Vladimir Gamza: "This year will be lost for the Russian economy"
This week, the Russian oil and gas stock prices collapsed following the oil prices rally. A refusal to extend the OPEC + deal has negatively affected the ruble, which has updated its record law since January 2019. Tonight, the price of Brent reached $ 35, while the WTI was trading below $ 33. At the same time, the dollar exchange rate on the Moscow Exchange grew by 1.8%, to 72.7 rubles, and the euro exchange rate - by 1.88%, to 82 rubles. Chairman of the Council of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation for Financial, Industrial and Investment Policy, Vladimir Gamza, commented on the situation in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
- Can the situation in the oil market be considered unprecedented?
- Of course, precedents in history were in the early 1990s, and, to some extent, in 2014. But today's situation is unprecedented because it was not predicted. There was no serious reason to suppose that the situation in the oil market, when OPEC + had been operating quite successfully for many years, would suddenly collapse. I do not find any reasonable explanation for this situation. In this regard, it is unprecedented.
The bold statements made by all the major oil producers indicate that everyone is set up to actively conduct "military" actions on the oil market. It is very difficult to predict what will happen next.
- How do you assess Russia's exit from the OPEC + deal?
- I have no reasonable explanation for this. We will increase the volume of deliveries, but if the oil price drops one and a half times, we will not acquire additional income. The explanations given by the Minister of Energy [Alexander Novak] do not suit me personally. We will increase revenues in rubles and will formally fulfill our budgetary obligations. If the goal was just that - to drop the ruble exchange rate and ensure budget revenues only at the expense of the exchange rate, then this seems to be a too trivial decision.
I think that Russia started a certain game, made these high-profile statements, in order to come to an agreement with Saudi Arabia on more acceptable conditions for itself. I think that sooner or later a compromise will be found, because otherwise all this is inexplicable.
- Can we expect a compromise by summer?
- Probably yes. It takes time for everyone to calm down and estimate their capabilities and consequences. When everyone is clear-headed, having a certain understanding of what needs to be done in this situation, the negotiations will be possible. Therefore, we will lose this year for the economy, but I hope that common sense will prevail.