By Emre Gürkan Abay
Russia Letter – Week beginning June 20

- Russia starts the week positively

Russian markets entered the new week with positive signals, as oil prices once again increased above $50 per barrel, and with heightened expectations that Britain will stay in the European Union after its referendum this week.

While oil prices continue to be the major driver of the Russian economy, figures announced on Monday indicate that the crisis in the country still lingers.

According to Russian Federal Statistics Services, real disposable income in May this year decreased annually by 5.7 percent. In May the amount of unemployed increased by 0.3 percent compared to May 2015 leaving the unemployment rate in the country at 5.6 percent with 4.3 million people.

Retail sales revenues have also declined by 6.1 percent to 2.2 trillion rubles in May this year, compared to the same period last year.

- St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

The most important event of last week was the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which ran for three days.

The forum hosted many important figures from Western countries, such the Head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, as well as the head of U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil.

The attendance of such high profile Western figures signals an easing of sanctions against Russia in 2017.

- Putin to visit China

This week the most anticipated development will be Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China.

During the last three years, Russia and China has strengthened their relations particularly in the energy field. According to Russian media, a total of 30 new bilateral agreements are set to be signed during this week’s visit.


21 Jun,2016