit down with European Commission chaperones to resolve their intractable natural gas dispute on Tuesday, the ball will be in the EU’s court, which is expected to finance both Ukraine’s and its own energy security. With the approach of winter sharpening the […]

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Ukraine and Russia move close to gas agreement, want IMF to pay bill

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 20, 2014) Russia and Ukraine have moved a step closer to an agreement on gas supplies and pricing, but have called for the international community to help Ukraine pay its gas bill. “[We] reached an agreement,” Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko said on Ukrainian TV on October 17, immediately following Russia-Ukraine talks with European […]

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Interfax: “Novak: oil price drop no ‘tragedy'”

Oil Well file photo

(Interfax – October 17, 2014) The current decline in oil prices is no tragedy, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, adding that the average annual price of oil needs to be considered. “The price reached $120 per barrel at the beginning of the year, and averaged $100 per barrel in the three preceding years. If we had $120 and now […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Ruble devaluation compensates for loss of oil revenue

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Maria Karnaukh, special to RBTH – October 17, 2014) Falling oil prices – and the falling ruble – have different consequences for the budget and consumers Oil prices – and the Russian ruble – continue to sink. As of Oct. 16, the price of a barrel of Brent crude, the standard on which […]

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RIA Novosti: Putin: No Energy Crisis in Europe on Russia’s Behalf

Gas Flame file photo

BELGRADE, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – President Vladimir Putin on Thursday reassured European partners that Russia would do everything possible to prevent any interruption of Russian natural gas deliveries to Europe. “We would’t want any crisis to occur during the winter period,” Putin told reporters following talks with Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade. “Russia has always been a reliable […]

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Interfax: Chief of staff says businessman’s arrest damaging Russia’s investment climate

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

(Interfax – October 15, 2014) Kremlin chief of staff Sergey Ivanov has said that the house arrest of billionaire businessman Vladimir Yevtushenkov is damaging Russia’s investment climate. In an interview with popular pro-Kremlin tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, which was quoted by Interfax news agency, Ivanov said that “I agree, this [the arrest of Yevtushenkov] is having a bad influence of the […]

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