Forbes: Russia to win at energy and diplomacy games in 2017

In the fading weeks of 2016, Japan, Qatar and the US have given Russia the opportunity to prevail in diplomacy and energy games in 2017, Forbes writes.

According to the author, the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two-day state visit to Japan over a week ago may serve as a primer for anyone looking to do business with Russia next year. The summit between the two neighbors resulted in 60 economic deals, 23 of which included energy agreements signed by Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft and a conglomerate of Japanese companies. 

"Potentially billions of dollars will flow between Japan and Russia on joint offshore explorations, the construction of another LNG plant in Sakhalin and a gas pipeline connecting Hokkaido," the article says. It also stresses that the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had seemed more eager than his counterpart to have such a bilateral summit on home ground. 

Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections, as well as Trump’s choice of former Exxon chief Rex Tillerson for his secretary of state is America’s proverbial present to Russia just before 2016 ends. "The third but equally significant pivot towards the Russian power came from Qatar in early December," the article notes. Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) along with commodities trader Glencore signed a deal in December to buy 19.5% stake in state-owned Rosneft. 

In the conclusion, the author writes that Russia will have an opportunity to play from a position of enormous strength in the new year.

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