2015 brought the US and Russia into a growing standoff. Meanwhile, crisis of mistrust not only occludes the chance of collaboration in areas which offer real opportunities, such as the struggle against ISIL, but could prompt dire yet unintended clashes – including between the US and Russia. Is there any hope for at least a thaw in the future.
The American oil lobby agreed to lift the ban on oil exports, which was in force for 40 years. Yet, it's unlikely that the Senate's decision will have any impact on oil prices. Among others, the winning argument was the necessity to confront Russia, which uses energy as a tool for foreign policy. Why do Americans need export?
By the end of the week the US Congress may defy Barack Obama's wishes, and lift the embargo on the export of crude oil, that has been in place for the last 40 years. Yet experts don't expect any flurry of activity – the US has no interest in upping oil production, due to current rock-bottom prices.
Vladimir Putin has met with US Secretary of State, John Kerry, for the second time in six months. Prior to Kerry's arrival, announcement was made of support for the 'Syrian Free Army'. However, experts expect no swift progress in settling the Syrian crisis.
The tragic incident in Middle Eastern skies begs many questions - and threatens to pull the legs from under the status quo. What was in Ankara's mind, when they fired rockets at the Russian bomber? Syria and the surrounding region now poses such a fraught situation that any kind of military operation in the area is prone to unpredictable results.
France is making plans to treble its military offensive in Syria. Offensives are not limited to bombing alone. President Hollande will be pressing for a unified coalition against ISIL. Meanwhile the American, French and Russian air forces are already pounding the terror-funded economy – its oil-fields, storage facilities and fuel-trucks.
For the first time, China has taken Canada's place as the US's largest trading partner. This is related to the energy crisis that reduced the value of Canadian oil. On the other hand, trade turnover between the US and Russia fell by a third over the past year.
Product placement in each new Bond movie, of which the latest is “007-Spectre,” makes each film closer and closer to an advertising catalogue. Would it be possible to create an investment portfolio of shares in all these top-end goods – and make money on it?
Russia's biggest corporations lag behind their American counterparts in every respect, except in revenue growth – although they do lead in the category of 'most loss-making company'. RBC published its first version of a Top-500 list for Russia's largest corporations.