Russian News: June 25th, 2008!

RBC, 25.06.2008, Moscow 09:32:22.Russia does not rule out that Lithuania and the USA could be engaged in unofficial talks to deploy missile defense systems in the Baltic state, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was cited by the Vesti channel as saying. This is partly confirmed by the fact that Russia has not yet received any official response from the USA to its query regarding possible negotiations with Lithuania. However, the US has said that as the talks with Poland were progressing slowly, it was considering some other options. According to Lavrov, Russia is concerned with the missile defense system in Eastern Europe as a whole, rather than in Lithuania in particular.

RBC, 24.06.2008, Moscow 19:35:44.Russia could set its export duty on oil at $490-$495 per tonne in August 2008, RBC was told by the head of the Russian Financial Ministry’s customs payments department, Alexander Sakovich. Therefore, according to the official’s projections, the duty on light refined oil products will amount to about $340 per tonne, and $185 per tonne on heavy oil products. This forecast is feasible if the average Urals crude oil price fluctuates between $122 and $1223 per barrel for the remainder of the monitoring period (until the end of June). The price of Urals stood at $105-$113 per barrel during the previous monitoring period (before the June-July duty was set).

RBC, 24.06.2008, Moscow 17:40:10.During today’s budget committee meeting, Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin set the objective of bringing the rate of inflation down to one-digit figures over the next few years. The budget, as one of the key instruments for achieving macroeconomic stability, is essential for attaining this goal, Putin noted. Amid growing uncertainty in the global economy, Russia must be ready for any development, negative or positive, on foreign markets, the PM stressed. He added that Russia’s budget policy needed to be aimed at resolving the country’s social and economic problems.

RBC, 24.06.2008, Moscow 11:59:10.Gazprom is looking into the possibility of constructing a liquefied natural gas plant and a gas and chemical complex in Primorsky Krai, the energy holding said in a statement prepared for a press conference by Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of Gazprom’s Management Committee. The projects could be made feasible by the potential creation of a gas transportation system consisting of the Sakhalin-Vladivostok-Yakutia and the Yakutia-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipelines.