Russia Breaking Wall St Oil Price Monopoly

Russia has just taken significant steps that will break the present Wall Street oil price monopoly, at least for a huge part of the world oil market. The move is part of a longer-term strategy of decoupling Russia’s economy and especially its very significant export of oil, from the US dollar, today the Achilles Heel of the Russian economy.

Later in November the Russian Energy Ministry has announced that it will begin test-trading of a new Russian oil benchmark. While this might sound like small beer to many, it’s huge. If successful, and there is no reason why it won’t be, the Russian crude oil benchmark futures contract traded on Russian exchanges, will price oil in rubles and no longer in US dollars. It is part of a de-dollarization move that Russia, China and a growing number of other countries have quietly begun. Continue reading

Russian Military Receives Cutting-Edge Electronic Warfare Systems

Russian hi-tech company Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET) completed the 2014 Defense Procurement in advance and delivered up-to-date electronic warfare devices worth 17.1 billion rubles ($252 million) to the Defense Ministry, Igor Nasenkov, KRET deputy director, told journalists.

“KRET, a subsidiary of the state corporation Rostec has completed on schedule the 2014 Defense Procurement. The Russian Defense Ministry received all-new electronic warfare and state identification equipment, airborne electronics systems and measuring instrumentation,” he said.

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Russia’s Gazprom plans to sell gas for rubles

MOSCOW, April 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian gas giant Gazprom is considering more active use of the ruble in settlements with foreign contractors, Vedomosti business daily reported on Monday, quoting Gazprom spokesperson Sergei Kupriyanov.

Gazprom Neft is also discussing a shift from US dollars to euro payment in settlements with buyers, ITAR-TASS had reported earlier in the day, quoting Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov. Continue reading

Russia to Up Nuclear Weapons Spending 50% by 2016

MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is to increase annual spending on nuclear weapons by more than 50 percent in the next three years, a parliamentary defense committee said Tuesday.

The draft federal budget provides for a 60 percent increase in overall national defense spending by 2016, according to the report, rising from 2.1 trillion rubles this year to 3.38 trillion rubles in 2016. Continue reading