17 April 2013

RUSSIA : Medvedev On Defensive After Putin Tirade Tape Leaked.

     Many Kremlin watchers have been predicting the demise of PM Dmitry Medvedev...ever since his appointment last May.
     But a new video posted on a pro-Putin website...that shows Putin threatening to fire unnamed officials if Russia's economy continues to falter...delivers new ammunition.
     Before parliament...and for almost 2 hours...Medvedev staunchly defended his cabinet's results.
     Last week...Russia's projected 2013 GDP was revised downward to 2.4%.
     In 2012...its $2 trillion economy grew by 3.4%.
     The prices for oil and gas...Russia's main exports...have been rapidly sinking.
     Today...benchmark Brent closed below $98 bbl.
     Some economists estimate that Russia needs oil at $115 bbl to pay its bills.