SOVEREIGN ECONOMY: TOP EVENTS OF THE WEEK
Russians are concerned about the rise in prices. 41% of Russian citizens consider the price increase for goods and services in June-July to be extremely high, according to a survey by the VCIOM research centre which is close to Kremlin. Another 33% believe that the price increase during this period was moderate, and only every seventh person (14%) considers it insignificant.
The Kremlin positions Putin as a fighter against rising prices. Propaganda has shifted from ignoring the issue of consumer inflation to a managed interpretation of it. Dmitry Peskov, the official spokesperson for the authorities, stated that the President of Russia is monitoring the situation regarding prices for essential goods, including bread. They are trying to present Putin as a leader who understands and energetically addresses the problem.
Kazakhstan is seeking for an alternative to its main export pipeline through Russia. "KazMunayGas" subsidiary has already acquired two tankers for oil transportation through the Caspian Sea. Two more vessels are planned to be purchased for operations in the Black Sea. The authorities of Kazakhstan and the management of the country's largest state-owned companies are exploring alternative oil delivery routes.
Gas stocks in Europe have reached a record high in the history of observations. The level of gas reserves in underground storage facilities in Europe has reached its maximum level (92%) on the corresponding date in the history of Gas Infrastructure Europe (since 2011) and continues to grow. Despite blatant blackmail and intimidation, the Kremlin has failed to achieve energy dependence of the EU on Russian gas supplies or a market price collapse.
The wealth of Russian billionaires has increased by $32 billion since the beginning of the year. "Bloomberg Billionaires Index" indicates that and regularly tracks the fortunes of entrepreneurs based on the value of shares in companies they control. The index includes the fortunes of the 500 wealthiest individuals on the planet, including 25 Russian citizens.