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Rouble in freefall

Russia boycotts Albania

Export from Albania is added to the Russian ban. Russia saw Albania as a possible transit hub for illegal produce from Europe. The documents handed to Russia by Albania reportedly contained traces of fraud, after which Russia closed the border. Russia is facing economically tough times. The rouble is in freefall and lost 40% of its value compared to the dollar this year alone, the oil price is low and economic prospects are bad. The Kremlin also adjusted the expectations for next year, downwards. Turkmenistan is in talks with St. Petersburg about a new logistics centre near the city.

During his annual speech to the Russian parliament, Putin defended the annexation of Crimea. According to the president, Crimea is “sacred”. According to him, Crimea joining Russia is in line with international law, and the situation in East Ukraine confirms Russia’s just attitude, says the president. Putin also says he won’t bow to the West.
Putin then praised the Turkish president, who announced he wanted to fully benefit from the opportunities on the Russian market. Following a visit from a Syrian delegation to Russia, the Russian minister of Agriculture said he wanted to increase import from Syria. It looks as though Syria will be receiving grain in return. Further details on the talks were not made public.

Rouble in freefall
The Russian government expects to enter a new crisis. The government assumes the economy will shrink by 0.8%, and the Central Bank is working on scenarios in which the oil price will be around 60 dollars per barrel for a long period of time. In previous estimations, the government still assumed an oil price of 100 dollars per barrel. Confidence in the rouble is decreasing, despite efforts by the Central Bank to retain depositors with high interest rates. Putin also said that authorities will not ask questions of wealthy Russians bringing back their capital to Russia. The rouble has lost 40% of its value compared to the dollar already. The chart at website shows the rouble’s fall.

Inflation in Russia went up by 1.3% in November. That brings the inflation for November up to 9.1%. On a product level, larger increases can be seen. For instance, buckwheat got 54.4% more expensive due to fear of shortages, tomato prices increased by 34.9%, and cucumbers got 20.7% more expensive. Potato prices went up by 12.6% according to the Russian statistics service.

Turkmenistan opens logistics centre St. Petersburg
According to the local government of St. Petersburg, Turkmenistan is interested in a logistics centre near the Russian city. From the centre, St. Petersburg is to be supplied with fruit, vegetables and other products from the former Soviet republic. A similar project in the Astrakhan region already opened its doors. Turkmenistan wants to visit St. Petersburg with a delegation, to discuss the possibilities for the deal.

Good outlook seedling export 2015
Although the formal confirmation hasn’t arrived yet, it seems that next year, seedling export from the Netherlands to Russia will continue in a similar way to this year. Nothing seems to be changing in the technical requirements. This month, Russian inspectors will go to the Netherlands to do spot checks.

Albania temporarily boycotted
Starting December 8, trading between Russia and Albania will be temporarily halted. Russia already asked Albania for clarification on the increased export volumes. Russia suspected that banned products were being shipped from Europe to Russia through Albania. Albania then handed over 21 phytosanitary certificates, with Russia drawing the conclusion that most of the certificates had been falsified.