Now the human drama watch begins; will Putin cave in to the demands of the West to renounce his allies in exchange for the improved relation and the dropping of sanctions?
The European Union, although reliant on Russian oil and gas, says it will never recognize Moscow's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and expects the Kremlin to abide by the Minsk peace deal brokered for eastern Ukraine.
For every one dollar reduction in the price of oil, Russia suffers a staggering two billion dollar loss in its revenue. On top of the economic sanctions slapped on Russia following the annexation of Crimea, one may consider the record Russian oil production of 11.247 mbpd nothing short of a miracle.
Senior U.S. Republican and Democratic senators will introduce legislation on Tuesday seeking to impose a wide range of sanctions on Russia over its cyber activities and actions in Syria and Ukraine.
U.S. and European Union sanctions and a collapse in global oil prices have hurt the Russian economy and starved it of much-needed foreign investment.
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 expected fiscal consolidation and the subdued nature of the recovery are putting in place the conditions for the central bank to resume, in due course, monetary policy easing in a manner consistent with the 4 percent inflation target. However, the pace of easing should take into account the presence of external risks and the need to build credibility under the newly introduced inflation targeting regime.
Russia's oil and gas companies will continue to benefit from the weak rouble while avoiding a major tax hike in 2017, according to a new special report by Fitch Ratings.
Russia is the world's largest producer of crude oil (including lease condensate) and the second-largest producer of dry natural gas. Russia also produces significant amounts of coal. Russia's economy is highly dependent on its hydrocarbons, and oil and natural gas revenues account for more than 40% of the federal budget revenues.
Top Russian producer Rosneft expects the share of hard-to-recover oil production to rise to 11 percent of its total crude output by 2020, from 7 percent this year. Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of state gas producer Gazprom, is raising its share of output of hard-to-recover oil by tapping more reserves at the Messoyakha project and other assets.
The Western sanctions have left Gazprom largely unaffected, including with respect to the execution and extension of existing contracts and the conclusion of new contracts for gas supplies with foreign parties, and have had little bearing on the Company's ongoing activities.
"With regard to the cooperation with Saudi Arabia, the dialogue between our two countries is developing in a tangible way, whether in the framework of a multi-party structure or on a bilateral level," Novak was quoted as saying.
However, in conjunction with both lower oil prices and international sanctions, Russia has recently experienced five consecutive quarters of decline in GDP, representing that country's deepest economic downturn since 2008-09.
Gazprom's Deputy Chief Executive Alexander Medvedev said the BG holdings could be included in an asset swap deal between Gazprom and Shell that was announced last year. He did not say what the BG holdings were or where they were located.
“We remain committed to our strategic investment in Rosneft,” Scott Dean, a company spokesman, said by e-mail, adding that BP complies with all relevant European and U.S. sanctions. “In the low oil-price environment, Rosneft continues to deliver solid operational and financial performance, demonstrating the resilience of its business model.”