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Gazprom to receive European funding for second Nord Stream gas pipeline

Nord Stream2 pipesGazprom’s plans to lay a second gas pipeline along the bed of the Baltic Sea came one step closer to fruition yesterday when five European companies agreed to finance 50% of the Nord Stream 2 project to the tune of € 4.75 bn. Under the terms of the agreement, (more…)

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Exxon’s Black Sea hopes dashed

Steven Mnuchin US TreasurySecretaryThe Trump administration has rejected Exxon Mobil’s application for a waiver from sanctions imposed on Russia after the annexation of Crimea and subsequent events in eastern Ukraine, dashing the oil company’s hopes that it could resume drilling in the Black Sea in partnership with Rosneft. (more…)

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Exxon in bid to resume Russian JV

Exxon Mobil has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from US sanctions on Russia in a bid to resume its Black Sea joint venture with state oil giant Rosneft, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal; but (more…)

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Johnson to push G7 to impose new sanctions on Russia over Syria

Chemical gas attack SyriaUK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is expected to use today’s G7 meeting in Lucca to call on fellow member states to ramp up sanctions against Russia following the latest developments in Syria, according to The Times, unless Moscow (more…)

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Russia and Uzbekistan sign $3.5bn in deals as Mirziyoyev heads to Moscow

Uzbek President Shavkat MirziyoyevWith Uzbekistan’s new President Shavkat Mirziyoyev due to arrive in Moscow tomorrow, the Uzbek foreign ministry has announced that the two countries have signed off on $3.5bn of bilateral deals covering project finance, the joint manufacturing of agricultural machinery and a number of agreements relating to the supply of Uzbek fruit and vegetables to Russia with oil set to flow in the opposite direction. The announcement (more…)

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EEU doomed, predicts Bzhezinsky

Zbignev BzhezinskyThe Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will be dead and buried within in ten years or as soon as Russia accepts that it is a a European state, Zbignev Bzhezinsky predicted this week. In an interview with the daily Gazeta, (more…)

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EU backs down on Nord Stream 2

Nord StreamThe European Union is giving up on efforts to stop construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 project and is instead seeking a mandate from its member countries to negotiate with Russia over their concerns that Moscow’s plans to build a second pipeline to pump more gas to Europe via the Baltic Sea to Germany, will make Europe too reliant on Russian gas.
The Russian state-run enterprise Gazprom already supplies the EU with around one third of its gas requirement, but its plan to build a second pipeline has bitterly divided the EU, with Eastern European and Baltic Sea states worried that a new pipeline will increase their dependence on Russian gas and undermine Ukraine’s role as a transit country. Germany and other beneficiaries in northern Europe, in contrast back the plan.
Nord Stream2 pipesIn a March 28 letter addressed to Denmark and Sweden, the Commission said it was inviting all EU states to voice their concerns and would seek a mandate from EU energy ministers to negotiate an agreement with Moscow on behalf of the bloc.”It is our view that a specific legal regime would need to be established for the offshore section, and that such specific legal regime should include some fundamental principles stemming from EU energy law,” the Commission said. “It cannot be built or operated … in a legal void.”
Discussions would focus on how EU rules aimed at ensuring competitiveness and transparency in the gas market could be applied to the offshore pipeline, the Commission said.

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Russian credit rating edges upwards as Moscow keeps budget deficit in check

Russians and rouble signRussian credit rating: With its economy moving up through the gears and the government in Moscow managing to keep the budget deficit in check, S&P announced that it was upgrading the Russia’s credit rating from stable to positive, leaving its foreign-currency rating one step short of investment grade at BB+.
“External pressures (more…)

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New investment fund set to strengthen ties between Russia and Turkey

Putin and ErdoganThe flourishing political and economic alliance between Russia and Turkey wracked up a notch this week with the announcement that the two countries had now formally agreed to set up a joint Russia-Turkey Investment Fund.
The two signatories to the agreement (more…)

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More Russian IPOs planned as investors return to Moscow

Detsky MirForeign investors are being lured back into Russia by businesses seeking to tap the public equity and bond markets, the Financial Times reports today, after almost three years when they have shied away over concerns of the impact of sanctions as well as worries over the economy.
(more…)

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Indian Railways gives new push to North-South Transport Corridor

Indian RailwaysState-owned Indian Railways is to host a meeting of the heads of its fellow South Asian railway companies next week to discuss the possibility of pushing forward the development a transcontinental rail freight service that would run through Iran and Turkey. If the 6,000 km project were to be realised, (more…)

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Turkish Stream #2 gets sign-off

Gazprom and Switzerland’s Allseas are reported to have signed an agreement for the construction of a second, 900km Turkish Stream pipeline running from its Siberian gas fields along the the bed of the Black Sea to Turkey.
The two companies (more…)

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GCC investors buy stake in Russian Helicopters

Russian HelicoptersA consortium set up between the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and a group of GCC investors has bought a 12% stake in Russian Helicopters, it announced yesterday. The deal entails an up-front investment of $300m with a further $600m to follow at a later date.
The cash injection (more…)

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India and Russia close to reviving two-year Kamov helicopter JV deal

Kamov Ka 226 helicopterNew Delhi and Moscow are finally getting close to signing off on the $1bn joint venture for the construction of Kamov-226 helicopters after the idea was revived two years after it was first suggested by President Vladimir Putin. 140 of the 200 helicopters in the initial order will be built in India as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive (more…)

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Putin signs up to Turkish Stream

Putin ratifies Turkish Stream 080217The new axis that has been developing between Istanbul and Moscow in recent months appeared to strengthen even further yesterday when President Vladimir Putin signed a bill ratifying the construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline that will eventually carry natural gas from Russia under the Black Sea to Thrace on Turkey’s border with Greece.
Turkish Stream (more…)

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Russian recession near end

Russian recession: Russia is edging closer to the end of its longest recession in almost two decades as mining, manufacturing and agriculture along with stabilising oil prices, to help to steady the economy.
GDP contracted by 0.2% last year after an upwardly revised decline of 2.8% in 2015, according to data released by the Federal Statistics Service yesterday. with rising exports and rebuilding of stocks among the key drivers. Manufacturing grew by 1.4% while production of oil, gas and other natural resources was up by 0.2%. Buoyed by restrictions on imports and the ruble devaluation, agriculture grew by 3.5 %. although consumers continued to struggle, with wholesale and retail trade down 3.6 %. Construction was also off the pace and contracted by 4.3%.
“We can expect growth of 1-1.5 % [this year] and maybe even 2% if things go well”, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov predicted last month.
President Vladimir Putin was less sanguine, however, and has warned ministers that the country was not yet out of the woods and pressed them to find new sources of stimulus.

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Now QIA eyes up Novatek JV

Putin greets Al-Thani watched by Messina (Intesa) and Glasenberg (Glencore) 250117Following its acquisition of a 19.5% stake in Rosneft via its shareholding in the Anglo–Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company Glencore last month, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is thought to be on the verge investing a further $2bn in the Russian energy sector. After Russian President VladimirPutin and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin met with QIA chief Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani in Moscow yesterday, speculation was rife that the Qatari sovereign wealth fund could be about to buy Fund Energy’s 49% share in the Yargeo joint venture that it set up with Novatek to develop the Yarudeyskoe oil field on the Yamal peninsula in Northern Siberia.
Igor Yusufov, CEO Fund EnergyThe QIA had made “another deal that will mean additional investment of $2bn”, Al-Thani said before the meeting, although neither side would give further details. However, industry insiders are claiming that Fund Energy, the investment fund set up and run by former Russian energy Minister and Gazprom board director Igor Yusufov, was looking to sell its stake in Yargeo, the JV in charge of the largest oil asset in Novatek’s portfolio.
Yarudeskoye field, Yamal PeninsulaLaunched in December 2015, the field has an annual production capacity of 3.5m tonnes or 9,700 tons of crude oil a day, while the JV also runs a central oil treatment facility, oil and gas gathering systems, a pumping station and gas and crude oil pipelines. After treatment, the oil is transported 350km south to Purpe where it is injected into Transneft’s trunk pipeline system.
In December, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin took to the TV airways to celebrate the news that the commodity trader Glencore and Qatar’s QIA sovereign wealth fund had agreed to buy Moscow’s 19.5% stake in the state-run Rosneft oil giant for a figure Putin put at $11bn, boosted by what he described as “the rising trend in oil prices.”

 
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Russia overtakes KSA as No. 1 Chinese oil supplier and tops investment charts

Transneft oil containersHaving overtaken Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier over the course of 2016, Russia has got off to a cracking start to 2017and has more inflows of foreign portfolio money than any other global emerging market fund so far this year.
According to data released yesterday (more…)

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Gazprom pumps $1.8bn into Nord Stream as German exports hit new high

Nord Stream2 pipesGazprom underlined its determination to go ahead with the construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline this week with the announcement that it is planning to invest $1.9bn in the project over the course of the next 12 months. (more…)

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World Bank urges Russia to diversify

World BankRussia needs to improve its investment climate, diversify its oil-dependent economy and boost productivity growth if it wants to catch up with the global economy, the World Bank urged Moscow this week, at the same time as forecasting that (more…)

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