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News // Economy

No time to relax on the economy, Russia says

09 July 2018 , 00:05Daniel J. GraeberNeftegaz.RU524

2 weeks after helping secure a new arrangement with OPEC, Russian President Putin said the economy was stable, but exposed to external risks.


Russia is party to a committee monitoring compliance with a production agreement coordinated by the OPEC and the largest non-member state contributor. Seated next to Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih in Vienna last month, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Russia could add about 175,000 barrels of oil per day to the market in the 2nd half of the year.


OPEC leaders said they would ease compliance with voluntary production cuts in order to offset looming and actual supply deficits in the latter half of the year. Trading at around $75 per barrel for Urals, the Russian benchmark for the price of oil, the extra volume referenced by Novak would fetch $13.1 million per day.


«I would like to note that in the first five months of this year the macro-economic situation has been generally stable,» Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a Kremlin meeting Thursday. «Positive trends are being posted in key areas.»

Putin meets in 10 days with U.S. President Donald Trump. U.S. sanctions on Russia, imposed in part because of crises in Ukraine, extend to the country's oil and gas companies. U.S. efforts in Eastern Europe and in Asia, meanwhile, reach into the natural gas sector in a tacit challenge to Russia's regional influence.


Russia's economy lingered in recession in 2016 and the national currency, the ruble, declined in value after crude oil prices dipped below $30 per barrel. In June, however, the Central Bank of Russia maintained its key rate at 7.25 % per year, adding it wasn't concerned about volatility in the price of oil.


Crude oil prices have been fluid this year, trading in a range of around $62 per barrel to $80 per barrel for Brent, the global benchmark for the price of oil. Brent was trading near $77 per barrel on July 6. Crude oil prices have been volatile on concerns about the lack of supply and fears of a global trade war.


«It is obvious that we are still facing system-wide problems and complications related to the structural specificities of our economy and the impact of external factors,» Putin said. «No doubt, we should not relax because of the current positive trends

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