Washington is inching closer to imposing a tighter financial grip on Russia. The next round of sanctions could target more banks and the heart of the Russian economy - the energy sector. In sights is Gazprom, Russia’s largest natural gas producer.
Royal Dutch Shell’s new CEO Ben Van Beurden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, signaling Ukraine tension has not affected investment in Russia, and that energy contracts won't be derailed by international politics.
Replying to the Russian President letter warning of a threat to gas transit through Ukraine, the EU said Gazprom should follow its contractual obligations, urging an early warning of any possible disruptions.
Opportunities for the West to hurt the Russian economy are limited, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday. Europe cannot stop buying Russian gas without inflicting pain on itself, and if the US tries to lower oil prices, the dollar will suffer.
By 2018 China will be Russian energy’s biggest customer, along with huge trade volume between the two states. So it makes sense for Russia to take advantage of the China’s Union Pay system, Chinese expert, Andrew Leung, told RT.
The discovery of large hydrocarbon deposits in the Arctic has sparked international competition over resources in frozen waters. Regional powers are quickly filing claims for the sea shelf, with Russia preparing to bring in the biggest bid to the UN.
The newly-appointed head of Ukraine’s national gas company says the country “sees no reason” to comply with the “political” hike in gas prices imposed by Russia, and will formally stop transferring money to Moscow until the situation is resolved.
Russia has to stop gas subsidies to Ukraine as it cannot keep supporting the bankrupt anti-Russian regime in Kiev, energy asset manager Eric Kraus told RT, adding that it will be the EU's problem if Ukraine eventually starts stealing their transit gas.