Russian News: June 3rd, 2008!

RBC, 03.06.2008, Moscow 09:55:16.Gazprom has offered to Azerbaijan to buy the republic’s natural gas at market prices on the basis of a long-term agreement, the Russian gas giant’s press office reported, citing CEO Alexei Miller’s statement during a meeting with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev as part of his working visit to the republic. Miller noted that Russia and Azerbaijan had common interests and, being linked by a versatile pipeline infrastructure, were poised to develop mutually beneficial energy cooperation.

RBC, 03.06.2008, Riyadh 09:28:47.Russia expects to make maximum progress in its WTO talks with Saudi Arabia, a source at the Russian delegation participating in the accession talks in Riyadh told reporters. The source said the delegation was set to resolve any outstanding issues and that a possibility was not ruled out that an agreement would be reached in Riyadh. Working meetings began on Monday. Russian Deputy PM and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin will be joining the delegation today.

RBC, 02.06.2008, Kiev 19:34:09.Ukraine’s gas transit to Europe reached a historic high of 55.7bn cubic meters, up 26 percent, or 11.5bn cubic meters in the first five months of 2008 compared with the same period in 2007, Ukrtransgaz, Naftogaz of Ukraine’s subsidiary and the operator of Ukraine’s gas transportation system, reported today. The rise is linked to Gazprom’s increased exports to Europe in order to accommodate the growing demand for natural gas in the European countries.

RBC, 02.06.2008, Moscow 18:26:23.The Russian economy will not be affected by a possible cut in investment that could result from restrictions on foreign investment in strategic industries, Russia’s Deputy PM and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told journalists following today’s government board meeting. He said that he considered the list of industries where the restrictions will be applied to be too long, adding, however, that it was his personal opinion. The restrictions could be lifted in some of the industries in the future, Kudrin noted. At the same time, the document is very clear and brings unwritten procedures in line with legislation, Kudrin stated. He also voiced the opinion that the new restrictions would not prevent Russia from attracting enough foreign investors.

RBC, 02.06.2008, Moscow 13:32:53.Over three hours into today’s special dollar trading session for tomorrow deals, the low on deals stood at 23.6955 RUB/USD, almost RUB 0.06, or 0.25 percent, below the official rate set by the Bank of Russia for tomorrow. As a result of the dollar’s decrease, the spread on deals has broadened to just shy of RUB 0.07. The ruble’s unremitting rise against the dollar on the domestic market can be traced to the euro’s continued appreciation against the dollar on international exchanges, where the euro is now trading at nearly USD 1.5555, up from some USD 1.5520 at midday.

RBC, 02.06.2008, Moscow 12:55:57.Russia and Greece plan to launch joint construction and renovation of industrial and energy facilities in third-party countries, Agriculture Minister and co-chairman of the Russian-Greek intergovernmental commission Alexei Gordeyev said today. He noted that the two countries had established political and economic cooperation, and had no serious disagreements in this respect. He added that Russia would seek to export more high-tech products, machinery, and hardware to Greece. The two countries intend to boost direct mutual investments, as well as to promote industrial, scientific, and technological cooperation. Gordeyev added that Greek investors could be attracted to the construction of Olympic facilities in Sochi.

RBC, 02.06.2008, Moscow 10:58:24.Onexim Group, owned by Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov, has made an offer to Polyus Gold to buy out a 6.54-percent stake held by Jenington International Inc., the Russian group’s press office told RBC today. The offer will be valid until 6 p.m. Friday June 6.