Rosneft offers Putin program of massive sanctions against the West

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by sorcerer, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    The administration of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft has developed a complex of measures to support the real sector of economy, as well as responsive measures to be taken against the countries that introduced sectoral sanctions against Russia.

    Rosneft's report of many pages is currently being studied at adequate departments, the Kommersant wrote with reference to its source. According to the source of the newspaper, Rosneft proposes to switch the supplies of Russian natural gas to Europe to payment in advance mode. Officials with the oil company believe that such a move would improve Gazprom's economy to the detriment of European buyers of the Russian gas.

    According Bigness.ru, the state-owned company also proposed to freeze the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline project, which was designed to supply Russian gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine. According to the source, the head of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, believes that the EU, despite apparent opposition, is extremely interested in the project, as Russia remains the only solution to the problem of European energy security. Rosneft offered to support the sanctioned companies at the expense of the reserves of the Central Bank and assets of sovereign wealth funds, which can be provided through bond issues. The company also proposed to limit international cooperation in the use of Russian modules of the International Space Station and prohibit the disposal of spent nuclear fuel from the EU and the US.

    According to Forbes, the list of Russia's responsive measures stipulates an opportunity to arrest assets of US and EU citizens in Russia as an interim measure on outstanding contracts. Oil and gas companies will be able to repay their debts to US and EU banks only upon a decision from the Bank of Russia, the document supposedly says.

    Rosneft also offers to boost exports in the Asia-Pacific region by reducing customs duties on gas from 30 to 10 percent and giving access to the pipe for independent gas producers. The list also contains a proposal to abolish the mandatory disclosure of confidential information, including on the procurement of sanctioned goods by Rosneft and its "daughters." To crown it all, Rosneft proposes to prohibit the export of oil and gas equipment that had been supplied to Russia before the sanctions were imposed. In fact, it goes about expropriation of equipment from Western companies, a source said.

    Meanwhile, Russia went up on the new Doing Business (DB) ranking for 2015. Russia has gained 30 points rising to the 62nd place as compared to last year's results.

    The World Bank revised the algorithm of the ranking, Valentina Saltane, the author of the research said.

    "The World Bank has changed the methodology on three indicators. First, for eleven countries with a population of over 100 million people, we included the data on a second city (previously, calculations were conducted only on the example of the largest metropolitan area; St. Petersburg was added for Russia). Secondly, we expanded the coverage on three of ten indicators (permission of insolvency, protection of rights of minority investors and receiving bank loans). Finally, we started taking into account the distance, at which a country stays to progressive practices. Previously, we analyzed each country under the conditions of vacuum, so to speak," Saltane told gazeta.ru.

    In May 2012, Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the measures to improve Russia's position in Doing Business rating by 100 points (the so-called "hundred steps"), from the 120th position in 2011 to the 20th in 2018. In the DB-13, Russia managed to improve its position by eight positions, rising to the 112th place. In the original DB-14, the country went 20 points up, to the 92nd place. After recalculation was made at DB-14, Russia took the 64th position. Thus, in DB-15, the country rose by only two positions, bigness.ru said.

    "This year, Russia has had two quite significant reforms in business and property registration. This gave the country a possibility to enter the top 20. At the same time, Russia conducted five reforms last year," Saltane commented on the decline in positive dynamics.

    "If in 2018, Russia wants to be in the top twenty of most comfortable countries for doing business, Russia will have to accelerate the pace of reforms in all directions. This touches upon its traditionally weak points in the first place, such as obtaining construction permits and international trade, where Russia is not even in the top 150," said Saltane.

    Noteworthy, Russia has recently taken the 43rd place in Bloomberg's ranking of best countries for doing business. The rating was published on the agency's website on January 22. During the year, Russia has climbed 13 positions up. In December 2013, Forbes put Russia on the 91st place on the list of 145 best countries for doing business. In later October 2013, the World Bank ranked Russia 92nd on Doing Business in 2013. Previously, Russia was not on the "top 100."

    source:Rosneft offers Putin program of massive sanctions against the West - English pravda.ru
     
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  3. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    U.S. Midterms Raise Fears of Decades-Long Russia Sanctions Law

    Concerns are rising among U.S. businesses in Russia that Washington lawmakers could move to enshrine sanctions on Russia in new legislation, extending their impact and delaying their repeal.

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed such a legislative proposal last month and analysts warn the measure is more likely to become law if the Republican party wins a Senate majority at midterm elections next week or the situation in Ukraine deteriorates.

    "It's getting more likely," said Stephen McHale, a partner at Washington law firm Squire Patton Boggs during a conference on sanctions organized by The Moscow Times this week.

    Lawyers, business leaders and U.S. executives compare such a measure to the Jackson-Vannik amendment, a set of trade barriers imposed by the U.S. on the Soviet Union in 1974 for Moscow's restrictions on Jews wishing to emigrate to Israel. It was only repealed in 2012, two decades after Communism's fall swept away the Soviet curbs.

    "A law like this [on sanctions] is inflexible and sticky," said Alexis Rodzianko, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce. "It would be like Jackson-Vanik,"
    Decades-Long Sanctions

    The three rounds of U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow this year for its annexation of the southern Ukrainian region of Crimea and support for pro-Russian rebels fighting the Kiev government were enacted by executive order of U.S. President Barack Obama, making them relatively easy to reverse.

    If sanctions are passed by U.S. lawmakers, however, their repeal would require another law — something for which it would be much harder to garner the required political will.

    "When Jackson-Vanik passed it seemed like a principled assertion of support for a people who were enduring inexcusable repression," said Bernie Sucher, a long-term U.S. investor in Russia and member of the board at Moscow brokerage Aton who splits his time between the U.S. and Russia.

    "That it took the U.S. nearly a quarter century to repeal Jackson-Vanik, when the need for it had definitively passed, both hampered the bilateral relationship and distorted the act's legacy."

    Comparisons have also been drawn between putting Russia sanctions on the law books and the long-running U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, which has been in place since 1960.

    Playing Politics

    U.S. and European Union sanctions implemented this year have already succeeded in shutting out Russian companies from international capital markets, freezing the assets of top Kremlin officials and reducing technology transfer in the energy industry.

    The indefinite extension of sanctions would amplify their effect on the Russian economy, hit efforts to maintain oil production and further isolate the Kremlin from the international community.

    The Ukraine Freedom Support Act, passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Sept.18, imposes sectoral sanctions on Russia's defense, energy and financial sectors as well as mandating an increase in military assistance for Ukraine. It was jointly sponsored by Democrat senator Robert Menendez and Republican Bob Corker.

    An earlier, even more draconian, bill, the Russian Aggression Prevention Act, was introduced in April with the backing of 20 Republicans including Corker and John McCain, an outspoken and longstanding critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It has not passed the committee stage.

    "It's no mistake that this is happening around the mid-term elections and no mistake that it's sponsored by the Republicans," said Kyle Davis, a partner in Moscow for law firm Goltsblat BLP who is also a qualified U.S. lawyer.

    "This is much more about internal U.S. politics than about Russia."


    The fate of such legislation will, in large part, depend on events in Ukraine, where a fledgling government is grappling with an insurrection in the east. Any escalation of the tense situation, or overt Russian intervention, could build pressure on Obama to respond, allowing his opponents to use the sanctions legislation as a weapon against him.

    "This legislation was thought up by people positioning themselves as tough-on-Putin guys," said Davis. "Referring to Russia as a threat is their way of appealing to elderly voters nostalgic for the familiar geopolitical villain of their youth."


    Looking Likelier

    Opinion polls suggest Republicans have a strong chance of gaining control of the Senate on Nov. 4 elections, a result that would likely see Corker, a key player in the proposed Russian sanctions legislation, elevated to chairman of the legislative body's Foreign Relations Committee.

    The bill would however face strong opposition from U.S. businesses, particularly the energy and finance industries. U.S. oil major Exxon, which has been forced to halt joint projects with Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft as a result of sanctions, spent over $6 million this year lobbying the U.S. government over issues including Russian sanctions, according to a Reuters report last month.

    And even if the legislation is passed by Congress, it will require Obama's signature to become law. While Obama has the right to exercise a veto, there is little sense that he is prepared to take such a step.

    In December 2012, Obama signed the repeal of Jackson-Vanik at the same time as he enacted the Magnitsky Act, a piece of legislation imposing unilateral travel bans and asset freezes on a group of Russian officials deemed responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer working for a U.S. law firm who died in prison in 2009.

    Obama is unlikely to pick a fight with Congress over the issue of Russian sanctions, said Sarah Vilms, a public policy advisor for Squire Patton Boggs in Washington.

    "What we are hearing from our contacts in Washington is that the president will not veto this legislation," she said.
    source:http://www.themoscowtimes.com/busin...-long-russia-sanction-legislation/510543.html
     
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  4. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Everything falls into place.

    People have been fed a heavy diet of hate-mongering in the US in the Cold War days. Young impressionable minds thoroughly brainwashed are likely to remain that way.
     
  5. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes, average American does not have much of a world view cuz of its biased and corrupt media. His/her understanding can be distorted by half cooked lies with a dash of patriotism on the top.
    Even if they learn the truth, they force themselves to believe whats suitable for them. Its decades of media and Govt, tuning the innocent mind of their citizens providing them an illusion of freedom.
     
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