Vladimir Putin: oil price decline has been engineered by political forces

As slumping oil prices dampen Russia’s economic outlook, the country’s President has said that “at some moments of crisis it starts to feel like it is the politics that prevails in the pricing of energy resources”.

Recent tumbles in the value of oil on global markets have been the creation of politicians, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, suggested on Thursday.

“The obvious reason for the decline in global oil prices is the slowdown in the rate of [global] economic growth which means consumption is being reduced in a whole range of countries”, Mr Putin said. Continue reading

EU, U.S. to commit to remove all duties on transatlantic trade

Open question: Was giving up an internet under American control done as a ‘measure of good faith’ in order to push the trans-Atlantic deal through?

(Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and European Union leaders will promise to remove all tariffs on bilateral trade at a summit on March 26, an ambitious step towards the world’s largest free-trade deal, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.

The joint declaration, if delivered as laid out in the draft, seeks to overcome tensions following Washington’s offer to cut its duties by less than the Europeans had hoped for and after Brussels pledged to remove almost all of its own tariffs. Continue reading