Oil Prices Fall After Producers Fail to Reach Deal at Doha By Georgi Kantchev Updated April 17, 2016 9:42 p.m. ET


Hopes of a deal had helped oil prices rally in recent weeks

 Oil prices opened sharply lower in early Asian trading hours on Monday after major oil producers ended their meeting in Doha, Qatar, over the weekend without reaching an agreement to cap production.

Hopes for a deal among major producers, including several from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, were a main driver in a rally that lifted U.S. crude prices more than 50% from their February lows. U.S. crude settled at $41.50 a barrel on Friday.

Now, much of those gains could be eroded in a market that has already endured a turbulent year, analysts say.

U.S. crude was recently trading 5.7% lower at $38.05 a barrel and Brent down 5.2% at $40.86 a barrel.

“This is an extremely bearish scenario,” said Abhishek Deshpande, oil analyst at Natixis. “Prices could touch $30 a barrel within days.”

Steep falls in crude could also weigh on equity markets more generally. Stocks have often moved alongside oil this year. Bank shares, for instance, many of which have large energy portfolios, have been pressured by the declines in oil.

Qatari Minister of Energy and Industry Mohammed Saleh al-Sada attends a news conference following the oil-producers' meeting in Doha, Qatar on Sunday.

Qatari Minister of Energy and Industry Mohammed Saleh al-Sada attends a news conference following the oil-producers’ meeting in Doha, Qatar on Sunday. —  Photo: European Pressphoto Agency

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The Russians Are Coming: Georgia’s Creeping Occupation – Vice News Published on Nov 4, 2015


In July 2015, Russia-backed forces moved the boundary fence between Russian-occupied South Ossetia and Georgia — placing more Georgian territory under Russian control. Georgians refer to this as the creeping occupation, and several people who unfortunately live in the area now have a different citizenship.

VICE News travels to Georgia to see how the country is handling Russia’s quiet invasion, and meet those getting caught in the crossfire.

Watch “The Russians Are Coming: NATO’s Frontier” – http://bit.ly/1O5ruzt

US jets intercept Russian warplanes off Korean peninsula – BBC News 29 October 2015


A US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter lands onto the deck of the USS Ronald Reagan, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered super carrier, during a joint naval drill between South Korea and the US in the West Sea, South Korea, Wednesday, 28 October 2015

AP A US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet lands on the deck of the USS Ronald Reagan during a joint naval drill with South Korea

The US Navy scrambled four F/A-18 jets to intercept Russian warplanes which flew near a US aircraft carrier off the Korean peninsula, officials say.

A spokesman for the White House said the Russian planes flew close to the USS Ronald Reagan during a joint military exercise with South Korea.

Josh Earnest said the incident “did not result in significant confrontation”.

US-Russia relations have deteriorated, particularly over the conflicts in eastern Ukraine and Syria.

Mr Earnest said there were “vigorous disagreements” between the two countries, but that the chill in ties did not reflect the events of the Cold War.

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A US Navy official told Reuters news agency that two Russian Tu-142 Bear aircraft flew within a nautical mile of the Reagan.

The incident took place in international waters and air space in the Sea of Japan on Tuesday, according to the White House.

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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34672611

The Russians Are Coming: Georgia’s Creeping Occupation – Published on Oct 27, 2015


In July 2015, Russia-backed forces moved the boundary fence between Russian-occupied South Ossetia and Georgia — placing more Georgian territory under Russian control. Georgians refer to this as the creeping occupation, and several people who unfortunately live in the area now have a different citizenship.

VICE News travels to Georgia to see how the country is handling the Russia’s quiet invasion, and meet those getting caught in the crossfire.

Watch “The Russians Are Coming: NATO’s Frontier” – http://bit.ly/1O5ruzt

On The Line: Simon Ostrovsky Discusses Russian Diplomatic and Military Maneuvers – ViceNews Published on Oct 5, 2015


VICE News journalist Simon Ostrovsky (https://twitter.com/SimonOstrovsky) joined On The Line to discuss the latest news on Russia’s international ambitions.

Watch: The War May Be Over: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 110) – http://bit.ly/1OEn7uV

Watch more Russian Roulette dispatches – http://bit.ly/1NZKiOF

Right Sector Blockade: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 111) – Vice News Published on Oct 1, 2015


In September, Crimea’s ethnic Muslim minority, the Crimean Tatars, and the radical right-wing organization known as Right Sector set up a blockade on several highways leading into Crimea to stop food and other supplies from entering the Russia-occupied peninsula of Ukraine.

VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky traveled to the roadblocks near Crimea and spoke with the organizers to find out why they had taken these controversial measures, which could potentially have humanitarian consequences for residents of Crimea, including the Crimean Tatars themselves.

Watch: The War May Be Over: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 110) – http://bit.ly/1OEn7uV

Russian Airstrike in Syria Targeted CIA-Backed Rebels, U.S. Officials Say – By DION NISSENBAUM and ADAM ENTOUS in Washington, NATHAN HODGE in Moscow and SAM DAGHER in Beirut Updated Sept. 30, 2015 11:07 p.m. ET


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to the media about the situation in Syria at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to the media about the situation in Syria at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday. Photo: andrew kelly/Reuters

Russia launched airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday, catching U.S. and Western officials off guard and drawing new condemnation as evidence suggested Moscow wasn’t targeting extremist group Islamic State, but rather other opponents of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

One of the airstrikes hit an area primarily held by rebels backed by the Central Intelligence Agency and allied spy services, U.S. officials said, catapulting the Syrian crisis to a new level of danger and uncertainty. Moscow’s entry means the world’s most powerful militaries—including the U.S., Britain and France—now are flying uncoordinated combat missions, heightening the risk of conflict in the skies over Syria.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Russia’s approach to the Syrian war—defending Mr. Assad while ostensibly targeting extremists—was tantamount to “pouring gasoline on the fire.”

“I have been dealing with them for a long time. And this is not the kind of behavior that we should expect professionally from the Russian military,” Mr. Carter said at a Pentagon news conference.

Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and said he raised U.S. concerns about attacks that target regime opponents other than Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. In Syria’s multi-sided war, Mr. Assad’s military—aided by Iran and the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah—is fighting both Islamic State and opposition rebel groups, some of which are supported by the U.S. and its allies.

Speaking alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the United States and Russia have agreed to hold a military meeting as soon as possible to avoid any direct collisions or exchanges of fire in Syria, where both the U.S. and Russia are now conducting airstrikes. Photo: AP

Mr. Kerry said the U.S. and Russia need to hold military talks as soon as possible and Mr. Lavrov said he agreed.

The U.S. and its allies were angry at the Russians on many scores: that they are supporting Mr. Assad; that they aren’t coordinating their actions with the existing, U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition; that they provided terse notice only an hour before their operations; that they demanded the U.S. coalition stay out of Syrian airspace; and that they struck in areas where anti-Assad rebels—not Islamic State—operate.

“It does appear that they were in areas where there probably were not ISIL forces, and that is precisely one of the problems with this whole approach,” said Mr. Carter, the U.S. defense chief.

U.S. officials said it was unclear if Moscow directly targeted a location held by the CIA-backed fighters in western Syria because of their association with the U.S.’s covert program to fund, arm and train the rebels.

Officials said it was also unclear if any U.S.-backed fighters were killed in the strike. A CIA spokesman declined to comment.

Russia said its initial strikes inside Syria on Wednesday were aimed at Islamic State targets. But senior U.S. officials cast doubt on those claims.

The U.S. spy agency has been arming and training rebels in Syria since 2013 to fight the Assad regime. Rebels who receive support under a separate arming and training program run by the Pentagon weren’t in areas targeted by Russia in its initial strikes, the officials said.

The combination of unpredictable, unilateral action that flouted Western exhortations posed an unmistakable resemblance to Ukraine, where Mr. Putin moved to annex the Crimea region and has defied international demands to halt its support for separatists.

 

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