Russia's recovery from economic recession could be complicated by sanctions announced recently by US President Donald Trump, with still greater potential of painful restrictions on investors and Russian companies seeking to raise capital in Western markets. This year, the US Treasury initiated new sanctions against Russian persons and entities for activities including the alleged poisoning in the UK of former FSB Officer Skripal and his daughter as well as Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
Soft oil prices and tight monetary and fiscal policy only exacerbated the effects of targeted sanctions by the US, EU, and Canada—later joined by Australia, Japan, and Switzerland, among others—on the Russian economy during 2014 to 2015. Among the most powerful sanctions imposed, the US joined the EU in 2014 in sectoral sanctions on Russia's financial, defense, and energy sectors, to include Russia's largest bank (Sberbank), a major arms maker and arctic (Rostec), and deepwater and shale exploration by its biggest oil companies (Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas, and Rosneft). As a countermeasure to these sanctions, in August 2014, Russia banned food imports from countries that had imposed sanctions against it.
Additional US sanctions were expected this month in response to Russia's alleged support for Syria's chemical weapons attack on civilians as well as an expansion of sanctions to include new Russian sovereign debt but neither has been implemented. Market damage from US sanctions is already measurable, however, and has the potential to grow as uncertainty takes hold in markets and among investors.
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Global oil production remains strong even as some leading industry forecasts suggest that global economic conditions will override low global oil prices to constrain oil demand growth this year.Some leading OPEC producers, including Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, are producing at or near record levels, largely offsetting production declines from several OPEC and non-OPEC producers. Many of these OPEC members have relatively low operating costs or are on the upside of years of development to bring online new production and thus may not reduce production in the face of the oil price slump to retain their market shares.In contrast, other major...
The current world population of 7.2 billion is projected to increase by 1 billion over the next 12 years and reach 9.6 billion by 2050, according to a report, which points out that growth will be mainly in developing countries, with more than half in Africa. Population of developed regions will remain largely unchanged at around 1.3 billion from now until 2050. In contrast, the 49 least developed countries are projected to double in size from around 900 million people in 2013 to 1.8 billion in 2050.
Source: World Trade Organization
In August, 2014, as a counter-move to the economic sanctions imposed against Russia for its annexation of Crimea and intervention to Eastern Ukraine, Russia banned food imports from 10 countries: the US, the EU, Canada, Australia, Norway, Ukraine, Albania, Montenegro, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. The embargo ended 1 January 2018. The visualizations below highlight the trade effects of the embargo.