Russia Letter – Moscow week beginning April 12
- Hopes high for Doha meeting
Russian markets have perceived the upward direction in oil prices positively. As of Tuesday morning, the Russian ruble decreased to 66.7 against the dollar.
Russian experts stress that the there is great anticipation in Russian markets regarding the Doha meeting on April 17 which will gather the energy and oil ministers of many producing countries including Saudi Arabia, Russia and Qatar. The markets are anticipating an agreement on oil production levels, in the hope of increasing oil prices.
- Signals for Turkish business in Russia
Meanwhile, Maria Zaharova, the Russian spokeswoman for the country’s Foreign Ministry, gave some positive signals towards Turkish businesses operating in Russia.
Underlining that Russian officials do not have an agenda to pressure Turkish businesses operating in Russia, Zaharova added that they also do not have any intention of “pushing” Turkish businesses out of Russia.
However, many problems still remain for Turkish businesses with the hiring of Turkish employees as well as long delays on Turkish products waiting at Russia’s customs.
- World Bank pessimistic on Russian economy
The World Bank’s report on the Russian economy had a significant influence last week. The bank downgraded its growth forecasts to a contraction in gross domestic product of 1.9 percent this year.
The Bank noted that Russian poverty rates will return to 2007 levels this year if the economy continues to contract and if inflation reduces people's purchasing power. The bank also noted that serious structural reforms to ensure sustainable economic growth in Russia, were unlikely to take place before the 2018 presidential election.
- Putin dismisses “Panama Papers”
Finally, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the leaked “Panama Papers” for the first time.
He asserted that the leak aims to destabilize Russia, and said the easiest way to do so was to “induce some mistrust in authorities within society."