SOVEREIGN ECONOMY: TOP EVENTS OF THE WEEK
The ruble exchange rate continued to fall throughout the week. On Friday, the euro exchange rate exceeded 106 rubles/€ during the opening of trading on the Moscow Exchange, while the dollar rate rose to 101.15 rubles/$. Based on the trend, the dollar may solidify above 100 rubles without any new steps to support the ruble from financial authorities.
Moldova has refused to purchase gas from "Gazprom." Victor Parlikov, the Minister of Energy of Moldova, announced that the republic will no longer procure gas from "Gazprom." The Moldovan authorities have proposed that "Gazprom" enter into a global agreement, according to which the Russian company and its subsidiaries will write off the debts of "Moldovagaz." In return, Chisinau guarantees no legal claims related to the reduction of supplies and the payment of $153.57 million in compensation.
The USA and EU are exploring legal options to use $300 billion of frozen Russian assets for Ukraine, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. According to the Russian Ministry of Finance, Russia has lost access to nearly half of its gold and currency reserves due to Western sanctions - about $300 billion out of approximately $640 billion.
The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) threatens the oil retail sector and demands a reduction in fuel prices. The FAS has sent letters to vertically integrated companies and independent gas stations, urging them to lower the cost of fuel sales based on exchange prices for petroleum products. If the organizations take no action, the FAS will consider it a sign of violating antimonopoly legislation.
The government has approved additional measures to stabilize the fuel market. From October 1st, the fuel cushion will be restored; a duty will be imposed on purchased petroleum products for resale (£50,000 per tonne); restrictions on the export of diesel fuel delivered to seaports through pipelines have been lifted (provided that the producer supplies at least 50% of diesel fuel to the domestic market); the share of diesel and gasoline sales on the exchange has been increased.