Russia 101217 Basic Political Developments

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National Economic Trends

  • Russian November Unemployment Rate Fell to 6.7%, Service Says

  • Ruble Gains to Month-High Against Dollar, Weakens Versus Euro

  • Banks have 634.9 bln rbs on CBR correspondent accounts on December 17

  • New Financial Watchdog?

  • MinFin submits draft super regulator bill to Medvedev

  • Revised State Forecast Finds $16Bln

Business, Energy or Environmental regulations or discussions

  • Yuan Trade Poised to Expand as China Ties Deepen: Russia Credit

  • Russian Stocks Gain for 4th Day This Week on Oil, U.S. Economy

  • Aeroflot Orders 16 Boeing 777 Jets

  • Russian Insurer Sogaz Buys a Blocking stake in Germany’s Sovag

  • Sberbank may soon close savings book of Belarus bond applications

  • Sberbank to Place Rusal Russian Depositary Receipts From Dec. 23

  • Sberbank to prepare RDR program for another major company in Q1 2011

  • SocGen Agrees to Buy 19.3% Rosbank Stake From VTB, Interfax Says

  • RPT-Russia RUSAL plans 2-3-year yuan Eurobond in Q1 '11

  • RusAl to start issuing $2 bln RDR on Dec 23

  • Silvinit to Review Takeover by Uralkali Dec. 20, Vedomosti Says

  • Uralkali, Silvinit in talks on merger

  • Renault Still Mulling Boosting Its Stake In Russia's AvtoVAZ

  • Aeroflot to sell 51% of Nordavia

  • Swedish passenger ship company Viking Line may open a route between Stockholm and St. Petersburg in two years, Dagens Industri reported Thursday, citing Viking Line’s chief executive Mikael Backman. (Bloomberg)

  • Coal producer Raspadskaya resumed production at its main mine, seven months after blasts killed at least 90 workers, chief executive Gennady Kozovoi said Thursday, and the company’s goal for next year is to resume full production. (Bloomberg)

  • The West Siberian Generating Company plans to invest $258 million to build eight small hydroelectric power plants in the east Siberian Altai republic, RIA-Novosti said. (Bloomberg)

  • Sberbank may be interested in bidding for a 51 percent share of Oesterreichische Volksbanken’s Eastern Europe unit, newspaper Der Standard reported Thursday, citing unidentified bankers familiar with the planned sale. (Bloomberg)

Activity in the Oil and Gas sector (including regulatory)


  • Energy Ministry raises 2010 oil production forecast to 504 mln tones

  • Russia will introduce tax breaks for smaller fields from 2011

  • Algeria leans towards not keeping BP assets: Russia

  • Sakhneftegaz adds to Arkutun-Dagi scope

  • Russia's Rosneft in talks to find strategic investors - CEO

  • Rosneft unveils ambitious development plans

  • Rosneft Plans to Become Global Producer, CEO Khudainatov Says

  • Pipelines remain on schedule in Northwestern Russia


  • Nikolas Sarkozy and Alexey Miller consider cooperation deepening between Russian and French companies

  • Beltransgaz to continue operating Yamal-Europe pipeline

  • Gazprom Neft Says Venezuela Oil Venture May Cost $24 Billion

  • Noyabrskneftegaz Marks 700 Million Ton Crude Production Mark

  • Eni To Supply Gas To Croatia's INA In Place of Gazprom


Full Text Articles

Basic Political Developments

Republicans to offer 12 amendments to START
Dec 17, 2010 10:24 Moscow Time

The Republican Senators say they will make up to 12 amendments to the Russian-American Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, and will come up with a resolution on ratification. This comes in a statement by the deputy leader of the Republican faction in the Senate John Kyl.

The Republicans specifically suggest removing the reference to the link between strategic offensive and defensive weapons from the preamble to the treaty.

Moscow feels that this could not only delay the discussion of a most important document for Russian-US relations, but also drastically change the meaning of the treaty.

Democratic Senator John Kerry said during the debates that the amendments suggested would “kill” the treaty.    

Lawmakers stretching out Russia nuke pact debate

(AP) – 42 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican opponents of a new U.S-Russia nuclear arms pact are ignoring demands by Democrats that they move toward a vote as they stretch out debate amid a tight year-end schedule in Congress.

Debate on the treaty lasted into the evening Thursday even as lawmakers wrangled on how to deal with essential budgetary issues that must be addressed before Congress breaks for the year.

Democrats were urging Republicans to address their concerns in a separate document that would be approved along with the nuclear pact and serve as a congressional commentary on the treaty. Debate was expected to continue Friday.

Time is an issue as the current Congress grapples with a number of pressing items that must be addressed before the end of the year. Proponents of the treaty are insisting this Congress vote on it before the Democrats' majority shrinks in early January.

Despite the contentious debate, the treaty appeared to be gaining support with more Republicans indicating they could support it in recent days.

President Barack Obama has made the treaty among his top priorities before Congress breaks, a chance for a foreign policy victory to cap a politically difficult year. Conservative Republicans stand in the way, asserting that the United States made too many concessions in negotiations with Russia and the treaty would limit U.S. defense options.

"They get everything out of it," insisted Republican Sen. Sen. Jon Kyl in Thursday's debate. "I don't know what we get out of it except for the president to say he made another arms control deal with Russia."

Republicans were also charging the treaty would limit U.S. missile defense options.

Countering those arguments — though unlikely to appease some Republicans — Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters at the White House on Thursday that the treaty "in no way limits anything we want or have in mind on missile defense."

The treaty, signed by Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April, would limit each country's strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from the current ceiling of 2,200, and establish a system for monitoring and verification. U.S. weapons inspections ended a year ago with the expiration of the 1991 arms control treaty.

Supporters are pushing for ratification in the closing days of the year because prospects for passage will dim when Republicans increase their numbers by five senators in January. The Constitution requires approval by two-thirds of the Senate to ratify a treaty.

Backers of the pact and the Obama administration were encouraged by a 66-32 vote on Wednesday to move ahead on debate, boosting Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's contention that he has the votes for ratification.

Several Republicans said they were determined to amend the treaty, which would effectively kill it because any changes would require new negotiations with Russia. None of the amendments was offered, however, during Thursday's daylong debate.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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