The EU executive is to unveil radical and ambitious plans on Wednesday to establish a single European market in an attempt to weaken the Kremlin’s grip on Europe’s gas supplies. “The far-reaching scheme would also strengthen the power of Brussels against national energy regulators; boost consumer choice transnationally when buying electricity services; generate a bonanza… Keep reading →
German-Turkish-Russian ‘Energy Security Triangle’: Building Long-term Resilience while Defusing Geopolitical Tensions The recent Munich Security Conference in the Bavarian capital brought together – as it does every year – important decision-makers in international politics, including heads of state and government along with foreign and defense ministers to discuss “hot” foreign and security policy issues. This year’s… Keep reading →
Russia’s currency crisis has caused Apple to boost iPhone prices, Ikea to suspend sales and regulators in Moscow to slash vodka prices. But this may be the most unusual fallout yet of the plunging ruble: China’s National Meteorological Center warned its weather forecasting abilities may be hampered by Russia’s currency problems. “Our weather forecasts might… Keep reading →
Last week, the European Commission held its first orientation debate on the Energy Union in the college of the Commission. “It was the first time that all commissioners together had an in-depth discussion on the issue. And I can tell you that there was very broad agreement on the main features of the future Energy… Keep reading →
Energy News Roundup: Ukraine Works to Distance Gazprom, Apache CEO Retires and Solar Plane’s Trans-world Flight PathBy Jared Anderson
The Ukrainian state-controlled natural gas company Naftogaz has its work set out for it as the Soviet vestige seeks to cut reliance on Russia’s Gazprom. “Ukraine has one of the most important transit pipelines for Russian gas exports to the rest of Europe. Fifteen percent of the EU’s imported gas flows through Ukraine. At the same time,… Keep reading →
Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal made headlines this week when he stated oil prices would never again exceed $100 per barrel. Surly several analysts would advise him to “never say never,” but the prince also spoke about allegations that Saudi Arabia is deliberately forcing down oil prices in order to hurt Russia. Here’s how the prince… Keep reading →
U.S. Passes New Sanctions Authorizing Statute – Sends Russia Frigid End of Year Message
President Obama: U.S. will “review and calibrate” sanctions in response to Russia’s actions
On December 18, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Ukraine Freedom and Support Act of 2014 (“the Act”), the latest move in a series of sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and the EU over the past year (full coverage of the Russia sanctions can be found here). While the Act gives the president authority to implement new sanctions against Russia, President Obama has declined to enforce the new provisions at this time. The strategy behind this move is unclear, though it appears to be a “wait and see” approach with the hope that even just the threat of new U.S. sanctions will curb Russia’s destabilizing efforts in Ukraine and the wider Eastern Europe and Central Asia regions. It is also believed that the U.S. administration wants to continue to remain in lock-step with the EU and its imposition of sanctions against Russia.
Gold prices will continue to retreat, as of today, December 6, 2014 it is $1,192 an ounce. I believe it will be below $1,000 an ounce before year end 2015. Oil prices will be below $60 a barrel by year end 2015. The S&P 500 will exceed $2,200 a share sometime in 2015. The Supreme… Keep reading →
On December 18, President Barack Obama signed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 (UFSA) into law. Passed by the Congress in response to Russia’s support of the pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine, it authorizes expanded sanctions on Russia and the provision of certain types of weapons to the government in Kiev. This new wave of potential sanctions places even more pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin amid dropping global oil prices and the fall in the value of the Russian ruble. On December 15, Russia’s central bank raised its key interest rate from 10.5 to 17 percent, the largest single increase since 1998 and the sixth increase this year.
The Russian economy is heavily dependent on oil – prices of which have been falling precipitously – and sanctions imposed by western governments in retaliation for Russia’s aggressive action in Ukraine are putting extreme pressure on the country’s currency. There is concern the Russian government and/or Russian companies lack sufficient currency reserves to pay debt… Keep reading →