Russia's recovery from economic recession could be complicated by sanctions announced recently by US President Donald Trump, with still greater potential of painful restrictions on investors and Russian companies seeking to raise capital in Western markets. This year, the US Treasury initiated new sanctions against Russian persons and entities for activities including the alleged poisoning in the UK of former FSB Officer Skripal and his daughter as well as Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
Soft oil prices and tight monetary and fiscal policy only exacerbated the effects of targeted sanctions by the US, EU, and Canada—later joined by Australia, Japan, and Switzerland, among others—on the Russian economy during 2014 to 2015. Among the most powerful sanctions imposed, the US joined the EU in 2014 in sectoral sanctions on Russia's financial, defense, and energy sectors, to include Russia's largest bank (Sberbank), a major arms maker and arctic (Rostec), and deepwater and shale exploration by its biggest oil companies (Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas, and Rosneft). As a countermeasure to these sanctions, in August 2014, Russia banned food imports from countries that had imposed sanctions against it.
Additional US sanctions were expected this month in response to Russia's alleged support for Syria's chemical weapons attack on civilians as well as an expansion of sanctions to include new Russian sovereign debt but neither has been implemented. Market damage from US sanctions is already measurable, however, and has the potential to grow as uncertainty takes hold in markets and among investors.
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The Russian Government recently prohibited the import of 17 food items, including apples, grapes, oranges, poultry, tomatoes and other fruit and vegetables, from Turkey and banned charter flights between the two countries in response to Turkey shooting down a Russian SU-24 on 24 November. Today's Viz of the Day illustrates the current merchandise trade flows between Turkey and the Russian Federation and provides insight into possible losses to each economy as a result of the Russian embargo.Source: United Nations
146,544.7 thousand people currently live in Russia as of January 1, 2016 according to Russian Federal State Statistics Service estimate. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs gives another estimate - 143,456.9 thousand persons. The difference of about 3 million persons is because data from Russian national statistical service include population of the Crimea since 2015, while international agencies like UN or World Bank does not consider the Crimea as a part of Russia. As of January 1, 2015 population of the Crimea was estimated at 2,294.9 thousand persons. With or without the Crimea, Russia is nineth...
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Global oil production remains strong even as some leading industry forecasts suggest that global economic conditions will override low global oil prices to constrain oil demand growth this year.Some leading OPEC producers, including Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, are producing at or near record levels, largely offsetting production declines from several OPEC and non-OPEC producers. Many of these OPEC members have relatively low operating costs or are on the upside of years of development to bring online new production and thus may not reduce production in the face of the oil price slump to retain their market shares.In...