Russian government feels squeeze of tighter sanctions

Russian government feels squeeze of tighter sanctions

Press quote (Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty)
19 September 2014

"A lot depends on what's happening to the oil price," says Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform in London. "The budget and accumulation of surpluses in the two national wealth funds depends so much on the world oil price and at the moment it is rather too low for Russia to run a surplus."

...Amid the economic crisis, the Kremlin has repeatedly said Russia has many opportunities for growth.

As an example, officials cite the $400-billion gas-supply deal signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jingpin in Shanghai in May. The deal is to link Russia's huge gas fields to Asia's booming market for the first time - via thousands of kilometers of new pipeline across Siberia.

"The deal involves Russia in developing two new fields and building new pipeline infrastructure because there simply isn't the infrastructure to take gas from the western Siberian fields, in the areas that currently supply Europe, and to pipe it eastward to China," says Bond. "There would have to be major investments to do that and it couldn't be done overnight."