Update 2-russia’s Vtb Turns Quick Profit With Tele2 Russia Deal

RPT-Russia, N.America invest billions to feed Asian oil, gas demand

In an interview with the New York Times posted to its website on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, Snowden says that he did not take any secret NSA documents to Russia and that intelligence officials in China as well as Russia could not get access to the documents he had obtained before leaving the United States. By Associated Press, WASHINGTON Former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden says that he did not take any secret NSA documents to Russia and that intelligence officials in China as well as Russia could not get access to the documents he had obtained before leaving the United States. In an interview with The New York Times, Snowden said he handed over all the documents he had obtained to journalists during his stay in Hong Kong. The newspaper posted its story on its website Thursday. More from PostPolitics The Speakers most loyal troopers Sarah Binder A quick look at the Republican lawmakers who crossed the aisle to open the government and forestall default. He said his familiarity with Chinas intelligence abilities allowed him to protect the documents from Chinese spies while he was in Hong Kong. Theres a zero percent chance the Russians or Chinese have received any documents, he said. Snowdens leaks of highly classified material have resulted in numerous news stories about U.S. surveillance activities at home and abroad and sparked debate about the legality of those activities and the privacy implications for average Americans. The Times reported that in the interview, which it said took place over several days in the last week and involved encrypted online communications, Snowden asserted that he believed he was a whistle-blower who was acting in the nations best interests by revealing information about the NSAs surveillance dragnet and huge collections of communications data. Snowden said that he had helped U.S. national security by prompting a badly needed public debate about the scope of the intelligence effort.

Snowden says he didn’t take secret documents to Russia, ‘zero’ chance Russia or China got any

VTB bought Russia’s fourth-largest mobile operator from Sweden’s Tele2 in April for $3.55 billion. “It has been a profitable investment for us and we will stay as equal partners,” Yuri Soloviev, first deputy president of VTB’s management board, told Reuters. Soloviev declined to name the sale price, which has been put at $2 billion, including assumed debt, based on the price at which VTB has valued the stake on its books. VTB is selling half to a group of investors including affiliates of Bank Rossiya and entities of Alexei Mordashov, a billionaire tycoon who controls steelmaker Severstal. “Through the sale of 50 percent we get very experienced people in the TMT (technology, media and telecoms) sector, (who) have invested in a number of assets such as TV channels, content producers, cable companies,” Soloviev said. “We de-risk the position, we make some money on structuring the deal and we get a very strong partner in Russia.” 4G PUSH Bank Rossiya is part-owned and chaired by Yuri Kovalchuk, an old acquaintance of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kovalchuk and Mordashov have a background in media investments, combining their media assets in 2008 to create National Media Group (NMG). Retaining VTB as an owner could help Tele2 Russia’s lobbying effort to obtain a licence to provide high-speed 4G services. At a competitive disadvantage since losing a 4G licence tender last year, it has argued for technology neutrality to allow faster internet speeds on its existing radio band. The Tele2 deal is seen by analysts as likely to lead to an eventual tie-up with state-controlled rival Rostelecom , Russia’s fifth-largest mobile operator, and challenge the top three of MTS, Megafon and VimpelCom. Tele2 Russia’s new owners have links to Rostelecom. In 2011 NMG sold its stake in cable TV company National Telecommunications to Rostelecom. The former chief of the cable company, Sergei Kalugin, became CEO of Rostelecom.

“The centre of gravity shifting east is becoming a reality,” Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress in South Korea. “They (China) would like to get oil from everywhere. Whether it’s by ship or, let’s not forget about Russia, by pipeline.” Net oil imports in the Asia-Pacific will rise to more than 25 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2035, close to current crude output in the Middle East, the Asian Development Bank said, giving a sense of the region’s rising demand. ASIAN DEMAND While Asia’s market grows, the United States, which has been for decades the world’s biggest market for oil and gas, could slash its oil imports by half by the end of 2020 from levels seen two years ago due to the shale oil and gas boom and improving energy efficiency, the IEA said. Gas producers in North America and Asian buyers are working on multi-billion dollar projects to liquefy the region’s abundant gas supply and ship the super-chilled fuel to the East. North America has already pushed Australia out of the top spot for new Asian investment in gas development, while several pipeline projects are being planned in Canada to send landlocked crude to Asia. Pipeline operator TransCanada Corp is participating in projects worth nearly C$14 billion ($13.5 billion) that aim to fill Asia’s fast-growing demand for Canadian oil and gas and could build more, Chief Executive Russ Girling said. “I would have never predicted that 24-36 months ago,” Girling said in an interview earlier this week. Russia, the world’s largest gas producer, also plans to open up liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports next year to meet growing demand from Asia-Pacific markets. The government plans to submit a bill in parliament on it soon. That comes after Russian producer Rosneft signed one of the biggest deals in the history of the global oil industry in June – a $270 billion pact to supply 365 million tonnes, or 300,000 bpd, of oil for 25 years. That would come on top of the 300,000 bpd Rosneft is already sending to China.