Germany fears having to ‘shut down production’ due to lack of Russian gas
“There is no certain scenario for the future. However, policymakers in Berlin need to avoid repeating the same mistake of thinking that energy shortages will not affect the economy,” Habeck said at the Ostdeutsches Wirtschaftsforum (OWF) economic conference. ) in Bad Saarow recently.
According to Bloomberg, despite the escalation of tensions, Russia has so far complied with the contract to supply gas and pay transit fees to Ukraine. However, the possibility of the two parties continuing to renew the contract after it expires at the end of 2024 is extremely low.
While Berlin claims to have completely abandoned Russian gas imports since January, other EU countries still rely on Moscow to meet their energy needs.
According to Minister Habeck’s explanation, if Austria, Slovakia, Italy and Hungary are cut off from gas supplies, the European Union (EU) will ask Germany for support according to the bloc’s gas sharing rules, and this led to difficulties for the German industrial sector.
According to Habeck, the construction of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals on the Baltic coast is essential for Berlin to be able to import gas from the US and the Middle East. However, local residents and environmental groups have sought to block the construction of these facilities.
The German Economy Minister also advocated alternative energy sources for months after Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine last February.
Gas transit through Ukraine is still the only way for Russia to supply Western and Central European countries after the Nord Stream pipeline was damaged and became inoperable last September.
However, the daily supply of Russian gas to the EU through Ukraine has decreased since May last year and has continued to tighten since early January this year.
According to observers, although Russia’s role as a gas supplier to Europe has decreased significantly, Russian gas resources are still essential to balance supply and demand in the European market for Europe. until the EU strengthens its regasification capacity or until alternative energy sources are put into operation.
Pakistan uses yuan to buy discount Russian oil
The first shipment of Russian discounted crude oil arrived at the port of Karachi under a new agreement signed between Russia and Pakistan earlier this year.
According to Minister Malik, this is the first intergovernmental agreement between Pakistan and Russia, including 100,000 tons of crude oil, of which 45,000 tons have arrived at Karachi port and the rest are on the way.
While not disclosing details of the deal such as the price or the discount Pakistan received, Pakistan’s oil minister said the payment was made in China’s local currency.
According to previous reports, Pakistan agreed to a price of about 50-52 USD/barrel of Russian crude.
Pakistan is currently grappling with severe energy shortages, while global oil and gas prices are soaring. Last year, the country imported 154,000 barrels of oil per day, 80% of which came from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Gulf states.
According to Minister Malik, Pakistan Refining Company Limited (PRL) will initially refine Russian crude oil.
“In any case, the refining of crude oil from Russia will not be at a loss. We are extremely sure that this will be commercially viable,” the minister stressed.
The agreement was made as part of an effort to diversify Russia’s exports to non-European countries after the country received a series of sanctions from the European Union (EU) and a group of seven leading industries in the world. gender (G7).
At the beginning of December last year, G7 and its partners announced the implementation of a ceiling price of 60 USD/barrel for Russian crude oil transported by sea.
This has led Moscow to redirect its oil flows to countries like India and China, and negotiate payments in currencies other than USD. Due to the sanctions policy, Russian banks are excluded from Western financial systems, such as the international payment system SWIFT.
The percentage of Russian exports paid for in yuan increased after the war in Ukraine broke out. Russian exporters are now stepping up to accept payments in yuan, business loans and people’s savings are also made in this currency.
Earning huge profits, Russian billionaires promote domestic investment
The wealth of many Russian billionaires is still increasing strongly despite being subjected to a series of heavy sanctions from the West. The five billionaires in the oil, nickel and fertilizer industries are the biggest earners, each receiving about $10 billion in dividends since the start of 2022, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
For billionaires in the energy sector such as the founder of Oil and Gas Company Lukoil – Mr. Vagit Alekperov; Novatek Gas head Leonid Mikhelson, and Volga Group Energy Investment company owner Gennady Timchenko benefit from soaring energy prices after Western restrictions imposed a series of restrictions. up Russia.
Novatek, Russia’s largest liquefied natural gas producer, paid its shareholders the highest dividend in its history, while Lukoil PJSC made the second largest payout.
Billionaire Andrey Guryev’s Phosagro fertilizer maker PJSC also posted its biggest profit ever last year after Western sanctions disrupted logistics causing production shortages. products and drive up market prices.
Promote domestic investment
Recently, speaking at a meeting with leading Russian billionaires and businessmen on March 16, for the first time since the war in Ukraine took place, Russian President Vladimit Putin called on Russian billionaires to put patriotism above profit, increasing domestic investment to shore up the economy against Western sanctions.
Billionaire Vagit Alekperov, co-founder of Lukoil PJSC, Russia’s second-largest oil producer, is currently bidding to buy a 51% stake in Yandex, Russia’s largest internet company, recording a major investment in tycoon outside the oil industry.
Another example is billionaire Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s richest man and the largest shareholder of mining giant MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC. This tycoon broke into the financial sector when he bought a 35% stake in TCS Group Holding Plc, also known as Tinkoff Bank, one of Russia’s leading fintech companies.
Besides, this billionaire also bought Rosbank from Societe Generale and is also planning to buy shares of Yandex with billionaire Alekperov and others.
Sanctions have spurred them to invest unexpected profits in local businesses. According to Bloomberg, this shows that Russian billionaires are adjusting to sanctions.
More cryptocurrency exchanges sued by the SEC, is the cryptocurrency market still ‘steady’?
According to the SEC’s lawsuit filed in New York federal court on the morning of June 6, Coinbase’s leading brokerage, exchange and staking programs violated securities laws. The company “for years has defied regulatory structures and evaded disclosure requirements” of US securities laws.
The SEC alleges that at least 13 crypto assets available to Coinbase customers have been deemed “crypto asset securities” by the regulator. Those assets include the Solana token (SOL), the Cardano token, and the Filecoin token.
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said in a statement: “We allege that Coinbase, although subject to securities laws, provided exchange, broker-dealer, and clearinghouse functions. unlawfully”.
In response, Coinbase chief legal officer Paul Grewal stated, “The SEC’s reliance on an enforcement-only approach in the absence of clear rules for the digital asset industry is hurting competitiveness. economy and companies like Coinbase have demonstrated a commitment to compliance.”
Mr. Paul also confirmed Coinbase will continue to do business as usual while waiting for new developments.
Previously, on June 5, the cryptocurrency market was “flushed” by the news that the SEC sued the Binance exchange and billionaire operator Changpeng Zhao for “fraud” and taking advantage of customer funds. The crypto market also witnessed a significant decline in the prices of some major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), BNB (Binance’s digital currency).
Surprisingly, the market seems to have regained balance quickly and without much volatility in the wake of the news that Coinbase was sued by the SEC.
The cryptocurrency price recovered on June 6, with BTC up nearly 6% to return to the $27,000 mark, after plunging to $25,400 on June 5. ETH, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, also rallied 4.5% below the $1,900 mark.
ADA and SOL, the tokens of the smart contract platforms Cardano and Solana, have recently gained more than 1% on a daily basis after falling more than 8% and 10% respectively on June 5. Binance’s native token BNB also quickly returned to the positive zone just 1 day after the drop.
Another welcome sign is that the SEC has avoided mentioning BTC and ETH in its filings against Binance and Coinbase, a sign that reassures investors that US regulators treat both tokens as commodities.
In a market report, senior market analyst Edward Moya at exchange Oanda, wrote that the SEC’s “suppression” of crypto exchanges could benefit Bitcoin.