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Russia and News…

Russian News From Russia...

Lets have some news from Russia with our morning cup of coffee or tea:

The Bank of Russia sold a little over $1bn worth of foreign currency on the domestic market in September, First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia Alexei Ulyukayev told journalists today. The regulator sold $0.6bn worth of foreign currency on the domestic market between September 1 and 22. “During the first few months of 2010, the ruble demonstrated an increase, and the value of the basket of two currencies slid,” the Central Bank’s chief Sergei Ignatyev told journalists. Meanwhile, the basket of two currencies has been increasing in value in the last several months, due primarily to a lower surplus of the balance of payments account. Ignatyev reiterated that the bank purchased $0.5bn in foreign currency in July of this year.

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Russia and the United States have settled all issues regarding Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization, Russia’s Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin stated today at the 7th annual forum Yalta European Strategy. He also reiterated that the Russian and U.S. presidents had agreed to complete the talks by the end of September, and kept their word. A special working group in Geneva will now finish off a joint report, Kudrin added. The WTO accession process can start in two to four months to be completed in half a year or a year at the most, the finance minister explained. In theory, Russia can become a WTO member in 10 months.

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In an interview today, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Vladimir Vysotsky filled RBC in on Russia’s priorities in the Arctic. He is convinced that Russia needs to defend its interests, as there are plenty of contenders for both the Arctic and the Antarctic. “We are already witnessing a number of states who, although not on the Arctic Council, are seeking to penetrate and are already positioning their interests. China, for one, has entered into agreements with Norway to develop the Arctic zone. We can understand the economy and the infrastructure that China now has – it is becoming a serious partner, both in terms of benefits and problems,” Vysotsky said.

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The program on the privatization of state companies is expected to promote competition in the Russian economy and ultimately, its efficiency, President of VTB Capital Yury Solovyev told RBC-TV today. “Many people are saying that the government is doing this to overcome the budget deficit. I think the key priority and the reason behind the privatization program is to increase competition in the Russian economy,” he explained.

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Russia’s natural gas production jumped 15.6 percent to 468.847bn cubic meters in January-September of 2010 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, the Russian Energy Ministry indicated in a report today. In September alone, Russia produced 47.94bn cubic meters of natural gas, 4.2 percent greater than in the same month of 2009.

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Russia’s inflation amounted to 0.8 percent in September and to 6.2 percent since the beginning of the year, the Russian Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) reported today. In September of last year, inflation stood at zero, and at 8.1 percent in the first three quarters of the year.

That is all folks…

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