March 2020 | ISSUE No. 263| USRCC Business Newsletter
2020 Offshore Technology Conference
in Houston is Postponed

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), considering the rapidly changing guidance from governments and companies,  has chosen to postpone  the conference from 4-7 May to the third quarter of 2020 and is actively working to confirm dates  in August or September 2020 . In the coming weeks, OTC will be communicating with authors, speakers, exhibitors, and partners to develop the new plans and ensure the conference continues to provide a platform for energy professionals to meet and exchange ideas. Read more...

The 11th Annual Welcome Reception  Honoring Delegations from  Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC 2020)  will be postponed  in accordance with the new OTC dates  in August or September 2020 . We will thoughtfully and proactively provide updates.
USRCC Provides Presentation of SBA COVID-19 Webinar

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) conducted a webinar to share information about the disaster loan assistance and non-financial assistance from the U.S. SBA to the small businesses and non-profit organizations. 

SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for a small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

To review the full presentation  click here
USRCC Membership
Are you taking advantage of your USRCC Member Benefits?

The U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce provides a variety of Membership options to fit your business needs and goals. Renew your membership or join for the first time today!

For more information   click here
Member's News
Lukoil Started Wind Monitoring in Rostov Region, March 17, 2020:  LUKOIL has started to perform wind monitoring, which is the first stage of developing feasibility study for constructing a wind power plant (WPP) near the current Tsimlyansk HPP in Rostov Region. The site for the WPP has been chosen considering a positive wind potential assessment, as well as effective equipment delivery logistics and opportunity to use the Tsimlyansk HPP existing power infrastructure for power distribution. Project implementation is planned as part of renewable electric generation support mechanism.  Read more ...
Turkish Airlines is Temporarily Canceling Houston Flights, March 19, 2020:   Turkish Airlines is temporarily canceling Houston flights starting from March 20, 2020 till April 5, 2020. We will keep you updated in case if there are any additional changes. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Europe, our flights with Germany, France, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Austria and Holland as departure point are suspended until 17 April. As the airline that always puts the travel security at the forefront, Turkish Airlines will continue to monitor the latest developments on the situation with the national and international health authorities and take appropriate precautions. Read more.. .
ExxonMobil Evaluating Significant Near-Term Capital and Operating Expense Reductions, March 16, 2020:  ExxonMobil is looking to significantly reduce spending as a result of market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and commodity price decreases, the company said today. "Based on this unprecedented environment, we are evaluating all appropriate steps to significantly reduce capital and operating expenses in the near term," said Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation. "We will outline plans when they are finalized."  Read more.. .
Emerson's 2020 ASCO Engineering Scholarship Program is Now Open, March 18, 2020:  In its continuing commitment to the success of tomorrow's workforce, Emerson announces the application period is now open for its 2020 ASCO Engineering Scholarship Program for U.S. college students. The merit-based scholarships are awarded on the candidate's potential for leadership and for making a significant contribution to the engineering, instrumentation, systems, and automation professions. Recipients may also be eligible for an Emerson internship.  Read more...
Commodity Prices
Crude Oil and Natural Gas as of March 20, 2020 

  • West Texas Intermediate (WTI) - 24.22 USD/bbl
  • Brent Crude Oil Price - 28.31 USD/bbl
  • Natural Gas - 1.64 USD/MMBtu

This Week in Review
The United States Embassy and Consulates in Russia are Cancelling Visa Appointments, March 18, 2020:   Information for visa applicants regarding novel coronavirus: As of March 18, 2020, the United States Embassy in Russia/Moscow, Consulates in Russia/ Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok are cancelling routine nonimmigrant and immigrant visa appointments. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. The MRV fee is valid and may be used for a visa application in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment. . Read more...
Putin Greenlights Government’s Purchase of Sberbank Shares, March 19, 2020:  Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the law on the acquisition of 52.3% of ordinary shares in the country’s largest bank, Sberbank, by the government from the Bank of Russia, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The document was posted on the official website of legal information on Wednesday. Read more...
Russia's Economy Faces Tough Times, Finance Minister Siluanov Admits, March 18, 2020:  The situation in the Russian economy is currently not developing in the best way, with a significant deviation from macroeconomic forecasts for 2020, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at a meeting of the board of the Federal Treasury, according to RNS. Siluanov also said that Russia's budget in 2020 will be in deficit. "Of course, this year we will transfer to a deficit budget. We will have to use the resources of our reserve, the National Wealth Fund, this is the reason it was formed," he said.  Read more...
Russian Airlines Could Lose $1.4 Billion due to Coronavirus, March 17, 2020:  Russia's airlines could lose 100 billion roubles ($1.4 billion) due to the coronavirus outbreak and risk going bankrupt, the head of Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency, also known as Rosaviatsiya, told the Interfax news agency. Global airlines and planemaker Boeing are seeking billions of dollars in aid as they battle to survive a plunge in demand caused by the pandemic.  Read more...
As Markets Panic, Russian Ruble is WORLD'S WORST Performing Currency in 2020, March 18, 2020: The great ruble oscillation has returned with a vengeance. Russia's currency seems attracted to extremes, lurching from hero to zero, depending on how the winds are blowing.At various stages since 2015, it has been the world's best-performing currency, before tapering off again. Now, as markets plummet worldwide amid coronavirus and oil shock panic, wouldn't you know it? The ruble is plumbing the depths. It's presently the worst-performing currency in the world in 2020, against the benchmark US dollar.  Read more...
Russia Admits Need to Bolster Oil But Does Not Reach Out to OPEC, March 18, 2020:  With oil plummeting near an 18-year low amid unprecedented supply and demand shocks, Russia finally admitted: crude is too cheap. "Of course it's a low price, we would like to see it higher," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call, signaling for the first time that the country's tolerance of low prices may be wearing thin. Yet he stopped short of reaching out to partners in the OPEC+ alliance as the brinkmanship between Russia and Saudi Arabia persists.  Read more...  
Nornickel to Invest $34.6 Million in Upgrade of Kola MMC in 2020, March 18, 2020:  The Norilsk Nickel Company (Nornickel) will invest 2.6 billion rubles ($34.6 million) in upgrade of Kola MMC (Mining and Metallurgical Company, a part of Nornickel) in 2020, Kola MMC's press service said on Tuesday. "Kola MMC will receive more than 3,300 pieces of new equipment; the upgrade will be in the company's all divisions, and Nornickel's investments in the renovation of assets will make 2.6 billion rubles," the press service said.   Read more. ..
US Treasury Turns Down Reconsidering Deripaska's Sanctions Complaint, March 18, 2020:   The US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has rejected any administrative reconsideration of its decision on imposing sanctions against Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska. That is according to the Joint Status Report by the US District Court for the District of Columbia dated March 17.   Read more...  
Houston - Tyumen Sister Cities
Russia is Limiting the Entry of Foreign Citizens through Crossing Points in Kurgan and Tyumen Regions until May 1, 2020, March 18, 2020:  Russia is limiting the entry of foreign citizens through crossing points in Kurgan and Tyumen Regions until May 1, 2020, to prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from spreading, the border office of the FSB Border Guard Service for Kurgan and Tyumen Regions said on Wednesday. Exceptions will be made for the personnel of diplomatic missions and consulates, international organizations, their family members, members of official delegations, as well as crews of international flights and vessels, and international drivers.  Read more. ..
CIS Business News
Central Asia Needs A Financing Solution To Low Oil Prices, March 17, 2020:  The ongoing slide in global oil prices - catalyzed by the novel Coronavirus and fueled by structural issues including excess supply from oil giants like the U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia, and slowing demand growth - is creating a new imperative for hydrocarbon revenue - dependent states to diversify their economies. This is particularly true for the oil and gas producing nations of Central Asia led by Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, who are reliant on fossil fuel revenues to balance their budgets.  Read more.. .
Plans to Draft Agreement on EAEU Common Gas Market by 2022, March 20, 2020:  T he Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) plans to draft an agreement on the common gas market in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) by 2022, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Mikhail Myasnikovich said in an interview with the Respublika newspaper, BelTA has learned. Read more...
Armenia, Russia to Impose 14-day Ban on Passenger Air Service Over Coronavirus, March 16, 2020:  Russia and Armenia have agreed to ban passenger air service for two weeks in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the press service of the Armenian government said on Monday after a telephone conversation between the two countries' prime ministers, Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia and Mikhail Mishustin of Russia.    Read more...  
Solar Panels, Coating Systems Installed in Northern Azerbaijan, March 17, 2020:   Solar panels and coating systems have been installed in the "Smart Garden" in Guba for the first time in Azerbaijan, using state-of-the-art technology, Azerbaijan Agriculture Ministry told local media on March 16. "Smart Garden" project is run by the Research Institute of Fruit Farming and Tea Growing of the Ministry of Agriculture. As part of the project, the cultivation of the orchard will be fully automated and computer management will be implemented.  Read more...
US-Russia Related News in Russia
Новости недели
WSJ: США Могут Ввести Санкции против России за Обвал Цен на Нефть, March 19, 2020:   Как сообщает  The Wall Street Journal  (WSJ) со ссылкой на официальных лиц Белого дома, администрация Дональда Трампа рассматривает возможность введения новых санкций против России. На этот раз поводом для такой меры может послужить выход России из сделки с ОПЕК, который спровоцировал торговую войну с Саудовской Аравией и обвал цен на нефть. При этом источники издания не уточнили, какие именно санкции могут быть наложены на Россию и что именно должно их спровоцировать.   Читать далее...
Обрушение Рынков: Нефть Вернулась в 2003 год, Март 18, 2020:   Торги на Мосбирже снова закрылись падением рубля: евро стоит 88 рублей, доллар - 81. Параллельно обрушились индексы Мосбиржи и котировки нефти: Brent торгуется ниже $25 за баррель впервые с 2003 года. Еще совсем недавно даже цена нефти на уровне $30 казалась Минфину России фантазией. Последний раз показатели ниже $25 были зарегистрированы в сентябре 2003 года. Цены на марку WTI находятся на уровне 2002 года.  Читать далее...
Россия Ограничит Полеты в США, Британию и ОАЭ, Март 18, 2020: Премьер-министр Михаил Мишустин поручил ввести временные ограничения на полеты в Великобританию, США и ОАЭ, сообщается на сайте правительства. Ограничения, связанные с распространением коронавируса, вводятся с полуночи 20 марта и касаются пассажирских перевозок с территории России и в обратном направлении, за исключением регулярных рейсов из московского аэропорта Шереметьево в Лондон, Нью-Йорк, Абу-Даби и обратно.  Читать далее...
Российские Власти Признали Непростую Ситуацию в Экономике, Март 18, 2020:   Российский бюджет в 2020 году будет дефицитным, заключил министр финансов Антон Силуанов. Его цитирует ТАСС. По словам главы ведомства, ситуация в экономике «развивается не лучшим образом», наблюдается отклонение от макропрогноза на текущий год. Министр также призвал Казначейство контролировать эффективность трат средств на исполнение мер, озвученных президентом в ходе послания Совету Федерации. «Нам придется задействовать средства нашего резерва - Фонда национального благосостояния, для этого он и формировался», - признал Силуанов.  Читать далее...

The USRCC is looking for new team members!

Volunteers play a key role and the contributions they make impact the day-to-day functions of the chamber and shape the future of the relationship between Russia and the U.S.

There are many ways you can get involved with the USRCC. Whether you are an experienced leader or a student, there is a place for you. By volunteering you can be at the very center of our high-profile events held in Houston, Chicago and New York City and interact with influential leaders in the U.S.-Russia trade and investment.
To learn more about the position 
or contact us directly at   
call 713.429.4680
 USRCC Executive Partners 
U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce
2900 Wilcrest Drive
Suite 133
Houston, TX 77042

The U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce (USRCC) is a 501(c)(6) not for profit corporation with its headquarters in Houston, Texas, and offices in the Midwest and the Northeast. The USRCC was established in 2009 to promote trade and investment between the Russia n Federation and the U.S.A.  
The information contained in this newsletter is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. USRCC does not accept any responsibility for any loss that may arise from reliance on information contained in this newsletter. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the USRCC or its members. Links within this newsletter lead to other websites, including those operated and maintained by third parties. The linked sites are not part of the USRCC newsletter. USRCC includes these links solely as a convenience to the newsletter subscribers, and the presence of such links does not imply a responsibility for the linked site and its operator. USRCC cannot certify the accuracy of the material provided by the original source .

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