Russian News From Russia: March 13th, 2009!

Windows to Russia!RBC, 13.03.2009, Moscow 13:43:40.If a corresponding agreement is signed, Gazprom is prepared to deliver additional volumes of natural gas to Poland, Russian Transportation Windows to Russia!Minister and head of the Russian-Polish intergovernmental trade and economic cooperation commission, Igor Levitin, told journalists today. He did not specify the extent of such additional volumes, however. As reported by Levitin, the most recent commission meeting discussed, among other things, the gas issue, and Poland requested that Russia allocate for it additional volumes of natural gas. “If an additional agreement to the main one dated 1993 is signed, Gazprom is prepared to provide the necessary supplies on an intermediary-free basis,” Levitin announced.

RBC, 13.03.2009, Moscow 12:18:19.The Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has permitted businessman Mikhail Prokhorov to purchase 73.1 percent of Polyus Gold’s shares, the regulator indicated in a statement today. With this in mind, Prokhorov will gain an almost 75-percent stake in the Russian gold producer. The regulator indicated that the application was submitted on February 9, and approved on February 27.

RBC, 13.03.2009, Moscow 11:15:21.Trading on the Russian stock market began with a sharp increase in securities. As of 10:45 a.m., the Micex index climbed 3.46 percent to 753.43 points, while the RTS index reached 637.17 points, which is 2.95 percent greater than the level of Thursday’s close. Banking and oil and gas company securities have been rising on both stock exchanges.

RBC, 13.03.2009, Moscow 09:30:08.Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov plans to consider signing an agreement on friendship and cooperation between Transnistria and Moldova at the meeting with Moldova’s President Vladimir Voronin in Moscow, which is to be attended by President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev. The draft agreement was submitted to Moldova in April 2008, as well as Tiraspol’s non-aggression proposals. Smirnov announced the plans at his meeting with Ukraine’s special envoy on Transnistrian settlement Viktor Kryzhanovsky yesterday.

RBC, 12.03.2009, Moscow 19:31:50.Russia supports the idea of reducing oil supplies for the world market to stabilize prices, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a meeting today. He pointed out that according to OPEC data and independent expert opinions, oil stockpiles are currently enough to last 62-63 days, and “this volume is putting pressure on market indicators and pushing prices lower.” Well-coordinated efforts by oil exporting countries make it possible to keep the situation in check, the deputy PM added. According to his estimates, it was precisely due to the coordination of the key suppliers that the price of oil has stabilized at $40 per barrel. “We believe this is the result of joint efforts. We support curtailing supplies to the markets, and Russia is taking part in these efforts,” the Vesti TV channel quoted Sechin as saying.

RBC, 12.03.2009, Moscow 18:17:37.Russia is poised to hold a conference in Moscow and invited OPEC representatives to take part and discuss the procedure for setting oil prices, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said during a meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev.

RBC, 12.03.2009, Moscow 17:23:06.Belarus’s Finance Ministry has received another $500m tranche from Russia on its account with the National Bank. The tranche will be added to the country’s gold and foreign exchange reserves, a source in the bank said.

RBC, 12.03.2009, Moscow 16:57:53.Russia’s inflation stood at 0.3 percent between March 3 and 10, at 0.4 percent since the beginning of the month and 4.5 percent since the beginning of the year, the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) reported today. Meanwhile, Russia’s inflation was 0.4 percent in the corresponding period of 2008 and 3.9 percent for the year to date.

RBC, 12.03.2009, Moscow 12:36:17.Russia’s Communications and Mass Media Ministry has drawn a draft government decree on the approval of a plan for the transition of government bodies and budgetary institutions to free software. According to the RBC Daily newspaper, the ministry’s plan provides for bringing the share of free software among the government information system’s components up to 90 percent. However, the decree does not affect federal unitary enterprises and companies partly owned by the state. The document is to be publically discussed, and its priorities changed as a direct result of these impending public discussions.