MOSCOW, August 2 - RIA Novosti. The US authorities have chosen the fuel and energy sector of Russia as the main pain point for new sanctions. This may create risks for the implementation of new oil and gas projects, not only in Russia, but also affect the energy security of Europe, analysts, business and officials say.
The last three years have taught the Russian economy to live in conditions of external constraints, companies and banks have become accustomed to working under sanctions without giving up financial plans.
Economists do not expect the rapid reaction of the ruble and the massive flight of investors from Russian assets in response to a new round of US sanctions, the effects on the financial market can be only minor and short-term.
"There are a number of sanctions that tighten the procedure for financing banks, impose additional restrictions on the energy sector, but in principle, given what has happened since 2014, the new sanctions are not so terrible," - believes the chief analyst at Uralsib Bank, Alexey Devyatov.
The essence of new
President of the United States Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a package of anti-Russian sanctions, which, among other things, expands a number of sectoral sanctions.
In particular, the new law reduces the maximum term for financing Russian banks under US sanctions up to 14 days, oil and gas companies - up to 60 days (now it's 30 days and 90 days respectively).
In addition, the range of deepwater and Arctic offshore projects is being adjusted, as well as oil and gas projects with hard-to-recover reserves, which are prohibited from supplying equipment and technologies. If earlier it was a question of all such projects on the territory of the Russian Federation with the participation of subordinated individuals and legal entities, now sanctions only concern new projects, but without geo-referencing. Under the restrictions are all new projects in which Russian sub-company companies own 33% or more.
The new US sanctions suggest that the president will be able to impose sanctions on individuals investing in construction of Russian export pipelines more than $ 5 million per year or $ 1 million at a time.
In addition, sanctions can be imposed for the provision of services, technology, providing information support for the construction and modernization of Russian export pipelines, including those in operation. At the same time, the bill specifies that the US will continue to oppose the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.
Restrictive measures are also envisaged for persons investing more than $ 10 million or facilitating such investments if these investments help the Russian Federation to privatize state assets for the purpose of illegally enriching government officials of the Russian Federation, their families and relatives.
The head of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Maxim Oreshkin believes that the tightening of US sanctions will directly damage the business interests of European companies and the EU's energy security, and significantly restrict the powers of the US president.
British BP does not see any significant adverse effects that could bring new US sanctions against the Russian Federation, BP CEO Bob Dudley said. "For three years we managed to work well, observing all instructions, and it seems to us that these new sanctions will not change the current situation," he concluded earlier.
The chairman of the board of German Wintershall, Mario Meren, who opposed new US sanctions, believes that sanctions against Russia should not be used to promote their own interests, for example, the sale of American liquefied natural gas.
"It seems that geo-economics now sets the rules for the game, and we, the company whose interests and projects it affects, serve only as a ping-pong ball in it," Meren said earlier.
The head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Alexander Shokhin, also believes that the sanctions regime is used by the US as an element of unfair competition for the replacement of Russian companies, primarily Gazprom, from the energy market in Europe.
According to the deputy head of the analytical department of the investment company Sovlink, Olga Belenkaya, although the sanctions strike is aimed at the fuel and energy sector, even its influence will be limited to the oil and gas sector, because sanctions are already being applied to offshore development, to extraction of shale oil, to new projects.
"Much will depend on whether it will be possible to find a countermechanism in order that the same European companies or Asian companies could participate in the financing and technological support of these projects, if not, it will be quite negative. But for the economy as a whole, there will not be A strong blow, but unpleasant, "- she said.
The head of the Ministry of Finance of Russia Anton Siluanov expressed the hope that there will not be a significant outflow of investors' funds from Russian securities with the introduction of new sanctions.
Buyers of a significant part of Russian securities, including OFZ, are foreign investors, but they are not speculators, but institutional investors, in particular pension funds, which pursue a fairly conservative policy and hold their assets for a long time.
The new sanctions also provide that within half a year (180 days) after the adoption of the law on sanctions against the Russian Federation, the US Congress will meet to discuss the possibility of expanding restrictive measures on Russia's public debt.
"What can be really unpleasant is the possibility of imposing a ban on foreigners to keep our sovereign debt - if that happens, it will lead to a significant outflow of capital, even if these sanctions affect a new debt." It is clear that many will decide to get rid of the old debt and reduce the portfolio of other Russian Assets, not only OFZ, "explained Devyatov from Uralsib.
According to Natalia Porokhova, head of the research and forecasting group of ACRA, the Russian economy has already largely adapted to US sanctions, and every new expansion has less influence on its sustainability. The financial sector, she said, also adapted: the share of its external debt decreased from 13.5% in 2014 to 9% in 2017, so the impact of new restrictions on it will be negligible.
"In the foreign exchange market, one can probably say that the market reaction is not excessive, and, probably, there is still a calculation that the Central Bank will partially neutralize these negative impulses for the ruble," the program director of the Valdai Club believes Yaroslav Lissovolik.
He explained that given that the weakening of the ruble could give a new impetus to inflation, the Central Bank will try to extinguish it by tightening its rhetoric and maintaining a relatively high interest rate. "In principle, I think that due to the actions of the Central Bank, we can say that the ruble exchange rate will probably not significantly weaken, thanks to this fairly tough and well thought-out position of the Central Bank," the economist noted.
"The expectation that this law will be signed and the passage in the Congress has already been monitored by the market has already exerted pressure on the ruble rate." Even with relatively high oil prices, the ruble remained under pressure, because sanctions are geopolitical risks, tensions that adversely affected And will affect the ruble's exchange rate, which will further exert pressure on the ruble exchange rate, but much will depend on market conditions, oil prices, "Belenkaya from Sovlink explained.
Sanctions are not a hindrance to growth
The sanctions of the West helped Russia pay attention to the internal problems of the economy, which entered the phase of active growth, despite the continued low prices for oil, said on Tuesday the Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin.
According to him, the sanctions in the last few years have taught Russia what to expect first of all for oneself, for the development of their own productions, the development of small and medium-sized businesses, something that the external environment will not influence.
"In fact, our macroeconomic policy is structured in such a way that external shocks related to sanctions do not have a very serious impact on the Russian economy.Therefore, we need to solve our own problems, look at what is happening and how our enterprises develop , Try to help them as much as possible, and only together we will achieve success, and sanctions will be useless, "the minister said.
The Russian economy has already largely adapted to the difficult external conditions, and the latest expansion of US sanctions against Russia will not cause it significant and irreparable damage, adviser to the Institute of Contemporary Development Nikita Maslennikov agrees.
"Although, of course, we do not get a few tenths of the annual GDP growth rate because of the sanctions, but nevertheless, nevertheless, we can state a certain adaptation of our Russian economy to these difficult external conditions," concluded the expert. .