A detained billionaire who made a fortune as a middleman in Russia’s murky gas trade with Ukraine may hold the key for U.S. lawmakers seeking harsher sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian businessman who amassed his fortune in Russia’s gas trade, was indicted on U.S. bribery charges tied to a $500 million Indian mining project in a case he says is politically motivated.
President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to spend $40 billion to cement Moscow’s ties with Kiev after five years of tension by cutting gas prices to Ukraine in return for an extended Russian naval presence in the Black Sea.
President Dmitry Medvedev awarded Ukraine $40 billion in natural-gas subsidies in return for a new lease on the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s naval base as the Kremlin strengthens ties with its neighbor after five years of tension.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the world’s largest natural gas exporter will study building a plant to liquefy natural gas on the Black Sea as part of the country’s South Stream project to ship fuel to Europe.
OAO Gazprom, the world’s largest producer of natural gas, said its tax burden may rise by 200 billion rubles ($6.7 billion) in the next three years even as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pushes for increased output.