Poland Says Russian Produce Ban Is Payback for Sanctions

By Andy Tully: Warsaw says Russia’s ban on most fruit and vegetable imports from Poland has nothing to do with food safety, as Moscow contends, but is political retaliation for new, tough Western sanctions on Russia, particularly its lucrative oil sector. Alexei Alekseenko, a spokesman for Russia’s Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service, issued astatement on July 30, a […]

The EPA Holds the Key to Effective Sanctions Against Russia

There now seems to be general consensus amongst the United States and many European nations regarding the actions of the Putin regime in Eastern Ukraine and what should be done about them. Tragically, It took the downing of a civilian plane and the loss of 298 innocent lives, but there is finally agreement that something […]

Will the U.S. Oil Boom Make Energy Sanctions Easier?

Ask someone to identify a big geopolitical consequence of the ongoing U.S. oil production boom and odds are high that they’ll invoke Iran. (Every one of the links in that last sentence is an example.) Without surging U.S. oil production, they’ll argue, sanctions on Iranian oil exports would have led to a massive oil price spike. Here is a concrete case of the oil boom yielding greater U.S. freedom of action in […]

Rosneft Scoffs At U.S Sanctions, Says Western Investors Could Suffer

By Andy Tully: Rosneft, Russia’s government-owned oil giant, says news U.S. sanctions imposed because of Moscow’s suspected role in the continuing fighting in Ukraine are not only “illegitimate,” but they also won’t work as Washington intended. On July 16, the Obama administration imposed its strictest sanctions yet on Russia, including denying Rosneft access to American debt or […]

Russia Touts South Stream Pipeline as Europe’s Gas Lifeline

By Andy Tully: Russia is mounting a major publicity campaign in Europe for its proposed South Stream gas pipeline in an apparent effort to reassure its EU customers that they can rely on Russian gas for the indefinite future. The reason for Moscow’s public relations efforts is the continuing unrest in Ukraine. EU countries now […]

As Russia’s Isolation Grows, Oil Companies Caught in Middle

By Nick Cunningham: The confrontation between Russia and the West took a turn for the worse with the downing of a Malaysian airliner on July 17, and that could spell trouble for several major oil companies operating in Russia. Just one day earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama slapped sanctions on Russia over its ongoing role […]

Why Oil and Gas in the South China Sea Won’t Be Developed

By Nick Cunningham: The South China Sea has enormous potential for oil and gas reserves but territorial conflict will likely hold it back for years to come. On July 16, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) decided to remove its oil rig from contested waters, stating that its exploration mission was completed after finding “sings of oil […]

Russian Sanctions: The United States Takes the Lead

The United States has taken what, on first read, looks to be a significant step today, extending sanctions ( see also here) to block new debt and equity issuance by a number of energy, financial and military companies.  It is not quite full “sectoral” sanctions–both because it is limited in what it blocks (new debt and equity of […]

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