international magazine
11 / 2008

Penitence, prayers and pragmatism

The price of crude on the world market has once again played a cruel joke on Russians. Whether prices rise or fall, Russian consumers always end up pulling more and more cash out of their wallets. The culprit is the high level of monopoly in the country's oil product markets. Despite the fact the the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) is trying to exercise pressure on oil companies, this effort has failed to bring real results. Oil industrialists made minimal cuts in prices while once again asking the Russian government for financial aid at the same time. So, even as world crude prices drop, it is the Russian government which will decide whether or not and how far prices at the pump will retreat.