Russian News: November 27th, 2008!

RBC, 27.11.2008, Moscow.Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has arrived in Venezuela on a first visit in more than 150 years of relations. Opening the Russian-Venezuelan talks, Medvedev announced that he considered Latin American countries to be Russia’s friends enjoying “privileged relations.”

RBC, 27.11.2008, Moscow.Russian shares were rising steadily at the opening today. Around 10:45 a.m. on MICEX, Gazprom and Rosneft climbed 4.5 percent each, and LUKoil gained 3.8 percent. The MICEX index was up 3 percent at 607 points. On the RTS, LUKoil increased 1.6 percent. Federal Grid Company was among the best performers on both trading floors, having soared 12 percent on MICEX and 21 percent on the RTS.

RBC, 27.11.2008, Moscow.Russia and Venezuela have agreed to use national currencies – rubles and bolivares – in bilateral trade and even discussed the possibility of creating reserves in national currencies, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was cited by the Mayak radio station as saying after talks with his Venezuelan counterpart in the country’s capital Caracas today. The Russian leader also noted that Russian-Venezuelan cooperation was not directed against other countries. He also pointed out that Russia might join the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), the international organization aiming for integration between the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Russia is ready to discuss membership in the ALBA, probably as an associate member or in some other status, if it is good for Latin American countries and consistent with the idea of a multipolar world.

RBC, 27.11.2008, Moscow.Most Russians (72 percent) approve of President Dmitry Medvedev’s initiative to increase the controlling powers of the State Duma, obliging the government to report to it on an annual basis, a poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center showed. Roughly two thirds of Russians (68 percent) welcome the president’s suggestion on legislation ensuring media coverage of the State Duma parties’ work. Similarly, 62 percent of Russians approve of the initiative entitling local legislatures to remove mayors from office. However, a mere 30 percent of Russians approve of the move reducing the number of signatures required by parties to take part in State Duma elections.

RBC, 27.11.2008, Moscow.At the close of today’s special dollar trading session for tomorrow deals, the U.S. currency’s exchange rate rose RUB 0.05 to 27.41 RUB/USD. Thanksgiving Day celebrated in the United States today calmed down speculative moods on the Russian market, where commercial bank activity was low today. The trade volume stood at USD 3bn as of 1 p.m. The stabilization of oil prices at USD 50 per barrel and the 6-percent rise on the stock market eased negative expectations of the ruble’s fall, experts point out.

RBC, 27.11.2008, Moscow.The Bank of Russia has deposited roughly RUB 1.2 trillion (approx. USD 43.9bn) with commercial banks, Deputy PM and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told a briefing following today’s cabinet meeting. He noted that the Central Bank had increased the maximum amount of uncommitted funds it could deposit to RUB 3.5 trillion (approx. USD 127.9bn). The minister also reiterated that the maximum amount that the Finance Ministry could place had been reduced from RUB 1.5 trillion (approx. USD 54.8bn) to RUB 400bn (approx. USD 14.6bn), “as the Central Bank has taken on the main part of the burden.”