By Emre G├╝rkan Abay
Russia letter, April 3

 - Russian economy finally out of recession after two years

Russian Federal Statistical Services (Rosstat) data revealed that after a tiresome two years of economic recession, Russia’s data is back to positive figures.

According to Rosstat, the Russian economy grew by 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2016. The agency also confirmed that the country’s economy shrank by 0.2 percent in yearly terms last year.

The country’s economy is showing signs of revival from troublesome times caused by low oil prices and the imposition of Western sanctions due to its annexation of Crimea and activities in Eastern Ukraine.

While it is too early for ordinary Russians to feel this recovery yet, the major international rating agencies also confirmed that the Russian economy is on the right path, and they have revised the country’s outlook in recent weeks reflecting this optimism.

Thanks to the oil output cut agreement with OPEC during the last week of 2016, the ensuing increased, or at least more stable oil prices continue to help this recovery.

Other data announced last week, which supports the idea that the Russian economy is recovering, was the budget deficit, which decreased by 31 percent to 58 billion rubles in the first two months of this year, compared to 2016. In addition, the decrease in the country’s foreign debt also helped, with a drop of 1.1 percent to $513 billion in 2016, compared to 2015.


-Russia eyes the Arctic

Russia’s interest in the resource-rich Arctic is growing day-by-day. During his speech in Russia’s northern city of Arhangelsk, entitled The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue, the country’s President Vladimir Putin also elaborated on the opportunities that lay in the region.

Confirming that the Arctic is a place with massive economic opportunities, Putin also underlined that Russia would not want a conflict on the distribution of these “riches.”

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a total of 13 percent of all undiscovered oil reserves as well as 30 percent of all undiscovered global natural gas reserves are located in the Arctic.

03 Apr,2017