Working meeting between Vladimir Putin and Murmansk Region Governor Marina Kovtun

Putin and Kovtun

On 12 January Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Murmansk Region Governor Marina Kovtun, who briefed the President on the region’s socioeconomic situation and large investment and environmental projects. 

Marina Kovtun has briefed the President on the current situation in Murmansk region. She underlined that social and economic development in the area is stable. She added that there is a positive dynamics in several sectors. According to the governor, regional GDP in 2016 increased by 0,4 percent. Public debts are down, and the region’s 2017 budget is the first in many years without a deficit. 

«More than 7,000 new jobs will be created», she said and highlighted plans projected by Novatek and Rosneft. According to the governor, Novatek will in 2017 start an active phase in development of a center for construction of modules for offshore LNG plants. Rosneft is also expected in 2017 to start an active implementation phase of its projects on development of a coastal supply base for shelf

Working meeting with Murmansk Region Governor Marina Kovtun. Photo:

projects. The overall investments planned by Rosneft in the region amount to an estimated 120 billion rubles by year 2030, while Novatek plans to invest 25 billion rubles, the governor told President Putin.

Last time Kovtun met with the President was in October 2015. Also then, Arctic developments and regional oil and gas developments were high on the agenda. 

The transcript of the meeting in available on the Kremlin's website:

The Arctic — Territory of Dialogue International Forum to be held to be held in Arkhangelsk on 29-30 March 2017

Arctic Forum 2017 Arkhangelsk

Russia will host the 4th International Arctic Forum, the theme for which is "The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue" at the Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Archangelsk. 

The ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ 4th International Arctic Forum Exhibition is a professional platform for presenting Arctic projects, engaging in constructive dialogue, sharing experience, identifying solutions, and consolidating the efforts of the scientific community, business, government, and civil society, with the aim of developing the Arctic carefully and responsibly.

The decision about this international Arctic Forum was announced by the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin at the conference International Cooperation in the Arctic: New Challenges and Vectors of Development. 

"We've decided to hold the Arctic — Territory of Dialogue International Forum in Arkhangelsk on March 29-30, 2017. The forum is traditionally attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin," the Deputy Prime Minister said. It is not coincidence that the two-day event will take place in Arkhangelsk, located near the White Sea in Russia’s northwestern Arctic corner. The event receives direct support from the Government of the Russian Federation. 

Exciting news from Fiskerstrand - NRCC member company: 

Fiskerstrand Hydrogen-ferge  MM design

Fiskerstrand vil bli verdens første til å bygge en hydrogendrevet bil- og passasjerferge - Fiskerstrand will become the world's first to build a hydrogen-powered car and passenger ferry.

Download the full article (in Norwegian) by clicking on the link.


Merry Chrismas and a Happy New Year 2017!

ffFrom all of the NRCC team, we wish you a joyful holiday season and a New Year filled with peace and happiness! We look forward to seeing you all next year!

Please download here the latest issue of the Norwegian-Russian Business Journal №3 2016. We wish you good reading during Christmas. 

Season's greetings from the NRCC.


Saudi, Russia, OPEC and Oil

We offer to your attention a summary of the key issues which are more likely to drive the oil price in 2017, prepared by Chris Weafer, Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory Ltd in Moscow.
  • The verbal/political support for the production deal by OPEC and Russia should be enough to support the price of Brent crude close to $55 p/bbl over the winter and early spring. 
  • There is no reason to expect the price to spike much higher because of the prospect for increased US shale volumes if oil averages above $55 p/bbl. The evidence of compliance is more likely to disappoint the market in Q2.
  • The greater risk is for the price to drop back to $50 p/bbl (or high $40s p/bbl) in Q2 or early summer, if (either) Libya delivers on its production plans, Nigeria fixes the damaged infrastructure, US shale output rises steadily or Russia misses its promised target cuts.
  • But the risk of a drop to mid or low $40’s p/bbl is probably now gone because of the greater willingness of Saudi Arabia to take action to prop the price if/when required. 

Article by Chris Weafer, Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory Ltd in Moscow, published on on 19 December 2016

weafer Photo 13

Oil price and ruble exchange rate to determine Russian asset prices in 2017

Coming into the last weeks of 2016 Russian equities have been the star performer amongst the major global asset categories. Over the year to December 15 the ruble denominated MICEX Index rose 26.7%. That compared with a gain of 8.2% for the MSCI EM Index. The dollar denominated RDX (Russian DR) Index is up a much more impressive 51.1% in the same period.

Optimism is also very high that Russian equity indices will also be the best performers through 2017 as evidenced by the fact that EPFR-tracked Russia-focused equity funds attracted $451mn in the week to December 14 – the highest weekly inflow since the first quarter of 2011, while the largest Russia ETF saw its asset value rise 33% through a mixture of price appreciation and new subscriptions.

But what are investors actually betting on over the next six to 12 months? What are they assuming will happen to drive asset prices higher?

Politics always looms large in terms of investment risk. As a very unusual year ends, the international headlines continue to be very mixed concerning Russia. The leadership changes in the US and those now happening and expected across the EU should lead to a less confrontational relationship between the Kremlin and the West than has been the case since 2013. President-elect Donald Trump is a black-box when it comes to geopolitics, but at least he promises to start with a more pragmatic stance towards Moscow than has been the case with the Obama White House. It is of course well understood that President Trump will be restrained in what he can actually do, because he will have to deal with a Congress that remains very hostile to Russia. But a willingness to engage and to take into account Moscow’s core interests is a big improvement from what we have or could have had if Clinton had won. 

Russian Economic Developments - №12 - 2016

12.2016 cover.engExperts of Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy present a survey "Russian Economic Developments" №12, 2016. 

Core themes of the issue:

- The main areas of monetary policy: price stability, resistance to shocks;

- The execution of the federal budget for January–October 2016: shrinkage of the oil and gas deficit;

- Regional budgets: at the end of tether;

- The real sector: factors and trends;

- Russian industry in October 2016: cautious optimism inspired by sales;

- Oil market: low prices retained;

- The implications of tax maneuver: production of oil and petrochemicals;

- Growth of the retail bank deposits has slowed down, however cash savings trend remains;

- Migration in Russia: old trends and new problems;

- Russian institutional investors and privatization policy.

Download Russian Economic Developments - №12 - 2016 


The aim of the NRCC is to stimulate and improve business relations between Norwegian and Russian companies regarding import, export, shipping, business development, tourism or investment activities. More...


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