#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW – April 17 – Opportunities for the West to hurt the Russian economy are limited, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
Europe cannot stop buying Russian gas without inflicting pain on itself, and if the US tries to lower oil prices, the dollar will suffer.
If the West tries to damage Russia’s influence in the world energy market, efforts will likely backfire, the Russian President said during his twelfth annual televised question and answer session.
To really influence the world oil market a country would need to increase production and cut prices, which currently only Saudi Arabia could afford, Putin said.
The president added he did not expect Saudi Arabia, which has “very kind relations” with Russia, will choose to cut prices, that could also damage its own economy.
If world oil production increases, the price could go down to about $85 per barrel.
“For us the price fall from $90 to $85 per barrel is not critical,” Putin said, adding that for Saudi Arabia it would be more sensitive.
#AceFinanceNews – United States, Russia, Germany, China and France were the major arms suppliers over 2009-2013, goes the newly released report on arms trade by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The countries made up 74% of global weapon exports, with a 56% niche occupied by the US and Russia.
“Russia has maintained high levels of arms exports despite the crisis in its arms industry in the post-cold war period,” said senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Program Siemon Wezeman.
“In 2009-13 Russia delivered major arms to 52 states. Russia’s most significant export in 2013 was that of an aircraft carrier to India.”
Russia has also become a major arms exporter to India with 75%, whereas the US follows with a huge 7% lag, for the first time down to the second place by supplies to India.
“Chinese, Russian and US arms supplies to South Asia are driven by both economic and political considerations,” said Wezeman. “In particular, China and the US appear to be using arms deliveries to Asia to strengthen their influence in the region.”
The report highlights a considerable increase in arms imports by the Arab states of the Gulf — 23% over 2008-2013, with Saudi Arabia up from 18th to 5th place among the major arms importers.
These are largely (45%) exported by the US.
According to SIPRI, Washington has clinched a number of major deals aimed to retain this level further on. For instance, last year the US government for the first time authorized US companies to supply the region with long-range air-launched cruise missiles.