December 31st, 2016

Happy New Year!

img_4232Dear Friends and Readers!

Committee for Russian Economic Freedom wishes you a Happy New Year!
We wish you and your families well-being and prosperity, peace and joy! Let the year 2017 bring to every home only good news, and let us leave all the sad ones in the past.

In today’s changing world our organization is not going to fall behind life. Within the nearest future we are preparing to change our name and to present you with the two completely new projects: summer history school and immigrants’ support service. All further details are to be announced shortly, please follow us into the New Year!

Happy New 2017 Year!

Pavel Ivlev, Chairman
Committee for Russian Economic Freedom 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

21 Oct 2016

We Can Go Screw Ourselves

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Picture by svobodnoslovo.eu

Economic sanctions imposed by the West on Putin’s friends and their enterprises, as well as on the most sensitive sectors of the Russian economy—the oil and gas industries and the capital market—have been in effect for more than two years. These measures, however, have failed to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty over the Donbass and Crimea, or to make the Russian military admit its obvious guilt in the crash of the Malaysian Airlines plane. Russian citizens, intoxicated by Kremlin propaganda, do not seem to be interested in the reasons behind the lack of accessible credits, the rise in prices, and the freezing of pension savings, but continue to largely support the aggressive international policy of their presumptuous rulers. So what is the result of the renowned Western sanctions?

In two and a half years, Russia has lost a considerable amount of foreign investments that the country was supposed to receive, and was forced to suspend indefinitely the exploration of new oil and gas fields due to the ban on the import of technologies and equipment. Both factors will continue to have a negative effect on the revenues of the Russian budget. Putin’s economic advisers—the market-oriented Aleksei Kudrin and the anti-market Sergei Glaziyev — both evaluate Russia’s losses resulting from the annexation of Crimea and the introduction of sanctions at no less than $200 billion. According to other experts, the largest part of these losses amounting to $170 billion was caused by Western sanctions. >> Read more

12 Oct 2016

Privatization, Sechin-style

Igor Sechin. Photo by Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters

Igor Sechin. Photo by Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters

As it often happens in movies, a multi-episode crime thriller entitled Bashneft that began in September 2014 with the arrest of the once-mighty Vladimir Yevtushenkov, head of the Sistema corporation, has ended in a prosaic finale that we had predicted from the very beginning: Bashneft has been expropriated from private owners and is being transferred to the state-run Rosneft. Despite public protests by ministers and even the deputy prime minister of Russia, the all-powerful Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin got what he wanted: Prime Minister Medvedev signed an ordinance providing for the sale of the controlling stake in Bashneft to Sechin’s oil empire for $5 billion — without any tender. This is $300 million above the minimum price that the government was prepared to accept for the privatization of its shares in Bashneft, which prompted Putin to observe that Russia’s deficit-ridden budget is in dire need of this money. The federal budget will now undoubtedly receive it, but this leaves the question of where Rosneft had gotten it from, since almost 70 percent of its own shares belong to the Russian state.

As the result of sanctions imposed by Western countries in response to the annexation of Crimea and the shooting down of the Boeing by a Russian missile, Rosneft is practically unable to borrow on the international capital markets. Consequently, just as with the purchase of assets of the Yukos Oil Company that had been forcibly expropriated from private investors and bankrupted, Sechin went to look for money in the East — and found it there in exchange for oil. The only difference is that Chinese companies got guaranteed oil supplies from Rosneft for a fixed low price for several years in exchange for the billions of dollars used for >> Read more

5 Oct 2016

Putinary Geology

mxqfrany89Everyone knows from school textbooks that Russia is extremely rich in mineral resources with the most valuable of them being oil and gas of course. Had Siberia not been rich in oil and gas, Putin could have probably been unable to stay in power that long, since without the “oil needle” hungry Russians would have told the usurper from the KGB to get lost a long time ago. However, he has been fortunate so far, and despite the fact that the importance of hydrocarbons as a source of energy has been slowly but steadily decreasing worldwide, the current Russian tsar still has enough oil revenues to provide for himself and his friends and to silence his electorate that has grown stupid from watching government-owned TV channels broadcasting state propaganda. Russia still has enough available stocks of mineral resources to maintain the status quo in the immediate and medium-term. As for the distant future, the Kremlin does not seem concerned about that at all. It is no surprise then that exploration activity is hardly being carried out in Russia, and geology as a science is slowly dying.

In April 2016, on Minister of Education and Science Dmitri Livanov’s orders, the Russian State Geological Prospecting University >> Read more