RUSSIA SANCTIONS FOREVER
REUTERS - The U.S. government is to check if sanctions where violated when Russia this week struck a deal to sell a stake in oil producer Rosneft to a consortium of Qatar's sovereign fund and commodities trader Glencore, the White House said.
"The experts at the Department of Treasury that are responsible for constructing and enforcing the sanctions regime will carefully look at a transaction like this," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Thursday.
"They'll look at the terms of the deal and evaluate what impact sanctions would have on it," he told a briefing in Washington.
The Kremlin has presented the $11.3 billion deal as a major coup which demonstrates that for foreign investors the lure of Russia's oil sector outweighs the risks associated with sanctions and Moscow's stand-off with the West.
State-owned Rosneft is one of the Russian entities covered by U.S. sanctions, which were imposed after Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014 and aided separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Russian officials say that the deal is not directly affected by sanctions, because the income from the sale will go to the Russian state, not to Rosneft itself.
Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo is expected to provide Qatar's sovereign wealth fund and Glencore with a large chunk of the financing for the acquisition.
|September, 20, 09:05:00|
|September, 20, 09:00:00|
|September, 20, 08:55:00|
|September, 20, 08:50:00|
|September, 20, 08:45:00|
|September, 20, 08:40:00|
BP and its partners in Azerbaijan's giant ACG oil production complex agreed Thursday to extend the production sharing contract by 25 years to 2049 and to increase the stake of state-owned SOCAR, reducing the size of their own shares.
The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $123.1 billion (preliminary) in the second quarter of 2017 from $113.5 billion (revised) in the first quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit increased to 2.6 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.4 percent in the first quarter.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were trading up 41 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $50.30 by 0852 GMT, near the three-month high of $50.50 it reached last Thursday. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the benchmark for oil prices outside the United States, were at $55.91 a barrel, up 29 cents, and also not far from the near five-month high of $55.99 touched on Thursday.
“The principal risk regarding Russian and Chinese activities in Venezuela in the near term is that they will exploit the unfolding crisis, including the effect of US sanctions, to deepen their control over Venezuela’s resources, and their [financial] leverage over the country as an anti-US political and military partner,” observed R. Evan Ellis, a senior associate in the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Americas Program.