Photo: Sergey Donskoy and Monica Meland

OSLO, November 28. /TASS/. Moscow and Oslo plan to sign several new agreements in different spheres at the upcoming session of the inter-governmental commission on economic, industrial and scientific & technical cooperation in the spring of 2017, Russia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergey Donskoy told TASS on Monday.

"In the second half of April (in 2017), the session of the commission should take place with participation of the Norwegian minister. I hope that we will prepare all necessary proposals by that time. We plan to sign several agreements — in the spheres of scientific & technical cooperation, regional cooperation, energy," Donskoy said after the meeting with Norway’s Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland on 28 November 2016 in Oslo.

The ministers, who are also co-chairs of the inter-governmental commission, agreed to resume sessions that have not been held since June 2013 due to cooling relations between Russia and the West. Mæland said that Norway is interested in resuming political dialogue with Russia on issues of trade and economic cooperation and wants to maintain good neighborly relations with Russia. “The meeting with the Minister Donskoy was constructive and positive," noted Monica Mæland. 

"At the meeting with Mæland, we discussed what has been done since 2014 at the level of commission’s working groups. We also continue to cooperate with Norway in the sphere of oil & gas. Lukoil and Rosneft that are working on the shelf here, have continued their operations throughout all this time. Other Russian companies are also considering the potential of Norwegian shelf," Donskoy said.

"In general, we stressed that many questions have been accumulated that need to be resolved, along with spheres that need to be developed," he noted. "The emphasis was made on overcoming the decrease in Russian-Norwegian trade turnover. Resolutions are needed to re-launch old spheres and start developing new spheres. Today, for instance, it was proposed to develop pharmaceuticals," the Russian minister added.

In January-September 2016, the volume of Russian-Norwegian trade turnover decreased by 6.3% in comparison with the same period of 2015, and reached $876.9 million. In 2013, before Norway joined the regime of European Union’s sanctions against Russia which prompted Moscow to introduce counter-sanctions, the bilateral trade turnover exceeded $3 billion. The volume of exports of Norwegian fish to Russia was worth $1.06 billion in 2013.

Read full article in English at 

An article contributed to today, November 9th, by Chris Weafer, Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory Ltd in Moscow

weafer Photo 13

What does a Trump Presidency mean for Russia?

Finally, the most divisive and disruptive election in modern US history is over. Donald Trump will occupy the White House for at least the next four years, starting in late January. The question that many in Russia and those who have, or are considering investing in Russia, are asking is what does a Trump president actually mean for Russia risk? The perception widely held before the election is that Trump would have a friendlier disposition towards Russia and President Putin personally and that he “could do business with him”. The extension of that being that Trump would be good for Russia and for investors in Russia. But, is that assumption overly naïve, i.e. the default assumption in a bitterly contested election, or can both countries now enter a new friendlier phase?

There is no doubt that Russia, in particular the perception of Russia in the western media, has suffered considerable collateral damage during the latter part of the US presidential election. The Kremlin was all but accused by US security agencies of hacking into the Democrats email system and that translated as an indisputable fact in the media. President Putin was vilified as deliberately interfering in the election process. The reality is that no matter what Trump may personally want, it will not be easy to simply suppress all that bad feeling and pretend it never happened. The relationship between Washington and Moscow is today as bad as it has ever been since the end of the Soviet Union. Many people believe that the two sides are close to entering a new Cold War while others now accept that to be already the case.  

So let’s assume that President Trump will, at least initially, be more open to rebuilding a better relationship with President Putin. What can he actually do to make that happen? 

Norwegian-Russian Business Journal №2, 2016 (in English with Russian summaries)

NRBJ nr2 2016 coverThe Norwegian-Russian Business Journal is the journal for NRCC members, where subjects of relevance to the economic cooperation between Russia and Norway are discussed.  

The latest issue was published in October 2016 and contains articles about activities of NRCC and its member companies, recent developments and updates on Russian and Norwegian markets and relevant news from Norwegian and Russian business communities. This issue's "Economy and Trade" section contains the latest statistical evaluations of the Norwegian-Russian  trade volume for the period January-June 2016. Evaluations show the share of the largest product group in export / import volume between the two countries.

Among other interesting articles, you can find interviews with Liv Monica Stubholt, Chair of the Board of the Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce, Ole Andreas Lindeman, Norway's Consul General in Murmansk, Lars Georg Fordal, newly appointed Head of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, and Arild Moe, Senior Research Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute of Oslo. A separate section of the journal covers current status of Norwegian academic cooperation with Russia, while others feature cooperation in aquaculture and oil & gas industry sectors. 

Please download here Business Journal in pdf format

V Norwegian-Russian Business Forum was organised in Oslo on 26 October

Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce (NRCC) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (CCI of Russia) thank all the participants of the V Norwegian-Russian Business Forum (V NRBF) held on 26 October in Oslo! The event gathered 240 representatives of Russian and Norwegian companies and organizations, as well as public officials from both countries.

This is the 5th consecutive NRBF that has been organised. NRBF is a unique framework for discussing the most important issues of the Norwegian-Russian business cooperation with participation of authorities and business representatives. It is the leading business arena where Norwegian and Russian companies and organizations can present their projects, exchange experiences, meet partners and establish contacts. 

Norwegian and Russian representatives from government institutions oficially opened the Forum, followed up by interventions by high-level business experts from Norway and Russia. At the end of each parallel session participants took part in lively panel discussions with the speakers of the Forum.  

Russian Economic Developments - №10 - 2016

10.2016-cover.engExperts of Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy present a survey "Russian Economic Developments" №10, 2016. 

Core themes of the issue:

- Reversing the slump. Macroeconomic forecast for 2016-2018

- Rates, risks and M2: factors affecting the rate of inflation

- Dynamics of bad debts: has peak been reached?

- Prices on gasoline in Russia and abroad: comparative analysis

- Free trade zone between Eurasian Economic Union and Socialist Republic of Vietnam comes into force

- The review of legislative initiatives as regards taxation issues in Q2 2016

Download Russian Economic Developments - №10 - 2016 

Russia Macro monthly report by Chris Weafer, Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory Ltd in Moscow

weafer Photo 13

Are hopes for higher oil price wishful thinking or the new reality?

The World Energy Congress is currently taking place in Istanbul (10-13 October). President Putin is expected to attend the opening day session and is expected to give verbal support to the notion of an oil production freeze. This may provide some additional short-term oil price support. But Russia will not/cannot commit to a reduction in oil output. Neither will the Iranians and most other OPEC producers. That burden can only fall to the Saudi and, to a lesser extent, the UAE and Kuwait. In reality, the notion of a cut mostly shouldered by Saudi Arabia is a non-starter while a production freeze can, at best, only support the price of Brent at around US$50 per barrel. That is because any higher price will see the return of some of the 500,000 barrels of US shale oil which has been cut since late last year and make it easier for Iran to attract some of the billions of dollars it now needs to boost oil output further.

Russia breakfast meeting with Helge Blakkisrud was held on 26 September

Norwegian-Russian Chamber of Commerce (NRCC) and Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) had a pleasure to invite their members to Russia Breakfast Meeting with Helge Blakkisrud, Senior Research Fellow, Head of the Research group on Russia, Eurasia and the Arctic at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. The meeting took place at NHO facilities.

The topic of the meeting was "Duma elections in Russia 2016: Results and Consequences". The Russian Federation held its elections for the seventh convocation of the State Duma, its lower house of parliament, on 18 September. Only four political parties managed to win seats in the Duma, among them pro-Kremlin political party United Russia (54,2%), The Communist Party (13,3%), far-right Liberal Democratic Party (13,1%), and A Fair Russia party (6,2%). The results significantly strengthen the United Russia's dominance in the Duma and reinforce President Putin’s position ahead of the 2018 presidential elections. Less than a half of Russia's registered voters turned up at polling station in this election.

Helge Blakkisrud discussed the electoral system in Russia and the results of the recent parliamentary elections. He also outlined possible impacts of the elections' results on Russia's political system.

We thank all the participants in the meeting for the interactive communication.

Watch video recording from the meeting (please note that only NRCC members with activated accounts on the NRCC website can access the video recording).

NRCC administration.  

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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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