Russia - 06

Russia: Sistema’s Plight: Sechin Returns to Bankrupt Yevtushenkov

On 6 June the Bashkortostan Arbitration Court held a preliminary hearing on Rosneft’s lawsuit against Sistema. The court accepted Rosneft’s new estimate of the damages it wishes to recover, which went up from $1.9bn in May to $3bn this month. The court’s willingness to accommodate Rosneft’s requests – for instance, to accept Sistema’s internal correspondence

Russia - 03

Russia: The Fox Guarding the Henhouse: Gazprom Deploys Rotenberg to Deter Novatek

On 24 May Gazprom Deputy CEO Vitaliy Markelov ruled out a partnership between Gazprom and Novatek to develop the Tambei group of fields. Gazprom controls several major gas fields in the cluster, which is located in the northeast of the Yamal peninsula and includes North-Tambeiskoye, West-Tambeiskoye, Malyginskoye and Tasiyskoye. In early May, Gazprom CEO Aleksei

Russia - 01

Russia: Dividend Squeeze: State-Owned Companies Defund the Government

At a press briefing during his visit to China on 15 May, Putin addressed the issue of dividend payments by state-owned firms. Last year, the government set these dividends at the rate of at least 50% of the firms’ net incomes. They can be calculated in accordance with the International Accounting Standards (IAS) or Russian

Russia - 04

Russia: Gazprom: Financial Dark Clouds, But Bright Political Outlook

Gazprom’s 2016 financial results reported last week have received positive media coverage, with the monopoly’s 20% increase in net profits making headlines. The picture behind the profit numbers, however, is not as rosy. As much as half of the profits is attributed to foreign exchange gains caused by the rouble’s appreciation in 2016. In the

Russia - 05

Russia: Putin and Regional Governors: Confusion Amid Arrests

On 13 April the FSB arrested Leonid Markelov, who had just resigned as the governor of Mari El Republic, an underdeveloped region in the Volga basin. Markelov, who was charged with corruption, will hardly be missed in the region. One of the country’s most eccentric governors, he made his mark building full-size copies of Venetian

Russia - 06

Russia: Government Likely to Reject Rosneft’s Midstream Fiscal Breaks Request

In the first test case following President Putin’s order to Sechin to stop challenging the government with demands for benefits, the cabinet will likely reject Rosneft’s request for fiscal breaks for its refineries. Sechin made the request last year, and in February, Rosneft First Vice President Pavel Fedorov suggested that the company would freeze the

Russia - 03

Russia: Putin Restrains Sechin’s Ambitions

For the first time in the last few years, President Vladimir Putin has ordered Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin to restrain his ambitions. Putin’s order specifically concerned the latest standoff between Sechin and Transneft President Nikolai Tokarev, but its implications are far wider. Sechin was ordered to dismantle the security team at Rosneft and stop flooding

Russia - 01

Russia: NNK: Is the Curtain Closing on Khudainatov’s Venture?

In early March VTB Bank President Andrei Kostin acknowledged the bank’s potential interest in acquiring a stake in NNK, an oil company established by Rosneft’s former President Eduard Khudainatov in 2013. Kostin’s statement is the first official acknowledgement of the impending sale, which has become increasingly unavoidable in the last year as NNK struggled to

Russia - 04

Russia: A Firm No: Gazprom Rejects Rosneft’s Far East Gas Request

Earlier this month, Gazprom Deputy CEO Valeriy Golubev rejected Rosneft’s request to have up to 2.5 bcma of gas delivered to the company’s proposed Eastern Petrochemical Complex, known as the VNKKh. The project, which is set up as a partnership between Rosneft and China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina), has been one of Rosneft CEO Igor

Russia - 05

Russia: A Showdown with Belarus?

In the last few days, relations between Russia and Belarus have sharply deteriorated. Against the background of ongoing disputes over payment for gas and tariffs for oil and gas transit, Lukashenka has issued unprecedented statements that the Kremlin has viewed as clearly hostile. Speaking to reporters last week, Lukashenka discussed the armed conflict in eastern